I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!

NOTE: The post below is so obsolete relative to my current situation that I’m tempted to take it down to avoid confusion, but people tell me it’s an important post so I’m going to leave it. But do note the date: March 25th of 2009. I don’t feel “mad as hell” much these days, so I don’t want anyone to think I am. 

Oh, and that novel I mention below that I wrote but never published? I’ve since published it.

Man, folks, I’m so sorry to follow up one serious post with a second serious post. I swear I’ll be funnier next time. But I promised that I was going to come out from behind the curtain a bit and act like a real person. I promised I would say what’s on my mind.

And the fact is that right now I am so incredibly pissed off, and afraid, and generally on the edge of my seat because I feel like something is supposed to happen — is in fact overdue to happen — but it just won’t. I’m so frustrated.

Let me tell you my deep, dark secret.

I am in such an incredibly shitty financial situation right now. It’s like a bottomless pit, and the only way out of it is to become exactly the person I’m supposed to be in the first place. Which is ironic, and appropriate, and really irritating because it’s just not happening. Or rather, it’s happening, but too slowly. Or rather, maybe it’s happening pretty quickly, but I just don’t know because the whole “becoming” process is still very young.

But the point is that every month I pay the bills, and every month I scrap for jobs doing stuff I don’t even like doing (okay, don’t get me wrong… it’s good work, but it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing) and every month I have this giant monster at my heels that demands this huge sum of money in addition to the regular bills.

Called real estate.

I own a bunch of real estate in Cleveland. It’s not bad for what it is, but I bought it for too much and bought it too fast then the market fell like a brick and I’ve got all of this shit that keeps being vacant and keeps needing repairs and keeps scaring the living shit out of me. Every month, I have to write a check to cover the shortfall. Never do the rents totally cover the expenses. I can’t sell it right now, and some of it I’d have to pay to get rid of. I feel like I got screwed by a fast-talking agent, but who signed the paperwork? Me, that’s who.

I got myself into this, and the only way out is to become the writer I always said I’d become. Really.

And a little bit of backstory on that:

Nine years ago, working a job that was stealing my soul, I started having panic attacks. While I was in the midst of what used to be the most frightening months of my life, I started writing a novel about the college life I had been missing. It was called The Bialy Pimps and was about a revolt in a bagel deli. (You know, something we can all relate to. And by the way, a “bialy” is a type of bagel.)

This never did get published. I want to publish it still someday, but for now, I just sort of “have it.” (It’s actually still awesome. I just read some of it yesterday and laughed my ass off.)

But anyway, while I was writing it, I thought, “This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” My dad played psychologist and told me that great art comes from pain. I don’t know if my novel was great art, but it was pretty fucking funny and was born during a lot of pain.

I finished the book. Got out of the job. And then, I couldn’t write anymore. Seriously; I tried several more times to write SOMETHING, ANYTHING creative. Short stories. Countless attempts at second novels. Nothing would come, because I had gotten comfortable in a new routine, writing nonfiction magazine articles and building websites. My dad kept bothering me to keep trying to write. I tried but couldn’t. Eventually I gave up.

And I had been so certain I was supposed to be a writer. I had it all figured out; I would picture it in my head and think of how my days would go and it all felt so right. It would be so, so awesome. There was this shitty little TV show on at the time that nobody saw and that only lasted like three episodes called Stark Raving Mad. It starred Tony Shaloub as an obsessive-compulsive writer (maybe it was the inspiration for Monk?) and there was this one episode where his assistant or whoever screwed up his OCD routine and he was like “NO, first I get the paper THEN I buy my muffin THEN a cup of coffee THEN I lick the lamppost and THEN I write” or some shit. And it’s not like I’m all OCD but it struck something in me and I thought, “I could see myself having that routine. Minus the lamppost.”

But, no. The creative writing wouldn’t come. I kept writing articles and building websites.

Then I bought this real estate. Then it got bad. Then worse. And then the economy collapsed. This fucking economy that I keep trying to tell myself doesn’t need to be happening happened, and things got a LOT worse.

I remember sitting in the same chair I’m sitting in now, and it’s not like I’m all religious, but I do believe in God, and I said, “What should I do?” Not like a plea of desperation or whatever but like maybe he’d give me a nudge. And what came into my mind was this: I realized I had all of these old newsletters I used to email out that were just sitting there, and I realized that I had the novel, and it was like, “I should start a blog. I should try to make a living selling and using what I have.”

