One of my first serious clients. I dabbled a bit before that, but this was my first “all-in, I’m doing this shyte” client. I was an okay developer at the time. Hadn’t had the big “aha” moment that all devs have where everything clicked… But, I could crank out a little of this and that. And, I’d built this WordPress plugin. This was before BuddyPress and BuddyBoss, the big forum software — and all the community plugins that are popular now. And I believed all that kind of functionality was going to take off in WordPress. Which, of course, I
Got this truth bomb from Sir Joelsuf on the YouTubes: “Most ‘courses’ I’ve been running into aren’t very actionable. I don’t really care if the course is taught by a tiktok ‘influencer’ who acts like a drunk sorority chick, if the content is actionable and produces results, it has value to me.” Then he followed up with this: “Actionable = Straightforward stuff: Here’s what to do, here’s what not to do, here’s why you do this, here’s why you ought to avoid that, stuff like that. Like your courses haha. But that’s not what I see in most other courses,
Question: what’s a simple way to pandemic proof your business? Or what about the next recession? There’s always one around the corner for one reason or another. Or even worse… hyper-inflation, currency crisis, financial collapse? I know it sounds all doom and gloom… But these things do happen. Or what happened with my dad. Car wreck. He was a plumber and suddenly became a paraplegic. Couldn’t do plumbing anymore. A lot of people go through life assuming things will work out for the best. Not me. I’m optimistic, but I don’t assume. I’ve seen the worse happened. I’ve watched people
That’s been the top, so far. The highest I’ve hit on Skillshare. And that IS just Skillshare. Doesn’t count Udemy, sales on my own website, YouTube or what I get from the freelancing I do. That’s purely Skillshare revenue. But, the more important thing… Is the consistency. 5193.46, 5463.99, 5857.20, 5744.70, 5392.63, 5042.92, 5277.12. And sure some some months it might be a bit lower. But, constantly hitting that 4-5K range from a single revenue stream… Ain’t a bad gig. It’s kinda like my own personal UBI. And a simple way to become pandemic proof. Now, obviously, I’m not saying
It was about six months into my tour in Iraq. I was in charge of a supply unit. And, over there, supplies were like gold. So, we had people, from all over Iraq, that’d show up and all but beg us for one thing or another. We did our best to help out… But, sometimes, we had to say no. Anyway, this guy showed up and wanted this generator we had. A buddy of mine and I gave him the standard response that we’d need to check with our “Chief” — the officer in charge of the warehouse. Yada, yada,
I was at a bar in Lawton, Oklahoma. The town just outside Fort Sill. A couple Army buddies and I were out having a few drinks and playing darts (me smokin’ them since I was a freakin’ darts sharp shooter!) when it happened. This dude was sitting in the corner… And he kept eyeballing us. I generally try to keep things chill so I let it ride for awhile. But, he just kept staring us down and it was blatantly obvious. So, finally, I just walked up to him and asked him “What’s up?” What he said floored me. He
I wanna talk about this a little more: === I have been following John Morris for several years now. John has a very unique way of seeing what motivates people (not always muney!) and how to please others, while earning a nice living doing that. He constantly provides new content and his instruction ranges from beginner to advanced, to CEO level guidance. I have referred friends and clients to John, and have encouraged my own daughter to pay attention to what he says. When John offers a new course, I sign up instantly and I am always ready to pay
It’s one of the reasons I focus on accomplished authors. Any rando can write a book. I want people who’ve actually done what I want to do OR are universally considered some of the greatest thinkers in history. Getting to see how they actually thought and what they focused on… in their own words. Far more impactful than the 20-something know-it-alls on YouTube… Who just regurgitate what they read on a blog… From another 20-something know-it-all. But I digress… Einstein, of course, is among those great thinkers. And one of the things he harped on was the importance of being
