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How to THINK like a developer

What makes a developer truly a developer?

I’ll give you my answer in a second.

But think about that as you read this…

So, I got this email question from Mike:

“I’m stuck at a beginner level. I’ve followed tons of tutorials and did a 3 month full time web dev boot camp. But I cant seem to get past the hurdle of being able to write a program myself. I consistently fail interview tests as my programming logic skills are low. I seem to be stuck at this beginner level. I need to learn how to think like a programmer…. Any ideas or tips?”

Think about that.

It actually doesn’t make sense, does it?

How does someone spend that much time learning and still not be able to sit down and crank out an application? Shouldn’t be that way. And, I’ll just tell you from the emails I get… he’s not alone.

Is this something YOU have struggled with?

If so, let me tell you how this happens.

It’s one of the “dirty secrets” of the coding tutorial industry.

I know that sounds a bit “Ok, whatever”…

But, I really, truly believe this.

It’s the problem with project-based courses, which I absolutely think have their place, BTW. But, when you follow along as someone else builds a program, you don’t have to solve all the little programming problems that come up.

They’re solved for you.

It’s very rare that an instructor even mentions those problems…

Let alone makes YOU solve them.

They just run through the code and show you what to type.

A good one might mention them off-hand.

But, almost nobody labors over those points.

Because, frankly, coding students don’t like it.

They don’t think they need it.

When they absolutely DO.

So, what happens is you never learn how to connect problems to applications and vice versa. That’s WHY you can go through a crap-ton of training, but feel lost when you sit down to write an application.

If all you’ve ever done is project-based courses…

Or, haven’t specifically learned application design…

Then, you’ve actually never done this part of it.

And, here’s the kicker… that’s the most important part.

This is the analogy I use…

Imagine a painter who learns all the technical parts of painting a landscape. Trees, mountains, water, grass, etc. That’s good. You need to know those. But, will knowing those make you good at composition?

At putting all those things together into a painting…

That elicits emotion?

That makes people say “WOW”?

That has a perspective?

Does a well-executed tree make someone a true ARTIST?

It’s part of it, but it’s not all. It’s not the main thing. It’s the ability to capture moments and elicit emotion. To have a point-of-view AND THEN be able to execute on that point of view.

It’s having an “eye” for it.

It’s similar with web development.

What makes you a developer…

Is your ability to identify problems.

Come up with new ideas for solving them in better ways.

AND THEN, execute on those solutions.

And, that’s what you miss with most project-based courses. To me, the answer is to learn application design. To understand how to connect problems to their solutions and how to design applications from scratch.

This is precisely why I named my OOP course, Build Professional Applications With Object-Oriented Programming. Object-oriented programming IS the/a method for application design. And, a damn good one.

When you understand it…

And, how it connects to object modelling.

And, database structure.

The code almost literally writes itself. Again, I know that sounds hypey, but that’s WHY so many people swear by OOP. Because, it gives you a way forward for designing your applications.

You don’t have to guess.

Or wonder.

Or stare blankly at your code editor.

You know where to start and how to proceed at every step.

There’s still problems to work through.

Always.

But, you have a road map for how to get your application built.

Anyway, all this is what Lesson 11 in my object-oriented programming course takes on. Teaching you how to design applications in the most scalable, modular and efficient way possible.

If you’ve found yourself dealing with “blank screen” syndrome…

I truly believe this will help to cure you.

In any case, you can take the course for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on the course and how to get free access are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/oop

Later,

John

February 4, 2019

Read this before another developer ruins your website

That’s the headline.

Of the most effective services sales page I ever ran. In fact, I ran it for years on my site before I whittled down to just one client. It’s easily brought in tens of 1000s of the greenbacks for me.

I don’t care what kind of web development you do…

This should be your headline.

It grabs the reader by the eyeballs…

And, forces them to read.

Because, it’s every client’s worst nightmare.

It’s like a car wreck, they can’t NOT look.

And, it works no matter what kind of services you offer.

Of course, you gotta follow it up correctly; otherwise, your potential client will quickly lose interest. So, next comes the “horror story”. For me, it’s Inc. Magazine and how they spent 2 years try to get their site built.

Went through several developers.

Spent lots and lots of money.

And, still had nothing.

This makes the fear REAL to your potential client.

Imagine being a client and hearing Inc. Magazine had that much trouble.

It makes your biggest fear suddenly very real. Now, at this point, you have them hooked and they’re in for the long haul to read your services page. But, you’re still not done. What comes next is the most crucial part.

