10 Things You Can Do Today to Start a Lifestyle Business (Even if you have no ideas)

In 2008, I had a pretty good idea that my day job wasn’t going to be a long term solution for me. However, it wouldn’t be for another 18 months that I’d actually leave my job.

During most of those 18 months I stayed stagnant, and made no progress to the goals I’d really set for myself – namely traveling the world, and building a business.

It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, but it was mostly because I didn’t know where to start. 

In 2009 things started coming together a little bit more, but it really only took about 5 months from the time that I started actually taking action to the time I parted ways from my job.

I’ve found though, that once you start moving, it’s a hard train to get off.

Your Excuses are Legit

All the time I hear from people who want to start building a business for themselves but simply don’t know where to start.

And you know what? I get it!

It can be daunting, especially if you’ve spent the last decade or two sitting in a cubicle building things for other people.

Then you factor in family responsibilities and keeping some semblance social life, and the thought of actually doing more work in your spare time seems so ridiculous you don’t do anything about it.

The good news is, it doesn’t take as much drastic action as you think it does to start building a lifestyle business.

In fact, many of the most beneficial steps to building a business are probably things you either are doing, or have been considering doing anyway.

The goal of today’s post is to give you 10 extremely actionable tasks that you can start doing today that will begin pushing you towards a business of your own and the lifestyle you’ve been wanting for years.

So, ready to stop making excuses? Ready to take a little action towards a better life? Sweet, let’s do this.

#1: Get a Domain, Hosting, and Install WordPress

This is hands down the easiest, most tangible thing you can possibly do today to get closer to a business of your own.

Every single thing I do online (social media being the exception) has been built on WordPress – my entire business revolves around it.  I don’t care what you start building.  It could be a blog, business website or even a fanpage for your favorite Spice Girl. Doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you get hosting (which will allow you to build unlimited websites), and install WordPress on your new domain.  Play, break, experience.

Once you feel comfortable with that, all of the other steps become much more attainable, because you’re removing one of the biggest technical barriers out there.

I personally recommend Dreamhost or Fat Cow hosting.

If you want a little more hand holding through the process, check out “How to Build Your First Online Asset in 48 Hours.”

#2: Send emails to 20 people who are living the life you want

Who better to build a relationship with than the people who have already successfully done what you’re striving towards?

I sent an email to Chris Guillebeau 4 years ago that completely changed my life.  We met for coffee, formed a relationship, and he became an essential part of my transformation from employee to entrepreneur.

The actual email I sent to Chris in March 2009...

That being said, there’s a right an a wrong way to approach influencers.  Don’t give them a 10 paragraph essay of your problems and life story. They are busy, respect their time.  Simply send them a quick note introducing yourself, and give a specific example of how something they’ve done or written has influenced you.

This opens up the door for further communication down the road.

Often your natural inclination is going to be to tell them as much info as possible, and then offer them everything under the sun in terms of help. Don’t go there. Slowly build the relationship as an equal, and if there’s an opportunity to meet them in person, go for it.

Do this for 20 people, and there’s a very good chance at least a few will develop into personal relationships that will be really valuable as you move forward.

#3: Find someone in the same place as you

Just as important (if not more so), is finding someone who is going through the exact same thing you are.

For me, it was my best friend Ryan.  He’d quit his job and moved to Hawaii, and as I watched him begin to live out his dreams, I sure as hell wasn’t going to be the one who got left behind.

Having someone for accountability and support is so so important – especially early on.  There will be times where you struggle, don’t feel like you’re making as much progress as you should be, and where you just want to give up on it all and watch more Family Guy.

You need someone who’s going to keep you moving forward.

#4: Do the Brainstorm Exercise

One of the most common excuses I hear, is “I want to do something, but I don’t have any ideas.”

I promise that you have way more ideas than you think.

I believe that you can start a website that will make you at least $500/month around literally any topic. 

I built a site around my love of photography. More recently, I started a new one all about my love of golf.

So, what’s the brainstorm exercise?

Make list of every product, hobby, niche, and interest you have think you might be able to build a site around.  Seriously, spend 20 minutes on this.  You should have at least 50 items.

Then begin narrowing down which ones make the most sense.

For more help with this check out “How to Build a Niche Site that Brings in At Least $500 a Month.”

