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John Morris

I'm a Developer at WishList products, creators of WishList Member, instructor for the WishList Member Certified Developers program, and creator of numerous WordPress plugins and PHP applications.

Big project managements lessons from building a tiny house

Do easy things WHEN they’re easy.

I’ve always been the “I’ll figure it out” type. It drives my wife nuts. She’s more of a planner. She likes to know how, when, where…

Every little detail.

Me? I usually just wing it.

I think a lot of developers are this way.

Goes back to the “smart” thing.

You KNOW you will figure whatever it is out.

BECAUSE, you’re smart.

So, meh…

Of course, I’ve had plenty of moments in my career that have slowly cured me of this. The project for Michael Hyatt was a big one. I was just gonna “figure out” the responsive stuff later.

Then, users started complaining and all eyeballs turned to me.

That wasn’t fun.

But, a recent one… I think a DEFINITIVE one…

Was with this house.

We had to trench in the water and electric lines. And, there’s a pole and a water meter both about 150 feet from our house. Problem was… we didn’t do it until halfway through the project.

Because, we weren’t sure where we were going to put the bathroom.

Which is where all those lines would come IN the house.

So, by that time the house was half built…

And, we couldn’t trench underneath it.

And, we needed to.

So, we had to do that part by hand.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever dug a 2-foot trench into the rock-laden Missouri ground in the middle of winter… but, if you want a test of your manhood…

Anyway, it took us about as long to do that 10-foot section of trench…

As it did the other 150 feet we could do with the trencher.

Had we planned better and made some decisions earlier…

That 10-foot stretch of trench would have been easy.

But, we MADE it hard.

Since then, I’ve been on a “how can we make this easy” kick.

Point is…

Yes! You are smart.

You can and WILL figure whatever it is out.

But, everything doesn’t have to be hard.

Apply that intelligence to do some pre-planning.

And, ask “how can I make this easy?”

I don’t make promises a lot.

But, this I can promise you…

You DO that with your projects…

Your life WILL get easier.

And, a lot less stressful.

Speaking of making things easier…

Same goes for learning web development and freelancing. You don’t have to make it hard by going it alone. There’s plenty of help out there to teach you what you need to know to make a damn good living doing this.

And yep!

I think my training curriculum is one of the better ways to do that because I work hard to go beyond the surface of just “what to do”… whether it’s learning a language or setting up an Upwork profile… and teach you WHY.

So, you’re empowered.

And because you can get started with the curriculum for NOTHING over on my FREE tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, whether it’s my curriculum or someone else’s…

You don’t have to go it alone.

Find a good teacher.

And, dig in.

And, make it happen.

In any case, take all that for what it’s worth.

Later,

John

January 3, 2019

The hardest lesson I learned in 14 years as freelance developer

I’ve always been smarter than most of the people I know.

It might sound arrogant, but it’s just something I’ve always known. I was constantly told how smart I was growing up. All the things I’d do with my life because I was smart. How “easy” I’d have it.

After a while, I started to believe it.

And, I began to believe that “being smart” meant I was destined to be successful.

That, one day, it’d just happen.

By 28, it hadn’t happened.

And, I remember I would sit there and stew over it. “How can all these dumb people be so successful? I’m so much smarter than all of them and here I am broke. What is wrong with me?”

Man, what an arrogant prick!

But, I remember the night I broke.

It was in a New York City hotel. 

It was for a mastermind that I felt like I had played a big part in making happen. And, I’d watched a client of mine profit off it while I played errand boy all day. I felt like such a chump.

Which IS an extremely jaded view of what actually happened.

But, that’s how I felt at the time.

And, to make matter worse…

I had to go to THAT client, like even more of a chump, and ask for an advance on my per diem for that trip. Because, I was so broke, my wife and kids were out of food and had no money to eat.

It was like everything hit me at once.

I couldn’t help it.

I just started crying uncontrollably.

That was the day I said, “Enough is enough.”

That I was going to stop WAITING for “it” to happen.

And, I was going to MAKE it happen.

I was going to stop sitting around whining about “I’m so smart, why can’t I make it?” And, I started valuing hard work, persistence and patience over intelligence.

And, when I started doing that…

That’s when things started happening.

I came across this quote, recently, that really sums it up for me:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Calvin Coolidge

Man, that hits hard, doesn’t it?

If you’re someone who’s always thought of yourself as smart… and that your intelligence would carry the day. To realize, it won’t… necessarily.

That it’s possible to be super smart and a complete failure.

More than possible… it’s common.

My point is this…

How smart you are isn’t as important as you think it is.

It took me an emotional breakdown in a hotel, 1000 miles from home (while my wife and kids went hungry) to get that through my thick skull.

Please, please, please…

Don’t let it get to that point for YOU.

As we roll into 2019…

Make a commitment to MAKE “it” happen.

To forget about how smart you are.

And, embrace persistence and hard work.

Don’t wait around for your life to happen.

Or, assume “I’m smart, so one day…”

It won’t.

In any case, if you’re a freelancer or web developer, I’m here to help. To take my 14+ years of doing this and pass what I’ve learned onto you. So, you don’t have to go through what I did.

And, that’s what my training curriculum does.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, freelancing and more.

And, you can access it ALL without paying  a single penny on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, whatever you do…

Make 2019 the year you MAKE this happen.

