Bad Apple or Great Kid?

When I was young I was extremely hyperactive. It got so bad at one point that in the 3rd grade I was allowed to just “leave” class whenever I wanted to have my own personal recess. The school did this because my poor teacher was so distraught with my behavior that she literally couldn’t handle me and so I was allowed to roam the playground until my “energy ran out” – which of course never happened.

Looking back, I feel really bad for what I put all my teachers through. I really was a wild kid :)

I remember in the first grade working through all the first grade and second grade math books by the end of September. They wouldn’t let me do the 3rd grade math books because they didn’t want to me get ahead (I always thought that was ridiculous by the way). After that I started getting “S”s on most of my report cards. S=satisfactory. My Mom wanted “O”s for ‘outstanding’. Later, I started getting “N”s on my report cards. N=Needs improvement. At this point my Mom started getting worried. She thought that because I was misbehaving so much that I wasn’t learning the material, but that wasn’t the case.

The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know the material, the problem was that once I learned something (Or thought I did) then I HAD to move on to something else. When I say that I “HAD” to move on, its the truth. I literally couldn’t bring myself to do “busy work” for a concept that I already understood just to satisfy the teacher. Often times homework didn’t get done because I KNEW that I understood the concept. It was a complete and utter waste of time in my mind, and I had new exciting things that I was busy working on. I always craved doing something new.

High school was the same. I remember getting a D+ in chemistry one semester (Worst grade in highschool), but when it came time to take the ACT for college entrance I scored a 35 (Near perfect score) on the science portion, which happened to be Chemistry that year. Things just moved a little too slow in school for me, and I am grateful for it now because it gave me a lot of free time to learn about computer hardware and software development.

One of the things I love so much about Bluehost and Hostmonster is that I get to pick and choose new things that interest me, that are challenging, and that will benefit our customer base. In other words, I have an environment where I can succeed.

I could just have easily been written off as one of those goof off kids with poor grades, or presented with serious challenges and given the freedom to experiment and learn and do things that others haven’t yet tried. I’m so happy that I was given a chance to show what I could do later in life.

Everyone in this world has something to offer. The sooner you find out what that is the sooner you will find happiness. Don’t let other people tell you what will make you happy. Instead, look from within and see what it is that drives you, and what you need and then go in that direction.

Your happiness doesn’t require the understanding and comprehension of those around you, it only requires understanding by yourself. Find out what that is and then happiness will be yours.

Matt Heaton /

25 Responses to “Bad Apple or Great Kid?”

  1. I love this post of yours, it rings a bell.

  2. Kirk M says:

    Good story, Matt. I knew my hosting service was headed by a genius in dungarees and a T-shirt (or at least that’s the impression I get). 😉

    Now how about running over to the server farm and giving my server a swift kick in the rear. It’s acting up again.

  3. Glenn says:

    I can totally relate. I think because school usually categorizes people as learning in a specific manner, ambitious or outside the box thinkers, tend to get bored.

    Usually the guys who were bored or ended up always thinking differently back in school are the trendsetters and entrepreneurs of today.

    Having a good base and education is surely important but more important is going after what makes you happy and fulfilling your true passion in life.

    The process of a seeing a bad apple cultivate to an apple tree can be very inspiring :)

  4. Hopeful Todd says:

    Matt – Would you mind giving out hosting for a friend of ours that passed away? We want to dedicate a website in his memory he’s a musician and would mean alot for him and us. Thank you.

  5. Amanda Trefry says:

    Thanks! I stumbled on this blog, and you are describing my son!

  6. BD says:

    I’m a web designer and like Bluehost! Decent service and good features. But in spite of this Bluehost loses quite a bit of business from me. Why? You don’t offer month-to-month hosting. If I recall, you used to offer month-to-month hosting but with a set-up fee. That too deterred me to use Bluehost. Reason being that I have to carry the initial expense for my clients when I begin work on their site. I pay from my pocket for domain and first month hosting to complete their project and then update it to whatever advance plan they select once they pay their bill. Some don’t like to pay for 6 or 12 months and since Bluehost don’t offer a month-to-month option with no ‘set-up’ fees etc., they lose the business.

    If my clients don’t pay me or delay payment too long (I’ve got people from all over the world and sometimes they just ignore to pay), I certainly don’t want to be out of pocket for a one year hosting and domain for someone I don’t even know.

    So, my suggestion: please offer month-to-month hosting with no set-up fees.

  7. Angel says:

    In High School I has so many attitude problems, I love science but I hate the school, after years I understand that, effectively you must understand the pieces around.