For most people it’s not a lack of ideas, it’s a lack of making a decision.  Just pick something. When you’re first starting out, there is no wrong decision. Just going through the process will put you miles ahead of where you would have been otherwise.

#5: Start SEO Writing

If you’ve been a reader here for awhile, you know that I’m a firm advocate of a three step process for building a lifestyle business:

  1. Build Skills – If you don’t know what you’re doing, you won’t be successful. Take the time to educate yourself.
  2. Freelance – Pick one of the primary skills in the post above and build a freelance business around it.  This will give you some income and the confidence to know you can make this work.
  3. Take those Skills and Build Your Own Projects - Once you have the basics you can do whatever you want. Membership sites, e-commerce, info products, affiliate sites – the list goes on.
That being said, there’s one thing that’s easier than most which you can start making money with right now: SEO writing.

Dozens of people have leveraged SEO writing inside Location Rebel to successfully transition into their own businesses online. It’s the easiest way to start making money this week.

It’s not sexy, but it’s a fantastic way to make the transition from employee to employer.

For more information on how to get started check out: The Easiest Lifestyle Business to Start Right This Second

#6: Register for eLance

Keeping with the same theme of finding ways to make money right now, register for eLance.  This is a site where people post all types of freelance work from copywriting to web development and much more.

There are a lot of things you may not be qualified for, but probably more than a few that you would be perfectly capable of completing.  Sign up and peruse through a few of the ads – if one catches your eye, bid on it.

Again, this isn’t a be all end all solution.  You won’t make as much on elance as you might through other sites – but that’s not the goal at this point.  The goal is to help you build the confidence necessary to be successful with your own business over the long term.

#7: Set attainable goals with how to actions

“Be making $1k/month by September” is not a good goal.  Why not?  Because you have no direct control over it – not only that, the time frame is way too far out.  Something like this can be a good thing to shoot for long term, but you need much smaller more attainable milestones throughout the process.

As I mentioned, you’ll have ups and downs, but if you’re continually reaching your goals, you’ll have much more confidence to stick with it.

Here are a few examples to get you going:

  • Buy a domain
  • Write my first blog post
  • Comment on 25 other blogs
  • Get your first comment on your own blog (you don’t have control of this, but it’s attainable enough that I think it’s worth adding).
  • Write your first piece of sales copy
  • Bid on a job on eLance.
See where I’m going with this? Set a ton of small goals for each week and month, and you’ll slowly but surely make progress towards the business of your dreams.

#8: Build a habit

In my newsletter last week I mentioned I just finished the book The Power of Habit. When you’re working for yourself, building good habits are more important than ever.

Start with one.  That one will make it much easier to form another, and another…

For me personally, I rarely eat breakfast. So I decided to start making breakfast every morning.  It’s amazing how that one commitment has led to greater productivity, and doing things like going to the gym every day.

You can use a tool like Ask Me Every to help you stay accountable for this one keystone habit.

#9: Improve your copywriting skills

Life is all about selling. Whether you’re convincing someone to go to coffee with you, buy your product, or simply side with you on which bar is best for drinks on a Friday night.

If you can sell and persuade, your life is going to be much easier.

It’s important to note that I don’t mean you should be deceitful or scammy in your persuasion. You should simply recognize it’s a part of life and do everything you can to put yourself in a good position to succeed.

If you’re going to do anything online, copywriting (persuading through written words) is especially important.  Luckily there are some resources out there that will get you moving in the right direction really quickly.  These are the resources that have helped me improve the most:

  • Influence by Robert Cialdini – Cialdini looks at all of the different methods of persuasion and gives great examples of how they have worked on him in his own life.
  • Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz – Recommended to me by multiple marketers, it can be tough to find a high quality copy, but is worth the effort.
  • Cashvertising – I think about the “Life Force 8″ just about anytime I’m writing sales copy.
  • Copyhour – Arguably the most effective out of all of them is Derek’s method of handwriting sales pages.

#10: Create something

Anytime I’m feeling unproductive, I look at my desktop where I have a note that says “Are You Consuming or Creating?”

Regardless of what you do in your lifestyle business, you’re going to be creating something. So you might as well start now.

Write a blog post, edit a photo, start a website – create something. If you get in the habit to creating as much as you consume, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can progress.

BONUS: Join Location Rebel

You don’t need to spend any money or join any course to have a successful online lifestyle business. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying – you can find all the information you need, out there for free.

