Close

Is freelancing worth it?

I guess I’m just an a-hole.

My problem was always the other people I worked with. In particular, my boss. I just couldn’t work for someone I knew I was clearly smarter than and have to swallow my pride and run with all their dumb ideas.

Like I said… a-hole.

So, I’ve always known I had to be my own boss.

I’d go insane otherwise.

But, I always believed this naive notion that if I worked hard, did good work and did right by people, things would work out. My employers would see that and I’d be rewarded for it.

That notion got shattered in a hotel room in NYC.

After, I’d just watched one of my employers make a pile of money that I was largely responsible for helping him make… and I didn’t get a penny. In fact, my work was never even mentioned and instead I held doors and passed out cookies.

That’s why I freelance.

And, it’s been worth every second.

But, just statistically, it makes more sense, too. Freelancers, globally make more on average than wage workers (39k vs 18k). And, they have more job security (63% believe having multiple client is more secure than 1 employer).

Sure, it takes some work.

And, there’s a learning curve.

But, ONCE you get it…

There’s no looking back.

And, you have 100% control of your own destiny. You’re not beholden to some tech-bro CEO at a startup or some stodgy, old company whose CEO can barely open their email. It’s all on you.

And, that’s best security I know of.

In any case, it’s not for everybody. But, if you’re tired of your 9-5 or you know you’ll never survive in that world, freelancing is a great way to build your own business and be your own boss.

And, my new freelancing course will teach you how to freelance successfully.

And, you can get access to for nothing over on SkillShare.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

October 12, 2018

NEW course: Beginner’s Guide to Freelance

Just posted a new course.

It’s called the Beginner’s Guide to Freelance and it’s teaching you everything I’ve learned from 10+ years of freelancing to help you get started, grow and be your own boss. Here’s what you’ll learn in the course:

  • How to figure out what services to offer
  • How to make money AND do what you love
  • How to find people WILLING to hire you
  • How to sell your services without having to become some sales genius or slime ball
  • How to build your freelance business as a sustainable business you can sell or hand to your kids and grandkids
  • And, ultimately, be YOUR OWN boss and control YOUR OWN destiny.

This course is for you if you’re an absolute beginner, tired of working a 9-to-5 you hate and are ready to make the leap into freelancing. It’ll show you how to methodically build and grow your freelance business.

Anyway, you can get it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a patron over on Patreon, you can get it here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/beginners-guide-21994444

October 11, 2018

My hands were shaking as I sent the fax

I was 21.

I’d been promoted to manage my first store. I’d been there a couple months and had turned around a failing store. I was set to get promoted in a few months and start making close to 6 figures.

I still remember the day I quit vividly.

I’d been wrestling with the decision for a few weeks.

For a kid like me…

Growing like I did…

This was a golden ticket.

A REAL way out.

But, every day I was there I felt myself dying inside just a little bit more. I KNEW this wasn’t who I was meant to be. I knew I was meant to do more than sell shoes in a little mall store.

So, that day, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

My heart wasn’t in it.

As a manager, I had to fax in a written notice. And, I remember my hands were shaking as I put the letter in and hit the buttons. As soon as the fax stopped and I knew there was no going back…

A sudden rush of dread swept over my body.

“Did I just f!@# up my life?”

As it turns out, that was the best decision I ever made. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and a helluva lot of work… but, I couldn’t imagine how angry and full of regret I’d be now if I hadn’t done it.

In any case…

I imagine you might be in a similar spot… and while I’m cautious about telling someone to give everything up and pursue their dream… I can tell you, while it’s terrifying, it may be the single best decision you ever make.

Something to consider.

Anyway, web development was how I ultimately got out and built the life I really wanted. Could be the same for you. Just gotta put in the work. I’ve got a whole curriculum of coding and freelance courses to help.

And, you can get access to them for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on all that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

October 10, 2018

The bass-ackwards way most people think about making money

I came across this tweet, today:

“If I started a shoe brand, understand that I don’t have to be Nike or Adidas. If I profit 65 off 2,000 people every year, I’m at 130,000. And if I capture .003 percent of the market share my grandchildren would be set for life. What we were taught: 20/hr x 40hours = 800 per week. What I’m teaching: 65 product x 40 sales = 2,600.”

Funny, I found this today.

I’ve been recording a “Freelancing 101” course, which’ll cover the “big rocks” you need to get rolling as a freelancer, and I’ve been looking up a lot of statistics around freelancing vs wage work.

It’s pretty crazy.

The #1 reason people freelance?

To be their own boss/own what they’re building. Goes back to the whole “grandchildren” thing. You can’t hand a job off to your kids. But, a freelance business? Absolutely.

Another…

Globally, the average freelancers earns 39,000/year. The average wage worker makes 18,000/year. Remember this is globally. In the U.S. the average freelancer makes even more… 31/hour, in fact.