  8. Roger says:

    Interesting take. Myself and many others were the same way. What is sad now though is teachers still don’t understand it and just want to pump kids up with drugs and mess them up for life. They have more “Special” classes than classes that really challenge. They think they can just put them in a room with padded walls and not have to deal with it. Other countries have a much higher standard for education and we are falling behind.

  9. Joel A Levy says:

    Wow, I see myself in so many ways in that post. I have always been told that I can’t leave well enough along, and always need a new challenge. Glad I am not alone, and in such good company. Do you also find in conversations that you ‘get it’ very quickly, and are quick to move on, before the other person has had a chance to complete their statement?

    I believe that it is our responsibility to figure out what come easily and naturally to us, and develop it to the max. What is fun and easy for one is difficult and frustrating for another. We should focus on our strengths, and let other people focus on theirs. That way, everybody is more effective, and having a better time. What one does not want to do, another will gladly do, and vice versa.

    Good for you for taking your natural abilities and developing them into such a successful company!

  10. Debbie says:

    Wow, too bad you couldn’t get out of there. You would have loved homeschooling.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It must be common among entrepreneurs because I also was a wild little child yet I went on to own dozens of hotels.

  12. David says:

    Debbie said it… We homeschooled 3 boys and am glad we did because they all were able to pursue their own interests and now work in those areas. Too bad you didn’t have the opportunity… or maybe you did in your own way.

  13. Texas Law says:

    Wild kids are the seeds of the outside of the system thinking that leads to greatness. There isn’t a great mind in history that has not had a mind that asks questions that typically, systematically are not supposed to be asked, but the great minds ask anyway. Like water flowing down hill, the great minds learn to question the very system that seeks to shape them.

  14. Dave says:

    LOL, well I don’t feel that bad now about how I was when in school. I am lucky however, since I think being in school today is scarry and serious challenges.

  15. Steph says:

    My son is the same way. He just finished kindergarten, and we’re trying to decide what to do with him. We’re looking into private school so he’ll be more challenged, but that is expensive. Homeschooling would be nice, but with three other children, it may be hard.

    However, it’s good to know that you turned out okay after all!

  16. Impress article, I have a natural ability to learn, not as strong as yours but I understand. I always hated doing the repetitive work. I just couldn’t understand why I needed to do it.

    I wouldn’t feel to bad about what you did to your teachers. After all they let you down. Yes it turned out for the best, but still they let you down.

  17. Pip says:

    Funny thing, I could say I was more or less the same type of kid.

    The difference is that I grew up on a country under a strict communist regime, so the rules where really tight in teacher’s favor. Because of my “active” and rebellious behavior on primary and secondary I got a “fame” that followed me and on my first day of high school I was told by the principal, in front of the entire class, that at the first strike (not even third) I’ll be out, expelled (at that time we actually had to pass a difficult exam to be admitted in high school so that would have been forfeited too) and guess what, that made me even more famous, and not only among mates but also some young teachers too. At that time I was playing GO, and was quite good at it, and in spite of being a black sheep for some I ended up becoming a great asset for school. Long story short, at graduation 4 years later I was among the Principal’s favorite students, so I guess she was smart enough to understand that I was different but not necessarily bad.

    So, I believe we both were <> but also <>.

  18. In my case it was not so easy in school. I always had a lot of trouble with the teachers because I was bored very quickly from the classroom. Today I think I would be in a special school have been better.

  19. Dave says:

    Kids like this are misunderstood and I feel for them. Having energy or being very active is called a disorder and something for which meds are needed. Bad apple nothing, these are usually good kids.

  20. Alan N says:

    Wow, I stumbled across this article and it resonates with me! It is difficult if you don’t fit into the traditional methods of teaching and learning. Matt you are a great example of making it through the system.

  21. Ian says:

    You describe my brother to a T, thanks for posting.

  22. Vivian says:


    This is something i want to tell my kids, when they get the right age.

    Actually this is the essence of life, what it is all about – you just boil it down so nicely in short, everyday-terms:)

    Best regards
    Vivian Schuttberg

  23. helton says:

    Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.will be referring a lot of friends about this.Keep blogging.

  24. abby says:

    That would be great story, Matt. Very inspiring for all the mothers who have there hyperactive kids out there.
    Kids are just hyperactive because they want to know thing around them. Want to do things like what older do, but kids is just kids they will grow and do the right things in life.

  25. jinlala says:

    That would be great story, Matt. Very inspiring for all the mothers who have there hyperactive kids out there.
    Kids are just hyperactive because they want to know thing around them. Want to do things like what older do, but kids is just kids they will grow and do the right things in life.

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