Back when I was just a wee freelance green-ear… A client of mine flew me out to one of those snazzy internet marketing conferences that used to be popular back in the day. Lots of big name speakers and early online celebrities. In fact, a lot of the big name business celebrities you see today… Were just start getting started back then and were there. Anyway, they had me running their booth… answering questions about their product and such. And I got stuck next to this guy… oh, this guy. The type who just loves to talk… and talk and
I’m not a big woo-woo guy. But, sometimes… even grumpy old me has to admit there’s some serendipity goin’ down. The very day I release my new course… on courses… I begrudgingly hop on the Facebooks to do my weekly check-in on the weirdos… And what’s the first ad I see? Some chick peddling her course “boot camp”. Dressed up in Army gear, carrying a spatula, screaming at some dude to get up and make his online course. And the text of the video is some long-winded rant about getting serious about course creation. (I think. I only read like
No, not writing a book and putting your link in it… Or anything boring and obvious like that. It’s a tactic I started using to bring in high quality leads — potential clients that are primed to buy, pre-sold on you and have muney to spend. The best kind of leads… And the best kind of clients. High information clients who hire you with both eyes open… so, they know exactly who you are, what they’re getting into and want to work with YOU, specifically. Which, of course, means… There’s rarely any haggling on price. They almost always take your
A lot of people use Blockbuster as an example. Rightfully so… their fall from grace is a poignant reminder that anyone can crash and burn no matter how great things are going now. But, there’s a part of that story almost no one talks about… That I think is the most important lesson. A lot of people dig into the why… And the how. Which is all important. But, also kinda obvious. They were arrogant, slow-moving and made some bad business investments — and they got burnt. Yeah, no kidding. But, this other part of the story is the thing
Recently got this comment from one Scotty P on my Ascension Matrix course: === I have NEVER been a fan of stealing your content but I think at some point I might encourage my 12 year old daughter to sit down with headphones and listen to this. Your ideas are amazing. I will certainly sign my daughter up. === Ooh, talk dirty to me, Scotty! Haha. Mind you… Ol’ Scotty P is a seasoned vet. And I mean *well* seasoned. In fact, Scotty P. is so old, his Social Security Number is 1. He’s so old when HE was in
It’s one of the things I hate about Facebook. A bunch of know-it-all losers trolling the site taking a dump on anyone actually out making something of themselves. Facebook ads are especially rancid. It’s like all the losers collect in one place to spew their snark. But, there’s one particular kind of product. Every time, it pops up in my feed… You can bet the comments are a cess pool… without fail. But little do these purple-haired grape swallowers know… the people selling those products are earning hundreds, probably thousands per hour selling them. I estimate I earn about 5,000/hour
My first unit in the Army. My platoon sergeant. Still, to this day, the best leader I’ve ever had. He had this knack for pulling the absolute max out of every soldier in his unit. And making his subordinates love him for it. To us, he was kind of a god. Truth be told, it was a bit cultish. Haha. But he was highly effective at getting his troops to perform. Not surprising that he made 1SG faster than all his peers. Faster than almost anyone ever does. I eventually got pulled out of that unit and sent to Iraq
It’s the 4th of July here in the States… And far be it for me to take a dump on someone’s holiday, but I do find that holidays tend to be great opportunities for dramatic change in people’s lives. Many of the defining moments in my life centered around holidays. We tend to be reflective. Take stock of where we’re at in life. And become acutely aware when things ain’t how we’d like. It’s fitting that “Independence Day” is the holiday that’s come up while I’m also in the middle of launching my Ascension Matrix course. I’d like to say
