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
You’ve got a decision to make. What kind of person are you going to be? Person A: Or person B: I can tell you who’s going to get further in life. Who’s going to have more success as a freelancer. Who’s going to actually create the life they imagine for themselves. The funny thing about this is if you look at Miro… He very easily could’ve devolved into the same piss-poor attitude as Terry. He tried Upwork. And, his first attempt didn’t work out. He could have very easily just given up and became a troll who hunted down every Upwork video
My older brother was an insurance agent. If you don’t know, insurance is an uber-competitive industry because it has such huge profit margins. So, these people are dialed in when it comes to sales and getting new clients. I learned a ton from watching my him. For example… When he first started, his trainer had him write up a list of all the people he knew. He started with about 50 on his list. But, after some pushing and prodding, he got it up to about 300. Then, he had him write letter to those people… Letting them know he
Right after I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt. He has a massive following online. And, a bunch of his acolytes wanted a membership site just like his. Well, turns out I was 1 of 2 people in the world that could build it for them. And, the other guy wasn’t taking clients. So, I started getting a ton of quote requests for a “clone” of his site. I charged 3K a piece for these sites. But, I’d written the WordPress theme from scratch, myself. So, I had all the code. I knew exactly how to tweak it and set
This guy I know… Ahem… Once told me that veteran prostitutes demand their money upfront. Because they’ve learned the hard way that once a client gets what they want, they’re a lot more likely to walk away without paying. And, there’s not a lot they can do. Sound familiar? Oddly enough, I’ve never had a client flake like that. I guess growing up like I did, I always had that “[email protected]#$ better have my money” mentality. So, I came up with a system for getting paid that ensured I got mine… But, didn’t require the client to pay 100% upfront…
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
This isn’t mine. Credit to Jason Martin on Quora, but this story perfectly explains freelancing pricing and the “am I worth it” dilemma: A company is building a product, with a lot of money invested in it, but it just isn’t working. So they hire an outside engineer to look over the design. The consultant comes to the office, looks at the schematics for about 20 minutes, and then asks the director of the project for a pencil. The director taps his pockets, and realizes he doesn’t have one. “No problem”, says the consultant, and he opens his briefcase, opens a
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
I’ve easily made more benjamins as a result of following the great Ben Settle than any other “guru” or marketing expert out there. In fact, since I first listened to that podcast on that fateful day where I discovered him… I’ve quadrupled… and am about to quintuple my income. HE is why I email everyday. HE is why I stopped hard teaching in these here posts. HE is the one who cured me of my shiny object obsession. If my business is my baby… then HE is it’s baby daddy. One of the many things he taught me is how
Back when little JMO was just a freelancing tadpole… I made the mistake virtually every new freelancer does. That makes freelancing 10X harder than it has to be. Awful clients. Projects you hate. Getting paid pennies. It’s easy to see why so many people give up on it. My mistake was taking any and every client I could. I built a weird e-commerce app for a guy. Jackin’ around with creating PDFs in PHP for another. Hacking WordPress for yet another. I didn’t enjoy any of it. So, I procrastinated HARD. Clients got pissed. I had to refund a couple,
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
The offer is crucial. You can do everything else right, as a freelancer, but if you screw up the offer, you’ll have a miserable time getting clients because they simply don’t want what you have. This is why I rag on the “generalist” web developer approach so much. Most FREELANCE clients don’t want that. If they did, they’d hire an employee. They want a specialist to build them XYZ thing. That change in offer, alone, has helped 100s of freelancers I’ve taught. Here’s a perfect example. After I built Platform University for Michael Hyatt, I started to get a bunch of
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
When little JMO was a wet-eared freelancer… This was the thing that frustrated me the most. It was like someone was crushing me in a vise-grip. On one hand, you have to spend all your time attending to clients and delivering… while on the other working ON your business to get new clients. And, it never seemed like I had enough time in the day. Something always suffered. Drove me nuts. My problem, then, is I was just flying by the booty of my denims. I had no plan. No system. Nothing to rely on. I just got up each
There’s so much BAD advice out there when it comes to freelancing. It’s no wonder people keep falling victim to these stupid myths like, “Freelancing is a numbers game”. No the hell it’s not. Not if you don’t wanna be miserable. Or, “anyone can freelance”. Meh. Maybe, that’s “technically” true because freelancing is a skill that just needs learned. But, that’s like saying “basketball is just a skill” so “anyone can be a pro”. Yeah no. Some people are just better suited to freelancing. And, it comes down to what you value most. If you don’t value certain things MOST,
I was reading this Instagram post from @martin_lasek. (I definitely recommend following him, BTW.) And, his advice was to let family be your first client to help you get comfortable working with clients. And, one thing he said jumped out at me: “Believe me the fact it‘s family doesn‘t make them an easier client it just makes it easier for you to enter the field of project management, delivering and actually finishing it.” Man! Is that so true? And, I’ve been back and forth on this. Family CAN be a great first client. And, it can help give you that
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
Can we just skip this whole New Year’s resolution charade this year?I sit back and watch it every year. And, it’s the dumbest thing we do. “Hey here’s this list of things I know I’m never gonna do, but it’s this number on a made-up calendar, so hey…. why not pretend I’m actually gonna have the motivation and commitment to stick with it?” I don’t know, maybe I’m just a grinch. But, it’s so silly. That said, let me extend an olive branch. I DO think it’s possible to keep New Year’s resolutions. To use the natural motivation you get this
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,
So, I got this comment on a video today: “Sir, I am new on upwork. I’m submitting proposals from 6 months, but no one is accepting my proposal.” And, I gotta be straight up with you… I get this a lot. And, it never makes sense to me. If you try ANYTHING for 6 months and it’s not working… it’s way beyond time to re-think and re-strategize. Whatever you’re doing isn’t working. And, it’s not Upwork… it’s you. Which, nobody wants to hear… But, it’s true. In any case, what I wanna do today is give 3 big things to
I got this question on a video of mine: “So how do you get the to pay for your larger fee vs the guy who will do it for 300.” I get this a lot. The “low-baller” problem. So, what I wanna share with you, today, is a dead simple way for not only dealing with low-ballers, but also be able to raise your freelances fees at will… and, not have clients think twice about it. And, it starts with a simple change in how you think about. Why do people buy a Rolex watch when a Timex tells time
For me, freelancing is about time. Not money. I want to spend as much time as I possibly can with my wife and kids. I want to homeschool my boys. Teach them everything I know. Create a real relationship with them so when they’re adults, we have a friendship beyond parent-child. It’s the most important goal in my life. That’s why I have turned down I don’t know how many “regular job” offers. It’s also why I’m very picky about what clients I work with. And, I why I’ve chunked running my business down to about an hour a day.