It’s the transition from just scaring the crap out of them…

To actually selling your services.

AND, making your ad something they want to share, in and of itself.

With co-workers, employees, colleagues.

They’ll actually share YOUR ad.

It also establishes the criteria by which they’ll evaluate YOU as a developer. Criteria YOU get to establish. And then, conveniently meet in the rest of your sales page. “Set ’em up and knock ’em down” as they say.

At any rate, I just added a bonus lesson to my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course that’s specifically for web developers. In it, I go through the services page I used all those years and the psychology behind it.

Plus, I give you the Word doc with all the copy in it.

If you’re a freelance web developer, you don’t want to miss this.

You can get started with the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​

February 1, 2019

Opening up Upwork this morning felt like winning the lottery

You’ve got a decision to make.

What kind of person are you going to be? 

Person A:​​​​​​​

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Terry on YouTube

Or person B:

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Miro on Facebook

I can tell you who’s going to get further in life. Who’s going to have more success as a freelancer. Who’s going to actually create the life they imagine for themselves. The funny thing about this is if you look at Miro… 

He very easily could’ve devolved into the same piss-poor attitude as Terry. He tried Upwork. And, his first attempt didn’t work out. 

He could have very easily just given up and became a troll who hunted down every Upwork video he could find so he could leave a negative comment.

And, crack snarky jokes that make him feel better about himself… 

But, do nothing to help him actually get anywhere in life. 

Like Terry. 

But, instead, he chose to keep fighting. 

Learn. 

Be humble. 

And, it led to him to get his first break. From there, it’s about doing good work, being honest, reliable, etc. I don’t know what’ll happen… But, I have a hunch that Miro’s attitude will carry him through. 

Anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…

I’m not bullsh!@#ing you.

I know this stuff works, because I was in exactly the same spot as Miro. And, exactly the same thing happened to me.  You make the changes I show you and things just start happening. 

I’ve seen it over and over and over gain with my students. 

Anyway, if you wanna learn what the trick is, I teach it to you in my Freelancing on Upwork course. You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site at: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101

Later,

John

January 31, 2019

Boring sales tactics that’ll get you more freelance clients

My older brother was an insurance agent.

If you don’t know, insurance is an uber-competitive industry because it has such huge profit margins. So, these people are dialed in when it comes to sales and getting new clients. I learned a ton from watching my him.

For example…

When he first started, his trainer had him write up a list of all the people he knew. He started with about 50 on his list. But, after some pushing and prodding, he got it up to about 300.

Then, he had him write letter to those people…

Letting them know he was in insurance…

And, he mailed it out.

He got his first few clients that way.

Then, they had him make up a flyer. Just a simple one-page deal with a little about him and the services he offered. And, told him to go door-to-door putting them inside people’s screen doors.

He paid my kids 8/hour to do it for him.

And, he got a few more clients.

Even better is what happened when a financial advisor moved into my neighborhood. He came to my door, introduced himself and pointed out where he lived and told me if I ever needed any financial advice to get in touch.

I didn’t, but I know few neighbors who did.

None of this stuff is secksy-sounding.

In fact, it’s downright boring.

But, it’s no coincidence that the most competitive industries on the planet have their new agents do this stuff. It works. And, whatever kind of freelancing you’re doing, you can probably do something similar.

But, there’s one thing my brother did that was by far the most boring.

In fact, I HATED doing it with him.

But, nearly every time I did…

I got a ​​​​​​lead on a new client.

There was maybe once or twice I didn’t in the dozens of times I did this with him. It’s no wonder this is the #1 thing new insurance agents, realtors, financial advisors and the like are encouraged to do.

It just plain works.

Anyway, I just uploaded a new bonus lesson to my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course where I explain what it is and what you need to be prepared to do to get clients from this method.

You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John

January 30, 2019

How to triple what you charge per hour as a freelancer

Right after I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt.

He has a massive following online. And, a bunch of his acolytes wanted a membership site just like his. Well, turns out I was 1 of 2 people in the world that could build it for them. And, the other guy wasn’t taking clients.

So, I started getting a ton of quote requests for a “clone” of his site.

I charged 3K a piece for these sites.

But, I’d written the WordPress theme from scratch, myself. So, I had all the code. I knew exactly how to tweak it and set it all up. And, because they were seeking ME and I had a little more control…

I only allowed very few customizations.

All that meant each site only took me a few hours to build.

4-5 at most.

So, my “hourly rate” went from 100/hour to 600-700/hour.

