Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog


How I Got Here

I consider myself a very successful person, both in business and in life. I have what I consider a strong faith, a great family and no financial worries. That's not to say that there aren't areas that I'd really like to improve in. In my opinion, anyone who thinks their life is perfect either has very low standards or is delusional.

But things weren't always as good as they are now, and they didn't become the way they are without help from other people. No man is an island, and I'm no exception.

So I thought I'd briefly share some of my personal history that brought me to where I am today. I'll stick to the things that affected my business, since that's what most of my blog readers are interested in. I think there are some good lessons to learn from what's happened to me along the way. I hope you'll agree.

The first thing that affected my success as a software developer and Internet Marketer was my father. It started when I was eight years old. I was over at a friend's house whose neighbor was having a garage sale. We were bored so we went to go see what they had.

One of the things for sale was a TRS-80 computer without a disk drive. I immediately walked home and asked my dad for the money. We were broke, and he didn't really have the money, but he gave it to me anyway because he could see how excited I was about it. That's typical of my father, and would not be the only time he spent money he didn't have on my interest in computers and programming. He sacrificed a lot to invest in my future, a fact for which I am forever grateful.

After bringing the TRS-80 home I went to the library and checked out a book on the programming language that came with the computer -- BASIC. I was hooked, and knew from that day on that I wanted to create software when I grew up. I honestly have never wanted to do anything else.

I probably would have done it anyway, but thanks to my father's self-sacrificing efforts I was creating commercial software by the time I was fourteen years old. That would not have happened without him.

There's two important lessons in this:

First, always remember that you didn't do it on your own. If you think hard about it, whatever level of success you're having now, there were people who helped you out along the way. Return the favor to others and you'll be far more successful than if you try and keep it all to yourself. If you're not yet where you need to be, you'll get there. And when you do, always remember who helped make that possible.

Second, find your passion and pursue it. Success will inevitably follow.

One more quick story that taught me a lesson. Would you be surprised to learn that I never went to college? I didn't. I'm self taught. The local public library was where I got my education. I checked out books on the computer-related topics I was interested in, and I pursued my interests with people who shared them. That's all it took.

I've read a lot of statistics about how people with degrees get better jobs than people without them, but I think those numbers are misleading. It's not the degree that brings you success. It's the education coupled with your desire to succeed.

So the lesson I learned is this: education is vital to success, but you don't have to get that education from a University. Don't think you're not smart enough to succeed -- you are. You may not yet be educated enough, but you can fix that. Here's a good place to start.

And if you did go to a great school, your education shouldn't stop there. If you want to succeed, and remain successful, you should never stop learning.

There are many other lessons I've learned over the years. I might blog more about them in the future. In the mean time, I'd love to hear your thoughts about these lessons, and some of the lessons you've learned yourself. Please write them in a comment below this post.

Related Internet Marketing Q&A

Comments (147) Trackbacks (0)
  1. What a great and inspiring article. Remember those who made you who you are today, a great life lesson. We are what we are because of those who have been there and cared.

  2. Actually my childhood was remarkably similar to yours, it sounds like. My Dad provided me with simple computer systems as a young boy, and I also took out books from the library that taught BASIC and included long programming sequences that you’d sit down and input for an hour to create some kind of simplistic flower animation…. LOL.

  3. Thank you Jon for sharing this inspiring story. I love the easy going tone and honest humble beginnings. You are right about people influencing the paths we take and not to take them for granted. You got me thinking about things that have happened along the way that at the time I thought ‘why is this happening to me?’ and now seeing that it lead me to another place that I would have never ventured to. All the best to you and your family!

  4. Awesome. The fact that you started at just 8 years old is obviously the reason why you continue to churn out high quality software products. I have benefited a great deal from your many software. I am confident you will continue providing us with more awesome software products as the months and years go on.

    Very inspiring story. And regards to your dad for making it all happen!

  5. What a great article. Man your software and site info is the best. Would I love to get a Joint V going with your crew. Reading your blog is a great testimony to all IM ers everywhere. TBS is the simplest and best piece for IM tools out there…Keep it up bro!

  6. Thank You for sharing your personal story. I agree with you with the statement of
    “education is vital to success, but you don’t have to get that education from a University”
    There are billionaire who did not go to university, and those have degree are to necessary be billionaire.
    knowledge + action = success

  7. It’s very disappointing when people you know change because of success. they should let success get to their heads.

  8. Hi Jon,

    This story touched home! Not just the TR-80, but the self-made (with a little help) man…

    When I was 22 yrs. old, my children’s Dad had a grinder blow up and stones went thru his head, the neurosurgeon removed approximately 500 slivers of bone from inside his brain. From that day forward it was necessary for me to make the living.

    I had no formal education, so with 3 kids under 3 I had to work full time while going to college to get a degree in accounting (minor in creative writing). Now, that part was not hard, but once I had my degree I still had to learn how to make a living, so the education turned out to be secondary. I worked for medical doctors and hospitals for several years and decided that I was beating my head against the wall.

    So, I located a cheap office building in Mansfield, TX and opened my own office. Within a few months I was operating a successful accounting office and a few months later a secretarial service and answering service on the side. It grew on a regular basis and at the time I sold it and left the area 11 years later, I had two full time employees handling all of the secretarial work who were smarter than I was, that made my job much easier.
    *note: Always hire people who are smarter than you are if possible!

    When arriving in the Houston area I was fortunate enough to snag a job as accounting manager for Zenith Administrators. I was over the accounting department in 3 states and 5 locations, having numerous employees. Hated every minute of it! But, out of necessity I stuck it out for close to 10 years.

    Ended up losing my life’s saving in the fall of Enron!!!

    That is when I decided that I would never work in a corporate situation again. And also about the time you started Cash4Links!

    You are the one who gave me the confidence that I needed and the chance to show the world that I could write and it is your programs that have made me better each day.

    I own almost every one of them and can hardly wait for the one you are working on now to come out, although I fear that it will basically eliminate my article writing.

    But, that’s OK Jon. You also taught me to spin with TBS and I do a lot of that along with web design.


  9. Different paths by different people. Thanks for sharing, Jon, I have been following your internet business advice and find it interesting you did not go to college. I do agree, continual learning is the key.


  10. Thanks for that,You are no doubt a sucessful online marketer,programmer,but the spinner software put google into a new war againt the spinned content,what ever good or bad, it make google became more and more smarter ,but you can also improve the spin tech,is it possiable there is a end of the running? May be not still people don’t use language to communicate but use sprit sense…lo:

  11. Hello Jonathan, as always I enjoyed reading your blog post. I have learned a lot from your articles and would like to say thank you. This article has really got my mind racing about things in my life and things I try to do for people.

    Looking forward to your next blog post.

    Corey Hoffman

    P.S. Have you ever thought about writing a update on your Geek-Free SEO ebook?

