There's No To-Morrow Only Jon Morrow The Brilliant Star Of The Blogosphere
Although completely physically disabled by spinal muscular atrophy, Jon Morrow is a towering inspiration to everyone who knows of him. He is the perfect example of the "can do" attitude.
Perry Marshall, another inspiring figure, wrote intensely in one of his emails on what he called the "Tomorrow Addiction" in other words, procrastination. He said:
"Tomorrow is a lie. And tomorrow is the addict's best friend."
That brings us to our fun play on words with Jon's "Morrow" name. It implies future, the right way.
Jon is not a person who puts things off until that tomorrow that never comes. He is truly action-oriented. And it seems it started the day he was born.
The story of Jon Morrow is not only miraculous, it's captivating, motivating and inspirational.
If you think "you can't do it," read on. It becomes obvious that through Jon's eyes "can't" means nothing more than "I don't want to."
Oblivious To The Disability Label
Stopping to think of the true definition of "disability" can be very deceiving. Being physically challenged in life is a mindset, and how we perceive our lives and the actions we take determine the outcome.
One of the few things that Jon Morrow ever quit was "just living from day to day." Lying in a hospital bed or nursing home just waiting to die was not an option for this truly remarkable young man.
For Jon, born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), every day is a gift filled with bravery, incredible ideas, and new adventures.
The odds for staying alive weren't really in Jon's favor. Because of the love of two very special parents, a truly remarkable story unfolds.
In spite of the medical statistics and what the "textbooks" teach the medical community, Jon's parents would accept nothing less than life for their son. Having two incredible parents working together made him who he is today.
SMA is a neuromuscular disease that weakens the body to the point of complete atrophy. SMA is the No. 1 genetic killer of infants and toddlers. It's not a disease that is widely talked about and many people are unfamiliar with it.
Death Sentence Not Accepted
At the age of about one, Jon was diagnosed with Type I SMA and wasn't expected to live past the age of two.
His mother (Pat) wasn't accepting a death sentence for her child. If he couldn't fight for himself, she would fight for him.
She fought off pneumonia 16 times in the first 16 years of his life. At 32, at the time of this writing, he is the oldest known individual alive fighting off the disease.
He doesn't live his life thinking that he'll die. Jon lives his life to the fullest, with an attitude better than many "able-bodied" people.
The term "disabled" wasn't used in the Morrow household. Jon's mom never told him he was disabled.
When he went to kindergarten, someone told him he was disabled. When he got home, he asked his mom what the word meant.
Pat's explanation about being disabled was that it means you can't do something that someone else can do. His mother told him:
"You can't walk, but some people can't think."
What a great definition for the word disability!
Being challenged in life is a gift of choices. You can fight or just wait to die or as Jon says "you can do big things." Jon chose the latter.
The key to getting things done is "getting those guns to your head, and even manufacturing them." Jon looks for ways to create those guns.
Early Adopter Of Entrepreneurship
Around 12, Jon started programming video games. He received free pizza and other items for his efforts. Although he volunteered his time, it was the beginning of a very prosperous life for a young man that by medical standards shouldn't have lived past the age of two.
Having graduated high school at 16, he started his first video gaming company. The business tactics used to addict people to gaming didn't sit well with Jon. The thought of kids dropping out of high school to play games he created was unacceptable, so he got out of the industry.
He wasn't stopping at that and started a venture-backed company making language learning software for the U.S. Military. The software involved the concept of "virtual reality." When an item was pointed at, the software would identify the item in different languages. Close to the completion of the project, the investors were unable to make the last payment, so the doors had to be closed.
In spite of pitfalls, there was no stopping this go-getter. His ambition and will to live and succeed were remarkable. Jon went back to school (college) when he was 18. He graduated magna cum laude with better than a 3.9 GPA.
It wasn't an everyday occurrence to see someone paralyzed from the neck down graduate from college. There were thousands of people at the graduation, and Jon received a standing ovation.
