14 Things Location Rebels Can Do That Employees Can’t

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 07/08/14 •  10 min read

When it comes to lifestyle entrepreneurship people tend to jump straight to benefits like traveling the world and living out of a backpack.

And while sure that’s fantastic, the reality is only a small percentage choose to leverage their freedom in that way. The benefits of being a Location Rebel, extend far beyond traveling – to everyday aspects of the lifestyle that will have a broader appeal to more people.

Today I wanted to take a few minutes and just be brutally honest about some of the coolest things that I’m able to do now that I couldn’t do when I was a full time employee.

1) Go to a Matinee

Have you been to a movie lately? Man, when the hell did they get so expensive?! $16 bucks to go to a first run theater?

Luckily there are matinees that are often half the price or less. Last week I went and saw 22 Jump Street, the first movie I’d seen in forever. It cost me a whopping $8. And I did it at 2:30 in the afternoon. On a Thursday.

What can I say? It was hot out!

Unfortunately movies never fit into my hour long lunch break.

2) Embark on a Quest

A lot of people I know have been achieving epic quests. Chris made it to every country in the world. Tyler ran a marathon on every continent. Joel just ran a 56 mile race in South Africa.

I’m trying to play all of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the US.

Want a few more examples? Here are some more.

Now, these things could be achieved if you had a day job. But it would be so much harder. Often being able to travel at off times, or mid week is hundreds of dollars cheaper and a big reason these things are actually attainable.

I can safely say if I were working 50 hours a week for someone else there’s no way I’d be on my current quest.

3) Exercise When Their Body Wants (Not Their Boss)

If you’re an employee you have 3 options when it comes to working out:

  1. First thing in the morning (ugh that sounds brutal)
  2. First thing after work (ugh, that’s cutting into happy hour/social time)
  3. On a lunch break (ugh, do you know how uncomfortable it is to sweat for an hour and immediately put a suit back on without having enough time to cool down?)

I have yet to find the perfect time to work out. But usually it’s around 11 am or 3pm.  Those are the times where I fall into lulls with work and need a change of pace. I know I won’t be productive at my computer, so getting the blood flowing is a great idea.

Not when you’re an employee.

4) Work from Wherever They Want

I’m happy to see that there’s an upward trend in the number of employees who are able to work from home on a regular basis – hopefully this trend continues.

But often those people still have meetings, conference calls, and other things that keep them in the office, even when they aren’t.

In the last year I’ve worked from every room in my house, veranda in Mexico, the front seat (and back seat) of a car, airplanes, bars, coffee shops, hotel lobbies, coworking spaces, golf courses and more.

I truly take my work wherever I want, and I schedule any meetings around where I want to be that day.

Here are some of my favorite offices from last year. And the year before.

Alegranza - Los Cabos, Mexico

5) Save Money on Day Care

As my Facebook feed becomes flooded with baby photos rather than wild party nights, one thing inevitably comes with that: complaints about the price of child care.

As a Location Rebel, once you have kids, you have options. You may choose to send your kid to child care every so often, but you don’t have to. You can spend more time watching your children grow up, and forgo spending an arm and a leg to let somebody else watch your kid grow up. That doesn’t suck, right?

6) Take Advantage of Last Minute Opportunities

Awhile back on relatively short notice my buddy James invited me out for an all expenses paid trip to NYC to attend a runway show at New York Fashion Week.

First off, me? At fashion week? Ha, you should have seen it: I looked AWESOME. Ok, maybe not so much.

But the point is that I was able to fly out mid week and attend this once in a lifetime experience.

Need to adjust a flight by a day or two in order to experience an unexpected opportunity on a trip? No problem.

Take a short notice, all-expenses paid trip to Jordan? Of course I can do that!

Sure I still have a work schedule to adhere to, but more often than not I can rearrange that to make room for unique experiences. After all, at the end of the day that’s the person who wins, the one who has the most cool stories to tell.

At least that’s how I look at it.

