Time Well Spent

I received this email this morning that made my heart swell a bit.

I apologize for all of the fuzzy areas – I didn’t want make public the organizations / people that didn’t opt for being named in this email… but you’ll get the gist:

Hey, John –

It’s been a long time since we talked. I hope everything is going well. I’ve been following your VLOG and think it’s great. Keep it up. I know that kind of thing cannot be easy.

You probably don’t know this, but in October I left xxxx xxxxx and went out to be a full-time writer. You may not realize it, but I have you to thank for a good part of this. You see, you helped me learn how to blog and how important it was to differentiate between web copy and print copy. Also the importance of having content available at all times.

In 2013 I started a political blog called xxxxxx xxxx xx xxxxxxx. It featured me and seven other people I knew on Twitter who had never written before outside of college papers and legal briefs. I knew the people were smart and if I taught them, things would work out. I told everybody when we started that if paying gigs came from the site, then I’d consider it a success.

That happened. Two of the writers were brought over to xxx xxxxxxxxx as Senior Contributors. I was published in xxx xxxxxxxxx in 2014 – my first paid writing piece. Things got better from there and in 2016 I had under my belt, published articles at xxx xxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx, xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx. In late September, an opening at xxxxxxx became available and I went for it and took it. I still write for other outlets and make more than I did in the corporate world. Today I will likely secure a columnist position at xxxxxxxx as an opinion columnist.

So I just wanted to thank you for what you imparted to me over the years. It’s helped in a big way.

All the best my friend.

… … … blown… away…

Here’s my response:

I couldn’t be more stoked about your success – you’ve earned it and, I believe, a lot of that is because you stayed true to yourself. I distinctly remember taking a few long drives with you and loved those conversations. I knew you could do it but you and I both know that you had to be the guy to put it to work… to do the work.

And you earned it. congrats my friend. And THANK YOU for this personal update. I feel like a success when I get to hear stories like these. If there’s anything else you need, please let me know… perhaps the next adventure for you is video… can I put money on seeing you on TV at some point in the (near) future?!?

Man, has my day been completely made! I gave this some more reflection because it was such an incredible email to personally receive and I wanted to understand why I liked it so much. Here are a few things that pop-out:

  1. My friend here took a few pieces of my counsel and applied them. In other words, he executed against it and then worked his ass off.
  2. It took time. He started in 2013 and 4 years later things are really taking off. But you can’t miss the 4 years of hard work (see point #1).
  3. He got help, built a community and a team. And, he established goals for them, coaching them like I did for him and saw them succeed. Passing on your learnings, even in the beginning, is an invaluable gift and shows the heart of the giver.
  4. He spent the (unnecessary time) to send me a note and share his gratitude. This hit me in the chest hard because it meant so much to me and it reminded me of how little many of us (including me) do this regularly.

There are 100 people that I want to send quick notes to today. My calendar was pretty open today… it might have just gotten filled up with sending out notes of gratitude.

Time well spent.