  12. For some reason I was reluctant to spend the time to read this post, despite the fact I usually enjoy your stuff! Plus Josh Spalding recommended it.

    I’m glad I did and your lnternal link made me laught! But it is so simple and true!

    Cheers good post… Sean.

  13. This post forces us all to stop and reflect on our journey so far. We need a zen moment every now and then from all the hustle and bustle of whatever we are doing and appreciate people situations that helped us get where we are!

  14. Wonderful story Jon. My first computer was a Tandy with no hard drive, only two large floppy drives. I then graduated to a 386 with 1MB of RAM. I upgraded to a massive 4MB of RAM – I still have that computer with its 4 x 1MB chips.

    I’m totally self taught on computers. Sat down and experimented. After a couple of weeks I started taking notes so I could remember how I did a particular thing.

    From there I started my own business producing flyers, brochures, business cards etc then advertisements for our local paper. I then became editor of said local paper (10 years) and learned through experimenting and doing, how to use PageMaker and InDesign.

    While I can’t create software, I love learning how to use it. And from never had a lesson on how to use a computer or any particular software, I now earn my living from it.

  15. Thank you for sharing both memories and lessons. I especially like your point about education vs degree. A degree might be nice, but it is being openminded and ready for learning every day that will keep you in front.

  16. Great storyn Jonathan…..I always think about smart brain which keep bringing great ideas for internet marketer:-) but todaay I came to know real story bhind it….and yes we does not become big unless and until people help us to grow more and more……its(success) always a TEAM work…Together Everyone Achieve More!!!!

  17. Jon, your story made ​​me remember my father. I remembered my father bought my first IBM computer in the mid-1980s (though at that time, the computer is still including luxury goods, and most parents prefer to buy tv or motorcycle ). Thanks for the memories

  18. Jonathan,

    Great story, I truly hope to get to that peak of success and look back and say this was my story. I think when you get to that point and you want to help others you truly have achieved something. So thank you again for putting that post out there.

  19. I completely agree that you don’t need to attend college to get an education. Self-discipline goes a long way toward success.

  20. I had a similiar yet opposite story just like that….. If that made any sense! I’ll explain.

    I too have had times like that when I was a kidbut my passion was in skateboarding and surfing, the only thing was, was that I could’ve had a Tony Hawk skateboard for a measely $15 and my mom couldn’t afford it at the time. Not even a surfboard for $40! Those were the 2 things I was very passionate about at the time……

    Well about 20 some years later after serving in the Navy, going to a tech school for marine technician and now going to college for Auto CAD and pursuing an Internet Marketing business while I’m at it……..I still wonder what my life would had been like if I got that skateboard!

    Needless to say though after all of what I have done in my life (also being a stay at home dad) I do enjoy affiliate marketing which even though I haven’t made a lot of money doing it. So hopefully it all pays off within 6 months because that’s when I graduate and I would rather be an affiliate marketer now that I’m so wrapped into it!

    Anyways congrats on your success and keep making quality software!

  21. Great and inspiring story Jon.

    All the best.

  22. Very inspiring story Jonathan and the thing that really hit home run with me is how lucky you are to know what you wanted to do in life since the age of 8.

    Not everyone is so lucky to figure out what they want to do in life (I still don’t really know and I am 30 years old).

    Great story and thanks for sharing.

  23. Jon, liked your story. I believe that gratitude is an attribute which takes you a long way in your life. You are no exception! Keep up the good work. My best wishes remain with you always.

  24. For me, your timing in posting this is spot on. I attended college several different times in my life, but circumstances have kept me from acquiring that coveted piece of paper. At the end of my 4 decades on the planet, I am having to start all over in life with two kids to support. I have not worked for anyone else since 1994 and finding a decent-paying job is really tough in this economy, especially without a degree.

    But having read your post and many of the comments, I realize that what I’ve been striving to achieve (financial abundance through internet marketing) is a passion of mine that I just need to keep plugging away at. I have failed so many times that I’m sure success is just around the corner.

    You and other posters also mentioned that no man/woman is an island and it seems that most people who succeed have people to help them, or at least to support their efforts. I have not had that kind of support system, and perhaps that is why I have not yet met my goals. Obviously I need to reach out and connect with people who have the same goals.

    Thank you–all of you–for being my “cheerleaders” today :)

  25. My first computer was a Commodore 64 then an Apple IIe. Mom was the person who inspired me to have an interest in computers.

    I was the first person in my family to graduate from college (B.S. Business Administration/Computer Science). I later went on to get my MBA (Operations Management).

    My formal education helped me to secure corporate jobs. These jobs sucked the life right out of me. Go figure!

    Now I work from my laptop (actually I’m sitting in a Starbucks right now). I made my first sales online this week writing PLR packages. Am I happy? Yes, absolutely! It will take a while for me to get my income back up to my last job but I have a lot more freedom and a bit more influence on my destiny.

    I learned about online marketing from folks like Jon Leger, Josh Spaulding, Tiffany Dow, Jason Fladlien, just to name a few. It’s amazing what a few ebooks and coaching courses will do for you. Also, Derek Franklin has taught me a lot about searching online. His Search Automator Force is a great program for searching on the web. It’s free!

    • Thanks for the heads-up on such a powerful tool (and Free)! His motivation for giving it away was a pretty impressive story in itself.

      I’ll definitely add Jon’s Shablast engine and can see where article research will be a breeze from here on.

  26. With all the so-called gurus out their, it takes awhile to find the good ones with something to offer. Your one of them.
    The most important item I try to teach my grandchildren is that graduating college is when you really start learning.

    At 75 I spent almost a year learning SEO. Now I am an SEO Guru and still keep learning.

    I taught myself how to setup, design, write, well everything related to starting a web site. I now have a successful 600 page website.

    Take a look at Look up the rankings for drs. In the top 10 for over 400 pages including inner pages.

    Not bad for a 75 year old guy.
    Never stop learning.

  27. Very inspiring story and I like the part you talked about having the passion to do what you set your mind doing. Life is more meaningful finding one’s own potential, and have the aspiration to do better in life.

  28. Another inspiring post. What a great point about realizing that we do not get where we are in life without the help of others. It’s easy to lose sight of this. I am grateful everyday for the support and assistance from my family.

  29. I was encouraged to go to college and get a good paying job. I didn’t do it. I went straight into a great paying job as a welder right out of high school.
    It wasn’t until almost ten years had passed that I actually found and pursued my passion.
    Then I got married and had children and did the “responsible thing”. I abandoned my low paying job that I was passionate about and went back to college, became a nurse, and supported my family. And I was miserable.
    I can tell you that I did no one any favors by becoming “responsible”.
    Now, I’m pursuing what I’m passionate about again. It’s more difficult because I have to replace a higher income, etc.
    But my biggest lesson here is how I guide my children. They are not to “settle” for safety and stability. They are to find out what they love and then go out and do it.
    When you are doing what you were born to do you have your greatest reward. And it’s not money.