That was about six months ago. I’ve got some readers, and it’s cool, and I’m making connections, and that’s cool. But I still don’t make money being Johnny B. online, and still I do these websites and I still write magazine articles, and every month I fight to make enough money doing it… and every month, I have to write that fucking check for my failing real estate empire. And it’s often a large check.

And then I panic for a while.

I was paying the bills today and something snapped. It dawned on me that I’ve had it. That I’m not going to take it anymore. It dawned on me that I’m so tired, so terribly, terribly tired. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of worrying all the time. I’m tired of doing my regular job and prospecting for even more regular job work as well as writing this blog and trying to make money online and trying to network and be funny and wait for something to go, and work and work and work, and worry and worry and worry.

I’m not despairing here. I don’t do despair, or at least, I don’t do it for long. I get pissed. And right now, I’m so pissed that it has to be this way. I’m so, so pissed at this current situation and am going to find a way to change it if it kills me. I’m going to find a way to be the writer I’m supposed to be, making my living being funny and interesting and creative. I’m going to do it, somehow, some way… and I’m going to do it so well that I’m going to buy my way out of this mess I’m in.

I’m so, so mad.

I fucking hate real estate. HATE it. Eventually I’ll write a book that they’ll stock next to Robert Kiyosaki’s books, and it will be called Why Real Estate is a Big Fat Ugly Whore That Should Be Beaten With a Club and the subhead will be Not That Whores Should Be Beaten With Clubs, but Real Estate is Such a Giant Whore That I’ll Make an Exception, and Also it Should be Drowned in Lye.

I hate being afraid to get the mail. I hate seeing email from certain people (property managers, insurance people) and being afraid to open it. I hate that I’m nervous when my wife goes downstairs into her office because that’s where she does the paperwork and pays the business bills. I hate these stupid little Post-Its she sticks on things to tell me how much extra money the fucking real estate business needs this month. I hate thinking about houses. I hate thinking about taxes, bills, money in general; I hate it when I see a real estate book on my shelf and I hate how I cringe when I’m playing this Bingo-like game with my son and the “house” tile comes up. I hate envelopes in the mail, and particularly the ripping sound of mail being opened. I hate credit cards, lines of credits, and banks. I hate this pile of shit on my floor that I’m supposed to get around to handling. I hate the city offices, the water department, the electric company… all of it.

I hate that my solution so far is to go out and stump for more of this work that I don’t want to do. I hate that to solve the problem in the short term, I seek more of what I shouldn’t be doing with my life.

I hate going in to see my kids at night and feeling bad when I see them lying peacefully asleep, because I worry every day that it’s all going to fall apart.


And I know I’m not the only one. I think this is the emotion of the times: Fear. Like a giant test of faith. Like something that will serve us if we can just heed its message and act. If we’ll just take this fucking economy by the balls and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

This is all a very long-winded way of saying that this is WHY I’m working with Naomi of IttyBiz. Because halfway through writing this post, I realized that it sounded familiar.

It sounded like her page about Online Business School. Which was my very, very first contact with Naomi. Someone (I think it might have been @kt_writes on Twitter? Not sure) linked to that page and said, “I’m not ashamed to say this made me cry.” So I read it. And became an IttyBiz fan. And bought the Online Business School product. And am using it now. And you will watch me as I use it, which is the reason for all of this recent turbulence around here.

Somehow, some way, I’m going to make my living writing and doing fun shit online. Because I’m too mad to let anything else continue.

Maybe you’re like me. Maybe you’re mad. If so, I feel your pain – oh, do I feel it. Maybe you’ll try to do what I’m doing. Maybe you’ll follow along, and we’ll see just how well it all works.

Now that you've read this post, go here:


  1. Johnny B. Truant says:

    Wow, that’s actually pretty hard for me to read because it hits home. Keep me posted on your progress, okay?

    • earlymidlifecrisis says:

      Thank you for this painful but hitting home article. 2008 was the worst year of my life and several nervous breakdowns, years of delusions and being forced to face reality, I ended up back home,

  2. ebele says:


    Parts of what you wrote really connected with me – sometimes shockingly so as it was almost word for word.