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.
To hear the trolls tell it, these people don’t exist: “I have wasted 10 years of my life on a Master’s degree. And guess what? I am happy to realize that I don’t need it at all. Currently I make 100k+ yearly from my freelance business on Upwork/Freelancer, I am absolutely debt free, and going to become financially independent soon.” Boris Vasilenko Nope. Nothing to see here. “These freelance sites are scams!” “La la la la, can’t hear you!” Truth is… There’s plenty of this out there. AND, there’s plenty of people who’ve got on Upwork and never made a
I gotta chuckle a bit. Did you read that subject line like, “Really John?” “Could you be more cliche, buddy?” Heh. I’m just testing you. Seeing who trusts me enough to open this email, anyway. Anyhoo… I got something like that for you, today. Because man… today, I was feeling like a real turd. I’ve been talking all this “productivity” game. And here I am today feeling unmotivated as hell. Didn’t wanna send this email. Feeling overwhelmed by my house. And, not wanting to do [email protected]#. At least, I WAS about an hour ago. Now, I’m good to hook. Typing
I seriously feel like Scrooge, sometimes. The grumpy old man, scoffing at the kids and their little “hacks” and gimmicks… imploring them not to get all wrapped up in every shiny new object that comes along… knowing full well they’re not gonna listen. I especially feel it when it comes to LEARNING web development. I get all these emails or YouTube comments or Facebook messages from aspiring web developers about staying motivated and getting through the hard parts of learning to code… And, they’re always look for some “tip”… Or “strategy”… When, the truth is… You can’t “hack” your way
It’s funny. This time of year always gets me a little reflective. I want you to think about this, though. Why? I mean… why are you here? Why did you sign up for this mailing list in the first place? Why are you trying to learn development? Or freelancing? Or whatever the reason you’re here is… why? We’re all pushing toward something greater. For me, it’s “retiring at 40” and spending as much time with my kids before they leave the house. Teaching them everything I know. Giving them the childhood I didn’t have. What’s yours? Stop and think about
Awhile back, I had a guy ask me: “ok jump in where I am wrong…. YOU ARE: a teacher, a developer, a business owner, a husband, a father, a dog owner, a homebuilder??? Do you have a personal assistant walking next to you, feeding you to save time?” Now, I think the typical response is.. “Aw gee shucks. I just do my best!” But, the truth is… For me, that’s not really the case. A few years back, I made a conscious decision to push myself as far as I could productivity-wise. I’d just come off a big project where
There’s lots of reasons: You’re just not that good at what you do. You’re not very good at dealing with people. You picked the wrong market and services to offer. I could go on and on. But, by far, the #1 reason freelancers fail is they never learn how to consistently get clients. They rely on luck or “word of mouth”. They try this and that, but never learn and apply anything consistently. They constantly worry that one day the clients will dry up. And, if that does happen… They have no idea how to fix it. That was me
Got this review from Mehandi: “This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen on freelancing from any tutor. I will highly recommend this course among my peers and others as well.” I mean… Clearly, Mehandi is a bright fella. But, for realz… The #1 thing that holds most freelancers back is getting new clients. Not delivering, not managing their finances, not “work-life balance” or any other somesuch. Getting new butts in the chair. And, the #1 reason WHY… Is they’re shooting from the hip. No real idea HOW they’re getting the clients they got. No idea what
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
There’s 100s of freelance sites out there. When you’re new, it can be overwhelming trying to sift through all of them to figure out which ones are actually going to get you clients and give new freelancers a fighting chance against all the established ones. One of the things that annoys me about this topic is the articles you see with “73 Best Websites for Beginners” and that ilk. How does that help you any? Are you really going to apply to 73 different websites? So, I’m not going to do that. In my opinion (and experience), these are the
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 learned this when my brother got into insurance. It was all but required for any new insurance agent and the primary way they went about drumming up those first few clients and building the network they’d use to reliably get clients the rest of their career. Going around with him… I quickly learned how hot a commodity I was as a web developer. And, had people asking me to build them websites from day one. It was easy to see why every insurance agent did this. Anyway, that’s #4 of the 5 tips I reveal in my latest video
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
Man! I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my freelance career. But, each time, I always learned something important that helped me be successful later on. But, these three. These three mistakes were the biggest lessons I learned in 14+ years of freelancing. So, I made this video to just tell you what they are and what to do to avoid them. Give it a watch here: And, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with any freelancers you know. Later, John
The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
John has a relaxed and engaging manner. His advice is solid and the explanations are well thought out.
John really delivers!
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.
On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”
John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.
John is one of the best instructors I have come across, I learned a lot from his online tutorials.
I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.
John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.
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.
John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!
John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.
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.
John is an excellent teacher.
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!