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
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
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
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.”
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 The stuff you do learn will almost certainly be outdated.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
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
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
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
I got this question from Tim: “Staying focused and effective in business under extreme external pressure?” When I asked what he meant by “extreme external pressure”, he said: “[An] ex-wife who burned everything down. Ruined my closest business and personal relationships, and put me into complete financial ruin. With intent. So deep DEEP financial and personal stress has left me flailing and I am a month and a half into my first real opportunity for recovery. I feel a lack of clarity as to the best course of action to push my head above water for good. To focus on
The 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
For real. Think about it. When you lay your head down at night and think about all the things you want for your life right before you doze off… yeah… you dream about PHP 8 I’m sure. You see yourself chained to a desk, typing code… THAT’S what you really want outta life. Uh-huh. Or, Thanksgiving. When you’re sitting around the table with your family, big spread of food you’re about to rip into and you’re telling everyone what you’re thankful for… I’m sure it’s “Well, I’m thankful for CSS transitions, React… definitely react… Node…” No! Of course, you aren’t.
Fair warning if you’ve never been told. It’s important to never get too close to your clients. It’s a recipe for certain disaster. Something I learned the hard way… I had this client once I really liked. When we started, she was super laid back and easy to work with. She wasn’t trying to re-invent the wheel. And, she was actually willing to listen to me and my thoughts on her site. And, I felt like she really liked me, too. She always was pleasant when we talked. Always said nice things. Even as we worked through a stickier issue
That’d be the conventional wisdom. I only have my H.S. diploma. No college degree. Certainly no fancy-pants Master’s or doctorate. I’m just a lowly web developer building “boring” web sites for equally boring and uneducated people. To hear the know-it-alls tell it, anyway. But, as I sit here… On the land I own free and clear… Looking at the house I’m building (and own free and clear)… Pondering all the student loan debt I DON’T have… I can’t help but think: “This moron has done pretty damn well for himself.” Some might call that arrogant. Other (smarter) people might see
This time of year, boy! Cracks me up. I assume your inbox was pounded with about 1000 Black Friday emails like mine was. CTRL+A. Delete. 😀 I used to HATE this time of year. In fact, it was right about this time, several years, ago I hit rock bottom. I remember, I was going into town to get the kids some gifts. And, I already felt awful because they weren’t really getting much. Because we were basically broke. And, I also had this thing I really wanted. And, I was driving, trying to figure out how I could do both. And, for
“You don’t need college degree to be a web developer because people with advance college degree create libraries so that people without college degree can get a job.” That’s the comment I just got on YouTube. ???? Yeah. Sooo… let’s tear this guy a new… ahem… I mean, here are my thoughts: Later, John
I don’t hear many developers talk about #4 here. But, it’s so critical. If you start your web development career by picking a language, you’re making it much harder on yourself. And, that’s what #4 in this video addresses: In any case, if you wanna know how to methodically become a full stack web developer, give it a watch. It’s my recommended path to make a lot fewer mis-steps and get there faster. Later, John
It’s 100% possible. In fact, I think degrees are mostly worthless for WEB developers. But, there are three things colleges normally figure out for or dictate to you… that you’ll need to figure out on your own. Otherwise, you’ll wind up wasting a bunch of time and muney learning things you don’t need to. Or, in ways that don’t suit you. Anyway, I reveal those three things here: Watch, like, share. Later, John
Begin with the end in mind. After almost 15 years of doing this web development thing, if there were one thing I could go back and tell young Johnny, it’d be to think a helluva lot more about where I wanted to go with all this. The answers wouldn’t have been perfect. They’d evolve over time. But, I’d have felt lost a lot less. I’d have been more motivated. And, I’d have wasted a lot less time. In any case, if you’re smart you’ll learn from my mistakes. This new video has the big ones and the things you need