Jon's first big success was in real estate. After college, he joined his father's real estate company, earning $10,000 an hour buying and selling luxury homes without ever seeing the inside of a property.
Although he had the handicap ramps, it wasn't practical and would have taken countless hours to look at a few properties. Jon hired an individual to videotape the insides of the homes. His purchasing decisions were made by watching countless videos every evening.
He became very successful without ever visiting any of the properties.
Because of his success, he was asked by real estate guru Larry Goins to speak at a real estate seminar. Following his speech, people from all over the world wanted to partner with Jon. Copies (nearly 20,000) of his speech were given out. At the end of his speech, he gave out his e-mail address. The worldwide interest was captivating.
Jon was able to expand his business into real estate development projects. He made millions of dollars before experiencing a $3 million loss when the real estate market crashed. He was left with about one year's living expenses.
The crash meant it was time for Jon to reassess his career. Telling himself, "I can think and I can talk," he started blogging.
The Phoenix Rises After The Crash
A blog is an online journal covering various topics. In Jon's view, he had to find a way to "stop being invisible" with blogging. Instead of taking 30 minutes to dash off a blog, he would work on it for five hours or more to make sure it had impact.
One month into blogging, he founded Guestblogging.com. This free site provides videos with topics such as "How to Get Your First 1000 Blog Subscribers" and "SEO Strategy for Bloggers," just to name a few.
Jon makes a full-time living online, blogging, and teaching people about the business. His life is dedicated to blogging. Through trial and error, he has spent countless hours writing and tweaking his blogs.
His dedication to blogging paid off when he founded "On Moneymaking" just one month after he started blogging. The site became very quickly popular, getting around 2,000 visitors per day.
It didn't stop there. A few months later, Brian Clark (the founder of Copyblogger, a software and training organization) recognized the talent of this young aspiring writer.
Jon was asked to become not only the Associate Editor of Copyblogger but a business partner as well. Says Jon, "The day I wrote for Copyblogger for the first time was the day my life turned upside down."
Jon was able to sell "On Moneymaking" in the five digits to devote more of his time to Copyblogger.
The Adventurous Move To Mexico
In January 2009, Jon began to re-evaluate his life. Living in the U.S., he was dependent on the Government for healthcare and living expenses. It made it impossible for him to live the kind of life he deserved to live. It didn't matter if he earned $500 or $5,000 a month.
Due to Government regulations, he was only allowed to keep $700 a month for living expenses and the remainder had to be used towards medical care. He decided it was time to take a chance and make a major change in his life.
He did his research and found that in the U.S. the cost of a nurse is about $50,000 a year but only about $15,000 a year in Mexico. In Mexico, people line up for these jobs.
His rent for an oceanfront condo is $1,500 a month, and his office is his balcony overlooking the ocean in Mazatlan, Mexico. In the U.S., it would cost approximately $20,000 a month for the same condo.
While in Mexico, Jon wasn't concerned about helping himself. He wanted to find a way to help other people. Although it wasn't written, he started selling a course on guest blogging that he would teach live.
People were sending him money he wasn't about to send back.
Jon had to follow one of his own mottos. Successful people put themselves in a position of having to do it. He put himself in position of having to create the course on guest blogging. He had to "hold that gun to his head."
His technique uses tools to get more traffic and readers to people's blog. He was selling a class that he would teach live.
Having a rebellious side, if people say it can't be done, Jon will do it. He would rather die doing what he wants to do rather than be in a nursing home waiting to die.
One of Jon's favorite quotes is "If you can't win the game, change the rules." Putting yourself in a position that you have to get something done is how Jon lives his life.
Go to BoostBlogTraffic to learn more about Jon and what drives him.
Much thanks goes out to Dottie Comet who did the research for this article.
As she relates in her story, she suffers severe back pain from injuries due to accidents. Despite the pain though, Dottie soldiers on, and over the passing years, has become a big booster of Ability-Mission.org.
She is a fine researcher and writer, and seems able to ignore her disabilities to stay that way. Thank you, Dottie for continuing to support the Ability-Mission.org cause!