  30. I became a father myself 6 months ago and you are right, one of the best gift we can give to our children is education. I share the same sentiments like you, without the sacrifice from our parents to invest in our education, we will not be where we are today. A great salute to all parents in the world! ^_^

  31. Hi Jon
    Thanks for the story. I am also one of those who started on Basic then turbo pascal… I completely agree that your own education is what matters. I still haven’t seen a gold way to teach entrepreneurship anyway and it starts with drive, which cannot be taught in school but only through our family environment i think. And you are right about the importancr of that. We often forget how important is what we take for granted until it is gone, such as family support.
    All the best

  32. Hi Jon,

    My first PC (if you want to call it that) was a TI/994A, you needed a cassette player to load the programs, that noise was crazy…listening to thousands of 1′s and 0′s.

    I tried my hand at programming but I was too impatient, I ended up just playing the games they wrote for them, cool adventure games without pictures, just a paragraph describing your surroundings.

    You had to tell your character how do everything with text commands, and if you didn’t save often, you died, and had to start over.

    Too bad we don’t have that feature in real life…the save feature.

    I miss those games, maybe I will learn programming and write versions for today’s PC’s.

    The day my older brother showed me his TI/994A, my life changed forever…I was hooked on PC’s…still am…lol

    Your dad sounded great, the kind of father I want to be. If we as parents don’t encourage our children’s dreams, we are doing a great injustice to them, a ripple effect that could reach many generations, why?

    Because bad information gets passed along from one parent to another. My parents never encouraged me, because their parents never encouraged them.

    That didn’t stop me, but it would have done me a lot of good if they did encourage me to follow my dreams.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration…everything you give – you get back X1000.

    Take Care,


  33. Ahhh, the trash 80 :) Those were the days.

    You are so right, no one succeeds alone. And to be truly successful, you must pass it on. Besides, you sharpen your skills when you are teaching someone else.

    Good post Jon, Stay grounded.

  34. You’re absolutely right. I didn’t go to university either. I wasn’t ready to learn at that stage of my life for whatever reason. But I started learning when I left formal education and haven’t stopped since and right now I’m learning more than ever. It’s never too late. And we should always remember those that help us or inspire us on our journeys.

  35. Jon, I can’t wait to read more of your story, it has really ignited many memories for me. These are things that just brings you back to earth, no matter how much you’ve achieved, you just get to realize that there were people who helped/sacrificed to help you get there. Once again, thanks for sharing this, Jon.

  36. Hi Jon,

    Good on you – I couldn’t agree more. Working on your passion means that when the chips are down, it’s still fun to keep going.

    I like what you say about recognising the people who have helped you, by helping others in return.

    As James Taylor put it, “the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time…”, i.e. success is enjoying what you do now – not necessarily the end result.

    Thanks again

  37. Good story but what if you are in a country where things don’t work like in the US and UK? What will you do?

    I know about internet marketing a lot but I am lacking good internet connection and good electricity service.

  38. Great Story Jon. Have been self employed for 35 years plus and run my own Company that I formed when I was 19 years old. My father always brought me up to work hard. He was always a hard worker and I learnt a lot from him. These days its not good enough to just work hard as this will only only bring a living. Swapping time for money is tuff and is so inefficient. To make the bigger money and give you time in your life you need the edge that the internet can give you. You need the burn to want to succeed and you just need to do the extra mile and never give up.

  39. Why do I love to read Jon’s posts? He always come up with something interesting. I was in a tight position and had nowhere to turn to until this guy gave me the insights. It was tough and I agree that no man is an Island because I experienced such things on my own skin. I don’t believe there is anybody successful without another person giving him a little help. Jon’s father gave him the jumpstart. Jon, please give my regards to your father. Mine wanted everything for us his kids but he was not in the position to do so. He struggled all his life until he was finally called up. Bless his soul.

    My breakthrough in internet marketing came from a guy I met for the first time in my life. Today, my entire family is grateful to him.

  40. Hey Jon, Great post! Lovely to hear about people’s beginnings and what I also love is the ‘attitude’ that got you to where you are now.

    I didnt do well at school due to family problems. I am qualified in my adult profession of Hypnotherapy, NLP & Coaching for legal reasons that is important and its a difficult one to learn from a book. However, I have worked closely with some super intelligent people with high flying careers and a list of qualifications. They often marvel at my skills and knowledgeable insight which cannot be taught but is learned at the University of Life.

    What I have a degree of is intelligence and thats enough to fulfill my current ambition of becoming a successful Internet Marketer. I mix my existing knowledge and skills with my new found knowledge and skills and I am creating digital coaching products to help and support people all over the globe.

    I thank you for your amazing software that definitely helps along the way!

    Looking forward to more of your stories

    Best regards

  41. Are you a Google affiliate now? lol Thanks for sharing your story.

  42. A very interesting story. I’ve been following you for a few years. Are you always so strong-headed to respect life, or whether you had any difficulties. Did you have for example difficulty in relation to school?

  43. Thanks for the inspiration, Jon. Loved your story about the TRS-80.

  44. Thanks for the reminder on how some simple things are the base for strong and successful lives. And btw, I’ve always believed that “success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success”.

    Again, thanks a lot for reminding me to stay focused on pursuing our dreams no matter how difficult things might get at times…


  45. I think the most important thing that you do that makes you what you are now in contrast to what less successful people do, is hard work.

    It might seem as if your gifted and so on and so on, but thing is, you’re working hard to make things happen. I’ve seen it in so many successful and great people.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Jon.

  46. Hi Jon
    I just loved reading this, yes you are blessed in knowing early in life what you want to pursue, but it takes dedication to make it work. I do appreciate when people look back to see where they come from and who helped along the way. God Bless

  47. great post…what you said is true…

  48. Hi Jonathan,

    Following you al long time already, please elaborate on:
    “We were broke, and he didn’t really have the money, but he gave it to me anyway”.
    How does that work? As when we were broke, we had to work in order to get new money to give away :-)



  49. What has really blown me away is the devices we have now are like mega computers 10 ago.. What we hold in our hands now has more power then than what the gov had 10 years ago.. LOL My first program was a vb AOL ad on program.. {snip} that feels like along time ago.. hahah!

  50. Thanks for the reminder and blast from the past. I enjoy reading your posts because of how you keep it real.

    I had to laugh when I saw TRS-80 in your post because I remember starting out in a way similar to yours. I have always been one that not only wanted, but needed to work for myself because working hard to make someone else filthy rich made me feel less than I really am as a person.

    I remember as a very young child one time I wanted a new basket for my bike and my neighbor told me that bicycle baskets are for girls. I explained that I needed the basket so that I could carry all of my cleaning supplies for my business.

    He laughed and asked me, “and what business might that be young man?”

    I proudly said, “I deliver stuff and clean beauty shops”. Needless to say he helped me with a basket, business cards AND he let me start cleaning up around his mechanics garage.