I’ve been a developer for over 14 years. And, I’ve worked with developers from all over the world. And, when people ask me “What does it take to be a PRO developer?”… I’ve noticed there are three tell-tale signs. Things you’ll see pro developers that others simply don’t or can’t. And, if you can do these things… You can pretty much write your own check as a developer. Anyway, just uploaded a new video on it here: If you want to take that next step, give it a watch. And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any other developers
New video just posted for you. In this one… a lot of developers wanna hit that 100K range, but don’t have a plan for how to do it. THIS is how you build that plan to make sure you’re grinding in the right direction. Give it a watch: And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any developers you know. Later, John
I’ve worked from home full-time for 8 years now. My little brother is going on 3 years. My mentor has worked from home full-time for ever a decade and a half. And, we all do it in very different ways. If that’s something you’d like to do, watch this video: I’ll show you what I do. What they do. And, several other ways you can be a developer AND work from home. Later, John
I remember this construction job I had. I must’ve pissed somebody off, at some point, because I got relegated to “trash guy”. I remember I used to battle with my watch. It took everything in me to not keep looking down at it. I’d think an hour had gone by and it’d be just 15 minutes. On this one site, I had my “spot”. It was a bell tower for a church. And, it had these loud ass steps. So, I’d go up there, clean it up real quick then go take a nap in one of the nooks up
I had this talk with my parents, last night. Most people have a warped view of what wealth is. I was telling them how my vision goes way beyond just myself. I don’t just want to have made myself wealthy. I want my kids and their kids and their kids and so on… to be wealthy. To build a kind of family dynasty. Where the habits that lead to wealth are just expected. The resources. The knowledge. That’s how legacies are built. And, growing up the way I did, I NEVER want my kids or grandkids or great grandkids to
I got this from Mikhail: Another example of how simple this can be. Your job is to grind. Mine is to point you in the right direction. In any case, I’ll keep it short, today. If you wanna become another success story like this… yes, of course, I truly believe in my courses and the fact that they’ll help you get there… and faster. BUUUUT… Don’t do what 90% do. Don’t join up and then do nothing. GRIIIIIIND! Hit it hard. Squeeze very last drop out of it. THAT is how you win. Anyway, if you want to know what
This from the Joelsuf-inator: “One thing I’ve discovered is that doing this DOES require the same kind of productivity as a full time job. Just because you’re making money from home does not mean you can just cut your commitment levels in half. In many cases you should be tripling your commitment. I’m discovering this now. Sure I can pick anytime during the day to work, but I better be productive for 8-12 hours a day like with any kind of job. Separate learning from marketing from doing work.” I literally can’t say it better. As sure as the Earth
Man! Been doing this Keto diet and today was a cheat day. So, had a huge stack of pancakes for breakfast… and my body is reeling. You know when you’re laying down and your arms feel like they weigh 100o lbs? Yeah, that. Anyway, got me thinking about this tweet: Procrastination Hack: When you procrastinate, you are focusing too much on the big tasks. Stop. Flip it. Focus on the small tasks & build up. Ex: instead of focusing on getting the entire blog done, do 1 paragraph. You will strangely want to complete another paragraph… — ArmaniTalks ?? (@ArmaniTalks)
I was 21. I’d been promoted to manage my first store. I’d been there a couple months and had turned around a failing store. I was set to get promoted in a few months and start making close to 6 figures. I still remember the day I quit vividly. I’d been wrestling with the decision for a few weeks. For a kid like me… Growing like I did… This was a golden ticket. A REAL way out. But, every day I was there I felt myself dying inside just a little bit more. I KNEW this wasn’t who I was
My older brother was a programmer. But, I never really was. Back in the 90s, he used to program games for us to play our little Apple computer. I remember one time I watched him for about five minutes and was like “[email protected]# that!”. He’d spend hours just sitting at his computer typing away. As a kid, I couldn’t understand it. Kind of funny to think about now. Anyway, what I’m getting at is… I was not “born” a developer. About the furthest from it. I grew up loving sports. In fact, I didn’t think much about computers until I was
It was Iraq. I was a Combat Lifesaver, which meant we got a little extra medical training. And, I’d volunteered to work at the on-base hospital, because they were short-staffed. So, whenever we had a “mass casualty” type event, I went up there. That day, a mortar round landed on base… Right in the middle of one of the unit’s meeting. There were over 30 people that got hit. And, the hospital had 2 doctors and 2 medics. We had to fill in the gaps on the rest of the casualties. The ones hit the worst went to the doctors
