From time to time, I get asked about how I ever got started in the world of Search Engine Optimization training.
I am convinced that God in His great wisdom, always has a plan in mind for us and as we look to Him and expect good things to happen, we will eventually see His plan come into effect. I believe in fact that if He can equip me for this wonderful journey that I’ve been on, then He can certainly equip anyone at all.
I am sharing my story with you as one who has had a very limited education. I have no degrees or call letters to put behind my name.
And yet strangely enough, I have had the opportunity and the pleasure to instruct some very well educated people including Doctors, Lawyers, and many professional people from all types of business backgrounds.
Reflecting back on how it all came into place, I can see several stages where it feels like during my early journey way back in my former career, God was actually preparing me for the future. Of course I had no way of knowing it at the time.
I can remember working for years in the propane industry and starting by being a yard worker. Filling cylinders with propane, painting propane tanks, loading trucks and other general labor.
In time, I had the opportunity to earn my first few licenses like that of a propane plant operator. I use to handle unloading the huge propane tank cars.
Slowly, I moved from the yard into the office and eventually, I had the opportunity to begin learning about how to become a trainer. As my working career continued, I became elected to serve as Chair person on the safety committee and eventually I was promoted into delivering propane safety training programs and I became licensed under the Board of Consumer & Commercial Relations to train and license others in the safe handling of propane.
In those years of training, I felt like I was in my element and often was involved in helping local fire departments to understand emergency preparedness action plans where propane might be involved in an emergency.
For the last 5 years of my 24 year career, I was working from our Corporate Office and I was looking after about 5 different departments. Suddenly one day in 1996, something happened to our company where I was given the choice of going back to the branch where I was earlier, or I could entertain moving my family out to Calgary where the new head office was relocating. Of course I had no interest in moving my family out west because everyone I knew lived here in the Toronto area.
It was at this point, I decided to explore a long held dream of starting a new business of my own. Upon leaving my former career, I was convinced that my days as a trainer had finally come to an end.
In late 1996, I investigated a franchise opportunity and was thinking I might become a Web designer. After getting started, I realized that I really was no Web designer. However, I found that I did have a fascination and a knack with search engines.
I had several very nice success stories with many of my new clients, helping them to get traffic to their Web sites. From my first few client success stories, the news traveled rather quickly back to the franchise, that whatever I was doing differently, was making my clients some great money and so I was invited to come in and teach the other franchisees for about a half day per week.
So, oddly enough, I found myself training people again, only it was not about propane this time. It was about the world of search.
It was from here that I began to get the idea to try and develop a hands-on workshop where I could actually teach students the entire process of search engine optimization. I wanted to create an event where people could learn by doing. So in around 2001 I left the franchise and decided to begin testing the waters for teaching search engine optimization in my own way.
It was in January of 2002, that I had been invited to come teach a 4 day SEO workshop down in San Antonio, Texas near the area of the Riverwalk. With the success of that first workshop, I began teaching more workshops each month from that point on.
The 4 day SEO Workshop eventually expanded to a complete 5 Day event.
And beginning in 2004, I began to establish new associate trainers that could help me teach these workshops right up until today where we now have Search Engine Academy locations established across the USA, in Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates and Central and Eastern Europe.
Looking back over the years, it’s easy to see the progression of this career in training. There are so many things I learned in my former propane career that prepared me for everything that was to happen.
Had I not been given those earlier opportunities, I don’t think I would have had the insight or the confidence to take this business forward.
Today, I like to encourage others in their own careers by pointing out that even if you wonder about the direction that you are headed, that sometimes, you just need to continue on your journey and everything becomes much clearer as you look backward over time. You begin to notice a pattern. Some people might say coincidences, but I don’t really believe in coincidences any more because I’ve just seen to many of them.
Please be greatly encouraged and remember, if God can equip me for this wonderful journey that I’ve been on, then He can certainly equip you also for the journey that He has for you.
HI John, I keep seeing SEO classes everywhere but in GTA. It would be nice to take an SEO class in Toronto rather than Montreal or parts unknown in the USA. Do you know of such classes occurring in Toronto anytime soon?
PS Curtis says you are THE expert on SEO. 🙂
There are certainly classes being taught in Toronto and I’m not sure, but you may have just missed one.
Our Instructor for the Toronto area is Barry Byers and his Web site is here: http://www.seotrainingtoronto.com/
If you give him a call, he can tell you when his next class is happening.
Hi John, What a wonderful post and testimony of God’s goodness. Thanks so much for your willingness to share. You have encouraged me quite a bit through this little piece. I especially like this quote: “Today, I like to encourage others in their own careers by pointing out that even if you wonder about the direction that you are headed, that
sometimes, you just need to continue on your journey and everything becomes much clearer as you look backward over time.”
I have been seeking God for direction for my own career and will continue on my journey as He leads.
My best to you,
May God bless you on your journey and provide you with His own great wisdom from above. What I have shared in my story above is only a portion of a glimpse backward and how great God has been to me in my career.
I don’t think I have ever shared this with you, but way back when I was born, my Father left my Mother and I all alone. Fortunately, I had several uncles in my life that were excellent Father figures for me to learn from. One day, when I was only just 5 or 6 years old, my Mom, who has now gone on to be with the Lord, took me aside and explained something to me. She told me that “Because your real Dad had decided to leave when I was born, she told me that she had asked God to be a Father to me.” So as I look back as far as I can remember, God has always been there for me. I had accepted Christ by the time I was 6 years old and despite a time of straying in my teens, God never did let go of me. Please continue to be greatly encouraged on your journey Debra and remember that it is God’s good pleasure to answer you when you call upon Him. Thank you so much, especially, for taking the time to write to me. Be lifted and be surrounded by the presence of God.