    Like you, I am very much self taught despite all of the schools that I have attended. School just does not teach us how to squeeze a nickle out of a turnip when the economy is like it is right now and jobs are few and far between.

    Thank you for your software and all that you and other members do to help your fellow men and women and children.

    So yes, we all have been helped by someone in some large or small way that can only be measured by how important the need may have been for us at any given time.

    I want to thank everyone that has responded here for all of the reminders of how important it is for us to follow your Father’s example.

    Thanks Jon.

  51. Thanks Jon. Very unusual post. Some time we need inspiration like this.
    Wait for other lesson guys.

    Yes, we can achieve what we get now not by ourself. I very agree with this.
    Thanks Jon.

  52. Jon, I was just thinking about this the other day. As I get older am I existing, surviving or thriving? You answered the question of how to thrive in life. You are fortunate to have found your passion at an early age.

    Many people just survived hoping for a good retirement and now with the economic downturn that hope faded away. Heck, I think this is the perfect time to pursue dreams – lets have at it.


  53. thanks so much for sharing this story its so inspiring it really reminds me when i began at this, like a year ago sometimes i feel like i wont do it, but when read this and most of what u said persuing our happyness i really think that i need to move forward and do this, im happy to be one of your suscriber thanks mr leger

  54. Hey Jon,

    Thanks for sharing this. Truly inspirational. Yep, am amazed at your will to achieve your dreams and your success without attending college. Admire your dad too for recognizing your interest and potential at an early age. In this paper-chase environment in Singapore, I too would like to emulate your father in supporting my daughter in her dreams to pursue a career in the Arts – something not as yet ‘recognized’ as a platform for success here.

    Thanks again. Look forward to reading more of such stories

  55. Jon, you truly are a man who follows his dreams and aspirations! Your belief in God has helped you along the way. I know this for a fact because my wife and I pray together every day, at least once and sometimes more than once (on bad days, or when someone really needs help badly.)

    When I was younger, I thought I did not need God any longer because life was good and I did whatever I wanted to do. God showed me differently, and I am glad he brought me to my knees in the gutter, and stretched out his hand to me. Life has never been the same since that day in 1981.

    I personally have witnessed your kindness and generosity to helping others in need. Thank you so very much for your generosity and love for others.

    I did some programming on the Engineering department’s “newest” computer in 1963 that ran in BASIC and COBOL……aahh, the not so good old days!

    I witnessed what you are saying about not having to go to college to be successul. One of my high school friends, Ken Hendricks, dropped out of high school, never went to school again, and managed to work hard and smart to be worth over $3 Billion dollars. He started a chain of lumber stores in the US called ABC Supply. He died a couple of years ago from an accident, but his wife and family now run the various businesses that he started.

    John Blint

  56. Hi John,

    I think you’re my new inspiration now. I just graduated from high school and I have same passion like you, computer software. But I don’t want to get into a college because I know I could find education outside the college.

    Thanks :)

  57. I liked practical things and enjoyed tinkering and when I went on holiday to the UK, I got hooked on the PC and never wanted anything else. My point is, my education never stopped, even when I left formal education.

  58. I too was a “Trash 80″ refugee; in my early 20′s I was mowing people’s yards in an hour-for-hour exchange for programming time on their machines. Lots of that, but my pentultimate computer moment was the arrival (pre-ordered) of a Heathkit microprocessor trainer – it was the first one sold in Florida. The store called me (Heathkit stores – sigh) and I drove the thirty miles over there, after I got out of work. The store guys and I were up all night, first assembling the kit, then running tests and starting thru the training manual.
    Hex keypad entry, 7-segment LED readout, and the ability to breadboard interfaces to…anything… the wife finally fell in with the whole thing when I designed a plant care system that allowed automatic care of the house plants and lawn. (“National” brand clock chips thru a serial bus? Man, front edge stuff).
    Totally relate to notch-punching, bulk buys of disks thru computer clubs, exchanging cassette tapes of programs (Tarbell vs Kansas City format – the arguments were endless LOL). Many of those folks I met are still friends, and we helped each many a late night on one bulletin board or another.
    It’s a bigger world now, and I’m sure there are equivalent projects out there – but I treasure the infuriating, insane, triumphant days when you could change the world with a handful of interface chips, and an article on a bulletin board.

  59. Thank you Jon for this inspirational post. I’m not a programmer in any way shape or form, but I know the importance of relationships. Some of the comments here have been really inspirational also.

  60. G’day, great advice Jonathon and might I add? It’s never too late. Just retired and now following an online future.

  61. Jon, This was a great post and you have a fantastic writing ability. I have been studying IM for over a year trying to get comfortable enough to build a website. Reading your Article made me want to take action on what I have learned so far.
    It is refreshing to know that you care about others and want to help them. That is something that is rare these days. Thank you and GOD BLESS YOU AND FAMILY.

  62. I also started with BASIC. My parents were pretty critical of the time I spent on the computer playing games… til I showed them I’d created them myself :) And while I’ve got a couple of degrees, everything I’ve learned about internet businesses has been self taught. People with a tertiary education shouldn’t get so caught up in the time they spent getting it. If you don’t love it, move on, teach yourself. Thanks Jon

  63. You hit the nail right on the head with this one. Reminds me of my all-time favorite mentor, the legendary J.F. (Jim) Straw. Started out when he was like 9 years of age and spent immeasurable amounts of time in the library.

    I think you’re right also about those college degrees. Most of them really don’t do anything but teach you how to go to work for someone else. And often by the time you graduate there aren’t any more jobs in your chosen field.

    No thanks, I’ll stick to working for myself.

  64. Jon… This why I follow you, because you have never forgotten where you came from and, your always helping other to succeed online. There marketer online now and there only interest is taking and never giving back or sharing what it really takes to make in this business. I believe success does follow if you stay the course as you stated here

    ” It’s not the degree that brings you success. It’s the education coupled with your desire to succeed ”

    I have that desire Jon… it’s burning desire, but also I believe in helping others as well my only problem is reaching out and asking for for help other, thanks for reminding me that we all need so help sometimes…. Looking forward to more post like this Jon

    Best wishes

    Darryl H

  65. Your story put a smile on my face, my first computer was the TRS-80 that sure was a long time ago.

    As a financial planner, I always recommend to be successful in life one needs to write down their goals and review those goals often if not daily.

    Never Give up….


  66. Hi Jonathan, I really respect you. Thanks for advices and keep your great work.

  67. And I remember a Polish computer called “Pravets” that we has in the Informatics class in Soviet Union (Uzbekistan) and learned how to draw a square with a number of lines of the code. :) It’s funny to remember those times and compare to today’s technologies, touch-screen tablets… You story Jon, is very inspiring, you are inspiring as well. Your software is amazing. Please share more of your life lessons as it helps people remember about important things and learn the ways to succeed. Thanks again.