Now, you might think…

“Okay great. But, that was this super unique thing and there’s no way I can replicate that.” Au contraire mon ami. It’s easily replicated. Yes, easily. Once you understand the dynamic and WHY it worked.

Replicating it is simple.

In fact, I’ve done it numerous times since.

And no, it’s not always 6-7 times the rate.

But, 3-4 times what you’re charging hourly… is easy to do.

Anyway, there’s 3 components that go into this to make it work. The more you get each right, the more you’ll see your rate per hour go up. If you’re interested in learning how, I have a bonus lesson in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course…

That will teach you those 3 components and how to put them together.

Plus, you can take it for nothing over on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John

January 29, 2019

The prostitute principle

This guy I know…

Ahem…

Once told me that veteran prostitutes demand their money upfront. Because they’ve learned the hard way that once a client gets what they want, they’re a lot more likely to walk away without paying.

And, there’s not a lot they can do.

Sound familiar?

Oddly enough, I’ve never had a client flake like that. I guess growing up like I did, I always had that “b!@#$ better have my money” mentality. So, I came up with a system for getting paid that ensured I got mine…

But, didn’t require the client to pay 100% upfront…

So, they don’t get scared off.

And, kept them comfortable throughout…

So they KEEP paying.

Best part, for me, is it also weeds out the tire-kickers and freebie-seekers so I only deal with people who are serious about hiring me and I know will have the money to actually pay for the project.

Because I can’t stand that B.S. 

Anyway, I teach the method I use in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://www.johnsfreetuts.com/freelance.

Later,

John

January 28, 2019

JMS388: Global Game Jam and Staying Focused In a World Full of Distractions

Just uploaded a new episode of the podcast. Here’s the breakdown:

Do you know about the Global Game Jam? It’s a challenge/event to create games in one weekend in hundreds of locations worldwide. Anyway, chat about that and how to stay laser-focused in a world full of distractions and chaos. Specifically, that focus is NOT about discipline or will power and the 3 things you need to do to stay focused no matter what’s happening around you.

Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms388-global-game-jam-and-staying-focused-in-a-world-full-of-distractions/

January 25, 2019

How to stay focused

I got this question from Tim:

“Staying focused and effective in business under extreme external pressure?”

When I asked what he meant by “extreme external pressure”, he said:

“[An] ex-wife who burned everything down. Ruined my closest business and personal relationships, and put me into complete financial ruin. With intent. So deep DEEP financial and personal stress has left me flailing and I am a month and a half into my first real opportunity for recovery. I feel a lack of clarity as to the best course of action to push my head above water for good. To focus on the work (which I am damn good at) instead of the stay alive struggle.”

Damn.

This one hits close to home for me.

My pain was dealing with feeling like I’d abandoned my oldest son when his mom and I got divorced coupled with this gnawing feeling inside of me that I was meant for more than pizza boy or telemarketer.

It’s hard to keep focused…

And, not let these things consume you.

But, here’s what I do.

I just keep saying, “Left”.

That might not make sense, at first, but let me tell you where it comes from. As you may know, I was in the Army for 10 years. And, during Basic Training, one of the final “events” before you graduate is a road march.

What they don’t tell you is it’s meant as a test of your mental toughness.

We’d done road marches before, but nothing like this.

We were up and marching before the sun came up and we marched long after the sun went back down. In full combat gear, 40-pound rucksack. At about hour 3, the straps from the rucksack started to feel like knives slicing into my shoulders.

By hour 5, I was arguing with myself about quitting…

And, getting recycled all the way back through the 9 weeks of Basic Training.

By hour 7, I didn’t even have the energy to do that.

At some point, my mind just stopped. All the false motivation, all the little “tricks” to get myself to keep moving, all the debating… it all just stopped. And, all that was left me and the next step I had to take.

Yes or no.

Yes or no.

Yes or no.

For hours.

And, what I did was I just kept saying “Left” every time my left foot hit the ground, just like we did when we marched in formation. “Left, left, left.” And, I just focused on that. That one next step.

And eventually, it ended. We rounded the corner to an open field.

There was a big bonfire waiting for us.

We took off all our gear.

And, celebrated because that was our last test.

And, that’s it. All you can do is focus on the very next step in front of you. People make the mistake of thinking focus is about will power. It’s not. It’s about motion. You take one step, the next one becomes more clear.

And another and another…

With each one, you become more focused.

Staying focused becomes more natural.

And before you know it, you’re sprinting.

So, you just gotta keep moving. Don’t think about everything that’s happened. None of that matters NOW. You have the hand you’ve been dealt, now you have to play it. Don’t think about the next 100 steps in front of you.