    Rather than anger, I’m in a state of droopy-eared-ness. Too tired to feel GRRRRRR at the mo’.

    Thanks for your post, though. I can see how you’ve moved forward from it and I’m really glad you’re in a better place, doing more of what you really want to do.

    take care…

  3. Johnny B. Truant says:

    MORE of, yes. But I find that “real work” is really getting in the way.

    You know, it’s funny… the closer I get to doing what I really want, the harder it is to do the stuff I “have” to do for the whole day job thing. Hmm.

  4. Gregg Stutts says:

    Great post–honest and vulnerable. (Read it after your referenced it in your copyblogger post about getting more comments). I think it’s Stephen King who says to just tell the truth in your writing. You did.

    I can relate to the fear and worry. Obviously, you’re not surprised that a lot of people can.

    Thanks for telling the truth.

  5. Johnny B. Truant says:

    Yep, Stephen King… one of my favorites, and I know he makes that point in “On Writing.” This all (the Copyblogger stuff and the posts here) comes down to being yourself as much as possible. People will either like it and resonate with it or not.


  6. Constantin says:

    I’ve been there and I believe many of us passed through the same ‘victim state’. The point is that one has to accept his/her fears in order to overcome them. There’s no doubt people who really try to do what they REALLY want will succeed.
    Thanks for the honest post!

  7. Johnny B. Truant says:

    I think it all has a purpose. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if not for this calamity, honestly. Is it time for me to look back on it and laugh yet?

  8. think graphic says:

    you got me between the eyes. the absolute ugly ass world and your merry go-round, cant get off the ride (real estate hell) is well .. YOUR daddy had it right .. pain will be gain for you my friend. keep going , keep doing , and keep BELIEVEing. Keep writing. keep writing. keep writing. opps did I just say that again out loud.

    The incredible observation of you saying “you already have what you need” is a epiphany for me a few years ago in a break down of FAITH. So to see someone else reiterate it now, speaks volumes! You got it, now, so use it. Make it work. but never lose your faith in yourself, support system (pray bro!) and this too shall pass.

    Hope to be a paying fan one day soon… still cracking my nut… (so to speak) in the female persausion-of making my way down the highway.


  9. Johnny says:

    I wanted to be sure to reply to this to let you know that I wrote it on 3/25/09, and that less than a year later what you say was proven totally correct, and that by today in June of ’10, it’s 180 degrees turned around.

    The interesting thing is that it took a lot of faith for that journey and that it was never really easy, but it was ultimately simple…. just hang on.

  10. Edward says:

    I understand you so much. Me and my wife have also invested in real estate and were pretty much screwed up. Its not that we do not have it. It even brings some profit every month, but still, i would feel so much better if I could have at least get the amount of money I have paid for it back (not speaking that we were planning on selling it eventually for about 1.5 of what it cost).

    That one moment in my life alongside with lots of others like that taught me that if it is your life and your responsibility, YOU should hold it in your hands, cause nobody else can be as much caring for the damn thing as you. My wife was handling the whole deal and her father helped her, I wasn’t even there (though at that moment I wouldn’t have made a huge difference).

    At least now I know that when you are spending that large bunch of money, you should know EXACTLY what documents should be in place and what things should be checked or not mess with it at all.

  11. Johnny says:

    Yep. The way I’ve looked at this recently is almost in the form of a life’s credo or purpose statement or something:

    My income must come from my own creation. I will not rely on chance, arbitrage, or the action of things outside of my immediate control.

    In short, I’m going to do what *I* can do to earn, and never invest as a primary income vehicle again. When you add value, you earn. The rest? Who knows.

  12. Ron Morris says:

    I am a Vietnam Veteran and worked all my life. My retirement was supposed to be a relaxing time but no, I’m still in the crap sucking world of bills. We bought a small piece of property as an investment in 05. No it’s worth half the amount owed. So it steals all of our money along with all the credit cards that helped us keep it during tax time. I have to pay school taxes on the vacant lot we bought along with school taxes where we live. Taxation Without Representation!
    Who got the bailouts? What about us? My American Dream is a shit filled nightmare. If you let it go back to the bank they will sue you for the unmet balance after auction. So we are screwed. I am pissed. I feel helpless. I want to kick the shit out of someone and I am normally a peace loving person.