  68. Great stories guys. I have no such tech tales from days of old but the posts here are really uplifting. I am a budding internet marketeer and its fantastic to here such tales of success and I must say love.

    Well done to one and all :)

  69. I am actually not surprised at all that you are self-educated. I was taught that a college degree was the only way to succeed, but that’s just not the case. I have a Bachelor of Architecture degree that I paid for myself with blood sweat and tears and have no intention of ever using again. I’ve worked at home now for over five years providing SEO consulting services to small business and love it. I homeschool my kids, and teach them that college is an option, not a necessity. What IS necessary is creativity and hard work.

  70. Hi Jon,

    A very inspirational story, we all need education and people to help us. The problem however with being self taught online today is the proliferation of scam artists. There are so many who have “made it” and push there course, software or whatever.

    It’s thanks to people like you who have been around awhile that we have a reliable source of information.

    Keep up the good work

  71. What a fun blog and wonderful comments! Kind of like a world wide family reunion of relatives whom never met sharing the same war stories.

    I personally started out with a Pineapple 2-C (apple knowck off) and green screen. I thought I was a big shot because I had TWO 5.25″ floppy drives. Does any remember VisiCalc? You could cue up a problem…go to dinner…and return just in time for the final product.

  72. Hi John

    I have been following you and your products for a number of years and I appreciate your honesty, integrity and your great software.

    Would you consider shinning a little light on the “Faith” side of the equation that makes such a presence online possible?

    With so many people out to take, you seem set on being generous and I think a lot of people would like to hear about how and why you do what you do.



  73. Great post. Great Dad. I was convinced there would be something about ‘old time radio.’


  74. Hey Jon,

    I completely agree with those 2 little lessons you shared. I’m an internet marketer and programmer for the 2 main reasons you listed – 1) Other people helped me and 2) I educated my self.

    I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without my oldest brother letting me work for him a few years ago. He hired me to program in PHP and Perl, which I had no idea how to do at the time. He gave me projects to complete, and by doing them, I taught my self how to program.

    After I finished working for him, I started working for myself. I built little wordpress blogs and tried making money from them. Over time, I built my own set of tools to help me out and have since started letting other people use them to help them out.

    I believe that by giving value, you’ll receive value… in one form or another. And I just wanted to say thanks for all the value you give out to me and everyone else who follows you.

    Thanks again,


  75. Really inspiring. I consider myself to be highly educated but as you mention it’s not about the degrees but your passion and thirst for knowledge.
    I myself never been in a computer class. I am self taught to. I started programming learning C++ considered one of the most challenging. From there it got easier (Java, C#, Ruby, PERL, AS). Arriving at the Silicon Valley back in 1999 ignited my passion for web development and online business. I never looked back since.

  76. I to am a self taught machinist. For 33 yrs. this was my only income and the learning curve never stopped. For the past 2 yrs. I have turned my education to Internet Marketing, and am learning every day.

  77. Excellent post Jon…it definitely brought back memories!

    I completely agree with your assessment regarding education. The key is to always be learning and staying on top of new things because this industry changes so quickly.

    A quick trip down “computer memory lane”…

    My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 with a tape drive for loading programs and I hooked it up to an old black/white TV as a monitor. I was so proud to have that thing.

    I saved up my lawn-mowing money all year and was excited to upgrade to a Commodore 64 (a whopping 64k of RAM!) with an external 5.25″ floppy drive, no hard drive, and a 13″ amber CRT monitor. Life was good!

    BASIC was the language of choice (it still comes in very handy), and I remember cutting a notch in the side of my 5.25″ floppies to turn them into double-sided floppies to save money.

    When I finally “graduated” to an IBM computer, the salesman told me to get the one with the 20MB hard drive because I would NEVER have enough stuff to fill up a 40 MB hard drive. Heck, just one high-res picture these days can be more than 5 MB…

    For my first job out of college the company upgraded my work computer to a whopping 1 MB of RAM…and it cost $400 for 1 MB! Wow how times have changed…now it costs $50 for 4,000 MB (4GB) of RAM!

    AOL…what could have been better???!!!

    Actual printed “Internet Yellow Pages” books to know what sites were available on the internet (pre-Google). I just checked my bookshelf and I still have one! A book like that these days would have about 1 million pages in it…and it would be out of date before it was published.

    Ah, the memories… ;-)

    Keep up the great work Jon…it’s a pleasure to read your posts.

    Best Regards,


  78. Great story! And I think an example of doing what you really want will lead to happiness all the way around, not just in business, but everything. If you are doing what you really love, everything around you prospers!

  79. Thanks for sharing Jon! I totally agree with your two points. 15 years ago I gave up an awesome job to try and make a living (play) online. Today my company protects thousands of websites with PCI compliant scanning and the best part… we employ a lot of really great people (a great blessing, especially in this economy).


  80. Thanks for sharing some of your story. I too believe I have have a strong faith and feel I have achieved some success in my personal life. I have an incredible wife and 2 young boys we are adopting. In fact, our final adoption hearing is next week! We thank God for our boys every day.

    I also taught myself how to program and was blessed to have worked as a developer for over 15 years. I did get a B.A., but it was in Christian Ministries – obviously nothing close to programming. Lot’s of people are surprised to hear that. ;)

    And now I hope to achieve some of the success you have had as I seek to move my online business from where it is to where I want it to be. We love to help others in need and I believe that the goals I’m striving to achieve in my business will allow us to do more! It’s a struggle, but it will be well worth it.

    Thanks again for sharing!


  81. Your dad was so smart and good he brought tears to my eyes. I wish all children could have parents with that kind of vision. Some children have amazing talent that would be wasted without help from many people. Jackie Evancho for example or maybe even the Woz!

    • No kidding about Jackie Evancho. Her Nessun Dorma makes me break out in goosebumps! I thought I’d never hear a version better than Pavoratti’s–I was wrong. And she’s only 11!

  82. My motto is never give up!
    Life can certainly be hard at times, but if you pick yourself up and keep going it will all be worth it in the end.

  83. Hey Jonathan…

    Yeah, the “memories” indeed. My father did a similar thing. I wanted to buy an Apple 2e and he brought in a friend who convinced me to buy an IBM PC-XT “clone” instead. The old days – dual floppies, etc… Thing is, it was $1200 and I didn’t have that much, so my dad (broke as well) said he’d meet me “half way” – I put in half, he put in half.

    I don’t program much anymore, but have done everything from Assembly thru C++ over the years. These days I spend more time on the business than programming, but it’s kind of like being an alcoholic – once a programmer, always a programmer – so let’s just say I’m a “recovering” programmer. :-)

    As for the education angle, couldn’t agree more. I too never finished college and it hasn’t stopped me from doing whatever I want running my business half way around the world while residing in Brazil. Like you, I was self taught. I sold software for EggHead for awhile and would take home the open boxes (returned software) and “study” and learn.