It’s this frantic scene in the Hitman’s Bodyguard. Ryan Reynolds, who’s been assigned to protect Jackson, is being chased by a group of thugs trying to kill him. There’s a fight scene in the back of a restaurant — where one dude gets faceplanted into a hot grill. Then, they wind up in a hardware store. There’s an ax. A nail gun. And eventually, a chain that Reynolds uses to finish the fight — quite gruesomely I might add. So, there he is… completely out of breath, just fought off 4-5 would-be assassins… and Jackson comes flying up in their
This your 2-day warning, skippy. The Ascension Matrix course comes down from Skillshare in just a little over 2 days from now: June 30th, 2021. After that, the only way to get it will be to hand me some cold, hard cash. So, if you want it now while it’s essentially free. In the words of a great philosopher: “Tick tock muthaf***a!” This is especially true because this course is over 4 hours long. It’s not enough to simply join up to the Skillshare trial. You have to actually watch the course. Once it comes down, you won’t even be
If you have the IQ of a salamander… This probably won’t make much sense. People hear something and they suddenly think it applies to every single instance, everywhere, always — no matter what… context and nuance be damned! If you have half a brain… You realize how dumb that is. Enter my thoughts on “niches”. Was chatting with my little brother about this the other day and how I probably look like a hypocrite to the lizard-heads. Because one of the first things I teach freelancers is to pick a niche. Yet, in my latest course, the Ascension Matrix… I
Not to mention his real-life counterpart, Kevin “windowless van” Spacey This one ain’t for the faint of heart, toots. Frank Underwood or Kevin “Windowless Van” Spacey… (Who’s actually the bigger villain here?) Would probably even blush at some of this stuff. So, if you count yourself among the koombaya crowd who thinks freelancing (and business) is all lollipops and sunshine, “we’re all in this together” and “the client is always right” bubble gum nonsense… May just want to close this one up. Because, the truth is, power dynamics are real. And he-she who has the power calls the shots. Case
Was rapping with a student of mine about this. Many moons ago, when I worked at the window factory… we had this guy come in. Old, grizzly manufacturing vet. And the company I worked for at the time was paying, I found out later, 5,000/hour for this guy — and he was there for three hours. So, a swanky 15K for just 3 hours of work. That’s some serious leverage. Still time for money… But, at that rate, it almost doesn’t matter. Anyway, the guy didn’t DO anything while he was there. That was the weird thing. And the company
Sometimes the best jobs are the biggest killers. Case in point… A couple decades ago now (yeah, yeah… oooold! You shush! :D)… I landed maybe the best job I ever had. I started working for this company called CPI — which… the company was literally named after the CEO (slaps forehead). These dudes and their big egos… And small… ahem… sense of self-awareness. Anyway, the job was an easy 6-figures if you were any good at all — which I was. It was sales which was/is kinda my thang. And, it was selling to customers who already had the service…
Let’s start by agreeing that Nazis are bad. Okay? No need to send me your pearl-clutching emails that I’m somehow condoning Nazism or some other childish s***. I firmly disavows all Nazis… mkay? Still, I remember studying them in school. Specifically, the war tactics they used. Which, for the time, were revolutionary. We even studied them when I was in the military. When a previously downtrodden nation suddenly rises up and takes over an entire continent that quickly… you might want to pay attention. Anyway, that’s where I discovered a unique tactic for wow-ing new clients. Turning them into zealots…
Was having this conversation with a client of mine. I was explaining to them why they needed to expand their product line. My most profitable product… the one that’s responsible for a good 40-50% of what I earn — has paid for my house, my truck… All kinds of gadgets. Kid’s birthdays and Christmases. Making my wife still love me… 😀 This one product… I’ve tracked it and, for several years now, it’s consistently been my biggest money-maker. But, I made it 6-7 years ago. I’ve made a few updates to it over the years, but nothing major. I’ve probably