 7) Take a Nap

Seriously, don’t lie, how often have you been wasting away at your desk mid afternoon, and wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and just take a nap.

I used to go get 15 minute cat naps in my car. Let me tell you, a bed, a couch, or a blanket in the park is a much better alternative.

I get the most done between 6am and 11. If I wake up early and bang out work, I don’t feel bad at all if I take a little 45 minute nap in the afternoon. Often it’s a total game changer as I wake up and am ready to kickstart the second half of my day.

The car naps just didn’t quite have that effect.

8) Write Off Nearly Everything

One thing that has surprised me about my business is just how much of my life is related to it. Almost always when I go out for dinner or drinks it has some relation to my work.

Same with travel.

Need to buy a new computer? Camera lens? Piece of software?

Work, work, work.

And what does that mean? Write offs.

I’m actually saving money every time I do these things, and if I didn’t own a business, that wouldn’t be the case.

9) Day Drink

Ok, not to sound like an alcoholic, but sometimes when the suns shining you just need an ice cold beer to pair it with.

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to head down to Rock Bottom Brewery at 3pm on a week day and work for a couple hours outside with a nice IPA – while staring up at my old office. It’s a good reminder of just how far I’ve come, and not to ruin it by slacking off. Amazing when a beer becomes a powerful motivator.

I’m also able to attend my favorite event of the year (the Oregon Brewers Festival) on Thursday afternoon before all the crowds show up.

10) Road Trip

For so many, the road trip has become a long lost fantasy that they’ll never see again. Why? Because it takes so, much, time. 

Why spend 5 days driving across the country (and 5 days back) when you can fly in 5 hours.

Well for starters, because sometimes it’s not the destination that counts.

A couple years ago I made a 37 hour trip from Portland to Austin for SXSW. The next year I did the same thing, except I started in New York.

Last fall I drove around and played 14 top 100 golf courses in 2 weeks.

I mean seriously, that’s any golfers dream. It was much more draining than I expected, but that’s a story for another day. The point is I could do it in the first place!

Medinah Hole 18

Not much better than Medinah on a Tuesday!

11) Work Long Hours (And Actually Enjoy It)

When you have a salary working long hours totally sucks. You’re not getting overtime, you aren’t making any more money, and often there’s no promotion on the horizon either – you just have to suck it up and do it, because it’s the nature of the job.

I love the times when I have to work long hours.

Why? Because that usually means I’m doing something I really believe in, am excited about, and will benefit both myself and my readers.

There’s always that moment where stress hits you and you’re ready to be done, but at this point in my life and business, long hours is a good thing.

12) Build an Entourage

Now this is another one that has some grey area, as employees can definitely do this as well.

But almost all of the most successful bloggers and personalities I know online work for themselves. Why? Because it takes a lot of time and effort to build up an audience and a business.

Now I’m able to show up in just about any major city, host a meetup, and have people actually show up! (This still blows my mind).

There’s no way I would have been able to build this up to the point it’s at now if I was still a financial analyst. And if I was still running this same blog in that job, it would no doubt be pretty hypocritical and depressing.

13) Give Themselves a Raise

We’ve all been in the position before, waiting to get a raise you think you deserve, but your boss not hearing any of it. When you work for yourself, you’re the boss. You can give yourself a raise, bump up your retirement, or get the company to pay for other benefits like a gym membership.

Sure, when we’re talking about small businesses there’s a good chance your personal and business finances are tied very closely together, but the major difference is that you have control, and can do whatever you want.

14) Nothing.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all. Sometimes that’s all I feel like doing. Maybe throw in a little Netflix binge watching if I’m up for it. But honestly one of the best perks of being a Location Rebel is the fact I don’t have to do anything if I don’t feel like it.

Sure you can’t be like that every day (and who’d want to be?), but if some planet is in retrograde (or some other astrological thing I dont understand) and I just want to sit, I can.

And to be honest, usually when I have a day like that, the next day I end up being a productivity machine – so it’s good all the way around.

What Are You Waiting For?