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way…

    Great post!

    Troy Broussard

  84. While I obviously love and believe your comments about help from others (such as my parents gave me)… I can’t help but chuckle at all the antique equipment coming out of the woodwork. OK so here’s mine.

    I started out by renting a briefcase with a single board MOS Technologies 6502 processor. The product was called the Ebka Familiarizer. I learned Tiny Basic & some 6502 assy code on that.

    Next came a KIM1 also a single board PC with a HEX display and keypad on it. I was in heaven. My OWN computer! I added full typewriter keyboard and CRT monitor later.

    Later I purchased an Apple II. Now we were “stylin”. Notice I said an Apple II not a IIe, IIc, II+ or any other variation. This friends was the ‘original’. I was (I believe) the first person in Tulsa, OK to have a floppy drive on it. Only one store in town sold the Apple and I ordered the first drive he sold. I got tired of the cassette tapes and so when Apple first mentioned an external drive I jumped on it and pre-ordered.

    Next I was the first person to have same floppy drive die in Tulsa! While it was being repaired I took apart the floppy drive controller and copied the schematic and laid out another circuit board. I ordered the parts, bought a raw Sugart SA-400 drive and put it all together. I can’t tell you how lucky I was this worked. My ability to troubleshoot it would have been nil. Then I had TWO drives. Now I can do real damage!

    Fast forward through an EE degree & Rock guitar God (in my own mind) syndrome and I went into consumer electronics. After 30 years designing marine electronics, I am now a full time internet marketer.

    What a ride!

    This all originally started from me asking my dad to help me learn electronics. This was 5th grade I believe. He brought home some old military books from a friend of his at work. I devoured those books and wrote down questions for my dad to take back for his friend to answer. After doing that for a year his friend said he couldn’t answer any more questions. (Probably tired of the kid pestering him. ) So in my case even a man I never met helped me get started.

    Don’t forget there is almost always someone who helps KEEP you going too. In my case that is my wife.

    Thanks for the story Jon. Hope someone enjoys mine as well.


  85. Johnathan thanks for the very encouraging story. Would like to here more of your story. I`m 52 years old and am just now getting into IM. I wanted to promote my personal business and found out that IM was really fun! Being my age and not computer or internet savvy was a huge challenge for me. I have learned a TON through trial and error and with the help of people like you who really want to help others, I have also learned alot. Giving up is never an option for me which was instilled in me as I was growing up and I hope I have done the same for my children.

  86. Education is the basis of how a person but not necessarily formal education, but all the way around you who will be in the future. Jon congratulations for the excellent human being who you are, you know that makes a difference in this world with his exemplary conduct.

  87. Love how you connect so authentically to the sacrifices your father made because he believed in you. It goes both ways too. When you truly see they’ve given up something, in order to support you, it can empower you to be more successful. Although, it doesn’t always work this way, I suppose. There are many times I’ve invested in someone elses “dream project”only to see them give up way too early.

    I wonder if there is a magic formula for this method. Knowing when to invest in the child (or the dreamer), or knowing that it’s simply a fad & something they’ll ultimately take for granted.

    Thanks also for talking about education. I like to consider myself a ‘lifetime learner’, and although I probably won’t return to University any time soon, I’m constantly learning and ‘honing my craft’. I always hope that it benefits my clients and other people I come in contact with. But I think ultimately I do it for myself – I’m simply curious about life.

  88. It’s important to know where you are going but for true success one must understand where they came from. Awesome message.

  89. Hey Jonathan
    Great story, my dad also bought me my first computer a zx81. We had no Money as my father was unable to work due to his poor health but he could see my excitement and passion as a young boy. He also bought me a 16k ram pack! Oh the fun of writing a basic program! I would spend hours just writing programs in basic or loading games on the cassette tape only for it to crash! Ha ha long story short i miss my dad so much as he passed away when I was in my twenties and i fell into a career in sales for twenty yrs until two years ago started to go back to my passion as a child and now trying to make a living in internet marketing. It’s a struggle but I am trying as hard as I can for it succeed as I am earning far less than I was employed in sales.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us Jonathan, some great points. Good luck Ian

  90. Hi Jonathan, I wonder how old are you. I could see your picture long after I had heard your voice (when buying TBS). I thought you were an old wise man (by voice ) but I was surprised to see your picture where you are 33.

  91. Any person who claims to have gotten where they are without the help of others is a fool. What some people fail to realize is you learn something from every person you meet. Even the person who you may view as the biggest failure in your eyes has a lesson to teach you. You can learn something from anyone, you just have to be open and humble about it. Thanks for the great message Rob

  92. Jon, I am now an old man; I have several college degrees; the things that benefit me the most, however, are the work ethic instilled in me at an early age by both my mother and father. I have been (and still am) a successful business man and I can honestly say that not one bit of my success is attributable to my college education.

    The points you make in your article have great value.

  93. Your comments about education are verbatim to some I shared with a friend recently. Although I do have a college degree, I advised 2 or our 3 children to forgo the college thing….but to never forgo learning….to stay in learn mode always.

    Thanks for this wisdom!

  94. That’s so true, Jon! Even though I did get a BS in Computer Science…looking back, I would have been successful anyway (maybe just doing something a little different). Like you, I really do believe that if you are doing something that you love, everything will fall into place and you’ll be happy. To me, being happy/content IS being successful. I remember reading a book called “Strengths Quest”, and after taking the personality test included in the system–the results described me to a ‘T’! I was a ‘Learner’ (always striving to learn and continously improve), an ‘Activator’ (make things happen by turning thoughts into action), and ‘Self-Assured’ (feel confident in ability to manage one’s life and possess an inner compass that gives one confidence that decisions made are right or will work out). So, I think certain personality traits can really a factor in some folks’ success levels, too! And yes, if you don’t share your good fortune in one way or another, you’ll never be able to experience true ‘wealth’. :) I, too, had supportive parents who were not rich by any means, but I was taught or shown everything needed to succeed. Great post–thanks for sharing!

  95. I had a TI-99/4a and enjoyed creating a few simple programs using their Extended BASIC programming cartridge :)

  96. Hi Jonathan,

    This story is a real ray of sun for many people.
    It makes in my mind a dual feeling…

    I remember well the Sinclair ZX81 my eldest brother bought in UK (our first computer soon followed by Amstrad CPC 464 and 664) where we typed thousand of lines of Basic to program a Space Invaders – like saved on an ordinary tape (the ones we used to record music on).

    Unfortunately I can’t stand thinking of my Dad.

    He suicided at the age of 65 last February.
    All his life he complaint he never created his own business…

    This kind of fear to launch something is now like a ghost floating around me.
    I dare, I work, I struggle but I don’t give up.

    It will take me years may be but I know – or I want to believe – I will succeed online as an affiliate marketer which is my passion for 4 years now.

    I have already accomplished a lot of steps but long is the path to major success.