You don’t even know what most of those are.

And, they’ll change along the way.

What’s the best step you can take RIGHT NOW with the information you have.

And then, step.

NOW, what’s the next best step I can take?

And, the next… and, the next.

That’s how I live my life.

And that’s how I stay focused.

And, ignore everything else swirling around me.

And, it’s worked pretty damn well, so far.

So, there you go.

Take that for what it’s worth.

If you have a question, you’d like me to answer, just leave me a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it.

And, of course, when it comes to web development, I’m here to help you take some of those steps with my training curriculum. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL… it’s all in there. And, you can access it for nothing over on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com

Later,

John

January 24, 2019

Freelance pricing perfectly explained in one story

This isn’t mine.

Credit to Jason Martin on Quora, but this story perfectly explains freelancing pricing and the “am I worth it” dilemma:

A company is building a product, with a lot of money invested in it, but it just isn’t working. So they hire an outside engineer to look over the design. The consultant comes to the office, looks at the schematics for about 20 minutes, and then asks the director of the project for a pencil.

The director taps his pockets, and realizes he doesn’t have one.

“No problem”, says the consultant, and he opens his briefcase, opens a new box of pencils, and sharpens one. He then takes the pencil and circles a small part of the design. “There is your problem”, he says, “the material you’ve chosen is too weak for a part this size. Use something sturdier.”

The advice works, and the product ships.

A month later, the consultant sends his bill, $50,000.

The director of the project is very surprised by the cost, so he sends a request to the consultant for an itemized list of expenses.

The consultant obliges:

1. Pencil – $0.99

2. Knowing where to put the mark: $49,999.01

The most costly thing in the world is ignorance. The most valuable is knowledge and the expertise to apply it.

Jason Martin, Quora.com

That’s it, my young Jedi.

If you’ve got the the chops to deliver, it don’t matter where you’re from, how experienced or inexperienced you are, how you grew up, what college you went to… do you “know where to put the mark” or not.

I was only a few years into my freelance career when I got tapped to build Platform University for Michael Hyatt. Same with Inc. Magazine and the stuff I did for Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body.

That’s how it is in the freelance game.

And, if you CAN then you’re “worth” it.

And, you should charge what you’re worth.

And, don’t let anyone tell you different.

As for the figuring “what you’re worth” part… there’s a whole range of things that affect the perceived value of what you offer: perceived quality, supply and demand, competition, differentiation… on and on.

Also, it depends on your strategy.

How you plan to beat out your competition.

Position yourself in the market.

Etc.

Anyway, I just released a new course on figuring out what services to offer as a freelancer and Lesson 6 is all-in on pricing. Factors you’ll want to consider, the three primary pricing strategies to consider, how to research it…

If you wanna get pricing “handled”…

So, you know exactly what services to offer and what to charge…

Give it a watch here: https://skl.sh/2RDQXZl

Just don’t do what most freelancers do and “wing it”. It makes everything else so much harder when you’re putting the wrong offer in front of the wrong people. Take just a bit of time and think this through and you’ll be glad you did.

Later,

John

January 21, 2019

The non-sensical rantings of a doomsday tech-er

The question is this:

“Is technology REALLY going to displace 375 million jobs?”

And, is it something we should really worry about?

Or much ado about nothing?

Maybe I AM crazy, but it seems so obvious to me. In any case, after the “response” (read: 10-page emails ranting at me about how I’m an idiot) I got from yesterday’s post on that exact question, I decided to dedicate this week’s podcast to it.

And, specifically, how I plan to not just survive but THRIVE through all of this.

Here’s the link if you’re interested: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms387-will-automation-really-displace-387-million-jobs-by-2030/

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 18, 2019

Automation will eliminate 375 million jobs by 2030

A storm is brewing.

I believe a lot of the people who are sitting back, living their comfy little lives are gonna have their world flipped upside down in the next 5- 10 years. They’re not prepared. Complacent. Ripe for the pickin’.

I think people grossly underestimate what’s happening.

We’re all frogs slowly boiling in the pot.

Technology changes so rapidly around us, we almost don’t notice.

Then, suddenly, everything we thought we knew vanishes and we’re left to try and pick up the pieces. Think about what’s happening with A.I. and robotics. How long before large swaths of our economies are simply wiped out?

It’s happening already. 

The auto industry in the U.S. has 127,000 industrial robots as of 2016. That’s predicted to explode in the coming years. The World Bank estimates that by 2030 75 to 375 million workers will be out of work due to automation and that 60% of occupations and 30% of jobs could be automated in that time.