That being said, there are tools and resources that make the path much easier – and Location Rebel is one of those resources.

It has detailed blueprints to help you with all ten of the previous steps in this post. It has a community of hundreds of people who were exactly where you are right now – and have built successful businesses on their own.

Having that support system coupled with an exact roadmap for what you need to do is everything I wish I had when I was getting started.

Jason made $4,000 on his own within 30 days of joining. Carlo joined in December and just booked a one way ticket to Thailand. Tristan joined in January of last year and 9 months later had his first 5 figure month and 2 employees.  The stories like this go on and on.

You don’t need this program, but I’d love to see you inside if you’re ready to make a commitment to building a life where the only boss is yourself.

Sign up for Location Rebel

What actions would you recommend people take right now in order to gain traction with their dream lifestyle?

Siegfried March 25, 2013 at 7:19 am

I really, REALLY like this article! As someone who is trying to start successful web based business I totally agree to all the excuses ;)
I think I may steal your idea and write article like this myself :D
Best regards!

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 7:44 am

Glad you enjoyed it!

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Deacon Bradley March 25, 2013 at 7:49 am

Love this actionable list Sean! I would add something that used to hold me back (and still does if I’m not vigilant): START! Don’t wait for the perfect idea, the best time, or to feel like you know what you’re doing. You must start before you’re ready.

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 7:52 am

Absolutely, its amazing how if you just start on something, things fall in place pretty quickly.

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Terry July 9, 2013 at 5:12 am

You got me on this one Deacon, so I’m just gonna START !

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Julian Greene March 25, 2013 at 8:00 am

Sean,

I saw your posting on FB this morning, and thought I’d take a moment to say thanks for your commitment to helping the rest of us find our way.

I first wrote to you a little over a year ago, and I realize how far I’ve come. I was living in Arizona, and jumped at an opportunity to work in Oregon. That didn’t work out after 3 months, but the good thing was that it got me to the coast! I’m now in a little bit of heaven in Siskiyou County, CA, looking out at the Trinity Alps from my bedroom. I have my own location independent business which I have slowly grown over the past couple of years, which is now sustaining us fully. My partner and I do freelance writing and editing from our own little agency.

I’ve had several false starts with a blog, but I know now exactly what to do! Thanks for the reminder. I’m learning, and I owe it all to you!

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 8:04 am

Julian, wow that just made my morning! Thank you for sharing, and so excited to hear about your success!

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Matthew Riley March 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hey Sean,

Another great post. I’ve been implementing many of your suggestions from other posts into my search to make something for myself. Keep inspiring.

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Justin McClelland March 25, 2013 at 8:39 am

This is a great list. I’m literally going to create a graphic for my desktop that reads, “Are you Consuming or Creating”. Totally stealing that

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Martin March 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

Man, it was November 7th of 2008. I put the excuses aside. I went to bluehost and signed up for my first domain. My design site, the content was average at best, and I was clueless. Guess what? There’s no better training that on-the-job. I learned and went with the flow.

Now the people that I looked up to in my field I consider to be friends. I’ve met them on many occasions and have even earned accolades in my niche.

Step #1 is the most important one. Nothing else matters for now.

I would add another tip: stop consuming business-advice books for now! I have a close friend who spends hundreds of dollars every month on these books. Yet he hasn’t done anything but build his library.

I read a new book every few months as a reward. You won’t find the answers you’re looking for anywhere but inside of yourself.

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 9:13 am

I totally agree. Once you’ve made a habit of starting and taking action, the books can be useful, but if you’re just trying to stockpile knowledge, but dont have any real world experiences to base it off of – they arent doing you any good.

Thanks for sharing your story, and congrats on making it work!

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monique March 25, 2013 at 9:24 am

Great article! I’ve already set my “work” hours and divided it out into tasks, but you’re right – I need to create a weekly list of goals and add that task to the mix. Thanks for the inspiration!

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Dubem Menakata March 25, 2013 at 9:27 am

Wow this post was absolutely immense!! I have been looking to start my blog for a few months now and I actually have all the tools to do it. This post is really inspiring and I am going to set a date of April 6th to get it online with 3 articles. I’m defo going to keep coming back!

