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JMS389: I Grew My Business 500%

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

When it comes to freelance marketing, this is the most important thing I can teach you. It’s not sexy or flashy. In fact, it’s a lot of hard work. But, it’s the one thing I know I can rely on year after year, no matter the scenario. And since I started doing it, my business has grown over 500%. So, take it for what it’s worth to you.

Give it a listen here: https://www.johnmorrisshow.com/jms389-i-grew-my-business-500/

March 20, 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 Find Your Niche In Web Development

Got this comment on Ytube the other day:

I have trouble with getting a job. I know many web technologies, but i’m not expert in any of them. I can’t get enough experience in one technology, just by learning by myself.

Bonus points if you can guess what the mistake is.

Here’s a hint…

Also got this comment:

1 Year ago, I was a php noob and I had no clients. Today, I have 15+ clients and I am working on 4 new client sites right now. I am booked until 2017, and I have been having to actually turn down clients because I am too busy. Take a few weeks to build 2-5 Dummy sites, put them in your portfolio, find a niche. The clients will come.

What does developer B know that developer A doesn’t?

Well, you know me… I’m a bit of a tease.

It’s all in my latest podcast right over here:

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to all the perks mentioned in the show as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Or enroll in my new PHP 101 video course and get the exclusive interview I did with Mike P.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

October 7, 2016

How to ACTUALLY Make Your App (or Website) Intuitive

My poor wife had an iPhone for a number of years.

And (as I’m sure you’ve experienced with your friends and family) every time something went wrong, I was apparently Mr “Know How to Fix Everything”… and she’d come to me to fix it.

And, every time I’d walk away with a strong urge to throw the thing against the wall.

And, it was always for the same reason.

The damn “back” button.

Or should I say… lack thereof.

As a long-time Android user, I’m used to the re-assuring embrace of the back button there to hold me tightly and tell me everything’s going to be okay when I need to “go back”… for any reason.

iPhone?

Just the cold shrug of nothing-ness.

Ah, but it’s “intuitive”.

The intuitivity of the intuition we used to intuitively design our brand new thing is… well intuitive.

It’s become such a buzzword, it’s almost lost its meaning. People throw it around about all sorts of definitely-not-intuitive applications. In fact, any new major product release is guaranteed to include a full section dedicated to its increased “intuitiveness”.

But, ya know…

That word actually has meaning. And, it’s quite important for us web designers and developers. We actually should know what it means… and not throw it around like angry monkey poop.

Well, have no fear compadre…

I peered deep into the “dark” history of the web and uncovered the serious discussions web designers and developers used to have about “intuitivity-ness” before it became a meaningless buzzword.

And, I pulled out an approach to interface design that’s…

Well, intuitive.

And probably something you’ve never heard before.

If you want a clear picture of what it actually means to make your application or website “intuitive”, how precisely to go about achieving it and a framework for consistently improving it… check out today’s podcast:

It’s very intuitively explained (if I do say so myself).

Listen in here:

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to all the perks mentioned in the show as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Or enroll in my new PHP 101 video course and get the exclusive interview I did with Mike P.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

October 3, 2016

Is PHP Dead?

Critics have been saying PHP was dead for years now.

But, here it is… still tickin’ away… picking up market share and powering the web. Matter of fact, one of the harshest criticisms I’ve seen on PHP… comes from a WordPress blog. Ya know, built on PHP.

But, with the rise of frameworks like NodeJS and the resurgence of Python…

Has PHP seen its last days?

Should you invest time learning it?

Or, will it be obsolete in 5 years?

I tackle that in today’s podcast. Give it a listen

Plus, I snuck in a damn good “treatise” on freelancing. Worth listen in my totally bias but humble opinion.

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to all the perks mentioned in the show as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Or enroll in my new PHP 101 video course and get the exclusive interview I did with Mike P.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

September 6, 2016

Job-Getting Secrets From the Former CEO of Burberry

Angela Ahrendts is the former CEO of Burberry… a 3.2B/year company with over 10,000 employees. She’s credited with resurrecting the brand and raising the value of the company from 2B to 7B during her tenure. She was even reported to be the highest paid CEO in the UK as of 2012.

She’s since left and went to Apple.

She was hired as the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores and is the highest paid executive (according to SEC filings)… making even more than CEO, Tim Cook.

While still at Burberry, she did an interview with Sal Khan of Khan Academy.

And, he asked her directly what does she look for when hiring new employees and when looking for employees to promote within (at the time) Burberry. Guess what she didn’t say.

She didn’t say talent…

She didn’t say genius…

She didn’t say any of the things you might immediately think.

And, what she did say is a sobering lesson in what really matters to companies like this. And, frankly, should have you “jumping out of your chair” excited if you’re looking to breaking into the tech industry.

Because it proves you can get started much sooner than you think.

You don’t need to wait until you have a degree.

You don’t need to wait until you learn this XYZ set of skills.

You don’t need to wait until you’re ultra-confident.

You can start now.

Anyway, I break down the interview and let you listen in to exactly what she said in the latest episode of the podcast. Learn what she says you should focus on and the tricks I’ve learned to leverage all this to your advantage right here:

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to all the perks mentioned in the show as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Or enroll in my new PHP 101 video course and get the exclusive interview I did with Mike P.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

August 15, 2016

How Jerry Seinfeld Made His Millions

In 1998, Jerry Seinfeld made $267 million from the final season of his show, Seinfeld.