Later,

John

P.S. If you prefer Patreon, you can get access to all my courses, plus even more “unofficial” tutorials and videos here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

January 2, 2019

If you want friends, be unsuccessful

Just read this tweet from Ed Latimore (former heavyweight boxer):

Groan at that if you want, but it’s true.

For me, one of the major turning points in my life and career is when I stopped seeking out friends and instead sought “allies”. An ally of mine, Michael Skye, taught me this. And, it can be life-changing.

A friend is someone who comforts and consoles you.

They excuse and justify your shortcomings for you.

They’re rationalize your failures.

They’re good to have in your life.

You need that, sometimes.

But, if that’s ALL you have.

You have no one to hold you accountable to your best self.

That’s what an ally is. An ally doesn’t accept you for who you are, but sees you for what you could be, what you WANT to be. And, they hold you accountable to continually seeking and honoring your best self.

They push you.

Challenge you.

And, don’t make excuses for you.

When you fail and seek their comfort…

They give you none.

Instead they ask, “Now what?”

And, I’ll just say this. If you want to be successful and actually achieve the things you want in life, you NEED allies in your life. In fact, the more I’ve invited allies into mine, the more successful I’ve become.

So, while you’re thinking about 2019…

And, all the things you want to accomplish…

Make “more allies” one of them.

That one resolution, alone, can help you achieve all the others.

In any case, that’s how I see my role for you. I’m not your friend. I’m your ally. Which is why I hammer away at the excuses and the bullshit. I won’t let you off the hook. I won’t rationalize your shortcomings or failures.

I see you for what you could be.

And, I’ll continue to do so for as long as you listen.

Anyway, if starting a freelancing or web development career is in your plans for 2019 plans, I really do believe my curriculum is one great way to make that happen. My freelancing courses are top-ranked on SkillShare.

And, my web development courses the same.

And, you can get started with them without paying a single penny on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

But, fair warning…

There’s no hand-holding.

I will challenge you throughout.

If you’re ready to take that challenge and make 2019 happen…

Let’s get started: https://johnsfreetuts.com

Later,

John

P.S. If you prefer Patreon, you can get access to all the same course, plus all my unofficial courses and tutorials there. Learn more about that here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

January 1, 2019

If you want to actually KEEP your New Year’s resolutions

Can we just skip this whole New Year’s resolution charade this year?
I sit back and watch it every year.

And, it’s the dumbest thing we do.

“Hey here’s this list of things I know I’m never gonna do, but it’s this number on a made-up calendar, so hey…. why not pretend I’m actually gonna have the motivation and commitment to stick with it?”

I don’t know, maybe I’m just a grinch.

But, it’s so silly.

That said, let me extend an olive branch.

I DO think it’s possible to keep New Year’s resolutions.

To use the natural motivation you get this time of year and parlay that into actually meeting goals and changing your life. You CAN do that… but NOT if you do it the way you always have and never followed through.

You’re not going to suddenly have extra will power this year.

You have to change how you do it.

In my experience, there are 3 big mistakes people make when setting their New Year’s resolutions that makes it more of a “wish list” (they can brag about on Fakebook) than something they actually plan on doing.

  1. Setting result-oriented goals
  2. Expecting perfection
  3. Sharing their resolutions

So, what ends up happening is you set a goal like “I’m gonna lose 20 pounds”, you make an elaborate plan to reach your goal and you go on Fakebook and tell everyone what you’ve “decided”.

The problem is you think you’ve actually done something.

All your friends say “Yay! and “So proud!”

And, it’s like simply “deciding” is actually DOING.

It’s not.

Then, as the REALITY of eating right and working out sets in…

You realize, “This is gonna be hard.”

And, most people give up.

And, it happens year after year after year.

If there’s one thing you can do this year to give you a fighting chance of actually keeping your New Year’s resolutions… dont’ share them. With anyone. Don’t give yourself that social cred until you actually earn it.

If you can’t do that…

I mean hey, it’s your life….

You can do what you want.

But, if you share your resolutions, you won’t keep ’em.

That I know.

In any case, there’s a reason I no longer set New Year’s resolutions. It’s because I spend the rest of the year planning and goal-setting and chasing what I want. This time of year is no different.

So, there’s no point.

And, a few years back, I developed a system for managing my short and long-term goals that’s been incredibly effective for me. It lets me run a business, homeschool my kids and build my “forever” house.

Without getting overwhelmed.

Or stressed out.

Or, constantly dealing with procrastination.

I have no idea if it’ll work for you, but if you want to learn it, I reveal it in my NO B.S. Guide to Get More Done class over on SkillShare. Best part is you can take the course without paying a single penny.

All the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/nobs

Later,

John

December 29, 2018

My biggest regret

I think about my death quite a bit.

Probably more than is healthy.

I think nearly dying when I was 8 years old did something to me, because as far back as I can remember I’ve felt this way. And, the biggest thing I think about is…

Regret.

In my head, I want to regret nothing.

But, 37 years on this planet has taught me…

Nothing ever works out exactly how you want.

So, what I fixate on is…

WHAT will I regret on my death bed?

It’ll be something.

Will it eat me alive inside because it’s something ultra-important? Or, will I be able to shrug it off because of everything else I accomplished?

I don’t know.

But, that’s what gets me outta bed every day.

I guess that’s why when I was 21, I walked away from the most promising career I had. I’d just been promoted to manage my own retail store. I was good at it… really good. It paid well. And, there was lots of opportunity for growth and advancement.

I was on a fast-track to everything you’d think I wanted.

But, for me, it was a no-brainer.