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William March 25, 2013 at 9:49 am

Great post! I think the most important thing people should take from this is to take action! Get started… you WILL make mistakes. And then learn from them, improve, and just never stop. Also, create something! I firmly believe having as many virtual “properties” as possible will give you more opportunities than anything else. Diversify, but don’t spread yourself too thin. After a while, you will be VERY surprised by how much you can accomplish and how much value you can create. Simply get started and don’t look back!

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Simon March 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

Sean, what do you suggest people do for health insurance when they leave their jobs?

Are you without health insurance right now, but do you think you’ll be fine considering outside-of-USA costs aren’t so bad?

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

Simon,

Right now I live in Portland and pay for my own health insurance. When I first took off to Thailand in 2010, I got travel insurance which was really cheap and covered up to $100k for accidents. For instance, if I broke my leg surfing, it was covered.

I would never recommend anyone go without health insurance. Its one of my biggest monthly expenses, but you never know whats going to happen. If you’re going abroad and really cant afford it, at least get basic travel insurance. At the time mine was $260 total for 6 months.

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Simon March 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

Yeah, it boggles my mind how cheap travel insurance is compared to health insurance in the USA. Hopefully they will fix the issue one day soon.

Ann March 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

It makes me nervous to even start, but as I know, doing what scares me is the only way to grow. This articles reminds me to banish the negative self talk about my ideas not being good enough, me not being smart enough, blah! Blah! Blah! You’ve laid out the framework, I just have to step in and quit worrying about being brilliant! I need to begin, and the brilliance will follow!

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Jeremy Fischer March 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

Really great post Sean! This ties in well with one of my favorite quotes:
“Progress has little to do with speed. But much to do with direction.” – unknown author
As long as we keep moving forward, we will be closer to our goals. Thanks for the inspiring push this morning!

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Mark Powers March 25, 2013 at 11:35 am

Funny you should mention “The Power of Habit.” Almost through with it myself and it stirred up many ideas that are helping me to shift the way(s) I work. Largely [as the book says] changing the “routine” I follow after experiencing particular “cues,” these shifts are something that are necessary for me to get away from my recent methods of approaching things, push forward and accomplish much of what you and I discussed yesterday. Many thanks to you, Sean, for being a regular source of inspiration and so generously lending support and advice!

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Miisa Mink March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Brilliant Sean. I’ve decided to learn all of this and more. I’m 42 and most of my friends don’t understand where the world is going. They are just falling onto the wrong side of the cliff. I’m a branding professional but I want to combine that with the digital world and see where it takes me. Thank you for sharing and for great tips! One question, do you now about HubSpot? Does it beat WordPress?
Miisa

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Sean March 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

A good friend of mine actually works for Hubspot. As I understand it, they are two pretty different products. Hubspot is more about marketing and analytics whereas Wordpress is a CMS.

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Alex Drysdale March 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hey Sean,

This is my absolute favorite post I’ve read from you ever! It really got me fired up and swat away the excuse that I have to wait for my house to sell before I can quit and leave… all I need to do is get that train moving so I can jump from the one I’m on a little more safely.

I’ve been procrastinating on this for a while now and this post was the kick in the ass I needed. Look out for RawBodyTraining.com I’m starting it TODAY.

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ApexStrat March 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Hey Sean,
Nice post, between this, “How to build your first online asset in 48hrs” and “How to build a niche site that brings in at least $500 a month” I think you’ve covered just about everything you could want to know to get started. Totally agree with your first point, just giving something a go is a great first step. Keeping a diary of what you’ve learnt is a good way to keep your motivation up while you go through this stage, until you start bringing some money in.
Cheers!

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Sean March 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

That was the goal :) Create the easiest to follow, most actionable content I can for getting started.

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Sean March 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Great post Sean! I love how action-oriented the list is. No more making excuses because you just provided a action-list.

In addition to elance, I would add odesk and possibly even fiverr. Sometimes those little jobs can lead to something bigger. Or you can always be a “broker” and fulfill your services using those resources.

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Candice March 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Thank You for this article. It really spoke to me and my situation.
You are right, excuses exist but its also because of the fear of the unknown and also afraid of being lost and failure.
But there is no greater time than now to live our life.
Live & Love Your Life

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Ajit Shah March 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm

awesome stuff! Sean ..
really enjoyed reading it and compelled to take action

and explained really in simple terms..

thank you very much

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Kevin James McAuley March 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Hi Sean,
Another great post following your post on how to create a niche site. I have a couple of questions I would really love to get your opinion on.