Another…

One of the top fears people have about freelancing is job security. Yet, 63% of people who actually freelance say they believe a diversified portfolio of clients is MORE secure than working for a single company.

And, that’s up 10 points from just a few years ago.

In any case, I think it’s just a mindset thing.

For me, I’m building a legacy.

Something I can give to my kids and my grandkids.

So, they NEVER have to go through what I did growing up.

But, to each their own.

Anyway, if you’re ready to dive into freelancing, my Freelancing on Upwork course will teach you how to tap into the largest freelancing platform on the planet, Upwork… and turn it into your personal oinker.

You can get access to the course for free-zy over on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John

October 9, 2018

How to find the GOOD jobs on Upwork

I get this one a lot.

It’s the most common refrain from the “Upwork is a SCAAAAAAM!” folks that troll my YouTube channel. But, there’s also some well-meaning folks who just haven’t learned how to do this, yet.

Anyway, there’s a simple way to weed out all the junk projects on Upwork and get to the good, high-paying jobs… with clients that are easy to work with.

First, log into your Upwork account and run a search for your niche:

2018-10-08_0929

Then, click the “Filters” button. A list of filters you can apply will drop down:

2018-10-08_0930

At a minimum, I recommend setting the “Client History”, “Client Info” and “Budget” filters. You want clients who’ve hired other freelancers and have their payment method verified.

NOTE: before a client can pay you, they HAVE to have their payment method verified. So, clients who don’t have that… can’t pay you.

I then, also, look for projects in my desired budget range:

2018-10-08_0933

Notice that the number of projects went from 1,644 to 669.

That’s still a massive amount of jobs.

And, for what I do, I only need maybe 1-2 per month.

So, I have a hard time when people tell me there are no “good jobs” on Upwork. In MY niche, there’s more than I could ever hope to even BID on, let alone get hired for.

Of course, FINDING these jobs is one thing… now, you need to get hired for them. I see a lot of people who have their opinions on this…

But, I see very few who will tell you THE most important thing…

Which is, your opinion doesn’t mean jack.

That it’s not about some sales tactic or how you write your proposals or what “order” a client sees your proposal in. I mean yeah… pay attention to those things.

But, they don’t mean squat if you don’t know what the CLIENT wants.

You can be the smoothest talker in the world, but if you’re not speaking the client’s language, it won’t matter and you’ll struggle to get hired.

The good thing is clients will TELL you exactly what they want. You just gotta know how to look for it AND prioritize what matters to them most, second most, etc.

Anyway, I show you how to do that in Lesson 6 of Module 3 in my Freelancing on Upwork course. I truly believe it’s the single most important thing you can learn about writing proposals on Upwork (or anywhere for that matter)… because it removes all the guesswork.

You’ll know exactly what to say and your proposals will have much greater impact.

In any case, you can get access to the course for nothing on SkillShare.

All the details on how to do that are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 8, 2018

How to build a freelance portfolio that’ll get you hired (even if you have no past client history)

Your portfolio may be the most important part of your freelancing profile. It’s the thing that concretely PROVES (or not) that you know what you’re doing.

But, it needs to be built a certain way, otherwise it can actually work AGAINST you.

First is visual appeal. Take these stats for instance:

  • When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
  • Eye-tracking studies show internet readers pay close attention to information-carrying images. In fact, when the images are relevant, readers spend more time looking at the images than they do reading text on the page.
  • People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

I know… shocker.

Adding images makes things perform better. But, I’m always baffled by freelancer profiles. A lot of freelancers don’t properly prioritize visual appeal. Your portfolio HAS to look good. Even if, you’re in an industry that lacks it (writers, back-end development, etc).

One way to accomplish that, of course, is to make sure you always build nice-looking things.

But, again, that can be tough in some industries.

One trick I see being used a lot more lately is using “graphical representations” instead of screenshots. Take this graphic for Infusionsoft, for example:

2018-10-07_1120

This is obviously not what the actual interface looks like. But, it gives the impression that it is. And, it communicates the point.

So, get creative with your portfolio. Don’t tie yourself to having to just take screenshots. If you’re a writer, use the graphics from the websites or books you’ve written for. If you’re a back-end developer, show the front-end result. Use graphics instead of screenshots, if necessary.

But, PRIORITIZE visual appeal.

The second big thing is your portfolio needs to function AS proof.

I talked about how to inject proof into your profile overview in this article. It’s critical. But, when you mention projects you’ve worked on in your overview, clients will immediately go to your portfolio to SEE those projects. So, make sure anything you mention in your overview is visually represented in your portfolio.

I’m telling you as sure as I’m sitting here… if you combine that 1-2 punch (overview and portfolio) in the way I outline… clients will stop and give you a hard look.

And, you’ll make a very compelling case.

And, over time, my experience is you’ll win a lot more jobs.