It started happening a few years ago. I’d hit a wall with my life, my business — everything really. I’d been freelancing for so long it had lost all its novelty. It wasn’t “fresh” and “exciting” to me anymore. And procrastination hit me HARD. Most days… I’d be lucky to do anything before noon. A lot of times, I’d just check out for the entire day. Watching Netflix and eating junk food. I ballooned up to over 300 pounds — and not “good” weight. I drank too much and kinda just lived in a haze. It was like I was
He deserves every bit of it, too. I always think of my little brother. He’s been a kind of guinea pig for me over the years. Today, I was recording another lesson for the Ascension Matrix course and the topic (I won’t spill the beans on it just yet) was exactly what he does now. With clients like Amazon, Google, Nike, Office Depot, etc. Truthfully, on this, he’s far beyond me. It’s his thing. Anyway, we have an office together so he could hear the entire recording. When I got done he said, “Quite the diatribe there!” And, of course,
I’m sure you noticed. 🙂 I didn’t show up in your inbox the last 4-5 days like usual. Hell, you’re probably in full-on withdrawal mode at this point! Johnny, Johnny! Wherefore art though, Johnny!? Haha. Well, my wife and I decided to take an impromptu mini-vacation. We woke up in the morning and decided just to go. I told my clients I’d be out for the next 4-5 days… And off we went. Now, this is the point where the usual cadre of Instagram “influencers” would rap on endlessly about #freelancelife and this is the freedom freelancing affords them… blah,
My brother and I were talking about this on the way to the gym yesterday. We obviously both grew up in the same house — except it wasn’t a house at all. It was a mobile home — not a nice one. Rusted out, leaky roof, bitter cold in the winter because the walls were paper thin — and infested with rats. Of course, my parents were broke. So, we couldn’t afford to do anything about the rats. We just dealt with it. Fun times. One time (at band camp)… our water got shut off because my parents couldn’t afford
This is beyond tin foil hat. You’re gonna think I had one too many funky mushrooms… haha. But, my next course — for some of you — will be the single most important one I’ve ever created. It’s the next “evolution” of being a freelancer. And can give you so much clarity about your next 30 years… You might start to feel like you’re trippin’ a bit. The course is called: “The Ascension Matrix”. Which already sounds a bit whacky. But, it has been my own personal focus for the past 5-10 years. I talk a lot about freelancing. I
Yo muchacho! A little freebie lovin’ for ya. Now, that I’ve hammered you over the head with my latest course promotion, I figure I’ll throw you a bone. Anyway, the latest episode of my podcast is out. In it, I reveal 6 legit ways you can land your first freelance client. As per my style… This ain’t the usual… Upwork, Fiverr, blah, blah, blah. There’s some stuff you’ve probably thought of. And a few I guarantee you haven’t. And a collection plate full of tips for being successful with all six… Gleaned from my 17 years of experience. Probably even
One of my mentors talks about this all the time. One of the simplest things you can do to win in business is simply zig when everybody else is zagging. Matter of fact, he says he generally looks at what everyone else is doing and explicitly tries to do the exact opposite. And he runs a 7-figure *print* newsletter. Right in the middle of a tech boom. Haha. Who am I to argue? Anyway, I’ve noticed this with freelancing, too. Right now, everybody is rushing to the freelance sites, social media, YouTube, etc, etc — meanwhile one of the most
I got this question other day: “To that point, I feel like I’m at a stalemate when it comes to my freelance business. Again, I can kind of get stuff done on Upwork but it’s just not enough. Does your new course cover this kind of thing?” And, it got me thinking about the “state of things” in our freelance world. I know I’m the grumpy old man hrmph-ing in the corner, but I can’t help but roll my eyes at all the so-called “experts” out there that plaster things like “300K earned on Upwork” all over their social media.