On the way out, NBC begged him to do a 10th season… at 22 episodes at $5 million per episode.

He declined.

Yet, to this day… he makes $32 million per year in syndication deals.

One night, backstage at an event, comedian Brad Isaac asked Jerry if he had any tips for a young comic.

This is what he said:

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to all the perks mentioned in the show as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Or enroll in my new PHP 101 video course and get the exclusive interview I did with Mike P.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

August 12, 2016

How to Answer IT Job Interview Questions

She stopped me mid-sentence and said:

“Ok look. I’m really not supposed to do this, but I don’t want you to leave the building. Wait right here for a second and I’m going to see if I can get this expedited. Wait one minute.”

I sat there for a few minutes wondering, “what the hell?”

She finally came back and said:

“Ok, come with me.”

We walked back to the HR department and she sat me down next to a desk and said:

“This is [Sally]. She’s going to process everything for you. We’re going to hire you right now. We don’t normally do this, but I don’t want you to leave and go somewhere else. She’ll give you all the details and if you accept the offer, you can start Monday.”

I about fell outta my chair.

At the time, I was desperate.

I was about 3 days back from Iraq. I had no money because my soon-to be ex-wife had taken all my savings. I had no car. I had no place to live… and, I was just a few days from being out on the street.

Her words were a god-send.

Fast-forward 11 years…

And, here I am writing a blog post that’ll bee seen by thousands of developers; having worked in IT those past 11 years; been full-time at home the last six years; and making my living doing what I love.

That’s how much a good interview can change your life.

In today’s episode of the John Morris Show, I’ll tell you what I said in that interview to get her so excited and hire me on the spot. And, how you can craft your own narrative to get the same reaction.

Once you learn this, it’s a power you can wield in any situation.

And take control of your own destiny…

And prove all the doubters in your life wrong…

Listen to the episode here:

If you get value, be sure to like it and also share it with the developers you know so we can reach as many as possible and help them to make their IT career dream come true, as well.

And, get access to my new “Ace the Interview” series as a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

August 8, 2016

The Embarrassing Secret Big Tech Companies Don’t Want You To Know

[saf]

I remember walking into the meeting sure the jig was up.

I’d just got hired back to a company that several months earlier I’d walked out on mid-shift. And, not only did they hire me back… but I’d be getting a “promotion” to a management position.

I’d wondered why they never asked about it during the interviews.

Turns out a “glitch” in their system had failed to identify me as a former employee. But, it was fixed and now, just a couple days into my new job, I’d been found out.

So, I walked into a meeting with the head of HR.

I wasn’t told about what… but when I’d been told the head of HR wanted to talk to me, I had a hunch. And when I saw his face, I could tell he was intent on catching me.

And, running me out of the building.

Embarassed, I’d “slipped through” his foolproof “process”.

I’ll never forget the trap he tried to set. He said:

“So, how have the first few days been going? What did you think of the factory having been through it the last few days?”

Immediately, I knew this was a trap.

So, I said:

“Yep, it’s good. Clean. Well-run.”

I knew to say as little as possible.

And sure enough, he immediately snapped back:

“Was it the same as it was the first time you went through it… when you worked here before and walked out?”

If you could have seen his face.

Like a 5-year-old who just told a fart joke.

He thought he had me dead to rights.

But, I knew confidence and keeping calm was the way through this kind of thing. That blunt, shocking honesty was the only way I was going to save my job.

So I said… very calmly without flinching:

“Yeah, it’s about the same.”

Bahahahahaha!

I thought he was going to explode. Suddenly, it was his face turning red… him scrambling for words… him thrown completely off-guard. And, I knew it was over. In fact, one of the other ladies in the room almost started laughing.

He stumbled through trying to grill me, but he was done.

I hadn’t flinched.

Eventually, he sent me back down to the floor, wrote up his little report and I stayed on… as a manager. I had to talk to my boss about it later that day and he told me formally they were keeping me on.

And the reason WHY is what’s important.

He said…

“Because you ace’d the interview. We believe in you.”

Now, think about that…

You have an employee who, in his actions, has walked out on your company mid-shift AND you could make an argument lied on his application in order to get hired. (Although I didn’t. I actually addressed the situation head-on in my cover letter… but apparently they didn’t read that.)

But, you keep him because of what he said in an interview.

That should tell you something about companies like this.

And, this was no small fry…

This is a company, who around that time, was on Forbes’ 500 Largest Private Companies and 100 Best Companies to Work For lists. This was a big company who you’d think would know better.

So, what does this tell you?

It shows how desperate these companies are for good employees. So desperate they’ll overlook what someone has done and rely on what they said because they “ace’d the interview”.

These companies WANT to believe.

And, this is the big secret they don’t want you to know:

They need YOU more than you need them.

And, if you can say the rights things… in the right way… and tell them what they want to hear and make them believe it… they’ll ignore almost everything else to hire you.

If they’ll ignore me walking out on them…

They’ll ignore maybe you not having all the skills they’re after…

They’ll ignore you being fresh out of college…

They’ll ignore you being a little older…

If they can ignore blatant, open betrayal and dis-loyalty… there’s a lot they’ll ignore. But, only if you “put on a show” for them in your interview and sweep them off their feet.

And, no… this isn’t about lying or being slick.

I never lied once in my interview.

