There are some damn inspiring people in the world whose last name is not “Musk.” Jon Morrow is one of them.
I discovered him a few years ago. He’s a bright spark for those experiencing darkness. He’s not just a writer; he’s an inspiration. He’s the sort of guy that can make you wake up and change your life.
The most impressive part about Jon’s story is not the $5.3M he made from his website “Smart Blogger” or the other three blogs he has taken to over $1M in revenue per year — it’s the simple lessons you can learn from him.
Kick a horrific disease in the butt.
Jon Morrow has Spinal Muscular Atrophy. It means he lives in an electric wheelchair. He’s not supposed to live a long time either. His doctor told his mother when he was a boy that one day he’d catch an infection that would attack his lungs and give him pneumonia, causing him to die.
The doctor was right. Jon got pneumonia 16 times and didn’t die.
Jon lives his life in an electric wheelchair. He kicked the disease in the butt because he didn’t let it win. See, Jon can’t type on a keyboard like you and I can. Jon has to talk into a microphone and have his words turned into text. And that’s why Jon won. He screwed up his disease’s goals by finding another way to write. The score stands:
Jon Morrow: 17 wins (and counting)
A handicap in life only holds you back if you let it.
You only get defeated by adversity when you decide to.
Online courses can make you a lot of money.
Jon makes over $1M per year from his blog “Smart Blogger” through online courses. Many people misunderstand the opportunity to earn a living from education.
Universities have been disrupted thanks to a global health crisis. A lot of the billions of dollars universities charge will be eaten up by people like you and me who can teach a skill online using a platform like Teachable.
Most of the writers I know make at least 50% of their living from teaching skills using online courses, than they do from actual writing. It’s the secret sauce behind Benjamin Hardy’s million-dollar writing empire too.
Don’t underestimate online courses as a way to earn a living online, even if money isn’t your goal.
People buy your attitude.
Jon’s attitude is infectious. As research for this story I attended Jon’s Webinars, signed up to his many email newsletters and took one of his courses. You know what was impressive: his attitude.
The way he looks at life as being slightly skewed in his favor is amazing. People like me buy his attitude not his products. Jon says “guys like me should be wasting away in a nursing home.” Not Jon. He wants to change people’s lives through writing.
Your attitude is the catalyst for your eventual results.
Let a car accident force you to leave your job if you’re unhappy.
In 2006 Jon got hit by a car going 85 miles an hour. The accident caused his legs to be broken in 14 places. He didn’t die (again).
The accident left Jon in hospital for three months. He had a lot of time to think. The realization he came to was “he didn’t like where things were going.” So Jon did the unthinkable and quit his job.
Get medical bill motivation.
The decision to quit his job was considered insane by Jon’s friends because his medical expenses alone in the US were $127,000 USD per year.
He needed his job primarily for healthcare. It made him feel like a corporate puppet. Insanely, he left it all behind and backed himself. He knew he would find a way because he had medical bill motivation in his life.
Jon crunched the numbers and realized he’d have to make a drastic shift in his life. This led him to quit living in the US and move to Mexico.
His goal was to find a way to earn money without having to worry about healthcare. The decision was to start a blog, which seemed wild to some people considering he could only move his face and nothing else.
Don’t tinker. Commit.
Many people try to do what Jon has done. Where they fall short is they tinker rather than commit. Jon was committed to blogging.
He started working on his blogging business at 8 AM in the morning and kept going to 11 PM each night. All he says he did was read, write and connect with other bloggers. No tv, chatting to friends or chasing girls down the street.
You can do a lot when you go all-in.
Fail at three blogs.
Jon’s first three blogs failed. They were a place for him to practice getting good. He was okay with the failed blogs because they taught him the skills that led him to become a millionaire blogger.
Your first blog should suck. Your first 100 articles will be terrible. Keep going beyond the initial failure.
Jon is a secret salesman and I don’t think he knows it. As I listened to his webinars it was apparent that he knows how to sell.
He doesn’t flog you nonsense, though. He finds your problem and gives you the solution. The key is he gives you a lot of the solution upfront. In fact I’m willing to bet if you straight up asked him the solution to a blogging problem he’d probably tell you for free without needing your credit card.
Sales is just persuasion.
You need to persuade people to believe in you… to get anywhere in life.
“You can do this.”
People need to hear those four words right now. Jon says it a lot in his blog posts, podcasts and webinars. He explains what he believes in, in simple terms, and then tells you, you can too. We all need a little encouragement. Those four magic words help you believe in what is possible for your life.
Everybody else is busy telling you what you can’t do.
I believe you can. If you want to inspire people or earn a living online or write your dreams into reality, then go for it. There’s no one to stop you, only yourself.
Talk about your lifestyle.
Jon’s content is addictive because he shares the lifestyle his way of thinking brings. He talks a lot about how he doesn’t stress and can even afford to buy his father a car.
You don’t need to humblebrag. You can talk about how you live which can help others decide how they want to live. Lifestyle design is powerful in the online world. Design how you want to live your life, or a bad boss waiting for their next victim will do it for you.
Fuse your story into everything.
Your life story is unique. It holds immense potential that you can unleash when you tap into it.
Tell your story. You may not have gone to the moon and that’s the best part. People love common stories they can relate to. Jon sprinkles his story of defying the odds into everything he does. You can too.
Don’t be afraid to make money.
Making money online does not make you a sell-out.
You can sell your skills online and earn a living. It’s okay. Plenty of people are doing it. Why not you?
Jon is fine with charging money for his writing and his time. Master your own skills and do the same if you want.
A simple call-to-action is powerful.
Jon’s websites, email marketing, and landing pages all have one call to action: “Teach Me.” He shares his story and then tells you he can teach you. It’s subtle; it’s not too salesy.
Being a teacher is a noble cause. Anyone can be a teacher.
I don’t agree with everything Jon Morrow says.
Like any good teacher, not everything Jon says is on the money. Some of what he says is not so helpful. He promotes content marketing which can force people to write for the wrong reason.
You can get so hung up on writing for money and promoting companies that you lose track of what you’re doing. If all you do is promote companies you’ll probably get bored and quit fast.
Jon also loves personal branding. I do not. Personal branding forces people into a world of selfishness. They fall in love with their last name. Gary Vee said it best: “I really miss when people understood that people who consume their content are a community, not a group of people that are there to serve their ambitions.”
Find an unconventional online mentor like Jon Morrow. Find someone who is sharing a different narrative to the one that says get a job, buy a luxury car, have 2.1 kids and get into a huge amount of debt with a home that won’t make you happy.
You can learn from an online mentor and then become the teacher when you’re ready.
If you want to write online then don’t let anybody stop you. If a skinny dude from Australia with a bad education can do it, and if Jon Morrow can do it from a wheelchair, then so can you.