I talk to a lot of people who want to be living a lifestyle like this, but they just haven’t been able to push themselves over the edge. There’s something keeping them from taking that first step.

If you know this is something you want, and are willing to work for it, check out Location Rebel Academy. We have over 700 members working on, and succeeding, at the lifestyle described in this post.

What’s the one thing you’d like to be able to do on a regular basis, but can’t because of your job? Let us know in the comments!

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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45 comments on "14 Things Location Rebels Can Do That Employees Can’t"

  1. Casandra says:

    Once you take control of your time, there’s no going back! I would add wake up naturally to this list. It is this thing that has had the single biggest impact on my happiness.

    1. Sean says:

      Oh man, that’s a GREAT one. It’s also funny because now I naturally wake up at least an hour earlier than I did when I had my day job – and I’m so much more productive and happier knowing that I get to work on MY stuff as opposed to someone else’s 🙂

      1. Casandra says:

        Totally! It’s not like I sleep all day. I just don’t start with day with a jarring alarm clock and a panic because I’m going to be late. If I was out the night, I’ll sleep a bit later and get more done when I wake up.

      2. Martin Svec says:

        I have it the same way haha Since I am self-employed, I also work much longer event though I don’t have to. I used to finish at 6pm at my job and now it’s normal for me to work till 10pm or even later. When you work on your stuff, work doesn’t really seem like work.

  2. Usually with posts like this where there’s a number of ideas, suggestions, or in this case benefits, there’s usually just one or two that stand out although I have to tell you, all 14 things you’ve listed here that location rebels can do that employees can’t sounds completely AWESOME to me. I have #3 nailed down and exercise every morning. Just a great way to start the day. Sucks getting up but always feels great afterwards. Working from anywhere has got to be my absolute favorite. I’m thinking that’s probably the same for many others too. I love that you threw day drinking in there…haha! Understood and makes complete sense. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t considering having a cold one right now. It’s beautiful out and almost noon. Why not? Good stuff Sean, cheers!

    1. Sean says:

      Yeah in the summer, I do early happy hour meetings more often than I like to admit. But I’ve gotta say it truly is one of the great perks of the lifestyle 🙂

  3. Priscilla says:

    You had a grin across my face the entire post! I share your emails with my closest friends and I am telling you- my wheels are spinning daily to get to that freedom early on in life! In 8 weeks I am uprooting my life and moving to Hawaii to join my best friend and build a business. The open schedule to fitness, the naps, the day drinks, the freedom, the passion of doing your OWN work is so scrumptious. Thank you for sharing all these brilliant ideas and motivation. It keeps me on track and constantly moving forward! I will be in touch soon- I would love to pick your brain =)

    Cheers to La

  4. priscilla says:

    * Dolce Vida 😉

  5. Evan says:

    I’m still working on the Location Rebel lifestyle, mixing my day job with a healthy amount of freelance writing work. One activity I would really like more time for is long-distance running. I’m planning to run my third 100-mile solo race in September near Mount Hood, Oregon. A good training run might be 4-6 hours long, and that eats up a lot of time on the weekend to do other things. Being able to fit those long runs in during the week instead of being tied down 9 to 5 would be awesome.

    Many thanks for your encouragement, motivation, and how-to approach to achieve the LR lifestyle.

    1. Sean says:

      One of my best friends does super ultras like that and has done a bunch of runs in that area, as well as up by Mt. St Helens. Ever tried to qualify for Western States?

      Man, I think ultra long distance running should totally be added to this list, the training runs alone will take up half your waking hours.

  6. From half the articles I’ve read lately, I’m beginning to think that naps are inextricably linked to the entrepreneurial spirit.

    Or we’re all just cats.

    1. Sean says:

      I think it’s probably the latter haha

  7. Craig Anthony says:

    I’d add “wearing whatever clothes you want”. I hate business casual. So happy I can wear jeans and a t-shirt everyday of my life.

    1. Sean says:

      As I type this I’m literally sititing on my deck in basketball shorts and no shirt ha

    2. Casandra says:

      Good one! Pretty much athletic wear or sundresses for me every day!

