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The fastest way to learn development

I’ve mentioned before…

How PHP was my first language and it took me nearly five years to learn it to a point I could perform job-wise with it. Yeah, that was in the early 2000s when training resources were pretty much non-existent.

But still…

I made a lot of mistakes.

And with the way things are now…

You can’t afford to spend that much time learning a language.

Hell, React is just 5 years old now.

And, it’s all but taken over the JavaScript world.

In any case, I learned my lesson with PHP and when it came time to learn jQuery (back in the day), it took me about 30 days to get functional with it. These are the things I changed that made the difference.

Scope.

The first thing you need to do is figure out the “what”. The big picture “these are the skills I need to learn” to do XYZ with this language, framework, whatever. Big thing here is to be realistic.

You don’t need to learn everything right now.

Chunk it out.

And, keep the scope small enough you can actually get through it.

Next, you need a metric.

This is maybe the most critical part. Too often, I see developers get caught in this endless cycle of learning. Never really knowing how far they’ve come or where to stop or pause. It’s just on and on.

Waiting for some magic moment…

When they’ll feel “good enough”.

It doesn’t happen that way.

For each “chunk” or “phase” of learning, you need to have some way to determine IF you’ve learned the skills you set out to learn. So, “If I can build an HTML form that successfully submit data to a MySQL database without help.”

Or, “I can build a website template from scratch.”

Whatever it is.

You need some way of knowing you’ve finished that “phase”.

Next is resources.

HOW are you going to learn these skills? YouTube videos, Udemy courses, signing up for a site like Lynda or Skillshare, books. Again, whatever resources you prefer. But, map this out BEFORE you just dive into a bunch of courses.

Make sure they’ll teach you what you need to learn.

And, don’t get distracted by “bright, shiny objects”.

A big part of learning fast is discipline.

Next, is your final plan. “I’m going to learn these XYZ skills. My metric is ABC thing I will be able to do. I’ll be taking the GHI course to learn how. And, my goal is to learn all this in 30 days.”

I’m telling you…

IF you can get that straight in your head BEFORE you start…

You’re going to learn so much faster than you’re used to.

The final thing, then, is to “learn by doing”.

Development is not a spectator sport.

You can only do so much reading or watching. The #1 trait a developer has to have in order to be successful is a willingness to break things… then, figure out how to fix them. That IS the underlying ethos, so to speak, of our industry.

A bunch of people breaking existing things…

In order to make new things.

So, there you go…

Like I said.

You follow what I just showed you…

And, I’m telling you…

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can learn new things.

Speaking of the resources part, this is one of the reasons I really love and put all my courses over on Skillshare. We are in an industry that is constantly evolving and new things are coming out all the time.

And, we have to keep up.

Having a learning platform where you just get access to everything (over 21,000 courses) makes it a lot easier to stay committed to constantly learning and upgrading your skillset… without paying through the nose for it.

Anyway, as a teacher there, I can give you an *exclusive* 2-month free trial of the site. You’ll get full access to all my web development and freelancing courses (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, WordPress)…

Plus all 21,000 other courses on the site.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about it here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John

March 12, 2019

Why you’ll never make it as a developer

I was watching this YouTube video the other day.

Guy was a home-builder and he was talking about siding… some of the stuff he does to insulate and protect homes. And, when you look at his stuff, the finished product, it’s obvious… guy knows what he’s doing.

The homes look amazing.

The videos are really good.

He has several hundred thousand subscribers.

It all seemed amazing.

And then, you check the comments…

What a horror show. 300 response threads of people arguing over what he said at 5:18. Or, one-liners like “Idiot”. Several hundred comments and there were maybe a handful of positive ones.

Even though the like to dislike ratio was extremely positive.

Video had millions of views.

That should tell you something about people.

This is something you’ll have to face as a developer. A client, a co-worker, a customer, friends, family… as someone who creates things and puts themselves out in a vulnerable way for others to evaluate…

The majority of what you’ll hear will be negative.

It took me a long time to figure that out.

I used to get so upset and insecure about it.

When I’d create some thing, proudly show it to a client… and they’d give a quick “Oh nice.” And then rattle off a list of 10 things they’d like changed or “fixed”. It’s tough. But, you gotta learn how to handle it.