First off, you helped inspire me to quit the rat race and I will be leaving my job in 2 weeks and moving to Bali where the current plan is to do Freelance PPC work. This is what I currently do as a job in Sydney and am half decent it at. I have a site that is nearly built for that business. Ideally I want to get a number of my own clients paying a decent management fee however doing some work on freelancer and oDesk is also an option but as the rates are typically low that will just be to keep me going.

I will need to work on marketing that site to get clients as well as spend time doing the actual client work. The “problem” I guess is that there are other thing is that I would like to work on. I have quite a few ideas for niche blogs or rather, there are a lot of topics I would like to write about such as:
Travel – an adventure travel guide to bali
Learning to surf/become a better surfer
Fitness (travel fitness)
Body weight workouts
Living Paleo/Quitting Sugar
Building an online business/Digital nomadism

So I often think about starting these niche blogs but I wonder if I would just be better covering them all (all the things I am interested) on my own personal blog rather than try and manage multiple sites.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.
(Also do you use the same theme across sites, the golf one looks similar to this one.)
Cheers

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ApexStrat March 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

Hi Kevin, I’ll wait for Sean to give the expert advice, but I would concentrate on one of these ideas and make it as good as it can be. It’s hard enough getting one site off the ground, trying to do multiple at one time will be a nightmare. Pick one, give it 100%, stick with it and you can pick up the other ideas at a later date. There is nothing wrong with doing a few off topic posts from time to time either.

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Sean March 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

Kevin, first off, congrats on heading out on your own! You’re going to love living in Bali :)

If you look back through the history of L180, you can tell that I write about a LOT of different stuff. For a long time, I treated it as a personal blog and wrote about whatever I wanted.

Was that the best way to do it? From a business perspective, probably not. Had I focused more on the “build a business you can run from anywhere” and really provided nothing but actionable posts about that – I probably would grow the site much faster. BUT, I’ve really enjoyed being able to write about whatever I want :)

I can still do that to a point, but for instance I really felt that golf and photography was for a very different audience – which is why I started the separate sites. I then just refer to them in posts where they are relevant.

If you want a personal blog to write about whatever you want, then by all means, create it. But if you want to treat your blog as more of a business I’d pick one, focus on it, and build it up before expanding too much.

Just my two cents, hope that helps!

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Tomas March 26, 2013 at 1:22 am

One of the best posts I’ve read from You Sean. Just made me move from the morning!

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Chris Campbell March 26, 2013 at 7:58 am

Sean,
Thank you for sharing your great ideas on life and business. I think we all agree that life is definitely too short. No one wants to live an unhappy and unproductive life. The information you are posting on your blog is invaluable. You are truly an inspiration and you are changing lives!

Best Wishes!

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Travis Jamison March 26, 2013 at 8:46 am

Great post Sean. I like the good actionable advice for a lot of people.
Adding to the resources: for some more kick ass copywriting info check out John McIntyre’s blog at http://www.dropdeadcopy.com/blog/

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Chas March 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Sean,
This is one of my favorite posts of yours as of late. I have obtained a new domain, but, I haven’t done anything with it, as of yet, because what it is to be is continuing to evolve in my mind. In addition to eLance and Odesk which was also mentioned, there is demandstudios.com for freelancers. I have recently ran across a video about finding your mission and a step by step process through a journal that I found to be helpful and inspirational. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it on your blog. Of course it’s up to your discretion. Thank you for all the great tips you have given. Here is the link to the video.~
http://youtu.be/ITR9uFnCqLE

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Matt Kane March 27, 2013 at 7:19 am

Sean – great post. love the way you willingly share all this info. w/ specific action plans to get started and links to further information. Have been enjoying your stuff for years and this is a great piece summarizing some of that.

Thanks!
Matt

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Patrick March 28, 2013 at 7:26 am

Hi Sean. I just discovered your blog today via a link to this post. This is great advice. Less than two months ago I took that first step in obtaining hosting, a domain, setting up WordPress and starting a blog. I am not entirely sure where I am heading yet, but I have been consuming a lot of information (maybe too much – see my most recent post), and am plugging away. I can certainly say that I am very excited for the prospects that a lifestyle business offers. Thanks again.