I was talking with my little brother about it the other day. His client list is even more impressive: Google, Amazon, Nike, Office Depot, Circle K and a few dozen other Fortune 500 companies. Two “poor white trash” kids, who grew up in a rat-infested trailer home… Landing these kind of “swanky” clients. Especially when you consider we’re both hermits. He’s a hippy who likes working in his garden and woodworking. I’m a nerd who spends most of my time scouring the interwebs for any half-decent sci-fi flick I haven’t seen, yet (seriously, if you know of any, help a
So sayeth Max in response to my earlier email about A-aron: === Lol! Your snark alone is worth the subscription! Little did he know he was getting a free course about how to sell courses like hotcakes. Keep at it and don’t change a thing! === Effusive praise of yours truly aside… Max makes a valid point One even those of you who despise my self-aggrandizing personality should pay attention to. Nothing has done more for my business than these two things: 1. Near-daily email 2. Deadlines Gnash your teeth all you like… Those two simple things have made a
Got this verbal dart from A-aron: === Hey John. I understand why you are doing this but to be honest it’s not awesome. I bought a one year membership of Skillshare specifically for your courses. 🙁 I get it though, you make fore sure way more money selling the courses piecemeal on your website so I can’t fault you for that but it still isn’t great from our perspective. === Actually A-train… I’d say you don’t understand why I do it. I mean look… I’m not an Iowan– uh, idiot. I know I’m going to piss a few people off
Easily one of the questions I get asked most often: “John… everything you’re saying about freelancing sounds awesome. I want to start, but I don’t have any experience or anything to put in a portfolio… how can I get hired when I don’t have anything to show clients?” My usual answer is… “Get stuff.” Meaning, you don’t have to do projects for clients to put them in your portfolio. In fact, one of the most famous painters of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci, did this all the time. One of his most famous “works”, the Vitruvian man (Google it)… Wasn’t
That no Insta-yuppie even knows about It’s one of the things I despise about the incestuous nature of the freelance “guru” space — and YouTube for that matter. Everybody just reads everybody else’s s*** and regurgitates it in a new package to their audience. There’s rarely any new ideas. It’s one of the things I noticed coming up the way I did. There was no social media. YouTube didn’t even exist, yet. Haha, imagine that. Could you imagine trying to learn anything, today, without YouTube? That’s how it was, Punky. Anyway, you had to — heaven forbid — come up
Including 2 nobody else on the planet teaches I just uploaded Part 2 of my Freelance Feast course to Skillshare. In that part of the course, I show you 8 completely unique ways to get clients. Not the lame Upwork is 1, Fiverr is 2, etc. No, 8 completely different and unique methods — including 2 that I’m pretty confident nobody else on the planet teaches. One of which has been the most effective method for me. Several of my celebrity clients were landed this way, in fact. And a good 60-70% of my client work has come from this
Good ol’ “ASAP Charlie”. He was Tim Ferriss’ assistant at the time — and he was the final straw. By this point, I’d already worked with Lewis Howes and Michael Hyatt and Inc. Magazine. So, I’d gotten used to the “awe” of it all. And was starting to see a pattern. Then, Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Body project came calling. They wanted a forum built with WordPress… Locked down for only people who’d purchased his book. Anyway, when you work with these clients, the day-to-day isn’t actually with them. It’s with their “entourage”. And the groupies tend to be way more
Got this YouTube comment from Kodbazis: === Hi John. I follow you since 2016. You motivated me right from the start, to pursue a carreer in web development. Now, after years of working in the field, I started to sell my online courses. 🙂 === I’m going to jam about this a lot more in my June 2021 course called, “The Ascension Matrix”, but it’s a relevant point: Freelancing is *not* the destination. It’s a stepping stone down the path of what I call a “Knowledge Vendor” — someone who makes their living primarily based on what they *know* NOT
The first time I heard the phrase “marketing” funnel… not gonna lie… I snickered a bit. Guy was talking about it like it was some new, genius idea he’d thought up. But, “funnels” have been around since Jesus first roamed the internet. They just weren’t called that. Matter of fact… Clear back in 2004-2005, I had a MySpace marketing “funnel” I used to siphon eyeballs off MySpace and into my offers. And, I was pulling in a few thousand a month with it. Of course, I was basically showing people how to spam on MySpace… And, I started feeling dirty