You don’t need to bust out your fake smile and your hair wax to do this. In fact, I’m probably grumpier than most people you’ll interview. But, I know how to make them believe.

How to tell them what they want to hear in a way they’ll believe.

Anyway, the first lesson in my “Ace the Interview” series is now up over on Patreon. In it, you’ll learn what I did to sweep this company off its feet and get them to hire me… even though I’d blatantly walked out on them just a few months before.

This is for you if you’re someone who’s not interested in freelancing.

If you’d like to get hired with a tech firm and work a simple 9 to 5, making good money, doing something you enjoy… but you’re worried nobody will hire you.

They will.

I’ll show you: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

Go there and sign up as an “Exclusive Courses” supporter and Lesson 1 should be one of the first things you see in your Patreon feed.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

August 5, 2016

How to Escape Your Day Job and Become a Full-Time Web Developer In Just a Few Months

[saf]

Several years ago, my little brother came to me desperate.

I remember it distinctly. He had to drive to my house in a beat up 1970’s truck. On the way, it broke down twice so he had to stop, fix it on his own, then continue onto my house.

I even had to send him some money halfway through so he could make it down.

Needless to say, he was broke, frustrated and terrified for his future.

He was also 3 years into his Computer Science degree. And, he’d convinced himself he had to finish that degree before any tech company would hire him.

Now, before I get into what we did…

I have to make sure you understand something. I’m somewhat of an “interview assassin”. Meaning, I have a history of slaughtering interviews and getting hired for jobs I had no business getting hired for.

I mean, way in over my head.

In fact, I once even got hired back to a job that I had walked out on in the middle of the day… with them knowing full well what I’d done… because I nailed the interview.

In fact, the new job was a promotion!

So, I have a certain kind cockiness when it comes to this.

I truly believe I could get hired for any job if I can get the interview. So, when he told me he thought he had to wait until he had his degree… I bluntly told him: “bulls!@#”.

And, I’m telling you the same.

So, when he finally got to the house…

I did a couple things. I made him start freelancing. If you haven’t heard this from me, yet… EVERY developer should freelance at some point in their career.

Nothing can replicate that one-on-one client experience.

And, your career will benefit tremendously from it.

Anyway, that experience of freelancing gave him confidence. He saw he could, in fact, get paid to code… that he could deliver… and he could make clients happy.

Second, I made him start applying for entry-level positions at big tech companies. Now this goes back to the “dirty secret” of big companies like this… tech or otherwise.

They’re desperate for good employees.

Good people are always hard to find.

It’s the #1 problem of every single company out there. And the bigger the company, the bigger the problem. Any company’s growth is limited by its ability to find good people.

So, for entry-level positions… they know they have to train you.

They’re starved for intelligent, reliable, creative people.

Anyway, one of the companies my little brother applied to was IBM… for an entry-level Java Application Developer.

Now, he didn’t know a lick of Java.

But, I told him how to ace the interview.

So, he went in… did exactly what I told him and got the job. And, started out making 40K/year. Now, that’s a modest salary but for a broke college student… it was a life-changer.

Now just 4 years later, he’s making a six-figure income.

And, he did finally get his CS degree but it had zero effect on his career or his salary. It was just “nice to have”.

So, if you’re one of those people that thinks you have to wait…

Wait until you get your degree…

Wait until you’ve learned this or that set of skills…

Wait until you’re more confident…

Or whatever barrier you’ve placed in front of yourself…

You don’t.

In any case, I’m going to be releasing my “Ace the Interview” training over on Patreon this month. In it, I’ll tell you everything I told my little brother and everything I’ve used for years to ace interviews and get hired for jobs I never should have.

To get it, head yonder and become a supporting listener on Patreon: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

August 1, 2016

The REAL Reason You’re a Web Developer

[saf]

My son, Davin, is a bit of a rebel.

He’s the kind of kid will give you that “suuuure” look if you say something he thinks is bunk. I’ve always had to have good reasons for the things I do with. He’s a skeptical, independent-thinking dude. And, I love him for it.

So about the third time he’d gotten in trouble at school…

For not following “directions” (orders)… I knew I had to do something different. He’s just not a “stand in line” type of guy. And, the last think I wanted to do was kill his independent spirit so he could “go along to get along” in school.

So, we started homeschooling.

Now, a few years before that… that kind of thing wouldn’t have been possible for me. But, learning how to code gave me the freedom to work from home and opened the door for me to homeschool.

It’s the most important benefit for me.

I grew up with five brothers. So, getting the opportunity to be home all day with my kids… takes me back to those happy memories. I’d trade all the money in the world for that alone.

And, I think that’s true for a lot of developers.

We take about money a lot… but money is just a means to an end. It’s a tool for getting what we really want. And, I think it’s critical that you get in touch with what you’re really after.

A stack of green paper can only motivate you so much.

But your kids?

Your spouse?

Your future?

You know, one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to “begin with the end in mind”.

What is it you’re really after?

What do you want ultimately?

A lifestyle?

Financial security?

More time with loved ones?

Are your driven by self-mastery?

Is it simply food on the table?

Is it knowing you did it all on your own?

What drives you?

Answering that unlocks a fountain of limitless energy you need to put in the work that’s required to get there.

I bring this up because I see and hear from so many developers that are suffocating with doubt. They’re questioning their ability. They wonder if they can really do this.

You can.

It’s simply about mastering moments.