I COULDN’T do it another day.

That vision of me on my death bed haunted me.

“Is this really what you wanna do with your life?”

“A  shoe salesman?”

“Is THIS what you’ll be proud of the day you die?”

“Don’t you want more?”

I did.

And so, I walked away.

The journey from there to here has been a long one.

It’s been hard.

And, scary.

And, I’ve questioned it, at times.

But, it’s been 1000% WORTH it.

In any case, I don’t yet know what my biggest regret will be. I’ve got plenty of good candidates. But, I get up every day, busting my butt, to ensure whatever it is, it’ll pale in comparison to everything else I’ve accomplished. 

That’s MY motivation.

And, hopefully, this gives you some motivation, too.

To dig deeper into your learning.

Or, finally put yourself out there to get paid.

Or, grind for that promotion.

Whatever it is.

Don’t let “not making a living as a developer”…

Be YOUR biggest regret.

In any case, I’ve got a whole curriculum to help you make it happen. From HTML and CSS, jQuery, PHP, MySQL, freelancing and more. If you’re ready to grind, THIS is, in my not-so-humble- opinion the best place to start.

And, you can do it without paying a penny on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

Later,

John

December 28, 2018

It’s not Upwork. It’s YOU!

So, I got this comment on a video today:

“Sir, I am new on upwork. I’m submitting proposals from 6 months, but no one is accepting my proposal.”

And, I gotta be straight up with you…

I get this a lot.

And, it never makes sense to me.

If you try ANYTHING for 6 months and it’s not working… it’s way beyond time to re-think and re-strategize. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And, it’s not Upwork… it’s you. Which, nobody wants to hear…

But, it’s true.

In any case, what I wanna do today is give 3 big things to check…

If you’ve been on Upwork and aren’t getting the results you want.

First thing I’d do is get a client account.

It’s such a good research tool, because you can search the keywords for your niche and see exactly who you’re competing against. What’s in their portfolio? How’d they write their profile overview? What’s their job history.

In any battle, “knowing your enemy” is paramount.

Same with competition in a marketplace.

Plus, you can get ideas for what to put in your profile.

Next, the “big three” to check on your own profile are: 1) your portfolio, 2) your profile picture and 3) your profile overview. Whenever I’m asked to look at profiles from struggling Upworkers…

It’s always a problem with 1 or more of these.

I think the portfolio is obvious.

It needs to be great.

Key thing here is don’t just put everything you have in there. Only put your best stuff because you never know what someone will click on. So, you want to ensure it’s your best work no matter what they look at.

I think the profile picture gets overlooked quite a bit.

Remember, when a client does a search, they’re going to see your profile listed next to everyone you’re competing against. And, your profile pictures is likely to be the first thing they look at. So, it’s your first impression.

Make it count!

The final check is your bidding strategy.

Too often, I see freelancers bid on anything and everything on Upwork. Like a kid in a candy store, they want EVERYTHING. You need to be disciplined. Focus on a particular service you’re offering.

Build your profile around that service alone.

And, ONLY bid on those jobs.

Your success rate should go up from just that alone.

Anyway, those are the big three to check. Get those in line and you should start seeing results on Upwork. That said, if you want me to walk you through exactly what to do… from building your profile to bidding on jobs…

What to say.

Where to find the best clients.

Etc.

Then, start taking my Freelancing on Upwork course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101/

I walk you step-by-step through everything.

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 21, 2018

How to Get Freelance Clients to Pay You More

I got this question on a video of mine:

“So how do you get the to pay for your larger fee vs the guy who will do it for 300.”

I get this a lot.

The “low-baller” problem.

So, what I wanna share with you, today, is a dead simple way for not only dealing with low-ballers, but also be able to raise your freelances fees at will… and, not have clients think twice about it.

And, it starts with a simple change in how you think about.

Why do people buy a Rolex watch when a Timex tells time just the same?

Why buy a nice car when your Yugo will “get you from A to B” just the same?

If you need a mechanic, do you choose the lowest price with no regard for quality?

People pay more for stuff all the time. YOU probably pay more for certain things regularly and don’t even realize. Do you buy Coke brand soda… or do you get the generic “Cola”. Why?

People don’t buy on price alone.

Regularly.

The thing YOU have to do is to establish yourself as a “product” worth investing more in. Because everything else equal (quality, service, etc)… YES! A potential client will go with the lowest price.

You haven’t give them a reason not to.

Your job is to give them reasons to spend more with you.

Think about it this way…

If you need a medical procedure and you came across a doctor’s office. Out front, the office has a beat up old sign, half broken off. The parking lot was all cracked and crumbling. The front door had a crack in it.

And, it just looked like a seedy place…

But, they had the lowest price…

Would you get your procedure there?

Why not?

THAT is your answer.

You have to make your “office” look pristine, clean and new to potential clients.

AND…

Position your competition as the “seedy office” with the cracked front door.

That’s your job as the marketer of your freelance business.

You do THAT…

And, you do it well…

Clients will pick you over the “guy who’ll do it for 300”.

And, they ‘ll happily pay you more when you raise your prices.

That’s the WHAT to do.

For the HOW… well, that’s what I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. It’s all about positioning, marketing and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche so clients see you as that sparkling new “office” they can trust.

You can get started with the course for nothing over on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 20, 2018

Building an online SYSTEM for getting freelance clients

For me, freelancing is about time.

Not money.

