10 Things I Rocked at in 2011 (And How You Can Rock Them Too)

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 12/12/11 •  9 min read

Hanging out at New Kuta Golf Course in Bali, Indonesia

Man how modest do I sound with a headline like that??

The reality is, this is the third post in a series of reflections about the year of 2011, what went well, what didn’t, and what I need to do to move forward in the future.

The first post looked at the 10 Coolest Offices I Had in 2011, while the most recent one looked not only at some of the things I could have done better at, but also identified people who already were killing it in the areas that I was lacking.

Today we are looking at some areas in my life and business where I found some success, and looks at specific ways you can see success in these same aspects of life should it be something you need help with.

Now with that, here are 10 things I rocked at in 2011, and how you can rock them too.

10) I kept traveling. Such a big part of my brand and my lifestyle revolves around travel.  This year I struck a good balance between being at home in Portland and getting out and about.  I reached my adventure quota by spending 2 months in Bali, and I saw more of the United States this year than I ever have.   Next year I’m excited to actually cross a few new countries off the list, as I only got one this year: Hong Kong (does that count as a country?)

How you can rock it: Pick the one place you want to go the most, then work backwards on what you need to do to make that trip happen in 2012.  Most people focus on too many places (ie “I want to go everywhere!”) and then suffer from inaction. Pick one, and make an actionable plan to get there.

9) I kept up the momentum on my bucket list. Whether it was running a marathon, speaking in front of a large crowd or designing a new theme for this blog, I did some cool stuff this year, and my bucket list has continued to be a driving motivator with much of what I do.  I’m excited that it looks like there will be even more progress made in January.

How you can rock it: First, make sure you’ve created your bucket list.  Once you’ve done that make sure you include a mix of easy to accomplish items, really difficult tasks, and legacy projects to be completed over a long period of time.  By having a big variety in the type of things you want to do, it will be easier to actually get stuff done. If everything involves expensive international travel, you’re screwed.  Have a handful of things you could do on a Saturday if you need to.

8) I shipped. You hear about the importance of “shipping” all the time. If all of my projects sit in an unedited Word doc on my computer it’s not helping me, and it certainly isn’t helping you. This year after SXSW I made a vow to ship. I got Make Your Photos Not Suck out the door. Less than a month later I released Location Rebel Arsenal, followed by the full Location Rebel Academy program and subsequent updates.

How you can rock it: Create a timeline and SET DATES. It wasn’t until I placed hard and fast dates on my releases that I actually got it out the door. My photography book sat on my hard drive 85% done for 4 months. Once I set a date and told people about it, I had much more incentive to get it out. Pick the project you have closes to completion, select a release date, and then work backwards to figure out what you need to do to get it shipped.

7) I made money. When you ship you have the opportunity to profit. Did I make a ton of money this year? Probably not by many people’s standards.  That said, I made more than I was making at my day job two years ago, and when you factor in the quality of life, I’m probably one of the luckiest people on the planet. The reality is, I did ok for myself this year, which is a pretty great feeling considering there were so many people that said I never would just a short time ago.

How you can rock it: First and most important, believe that you can. Then surround yourself with other people that believe you can, and are trying to achieve it in their own lives. This is huge. Once you’ve got the support system in place, learn real skills, be willing to put in a lot of hard work, and amazing things will happen – you have my promise.

6) I actually achieved all of my 2011 New Years Resolutions. I’d completely forgotten about this post until last week – I couldn’t even remember what my resolutions were.  Upon going back and reading it was pretty cool to see that I’d actually accomplished my resolutions of: completing a strenuous physical goal, visiting a new place, stop judging, start doing, conquer resistance, create something great. Sure some of those are open for debate, but all in all I think it’s been a pretty successful year.

How you can rock it: You can start by checking out these suggestions for sticking with your goals. More importantly, think about why you want to achieve any given goal.  When you really understand your motivations for wanting to do something it becomes much easier to actually overcome your self-imposed limitations.

5) I didn’t compromise (much) on my golden rule. One of the primary reasons I choose this lifestyle is to do more of the things I want to do, when I want to do them. So I created a rule that when given the option to do something fun or work, I would do my best to choose what was fun. Now you can never always adhere to a goal like this, but overall I almost always chose fun, and the best part is, my work never suffered because of it. I hope this trend continues in 2012.

How you can rock it: Say yes more often. That’s a pretty simple way to rock this one in my mind. When presented with an opportunity, just say yes. You’ll regret the yeses far less than you’ll regret the nos in my experience. As long as you know you can be diligent when you need to be (for instance, working late at night after doing something fun) you’ll be in great shape.