I got this from Jen on Facebook: This is one of the things that drives my inner grumpy old man to drink. We live in this world where a whole cadre of charlatans well-meaning self-help “gurus” bloviate teach about how to “channel” your inner confidence. All, you gotta do is stand on your head and rub your belly while chanting “ooooooom”. Or whatever B.S. stuff they’re teaching these days. And, I mean… yeah. Some of that stuff can be helpful. But, the simplest, most effective, most guaranteed to way to generate ACTUAL confidence on a day in, day out basis… is
I think about that day a lot. I was 8. My dad was driving my little brother and I to school. It was foggy and we couldn’t see more than five feet in front of the truck. We came to an intersection with a major highway near where we lived. I still feel responsible. Because, my dad asked us: “Can you guys see anything?” I said, “No.” And, he took off across the highway. She was speeding. 65 mph in a 55. She slammed into the side of our S-10 just behind the passenger door where I was sitting… no
I’ll never let what happened to my wife… happen to MY kids. It was such a mess. Her dad recently passed away and had ZERO planned or prepared for his death. So, instead of focusing on grieving, my wife and her family were scrambling figure out all the details of his funeral and scrounging up the money to pay for it. And, it’s like I told her… That’s HIS fault. If you leave your kids in a bind like that when you die, you failed them. Matter of fact, after seeing it I had a uncomfortable talk with my own
After yesterday’s email, I had quite a few people ask me to talk about my Army experience more. To be honest, I’ve purposefully NOT done that because it just seemed sort of cliche and banal. But… If people are finding it helpful, I’ll give it a try. Depending on how you respond I may do more. Anyway, when I was in Iraq, I was stuck on the teeniest of teeny camps. It was 300 yards wide by 1 mile long. For comparison, Camp Victory, which was right next door to us was 20 square miles. And, in the year I
I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was working construction at the time. We all suddenly got called back to the office. The first plane had hit and we all sat there around the radio as the second one hit. Nobody knew what to think or say. We just sat there horrified and speechless. Our foreman then sent us all home. I had already joined the Army in their Delayed Entry Program and was set to start training in six months. I immediately called my recruiter. “What does this all mean?” “Will they be having me go to
Thinking about it still makes my stomach churn. We went to one of her sister’s kids’ baseball games. And, in these small towns, everybody went to school together and nobody ever leaves. So, you’re always running into someone. This time it was Josh. I didn’t take long into the conversation for my insecurities to start flaring up. He was talking about this “amazing” job and all the money he made. His new 4-bedroom house. He pointed to his new Chevy truck in the parking lot. Blah, blah, blah… “[email protected]# this guy!”, I kept thinking. And, as they sat there chatting,
About a month ago I got this message from Scott: He wanted to get into web development. And, wanted to know if it was any better. Fast-forward to today and he just sent me this: Now, it’s obvious to me what happened. I get all the notifications. Scott has absolutely tore into his learning. Took my Beginner’s Guide to PHP course. Dove into my Freelancing on Upwork course. Hired a pro photographer to take his head shot. Started working on YouTube videos. Just insane amounts of action. If he keeps it up, it will be almost impossible for him to lose. Because no matter
This is one of the big fallacies in our industry. For me, it was about six months in. Growing up, I always knew I was pretty smart. School came easy to me. I could always learn new things really quickly. Plus, everybody always told me I was smart. I just grew up knowing it. Then, I started learning how to code. And, it didn’t come easy. In fact, even when I worked really hard at it, I still didn’t get it. The PHP manual is one I can remember. It’s weird to think about now. But, it used to confuse the
And, you shouldn’t ever forget that. They don’t care about you. Think about it this way. What do you think a hiring manager is more likely to get “in hot water” from the “highers ups” over? Not hiring a good employee Hiring a bad employee I hope the answer is obvious. Executives and higher ups will almost never know if a good employee slips through the cracks. And, how do you KNOW for sure they’d be a good employee, anyway? But, a bad employee. Well, you see that. It’s right in your face. So, most hiring managers (despite all the
A 5-minute look on Indeed… And, you can find a dozen or more tech jobs… That DON’T require any kind of degree. But, I know, I know… “All the REAL tech jobs require a degree. You ‘script kiddie’ web developers might not, but my uber-genius requiring jobs does, so there.” Know-it-all says what? Anyway, here’s the proof you don’t need a degree to get a tech job (plus, several actual non-degree-requiring web developer jobs you can apply to if you want): Later, John
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Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.
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