I want to spend as much time as I possibly can with my wife and kids. I want to homeschool my boys. Teach them everything I know. Create a real relationship with them so when they’re adults, we have a friendship beyond parent-child.

It’s the most important goal in my life.

That’s why I have turned down I don’t know how many “regular job” offers.

It’s also why I’m very picky about what clients I work with.

And, I why I’ve chunked running my business down to about an hour a day.

But, when I first started freelancing?

Pfft.

Time was the last thing I was getting.

I had no control of my clients.

“Can you meet right now for a ‘quick’ call?”

Sure.

“Hey, it’s Sunday night at 10pm, but I really need this thing.”

Sure.

“OMG, we have an emergency! Have you seen…”

Oh no. Sorry. Okay…

Just getting run ragged.

It took a near nervous break down for me to finally decide to take control of my clients, set some boundaries and do things MY way. It’s not easy and a big part of it is just having the guts to tell them “No”.

But, there is something that makes that a helluva lot easier.

In fact, it changes your entire mindset when it comes to clients.

And, you stop putting up with their B.S.

It also makes it easier to charge more.

And, be a lot more picky about who you work with and on what projects.

IMO, it really is the “key to sanity” as a freelancer.

And, that’s having a backlog of potential clients. Getting to the point where you’re getting so many people trying to hire you on a monthly basis that you simply can’t accept them all. And, more just keep coming in each month.

When, you reach that point…

It’s liberating.

Because you know… if a client gets mad and fires you…

Oh well.

Next!

Or, a client starts being ridiculous.

Next!

You’re no longer beholden to them.

It’s the best way to get some control as a freelancer.

Of course, the big thing for a lot of freelancers is building up that backlog. That was why I was such a “yes man” when I first started freelancing. I was desperate for any client I could get and hung onto them like a toddler with their favorite “blanky”.

It’s also what I changed when I decide to take control.

And, I got to the point where, between my own website and the freelance platforms I was on, I was getting several dozen major project invites per month. Of which, I could only do maybe 1 or 2.

The key to it is developing a system.

Doing the traditional business-building…

And online marketing…

That virtually every other online business does.

In a way, it’s about getting serious about your freelance business.

Going from doing it as a “side thing”…

Or “testing the waters”…

Committing and going all-in.

If freelancing is what you really want to do.

In any case, I teach you exact system in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. If you want to just “copy/paste” what I did instead of having to figure it all out yourself, then take that course and I’ll show you what to do.

You start taking it for nothing on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​​​

P.S. If you’re wondering what currents students think of the course, here’s one of the latest reviews:

“This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen on freelancing from any tutor. I will highly recommend this course among my peers and others as well.” –Mehandi Islam

Start taking it for free: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

December 19, 2018

WordPress Gutenberg is AWFUL compared to the classic editor

I got this comment yesterday on a Gutenberg video of mine:

“Anybody who knows HTML/CSS hates the damn thing. They should have incrementally introduced it.  Personally, I think it sucks. All the assumed functionality is has been removed.”

And I asked him:

“Compared to the Classic Editor?”

And he responded:

“Yes…I love the concept but the layout and how it works is not intuitive. This, in my opinion, is a fail. I’m sure it’s better. I just hate it.”

I honestly don’t get it.

What can you do in the Classic Editor that you can’t in Gutenberg?

Like, if you just wanna type a blog post like you did in the old editor, you can 100% do that. And, your experience will be almost exactly the same. Adding images is easier, IMO. And, there’s far more options now in Gutenberg for layouts, etc.

No, it’s not perfect.

But, compared to the Classic Editor?

It’s just not even close.

As for the rollout…

Mullenweg was talking about Gutenberg at least as early as the summer of 2017. There’s been a Gutenberg plugin out for almost a year and a half. If this took you by surprise, it’s the slowest-moving “curve ball” you’ll ever see.

So yeah…

Call me crazy, but I don’t get it.

The only way it seems you can call Gutenberg “crap” is if you compare it to other page-builders like Elementor or Divi, etc. Okay… but it’s just NOT one of those things right now. It’s a post editor.

And, in that sense it’s a massive improvement.

But whatever…

You do you.

You’ll be using Gutenberg soon enough.

It always happens.

And, there’s a lesson in that. 

People are horrible at “predicting” what technology they’ll use. How many people said the internet was dumb and they’d never use it? Smartphones? Social media? And, how many of those people ARE now using all of those things?

And, so it goes.

If you can predict this stuff, you can get ahead of the curve.

Get an advantage over everyone “swearing” they’ll never use XYZ.

Build products and services.

Out-compete those who get left behind.

Etc.

You just gotta have the guts to assess things for yourself.

And, not always follow the tide of what people “think”.

In any case, if you’re just ready to do that with Gutenberg, dive in and learn this thing and don’t want to learn yet another piece of software on your own, then check out my Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Gutenberg course on SkillShare.

Here’s some early reviews in case you’re wondering if it’s any good:

“John is so well-spoken and his passion for web development definitely peaks through. This class really helps the transition from the classic WP post/page editing to Gutenberg block editing. Thank you John, I feel confident tackling my first project using Gutenberg.”

— Karen Butler

“Excellent course for getting started with WordPress Gutenberg editor.”

— Jane D

“This course is the ‘JIT’! – Just In Time for the release of WordPress 5.0 featuring the new Gutenberg editor. The course is great for all levels of users wanting to get their feets wet and start learning how to use Gutenberg inside of WordPress. John (as always) does a superb job of covering the topic content with enough depth and breadth to let you get in there and make something useful. Thanks John!”