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Jose March 29, 2013 at 6:18 am

hi Sean, oh man you are giving me the push that I need to start my own business and your articles are so helpful. Now I obtaining my hosting and I made some domains for other business and my church to get some confidence, I just need to start thinking in my own niche aand go for it, but you really are helping my a lot. Thanks

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Alex Sheehan March 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I love the part about eLance. Websites like oDesk, etc. are so often criticized because it is often a search for the lowest bid. However, I feel that eLance has the most reputable clients (and contractors for that matter). Using that to start off my freelance writing definitely gave me the confidence and push I needed. Another bonus is that you get to build a portfolio out of the work you’ve done ,and get paid for it. Also, it’s a good way to develop skills and make mistakes that aren’t too detrimental to your career.

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Turner March 30, 2013 at 8:35 am

Great post. I definitely try to constantly be asking myself am I consuming or creating. It is so easy to procrastinate, but taking action, even if you flop is by far the best thing to do. In action kills you.

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Sarah Russell March 31, 2013 at 6:26 am

Great actionable steps – thanks for sharing!

I’m especially fond of tip #7, as it resonates with something that my mom always told me – “Worry about things in the order they’ll affect you.” Maybe you don’t need to worry about how you’ll quit your job or earn thousands of dollars while working remotely right now. If you don’t even have a blog set up yet, the only thing you need to worry about is installing Wordpress. After that, you can figure out what to worry about next, but only after you’ve taken this first step :)

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Leigh March 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Awesome article! This is probably my favourite post so far. My biggest sticking point being an aspiring entrepreneur was not knowing where to start. This is a great and simple guide to help you get started!

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Russell Benavides April 2, 2013 at 8:55 am

Another great article Sean! I just landed my first SEO writing gig and am already thinking of ways I can leverage this skill into more income.

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Rae April 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Wow! There’s almost no more room for comments! Good on you! Me and 65 of my best friends got laid off recently, but a lot of us are writers and photographers so you can imagine that we are mostly looking at it as a blessing, a breaking of the golden handcuffs and all. I’ve been sharing your posts with them and at least one person is building herself a niche site because of a post of yours I sent to her. I’ll send this one on for inspiration, too. Also, I showed that post to my husband and he asked me what a “sea nogle” was. Just thought I’d share the laugh. :) Thanks, buddy! Your blog gives me a lot of hope, and I need that right now because I can’t fail (i.e. end up back in an office).

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Dustin Rees April 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Great post, I really enjoyed it! Just stumbled upon your site yesterday and I haven’t closed it out yet. I am in the beginning stages of living the dream and this is exactly the encouragement and direction that I need! Keep up the good work!

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David April 3, 2013 at 4:01 am

Nice article… However sometimes I think that “lifestyle business”, “building business while travelling” and similar stuff is some kind of scam :) Really… When I’m at home, working full time on my business, it flourishes – I got many new (and better) projects, I find new business ideas and get approached by different people with their ideas and new opportunities etc. But in terms of lifestyle it absolutely sucks :)

Now thinking about my three weeks in Vietnam in March: my business was on hold on modus and started to stagnate, customers got angry, they couldn’t reach me by phone; I didn’t met any single person to discuss any business opportunity or at least have any serious talk – just young guys in their twenty something, having gap year and try to get drunk and pick up chicks as often as possible. Even though it was fun, I got disturbed all the time by escalated projects and angry customers. Working couple of hours a day wasn’t even nearly enough to maintain the business.

Bottom line: I think it is quite dangerous illusion, you are guys pushing at your blogs. Either you just take gap year, have as much fun as possible and maybe make some logos or text writing for buying next cocktail bucket, or you work your a.. off and set up a real business. What for me, there won’t be any big travels before I earn my first million :) ; afterwards I’ll take several months free to bike through South America ;)

Cheers

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Sean April 3, 2013 at 6:44 am

David – I don’t mean to hijack Sean’s excellent post but I can certainly understand client communication and being there in person to grow your business. I myself have a service based business with real clients all in the U.S.. However, I currently live in Cozumel with my wife and 3 daughters. And my business has actually grown since we’ve been here! In fact, I just got 4 more clients last week – all on the phone!

So, it depends on how your business is set up. You can use Skype, Google Voice, and other tools to make sure you’re still able to communicate. You can also hire or outsource your sales and/or customer service/production. It’s ALL how you set up your business and most businesses (even service based like mine) can be set up to allow you freedom – even on a bike in South America.