  13. Tammy says:

    Apologies never necessary for passionate writing! I know where you’re coming from and even in times of comfortable/uncomfortable health, finances-whatever it might have been…. I’ve had that chicken little feeling and kept waiting for the sky to fall and sometimes it did! It’s at time like this when the “someone has it worse” advice is crap! In the long run that really doesn’t help solve anything. It’s what comes from being fired up(funny or not) like you are now. I was told once by this Thor Holt guy to go KICK FEAR IN THE NUTS and see what happens! That seemed to have suited my personality well- So good luck Johnny when you have your go at kicking fear in the nuts!

  14. Ron Morris says:

    You should see my medical provider. Dr. U.B. Alright. I bought expensive lakefront property because we misread my wifes retirement amount which turned out to be $100 a month. We have a Cadillac dream and a Mini Van Retirement. No I don’t drive a mini van because I just don’t think it’s right to cruise in the express lane. When I get up in the morning I go through a list of the horrifying items I can not solve or control. I do what I can and then move on. I call it damage control. “Scotty whats going on down there?. Everything is smokin Captain”. It’s like ground hog day over and over and over. You’ll make it despite the suffering. I accidently came across your blog and I was sucked in to reading it and I found it interesting and familar to my happiness with real estate horror. A non fictional nightmare of the times. Do the morning ritual of not being able to fix anything then cleanse your mind and start writing. . U.B.Alright

  15. Johnny says:

    Yeah, this story had a happy ending. In case it’s not clear, I wrote this post around 18 months ago when things were really hairy. They’re quite good now… testament to what you’re talking about, with damage control and handling what you can without worrying more than necessary about the rest. Alright indeed.

  16. Thank you for this. I’m sorry that you had to go through all the crap, but I am so relieved to read that you were here, because now you are not. You are in this other, much better, happier place, which means that it’s possible, and that possibility is worth everything. :>

    Happy Thurs & Turkey Day! :-D

  17. Johnny says:

    Let’s not forget the most important thing, and it’s that I’m grateful for this experience. The lessons I couldn’t learn any other way besides the hard way have been invaluable. And without all of this pain, I never would have done what it took to get to where I am today. Sometimes, complacency is a cage.

  18. Muskrat says:

    Hindsight rules!

  19. Johnny says:

    Actually, re-reading the whole post again 20 months later gave me chills. And amused me. I like this line best:

    But I still don’t make money being Johnny B. online…

    Yeah. That changed.

  20. Martyn says:


    I’m so glad I got to read this article. I desperately needed to read this. I finally feel like I understand you now. I came here from the How to Write Your Ass Off article, which you mentioned on the Black Sheep call.

    You got to where you are now because of the hole you were in. It’s not too blunt to say that hate drove you to success.

    For the first time, I realize I’m not alone.

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks man. Funny thing is, it’s been just over 2 years now since I wrote this, and looking back, I remember how I knew AS I WROTE IT that it was a manifesto of sorts, and that I’d look back on it as a turning point. Things were really shitty when I wrote this, and there was really no dependable light at the end of the tunnel yet visible. But I knew it meant something, and that whenever things did improve, that this would be the time when it started.

      And you’re 100% correct. I’ve often said that I’m thankful for the experience. If it hadn’t gotten bad enough to whip me from behind, I would have complacently stayed at the “good enough” level I was at a year before I wrote this.

  21. Cyndi Briggs says:

    KEEP UP THE POST, JBT! Puh-leeze!

  22. Shaa says:

    Nice post, I’ve never seen a serious blogger swear so much in the one post!
    The thing I like about thi post is that though you are in victim, you have hit rock bottom enough to actually make a decision to take responsibility for where you are at, admit your mistakes (to the world) and actually start doing something about your situation. That is a place not many people want to go these days and I honour that.
    That is the part I can relate to, that’s why I love working for myself. Only I am responsible for the fuck ups and I can actually do something about it, rather than hoping somone way up the ladder will someday.
    Glad you succeeded. I look forward to seeing how you did it.