— Mark Zup

So, there you go.

Link to get no-cost access to the course is here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 18, 2018

Web development isn’t that important

For real.

Think about it.

When you lay your head down at night and think about all the things you want for your life right before you doze off… yeah… you dream about PHP 8 I’m sure. You see yourself chained to a desk, typing code…

THAT’S what you really want outta life.

Uh-huh.

Or, Thanksgiving.

When you’re sitting around the table with your family, big spread of food you’re about to rip into and you’re telling everyone what you’re thankful for… I’m sure it’s “Well, I’m thankful for CSS transitions, React… definitely react… Node…”

No!

Of course, you aren’t.

Cause you’re a normal human being.

Not some code-obsessed psychopath.

Point is… coding, web development, design… all of it… is a MEANS to an end. Not and end in and of itself. The trick is not to fall TOO in love with learning it and become a permanent student.

Like I see so many do.

Learn it.

Learn it quick.

And, USE it to build the life you REALLY want.

With the things you’re REALLY after.

House, car, husband/wife, kids.

Whatever that is.

Coding is your vehicle to get it.

Don’t forget that.

That’s also why my coding curriculum is designed the way it is. To help you learn how to code FAST. To teach you the “muney-makers” you’ll use over and over in your career so you can get hired, get clients or build that next big app.

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL… freelancing.

It’s all in there and you can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John

December 17, 2018

100k/year on Upwork

To hear the trolls tell it, these people don’t exist:

“I have wasted 10 years of my life on a Master’s degree. And guess what? I am happy to realize that I don’t need it at all. Currently I make 100k+ yearly from my freelance business on Upwork/Freelancer, I am absolutely debt free, and going to become financially independent soon.”

Boris Vasilenko 

Nope.

Nothing to see here.

“These freelance sites are scams!”

“La la la la, can’t hear you!”

Truth is…

There’s plenty of this out there. AND, there’s plenty of people who’ve got on Upwork and never made a penny. With a platform that big, it’s inevitable. There will be winners and there will be losers.

Just how the cookie crumbles.

The difference I’ve noticed, though, is a couple things.

First. Mindset.

The people who tend to lose on Upwork and other freelance sites tend to think of them as  “get out of jail free” card. That they’ll put up a profile, do ZERO marketing themselves and good ol’ Upwork will take care of everything.

It no workey that way.

Successful Upwork freelancers…

Treat their freelancing services like a real business.

And, they market on their own like any other business would.

And, simply use Upwork to amplify their efforts.

Second. Strategy.

The people who are successful on Upwork have one. They take some time to think about how the platform works, what ITS goals are and they adjust their approach to give them the best chance of success.

They don’t just throw up a profile and “hope”.

And, what they find is the effort is worth it.

When the largest freelancing site on the planet suddenly starts seeing you as one of it top freelancers… well, you can imagine just how many projects start coming your way. It’s a bit crazy.

Anyway, I spent a bunch of time figuring Upwork out when I first started.

And, got to a point I was getting invited to so many projects…

I had to turn off my availability because I was getting overrun.

And, it’s simple stuff. 

But, counter-intuitive.

Sounds backwards, at first.

But, once you do it… you see.

Anyway, I teach you what I learned in my Freelancing on Upwork course (the #2 ranked freelancing course on SkillShare). How to build your profile, how to bid on jobs, how to market outside of Upwork and build a real freelancing business, etc.

You can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare here: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

But, fair warning…

You’ll need to re-think some of what you “think” you know about freelancing and Upwork. If you go in, thinking you already have all the answers and know what will work, you’ll get nothing out of this course.

So, check the ego…

And THEN, let’s get started: https://skl.sh/2EhufQC

Later,

John

December 14, 2018

My success secret weapon

I gotta chuckle a bit.

Did you read that subject line like, “Really John?”

“Could you be more cliche, buddy?”

Heh. I’m just testing you.

Seeing who trusts me enough to open this email, anyway. 

Anyhoo…

I got something like that for you, today. Because man… today, I was feeling like a real turd. I’ve been talking all this “productivity” game.

And here I am today feeling unmotivated as hell.

Didn’t wanna send this email.

Feeling overwhelmed by my house.

And, not wanting to do s!@#.

At least, I WAS about an hour ago.

Now, I’m good to hook.

Typing away…

And, about to jump back into this house building.

What happened?

Simple.

I exercised.

I know. F!@#ing brilliant, right? “Oh John, you so smart. You like Bill Jobs. Or, Steve Gates. Me not worthy!”

I know, little buddy.

Take in my awesomeness!

But, for real.

It sounds simple, but it’s highly effective.

It’s a great way to knock all the cobwebs outta your head.

In fact, for me, it works every time I do it. Which is why I do it every time I’m feeling like a purple-haired milleni– er, I mean every time I’m feeling lazy.

Now, if you’re smart enough to look at that and go:

“Huh, lemme try that.”

Instead of blowing it off because it’s not some mind-blowing, super-genius insight. And, smart enough to know it’s not about how smart-sounding something is, but whether it actually works or not.

And, it’s about whether YOU actually do it or not.

Then, you’re welcome.

Hopefully, it works for you like it has me.

Also, YOU might get something out of my NO B.S. Guide to Get More Done course. It’s simple, yet highly effective, insights into how to handle procrastination, stress and overwhelm.

So you can keep motivated.

Productive.