  8. Rob Atkinson says:

    Great list!

    Coming from the “in progress” lifestyle independent point of view, this is truly what I’m striving for. I appreciate how honest you are about the things you indulge in. I think it’s healthy to have a balance of work and fun.

    Keep up the great work and I’ll see you on the other side shortly.



  9. Jason says:

    Thanks for sharing Sean. I came across your work Vita Patt Flynn a couple of years ago and, I admit, forgot about your awesome site until this article appeared in my news feed. I just want to extend my appreciation for inspiring us to do better and want more from life. Cheers!

  10. I know I’m not the only one, BUT – I find myself working longer AND harder for myself than I ever did for some corporate overlord.

    I can see (and reap) the tangible rewards of my putting in the hours, in the trenches. And, I love it. I’m impacting lives right and left, b/c I chose to have an impact on mine first.

    I haven’t used an alarm in months (except for an early morning international flight – those are no fun to miss.)

    I am able to do the things when they best suit ME- Gym time? 2pm. Wake up? 8:30am. Cut out early for happy hour? If I finished my ONE BIG THING for the day, I’ve earned it, so I do it.

    Well played, Sean.


    1. Mike Harrington says:

      Just noticed how I started all of my sentences with “I.”


  11. Evelyn says:

    One forgot to add to the list is work in your pajamas if you want to.

  12. Luke says:

    Great list Sean. I have recently begun working out at mid day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I meet so many interesting people doing the same with interesting jobs that are also not 9-5! Great way to break up the day!

  13. Steve Roy says:

    Another great reminder of why doing what we do makes us the luckiest people on Earth. OK, maybe it’s not luck, but it feels damn good to partake in the things you mentioned here.

    As an avid exerciser, I always hated having to train before or after work. My body feels its best in the late morning and that’s exactly when I train now. And I absolutely LOVE going to the movies during the day by myself. No crowds and it’s so peaceful. It does feel kind of weird though coming out of the movie to sunshine instead of darkness…

  14. Joe says:

    Love this post Sean!
    You can add sleep & wake up whenever you want, watch sports whenever you want (!), wear what you feel like, get the housework done when you feel, and best of all I think, more time to cook healthy and prepare your own food!
    Work fits around your life rather than life fitting around your work.
    Not going to look back over here 🙂

  15. Ashley says:

    I just discovered your blog and I’m already in love and list and whatever else to call it. Lol

    Anyways, my two favorite reasons are exercising at 11 am because I get to do that with my business and not sending my daughter off to daycare.

    Keep up the not working work.


  16. Martin says:

    Yes to day drinking and napping. Both are awesome, but can be productivity killers lol.

    The training whenever you want is huge! I love the empty gym. Since I pro wrestle, a few of us get in the ring and mess around when the gym is empty.

  17. Joseph Dabon says:

    Nice post. But the title is very sweeping. Except for #4 and 13, I did all these while an employee. And I had the best years of my life as one.

    By the way, maybe all these are true, in the same manner as not all employees can be like you.

    So let’s just leave things as they are, ok?

  18. Benny says:

    A great list but I love #1. We’ve got a movie theater here that has $5 tickets on the weekdays during the days. Brand new movies too. Nice theater. That’s the only time I go to movies. Less people and saves a bunch of money. 🙂

  19. Chris says:

    The more I’m experiencing a little bit of this type of work and lifestyle, the more I realize how ridiculous the 9 to 5 job reality I’m in is, and this post makes it even more clear! Can’t wait till I can make this a reality and not just a side thing 🙂


  20. Tony R says:

    For my list, my #1 is “spending more time with my family”. Working a traditional job feels like you are at work all the time and just trying to make it to the weekend only to see 2 days go by so fast. In those 2 days I try and do so much fun stuff with my sons. Being able to do that all day or every day when I want……….that’s something you can’t put a price on.

