Aaron: Alright. Iím here with Jon Morrow today. He is from Boost Blog Traffic Inc Company and he runs guestblogging.com. Thatís one of the biggest products they produce and really excited to have Jon on the phone today. Are you there Jon?
Jon: I am. Thank you for having me.
Aaron: Thanks for coming on for a few minutes Jon. I really, really appreciate it. So, like I was saying to people, Jon is, the reason I want to get him on the phone is, he runs these really cool companies in the internet marketing space doing guestblogging.com for example is, one of his one of his products of his company, Boost Blog Traffic Inc and what I was fascinated by when I was introduced to Jon was just the obstacles heís overcome in creating, in the success that heís had despite that and his apparent attitude. I havenít talked to you before Jon. So, Iím really here to kind of dig in to your attitude and how you did this stuff. So, just welcome to the call. Thanks for jumping in the line.
Jon: Ah, thank you.
Aaron: So, just wanted to give everybody that kind of brief overview but, tell us about your situation. I donít want to explain, you can explain it better than me but, what your circumstances are that you kind of overcome in order to start these businesses and things youíve done to kind of give people an overview of who you are and what youíre up to.
Jon: Yeah, so, I mean, the big thing that I deal with is, I have a thought of muscular dystrophy. So, for all of you nurses out there, you may have seen like the, The Jerry Lewis Telethon that he did for years. Iím not sure if thatís still going on or not. But, muscular dystrophy is a disease is where you gradually get weaker and weaker. Itís actually a category of diseases just like cancer, itís like, thereís a whole bunch of different types of cancer.
Aaron: Oh, okay.
Jon: There are a whole bunch of different types of muscular dystrophy that all fall under that umbrella. Mine is called, Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Jon: And, it mostly affects children. Itís actually the number one genetic killer of children in the United States. And, Iíve had that since. I was born with it. Both of my parents were carriers and I had no idea and what that means is, Iíve gradually gotten weaker over my life and now for my disease, Iím 31 years old now which is ancient.
Jon: Yeah and Iím one of the oldest people in the world with my disease.
Jon: So now, I could pretty much only move my face and thatís about it. But despite that, Iíve managed to build a very successful company and have a very successful life doing everything over the web and managing everything virtually. So yeah, itís getting great.
Aaron: That is amazing. I mean, so, for everybody listening, and also a picture of Jon, I mean, he said heís going to describe that for you but he can only move his face and yet heís running a super successful web company thatís doing a ton of great things for a lot of people and I mean, he canít type. I mean, you canít type, you have to dictate everything, right?
Jon: Yeah. I use Dragon app while weíre speaking to type. I also have a custom built lip operated mouth. So, it comes up right in front of my face and I can move and as you (inaudible) joystick knobs on it and I can move it around with my lips to be able to move the mouse around on the screen.
Aaron: So, if anybody is complaining about anything right now. Like their mouse doesnít work right or something, Iím just going to tell them to call you for a minute. I mean, itís just crazy like, to think the obstacles that youíve got to deal with that but how do you get the mouse up to your lips in the first place?
Jon: Itís mounted on to a chair and itís got like an adjustable arm on it. One of those universal arm type things where you can adjust it and angle it different directions or whatever you want to do.
Aaron: But you donít have the use of your lips right?
Jon: I donít. So I pay for 24 Hour care for (inaudible) nurses. So, I always have someone with me and so, they help me get setup in front of the computer and all that stuff every day.
Aaron: So, once youíre sitting there and youíre setup with the mouse there then, you can kind of work for without having to call on somebody for a while as youíre doing your thing?
Jon: Yeah. Itís kind of tough to pull me away. Well, once you get me on the computer, yeah.
Aaron: Well, then because you are free. You can do, start and communicate and do stuff, right? Rather than being, I imagined that would be kind of a freeing thing right?
Jon: It is. Itís kind of my world. Whatís interesting is, on the internet, I mean, if I hadnít said anything, you wouldnít had any idea of my circumstances.
Jon: And I can operate just as quickly as anybody else on the web. So, Iíve been using my setup, I can design web pages, I can do webinars or my blog gets over 100,000 readers every month.
