Category: Career Advice

Top 5 Mistakes All Freelancers Should Avoid

In my 15 years as a freelancer, I’ve made my share of mistakes. And, no doubt, you will, too. That’s just a part of playing the game. But, some mistakes are more harmful than others. And, while I know I can’t (and shouldn’t) keep you from making any mistakes. These ones, in particular, are ones you can skip learning “the hard way”. So, let my stumbles and setbacks be your lesson. These are, in my opinion, the top 5 mistakes freelancers should avoid. 1. Undervaluing and Undercharging for Your Work I did this a lot when I started. It was

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How to stay focused when working from home

I was perusing through this site called Dev.to. It’s an AMA (Ask Me Anything) site for developers and freelancers. And, I came across this one AMA: “Landed a Junior Front End Developer role in 3 months”. And, one of the questions caught my eye: “How did you stay motivated? And how did you handle the days where you may not have been so motivated?” And, the answer was great advice for freelancers and work-from-home folks: “I set a very strict schedule for myself, I had set hours every day that were for study and nothing else. Being self taught requires

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Landed a Junior Developer job in 3 months

I was trolling through the Dev.to AMA site… And, came across this one from a developer named Verity: “I landed a Junior Front End Developer role after 3 months of self study, Ask Me Anything!” And one of her answers caught my eye. She was asked: “Did you ever feel like you were jumping the gun and applying to jobs too early?” That’s a big one. I get the exact same question a lot. “When do I know enough to apply for a job?” Well, here was her answer: “I have a very ‘all or nothing’ type personality, and at

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Are coding boot camps worth it?

I recently got this comment on YouTube: “I want to focus primarily on web development because software is way more intense. Most of the bootcamps are entailed for web development and that is what I’m planning to enroll in the near future. Yes, bootcamps are expensive since accelerated learning, but at least I have the opportunity to do full stack along with cohort simulating how it is to actually work in a real workplace. I think that is way more beneficial than teaching myself alone. I am someone that needs to interact to get the feel of how to code.”

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Degrees for developers are worthless

It’s a minimum of 4 years of your life. Very little of which you’ll actually learn how to code. The stuff you do learn will almost certainly be outdated. And, for your trouble, you’re going to fork over 5-6 figures for a piece of paper. And, that’s IF you actually graduate. And, don’t get sucked into the bottomless pit of parties and alcohol. But, but, John… you’ll learn computer science at college. Great. Take one of the many computer science courses you’ll find on online… many for less than 100 buqs. And, learn your precious computer science concepts. No need

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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

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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

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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

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What tricks most NEW developers

When Lynda Weinman first started the site back in 1995, it was built to let her communicate with people who’d bought here book. By 2015, it was acquired by LinkedIn for 1.5 billion. Here’s the lesson for new and aspiring developers.

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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 [email protected]# changes. And, [email protected]# 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

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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

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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​​​​​​​

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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

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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

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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

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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 [email protected]#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

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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

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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

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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

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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,

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Oliver Wainwright

Oliver Wainwright

I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Sukh Plaha

John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!

Thabo Motsoahae

John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.