Of course, the big objection I get at this point is…

I don’t have past clients to put in a portfolio.

And, it IS tricky when you first get started. It’s hard to get work without a portfolio, but you can’t build a portfolio without work. And, the main advice you’ll hear is to do FREE work.

That’s fine, but it’s actually not necessary.

There’s a simple (and quicker) way to build your portfolio that doesn’t require doing a bunch of free work for people who often end up being a pain in the a!@ to work with.

I show you what that is in Module 2, Lesson 6 of my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

And, you can get access to that course for nothing.

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

Later,

John

October 7, 2018

The one thing your Upwork profile overview MUST have

There’s actually three.

And, an exact order to put them in.

But, THIS is definitely the most important.

Thing is…

Most clients on Upwork aren’t looking at just YOUR proposal or profile. I mean, you’ve seen this. There’s often 20, 30 or even more proposals on any good job on Upwork. So, they’re sifting through dozens of freelancers.

And, it’s silly to think they’re doing some kind of in-depth technical analysis.

People don’t make decisions that way.

They skim through things rapidly…

And, try to “get a feel”…

Or, look for something that JUMPS out at them.

And, if they click through to your profile, the first thing they’ll see and likely read is your profile overview. Of course, you have about 3 seconds to grab their attention otherwise they’ll move on.

So, you have hit them hard in those first few seconds.

But, you also have to remember that this is a marketplace.

They are there to buy.

So, a lot of the typical marketing advice doesn’t apply.

Telling a story and all that.

They’re past that.

So, what do you hit them with?

PROOF.

But, as soon as I say that a lot of freelancers immediately think of their portfolio.

Or, aren’t sure how to put proof into an overview.

So, let me give you an example:

“Hi, I’m John. You might know me from my work on Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body website, or the site I built for Inc. Magazine, maybe my work on Michael Hyatt’s Platform University or the membership sites I’ve built for Lewis Howes.”

Now, that opening may or may not hit YOU.

But, I know my market.

These people are legends in my market.

I’ve literally had clients say to me:

“I saw you worked with XYZ person. If they trust you, I trust you.”​​​​​​​

That Tim Ferris 4-Hour Body line grabs them by the eyeballs…

And, makes them read.

But, also establishes credibility, authority and, ultimately, TRUST. So, NOW, they’ll actually believe what you say in the rest of profile overview. They’ll rush to your portfolio to SEE what you built for these people.

And, you’re 90% of the way to getting hired…

Because you made them STOP…

And, pay attention to you.

THAT is how you cut through the 30 other proposals.

Now, the big objection I get here is:

“I don’t have those past clients. I can’t do that.”

Mmmmm… I don’t know. You don’t need huge names like that. You don’t need even need past clients, per se. You just need proof that you know what you’re doing. So, “11 years at a web design shop” can work.

Hell, even “Top of my class at college” is better than nothing.

Point is…

Talk about what you’ve DONE.

Anything of note.

Even if you don’t think it’s that big of a deal.

And, if you literally have nothing OR you want to build up what you can put there, get out and do things. Work on projects. Work with clients… for free if you have to. That’s the thing about that Tim Ferriss project.

I didn’t get paid for it.

In the end, they moved away from WordPress…

And, the site I built got replaced.

But, I still built a site for Tim Ferriss.

Put it in there.

Anyway, like I said, this is 1 of the 3 things you need to include your profile overview. Once you have their attention and established credibility, now you need to lead them by the hand to hiring you.

And, that’s what the next two parts do.

I teach those in Lesson 4 of Module 2 in my Freelancing on Upwok course.

You can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John

October 6, 2018

How to get your profile approved on Upwork

When I first started on Upwork, they didn’t do this.

At least, not that I remember.

But, apparently, it’s becoming more and more of an issue because I’ve been getting asked this a lot more lately. And, the thing here is… when you understand what Upwork’s goals are and how it’s technology works to support those goals, the answers here start to become obvious.

Take this, for example:

2018-10-05_1003

In case it’s not clear…

This is an Upwork employee stating that WHO performs a search and WHEN they perform it affects Upwork’s search results. So, if you’ve been thinking that Upwork is 100% rank, this is probably a big eye-opener.

It should tell you two things:

  1. Relevance is a MAJOR factor in how Upwork operates. Search results and suggested freelancer lists don’t just come down to Rank.
  2. Upwork’s algorithms are HIGHLY sophisticated… down to the time of day affecting search results.

So, this goes back to the point I continually try to hammer home about Upwork:

RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE, RELEVANCE!

Upwork’s stated to goal is to match clients with the best freelancers for their project. That last bit can’t be overstated.

What does that have to do with getting your profile approved?

Well, it should tell you a lot about how Upwork thinks about its ecosystem and who they let in. And, when you first apply, you have ZERO rank in their system. So, it is 100% about relevance. Specifically, Upwork looks at what kind of projects clients are actually posting for, how many quality freelancers it has for those projects and where the holes are.