Moments of doubt. Moments of fear. Moments of uncertainty. Those who master those moments, make smart choices and take action… are the ones who win.

Look, there are no guarantees.

I think a lot of people think they’re “destined” for success. That “one day” it’s just going to happen.

It won’t.

You have to make it happen. Not to be overly cliche, but you have to grab life by the horns and take what you want. Nobody is going to give it to you. It won’t just “happen”.

Anyway, my primary job is to inspire and motivate you.

I know, I know… you just want the damn code! But, as the saying goes:

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

So, know that you can do this.

Look, if you’d ask my classmates what I was “most likely to be” in 20 years… it’d probably have been dead or living in some trailer park somewhere. Because that’s how I grew up.

If ol’ Trailer Park Johnny over here can get to the point of working from home and homeschooling my boys… as a coder… there’s zero doubt in my mind that you can to.

It’s a matter of focus (beginning with the end in mind)…

And work ethic.

Speaking of focus…

One of the big mistakes I see developers make is to make learning how to code harder than it has to be. For example, I see a lot of developers who think the list of skills they need to learn to master PHP is pages and pages long.

It’s not.

I’ve said this before, but there’s a foundational set of skills you need to learn in order to be “functional” as a PHP developer. Meaning, you can execute on projects and get paid.

When you focus on learning only these skills first…

You’re able to start getting paid to code much faster than you probably ever thought… because you haven’t set an unattainable bar for yourself to reach before you “allow” yourself to take paid work.

You can start now.

And start builiding that life you really want.

Instead of slaving away at some job making somebody else rich.

Anyway, you can learn these skills in my FREE PHP course at https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/learnphp. Check it out.

P.S. If you liked this post, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 29, 2016

The Future of Mobile and iOS 10

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[saf]

Today’s gonna be a little diddy about a fella named Joe Green.

You don’t know him… which is the point. Joe was a college roommate of the Zuckster. And, I know you all love Facebook and have watched the scene in The Social Network where Zuck and his roommates built FaceMash… which was like a dumbed down version of “Hot or Not”.

Our pal, Joe Green, helped build that.

He also helped with the first iteration of Facebook.

But like a dummy, he decided to stay in school when Mark and his Facebook cronies decided to move to California and build Facebook full-time. Now, Joe-Joe did eventually wise up and nab some Facebook shares (so he did still make few bucks on its IPO) but it’s estimated he lost 400M smackers by not going with the crew to California.

Now, I’m not here to point and laugh (ok, maybe a little)…

Or go total d-bag on his decision.

But, it is a lesson in missed opportunities my padawan. And, I think you are facing a similar kind of decision when it comes to mobile.

I just look at my youngest boys. One is 4 and one is 8.

And complete tech henchmen.

I can’t remember the last time they watched actual TV like we used to “when I was a kid”. It’s been years. YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc… that’s their “TV”. And, it’s all on their phone.

And, they’re complete phone snobs. Face buried in ’em everywhere they go.

Now, can you imagine when those kids are 20, 30, 40 years old?

(Ugh, kids these days…)

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a bunch of fancy-sounding statistics by some fancy organization that looks into this stuff… that also happen to be true and should be a slap across your coder face:

  • Americans now spend more time consuming digital media on their phones (51%) than they do on desktop (42%).
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone and 46% of those owners say their smartphone is “something they couldn’t live without”.
  • 87% of millennials always have their smartphone with them and 78% spending over 2 hours a day using their smartphone.
  • 84% of 13-17 year olds own a mobile phone and 83% of 6-9 year olds use a tablet.
  • 65% of U.S. smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up and 64% check them within 15 minutes of going to bed.

We are smartphone crackheads.

And, our kids even moreso. Now, we could do the old man “get off my grass” be-grudging of all this. But, your feels don’t matta. This is happening. You can shake your fist and screen obscenities into the sky all you want… it’s still happening.

And, as a developer, you need to pay attention.

Otherwise, you could end up a big loser like Joe Green…

Or the thousands of others who’ve missed out on the “shoulda hadda V8” trends we’ve seen throughout history.

Now if you’re a tech newshound like yours truly, you’ll know iOS 10 is projected to launch in the fall of this year. And, Apple just released it’s second iOS 10 public beta… which means the release is probably on track for around September.

And, this is Apple’s first major release since making Swift 3 open source.

And, as a developer you’ll be able to do dope things like:

  • Create apps to allow users to make or send payments, book a ride or make a reservation directly from iMessage and Maps.
  • Get the full experience of VoIP as though it were a regular call, view and answer VoIP calls from your lock screen and start a VoIP call directly from Contacts.
  • Connect your apps to Siri’s commands so a user can start a workout, call a friend or search for photos with their voice.

But not if you don’t know Swift.

And, even if you do… you’ll need to get the scoop on this new release.

Now as the constant bearer of good news… I’m here to tell  you that two of Udemy’s most popular and beloved instructors, Rob Percival and Mark Price are going to be releasing their new iOS 10 courses within the next few days.

So you can master app-building and not “Joe Green” this mobile revolution thingy.

And, not get left behind as app development becomes bigger and bigger.

So, this is where you want fixate your Jedi mind as those courses go live: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/ios10launch

Early birds will get a massive discount on the courses (I’m hearing anywhere from 40-50% off) during the “launch”. So, if you’re smart you’ll watch that page like a hawk so you don’t miss out as the courses go live.

But, the important thing is…

Learn this.