Bottom line, I’m living proof that you don’t have to be a 20-something single guy. You can be a family guy and still live the dream.

Thanks again Sean for a great post!!

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Curtis January 4, 2014 at 5:53 am

Sean,
I would love to know more about how you are making your service based business work as location independent. I am also a family man and have a freelance carpentry business. At this point I rely fully on the traditional mindset of having to stay in one town and build the relationships.
Your time appreciated,
Curtis

Jon Hanson April 5, 2013 at 10:51 am

But if you have a business big enough to make you a million dollars can you imagine the kinds of headaches that will happen if you take several months off if you can’t take a few weeks off now and you’re just scaling it up?

Your post is a great thing to remember, a business built on personal interaction and a constant hand-on approach is awful if you want to travel, that’s why Sean and others focus their advice on the kinds of businesses that avoid the situation you’re describing.

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Brooks April 14, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Dude, completely actionable items. 3 of them are being done by me at the moment.
I’m actually planning a trip to Guatemala this summer for language school but plan to do real estate deals from there via my laptop.
Sites like yours actually help give me real steps to make that happen.
So thanks for what you’re doing man.
I’ve taken inspiration from you to begin a second blog project as well.
Cheers!

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Jeremy April 18, 2013 at 7:47 am

That’s gold, Sean !

My best friend wants to quit her corporate job but has no idea of where to begin.

I just sent her your post, and nothing else.

Thank you !
Jeremy, happy LR member

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Cat May 4, 2013 at 9:03 am

#10. Creating > Consuming. So simple, so obvious, but a game-changing thought that has been stuck in my head since I read this blog post. Thanks for sharing!

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Marshall May 7, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hey Sean! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I love your writing.

Since reading this article I’ve been trying to find SEO jobs, however I haven’t had much luck. Do you have any advice on finding these?

Thanks and hope you continue to be a boss.
Marshall

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Zara A. May 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

Dear Sean,

I want to say thank you – not (only) for this post, or the previous one, or the so many before – I want to say thank you for doing what you are doing – really Living Life – thank you for showing so much courage – it gives me (and I’m sure so many other people too) hope and it makes us feel normal (not absurd, crazy, detached-from-reality) for wanting the sameyou i

You inspire me, as you inspire so many others. So i’m taking a pointer from this post (#7) and posting a comment on a blog (my first ever) whilst figuring out the SEO formula.

Best wishes,
Zara A.

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Kit Nixon June 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Sean,

This post is exactly what I needed to hear today.
Coming home from my manual labour job, I struggle with finding an actionable step towards my goals. Often, the task is too daunting and I opt for some comfort food and a sitcom.

I’ve already started on a couple of these things, and let me tell you the momentum is empowering.

Thanks for doing what you do,
-Kit

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Richard A. Lewis June 21, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Sean – I agree that there is no better way to immerse yourself in something than having to come up with 350 words on it for an SEO company or for your own blog on a weekly or daily basis. It will show you if you are actually passionate about that field.

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Tash August 30, 2013 at 1:57 pm

So.. Where in the world can I met you for a coffee?
Your choice, I’ll be there.

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LoneOlivia September 26, 2013 at 3:21 am

This is awesome – finally found something that really helps with telling the actual steps needed to get my business started! Also really happy to see that a lot of other people are in the same boat as me! In Denmark Lifestyle Design is still very unheard of and even though I study Innovation & Entrepreneurship at CphBusiness, no one knows what it is.. :)

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Chris November 1, 2013 at 8:55 am

Sean,

I know this is an older post, but damn hit the spot today. I’ve already signed up for a website, which i did through blue host. Thank you by the way for that suggestion early on, I actually had to kick myself in the ass to even post my first entry. It was always man its not good enough.. until I realized that just post the damn thing and build on that.

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Mike Sherry November 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Just catching up on some old posts here, and googling around about travel insurance, health insurance, etc.

What do you currently have for U.S. insurance now that you’re back living in the States (somewhat) full-time? Would you mind sharing what the monthly premium is and what it covers? That’d be helpful for myself and probably many others who will be making the leap to self employment and location independence in the near future.

Any recommendations?

As always, thanks for the great writing and info!

Cheers, Sean

Mike

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