Working for me can get you a 1.5 million dollar Coke commercial

OK, OK–that headline is complete and utter bullshit, but it made me laugh, so whatever.

This is the awesome story of what one of my former assistants, Jeff Waldman, has gone on to do after working for me. I had nothing to do with it and I get no credit for it, nor am I trying to take any. I’m just really proud of him and what he’s done, it’s incredible.

I’ve written about this some before, but I think it’s a true mark of success when the people who work for you go on to do amazing things on their own. I’m happy about my own success, but sometimes I think I’m even happier about what Ryan Holiday, Jeff Waldman, Ian Claudius, Charlie Hoehn, etc, have gone on to do after working with me. It brings me real joy to see them do so well.

People ask me all the time how I do this, how I’ve had so many assistants do so well so quickly after working with me. I wish I had the answer.

I honestly don’t think I have much to do with it. I think I just pick really smart and motivated people to work with–people who are probably going to do great things anyway–and I just teach them what I know, maybe teach them how to think a little clearer than they did before, and then off they go.

I’ve thought about this a lot, about what I am teaching these guys or what I am showing them, or what they are taking from me, if anything, that helps them. I’d love to figure out how to replicate and scale this process. After all, this is what formal education is supposed to do–teach you how to take your desires and energies and create something valuable with them–but it fails at this for so many people. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 3 of my 4 former assistants dropped out of college.

But it might not be anything about me or my process. It might just be them and their mindset. Like I said, I think each of those 4 were capable of success before I met them, probably even destined for it.

I wish I could figure out the answer to this question. It would unlock some of the basic truths about education, learning and success.