And, focused on your long-term goals.

But, if you’re looking for “like totally rad life hacks, bro”… t’aint for you.

Anyhoo, you can get no-cost access to it on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2yIl8oP

Later,

John

December 13, 2018

The truth about becoming a web developer

I seriously feel like Scrooge, sometimes.

The grumpy old man, scoffing at the kids and their little “hacks” and gimmicks… imploring them not to get all wrapped up in every shiny new object that comes along… knowing full well they’re not gonna listen.

I especially feel it when it comes to LEARNING web development.

I get all these emails or YouTube comments or Facebook messages from aspiring web developers about staying motivated and getting through the hard parts of learning to code…

And, they’re always look for some “tip”…

Or “strategy”…

When, the truth is…

You can’t “hack” your way through that.

I think we’ve created such a “life hack” culture that the youngins seem to think there’s a “hack” for everything. Feeling uninspired. Life hack! Procrastinating a lot lately. Life hack! Arm got chopped off… life hack!

Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

Sometimes, you just gotta sack up and grind through it.

And, what matters in those moments is commitment.

How committed are you?

Think about that for a second.

Really ask yourself:

“How committed am I?”

Would you do whatever it takes to make this happen?

If so, you’re in good shape. And, you just need to realize that sometimes, some things are going to suck. Every day isn’t going to be rainbows and butterflies. “Love what you do and never work a day in your life” is a trap, in many ways.

But, if you’re committed, it won’t matter.

If this is what you really want, you’ll keep going.

That said, procrastination and burnout are real things. And, while there’s a certain amount of “you just gotta gut it out”, there are things you can do to not get so overwhelmed and stressed out as you go through all this.

These are non-hacks.

The purple-haireds would call them “life hacks”…

To make them sound secksy.

But, really they’re just common sense.

Anyway, using this stuff I’ve created and released 5 new courses in the last 6 months… all while running a business, homeschooling my kids and building a house. I know there’s no way I could have done it without this approach.

Of course, I have no idea if it’ll work for you.

I’m not some productivity “guru”.

But, if you wanna learn what I do…

I teach it in my NO B.S. Guide to Get More Done course.

And, you can get no-cost access to it on SkillShare.

All the deets on that are here: https://skl.sh/2yIl8oP

Later,

J​​​​​​ohn

December 12, 2018

Productivity leeches

It’s funny.

This time of year always gets me a little reflective. I want you to think about this, though. Why? I mean… why are you here? Why did you sign up for this mailing list in the first place? Why are you trying to learn development?

Or freelancing?

Or whatever the reason you’re here is… why?

We’re all pushing toward something greater. For me, it’s “retiring at 40” and spending as much time with my kids before they leave the house. Teaching them everything I know. Giving them the childhood I didn’t have.

What’s yours?

Stop and think about it for a second.

What does a day in your ideal life look like?

What do you do when your first wake up?

What’s next?

And, next?

As you imagine it, it sounds great, right?

Well, here’s the reality…

No matter how close you actually get to living that life, there are always going to be annoying things you don’t want to do that you HAVE to do. I bet the vision you just had probably didn’t include getting the oil changed in your car.

Or, getting groceries.

Or, scraping ice off the sidewalk in the middle of winter.

Or, any number of things you find annoying…

But, still HAVE to be done.

And, that’s where most people get tripped up. They let those HAVE-TOs kill their motivation. They just hang over your head like vulture waiting to pounce, sapping all your energy and making you feel miserable.

No matter how much you get done…

No matter how good your life gets…

No matter how much you accomplish.

They’re like little leeches sucking all the happiness out of your life.

That’s what I found, anyway, as I was going through all the different productivity and “time management” trainings I put myself through. Trying to get my s!@# in order and stop procrastinating so hard.

I knew if I ever wanted to actually GET that life I imagined for myself…

I had to handle this once and for all.

And, I’d just come off an epic failure CAUSED by procrastination.

And, none of these systems really addressed it.

As I did them, I always just felt like I had this cloud hanging over my head. Increasing my stress, making me anxious and killing my motivation no matter how many boxes I checked off my to-do list.

Anyway, that’s one of the things about the “NO B.S.” system I finally discovered.

It tackles these little leeches head on.

No kitty-footing around them.

In fact, they become an essential part of the system.

They’re what make it work.

And, help INCREASE your motivation.

When done right.

Building my house the last six months, while running my business and homeschooling my kids, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used this “hack” (that’s not really a hack at all, but just common sense).

It’s proven its effectiveness to ME 100 times over.

In any case, I have no idea if it will work for you. I’m not some rocket-surgeon who dissected the brain and figured out which pound of flesh to press on. But, I DO know that if YOU are actually going to get that life you imagined earlier…

Being productive…

Staying motivated CONSISTENTLY…

And, taking “massive action” will be required.

And, IMNSHO, you can only do THAT after you’ve slayed these productivity leeches.

In any case, believe and do what you want.

If you want to learn the system I discovered, I teach it to you in my NO B.S. Guide to Get More Done course over on the SkillShares. And, you can get no-cost access to it. All the deets on that are here: https://skl.sh/2yIl8oP

Later,

John

P.S. In case you’re wondering here’s a recent review of the course:

“Brilliant info. Highly recommended!!!” — Billy Peacock

Get started here: https://skl.sh/2yIl8oP

December 11, 2018

When you feel like procrastinating

Awhile back, I had a guy ask me:

“ok jump in where I am wrong…. YOU ARE: a teacher, a developer, a business owner, a husband, a father, a dog owner, a homebuilder??? Do you have a personal assistant walking next to you, feeding you to save time?”