It’s coming. In my opinion, we haven’t seen anything yet. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg of a whole generation of kids who’ve grown up with smartphones. As they get older, the importance of mobile is only going to grow.

And, you need to be prepared to survive and prosper in that world.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 25, 2016

The Thing About PHP 7’s Spaceship Operator

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[saf]

May the force be with you… 😉

Unless you’ve been under a rock (which is totally cool if so) you know PHP 7 has been out for a bit now. I finally took some time the other day to fire it up on one of my dev servers and see what all the fuss is about.

Online, I’d kept hearing about this “spaceship” operator.

This thing’s kind of cool actually. Let me show you.

So, here’s a common bit of code you might see pre-PHP7:

rp1

This is a sorting routine.

usort() lets you sort an array using a user-defined comparison function… in this case compare_length(). So, what this does is re-arrange the $names array to be in order of the length of the names in it. Here’s the output:

rp2

Ok, simple enough.

But, notice the big compare_length() function. It works fine, but that’s a good chunk of code just to run a simple comparison. And, this is where the spaceship operator comes in. Here’s what the function looks like with PHP 7:

rp3

Just three lines now. Pretty sweet!

So, how does the spaceship operator (<=>) work?

You can use it just like you might any other operator. For example, equals:

1 == 1;

Except it looks like this in spaceship mode:

1 <=> 1;

When you do that, PHP will run a “trinary” comparison. So, it’ll check to see if 1 is less than, equal to or greater than 1. Thus the syntax of a less than sign (<), an equal sign (=) and a greater than sign (>): <=>.

And here’s what it’ll return…

If $a is less than $b, it returns -1. If $a is equal to $b, it returns 0. And, if $a is greater than $b, it returns 1. Here’s an example:

rp4

Slicky ricky, eh?

Anyhoo, thought I’d give you the low down on it. You’re welcome! 😉

If you want to learn even more PHP so you can still cram your skull with Cheetos and binge watch Star Wars movies without having to deal with that annoying boss, then get your butt over to: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/learnphp and take my free PHP course.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 22, 2016

Why WordPress Doesn’t Suck

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[saf]

Let me state it plainly…

Using a tool like WordPress is by far the fastest way to jumpstart your web development career, carve out more time and leverage that time to learn new skills so you can get paid even more.

Here’s a perfect example:

“Hey, John. I want to thank you again for your advice on keeping an open mind about CMS’s. I completed an amazing site in 2 days that would have taken me months to build out from scratch. You have no idea how much your videos have helped me get out of my funk in web development. I have two prospective clients just from seeing the site that I built with WordPress. I will most likely continue building out my sites with WordPress while expanding my skillset to create my own themes and plugins. Thanks again man, what you’re doing is freakin awesome. -Dee”

In two days, he built a site that would have personally taken him months to build from scratch. And, as a result now has two prospective clients and likely plenty more to come in the pipeline.

Let me ask you…

Do the “well it has procedural code in it” arguments of the know-it-alls across the web sound as convincing in comparison to Dee’s story? Do you really care all that much?

I mean… sure they might make you feel important…

You might get a moment of feeling self-righteous and “better than everybody else”… but will that put food on the table? Will it pay for your Pokemon Go habit? Will it make your kids proud of you?

Yeah… no.

Still, you have guys like this:

“WP is a nightmare. They are stuck with procedural code because they are victim of their success. Who on earth is writing this stuff ? How can such a number of individuals jump on the wagon and coding this way ? Surely they think they are great developers, and in a sense, you have to be, just to make your way in this awful bowl of spaghettis! I don’t think PHP is to blame here. In 2014, it is now a mature language and fully OO with some great frameworks like Codeigniter or Laravel that match Ruby on Rails. I hate to see our profession stained with this WP infamy, that has spread like a virus on the web. The only problem (and the greatest democratic quality) of PHP is that anyone can code and output something on the screen. But now that their ecosystem is in place, watchagonnado ? We’ll just wait another 5 years and see it fall in oblivion — at last! – Christian”

Honestly, I don’t even believe it.

“Stained with this WP infamy”…

Please.

I think this is all about sounding superior. About pumping up his busted ego to make himself feel important. It’s almost like a weird kind of anti-WordPress virtue-signalling. “I hate WordPress therefore I’m a good coder.”

Go away.

Here’s the thing…

Use whatever tool you want. Or don’t use any. Do whatever you need to do to get the job done in the best way you can and don’t worry one single bit about what clowns like this might say.

This is your life.

Don’t let the fear of these know-it-alls hold you back.

And if you’re smart like Dee…

Keep open-minded to a tool like WordPress. See what you can accomplish by leveraging that tool instead of thinking you have to do everything from scratch. I’m convinced you can start getting paid to code much faster if you do.

And then use your extra time to become a PHP god.

And for those of you who are exceptionally genius… fast-track your career even further by letting someone else download all the WordPress knowledge you need into your brain for you… instead of rummaging blindly in the dark for a scrap here and a scrap there.

Enroll in Brad Hussey’s WordPress course and blast out of the gates of your career like Dee did: https://johnmorrisonline.com/wptheme

You get 40% off until August 1st, 2016 so enroll before you forget and miss out for good.

You’re welcome! 🙂

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 20, 2016

How to Beat the Upwork Algorithms

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[saf]

I got this question on YouTube the other day:

How do I create a client base outside of freelance networks?

