Meet John

The performance coach who stopped “idea hopping” and built a sustainable business he loves

Success Story Quick Wins


John is a fitness and performance coach who got nowhere trying to build an online business on his own.

HOW He USED Zero To Launch

He used Zero to Launch to find an idea, and with the help of our private community, build a business in an area he’s passionate about.


Now that he has a steady and predictable income stream, John has abandoned the 9-5 world and is moving to Thailand, where he’ll continue to grow his business.

“I’m finally living the life that I’ve wanted to live for 5 or 6 years.” — John Fawkes

“I’m not like these guys”

John didn’t know what he wanted to do with his career. After getting a degree in criminal justice, he realized he had no desire to be a cop or lawyer. He then went to business school, only to realize he didn’t want to do anything with that degree, either.

“I was surrounded by people who were going to be bankers and consultants working 80 hours a week at a corporate job. I looked around and said, ‘I’m not really like these guys.’”

After stumbling across the world of online business, John began to feel that this was the right path for him.

“The sense of connection I felt with other business owners made me realize I wanted to run my own business.”

Early struggles

John wanted to be an entrepreneur, but he didn’t have a plan or support network. He relied on free blogs and forums to figure it out as he went.

The result? John jumped from one idea to the next, never creating a sustainable business with significant, predictable revenue.

“I created things people would want to buy, but I had no idea where to find my audience. I didn’t understand my market on a deep level the way I’ve learned to since joining Zero to Launch.”

The chance to “live the dream”

Tired of spinning his wheels and getting nowhere, John decided it was time to invest in himself. He had been reading the I Will Teach blog for years, where he learned to save thousands and land a great job. He trusted our material and jumped at the chance to join Zero to Launch.

“I knew that Ramit’s blog is one of the most successful online businesses around and that he’s done exactly what I want to do. So when he first launched his Zero to Launch course in April 2014, I jumped at my chance to live the dream of running an online business.”

Finding the right business idea

John had no idea what kind of business he wanted to start. But the Zero to Launch system helped him come up with several ideas he was interested in. His first idea, to help people land great jobs, turned out to be a dead end.

“It was difficult to find communities that I could reach out to directly. And I got surprisingly low traffic from my guest posts. I realized that it’s very hard to get loyal, consistent, long-term readers in the career niche.”

Normally, John would have given up or wasted months working hard on an idea that was doomed to fail. But this time, he had the Zero to Launch system to fall back on. He went back to the beginning and decided to try again in the fitness market. He was even more excited for this than his original idea.

“This is an area where I have a ton of knowledge and passion. I’ll never run out of things to write.”

John’s website,

John’s website,

An unexpected source of help

Before Zero to Launch, John would look for knowledge and support on free blogs and forums. After a while, he became disillusioned with the amount of advice out there — most of which was bad or unhelpful for his situation.

He assumed the Zero to Launch online community would be just like all the others.

“In the Zero to Launch promotional materials, I saw there was going to be a Facebook group. I wrote that off as a little thing Ramit tacked on to add perceived value to the course.”

But he soon learned that having a support community was invaluable. He just needed the right group of people.

“Everyone [in the Zero to Launch community] is operating from the same playbook. So it’s not a mixed bag of people trying totally different business models and wildly different strategies. And you don’t have as many people talking out of their ass as you do on an unregulated public forum.

“It’s very integral to the experience that you participate in the Facebook group, get feedback, and learn from the success and failures of other students.”

John getting instant help in the Zero to Launch private community

John getting instant help in the Zero to Launch private community

“More meaningful than any work I’ve ever done”

John was willing to put in the work, trust the Zero to Launch system, and now he’s reaping the rewards. He’s grown his list to 2,200 subscribers and has clients paying for his coaching.

John’s grew his list to over 2,000 using Zero to Launch techniques

John’s grew his list to over 2,000 using Zero to Launch techniques

He’s finally built a sustainable business with predictable income. This financial security, plus the fact that he can run this business from anywhere, means he can fulfill his dream of living in Thailand for months at a time.


“Since starting Zero to Launch, I feel a lot more confident and a lot happier with my life. Particularly now since I’m location-independent and get to live where I want. I feel like I’m finally living the life that I wanted to live for 5-6 years.”

A view from John’s gym in Thailand

A view from John’s gym in Thailand

Beyond the lifestyle change, he’s created the most fulfilling job he’s ever had.

“Some people have body image issues or they’re depressed, and they start to make progress on that with my help. That feels a lot more meaningful than any other work I’ve ever done.”

More on John’s Zero to Launch journey

We recently invited John to talk with us about his experience. For a detailed look at the barriers he overcame and the lessons he learned with Zero to Launch, check out the full 16-minute interview below. In it you’ll learn:

  • How Zero to Launch is unlike other online business courses (5:45)
  • The exact strategy John used to deeply understand his market (and learn “the pain behind the pain”) (8:53)
  • How to build a successful online business without taking risks or going “all-in” (15:45)

Need help finding your business idea?

John’s journey started by learning how to find an idea. If you want help finding an idea of your own, check out the free report we created for you: 30 Successful Online Business Ideas.

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