Now, I think the typical response is..

“Aw gee shucks. I just do my best!”

But, the truth is…

For me, that’s not really the case. A few years back, I made a conscious decision to push myself as far as I could productivity-wise. I’d just come off a big project where I’d failed to deliver several key parts of the end product…

And, the client was taking a hit because of it.

And, there was nothing to say.

It was 100% my fault.

And, it was because I’d let procrastination win.

So, I decided I was never going to let that happen again. That’s about the time I started doing these daily emails. At that time, I had one course… now I have over a dozen. And yes, the last 6 months, I’ve been building a house.

None of it is an accident.

It was all done consciously.

And yes, I sleep a healthy 8-9 hours a night.

Spend lots of time with my wife and kids.

Aaaaand, walk my (supposed be my wife’s, btw) dog.

How?

Well, when I made that decision, I decided to put myself through a productivity “boot camp” of sorts. I tried about every productivity “system” and “trick” you’ve probably heard of. 

And, I was just ruthless about it working FOR me or not.

And, what I found is that I ended up spending more time DOING the productivity “system” — whatever it was — than I did actually BEING productive. Which was a NO-GO for me, Captain.

So, through lots of trial and error…

I developed my own system.

It’s a simple 10-minute “routine” I do every morning.

To get me focused…

And, clear on what needs done that day.

And, motivated to actually DO it.

Now, I won’t say that this will work for everyone. I honestly have no idea. It’s not some fancy “scientific formula” based on the “neuroscience” of rocket surgery. It’s just this thing I do that works really well for me.

Anyway, if you wanna give it a try and see if it works for you…

I teach it to you in my NO B.S. Guide to Get More Done course.

You can take that course for nothing over on SkillShare.

Deets on that are here: https://skl.sh/2yIl8oP

Later,

John

December 10, 2018

Gutenberg is a clunky, horrible mess

Spaketh the troll:

“The only thing laughable here is this smug, horrible take.

That’s what cracks me up.

Gutenberg is a clunky, horrible mess. I can see how the childish building block approach might appeal to an arrogant prick like yourself who believes that every sentence deserves a new line, but to real content creators who actually know how to write, it’s a nightmare. An actual blog, an actual article…something you clearly know nothing about, since you’re committed to this self-congratulatory “I’m smarter than everyone else” drivel you laughably call a blog.

I’m sure you’ll offer up some snarky reply about how it’s for developers and whatnot, forgetting that it’s also about the end-user and content creators. Of course, looking at what you’ve designed here, it’s clear that you don’t really know much about quality content or good design. More’s the pity.

In short, your take is bad, and you should feel bad. Sadly, you won’t. You’ll dismiss this as “hating”, just as you’ve dismissed all the valid criticisms of Gutenberg because, I don’t know, using it makes you feel special, important, and superior? I’m only guessing, but based on the attitude of this post and others you’ve made, I feel it’s a pretty accurate one. But hey, you do you, pal.”

–Troll

Oof!

The lady doth protest too much, methinks!

Anyway, notice how there’s no actual explanations here. No reason why. Just “it’s a clunky mess”. One bumbling line about “every sentences deserves a new line”… as if that has anything to do with Gutenberg.

Anyway, this is when you know you’re on the right track.

When, this is the best someone can up with.

Funniest thing is…

I guarantee this “real content creator” will be typing his blog posts in Gutenberg in less than a year from now. In fact, most of the Gutenberg “haters” will. It’s just how this stuff works.

Although, there probably still IS that one guy using Windows XP.

Anyhoo, t’aint no sweat off this gander’s back.

Keep using that clunky old editor if you like…

With your T9-enabled flip phone…

Riding your horse and buggy “into town ma”…

To pick up some spears and loin cloths…

Ok, ok… I digress.

Anyway, if you ain’t into all this debating and just want to dive into Gutenberg without having to learn “yet another piece of software” all on your own, my new Beginner’s Guide to Gutenberg course will show you everything you need to know.

And, access won’t cost you a buffalo nickel.

Deets on that are here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

John​​​​​​​

December 9, 2018

Gutenberg is NOT a page builder

This is the mistake everyone keeps making.

I’ve heard it probably a dozen times now.

“As a page builder…”

“Compared to Elementor…”

“If you’ve used Beaver Builder…”

I don’t care what WordPress calls it. What any core committer might say about it… Gutenberg is NOT a page builder. Not yet, anyway. So, if you’re looking at it that way and comparing to other page builders…

Sure, Gutenberg sucks…

As a page builder…

For now.

But, that’s the wrong comparison, IMO.

Instead, think of it as a post editor. And, compare it to the old TinyMCE editor. THAT is what Gutenberg is replacing. And, when you do that… trust me, if you actually USE Gutenberg a little bit.

You’ll go back to the old editor…

And wanna blow chunks.

It’s just not even close.

So, use Elementor…

Or Beaver Builder…

Or Layers…

AND Gutenberg.

That’s how I’m using it.

And, you can throw that nasty TinyMCE editor in the garbage.

In any case, the reality is as a developer and/or a freelancer, your current and future clients are going to be using this thing… whether YOU like it or not. So, you’re gonna have to know how to use it.

If you want an assist…

And, don’t wanna have to figure “yet another” piece of software on your own, I created a crash course on Gutenberg that’ll show you everything you need to know. And, you can get access to it for nothing on SkillShare.