Categories where there’s a lot of job postings but few quality freelancers.

Those are the freelancers they want.

And, who will breeze through their approval process.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they just told you what those categories are?

Well, they kind of do.

Every quarter, Upwork releases a Quarterly Skills Index. Just go to: https://www.upwork.com/press/ and scroll down to the “Upwork Skills Index” link. Scroll down and you’ll see a list of what Upwork has determined to be the 20 fastest growing skills for freelancers in that quarter:

2018-10-05_0940

You think maybe they’d be dying to find freelancers in these categories for their platform?

Absolutely.

Now, I don’t work at Upwork and I don’t know exactly how their application process works, but I’d bet if you were to include a couple of these skills in your application, there’s a good chance you’re going to get approved.

But, John, I don’t know any of this stuff!

Are you sure?

“Rapid prototyping”.

“Product photography”.

“Google Cloud Platform”.

Some of these are vague enough and enough apart of a developer’s day-to-day activities that you could probably get away with listing it. Down the list there’s also “eLearning” and  “Customer retention”. I think almost anybody could list those as a skill you’re, at least, familiar with.

Now, of course, this isn’t foolproof.

It’s possible to list one or more of these skills and still get rejected. Which is why I constantly tell freelancers to stack as many of the cards in your favor as you can. This is just one. In fact, there’s 10 more things you can do when applying to Upwork to help get your profile approved. And, I outline all 10 in my Freelancing on Upwork course on SkillShare.

You can get no-cost access to that course here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

It’s a 35-lesson course that will teach you everything I know about freelancing on Upwork.

Anyway, do with that what you will.

Later,

John

October 5, 2018

You’re an idiot, please help!

This is the weirdest s!@# I get:

2018-10-04_0807

And, this is not unique.

I once had this guy stalk me for about a year. He’d send me these 10-page emails where he spent 9 pages telling me all the ways I was an idiot, then the last page outlining what he needed ME to help him with.

I finally blocked him on email.

Then, he went to Twitter.

Blocked him there and he want to YouTube.

Then, Facebook.

He was obsessed with telling me how dumb I was…

Then, asking for my help.

I still can’t explain it.

Anyway, to his question…

You get work on freelance sites by understanding how clients think, by figuring out how each platform and its algorithms work and by creating a following of people online who are potential clients for your services.

It’s literally how EVERY online business operates these days.

It’s kinda like learning HTML.

Not necessarily anything “magical” about it…

But, you either know it or you don’t.

Anyway, I’ve been at this for over 14 years now and I teach you everything I know about getting freelance work in my Freelancing on Upwork course. AND, you can get access to to for nothing over on SkillShare.

My story and all the details are here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

October 4, 2018

Ajax requests with jQuery.post()

This is one of the reasons I still like jQuery.

I’m sure all the new frameworks do similar stuff, but things like this are so simple with jQuery. Anyway, jQuery.post() is a shorthand Ajax function. It’s the equivalent of doing this:

$.ajax({
type: “POST”,
url: url,
data: data,
success: success,
dataType: dataType
});

So, with it, you can send an Ajax request this easily:

var posting = $.post(url, data);

Then, handle the response like this:

posting.done(function(data) {
// Handle data here
});

Or, all together like this:

$.post( “process.php”, function( data ) {
$( “.result” ).html( data );
});

It really is pretty simple.

Anyway, in my latest course I show you how to grab the form data from an HTML form, send it to a PHP script to be processed, generate a response in JSON and then handle that response in your jQuery to create an Ajax-powered quote request form on your website.

If you haven’t got into Ajax or jQuery, this is a good place to start because you get to see the whole request “loop” in a simple script that you can understand even if you’ve never done any of this before.

And, that’s along with learning about CSS Grid, CSS transitions, a little PHP and more.

Anyway, link to get no-cost access to the course here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Later,

John

October 3, 2018

The fastest way to learn how to code

Taylor just reviewed my latest course on SkillShare:

“I’ve been a fan of John’s content on YouTube, but this was the first course of his I’ve taken and I’m really happy I did! I was familiar with all of the technologies used, but I’m stuck in ‘tutorial purgatory.’ I’m confident that I can build things, but I’m not confident that I can deliver professional results to clients. This course was a great way to work on a real project and gain some confidence and experience. I will be going through John’s OOP course soon. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is familiar with the technologies used and wants to put them together in a practical project.” –Taylor Wilkinson

This is why I’ve started doing more project-based courses recently. They’re not necessarily going to teach you the underlying languages in-depth (which is is why I was down on them before)…

BUT…

They’re very powerful when it comes to developing confidence.

In fact “build real things” is in my top 3 “things to do” to learn to code FAST.