  23. Lana says:

    Well, you hit home more than you know! We left Cleveland in August of 2008 after we lost everything we owned due to the mortgage monster crisis: a beautiful house on the lake in Strongsville, two Lexuses (thau CANNOT be Lexi:), medical insurance (with a Type 1 diabetic child) and everything that comes with a middle class living in a middle class suburb. My husband’s company folded overnight and from being a CEO, he went to work construction (and he is a writer and an artist:)
    We are in SoCal now, living in paradise, but still poor as church mice, chasing our dreams. We both write, but we are in the same situation you found yourself in 2009. I know one day the sun will really start to shine and I am happy to hear stories of success from the fellow writers:)

  24. Katherine says:

    Simply awesome. Been there. Had the sleepless nights. Did an MA in creative writing, wrote myself back to sanity, got a distinction, going to meet an agent on Monday. Your 2009 was my 2008. I wish you every happiness.

  25. As someone who still lives in Cleveland and loves it, I now live next door to an abandoned house thanks to some prospector like you who thought he’d get rich quick. Every time it rains or the wind is hard, we get paint chips and roof tiles flying into our yard where my kids play thanks to someone else’s poor financial decisions. While I am happy for you that you personally got out of your family’s financial mess, what are you doing to help the neighborhoods and people who are still stuck next to your abandoned, run down “real estate”? It’s more than just a dollar sign in an envelope to us Clevelanders…it’s a physical place and OUR HOME that is ruined. Sorry, but instead of making me real better, your article just makes ME mad as hell!! Give me the update on what you did for your “real estate”‘s neighbors other than write a funny book.

    • Johnny says:

      Meagen… I hear you, really. I think you’ve already made up your mind about me so I don’t expect you to believe me and that’s okay, but the goal was always win-win-win. The neighborhoods were on the decline when we got in, and there was a homebuyer program run by the city (I think it was called “Afford a Home”) where they’d help first time homebuyers with an extremely low-interest loan and write a forgivable 0% second mortgage to cover downpayments. We worked with Key and the city council to try and fix up properties and sell to buyers who used that program. Everyone was supposed to benefit. We fixed houses up beyond the nicest on the street (attic master bedroom suites with jazuzzis were standard; we always installed central A/C and an ADP security system), so the buyer got a really nice house. The neighborhood benefitted because we were clearing up run-down houses that were otherwise going to crap and made them nice. The city benefitted. And yes, we were supposed to benefit when we sold. But it fell apart. The credit crisis hit and none of our buyers were ever approved for loans they deserved, so they couldn’t buy. Sales fell through and everything crashed.

      I’m not going to play the victim because it was my decision to invest, but please don’t paint me in with the smash-and-grab investors. We only had a handful, and we worked with people one-on-one to try and take them through city-sponsored credit programs so that they could get these loans. And then the loans went away.

      I get that it’s a neighborhood, and we understand that real people live there. I tried to make a win-win go at it, and I failed. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.

      • Thanks for your sincere reply and apology. I appreciate it. But seriously, what is going on with those homes and neighborhoods now? Do you still own them? Have you written about them (other than being mad?). I write about living in Cleveland in a more serious proud angtsy vein, as it seems is similar to most writers who focus on the “rust belt” but having a humorous take might be welcome change.

        • Johnny says:

          No, I lost them. To be honest, I’m not the best person to write about the city much because I have a bad taste in my mouth. The city kind of accelerated the whole thing in my case, heaping on lots of ridiculous fines when we could least afford them. For instance, we always cut the grass and maintained our properties (had a service that went out weekly, and yes, they were actually doing it), but we regularly got citations for the grass being too long… so the city crews would cut it and then charge us literally $200 or more. Not an exaggeration. Stuff like that happened all the time, and I’m sure it was because the city was losing so much money itself. I guess I get it, but it would have been better to work WITH the landlords who were trying to keep their properties instead of making it worse. But I guess we were the minority. We held on for a few years before we finally had to let go, whereas I think a lot bailed immediately. But there were a lot of bad apples in the administration too… like the auditor being busted by the FBI or whatever that was.

          Not trying to skirt my part in digging my own hole, but they sure didn’t try to help me hang onto anything, as hard and for as long as I tried, to my own peril.

  26. Ana says:

    This post SO resonated with me!