But, that’s just one factor.

5G is coming.

VR is here and growing.

I don’t think people appreciate how fundamentally those things will change their day-to-day lives. Remote work for big companies is mildly tenable now. Imagine once your boss can harass you about the TPS reports on your VR headset.

“That’ll be greeeeeat!”

Of course, the short-sighted will snort.

But, there’s a whole string of Blockbuster’s Tower Records’ that say otherwise.

And, even if what I think is going to happen… doesn’t.

Who really questions that we’re in for a ton of disruption in the next 10-20 years? There’s no way around it. And, from it there will be winners and losers. The next Google and Amazon that go from their garage to multi-national corporations.

AND, the BlockBuster’s who go from dominant to dead.

This is the reality of the future we face.

All the more reason to stop relying on someone else for your livelihood. Some “tech-bro” CEO at your start-up or the stodgy old company President who can barely operate his email account.

Anyhoo, believe what you want.

I, for one, am going to continue you building my own little “empire”.

If you feel the same, freelancing is a perfect way to transition. Almost without question, whatever you’re doing now you could do as a freelancer… and probably make more. And, you wouldn’t have to re-learn an entirely new skillset.

You can leverage your current experience.

And, build your OWN business.

Instead of making someone else’s dreams come true.

But, like I said… believe what you want.

If you’re interested, I teach you what you need to know to methodically build your freelance business on solid ground… in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. You can start taking it on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John

January 17, 2019

My freelancing baby daddy

I’ve easily made more benjamins as a result of following the great Ben Settle than any other “guru” or marketing expert out there. In fact, since I first listened to that podcast on that fateful day where I discovered him…

I’ve quadrupled… and am about to quintuple my income.

HE is why I email everyday.

HE is why I stopped hard teaching in these here posts.

HE is the one who cured me of my shiny object obsession.

If my business is my baby… then HE is it’s baby daddy. 

One of the many things he taught me is how to sell without feeling like a class A jack-wad or sounding like a cheesy infomercial. But wait… there’s more… yet, being MORE persuasive and getting BETTER results.

And, as I’ve said, the proof is in the pudding.

It frees you up to be aggressive.

And, be yourself.

And, just focus on making good s!@#.

And, let the chips fall where they may.

And, this stuff is DEADLY effective for freelancers. What I’ve found is most people are sick to death of all the bull-shizen and marketing-speak. They find it refreshing to have someone just be blunt and direct with them.

And, not beat around the George H.W. 

Of course, you’ll always have your jack-wagons.

And, your freebie leeches…

Who whine and moan because you stop letting them suck you dry of value.

Including the ones that’ll inevitably reply to this post.

But, the VAST majority appreciate it.

They respect you more.

Trust you faster.

And, are 10X more likely to buy what you’re peddling.

(And no… it’s not just “be a jack-arse”.)

Anyhoo, I share this approach to selling “elBenbo” taught me in the first few minutes of Lesson 6 in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. Who knows? Maybe, it’ll completely shake up your approach and your business like it did me.

You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John

January 15, 2019

Finding the perfect freelance clients

Back when little JMO was just a freelancing tadpole…

I made the mistake virtually every new freelancer does. That makes freelancing 10X harder than it has to be. Awful clients. Projects you hate. Getting paid pennies. It’s easy to see why so many people give up on it.

My mistake was taking any and every client I could.

I built a weird e-commerce app for a guy.

Jackin’ around with creating PDFs in PHP for another.

Hacking WordPress for yet another.

I didn’t enjoy any of it. So, I procrastinated HARD. Clients got pissed. I had to refund a couple, because I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. And, they weren’t paying me much to begin with.

It was miserable.

Then, I built a membership site for a guy.

And, I really enjoyed it. 

And, I decided to do only that… not out of some genius insight about marketing or freelancing. But, because I was just sick of doing all the other stuff. But, what I discovered is that the more I just built membership sites.

The less I procrastinated.

The more I got paid.

The easier getting clients became.

And, the happier I was.

It all went hand-in-hand.

That’s the trick. The first big step as a freelancer. Figuring out your niche. That “magic” elixir of what you love doing, that you’re good at, that others are willing to pay you to do for them. 

That’s when the freelance “dream” becomes real.

And, it take some thinking…

And, some experimenting.

Trust me, you’ll be 1000x happier as a freelancer if you spend some time figuring out what your niche is… instead of doing what most do, which is either just be a “generalist” who tries to be everything to everybody.