Jon: And you know, I am able to operate all of that just with Dragon Naturally Speaking and a lip operated mouse and it works beautifully.
Aaron: Thatís awesome. I have to get Draon Naturally Speaking. I could type a heck of a lot faster if, you could probably type triple my speed right?
Jon: I can go pretty fast.
Aaron: How fast can you type with that thing?
Jon: Well, I mean, if you know what you want to say which is the difficult part, right? But if you know what you want to say and you have a good high quality microphone, thatís the key by the way if you want to voice dictation is, you need a professional microphone. The ones that you get at like, Radioshack or whatever, their accuracy just isnít really as good. But, if you get professional mic which they cost about 50 Bucks. So, theyíre not really expensive. But if you get one of those, you can dictate probably, I donít know, 120 words a minute or more.
Aaron: Wow, yeah.
Jon: And, it gets nearly a hundred percent accuracy.
Aaron: Thatís cool. So, yeah. Thatís awesome. Thanks for sharing that needs to open about what your situation and I think that gives everybody a good picture of kind of what youíre dealing with and Iím just amazed by that. So, you can type with your lips and between that and speaking with your mouse, with your lips. You can setup a webpage, you can do any of that stuff online, right?
Jon: Yeah, I mean, I completely manage my company. I use Skype for phone so if anyone ever calls me, you know, it just pops up on the screen and I click, answer the call. So yeah, I mean, I can operate my business. We have 7 fulltime employees, you know. So, I can work with all of them.
Aaron: And how do you manage that, do you use like a project man on that thing and just phone calls and just chat stuff?
Jon: Yep, yep, pretty much.
Aaron: Everybodyís working remotely, Iím guessing.
Jon: Yep. All over the world, we got people in the United States, the UK, Australia, all over the place.
Aaron: Thatís cool. Thatís really cool. Well, I want to go into more of what kind of, how did you, well, Iím trying to think of the next question that I want to ask. Well first of all, you said youíre 31 and youíre ancient for your age. So, has it been a progressive decline and is it, whatís your situation, do you many more years? Or is it hard to foresee that or whatís your thought on that?
Jon: Yeah, the interesting thing is, for a long time, itís been considered a fatal disease. But, the killer is Pneumonia. So, if you are really careful and you get really good care and you donít get Pneumonia and if you do get it, you treat it really aggressively, thereís really no reason why the disease has to kill you. So, technically, I could live just as long as anyone else.
Aaron: Thatís just those 2 things, you just have to be really aware of Pneumonia. It is the main thing in being really cautious about not getting it.
Aaron: Yeah. So, I imagine, you probably donít travel around all that much, right?
Jon: Well, Iím not now. I used to. So, I just came back to the United States. I actually lived in Mexico for 3 and a half years. And I did that because, it was back before I started my business and I couldnít afford to pay for healthcare on my own. So, I was on medicated at the time. It was the only way I could afford to pay for everything but medicate has income limits and North Carolina, every state a little different. But North Carolina at the time, I donít know if they changed it. But, you could make about only $700 a month.
Aaron: Yeah. Otherwise, youíre kicked off.
Jon: Yeah. The other alternative, you can get kicked off or you can write them a check for everything that you make over $700 a month as reimbursement. And thatís just a trap, you know, that you canít escape from. So, I finally said, you know, this just isnít the way I want to live with my life. I have to at least try at least once to see if I can support myself. And my mother, whoís been behind my entire life, one of the best moms in the world. It was during the beginning of the recession when everything was crashing and she was one of the people that got laid off from their job and so, I said, mom, you know, nowís the time. Letís see if I can do this and we pack together (inaudible) and, we drove like 2,000 Miles or whatever it was down to Mexico. And, we got there and I got a rented a condo on the ocean. We only had enough money when we went down there for about 6 months.
Aaron: What city did you go to?
Jon: We went to Mazatlan Mexico. It was a crazy thing to do. My entire family thought I was nuts except for my mom. My grandmother came the day before just crying, you know. They convinced that I was going to get killed by Mexican drug dealers or something down there. And, we went down there and the reason why I went down there is, I had some friends that was hired down there. And I found out that I could get nurses there for about $4 an hour and thatís a nurse with 4 Year Degree. And thatís a good wage by the way, thatís at the top of the scale that they pay in the hospitals. And so, I went down there and I was able to get a great staff and nurses down there. And my living expenses every month. In the United States, with the cost of my healthcare and nurses, it was like 15,000 a month.