    Reading about you then so resonates with me now:

    Female, single, age 57, worst year of my life right now, once teacher and journalist, educated, world traveler … now slaving away in a factory part time for near minimum, renting someone’s room, $30,000 in debt, my body and soul so decimated by the job I had to cut down days just to get through the week even though I so desperately need full time.

    Trying like mad to build an online presence with an eye to making a full-time living … as mad as hell as you were … but that anger does me no good when my future plans are interrupted by judgments and bankruptcy. What’s a girl to do? What future could someone like me possibly have with obstacles like that?

    Yet I’m still determined to make it … somehow next year will be different … I will come out from this and come out stronger, knowing more, having learned whatever this time is trying to teach me … See you on the other side.

  27. Johnny, NEVER EVER take this post down!! And, I went right away to the http://www.Ittybiz.com site!

    Thank You for sharing your story and NOT taking it down.

  28. Ana says:

    To add … I’m with Ute: NEVER, EVER take down a post that may not jive with you anymore but sure as hell does with your audience.

    The crisis isn’t over. People are HURTING. Yet people still have dreams. Many of us who’ve been pounced by all this are nevertheless sick of the headlines, sick of the pundits who say we’re in it for the long haul, et al, ad infinitum. And the other online biggies made it long ago when the crowds were thinner. Mmmmm … can’t relate, somehow can’t relate.

    Then along comes Johnny come lately. YOU are a sign of hope! YOU come on here now, not having made it a decade ago with a wide-open web, but RECENTLY, post-crisis. Do you have any idea of the power that has???

    People are hurting. They need to feel hope. We can still make it. You are that hope.

  29. Nancy says:

    Where’s the like button? Because I like this. It’s funny and real, and it’s awesome… and I like it. I relate, as so many other people do, and I love knowing that you are in a much different place now. I love knowing that you got out of that shit. Gives me hope. Gives lots of people hope.

  30. Damn,

    This really hit me deep. This brings all of my negative feelings about what I am doing which is trying to make a living online and oozzes them to the surface. I have been trying to figure all this out for 3 years. I finally feel like I have it mostly figured out and then I get sidetracked with other everyday life bullshit. Anyway, enough whining. This makes me want to keep going and get refocused on the reasons I am doing this in the first place, which is to not have to worry about being broke as f*&k while working a deadend job that doesn’t mean anything. Oh, I signed up for your webinar! Thanks man

    • Oh, and this gravatar not showing up is getting ridiculous. WTH?

      • Johnny says:

        Ha, I love the “I’m just testing my gravatar” comments. All I know is going to gravatar.com and making sure the pic is associated with the same email address as you’re using to comment. Beyond that….?

  31. ContentSlave says:

    Looking forward to the Webinar on Monday. Epic rant. Always nice to know under all the bullshit dreams really are achievable barring the amount of determination put forward. Always be closing, always be connecting…just never give up. The World isn’t going to end tomorrow, so why should your passion for your dream?

    My only questions is, do people in Cleveland really hate the native comedian who makes the Cleveland Tourism videos on YouTube? Sarcasm at its best lol.


  32. JB! You’re already a great writer. Check. That’s done. One of these days I’ll write my story inspired by yours and lots of others around. Mine happened when the eye of the hurricane I was unknowingly caught up in, sucked me up, threw me down, and challenged my existence as I knew it in the summer of 2009. I’ll come back and share it with you here. Inspiration is the key for stayinf motivated to improve our version of a good life. Thanks for your inspiration that just motivated me.

  33. Larry Taylor says:

    Johnny, I’ve read this post before and I thank you for not taking it down. Reading it this morning, I can so relate to where you were at in 2009, and how much it parallels my present situation. I’ve been trying to figure out my path on the web for the past three years, knowing that there was something there for me but not finding anything that resonated inside me.

    And all the time denying and not valuing my true gift – an intuitive ability to effortlessly draw out other peoples’ gifts, since my very early twenties. But what official ‘qualifications’ did I have? Who was I to be coaching people? I taught 2-day workshops for three years on the subject with amazing successes. The ‘correct’ answers just flowed when I was teaching. But the more successes I had, the louder the voice inside of me sreamed at me “Who the fuck are you to be doing this? What qualifications do you have?” Until I finally cowered back into my hole and back to work at a j.o.b. Until I burned out and fell into depression.