Or, focus only on the muney.

And, try to grunt your way through it.

In any case, once you figure out what your niche is, NOW you need to find those clients… who want exactly what you have to offer. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to consistently find your perfect clients on Upwork…

The largest freelancing platform on the planet.

The exact kinds of projects you want.

The exact budget.

The highest quality clients.

I show you the strategy I use to filter through all the trash on Upwork to find the diamonds in the rough… in lessons 4 and 5 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, it’s more than applying a few search filters.

It’s an entire strategy for consistently finding the best projects at any given time. Since, there’s always so many projects in and out of Upwork.

Anyway, you can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/upwork101/

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 13, 2019

Dirty things I do on my computer

To hear my haters tell it, the things I do to run my business are “dirty”.

I email everyday. I sell my products in every one of those emails. I don’t care one iota about follower counts, open rates, click-throughs or any of the other fake stats most online business owners fool themselves with.

I don’t believe the customer is always right.

I tell my students when they’re being obtuse.

And, I’m never going to stop.

Like I said… dirty, dirty, dirty.

But, I believe something fundamentally. People abhor bullshit. At least, the people I want to work with. They’d rather someone shoot them straight then tap-dance around their feelings and insecurities.

Because, they know that’s the only way to get results.

And to be frank…

If that ain’t you…

Well, don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

I ain’t changin’, toots.

That and I have this “crazy” notion that, as an online business owner, it’s my JOB to promote my business on a daily basis. And, it’s my moral OBLIGATION to tell people about the products I have that will make their lives better.

And, if you truly believe in what YOU do. 

If you truly believe you can help others with your skills.

You, my friend, have the SAME obligation.

There’s a lesson in there about principles > tactics when it comes to business. One I learned from the great, Ben Settle. Take it for what it’s worth, but if you’re a freelancer or online business owner, I recommend taking heed.

My business changed dramatically when I did.

In any case, if you’re a freelancer (or want to be), you can learn more of these fundamentals in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course on SkillShare. Where to find clients, what services to offer, what to charge, persuading clients and more.

If you’re not a gimmick-hound…

Or bright, shiny object chaser…

And, just want someone to cut the bull-ski and tell you what to do.

This course is it.

Anyway, you can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John

January 12, 2019

Surviving the chaos of technology

In the mid-2000s, I got put out of business.

The rise of database-driven websites and applications like WordPress and Joomla made what I did obsolete. I rapidly lost all my clients. And, I had to go back to working at pizza restaurant.

Disillusioned.

Confused.

And, believing I was “destined” to live my life this way.

That’s what the chaos of technology can do. And, it’s happening even faster, today, than it was then. So, how do you survive? More, how can you GUARANTEE you’ll thrive as everything swirls around you?

Can you?

Funny thing is…

It’s simpler now than it’s ever been.

Technology changes.

People don’t.

In any case, this is what I discuss in the latest episode of the John Morris Show. What you’ll hear isn’t gimmicks or flash. It won’t “sound” secksy. But, in the world we live in, today, it’s more effective than ever.

And, it’s dead simple.

Anyway, episode is here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms386-guaranteed-success-the-no-hype-way-to-ensure-you-succeed-in-business-and-in-life/

Give it a listen.

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 11, 2019

The perfect freelance service to offer clients

The offer is crucial.

You can do everything else right, as a freelancer, but if you screw up the offer, you’ll have a miserable time getting clients because they simply don’t want what you have.

This is why I rag on the “generalist” web developer approach so much.

Most FREELANCE clients don’t want that. If they did, they’d hire an employee. They want a specialist to build them XYZ thing. That change in offer, alone, has helped 100s of freelancers I’ve taught.

Here’s a perfect example.

After I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt, I started to get a bunch of people contacting me to build them something similar. So, eventually, I added an official service to my services page called a “Clone”.

And, I sold a ton of these things.

In fact, these were the easiest money I made in my entire career. I had all the code already. So, they only took me a couple days to build. And, people were paying 3K+ for them (and, telling me I should charge MORE).

But, before I built that site for Michael…

I never would have thought of “Clone” as a service anyone would want. Nobody probably would have. But, at that moment in time, it was the perfect offer to a specific group of people.

And, I capitalized.

That’s how powerful “the right offer to the right people at the right time” is.

It will make or break you as a freelancer.

So, don’t just slap up some services you “think” people will want.

Research it.

Think about it.

Spend time on it.

Learnt the skill of crafting compelling offers.