Aaron: And that was covered by Medicate?
Jon: And a lot of that was covered by Medicate. When I was in Mexico, it cut it down to 3,000 a month for my living expenses.
Aaron: Wow. Including rent and everything?
Jon: Yeah. With rent and everything. Rent, food, nurses. It was like 3 Grand a month.
Jon: And, I was living on the beach in a beautiful resort and I just worked my tail off on the internet and we had 6 months of living expenses. We had about $20,000 and so I knew that I had to get things up and running before that ran out. But like, 2 weeks after I got down there, I got a job offer that take more than $3,000 a month to work as an editor, in just part time and then I also started up my online course about guest blogging which is about how to write for the most part of their blogs in the world. And, while I was down there, I launched that and the first week, I got something like $30,000 in sales.
Aaron: Wow, thatís awesome. Thatís like not huge, I mean, thatís a low overhead thing too, right?
Jon: Yeah, I mean, that was all profit.
Aaron: Itís just a digital product, right?
Jon: Itís a digital product, you know, I didnít have any employees at the time, it was just me. I was shocked that it sold that well in the first month and when that happened, I went to my other jobs and back glanced in everything and I said, you know, thank you so much, Iíve enjoyed working with you but, I quit. You know, and I started doing that fulltime. Eventually launched my own blog. It was Boost Blog Traffic and it had the most successful blog launch in history. It got 13,000 emails subscribers in 6 weeks before I even wrote the first post. And, yeah, and the 1st year, it made about half a million dollars in sales.
Aaron: That was the boostblogtraffic.com?
Jon: boostblogtraffic.com, yeah. So, I did that. And built it up to you know, now, 2 years later, itís about, weíre doing about 100,000 a month in sales and yeah, and I came back to the US because now, I can afford to pay all of the expenses here in the US.
Aaron: And now, you can be closer to the family and everything else, right?
Jon: Yeah, and you know, this is home.
Aaron: What part of the country do you live in?
Jon: I live in Florida now.
Aaron: Oh, okay.
Jon: So, Iím in West Palm Beach at the moment. But, Iíve kind of moved around a little bit, experimenting with different places. But yeah, I mean, thatís kind of my story is, I can see a way out. So, I went to Mexico with everything, and then came back. And itís worked out really well for me.
Aaron: Yeah. Well, I can see that. Thatís really, really cool and inspiring. So, what was it, I mean, that takes a lot of guts, I mean, thereís probably a lot of fear involved and moving out. I mean, you had all these huge unknowns, what was that like taking? Was that like a leap for you or did you just know you had to do it? What was it like during the time?
Jon: It was scary, it was scary, extremely scary. But, every step of the way, Iíve always felt like Iíve had to do it because to me, there have always been alternatives. Most people in my situation, the only light face they put themselves is sitting in front of a TV all day. And, they think thatís all they can do. And to me, thatís like worse than death. And I look at that and I would do anything to avoid that life, anything. So, when I looked at everything, I mean, I just sort of eat unconsciously accepted in my mind, could something bad happen going to Mexico, where it could potentially kill me. Yes, it could. And was I scare? Yes. But, would I go anyway? Yes. So I was, when I went down there, I knew that I was putting everything on the line and if I had lost, if something bad had happened, I wouldíve been okay with that because to me, anything is better than being stuck in a nursing home somewhere. Just watching Jerry Springer on TV, have a morphine drip on my arm and have nurses having to take of me while I waited to die.
Aaron: Well, I can relate to you in that in a degree. I was in a hospital for about a month a couple of years ago. It was a disease that I had and it was, I turned on the TV one time and that was it. And it happened to be during the election period and I was just, it was like, it was the election day actually in 2012 and after just watching commercials and different things, I was like, that was the only in that whole month that I turned on the TV because itís such a distant, depressing feeling just to be sitting there with the drip in your arm, to like, just kind of rotting in a way watching meaningless stuff, right?