So, if you couple language-specific courses…

With project-based courses like this.

That’s THE fastest way I know to get good quick.

Anyway, you can get access to my latest course for nothing over on SkillShare.

In it, you’ll learn how to submit form data using AJAX, how to build a responsive grid with CSS Grid, how to send a contact email using PHP, how to build a mobile menu using CSS transitions, how to build a website using HTML, CSS, jQuery and PHP and more.

All the details on that are here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Later,

John

October 1, 2018

CSS transitions

CSS transitions are another simple thing you can do that can add some “spice” to your websites. Take this menu animation, for example:

​​​​​We build this in my latest SkillShare course and it not only “looks cool”, but it gives the user important visual feedback. These little things are how you start to make a website or application “feel” intuitive.

Anyway, transition properties are pretty straight-forward:

div {
transition-property: width;
transition-duration: 2s;
transition-timing-function: linear;
transition-delay: 1s;
}

Here’s what each property is:

  • transition-property is the property of the element to transition.
  • transition-duration is how long the transition will last
  • transition-timing-function is the “effect” to use
  • transition-delay is how long to wait before initiating the transition

You can also shorthand it like this:

div {
transition: width 2s linear 1s;
}

This creates an effect like this:

So, like I said… pretty straight-forward.

Now, the menu effect I showed you above also involves using transform and translate3d to create the rotating icon. That can be a bit more tricky and takes some playing around with, but once you get it… it’s pretty simple.

Anyway, if you want to learn all this stuff…

It’s in my latest course on SkillShare.

Along with learning how to use AJAX to submit form data, building a PHP script to process that data and return a JSON response, building a responsive grid system with CSS grid and more.

The link to get no-cost access is here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Later,

John

September 30, 2018

Building a responsive grid with CSS Grid

If you haven’t messed with it, yet…

CSS Grid is pretty handy.

Take this HTML, for example:

<div class=”wrapper”>
<div class=”box”>1</div>
<div class=”box”>2</div>
<div class=”box”>3</div>
</div>

We can easily create a grid like this:

.wrapper {
display: grid;
grid-template-columns: 100px 100px 100px;
grid-gap: 10px;
}

That’ll give you a grid that looks something like this:

2018-09-29_0856

And, you can do even more complex layouts like this:​​​​

2018-09-29_0859

With just a few lines of code.

Again, pretty handy.

Anyway, one of the things I immediately wanted to do was build a Bootstrap-like grid system using CSS Grid. So, I did… and I put it into its own CSS file that I just drag and drop into my different projects.

Would you like that code for yourself?

Well, it’s inside my NEW web design course over on SkillShare. There’s a full lesson on HOW to build the grid if you want to build your own AND, you get access to the full source code I used, so you’ll also get the exact grid I built.

And, of course, there’s a ton more you’ll learn in the course…

Like submitting forms via AJAX.

Building a rotating mobile menu with CSS transitions.

Sending emails with PHP

And, more.

Anyway, link to get the course at NO cost is here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Enjoy!

John

September 29, 2018

NEW COURSE: Build an AJAX-powered freelance website template

Just released a new project-based course.

In this one you’ll learn:

  • How to submit form data using AJAX
  • How to build a responsive grid with CSS Grid
  • How to send a contact email using PHP
  • How to build a mobile menu using CSS transitions
  • How to build a website using HTML, CSS, jQuery and PHP

And, plenty more.

Full source code is included.

You can get access to it for nothing here: https://skl.sh/2xM6Y3l

Later,

John

P.S. If you’re a Patreon supporter, you can access the course here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/21697046

September 28, 2018

I shouldn’t be a developer

My older brother was a programmer.

But, I never really was.

Back in the 90s, he used to program games for us to play our little Apple computer. I remember one time I watched him for about five minutes and was like “f!@# that!”. He’d spend hours just sitting at his computer typing away.

As a kid, I couldn’t understand it.

Kind of funny to think about now.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is…

I was not “born” a developer.

About the furthest from it.

I grew up loving sports. In fact, I didn’t think much about computers until I was almost 20. I used them, but that was about it. I worked construction and sales. I didn’t even start learning web development until I was 23.

If you listen to some know-it-alls out there…

I shouldn’t be a developer.

Yet, here I am.

I make my entire living from the internet. I’ve worked from home for over 8 years now. I get to homeschool my kids. I’m building a house. And, I make more as a web developer than I ever did anything else.

I don’t say all that to brag…

But, to give you HOPE.

I get a lot of people, who grew up like I did… not excessively interested in tech or “born” a developer… or who are maybe a bit older, who ask if they can make it as a web developer. And, the simple answer is “Yes”.

You don’t need to be some prodigy who started at 7.

Or, uber “nerdy”.

Or, have all this stuff just come naturally to you.

I was a 23-year-old, tech-illiterate jock when I started.

