Tag: life

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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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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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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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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Systems and science

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

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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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If you want to actually KEEP your New Year’s resolutions

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

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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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My success secret weapon

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

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The truth about becoming a web developer

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

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Productivity leeches

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

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When you feel like procrastinating

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

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I’m an uneducated moron

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

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The BEST Black Friday deal

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

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How to ask for a raise as a developer

Don’t just go in and ask. Have a plan. And make sure your plan includes these three things… I learned from my brother as he went from 40K to over 110K in about 2 years: Later, John

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The freelance nobody wants to hear

There are no secrets. There is no magic. The keys to success as a freelancer are boring, non-sexy and deadly effective… once you know them. Watch the video to learn them: Later, John

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How to become a full stack web developer

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

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How to start a career in web development

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

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How to make 100K as a developer

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

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4 ways to work from home as a developer

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  

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Dreading tomorrow?

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

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The truth about wealth

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

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The best freelancing advice you’ll hear

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

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My hands were shaking as I sent the fax

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

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You ever consider suicide?

Got this question: “This is going to be perhaps the most personal question you’ve received from anyone. With all the remarkable things you’ve experienced as a soldier, with all the setbacks in your personal life, with the setbacks in your professional life – getting the freelance career going et al – did you ever reach a point – and this is the touchy subject – did you ever think of ending it all? Did you glance over to that rope thinking this was your way out? If you do NOT answer this. I FULLY understand.” It IS personal. But, I

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I almost killed this guy

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

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Tattoo this on your fookin’ forehead

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

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She slammed me into a telephone pole

​​​​​​​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

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When I die

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

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I was 8 feet from death

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

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The day that changed my life forever

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

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The guy my wife left me for

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,

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Hiring managers are your enemy

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

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Any monkey can learn to code

I first talked about this way back in 2013. In fact, this is exactly what I said: “But, to be honest, I’ve never really talked much about what it REALLY takes to be successful as a developer. Because, while all that technical mumbo-jumbo is cool… none of it REALLY matters. Yes, you need to know how to do those things… but those things aren’t what MATTER most when it comes to determining the successful from the unsuccessful. Any monkey can learn to code.” Which… okay. Touch aggressive maybe. But, the point stands. I mentioned this is yesterday’s podcast (johnmorrisshow.com)… 51%

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Fake PHP jobs

So, from yesterday… There’s obviously lots of PHP jobs posted out there. But, Leon asked this in response to that video: “How many companies lie about their intentions to hire, to create a false shortage, to argue for more (cheaper) foreign workers?” I’ll keep it real. My gut reaction is: “Who gives a [email protected]#?” It’s not ALL of them. I know that. And the only way you’ll really know is to apply. It just feels like an excuse to me. And, that gets my inner grumpy old man outta his chair. Buuuuuuut. Let me be civil. I looked it up.

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The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients

What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:

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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

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.

Jim DeJonge

Jim DeJonge

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

Chris Aitken

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

Michael Skye

Michael Skye

John is a man of integrity, who gives generously of himself to projects and people he cares about.

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!

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Lori Grant

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

Bradley Smith

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

Thabo Motsoahae

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

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.