    SINCERELY hoping I haven’t spoiled your testimonial.


  97. Spot on!

    There’s nothing worse than the type of person who tries to insist that they never owed anything to anyone else. I’ve never met anyone with any degree of success who genuinely had no help from anyone, whether from education, money, sacrifices from the family or simply from advice.

  98. Jon,

    Dude, this is great advice for even those who have gone to college and can’t find a job.

    I was laid off 1/1/11 from 11 years at one company working in the software engineering. I was/am GOOD and highly paid. That is what got me laid off. Expenses needed to be cut, new C level rule, no exceptions. But I am happy it happened.

    Now, I am re-tooling myself and with some advice that you gave me about 7 years ago, finally seeing some success in my own business after 8 months. Learned MVC3, mobile application development and now I am making my first mobile web product.

    Your advice is great. Desire to succeed will trump education every time. In doing this new home based mobile software development business, I have watched hundreds of YouTube videos to learn how to do software related things.

    I go to Barnes and Noble to read.

    The Phoenix public library even has thousands of up-to date tech books online FREE with a library card.

    People, you should check your local library for books 24X7 accounts. It cause tens of thousands of dollars for corporate guys.

    People, if you want to know how to do some technical thing, search and I bet there will be something to get you started.

    I am a programmer that went to college and took classes, graduated, found two great jobs, then downsized, then relocated from Dallas to Phoenix, then laid off…. Sting!!! For some reason, college does not teach you to do it for your-self and make a living so you don’t depend on others for a JOB.

    Jon, all of your software shows me the possibilities (bought most of it since AdSense Gold). The call we had many years ago inspired me to not go back into Corporate America.

    Jon, you inspired me to do this:
    … more:

    People, be inspired by what Jon is saying!
    Been laid off, give me a shout for tech encouragement: 480-336-2599
    Vic Smith

  99. Jon,
    I was a bit older than you, – 34 to be exact when I bought my trs-80 with a whole 16k! I learned basic, then while in college (due to unemployment and gi-bill) I learned fortran and cobol (Which I never used again).

    I went on to learn dBase and Clipper and spent may years as a Clipper programmer. Later I worked for a major accounting software company using their proprietary basic.

    Now retired, I am now a html and PHP programmer.

    I have not been too sucsesssful. yet in marketing, mainly because of not having the time (due to health problems that take fully half of my week time) to do the day to day work.


  100. A wonderful post i have read in years for its truth and intent. I appreciate your points on Education and Learning which are associated to Big Names of Universities. You have put very well that its not Degree that really matters but its the Education. Thanks for Sharing and Educating us.

  101. JL: Here’s mine: @ hs — PDP 8-E with duct-tape sized tape readers, 16 kb of RAM and first FOCAL, then Fortran, then Basic.

    After college, it was the Kaypro luggable (CPM!) and then the Compaq luggable – 30 pounds. My friend would check his Compaq as luggage when he flew – yikes!


  102. Nice story and wonderful example how one made it thru challenges, jungle of internet should I say, and started to get living from programming! Not all nerds see the opportunity from all coding.

  103. So true are your words. Having the support of parents while growing up is so vital to really being confident in who you are. I am lucky that my parents don’t ever down my online endeavors. No matter, money or not, they still say keep trying. I remember my aunt first apple computer when she had worked for them and learning dos in school.
    Crazy times :)

  104. Hi Jon, Thanks for the article, and I agree with you it’s not what you learn in school that counts, it’s what you learn in life that matters.

  105. Thanks for the wonderful description, Jonathan! I would add a third ”why I got where I am today”… a willingness to frame mistakes as opportunities. When you put a positive twist on a life experience that is hurtful or painful or stressful in some way, all kinds of learning windows open up. I think I have learned more from what I did ‘wrong’ than what I did ‘right’.

  106. Hi Jon,

    I like your post and the sincerity of it. I can relate to your experience and to add to that is no matter how educated you are but you lack attitude then its a waste. Good relationship between people is for me very important.


  107. Ahhh that does bring back memories. I remember getting an Apple 2+ and BASIC training on cassette.

    I’d listen to it for hours and plug away at that thing.

  108. Great post. I am not yet where I want to be as I started later in life with computers. What I lack I make up for by learning anywhere I can. I spent 12+ hours a day teaching myself how to build web sites because there was no one I knew who could help me. I have a college degree and so what. It has never made me a dime. About 90% of college graduates are not working in the field they got their degree in and most self made millionaires never went to college. I am still a long way from being able to create software but I now know more than most people on the internet about building websites and marketing and I make sure to set aside time every day for research and learning new things.

  109. Excellent parenting advice. Excellent blogging advice. Excellent career advice.

    Personally I couldn’t get into the programming side of things. Too frustrating to do keypunch cards, wait overnight for the program to be run only to find out it bombed because a card was missing or out of order or some other reasong (couldn’t have been me).

    Advent of the personal computer and ready made software like Wordstar, Lotus, DBI, etc. helped lower the frustration level but didn’t set me on that path.

  110. Boy did you have it good Jonathan.
    At the risk of betraying my age, I was trained on IBM 360 Model 20 which did not even have a disk, but had to load the compiler in form of a huge deck of punched cards.

    When microprocessors were invented I was the 3rd person in Sydney who got the Motorola Mother Board (it was a year or two before any complete PC came out).

    I programmed it in machine language using hex keypad in its WHOOPPING 512 Bytes of memory to say: “I Micro, you John, how are you Boss?” and had full 27 bytes left.

    Numerous PCs and programs followed, but despite my Computing Degree and diligent work, I never achieved a real (financial) success.

    Technical knowledge is useless without “street-wisdom”, marketing ability, and knowing where/how to get necessary funds to implement the project.

    Having said that, currently I am getting 600-700 fans per day for 1.7 cents per fan. The kingdom is near.

  111. I can’t agree with you more on the education point. I have seen so many people with the college degree who I would not hire due to the luck of a number of qualities you need to poses to be a successful. On the other hand I’ve seen great specialists who did not go to the college. Though, the college is a good thing to have under your belt.

  112. John – you are one of the leading people I read, respect for your intelligence and creative products and posts. In addition, over the years I’ve read and bought some of your products and books – a clear and sound trust in you has simply grown. One example lately was when a Yahoo service was discontinued – which your very smart s-ware WebComp Analyst utilized – you wrote me and those who had bought it that you would replace it – for free and without question – with another of your valued Software products to help with Links. I admire your Integrity….and it shows throughout your customer service.

    Those values – with the knowledge and creativity you continue to provide – are what Counts. You’ve got the “degree” in my opinion….and more. Thanks
    Nathan Abraham

  113. Very good story John. I’m not good in programming software like you but I can feel your effort that brought you today! Thank you for share this story.