I labored for years learning my first language. It took me almost five years. I constantly questioned if I was in over my head. And yet… here I am. THAT is why I constantly harp on “persistence” and “grinding”.

It’s not cause I’m some Gary Vee fan-boy just parroting what he says.

It’s because I’ve been through it.

I’ve done it.

And, I BELIEVE it.

Anyway, do what you want with that. I think those who grew up like I did and are going through what I went through will understand what I mean. For YOU… focus, grind and DON’T QUIT.

You do that.

Long-term… you results are pretty much guaranteed.

Of course, I’m here to help. I’ve got an entire curriculum to TEACH you web development and, in my not-so-humble opinion, help you learn it faster and more deeply than a lot of the training out there.

Because, I focus so hard on the WHY behind everything.

Anyway, that’s for you to decide, but you can get started with these courses for FREE on my free tutorial site at https://www.johnsfreetuts.com. So, there’s nothing to lose.

Get in…

Grind it out…

And, make your life happen.

That’s ultimately what it comes down to.

Later,

John

September 27, 2018

You ever consider suicide?

Got this question:

“This is going to be perhaps the most personal question you’ve received from anyone. With all the remarkable things you’ve experienced as a soldier, with all the setbacks in your personal life, with the setbacks in your professional life – getting the freelance career going et al – did you ever reach a point – and this is the touchy subject – did you ever think of ending it all? Did you glance over to that rope thinking this was your way out? If you do NOT answer this. I FULLY understand.”

It IS personal.

But, I made a promise to tackle this kind of stuff…

So, I’m not going shy away.

If this is too much for you… I get it.

Simply, click away.

So, here’s the thing…

This will probably freak you out about me, but I’ve dealt with suicidal thoughts since I was 9 or so. I’ve told you about the car accident my dad, little brother and I were in. One of the things that happened after that…

Was I got told how close I came to dying…

I don’t know how many times.

Doctors.

Family.

I heard it so many times, I…

I don’t know… it was a lot.

They were well-meaning, but that f!@#s with you as a 9-year-old. Then, not long after that I was molested. It was a friend of the family who we saw from time to time and I was just about old enough to feel something wasn’t right…

But, they were clever.

And, it took me awhile before I fully realized what was happening…

And, that it was wrong.

That just made things worse.

In any case, the closest I ever came was (surprise, surprise) about 6 months after I got back from Iraq. I was dealing with PTSD and it had hit its worst. I was working at a pizza place at the time.

And, we always had an evening rush.

I was an assistant manager…

And, had to make sure everything ran smooth.

It was stressful.

And, my body was out of whack in terms of dealing with stress. I used to go outside after each rush was over, sit down by the dumpsters where no one could see me and just bawl my eyes out for 10-15 minutes.

No real reason why…

Other than I was just overwhelmed.

As the months of this wore on…

I considered a lot of things.

The one day I remember vividly… it was raining. And, I was following this semi-truck back home from work. I lived about 10 miles from where I worked. And, the whole way I had this overwhelming urge to just drive into the back of it.

I could’ve easily passed it.

But, I didn’t.

I just sat there staring at it as I drove.

That’s the strongest I ever felt it.

Anyway, how’d I make it out? Well, thankfully, I had (have) an amazing wife who just kept putting up with me. I had a son I just couldn’t leave. But, somehow I found a way to just draw a mental “red line” around suicide.

No matter what happened…

It just wasn’t an option.

That saved me more than once.

Then, and this is going to sound uber cliche, but I found a deeper purpose in life. For some people, that’s religion or something spiritual. For me, it was my kids. It was a legacy and the kind of life I wanted to give them.

And, how I wanted THEM specifically to remember me.

I still tear up thinking about it.

But, once I had that purpose or “mission” in my life…

That stuff mostly went away.

I have no idea if that’s how it works for others…

Or, if that’s helpful to you at all…

But, that’s my answer.

It’s also partly why… while I generally come across as a curmudgeonly bastard, I deep down actually DO really want to help people. I just also have very little tolerance for excuses. Like do it or don’t… but quit bitching.

Your life is what YOU make it.

Don’t like it?

Change it.

Anyway, take that for what it’s worth.

It’s just how I look at it.

Of course, if you’ve been here longer than a minute, you know the drill… web development was how I “escaped”. And, teaching that to people is how I help. So, if you’re tired of making excuses and want to make it happen…

My free tutorial site will help you get started: https://www.johnsfreetuts.com

And, it costs absolutely zero.

I’ve put my heart and soul into those courses to try and helps others “escape”, as well.

Anyway, do what you want…

But, if you’re life isn’t what you want it to be… do SOMETHING.

Later,

John

September 26, 2018

Can I slap these entitled developers?

Got this comment recently:

“This peaks my curiosity. Lol….what do you mean really discovered it? On base or in the barracks? Also what type of WAN connectivity did they have in the early 2000s in the early stages of the Iraq War? Mostly satellite?”