Actually, I get this question a lot. And, usually, it comes from someone who’s about to send letters full of anthrax to the owners of Upwork (or Freelancer, Guru, etc) because they’ve tried everything and can’t get clients.

Let me tell you a story…

I often talk about what happened to me after I changed my approach on Elance and how I started sucking in clients like kids to a candy store. But, I talk less about what happened before.

That’s because it kind of sucked.

When I very very first got on Elance… I bombed.

I made all the mistakes I always tell you not to. I marketed myself as a “do-everything” web guy. I practically begged people to hire me. I had a terrible picture. My bio was about two sentences. I talked only about the languages I knew. And, I just sat there waiting for clients to land in my lap.

I’ll give you eight guesses what happened.

But, then I got lucky.

Several years before that, I’d uploaded a couple tutorials on YouTube and pretty much forgot about them. They got like 30 views initially… and since they didn’t instantly go viral, I had just moved on.

But, now several years later they were gaining traction.

I started noticing I was getting notifications from YouTube about comments… every other day or so. So, I decided to login and see what was up. To my shock, one of the videos now had over 10K views.

And, my channel was getting several thousand views per month.

Seemingly, out of nowhere.

So being the opportunistic little devil I am, I immediately started trying to figure out how I could use it. Eventually, I figured out how to push people through my website to my Elance profile. And, I never looked back.

Eventually, I went off Elance altogether.

And, just got all my clients through my website.

And, that’s the answer…

It doesn’t have to be YouTube, but you should absolutely be building up your audience outside of the freelance sites. Every serious business in the world is realizing this and starting to create content and build their audience.

Freelancers are no different.

It’s the cost of doing business.

Before the internet, the cost of doing business included buying a building, getting a big sign and advertising on the radio, newspaper, billboards, yada yada. Today, the cost of doing business is creating content.

As Gary Vaynerchuck says:

“If you’re not creating content online, you basically don’t exist.”

And be glad that’s all it is. You don’t need to go into debt 100K to start a business.

So, you should absolutely, never ever, not in a million years… rely solely on a freelance site to bring you all your clients.

That’s asking to go broke.

Thing is… leveraging your audience for your freelance business is simple:

  1. Figure out who your target audience is and what content they want
  2. Create the content and promote it like crazy on social media
  3. At the end of each piece of content, point them to your profile

(Pro tip: Don’t point them straight to your Upwork profile. Point them to a page on your site. At first, it can just be a redirect to your Upwork profile. But later when you want to “exit” Upwork, you can turn that page into a sales page. Mine, for example, is johnmorrisonline.com/hire. That was a redirect initially but now is a sales page. Now all those links from the initial content are still valid.)

Now, I think a lot of freelancers know this.

They know they need to be creating content.

But, they’re scared to put themselves out there.

Thing is… you don’t have to do YouTube videos like I do. You can do written tutorials, answer questions on StackOverflow or Quora. Then, find someone you trust and have them look your stuff over before you post it.

What you’ll find is the web isn’t the big scary monster you imagined.

And when you do get some jack!@# who “know-it-alls” one of your posts… just block ’em. Hell… even if they’re right. You don’t have to entertain them. Just block them and move on. I do it all the time.

But, when you build a content-to-profile funnel like this…

Beating the algorithms on Upwork or whatever site is easy. You’re building your own job history, testimonials, rankings… without relying on the network. And then eventually, you’ll rank high enough that the network starts sending you clients…

And then it’s all over.

You ride off into the sunset… tell bossy boy to shove it and your life is yours.

You’re free… and because you built it… it’s secure.

Anyway, I know you might want a more detailed walkthrough of how to set all this up… because details do matter. That’s why I created Module 3 in my Lightning Responsive course which you can get as a supporter over on Patreon.

It’s the detailed step-by-step roadmap to freedom. Get it here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 19, 2016

How to Create a Mobile App Landing Page

As of June 2016, there are 2.2 million apps available for download in the Google Play Store alone.

It’s 2 million for the Apple App Store.

Even lowly ol’ Windows has 669,000 apps available for its mobile platform.

And those numbers are expected to continue to rise…

As the total number of app downloads is expected to jump from 102 million to 268 million by 2017… less than 6 months from now.

Do you know what every one of those apps needs?

A web presence.

A landing page that sells the app to potential downloaders. That means every one of those projected 164 million new apps is a potential client for you.

Or maybe YOU are the app owner and want to build your own landing page.

Well, know this…

There’s a science to creating a landing page that persuades people to download the app. And the better you are at helping clients (or yourself) do that… the more business you can get.

So, in this video I break down that science and the template you can use to create persuasive mobile app landing pages consistently and with ease:

Get the complete template on Patreon at the “Freelance Templates” level.

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P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

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July 18, 2016

What Will They Say About You?

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[saf]

Legacy.

When I was in Iraq, I worked in a hospital. Whenever we had a “mass casualty” event, I would run up there and help out in whatever way I could. As you can probably imagine, I unfortunately saw a lot of people pass away.

More than I’d ever care to really think about.

That always stuck with me.

How fragile and brief this life really is. How quickly it can all be taken away from us. And, I’ve always tried to live my life as if today could be my last. Because, the truth is… it very well could be. Nothing is promised.

Then, there’s my parents.

I’ve watched them grow old with regret. My dad is an entrepreneur at heart… but never really could put all the pieces together. Every time, I see him I can see the pain of the missteps and missed opportunities in his eyes.