Primarily, you have to learn how to ignore most of it.

You can have all the talent in the world.

But, if you let other people’s opinions get to you…

You’ll never make it as a developer.

You’ll drive yourself nuts.

The big key to that is having your own perspective.

Developing your own opinions with time.

Having your own standards.

Being an artist with what you do.

When you do that, you naturally don’t worry what others think.

You only really care about what you think.

Because your standards are higher than theirs.

In any case, take that for what it’s worth today. Just struck me as I came across the video. I remembered all those little moments of pain I went through and how learning to ignore them made such a difference in my career (and life).

Speaking of careers…

If you’re in the learning phase of yours and HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, OOP or MySQL is on the list, let me give you a hand. My curriculum on SkillShare will teach you those things and more.

And, you can get access to it for free.

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

Later,

John

March 8, 2019

What languages and frameworks to learn as a new developer

One of Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Effective People” is:

“Begin with the end in mind.”

When you do, what you need to do now becomes much more clear. It’s the same with your web development career. A lot of people ask me what languages they should learn and what order they should learn them in.

The real answer is:

I don’t know.

That depends on your end.

Here’s what I mean.

If you want to work at Google, for example, Golang might be something you wanted to learn since it’s developed by Google. If you want to work at Facebook, you might dive into learning Hack and React.

But, if you’re a freelancer…

None of those languages will help you all that much.

A lot of start-ups use Node.

Java is big in the corporate world.

See where I’m going with this? Depending on what career path you want to take, different languages are going to be more or less important. The truth of this is there’s no one path… contrary to what some of the know-it-alls in the dev community say.

But, even taking a step back from that.

Frameworks and applications affect this, too.

If you want to work with WordPress, you’ll need to learn PHP.

If you really like Django, then probably oughta learn Python.

Node, Angular and Vue? Learn JavaScript.

The thing to think about is this:

“On a daily basis, what are the kinds of projects I want to work on? Who do I want to work on them for? And, what tools do I want to use?” When you figure that out, the languages you need to learn become obvious.

And no.

Your answers probably won’t be perfect the first time.

You’ll try this and hate it.

Realize you love this other thing you thought you’d hate.

Etc.

But, if you just keep assessing it.

Keep asking the right questions.

You’ll settle into a groove.

The one thing you absolutely DO NOT want to do is waste your time trying to find the “one right path” or over-worrying about career prospects and all that. COBOL is almost 60 years old and largely obsolete.

Yet, there’s still over 1,000 COBOL jobs on Indeed.com right now.

In any case, if you think it through and HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL are in your “stack”, then check out my curriculum over on SkillShare. I’ll teach you all that and you can get access to it for free.

Link for all the details on that is at: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare

Later,

John​​​​​​

March 7, 2019

What tricks most NEW developers

There’s a saying:

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.”

Wise words particularly for new developers. By far, the most common questions I get about becoming a developer relate to getting started… what languages to learn, courses to take, tools to install, etc.

But, the truth is…

Picking “right”, on any of these questions, is not what separates successful developers from unsuccessful ones. It’s having A plan and executing on it, not spending forever devising the “perfect” plan.

Take Lynda.com, for example.

When Lynda Weinman first started the site back in 1995, it was built to let her communicate with people who’d bought here book, Designing Web Graphics. By 1997, it morphed into a sales site for in-person classes.

It wasn’t until the dot-com crash that they considered doing online video.

In 2001, after the crash, business started to slow up.

They were forced to lay off 75% of their staff.

And, THAT’S when Lynda.com, as you probably know it, was born. Then, in April of 2015, it was acquired by LinkedIn for 1.5 billion. Point is, her plan wasn’t perfect. But, she got started.

And evolved and adapted along the way.

THAT is the name of the game.

So, early on in your career, you should be dabbling.

Trying all sorts of things to figure out what you really enjoy…

And, what you’re really good at.

ACTION brings clarity… not endlessly thinking and re-thinking.

In any case, this is why SkillShare is so appealing to me, especially for new developers. Unlike Udemy and other similar sites, you get access to the entire library of courses for a low monthly fee.