This came from and email where I’d said:

“It was IN Iraq that I really discovered the internet… Online business… And, eventually web development.”

We did have internet in Iraq in 2004-2005…

As weird as that seems now looking back.

But, it definitely wasn’t great.

Satellite, I believe.

It actually wasn’t until about 3-4 months in, though. And, our “internet cafe” was some framed walls and plywood somebody built inside the warehouses we worked and lived in… old SCUD missile warehouses of Saddam’s.

There were maybe 5 or 10 computers.

The internet was slower than you can probably even fathom.

And, you could only get on in 30-minute intervals.

So, most days when I had free time, I’d stand in line for half an hour to an hour, when I finally did get on the computer, I spent the majority of my time waiting for pages to load. And then, I jump back in line for another hour to get back on.

That’s how I started learning web development.

And, of course…

No Lynda.

No Udemy.

No SkillShare.

Hell, YouTube didn’t even exist, yet.

Can you imagine that?

No YouTube!

So, that’s why I get a little grumpy when I hear developers, today, complain about how hard learning web development is. I sympathize… but only a little. It’s also why I believe if you truly want it, you don’t make excuses like that.

If you really want it…

You’ll crawl over hot coals to get there.

And, if you’re not willing to do that…

I question how much you actually want it.

But, that’s grumpy, old “uphill both ways to school” me.

Although, the truth is, today, you have an entire industry built to cater to helping you learn web development. You have people who will bend over backwards to help you get there. And, whatever you want to do… there’s somebody there to help.

So, there’s really no excuses.

Do you want it or don’t you?

Are you willing to work or aren’t you?

Are you committed or not?

That’s WHY this is the stuff I harp on.

Most everything else is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, take it for what it’s worth. Some of you will get what I mean and realize how simple it all actually is. And, that can be liberating. But, of course, others will do the “I know” thing and sit there still doing nothing.

If you’re a doer, the way I help is my training curriculum…

PHP, OOP, HTML, CSS, freelancing… it’s all in there.

And, you can get access to lessons for absolutely nothing.

Just go to my FREE tutorial site here: https://www.johnsfreetuts.com

It IS work… no doubt.

But, like I said… no excuses.

It’s there waiting for you and won’t cost you a thing.

Soooooo…

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Later,

John

September 25, 2018

Why so many programmers say PHP stinks

I was perusing Quora today and came across this question:

“Why do so many programmers say PHP is a bad language?”

Of course, that ruffled ol’ Johnny’s jimmies, so I clicked to so see some of the answers and this one made me laugh:

“They’re the same people that want to ban bread knives from being sold based on the premise that they’re murder weapons.

“As the saying goes – ‘PHP is so easy to learn that any idiot can use it. Far too many do.’ You can write terrible, horrible code in every programming language out there. In hard to learn higher level languages like C++, your program will crash or simply not work. In PHP, it will mostly work and allow you to hack along until it does.

“Before PHP5 it was definitely a bad language. PHP5 cleaned up most of the really bad stuff. PHP7 fixed some more fundamental issues, and is really honestly a good mature development environment. For legacy B/C reasons a lot of weird shit is still around, like the infamous string type juggling (1+”1e2f” equals 101…), but trying so actually gives notices these days and is on the way to official deprecation.

“If you use a professional, mature and high quality framework like Symfony you’ll be surprised at the elegant, powerful, clean and highly performant code you can write in PHP that will pass every single software engineering quality test you can think of.”

I mean, look.

Do you blame the wrench if a car is built like s!@#?

The hammer, if a house falls apart in a year?

The gun, if a psychopath shoots up– oh wait…

Point is, PHP is a tool… just like any other language. A screwdriver, a hammer a wrench. Which one you use depends on the job. And anyone who thinks PHP is a double-clawed hammer… is the moron, IMO.

Trick is… knowing how to use the tool properly.

(That’s what sh— dammit, there I go again.)

The truth on all this language war stuff…

Is PHP7 officially put this all to bed.

It’s a mature language, at this point.

All the naysayers are just crying at ghosts at this point.

Anyway, if you want go beyond the “script kiddie” stuff and learn how to build mature, professional PHP applications that will allow you to write your own check when it comes to your web development career…

My PHP curriculum on SkillShare can help you get there:

And, you can get access for nothing. Deets at the links above.

If you wanna make PHP your thing, that’s how to do it, IMHO.

Now, it’s just up to you to grind it out.

Later,

John

September 24, 2018

I almost killed this guy

It was Iraq.

I was a Combat Lifesaver, which meant we got a little extra medical training. And, I’d volunteered to work at the on-base hospital, because they were short-staffed. So, whenever we had a “mass casualty” type event, I went up there.

That day, a mortar round landed on base…

Right in the middle of one of the unit’s meeting.