And my mom…

She just wanted to provide for my brothers and I. I think watching us suffer the way we did just killed her inside and she’s always has this look of “I’m sorry” in her eyes every time I see her.

It’s painful to watch.

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook out of his college dorm room. Apple famously started in a garage. Many of the giants of today were started from very humble beginnings yesterday.

That means there’s nothing stopping you from being one of the giants of tomorrow.

Whether that’s a giant for the whole world… or just for your kids and your spouse.

You are smart enough.

You are capable enough.

You do have what it takes.

But, the last thing you want is to grow old with regret. To look back and wonder, “what if”. The question you should be asking isn’t, “How do I make a buck today”… which is what I get so often… but how will you be remembered tomorrow?

What will they say about you?

What will your legacy be?

Every day, the time just keeps ticking away and it won’t stop for anybody. What you need to build that legacy, as a coder, is a solid foundation of skill. And you need to get it fast so you can move on to building great things. Get that foundation in PHP fast here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/php

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 15, 2016

Read This Email Before Hillary Deletes It

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[saf]

I sent this out in an email the other day and I wanted to share it with you. But, BEWARE… read it before Hillary deletes it! 🙂

So, alot of hub-bub here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A about Hillary Clinton. Seems there’s two sets of rules… ones for the Clinton’s and ones for everybody else. That’s the word on the street anyway.

Funny because this is true about a lot of things.

For example…

In the US, the top 1% of Americans earn 19% of all income.

In Hollywood, the top actors always seem to get the best roles.

And, in my experience, the top freelancers tend to suck up most of the clients.

For example, if you go on Upwork in to the “web development” category there’s an agency, Mobiloitte Technologies, that’s clocked 63,866 hours of client services. The next closest on the front page is Ron Zvagelsky with 5,488 hours.

That’s how things tend to work.

Because… once you establish a certain threshold of credibility and authority, you stick out like a sore thumb as being more trustworthy, and you end up getting a disproportionate share of the clients.

It’s like how the 1st position in a Google search result gets 33% of the clicks.

And, just like the Clinton’s, there’s often two sets of rules for those on top versus those struggling to claw their way up. Let me be straight. I’m not saying it’s right. But, it is reality. And, my job is to tell you the truth… not opine about how I think it should be.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Ronnie ain’t doing too shabby himself. 5488 hours clocked at 75/hr is 411,600. I think most freelancers would take that. But, freelancers with this kind of experience, job history and skillset just get treated differently.

They rarely have to go out and find work on their own.

Because, they come up at the top of most of the web development related searches you’ll do on Upwork… the clients just automatically flow to them.

They also don’t have to work hard to sell their services.

63,866 hours logged with a 93% job success rate speaks for itself. Potential clients see that and immediately trust them more.

And, the clients they work with will rarely give them a hard time.

Because, those clients know that these developers are uber-experienced, they know what they’re doing and when they speak… clients listen.

In fact, from my own experience…

I can tell you that after I worked with Michael Hyatt, my client experience changed dramatically. He’s not only really well-known but highly respected and trusted. So, having him on my resume brought an air of authority with it.

Client looked to me for guidance instead of always trying to boss me around.

My point is…

You shouldn’t necessarily be-grudge the fact that these two sets of rules exist (for developers anyway… feel free to be-grudge the Clinton’s all you want). Instead you should be focused on joining that elite group of developers.

Now, I talk all the time about the “outside factors” that affect this…

Things like how well you communicate, how reliable you are, how well you provide wisdom and guidance, etc. These things matter.

But, it’s also true that skill is at the center of it all.

I mean the refrigerator repairman can be the sweetest fella in the world, but if the chicken goes bad because he jacked it up… it ain’t gon’ matter.

So, let this weekend begin your journey into “Clinton territory”.

PHP represents 82% of all websites whose scripting language we know. PHP developers, on average make 87,000 per year (Indeed.com). And, in the time it’d take for you get through a montage of all the “untruths” Hillary told about her email server (~1 hour), there’s been 36 new PHP jobs posted to Upwork.

Why spend another day in the “little people” club of developers… or another moment stuck haggling through another one of your boss’ “brilliant” ideas…

Escape ye hither, my friend. Become a PHP Jedi:
https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/php

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

July 13, 2016

The Truth About Freelance Web Design

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[saf]

Sam, a supporting listener on Patreon, sent me this video the other day and wanted to know what I thought:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-mP-yYlzps

Check out the video for the full story, but let me summarize what I think Mike Locke is ultimately saying:

  • Freelance income is not sustainable and scalable because you’re ultimately just trading time for money like a regular job
  • You shouldn’t focus on it as your end-all be-all for your career
  • Use it as supplement to a job and focus long term on building a product for residual income

Now, while I agree with a lot of what he says in the video and I appreciate what he’s trying to get you to do (which I think is good)… I have to say I disagree with some of his primary points.

The problems with freelancing aren’t freelancing itself… it’s how it’s used.

Let me give you an example.

Shortly after I built Michael Hyatt’s membership site, Platform University, as you might imagine I had a lot of people contacting me to build them a similar kind of site. In fact, so much so, that I came up with a new service offering called a “Clone”. And I sold it for three grand.

Building those sites took me between 4-6 hours.

Because I already had all the code. I wrote down an “implementation checklist” of exactly what steps to take to build the clone. And, I was clear with clients from the start that I was basically giving them the same site with colors and logos changed. No custom coding or any of that.

