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“I influence anybody who is able to get through the chaos of my first impression.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk was on my radar for a few years before I ever actually listened or watched his material. I did not like his style at first. He seemed brash and egotistical, not at all what I was expecting. But I stuck around for a few longer podcasts and then it clicked. His message was the opposite of most of the so-called “gurus” out there. Vaynerchuk is an actual practitioner – he runs ‘actual’ businesses, not just ‘online’ businesses. He is not making money online by selling courses that show people how to make money online. You can’t buy his “Hard Work” e-book.
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in the Soviet Union, in Belarus. His family emigrated to the US when he was 3. A born entrepreneur, he is a pioneer in online retailing, social media storytelling, and branding. Clients of his $100 million digital ad agency VanyerMedia include Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric, Anheuser-Busch, and PepsiCo. In addition to his business acumen, Gary is a highly sought-after public speaker, 4-time bestselling author, and an angel investor in dozens of Silicon Valley startups, including Facebook and Twitter. And in his spare time, Gary is a social media influencer with millions of followers, operating under the nickname GaryVee. In other words, Gary Vaynerchuk works harder than you and I do.
So, what does Gary Vaynerchuk have to say about success in life and business in the 21st century? Here are 10 of his go-to themes that have made a big impact on me personally over the last few months:
As Gary Vee is fond of saying, “Hustle is the number-one controllable factor of personal success”. You might not be the best looking, or the smartest, or the strongest, but you CAN outwork your competition. As Napoleon Hill famously said, “Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.” Don’t have time? Get up earlier. Don’t play Call of Duty. Don’t veg out on Facebook. Time is not something to be ‘found’ – nobody ‘lost’ it. Time is something to be made. You will make time in your life to accomplish everything that matters to you. You can take that one to the bank.
2. Bet on your strengths. Triple down on what you’re good at and ignore the rest.
Self-awareness is one of the keys to life. Since ancient times, the phrase “know thyself” has had a profoundly important meaning and role in the lives of people trying to better themselves. You can’t be good at everything. When I was young I often heard people use the term ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ in endearing terms, as if this was something to strive for. But in this modern world of information overload, that has all changed. The people who have the biggest impact and the most success these days are the ones who zero in with laser focus on one thing and become the best at it. Do you actually think that LeBron James gave a crap about organic chemistry? Know thyself. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
3. Patience! It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
You have to play the long game. Thinking long-term changes everything. So many other people go on about shortcuts and ‘hacks’, trying to sell ebooks and courses to jumpstart your success. Gary Vee’s message of just putting your head down and working, day in and day out for years before you can even expect success, might seem frustrating at first, but he’s right. Just as anything worth learning is going to take years to learn, so to, anything worth building is going to take years to build.
4. The market, is the market, is the market.
You don’t get to decide what is good or successful – the market does. If everyone else thinks that your stuff is crap, then it’s crap. Sorry. Maybe you are just a unique visionary, a once-in-a-generation genius, but let’s be honest – that probably ain’t the case. Everyone loves to think that they are a unique snowflake…….you however, are not (and neither am I). Look, I get it. Everyone wants to feel special, but really, you’re not Thomas Edison, or Benjamin Franklin, you’re just…well…you. So get over it, and get to work.
5. Ideas are shit. Execution is everything.
There I was, playing road hockey with a tennis ball. I must have been 9 or 10 years old. At some point that summer, it struck me like a flash – I had an invention. I imagined a road hockey puck with wheels so it could slide along the street, I thought it would be awesome! It would need 3 wheels to balance. I was really onto something! Then, about a year later, I saw that exact product in the store. Damn, that was my idea! Do you know how many people claim to have the next great app, or product, or world changing idea? And yet how many of them will actually execute on that idea and make something of it? One out of a thousand? Probably far less than that. Forget about being all secretive with your ideas – share your ideas and be an open book. Become an idea machine and then share the wealth. After all: ideas are shit, execution is everything.
6. Jab, jab, jab, right hook. (Give, give, give, ask)
Before you ever ask for something, you need to give freely of your time, energy, knowledge, and skills. It is the mark of an amateur to try and close the deal on the first interaction. You must build trust, and trust takes time. When trust is involved, it becomes so much more than just a financial transaction. You must always provide more in value that what you are asking in return. This is how you play the long game. You leave money on the table now, so that you can win in the end. Zig Ziglar famously said “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”. Deploy empathy, see the world through the other person’s eyes, and help them get what they want.
7. When you give, with expectation in return, you lose.
You know the person I’m talking about. The one who seems to keep score of everything. The one who always feels they are owed something. Or the one who does a favor for you, just so they can ask you to do something for them. Don’t be that guy. It might work for you in the short term, but over time people will eventually catch on and they will resent you for it. As Gary Vee loves to say, “I have zero expectations of others, and that is the reason I’m happy 24/7/365.”
8. The biggest ‘tell’ that someone is a loser – is complaining.
Complainers have the unique ability to suck the life out of a room. When was the last time that you walked away from an interaction with a cronic complainer and said “Wow, that was great. So glad to see that person again!”. Yeah, that’s right, never. You are the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time with, so don’t waste your time with complainers.
9. Ignore the Opinions of Others
Most people are being held back by others. Often times it’s not explicit. Your mom isn’t going to come to you and say that she will lose respect for you if you fail. But in your imagination, that is exactly what you think will happen. So you make excuses. “Well, I would go for it, but what about all the ‘I told you so’s ‘ if it doesn’t work out?”. “I don’t want to look like a fool”. “I can’t do ‘x’ because I need to pay the bills today, and the crappy job that I have is already doing that for me”. So, what? You’re going to stay in that crappy job for another 15-20 years just because it pays your bills for the time being, or just because your mom gets to tell her friends that her kid has a ‘nice, steady job’? Stop caring about what everyone thinks about you, or wants for you. Grow up and do what’s right for you. You can’t please everyone, and why would you want to? You just do you, and the rest will work itself out.
10. Legacy matters. Who will be at your funeral?
How you make your money is far more important than how much money you make. The internet is full of slimebags who make a ton of money in shady ways. But you know what? If you were at a party and you met one of these people and you asked them, or their significant other, how they make a living – they would be embarassed to tell you. And why is that? Because they should be. If you generally care deeply about how history will look back on you, I guarantee that you will put more thought into the actions and decisions that you take, in business and in life.
Well, there you have it. The bar has been set high. If you have plans and ambitions and lofty goals, it’s time to stop watching inspirational videos. It’s time to stop reading business and self-help books. Stop waiting for all the stars to align, for all the lights to be green. Just start working. Start from where you are, with what you have. Conditions are never going to be perfect. Right action, combined with honest intentions, coupled with empathy and gratitude can take you where you want to go. Your job…is to put in the work. Got it?
“If you’ve lost your hustle, it’s because you aren’t in tune to why you’re doing it”
– Gary Vaynerchuk
Check out Gary’s bestselling books for a shot in the arm of entrepreneurial savvy and timeless, practical advice to take you from where you are, to where you want to be in the 21st century world of business.
To learn more about Gary Vaynerchuk, check out the links below:
|Podcast:||GaryVee Audio Experience|
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