So, you can dabble without worrying about wasting a bunch of money.

Or, obsessing over which courses to take.

It’s like the “Netflix for online learning”…

And, a perfect fit for today’s constantly-evolving technology environment.

Anyway, if you wanna give it a try and get FULL access to all 21,000 courses, including my own web development curriculum, I can give you an *exclusive* 2-month free trial of the site.

Link with all the details on that are here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare.

Later,

John

February 11, 2019

How to start your web development career on a rock-solid foundation

Two terms you’ll want to write down for today.

First one: Skill-Stacking.

You know this, but probably haven’t thought of it this way. A lot of developers ask me what they should learn. The real answer: ALL of it. The more skills you stack in your arsenal, the more valuable you’ll be to employers.

And, more importantly, the more adaptable you’ll be when s!@# changes.

And, s!@# changes… a lot.

You shouldn’t be stingy about what you learn in the beginning.

Learn it all.

Stack, stack, stack.

Second term: Credibility-Stacking.

This one I don’t think near as many people think about. A lot of times you’re just desperate to get a job or get paid to do this. But, you need to have discipline. And, patience. Stacking your credentials properly early on will make this WAY easier.

There’s several different “categories” of credibility to stack.

It starts right off the bat with your training.

If you’re going to a college or university, pick one with a prestigious name. Or, clout in the industry you want to get into. Going to the #1 tech school in America sounds way better than going to A school with A tech program.

Think strategic right from the start.

Next companies and clients.

Really think about who you work with.

Pick companies with a brand name or clients who are well-known. Yes, I know… you gotta GET those jobs. But, here’s a simple one. IBM tends to hire like crazy, hires junior developers with little experience and has a good brand name.

So, if all else fails… apply there.

Next is volume.

Saying you’ve built 113 membership sites has a certain ring to it.

An whiff of credibility.

You don’t need to tell anybody that 60 of those were sites you built just to build so you could say you built 113. Actually build them and do the work… but a build is a build is a build is a build.

In any case, hardly anybody thinks about this stuff.

But, the start of your career shouldn’t be about money.

It should be skill-stacking and credibility-stacking.

Do it. Do it aggressively. Do it right.

And, by year 5… things will start getting REAL easy.

AND THEN, the money will come.

Anyway, you know the drill. I’ve got a curriculum of coding courses if you need help learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP or MySQL. CSS Grid, AJAX, CSS transitions, OOP. Whatever. It’s all there.

And, you can take it for nothing on SkillShare.

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

Later,

John​​​​​

February 7, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blood-sucking freelancers

Fair warning if you’ve never been told.

It’s important to never get too close to your clients.

It’s a recipe for certain disaster.

Something I learned the hard way…

I had this client once I really liked. When we started, she was super laid back and easy to work with. She wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. And, she was actually willing to listen to me and my thoughts on her site.

And, I felt like she really liked me, too.

She always was pleasant when we talked.

Always said nice things.

Even as we worked through a stickier issue with the site, she was great.
Then, one day, she forwarded an email thread from one of her staff members about some question they had.

And, I was tracing back through the thread to get some context…

And, that’s when I saw it.

The most vile, explitive-laced paragraph I’ve ever seen a client write.

Calling me every name in the book…

And, spewing venom like I’d never seen.

It was like a knife to the back.

And, a hard lesson.

It’s amazing how quickly a client will turn from “loving you” to telling everyone they know you’re a “blood-sucker”. It can happen in a heartbeat.

In any case, my solution was simple.

I immediately fired her.

Copied that paragraph, sent it to her and said, “I’m done”.

She begged for forgiveness.

Even tried to hire me, again, several months later.

Apologizing profusely.

But, nope.

No dice.

I refused to let her hire me.

I can forgive, but I don’t forget.

Of course, I could fire her and reject her constant overtures because I had a backlog of clients waiting to hire me. And, I had that backlog because I’d created a system for GETTING those clients.

Makes things a helluva lot easier when you freelance.

And, you don’t gotta “swallow your pride” with s!@#%y clients.