This girl I know. Me and here got it– oh wait, that’s and Adam Sandler movie… haha. Anyway, I once knew this local photographer. Smart, smart, smart. I used to marvel at how well she understood business for someone who looked like your regular Jane down the street. Hmph. Faaaar from it. She was a shark business-wise. She, of course, had a photography business. But, she also owned a daycare and a kid’s clothing store. And she ran it all “synergistically” — to use an overused buzzword. But, she did it — as well as I’ve seen even from the
I used to have this client. His name was Stu McLaren. He’s gone on to become one of those “evangelical” business celebrities doing massive multi-million dollar product launches and such. But, at that time, he was a niche membership site guy. But, he *knew* membership sites. He had these massive mindmaps. Creating content, member retention, outsourcing… every minute detail of building and running a membership site… he had multiple tips, techniques, processes, etc. Anyway, one of the most effective is what I’ve come to all: “Object-oriented marketing.” Every month, we’d create a new WordPress plugin that was *only* available if
I used to work with this client. He ran a tech company whose flagship product was a mobile app service. And just being straight up… dude was kind of a prick. The type whose always right, his ideas are always “genius”, won’t listen to anybody… Thought of himself as the “next Steve jobs” (like they all do). And, if things don’t go exactly his way… comes stomping in yelling at everyone else — even if he’s completely wrong. And will NEVER admit when he IS wrong. A real douche-canoe. Buuuuut… Despite all that, this company was doing well — very
Stop acting like your client’s servant — like you’re there to kowtow to their every whim and wish and you’re lucky they’ve graced you with their business. It’s not just about having a little self-respect… it’s bad business. Was reading a Ben Settle email… He was talking about “History’s greatest ad man’s advice for dealing with clients”. He was talking about David Ogilvy… who is arguably history’s greatest ad man… and his “rules for respect in business” and Ogilvy said this: === In meeting with clients, do not assume the posture of servants… They need you as much as you
One of the reasons why I’ve all but tried to kill my YouTube channel. It’s become a cesspool off “broooo’s” flashing their rented Lambo’s outside their 20-room house (just for them) — and other various dumb s*** they do with their moolah. It’s like watching a Real Housewives episode. They just rounded up all the idiots… And pointed a camera at them. And people eat it up because it’s “entertaining”. Particularly egregious in the freelance/side hustle/online business space. There are always exceptions, but you check the trending… complete garbage for the most part. But, here’s the insidious part. Because of
I’d just gotten back from Basic Training for the Army. It was a weird time in my life. Just six months previous, I was a regular ol’ college student. Was playing football at the University of Nebraska, partying too much and doing as little school work as possible. In the interim… I’d joined the Army. I’d gotten married. My wife got pregnant. 9/11 happened and I shipped off to Basic. The possibility of deploying to Iraq hung over my head — and I returned home not sure what the hell I was going to do. I joined the Army Reserves…
Saw this scrub on Twitter post this namby-pamby bullshizen: === I will NEVER be impressed by your money, car, looks, social status or job title. I’m impressed by the way you treat me and other people. === Uuuuuuugh! Clearly, she ain’t seen my Ford Focus with its after market fenders. The glass packs and carbon fiber spoiler. Got 2 18-inch subwoofers in the trunk. Pfft. Whenever I drive by the little league games at the park… All the soccer moms give me that eye. You know. I’m basically a chick magnet. Hahahaha. Obviously, I’m kidding… but you know what “chicks”
Was reading this article in the New York Times. It was about a study, just published in the academic journal, Med, where Japaneses researchers tested delivering oxygen-filled enemas to severely oxygen-deprived mice and pigs (yes, this is real, haha). And it worked. The animals had been laying down because they were too oxygen-deprived to move. The skin of the pigs had become discolored. But, a few minutes after the enema, the color returned in the pigs. The mice got up and start walking around. And they went back to “normal” for the most part. They were basically able to bypass
A few years back, my wife and I uprooted our entire lives and sold our 2,000-sqft home in Omaha to move to “hillbilly heaven” in southern Missouri and build our version of a “tiny house”. A small-ish, 800-sqft home on 3.5 acres. Backed up to a lake deep in the Ozark Mountains. And when I say “we built”… I mean WE built it. My little brother and I did almost everything… from digging the trenches for the water and electrical to building the custom, gabled roof, running the electrical — all of it except for the siding. That’s the one
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