  21. Carl Bolland says:

    I love the mix of work/play items you have in this list Sean! A lot of people think they’ll just relax and do sweet nothing for the next few months after running their own successful business. Yet starting and running the business is addictive and it becomes even more important to learn how to switch off at the end of the day and stay balanced, especially when you’re working those long hours!

    Once you have a taste of the success, it’s nearly impossible to let go, always thinking about that next step, that next website, that next venture.

    Great post – Looking forward to what’s next!

  22. Scott Asai says:

    The pros definitely outweigh the cons. I haven’t found the secret formula yet, but I also wouldn’t want to be in any other place. Not only is the freedom intoxicating, but the challenge is too.

  23. Enzo says:

    Hey Sean,

    Thanks for this, reminds me again why I wanted to head into this direction! Sure sounds awesome! But as i’m just starting out I’ll have a long road ahead of me. Thanks so much for you’re inspiring and motivating posts!


  24. Taking a nap on your own personal schedule is the best. Sometimes you really need some shut eye to get things rolling, and the traditional workplace just won’t allow it. I am always careful to set an alarm for my optimal 20 minute power nap. More will make me groggy and less won’t bring any of the benefits!

  25. Brenda says:

    I work from home too and enjoy most of the perks you mentioned – it is a great life.
    You are right though – you do work longer hours….and enjoy it. Life is good.
    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face with this article.

  26. Chris says:

    One of the drawbacks of a 9-5 is all the soft time spent around work – after you wake up in the morning you spend time taking a shower, shaving, picking an outfit to wear, getting dressed, getting in your vehicle or walking to public transportation, traveling to the office, finding parking and walking to the door, and then taking steps or the elevator to your desk.

    The efficiency of working from home is that you roll out of bed and flip open your laptop.

  27. Shae says:

    This is such a great read. I’m going location independent next year and I want to do one main quest too. Here’s to day naps too.

  28. Matt Kohn says:

    Love this Sean. While I am not yet running a location-independent biz currently, each day I am working towards doing so. Seeing lists like these and reading the other unbeatable perks of being your own boss from anywhere further motivates me and drives me. Can’t wait. Thanks again for the post and your great blog bro

    1. Rob Atkinson says:


      I’m in the exact same boat as you. All the comments and stories about being location independent has been a great source of motivation.

      Keep up the drive!

      1. Matt says:

        Thanks Rob – same to you man

  29. Mark Mackay says:

    Man, it’s scary how parallel our paths were.

    I’ve just returned from over 2 years in South Asia and am now in step 3; consolidating my skills into my own passive income projects.

    It would have been a lot easier if I’d found this website before I booked that first 1-way ticket! I certainly would’ve questioned my decision a whole lot less…

    If anyone who reads this is thinking about it. Do it. You’ll never look back.

  30. John says:

    Being your own IT department should be #15. At my day job, the IT department dictates the hardware we use (sorry, we don’t have the budget for larger monitors), the software installed (sorry, we can’t support that application even if it’s free), and security policies (sorry, we don’t allow passwords longer than 8 characters). As a Location Rebel, you have total control over all your IT decisions and policies. You can pick the hardware, software, and security that you feel is appropriate for your needs. The downside is that you have total control over all your IT decisions and policies, so any problems will have to be prevented and solved by you.

  31. Jessica says:

    Hi Sean! First of all, great post! I found it through one of your newsletters and I gotta say I hope that someday I can have this type of lifestyle! I’m currently freelancing as well and I love the idea of traveling while working. I was wondering though how you go about with work visas or permits to be able to work in different countries. Or is it a sort of unspoken rule that you can work online in these countries even if you have a tourist visa? (Since I see so many bloggers do this like World of Wanderlust)

  32. Maverick says:

    Great Post Sean,
    Due to my job, I was finding it very difficult to work whenever I am back from work.
    But ever since I have start to realize that I cannot rely fully on 9-6 job.
    I just had to keep working even at night until around 1pm when I will sleep. So, that’s the new me which I love a lot because it increase my optimism.
    It’s not easy though – but I find it fun and goal-getting.

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