Anyway, I teach you how to build that same system in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. And, you can get access to it for nothing over on SkillShare. All the details on how are here: https://skl.sh/2pOiF5g

Later,

John​​​​​​​

November 28, 2018

I’m an uneducated moron

That’d be the conventional wisdom.

I only have my H.S. diploma.

No college degree.

Certainly no fancy-pants Master’s or doctorate. I’m just a lowly web developer building “boring” web sites for equally boring and uneducated people. To hear the know-it-alls tell it, anyway.

But, as I sit here…

On the land I own free and clear…

Looking at the house I’m building (and own free and clear)…

Pondering all the student loan debt I DON’T have…

I can’t help but think:

“This moron has done pretty damn well for himself.”

Some might call that arrogant. Other (smarter) people might see the lesson in it. Regardless, I think it’s becoming more and more obvious what a raw deal college is. And, specifically, talking about tech…

In my humble, but accurate, opinion…

There’s very few tech jobs that actually require a degree.

Sure, a few here and there.

But, far less than the screechers who will send me hate-mail about this would like you to believe. In most cases… a boot camp, an online course, hell just YouTube somtimes… will not only be cheaper, but give you a better education.

That and you don’t have to worry about all the “safe-spacers”…

And, purple-haired weirdos that tend to populate colleges these days.

In any case, do what you want…

I’m just giving you an alternate perspective.

You can be plenty happy…

And, do more than fine financially…

Without a bunch of letters behind your name.

(And, a bunch of zeroes in your debt column.)

Of course, as you know, MY coding curriculum is available to you for ONE zero… as in… zip, nada, zilch-o. Object-oriented programming, HTML and CSS, JavaScript, PHP, freelancing, Upwork and much more…

The whole shabang for nothing.

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

Later,

John

November 26, 2018

The BEST Black Friday deal

This time of year, boy!

Cracks me up. I assume your inbox was pounded with about 1000 Black Friday emails like mine was. CTRL+A. Delete. 😀

I used to HATE this time of year.

In fact, it was right about this time, several years, ago I hit rock bottom. I remember, I was going into town to get the kids some gifts. And, I already felt awful because they weren’t really getting much.

Because we were basically broke.

And, I also had this thing I really wanted.

And, I was driving, trying to figure out how I could do both.

And, for a brief moment, the thought of just getting what I wanted and saying “Ah, the kids have enough” flashed in my mind. And, it was like instant shame. I couldn’t help but think of my dad.

He used to do that s!@# to us all the time.

Christmas.

Birthdays.

He’d go “shopping” for us and come back with all this stuff for him…

And, little to nothing for us.

So, I felt like a complete dirt bag when that thought even crossed my mind.

And, that was the moment I said “NEVER AGAIN!”

Never again would I feel this way.

I will NOT become my dad.

And, I made a bunch of changes in my life.

And, I fortunately HAVEN’T been in that position since.

But, the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way is persistence. Which is why I harp on it so much. It’s not effort or hard work or intelligence. It’s simply the ability to keep moving forward.

No matter what comes your way.

Stay focused on what you want.

And, continue to pursue it.

In the face of anything and everything.

It’s hard as hell, sometimes.

But, it ALWAYS pays off.

So, if you’re feeling it this time of year. And, things aren’t exactly how you might wish them to be. Remember…

NEVER AGAIN!

Steel your mind and get after it.

Anyway, one of the things that trips people up is learning how to get paid to do all this. It’s one thing to learn how to code. It’s a whole other to learn how to get PAID to do it. AND, paid well.

Becoming a freelancer was one of the things I changed when I hit rock bottom.

And, it’s been a god-send.

Completely changed my life.

Once I learned how to do it right.

Anyway, I’ll teach you everything I’ve learned along the way, becoming a 6-figure freelancer, in my Beginner’s Guide to Freelance course. Best part is you can get it for nothing over on SkillShare.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Now, THAT is a “Black Friday” deal you can’t beat.

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

Later,

John

November 23, 2018

How to ask for a raise as a developer

Don’t just go in and ask.

Have a plan. And make sure your plan includes these three things… I learned from my brother as he went from 40K to over 110K in about 2 years:

Later,

John

November 21, 2018