It makes the rest of  your marketing way easier.

And, it will pay big dividends when you get it right.

Of course, one of the big things people ask me when I bring this up is “How?” How do I craft an offer? What do I research? What things am I looking for? How do I know when I’ve got it right?

There’s a litmus test I use.

A way to know when you have the perfect offer.

I used it as a freelancer.

I use it as a teacher.

It’s THE thing I use to decide what to offer and when… even now.

In any case, I teach you what it is and how to apply to your freelance services about 2 minutes into Lesson 3 in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. If you wanna make sure you’re always hitting your freelance offers just right, give it a watch.

You can start taking the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 10, 2019

You have to be lucky to succeed

I’m one of those a-holios who doesn’t believe in luck.

Chance?

Sure.

Luck.

Meh.

I think you make your luck by being disciplined and doing the right things. Then, chance tends to more often fall in your favor. But, it’s not some ethereal thing you either have or you don’t. It’s driven by how YOU behave.

If luck were a thing, I’d be f!@#ed!

Cuz, I ain’t never got none.

I got a childhood full of horrors to prove that.

Soooo, you can imagine how rustled my jim-jims were when I read this:

“Luck is still a factor tho. Can you imagine how homeless someone like Trump would be if his father never gave him that “‘small loan of a miwwion dollars?’”

And, no not because I give two flying f-bombs about ol’ T-dog.

It’s the attitude.

To sit around and cry about someone else’s life. And, become so fixated on it you inject it into random conversations that have nothing to do with that person. And, it actually starts to infect your thinking.

You start to actually believe this “luck” nonsense.

And, that it’s actually important.

And, that you have no control over it.

Where does it all lead? Most often, it leads to the “infected” sitting around, pissing and moaning about how “unlucky” they are and how all these other people “just got lucky” and if “I’d just gotten what they got…”

Wa wa wa!

Here’s my take…

I find successful people tend to be successful no matter their circumstances. And, unsuccessful people tend to make excuses no matter their circumstances. It comes down to deciding who you want to be.

So, who do YOU want to be?

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

That’s my “get off my grass” old man rant for the day.

“Now listen here, sonny boy…”

(You know you just read that in old man voice! :D)

Of course, if you’re feeling motivated to take action based on this and web development or freelancing is your thing. Give the ol’ curricky (curriculum) a try. It’s a helluva dead simple way to actually make this happen.

And, you can get started with it on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/

Later,

John​​​​​​​

January 9, 2019

Systems and science

When little JMO was a wet-eared freelancer…

This was the thing that frustrated me the most. It was like someone was crushing me in a vise-grip. On one hand, you have to spend all your time attending to clients and delivering… while on the other working ON your business to get new clients.

And, it never seemed like I had enough time in the day.

Something always suffered.

Drove me nuts.

My problem, then, is I was just flying by the booty of my denims. I had no plan. No system. Nothing to rely on. I just got up each day and hoped. I’d frantically check my Upwork invites… nothing.

Website quote requests… nothing.

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube… nothing.

And, every day, I’d panic.

Now what?

And, I’d try to come up with some grand scheme to bring a flood of new clients into my freelance business. And, I just kept chasing shiny objects. A new platform or some “trick” some online marketer was peddling.

Day after day.

Until I finally got sick of it.

What I finally got through my thick skull is…

You need a system.

You’ve gotta spend the time upfront to build a step-by-step system for consistently bringing in new clients. No guessing. No hoping. No panicking every day. Just grinding it out. Set it up then run it.

And, that’s what I did.

And, ended up working on projects for Inc. Magazine.

And, Tim Ferriss.

Michael Hyatt and Lewis Howes.

It’s a system.

And, it’s science.

And, it works.

In fact, I’m convinced that once you set up a system like this and run it on a daily basis (mine takes me less than an hour each day), your long-term success is guaranteed. Short-term, things happen.

But, long-term, you can’t lose.

I’ve just seen it time and time again.

All kinds of people…

From all different walks of life…

From all over the world.

The system has worked for all of them.

In any case, this is what I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. How to build a repeatable system for getting new clients. Creating a backlog of job invites and quote requests…

So, you have more control over your freelance business.

You can charge more.

Fire problem clients.

And, not have to worry where next month’s dough is coming from.

Anyway, you can get started with the course on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

See ya over there,

John

January 8, 2019

5 freelance myths that keep you broke

There’s so much BAD advice out there when it comes to freelancing. It’s no wonder people keep falling victim to these stupid myths like, “Freelancing is a numbers game”. No the hell it’s not. Not if you don’t wanna be miserable.