Jon: Yeah, I just canít stand it. So, for me, Iíve taken risks and I think that thatís important for everyone to realize. I think, what you have to do is, between your mind and one of the alternatives in your life where things go in and decide whatís acceptable to you and whatís not. And be willing if things go wrong to be okay with the result. So, the reason why Iíve been able to do so much with my life, I think, is because Iím willing to pay any price to do it. Iíve read an old quote once, it was from general. I donít even recall what his name was. I need to go look it up but, it was, the side that wins in war is the side thatís the most willing to die for their cause. And, in my life, the things that Iíve done, I put my life on the line quite a few times and Iíll continue to put my life on the line and one of these days, itíll probably not work out and thatíll be it. But, Iím okay with that. And because of that, because I just wanted to accepted that, thatís an outcome. You know, Iíll do everything that I can to prevent it. But, Iím willing to go further just because to me, I would rather die doing something that I love and trying to build a great life for myself then I would just sort of see it coming and being in front of the TV all day.
Aaron: Thatís powerful Jon, really powerful. And Iím totally with you. Iím inspired by hearing that from you in just, I think for me itís somebody who doesnít have merely the challenge and obstacles physically to overcome what youíve got, it just makes me ponder, you know like, what I might be settling for just because I donít have such a harsh decision to make and youíve had this, youíve got this thing really glaring at your face, you sit there and vegetate or go make something happen. And itís really in your face, right, like, in all the time.
Jon: And in some ways, thatís a gift.
Aaron: Thatís what I was thinking. Iím like, some of us. We have it so easy, we just sit here and vegetate and not even know weíre vegetating because we get molded away with this kind of comfortable place and we get sucked in by all of our fears and we donít, we arenít willing to confront them because itís not that bad and we canít really see that weíre kind of slipping down this comfortable place of settling in our and not really attacking our dreams and living fully. Would you agree with that?
Jon: Yeah, I think being aware of your mortality, itís a scary thing, maybe the most scary thing that there is. But, if you can come to grips with that, I mean, for me, one of the reasons why Iíve always moved so fast in my life, I mean I graduated high school when I was 16, I completed college in 3 Years. And people are always asking you know, why are you working so hard? And itís in the back of my mind. Ever since I was a kid, just knowing that I have a disease, thatís so dangerous, I put everything that I can to protect myself but thereís still a clock that sort of ticking (inaudible) all the time. And, I never know when itís going to stop and that drives me to do as much as I can and I think, a powerful thing to realize, even if you donít have some disease like I have, is to realize, thereís a clock ticking for you too and you donít know when itís going to stop and how do you want to use your time? And I think itís important to consciously decide that. And if you do, you know, I donít think there are any wrong answer either.† But I do think itís important that to think about it and to make that decision consciously.
Aaron: I really, really like that. I like what you said, that itís not a wrong answer, itís whatís in your heart but itís the fact of being conscious and aware and I really love how you bring this up that youíve been given this gift thatís kind of in your face and I totally feel the same way because when I got this disease a few years ago, it gave me that same sense like, look, life is too precious to waste one moment and I got to take advantage of every single second and but I think for every single person, thatís the same message. We could walk outside and get an accident and die tomorrow. Nobody knows whatís going to happen the next day and I think you made such an amazing and powerful point you made.
Jon: Yeah, every challenge is also a gift. Thatís one thing that Iíve learned. I mean, I told people not to feel sorry for it because when I go to the DMD, I donít wait in line. They take me to the front of the line and I never have to do laundry, or cook my own food or clean the house. Other people do that for me. There are a ton of advantages to my situation and I think, you and anyone else, if youíre going through something difficult, look around and figure out, what are the advantages hidden in this situation and how can I use that? And to me, a lot of people, when theyíre going to do something difficult, they failed to realize that thereís another side of that and that thereís an opportunity to be exploited there. And also, donít be ashamed to exploit that. So yeah, I mean, my disability also, it gives me a story and it makes me stand out. Iíve written posts about it on the web, I remember at one post about that Mexico story, thatís gotten over a million people had read that post now. And
Aaron: If you didnít have that, I mean, itís like, youíve been given this gift and look, youíve turned it into a lot of business success because your story and all these things, it helped catapult your business, it helped catapult you where you wouldnít have had that. Itís the same with me like, I wrote a book after I went through these scenarios, it kind of what led to me starting the company, Truly Amazing Life was to share the message that everything is conspiring for you benefit. Exactly kind of what youíve just said that like, in every single thing, thereís always a positive side. And if I didnít have that disease that I came up with it, it was the same thing. That thing has actually been an amazing benefit to me. To be able to reach out and help a lot of people actually.
