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Help “BIG JOHN” Make Money Online

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This blog post is based on a serendipitous contact with a guy named BIG JOHN at Starbucks earlier today. I bumped into him a few hours ago and it made me want to do something to help.

Here are some of the facts:

1. BIG JOHN lives in his car.

2. He just got out of jail for non payment of fines related to his car which he has no money to pay. He is ready and willing to work, but has fallen on hard times.

3. He showers at the local city pool.

4. He’s good at finding out where free food is given out.

5. He just spent 56 days in jail for non-payment of car citations.

6. He now owes $7700 for all kinds of fines and fees having to do with his car.

7. He was adopted at 6 months old.

8. His parents are dead and he’s estranged from his brother.

9. He was dumped by his girlfriend of 8 years the day he was let out of jail.

10. He is willing to work to do anything to make money, he’s not a moocher and does not believe in a free lunch.

I ran home to get him two of my books. I gave him the books but I’m now interested in finding a way to help him make money onlne. I’d like any and all ideas that you have to help this guy out. God knows he needs it.

Post your ideas as comments after this article!

Let’s help BIG JOHN out!!

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19 Responses to “Help “BIG JOHN” Make Money Online”

  1. John on May 21st, 2010 12:22 am

    Big John could write an ebook on how to live/survive on no money

  2. Pat Wiklund on May 21st, 2010 12:27 am

    How about writing up some tips for finding the essentials and fun for other people who also find themselves down and out.

    Or, three essential things to look for when you hire someone to work on your home so you don’t get ripped off.

    Or, landscaping tips in the Las Vegas desert…can also do in Arizona, parts of New Mexico and California

    and the list goes on…

  3. Eugenia on May 21st, 2010 12:31 am


    I support your creative idea to assist someone who is unemployed. I’m a job search coach, but I work face to face. If I knew how to make money online, I would do it myself. I’m still learning.

    I was born and raised in NY, but I’ve lived all over the country for the last 25 years. I’m in Charlotte now, and I’ll tell you that it’s impossible to find anyone to take care of your landscaping. At one time, we were paying $20 an hour just to have weeds pulled.

    Second idea: The best housekeeper I ever had was a man: he could pick up the coffee table and move it in order to vacuum under the table. It’s hard work for a woman, but for a man, it’s a lot easier than digging ditches in inclement weather.

    My best wishes to John.

  4. Bill O'Hanlon on May 21st, 2010 2:10 am

    The obvious ones to me, Fred, are that he could do reports and interviews/audios about:
    How construction contractors rip you off

    How to avoid getting ripped off on your next remodeling project

    Street survival: Lessons from a homeless survivor on how everyone can keep themselves safe in everyday life

  5. Jasmin Farnum-Manning on May 21st, 2010 2:25 am

    Big John,

    Dilemma is all too common. We have far too many men, women and youth in his shoes. Sadly many more will follow in this economy. I am responding because I believe business is ministry.

    Pour this into God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; (Psalms 68:6)

    Secondly, find out what talents he possesses. I am not savvy in the internet business thing. But how about creating an e book for him that speaks to surviving after being release from jail sounds like he has a knack for it.

    Keep me posted.

    Tell him I am praying for him believe that he will come through.

  6. Maureen Merrill on May 21st, 2010 2:27 am

    Big John, Public Speaker!

    Big John could put together a 20-minute speech presentation and offer to deliver it to Rotary Clubs and other civic and community groups. There are weekly meetings all over Las Vegas and almost always they need a speaker each week. (It’s a free meal, too.)

    His topic could be a down-but-not-out theme, something like: “My way up–working my way out of homelessness” or if he’s funny, he could put a comic spin on his jail experiences or his observations on how to get by while homeless. Most people who have never had these experiences are very curious about that side of life.

    He can mention his new online business of course. He may also find people in the audience who want to become his online buyers or employer. Fred, I’ve heard you speak, so I know that you can coach him. But if he wants to call me for some help, I’m happy to consult with him too.

    Best to you and Big John,
    Maureen Merrill

  7. Sheridan on May 21st, 2010 4:22 am

    While he’s reading the books you gave him, and developing the skills he’ll need to be successful online, he could start offering those skills via elance, etc. This would give real world experience, a kind of on-the-job training.

    In the meantime, he could do odd jobs, perhaps starting with your back yard, as you suggested in your email, and trying to build a base-level income doing what he already knows with the help of wom/referrals.

    Once he has some skill online, which shouldn’t take more than a week to get the basics, he should approach you with a proposal to make his own info product as a partnership. He was lucky enough to meet you, maybe he can be lucky enough to get a JV.

    He could produce something about how to save money while landscaping to the envy of the neighbors, etc. Taylor his skills to the affect of the times.

    Then, he can build a list of his own, learn lead-gen, and grow a business that will make him laugh at this temporary situation.

    And, John, if you follow Fred’s advice, and I mean follow through… you will be successful.

    Good luck to you.