There were over 30 people that got hit.

And, the hospital had 2 doctors and 2 medics.

We had to fill in the gaps on the rest of the casualties. The ones hit the worst went to the doctors and medics. The rest to us. That was the first time I was responsible for someone all by myself.

He had shrapnel wounds all across the front of him.

And, he’d broke his arm.

But, he wasn’t seriously hurt.

The only real risk was him going into shock.

So, the big thing was to get an IV in him, get his wounds dressed and arm in a splint and he’d be just fine. Now, we spent a lot of time practicing IVs. And, I had the distinction of never having missed in the dozens of times I’d practiced it.

But, as I went to give this guy an IV.

I was literally shaking.

I kept trying to calm down…

But, my hands just wouldn’t stop shaking.

I did my best, but I missed. And, as soon as I did, he freaked out. Starting yelling, “Do you know what the f!@# you’re doing?” I’ll be honest, I damn near cracked. That moment was just so intense.

All the chaos around me.

This guy screaming at me.

And, my mind racing about 100 mph.

It was almost too much.

Thankfully, I had a friend. Melissa. She was running around just helping everybody she could. And, she saw the guy freaking out and came over. I told her what happened and she said to me, “You got this. You’re the best of us at this.”

Then, she looked at him and said:

“He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

“Just relax and let him do his job.”

He calmed down.

I calmed down.

And, I nailed the IV on the next attempt. Got him bandaged up and after a few minutes, he calmed way down and we were in the clear. I remember every time I saw that guy on camp after that.

It reminded me of how I almost failed…

And, how someone else almost died because of it.

I had thought I was prepared.

I’d even gotten little cocky because “I never missed”.

But then, I missed when it mattered most.

My point of telling YOU this is… this is the reason behind why I constantly push you to put yourself out there. Apply for that job, take that client, put up that profile. I know it’s not exactly the same…

And yet, it some ways it IS.

Because this is YOUR life at stake here.

And, the truth is…

You can practice in your head all you want.

Prepare as much as you can.

But, nothing will fully prepare you for the day you go “live”.

You just have to suck it up and do it to know what it’s going to be like. For me, after that day, I trained harder than I ever had. It gave me new meaning and purpose. And, the next time a real situation came around… I didn’t miss.

So, I know it’s scary…

And, you likely will fail in some way.

But, you HAVE to do it if you want to move forward.

And, if you stay calm, stay focused and just GRIND…

You’ll get through it.

And, that’s when the world opens up to you. Once you conquer that initial fear, suddenly anything becomes possible. And, you’ll feel a whole new purpose and energy to everything you do.

So, the line is cliche, but it’s also true:

Just DO It!

That said, I had a friend. Someone who helped me through it. I’m honestly not sure what I would have done had she not been there. If you want the same kind of assist, I have a whole curriculum of training…

To teach you everything I know about making this work.

And, help you get over that initial hump of fear and doubt.

And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Details on that are here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

But, whatever you do… go for it!

It’s the only way forward.

Later,

John

September 23, 2018

How I got 39 Upwork job invites a month step-by-step

I’d been on Upwork about a few months.

And, I decided to try this “crazy” thing that ended up being the single most profitable freelancing strategy I’ve discovered. I wound up with 39 job invites that next month. I’d had none the month before and 3 the month before that.

It got so bad, I had to turn off my availability in Upwork.

And, that year I had my first six-figure year freelancing.

When, I started teaching…

I took the exact same strategy and applied it to selling my courses.

And, it’s how I’ve sold 1000s of copies of those courses.

Funny thing is…

Whenever I tell someone what I did, their immediate reaction is “why would you do that?” It IS counter-intuitive in a way, but it’s also a perfect example of how short-sighted most freelancers are.

Would you like to learn this strategy?

And, the reason WHY it works so well?

And, how to apply it to YOUR freelancing business?

Then, check out the first lesson in the new Module 4 of my Freelancing on Upwork course. I just uploaded that module and in it, I show you what the strategy is and exactly how to implement it step-by-step.

It is THE thing that is responsible for the success I’ve had.

And, it’s not rocket surgery.

Just gotta know what it is…

And, how to do it.

Anyway, you can get access to the course for nothing over on SkillShare. As a teacher, I can give you a 2-month, no-cost trial of SkillShare. You get FULL access to all 21,000+ courses on the site, including mine.

Including my Freelancing on Upwork course.

So, sign up, take the entire course…

Cancel any time before the 2 months is up…

And, never pay a penny.

Link to get started is here: https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

Later,

John

P.S. Here’s a recent review from one of my students:

“This class made me just jump into Upwork and land my first job right away!! ♥ thanks” — Lucre Garino

So, I’m not just tooting my own kazoo.

Link again is here:  https://skl.sh/2OIxQrO

September 22, 2018