Jon: And that disease and all of that, I think its key for being able to build a life that you really love and enjoy.
Aaron: And Iíd like to maybe, letís end on that. Weíre getting wrapping up with our time here today but, what is it that you find the most enjoyable in life? I kind of wanted to kind of circle or conclude where kind of like, youíve done these amazing things and you have every reason to, the vast majority of people in your circumstance are really just kind of waste living out their days watching TV and not really doing much, right? Because thatís the easiest, I mean, thatís a really, really tough thing but you are living this full like, expansive life, what is it about life that really, what is it that drives you to do that and what is your life like from the inside, from the feeling stand point. How do you feel or like, whatís your happiness level and all that?
Jon: Iím pretty happy. Iím also exhausted most of the time because I work like crazy. My life is extreme in almost every way imaginable. But, I love it. I wouldnít live any other way, I love what I do every day and to me, of what my favorite part of what I do is teaching. Teaching is without a doubt my favorite part.
Aaron: Do you do that a lot? Did you spend time doing that daily? Or whatís the scenarios in which you do that?
Jon: I do just to look in my Guest Blogging course. I have over, I (inaudible) about 1,500 students now. And I have private coaching clients and all sorts of, and the blog post and even this podcast, this is teaching.
Aaron: So, what does that do for you, you said thatís one of your favorite things that you, and why is that?
Jon: The reason why is, to me, one of the most pleasurable things there is, is metaphorically speaking, is to be able to see that light bulb go off over somebodyís head where I say something in just the right way that they need to hear it to be able to understand whatís going on. And one of the benefits of my disease, I mean, not being able to move or anything in the world but my face. I live in the world of ideas and because of that, I can see and understand things with a clarity that startles a lot of people and I think it does go back to my disability. I mean, instead of thinking about washing the car or you know, doing any of the number of things most people think about, Iím sitting here thinking about all of these ideas all day long, every day. And because of that, I have insights into things on the regular basis and just being over the chair of those with other people, and then also, staying in touch with them to where they, every day I get emails from people now, saying that I changed their life with something that Iíve thought them. And to me, I collect those emails and I forward them out to every one of my company. And I say, this is what weíre doing. This is why weíre here. And thatís what keeps me going every day.
Aaron: Thatís really beautiful Jon. I really love that and I can completely relate with you. I just, itís an amazing feeling, itís so fulfilling to be able to make a difference in somebody elseís life and watch them raise their level of joy, happiness, be freed from whatever suffering the limits that theyíve been faced with and I applaud you for really doing what youíre doing for your tenacity and just attacking life. You, I knew there was a reason I had to get you on the phone today from when I talked to our friend Emily and its very apparent now that you epitomize the principles that I teach in this company that of living a truly amazing life and just not settling for mediocre. I think your story is and you just nailed it. So, thank you so much for sharing your life with us for being that example.
Jon: Thanks for having me Aaron. I appreciate it.
Aaron: Yeah, alright Jon. Thank you so much and everybody else. Weíll catch you all on the next episode.
01:56 Ė Mine is called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
03:21 Ė He can only move his face and yet, heís running a super successful web company.
05:24 Ė If I hadnít said anything, you wouldnít have any idea.
07:29 Ė I completely run my company.
09:18 Ė So, I imagine, you probably donít travel around all that much, right?
11:42 Ė My family thought I was nuts.
13:44 Ė I knew that I had to get things up and running before that ran out.
15:37 Ė boostblogtraffic.com.
17:41 Ė And I look at that and I would do anything to avoid that life.
20:06 Ė Iím willing to pay any price to do it.
24:26 Ė youíve been given this gift thatís kind of in your face
26:50 Ė Everything was conspiring for your benefit.
29:27 Ė To see that light bulb go off over somebodyís head.