4) I accepted the fact I have a lot to learn. For all of the success I’ve had this year, one of my most profound realizations this year is that I have a lot to learn. I recently mentioned that historically I’ve never been a huge reader. Well ever since picking up my new Kindle I’ve been reading up a storm and trying to become as educated as I can in all aspects of my business and life. This realization is one of the most important I’ve had – and I know that much of my success in 2012 will be as a direct result of this.

How you can rock it: Start reading. Someone once told me, you’re a combination of the people you know and the books you’ve read. There’s a lot of truth to that statement.  There’s no excuse for not being able to read more. Everyone is busy, it’s just a matter of prioritization, and this is a pretty good use of your time if you ask me.

3) I established my position as a relative expert. After talking with my buddy Nick about this concept a lot this year, I’ve worked to establish myself as a relative expert when it comes to location independence and running a real business from anywhere. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to know more than the dude hiring you. Once you make this mental shift, a legitimate business suddenly becomes much more attainable.

How you can rock it: Chances are you already are. What do you know more about than 95% of the population? It can be anything.  Use that as a jumping off point for any new business ideas. Don’t discount your experience, as you’d be amazed what viable business opportunities you can find in very small niches.

2) I helped others achieve their goals. This is so huge. I spent months creating Location Rebel, and the whole time you kind of ask yourself, “what if this doesn’t work”? Luckily I’ve never had to find out the answer to that question. Over the last few months I’ve received all kinds of emails from Location Rebel members talking about how the program changed their lives, introduced them to new friends and colleagues, and most importantly, allowed them to start making money from anywhere they want. It has been SO exciting to see the progress made in this community, and it’s made everything I’ve done up to this point so worth it.

How you can rock it: Everyone has a way that they can add value to the lives of those around them. Think back to what you’re a relative expert in and go from there. You really dont’t need my advice here. You know how you can help someone and change their life, it’s just a matter of going out of your way  and taking the time to do it.

1) I created stories. Golfing at one of the most beautiful courses in the world? Hanging out with Orlando Jones in one of the most unique houses around? Helping put on a life changing conference? Done, done, and done. At the end of your life, what do you want, a bunch of stuff, or a bunch of incredible stories?That’s what life is about, the stories you can tell at the end of the day, and I’ve made it my goal to create as many of them as I can.

How you can rock it: Assess your priorities.  If having good stories is a priority of yours, treat it as such.  Make experiences more valuable than stuff, and actually live that out, rather than just talking about it.

Well there you go, 10 things I’ve rocked this at in 2011. What have you done well in your life and business this year? Let us know in the comments!

I’m making a valiant effort to make the Location 180 Facebook page a killer resource full of unique content. If you haven’t already done so, it would mean a ton to me if you’d take a second and like our page.  Any tips on how to improve it and make it more useful are also more than welcome 🙂

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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12 comments on "10 Things I Rocked at in 2011 (And How You Can Rock Them Too)"

  1. Jenna says:

    I think Hong Kong counts. China might not, but pretty much the rest of the world does.

  2. Martin says:

    Seems just like it was your year. Something im aiming to work more on in the coming year is to ship more of my products, make more connections and be a MR YES. Saying YES to everything and seeing were it gets me. Glad to see both sides of your year Sean.

  3. Aaron says:

    Sounds like a great year! As I enter into my own review of the year, it is always good to check in on other’s reviews and learn a bit about the process. What went well? I too shipped, releasing two guides for language learners and writing one other free guide on sustaining the motivation toward the language learning journey. Business is growing and I am helping lots of people learn languages.

  4. Inspirational stuff Sean. Since discovering all this stuff this year I’ve seen my knowledge and skills grow at an unprecedented rate. No doubt Location Rebel is a huge catalyst in that, so you’ve got a great thing to be proud of there. A lot of us feel indebted to your advancements this year.

  5. Benny says:

    Great year Sean! You’ve done a lot this year. Congrats on your success. Been enjoying your blog and videos this year. Look forward to more in 2012.

  6. Benjamin says:

    Sick year, Sean!

    I’m inspired to come up with my own now. Rock it!

  7. Mark Powers says:

    What an awesome year you’ve had, Sean! Kudos to you for continually rockin’ it!

  8. Ash says:

    Great post bud. Inspiring. I wrote one of these myself last year and it felt awesome to look back on my accomplishments.

  9. Tomer says:

    You actually realized all of your 2011 resolution! I’m glad for that!
    Up until now I never saw your ‘bucket list’, but I just did, and its awesome! I’ll create one of my own now that I see yours! its amazing! and I just follow you on twitter so you will realize the 10,000 followers that u wanted 🙂

  10. Vlad says:

    That looks like a really good list of accomplishments. Fascinating and inspiring. Got to publish my bucket list and start crossing out.
    Thanks for sharing Sean

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