All the deets on the course and how to get no-cost access are here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

John

P.S. Here’s an early review of the course in case you’re wondering if it’s any good:

“This course is the ‘JIT’! – Just In Time for the release of WordPress 5.0 featuring the new Gutenberg editor. The course is great for all levels of users wanting to get their feets wet and start learning how to use Gutenberg inside of WordPress. John (as always) does a superb job of covering the topic content with enough depth and breadth to let you get in there and make something useful.” — Mark Zup

No-cost access: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

December 6, 2018

Gutenberg. The death of WordPress

People crack me up.

I remember when I first showed my mom a smartphone. “What the hell do I need THAT for?” You should see her now. Getting her off Facebook is like trying to get a politician to quit lying.

I remember when Twitter came out.

“This is so stupid. Why would anyone care what I’m doing?”

We see where that went.

And yes, yes… I even remember when the internet came out.

(Old jokes will get you BLOCKED! :D)

There were people who said it’d never be a “thing”.

People are so often horribly, awfully, terribly wrong about technology and what they will and won’t use. Like really, really bad.

Enter WordPress Gutenberg.

People HATE this thing.

Just check out some of these “reviews” on the repository:

“The update NOBODY wanted.”

“This is like hell in WordPress.”

“Please let us keep using Classic Editor!”

You’ve got articles speculating that Gutenberg will be the “death” of WordPress.

Gimme a break.

Funny thing is…

Before Gutenberg, if you ASKED people about the classic editor and TinyMCE… they’d have ranted and raved at you for an hour about how awful it was.

Now, it’s this amazing thing we shouldn’t DARE change.

In any case, my challenge for you and all these people is simple. Use Gutenberg for a week to create all your content in WordPress. Then, switch back to the Classic Editor.

I guarantee you you’ll go, “Eh. This sucks.”

It’s not even close.

So, no.

Gutenberg won’t be the death of WordPress.

In fact, I predict that a few years from now, WordPress will be stronger than ever… in part thanks to Gutenberg. And, we’ll look back at this and wonder why we fought it at all.

But hey… I’m sometimes wrong.

So, we’ll see.

In any case, if you’re ready to just dive in and learn this thing and want a no-look pass, I just launched a new course on Gutenberg. And, you can get access to it for the big double zero over on SkillShare.

All deetsies on that are here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

Johannes “Gutenberg Ain’t S!@#” Morris

December 5, 2018

NEW COURSE: The Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Gutenberg

If you don’t know…

Gutenberg is the new editing experience for WordPress 5.0 and beyond.

And, it is a drastic shift in how post and page creation works in WordPress… moving from one large block of text in the Classic Editor to small, individual blocks of text and media in Gutenberg.

And, the big thing is… this is only the beginning.

Gutenberg will continue to become more and more apart of WordPress moving into full-site layouts and theming and even, eventually, into the WordPress admin area.

So, if you’re using WordPress and haven’t yet…

It’s time to learn Gutenberg.

Which is why I created this new course.

The goal is to get you up to speed with Gutenberg.

What it is and how to use it…

So, if you’re a content creator, you’re not just prepared for the change, but can push Gutenberg to its limits to create rich content and layouts on our site.

Or, if you’re a WordPress developer, you can get familiar with the concept of “blocks” and how your clients’ editing experience will change so YOU can help prepare and educate them.

In the course, you’ll learn all about the new WordPress “blocks”, creating rich content, the convenience of “reusable blocks” and more.

Plus, we’ll build an entire site from scratch using WordPress Gutenberg.

Best part…

You can get access to the course for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on getting that no-cost access is here: https://skl.sh/2AQpjNj

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a Patron, the course is waiting for you here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/course-beginners-23124757

December 4, 2018

Why you’ll fail as a freelancer

There’s lots of reasons:

  • You’re just not that good at what you do.
  • You’re not very good at dealing with people.
  • You picked the wrong market and services to offer.

I could go on and on.

But, by far, the #1 reason freelancers fail is they never learn how to consistently get clients. They rely on luck or “word of mouth”. They try this and that, but never learn and apply anything consistently.

They constantly worry that one day the clients will dry up.

And, if that does happen…

They have no idea how to fix it.

That was me the first few years of my freelancing career. I’d gotten a few clients by pure dumb luck. I’d picked a few up off Upwork. But, I really had no idea how. I didn’t know what to do to get more.

And, I clung to those clients like a vegan to her tofu.

And then, one of them decided to move on from me.

It was going to be a huge hit to my income.

And, I had no plan.

All the crazy thoughts kicked in. What if I never get another client? What if I can’t pay my bills? What if I have to go back to a regular job? What if my wife and kids see me as a failure?

On and on and on.

The silver lining is all that gave me the motivation to figure this out.

And, I did.

In fact, I built a system so powerful that I was turning away 4-5 clients/month because I simply had too much work. Several of those were high profile clients I’d have killed for just a few years earlier.


Of course, I’m no genius (just ask my kids).

This stuff really isn’t all that hard actually.

In fact, I basically just took what other service businesses had been doing for hundreds of years and combined it in a unique way. Something, I’ve never seen anyone else talk about, but based on well-established, tried and true business principles.

So, it’s no big secret.

Or, overly hard to implement.

You just gotta know what it is.

In any case, that’s what I teach in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get no-cost access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/freelance.

Later,

John

November 30, 2018