And they didn’t care. That’s what they wanted.

And, I built a lot of these.

So, if you look at what I made hourly it was somewhere between 500 and 750 per hour. When, my normal hourly rate was around 100 at the time. So, I was making five times my hourly rate on these projects.

And, clients couldn’t care less.

They weren’t paying me for my time.

They were paying me for access (to the code I already had). They were paying me for my expertise. And frankly, most of them were paying me for speed… because I could crank the site out so fast.

So, if you think of freelancing from a purely “hourly rate” standpoint…

Then, sure it’s just trading time for money like any old job. And, doing the math… you’ll probably find it hard to see how you can reach your income goals.

But dude!

If you don’t want to trade time for money… then don’t trade time for money. In fact, go to my “hire me” page right now (https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/hire). Do you see an hourly rate on there?

Nope.

I don’t even offer it.

When you start thinking of your services as more than just your time… and start thinking in terms of “end results” and offering them more as products… you can start to see how you can make the kind of income you’re after with freelancing.

And, you can see how easily it can scale.

This is why I harp on “end results” all the time.

You’ll make more money.

You’ll work less.

It’ll be easier to market.

It’ll be easier to deliver.

And (ninja s!@# here) if you choose, it’ll be easier to outsource or hire someone to do for you so you can rake in the dineros while you sit at the beach sipping on some rum and Coke.

Can you see what I’m saying?

Here’s one more example…

A few years back, I saw how big the responsive design thing was getting. So, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and I focused mainly on local small businesses. They were easy to sell and easy to make happy.

And, as I started building mobile responsive sites for local businesses…

I developed a PHP “framework” that let me do it faster and faster each time. In fact, by the time I had it fully developed I could go grab a bootstrap template and port it into my system in just a few hours.

Plug in some variables specific to that client and have their site out the door in less than a day. And, it’d be a major upgrade from their previous site.

Now, I know that won’t make you feel better than everyone else because you hand-code every site you build from scratch…

But, it will put food (lots) on the table.

Anyway, I put that framework and a full 3-module course up over on Patreon. It’s called Lightning Responsive and you can get it as a supporting listener here:https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/patreon.

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 12, 2016

Are You Too Stupid to Learn How to Code?

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[saf]

You feel the tinge of anger just reading that title?

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? How aggressively we react to anything that even seems to question our intelligence. Something to pay attention to.

Anyway…

I remember the first time I questioned whether I was seriously not smart enough to be a coder. It was a very sobering moment for me.

My whole life I’d always been told how smart I was.

I’d always learned things really fast.

I’d never had much trouble with school.

In fact, school was kind of boring for me. I never studied, rarely took notes and only half paid attention in class. Yet seemed to remember most of what they taught and always did well on my tests.

So, when I was a few years into learning PHP and hadn’t “got it” yet…

It rocked my world.

It had me questioning everything I thought I knew about myself.

“Why can’t I get this stuff through my thick head?”

Then, one day, I hit rock bottom.

I can vaguely remember the code. It was something to do with pulling data from a database. I think it was a multi-dimensional array… and at that time, I was still getting my head around that.

I’d been battling with it for a few days.

And, I finally decided I was going to ask for help.

I usually avoided forums, because I saw how nasty other developers could be to “noobs”. And, I think subconsciously I knew I couldn’t deal with it at the time. My ego was already pretty fragile.

But, I was stuck and I just said, “screw it”.

And, I asked my question on a PHP forum.

And, I will never forget the response I got from one of the members there. It was the thing I’d dreaded would happen:

“Are you stupid?”

And then he preceded to rip my code to shreds and explain why I was an idiot.

I was humiliated. I was angry.

And I think worst of all… a part of me thought he might be right.

That I was too stupid to learn this.

That’s why now that I’ve made it through and know that I wasn’t too stupid… I vowed to try and help other developers get over this hump without being a complete a-hole about it.

That’s why, for example, I created my PHP 101 course.

Because it gives you the most important PHP skills you need to learn so you’re not sitting there struggling to figure it all out on your own. So you don’t feel like you have to brave the “wrath of the forums”. And, so you can be confident in your code whenever another developer happens to see it.

And, so you don’t have to put up with these know-it-alls.

And you can make the transition to coding for a living full-time much faster.

If you’re someone who has been struggling to learn PHP and ever questioned if you were gonna be able to do this, it’s the perfect course for you. It’ll put those questions to bed once and for all. Seriously, check it out at: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/php

But, the important thing is…

That know-it-all in that forum was wrong. I wasn’t too stupid. And, I often wonder where he’s at now. Given how I know karma tends to work… I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one serving up chicken plates in some greasy restaurant.

If you’ve ever had those kind of doubts come up…

I’m with you. I’ve been there. I know how it feels. Don’t let it stop you though. Use it as fuel to drive you to be aggressive, to take action and to push you to take risks and not hold back on chasing what you’re after.

You owe it to yourself to do this.

You don’t want to look back 20 or 30 years from now and wonder, “What if?”. I watched my parents do that… and it’s maybe the most excruciating thing I’ve ever seen another person go through.

Get after it.

Start here: https://www.johnmorrisonline.com/php

P.S. If you liked the show, give it a like and share with the communities and people you think will benefit. And, you can always find all my tutorials, source code and exclusive courses on Patreon.

July 7, 2016