Or, “anyone can freelance”.

Meh.

Maybe, that’s “technically” true because freelancing is a skill that just needs learned. But, that’s like saying “basketball is just a skill” so “anyone can be a pro”.

Yeah no.

Some people are just better suited to freelancing. And, it comes down to what you value most. If you don’t value certain things MOST, freelancing will always be an uphill battle for you. You’d be better off doing something else.

Wouldn’t you like to know that before you waste a bunch of time freelancing when it’s just not in your DNA?

But I digress…

Look, if you really, truly want to be a freelancer, you need to know… it’s getting more and more competitive. I’ve been doing this for 15 years and it’s never been this bad.

Yet…

There’s also more work out there than ever before. The trick is becoming one of those 1% of freelancers that suck up all the work and make all the money.

You see them everywhere.

Upwork. Freelancer.

#1 on Google.

It doesn’t seem fair.

That’s because it isn’t. But, if you want to earn your way into that exclusive group, you flat out CANNOT keep falling victim to the common myths and misconceptions that keep most freelancers broke.

It’s like trying to swim in a pool of piranhas with both hands tied behind your back.

In any case, I made a video where I obliterate five of the most common freelancing myths that keep people broke. Any ONE of these could be what’s holding you back right now.

But, fair warning.

This video is LONG.

And, I’m not gonna jump through hoops and juggle butcher knives to keep you entertained. So, if you need that to pay attention, this ain’t for you.

And, freelancing isn’t either.

Anyway, the video is here: https://freelancemyths.com/

There’s no email sign-up or anything like that.

Later,

John

January 7, 2019

Family as your first freelance client?

I was reading this Instagram post from @martin_lasek.

(I definitely recommend following him, BTW.)

And, his advice was to let family be your first client to help you get comfortable working with clients. And, one thing he said jumped out at me:

“Believe me the fact it‘s family doesn‘t make them an easier client it just makes it easier for you to enter the field of project management, delivering and actually finishing it.”

Man! Is that so true?

And, I’ve been back and forth on this.

Family CAN be a great first client.

And, it can help give you that jumpstart you need.

With something to put in your portfolio.

Experience.

Etc.

But, you really have to be careful. Because you can quickly ruin a relationship and get discouraged as a freelancer if you don’t do it right. So, I’ve developed some “rules” for working with family.

Follow these and you’ll get the experience and portfolio items you need…

Without making Thanksgiving dinner as uncomfortable as a giant in a clown car.

1. They’re a client.

Once you decide to work with a family member as a client… they’re a client. Throw ALL your expectations about how they’ll behave out the window.

Because THEY will.

At the end of the day, they want their thing built.

And, if you don’t deliver or mess it up.

They won’t like it.

So, treat them like any other client.

2. Scope, scope, scope… and then more scope.

The #1 issue you’ll face with family members as clients is scope creep. “Come on, bro!” “Really, sis? You can’t add just this one more thing?” “Come on, son. I did everything for YOU growing up.”

And on and on.

Families are masters of guilt-tripping each other.

They WILL do it to you.

So, take this as a challenge to learn how to manage scope creep.

Keep THEM on task and you’ll have no problem with regular clients.

3. Exit strategy.

What if things go to hell? Bring this up BEFORE you agree to work with them. Tell them this is your first time doing this. You might just screw it up. And, decide on how you’ll exit the agreement if things go wrong.

This will save your relationship with them.

It helps manage expectations.

And, gives both sides a way out.

It’s uncomfortable, but crucial.

So, there you go.

If you do those three things, at a minimum, you’ll be much more likely to have a good experience, learn a ton and build up your portfolio while working with someone you know and trust.

Oh and charge them.

Something.

It can be 10 bucks.

Doesn’t matter.

Make them pay.

You’ll thank me later. 😉

Of course, at some point, you’ll want to move into getting regular clients. A portfolio, experience… those will help a ton. But, you still have to learn the SKILL of getting clients.

Where to find them?

What to offer?

How much to charge?

Persuading them to hire you.

It’s a skill just like learning how to ride a bike or coding out a CSS grid. Once you learn it, you can USE it again and again to get you the clients you want. In any case, that’s what I teach you in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course.

The SKILL of freelancing.

Best part… you can take it without paying a purple nickel over on my free tutorial site here: https://johnsfreetuts.com/freelance

Later,

John
P.S. Or if you prefer Patreon, you can find the course here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/beginners-guide-21994444

January 4, 2019