USNA Dropout to #1 SEO Expert in Virginia – John Victoria CEO/Founder

It was such a pleasure getting to know John’s story on how the risks he took to start his Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company. I met John in a Filipino organization called District 6 and his work ethic, personality, and commitment are inspiring. During the interview I asked him three questions.WHY he took the leap, and WHAT his tipping point was when he put his decision to work and the CHANGES in his life right now because of this decision.

Check out John’s work here


The leap and story behind it

” So… I left the USNA without telling my parents. It was terrifying because Navy runs deep in our tradition and I was the first to break it. My dad was in the Navy for 20 YEARS.. I honestly applied because my mom told me to. So I then decided I’ll join because I wanted a challenge. There was never a time where  I didn’t tell my parents I wanted to leave. I told them during training in the summer and during the semester at USNA.

I was so worried about disappointing my family and it was so hard to leave because I felt there was a huge expectation of me from my parents and professors.

My friends and I would always joke around saying we were going to leave but one day one of my friends ACTUALLY took the process of leaving USNA. He was building an app which would deliver online food and saw a huge opportunity. He was literally one step away from leaving but after telling his parents the day before his confirmed date to leave they immediately stopped him.

At this point, I was conflicted with so many different emotions because I felt the need to leave become heavier and heavier… So one day I took my notebook to Potomac River and started writing. I was reflecting on a conversation I had with a friend where he had asked me “What are you waiting for?”  That day was so strange to me because I got three phone calls basically all telling me to take the risk and LEAVE USNA. It was so weird because I never get phone calls.. After the crazy phone calls I started writing down all the Pros v Cons of leaving. I then laid out the final question to myself asking where I wanted to see myself in the future. Knowing the answer pretty clearly I emailed my Lieutenant that I was leaving.

I finished the process of leaving in 5 days…which is incredibly fast. All of my commanders and Lieutenants supported my decision to leave. I kept this a secret to my parents because I knew it break their heart. But one day…when I was researching in my room and not in training, my mom found my separation letter from USNA… Both my mom and dad started crying because it was their dream to see me graduate from the academy.”

But it was their dream to see me graduate, not mine.

Why did you choose this route?

“When I first started, I didn’t have many good role models. The town I lived in seemed dead-end and the environment reflected it pretty badly. Not only was the area bad, I was surrounded by bad influences and my parents had a conventional viewpoint about success.. Attending college — USNA specifically, serve for 5 years, get a good job…

I knew for fact I needed to leave that place. I then changed my WHY factor to changing at LEAST one persons life positively.

My why factor now is to create the maximal amount of good in the world! I feel like this is the only goal to have in my life because whenever I create material, I want it to be for the good of others. For example, when I create content for someone’s business, I am creating it to benefit the business!

With that being said, my goals are to help my siblings live their potential and to provide for my parents financially. I want to help businesses achieve their maximum potential and most importantly, I want to create maximal amount of good to those I interact with.”

Changes in your life after you took the leap?

I learned so much about being an entrepreneur. You are NOT going to get immediate results and feedback like you did in school. You need a high degree of discipline because your success will be based off of it.

I realized your age doesn’t matter because it’s about your self confidence and ability to solve a problem/bringing value to the matter.

I underestimated the network of people and the VALUE of relationships. You cannot expect to do it all which is why you need connectors to help you. I value the power of mentors because when I took the leap, I needed direction. It’s crazy because so many people wanted to help after they knew I took the leap. The right people came to me when I needed help and I truly appreciated that.

It takes time with the right people, knowledge, understanding and the right questions to find out the answers you need. As long as you’re always building understanding, you are building success.

Once you keep building, you are unstoppable. Building understanding is inevitable to success. Trusting in the process takes times. And I had no doubts that I will get where I wanted.”

Me – ” Are you happier with the changes that occurred”



I want to thank John for his time and authentic nature in sharing his story. Please check out his business to have a better understanding of what SEO can do to improve businesses online!

John Victoria’s company – Polianna




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