  114. It is very interesting , I learned b
    BASIC as well – actually before I had a computer. I had my keyboard sketched on the plece of paper and I was starting to learn this language by typing om the paper and imagine Kuweit what this could happened om the real monitor.

    By the time that my parents bought me a real Z80 Sinclair Spectrum ( same here – I’m so blesses to have parents like them ) I knew already probably more than 50% of the BASIC language.

    After that I start learning the code assembling in Z80

    So you are right, it is very important what you want in your life, what is your goal. can you reach it ? Of course you can if you want !

    Thanks for your story Jonathan!

  115. Hey Jon,
    I’ve utilized several of your ideas and strategies for my own business. Your readers should know that they apply to (and work well for) countless industries outside of computers and software. Keep the stories coming!

  116. Ahhh.. so sweet about your dad.. :)

    Yeah, if not for my hubby carrying the entire financial load of supporting us, i could never have had the luxury of time to get my internet businesses off the ground.

    dee :)

  117. Nice post Jon. It is great to keep in mind that we are all sharing ideas and learning from each other. Even more than we think or would like to admit sometimes.

  118. Your story sounds very similar to mine, i started with Qbasic and an 8086 computer. I am also an internet marketer and have over 300 students online. i own best spinner and its great hearing your story, very motivational.

    i am branching out into software development as well and think that it is probably one of the best areas to make money in this industry.

    btw love your tools, best spinner truly is a gem of a spinner.

  119. Thanks for sharing your story, I always love to hear/read how people got started in their passion. I also remember starting out with computers by trying to steal time on my father’s work portable (which had such horrible specs at the time and the UI was not even the cleaner looking windows 95…). I would try every application that was available and often break his computer or change some system settings that mess things up… I did not want to get into trouble (a 10yr old’s father looks quite scary) so I would then try to desperately fix it by trying many things and reading help guides etc. Anyways, it help me a lot understand how computers work and is not some “mystical device” that you cannot understand, unlike what my mom still thinks :P .

    I would love to see the rest of your story in time, such as what gave you the ideas that eventually became some of your well known software.

  120. John, this is interesting. I guess I have a slightly similar story to yours. I was born in Africa and having been exposed to business my childhood, it was in my blood and soon got tired of abstract world of formal education. I left while in the University, but that was actually when my education started, I read wide and deep on most subjects, I liked practical things and enjoyed tinkering and when I went on holiday to the UK, I got hooked on the PC and never wanted anything else. My point is, my education never stopped, even when I left formal education, and it has made me a much better person than I could have been with a restriction by degrees. Thanks for revisiting this memory lane :) .

  121. Great tips, Jonathan!

    I´ve often made the experience that people with degrees are limited by the knowlege they´ve learned. They may rely on their knowlege a way to much. Just think about how long it takes for a new (and better) Therory to be accepted by the majority of scientists.

  122. I see more and more people advising to create income through passion and it’s a great trend. IMHO, the importance of it can’t be understated. When you’re passionate about something, you’ll work harder and it won’t even seem like work. You’ll also produce better results, because you care about the topic. If you combine your passion with being an expert on your topic and having the drive to do whatever it takes to succeed, you practically can’t lose.

    Thanks for a good article. :-)

  123. As a father I would do anything for my kids and that’s how it should be. We may not get thanked for it at times, but that’s not why we do it anyway is it?

    As for programming, I started on the ZX81 and learnt Z80 assembly language on my own and created a game that was being looked at by one of the biggest game software companies at the time. Just my luck they went belly up whilst I was fixing a few bugs in it.

    I always wonder what would have happened if it had been published. Oh well.

  124. Good advice, i learnt and learn more out of school than i did at it. The best way to learn is by trial and error (i think anyway) as well as by DOING something and learning as you go. Thanks Jon your software ROCKS by the way.

  125. Great story, if only our schools encouraged that type of inquisitive thinking instead of worksheets and test scores…

  126. Great post Jon. My parents and my secondary school English teacher always encouraged me to write short stories, scripts and plays. I went on to study English, journalism and screenwriting and have been a copywriter for 10 years. I literally couldn’t have done it without them.



  127. This is very inspiring indeed. I love reading how an average person and they become a successful IMer like yourself get through stages of life and hard work by the help of others. Keep more stories coming in John. I’m like yourself, but I’m driven by my past regrets and also motivated by my wife and daughter.

  128. Great article John – had we lived in the same neighborhood we would have been good friends – I too bought a TRS-80 brand new from Radio Shack with a years worth of paper-boy money they don’t even have paper boys anymore…

    I created the first “Digital Clock” App for that old thing… remember it came with 8k memory, but if you had 75 bucks you could upgrade to 16k! wow! That clock app just barely fit into memory. We had Commadore “PET” computers at school, and Cromemco S-100′s… those were the days.

    It was a good thing too because later I got a guitar and figured I be a rockstar – luckily the computer proved to pay the bills!


  129. Wow, that’s a nice story. I am totally new in the internet marketing arena. I hope I will be able to manage my way to success. I am regular reader of your post and always try to learn something that I never faced before. Thanks

  130. I can also relate to those lessons, especially about not doing it on your own. There’s no shame in admitting that you couldn’t be where you are today without the help of others.

    Another huge lesson I’ve learned, is to turn every experience (especially failures) into lessons for yourself. I’ve learned much more from my failures than from my successes online.

    I’ve stopped fearing failure, however large or small, and instead have learned to embrace it (embrace may be a little strong of a word, but something close to that) because I know that I will learn from it, not make the same mistake again and I’ll build a better business with what I’ve learned.

    That applies especially to new ventures. I’ve learned that I almost never do anything right the first time I try it, so I’m constantly looking for what I could do differently the next time to take my venture to the next level. This attitude has been paramount to my online success.

  131. Hello Jon

    I am a huge fan of yours and imust say something about this post touched me, it almost brought me to tears, the sincerity is tangible. Thank you.

    I also never went to college and I learn’t all I know about marketing and web design online (still learning), right now I own a company, i recently started and to read your story, really encouraged me. Its nice to know that one of my mentors has a similar story as mine.

    Thanks Jon

    A Fan.

  132. Great advice Jon. Those days they did not call it “pay it forward” Your learning from your Dad’s example is always the best. Keep on producing excellent code and great products anf eople will pay ot forward with you. A Trash80, I remember those and the Commodore- Atari and my first Apple64K with a 5.25 drive. Thanks for the memories

    • Thanks Rob. In high school I had a class that had an old IBM mainframe with an 8″ floppy disk drive. It was wild. :D

      • You had a floppy disc drive? Our school mainframe used punched cards.. I thought we then got a TRS-80 but I must be mistaken as ours was a big black box about 2 feet wide and one foot high. After that, the school moved on to BBC micros, and I am not sure but I think they had floppies, or was it tape? My first computer was a ZX81 spectrum, and I wrote my first program on that. A dungeons and dragon game.

        Great story Jon.

        all the best


Trackbacks are disabled.