    Also, I live with adult ADHD, and my executive functions are basically non-existent.. (I need to contact your mother. Again. And work with her this time.) So, I’ve totally fucked up my taxes for the past X years and now have the revenue department ready to seize everything I own.

    You have motivated/inspired me to say say ‘I’m not going to fucking take this anymore’. I am going to embrace my gift, make a difference and be fucking Legendary! See you on the inside.

    Thank you for doggedly pursuing your gift.

    • Johnny says:

      Fantastic. This kind of a response is exactly why I’m glad I left this up. And YES, please do get back in the loop with my mom… she and Jacqui really have a great set of resources there!

  34. Michelle says:

    This: “I hate that to solve the problem in the short term, I seek more of what I shouldn’t be doing with my life.” You feel me.

    But the good news is that Jon Morrow’s email sent me to read your epic Legendary shit and that got me all fired up over the white hot truth of no such thing as failure, just quit, so I continue to put one foot in front of the other.

    Thank you and keep writing epic shit no matter what you’re feeling and keep things up no matter how long ago you wrote them.

    • Johnny says:

      It’s just weird to read it now, y’know? But I’m so glad you enjoyed it and got something out of it… it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. :)

  35. I just recently wrote my own “turning point” on my blog, so reading this now is perfect timing! Thanks for being so real. Of course, I can connect to it…because I’m at the beginning stages of fighting my way out of it. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation to keep moving… even if this was written years ago.

  36. Amanda says:

    Please please please don’t ever take this down. Your blog’s been in my feed list for a very long time now, but for some reason I just never looked. I don’t even remember how it got there. Anyway, I hit rock bottom in 2012, to the point where I was couch surfing at a friend’s house, and have finally been able to get my own place and am trying to get serious about turning the little bits of web development and design work into a serious gig. This has been very motivational.

    • Johnny says:

      Thanks, Amanda. I get comments like this about this post surprisingly often, so I doubt it’s going anywhere. I’m glad it helps folks!


  1. [...] has been frustrating lately. You’ll know that if you read my rant. (And by “you,” I also mean my closest friends and family, because I apparently forgot [...]

  2. [...] you have the time, why don’t you head on over and give that manifesto a read. Yes, it’ll take you a few minutes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you may see [...]

  3. [...] re-reading this post about how I was “mad as hell” makes me wince. Not because it reminds me of all of the shit that’s in it, but because it [...]

  4. [...] about starting an online business, but I really couldn’t imagine how it would work. Well, seeing where Johnny started (I hope he doesn’t mind that we’re on a first name basis), and that he made almost [...]

  5. [...] $6000. I don’t do that, we suffer. And all the while, I’ve also been fighting the real estate monster. I had to borrow some here and there, but I basically relied on steady work from that client base [...]

  6. [...] to work with Lira Vaughan, who I’m still surprised is willing to help get a handle on my incredibly shitty real estate investments. What Lira is good at is recognizing patterns in people and in routines, and finding ways to [...]

  7. [...] have been following Johnny’s online biz adventure since this post in March 2009, when he started working with @Ittybiz (Naomi Dunford).  I took advantage of [...]

  8. [...] would be festering in a lab somewhere right now. So, it was a good thing. And if I hadn’t had my real estate bummer, I would never have started this blog and this business, which now accounts for 100% of my income. [...]

  9. [...] got mad as hell. I lost faith. I found faith. I finally accepted that there is no [...]

  10. [...] the most courage to write and publish. In the depth of my financial horrors, I wrote about being mad as hell. Further down the road, I wrote about learning to have faith and doing everything wrong in my [...]

  11. [...] the most courage to write and publish. In the depth of my financial horrors, I wrote about being mad as hell. Further down the road, I wrote about learning to have faith and doing everything wrong in my [...]

  12. [...] a serious financial crash hadn’t scared the pants off of me a few years ago, I never would have tried [...]

  13. [...] can build around our family life, not the other way around. But today I sat down after reading this mad as hell blog post by Johnny B. Truant and I thought of specific things I want my at home income to do for me and my [...]

  14. […] not just hard for you. It’s hard for everyone at some point. You hit a dip, you get mad as hell, and you want to throw imaginary chairs against the wall. The only problem is, not everyone hits […]