  8. Rob on May 21st, 2010 5:48 am

    This is a worthy challenge. The only reason I keep reading your newsletter Fred is that you think outside of the box. I unsubscribed from all the other “marketing gurus” cause I got sick of them all sending me the same sales pitch when one of them was going to do a BIG PRODUCT LAUNCH. It’s like the good old boys network, they all kiss each other’s behind and get kickbacks. No integrity whatsoever. People aren’t dumb. We all see right through them. You actually have guts to test things out in real life. I remember last year you wore a sandwich sign in the middle of times square. How did that marketing experiment work out? Yeah people laughed but if you’re making money, then WHOSE LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK?!!!!

  9. jurgen Wolff on May 21st, 2010 1:56 pm

    How about a report on re-landscaping your yard with plants that require less water, or how to combine such plants with features using pebbles or sand? In this economy, I assume people want to save on their water bills as well as being more environmentally responsible. Maybe he could use your yard as an example–take before and after videos and photos, your testimonial, show the before and after of your water bills, too.

  10. Andrej on May 21st, 2010 2:27 pm

    Hi Fred – you already know what I’m about to share – number 1 has to be mindset – Big John needs to at least one positive in his situation right now – and use that as a launching pad.
    “Being really good at finding where to get free food” – surely gotta give some Food for Thought right there (excuse the pun!!)

  11. Anngie on May 21st, 2010 5:05 pm

    The first thing that comes to mind is producing an ebook, audio or video about Big John’s knowledge/expertise on landscaping and construction. He’s an expert on something. So, if not landscaping or construction, put whatever his expertise is in an ebook, audio or video.

    Of the 3 modalities, I think the ebook would be the cheapest to produce. Big John could work cutting grass and/or doing yard work for people. Use his income to purchase a ream of paper, maybe some ink and some report covers. Print out the ebook, put it in a report cover and start selling the ebook offline. Get some more income from doing yard work and sales from the printed version of the ebook. Now he can purchase a domain name and hosting and get the ebook online. And so on and so forth.

    This does not have to be a long ebook; 10-20 pages will suffice. He can always add to the ebook after getting it online. Hope this little bit helps.

  12. Alla Goltsman on May 22nd, 2010 7:24 am

    How about putting an ad in Graigslist that Big John will accept a donation of a old laptop? What if somebody is trying to get rid of an old laptop? It does not happen every day though. But a couple of years ago I did try to get rid of a lot of things while moving out of my house. It does happen. If he gets a laptop, then he can go to places with free wi fi and start working online with your help Fred. You are such a kind man!

  13. Tim Gaffney on May 24th, 2010 1:11 pm

    I have had some great success in similar situations.

    I have helped several homeless by teaching them a skill / art form
    (I suggest balloon sculpturing or magic) and then tech them the MARKETING and PEOPLE skills to perform on the street (and later) at parties.

    I also teach the basics of online marketing to help them advertise and book gigs.

    Good honest work for good pay.

  14. Jim Reser on May 26th, 2010 1:29 am

    Several of these ideas can work together. Have him set up a system for taking appointments for landscaping work in his area, then let him recruit other people in similar circumstances to do the work, with him taking a percentage of each job to pay his costs. If he pitches it right, hell charge enough to cover labor, workers comp and unemployment comp insurance and all the other employee taxes and some insurance. He becomes a broker of the service, and talks to Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Civitan and other clubs, parlaying his story into job referrals for his services. Additional capital can let him expand services for other day-labor sorts of work. The story of how he builds his empire, using speaking and e-mail contacts to set up jobs and dispatching other workers should add to his notoriety — using advice from Rick Frishman or whoever you currently recommend for PR.
    The guy sounds like someone who could make it work.

  15. big john on May 28th, 2010 5:21 pm

    this is big john thank you all for your kind words they ment a great deal to me with freds help i am moving forward with an non profit idea to help displaced adults and teens learn one.teach one is my motto you can reach me at (702)415-3638 if you have questions or might have someone you can suggest to donate i really need a decent used laptop with wi-fi as i can only use the library once a day for one and a half hours there are a great many projects rattling around in this cavern i call a brain once again thank you

  16. BIG John on March 16th, 2011 2:29 am

    LOL! Just had to comment on this BIG John from Starbucks character as I actually am BIG John (internet marketer) and teach people how to make money online as you do Fred! It’s great to see another possible BIG John getting into the game. I just hope people don’t confuse the two of us, but if they do I’m the BIG John who prefers Dos Equis 🙂

  17. Fred Gleeck on March 17th, 2011 8:32 pm

    Big John, Dude, you gotta catch up on the blog! lol That post was MONTHS ago! As for HIS beer preference I don’t know. Mine has always been San Miguel based on where I grew up.

  18. Ted on April 30th, 2011 2:21 pm

    I have just recently discovered Fred and really enjoy a lot of what I see. I truly feel for you BIG John! If you need assistance with setting up a website, I would gladly help with the process and donate the hosting space.

    Let me know if this is something that you would be interested in.

  19. Fred Gleeck on April 30th, 2011 6:05 pm

    Ted, thanks! I appreciate the offer, but . . .Big John has disappeared, sorry to say. Fred

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