Gary Vaynerchuk – Built For the Grind
So you want to be an entrepreneur? I have one question for you: Do you have what it takes?
It’s no secret that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It’s a gratifying career, but it takes an INSANE amount of dedication, drive, and passion to make your dream come to life. Being your own boss sounds nice, but it’s a job that requires extreme responsibility and discipline.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be ready for anything that might come your way, like this global pandemic, for example. COVID-19 has shut down businesses across the world, and other companies are struggling to recover. If you’re an entrepreneur, I’m sure you’ve had to find ways to pivot during this crisis.
Even if you aren’t going through a financial crisis, entrepreneurship is a challenging career. Even the best entrepreneurs fall into slumps where they don’t feel motivated. Other times, entrepreneurs struggle with imposter syndrome — excessively comparing themselves to others which fuels insecurity and self-doubt.
Still think you have what it takes? If your answer’s yes, then you’re going to love this episode, and if you’re not sure, listen to find out. This is one of the most anticipated and most requested interviews of all time. I’ve been asking you all who you would like to see next on The Ed Mylett Show, and I heard you.
I’ve got Gary Vaynerchuk — one of the most influential entrepreneurs and marketing minds in the world — here today to talk to you about what it means to be an entrepreneur and optimize the quality of your entire life.
Who Is Gary Vaynerchuk?
Gary and his family immigrated to the US from Belarus in 1978. He lived with 8 family members in a studio apartment in Queens, New York, before relocating to Edison, New Jersey. Gary often calls himself a “purebred entrepreneur,” having successfully started a lemonade franchise at age 7 and eventually selling tens of thousands of dollars worth of baseball cards and toys throughout his high school career.
At 14, he joined his family business bagging ice for $2/hr. When Gary identified “the internet” as a land-grab opportunity in the late ’90s, he transitioned his father’s local liquor store into one of the first e-commerce platforms for alcohol in the country resulting in explosive top-line growth. Renaming the business to “Wine Library,” Gary grew his father’s company from $3-60MM in sales during his tenure at Wine Library.
After growing his family business through what Gary calls “underpriced attention,” including the impact of content, e-commerce, email marketing, and Google AdWords, Gary began his own journey of producing original business content as the voice of entrepreneurship online.
Gary is currently the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media and communications holding company, and the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients across the company’s 4 locations.
Today, Gary has more than 12M combined followers across social media. He’s the host of The GaryVee Audio Experience, a top 100 global podcast, and host of #AskGaryVee, a business and advice Q&A show on both YouTube and Facebook.
Gary is a highly sought after public speaker, a 5-time New York Times bestselling author, as well as a prolific angel investor with early investments in companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, and Uber. Most recently, Gary helped start the popular “All In Challenge” and has raised over $13M to help feed those in need during this unprecedented pandemic.
What stands out to me most about Gary is his humility and compassion, and I really think it’s a central part of what makes him such a brilliant entrepreneur. This interview is FULL of golden nuggets that you can use to increase your productivity, build your business, and live a happier life. Let’s go!
The Exposure of the Fake Entrepreneur and the Obsession of the Game
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on small businesses and start-ups. When we finally come out of this, we’re going to see the exposure of the “fake entrepreneur” — the entrepreneurs who didn’t pivot or who have the wrong motivations.
“We’re about to go through the greatest era of exposing fake entrepreneurs … I was looking at a business, which [was] a direct to consumer business, you know, that looks like it’s dominating onInstagram. The founder looks like she’s dominating … They’re out of business the next week … We’ve lost 22 million jobs in four weeks, which is how many we’ve gained since the great recession in 2010 to 2020 … It’s going to be an interesting time.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
I completely agree with Gary on this — COVID-19 has exposed the fake entrepreneur. I asked him if he thought COVID-19 is creating a quick rescission or a depression, and this was his answer:
“I think it’s a recalibration, honestly. My biggest hope and why I want to get loud and why I want others to get loud is that – let’s get out of this [pandemic] more humble and more practical.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary went on to explain how this all relates to a mindset about money. If money is your end all be all, then you are going to be disappointed. Successful entrepreneurs usually make a lot of money, and that is incredible, but they also focus on impact and mission. If you want to make the big bucks, I’m not going to ridicule that — absolutely not! But if you’re expecting it to fill some bucket of happiness within you, you are way off the mark.
The fake entrepreneur is someone who doesn’t have a healthy relationship with their money. They are so insecure that they constantly crave the affirmation of others, based on their material possessions. Guys, even I’ve struggled with this. I remember once I was in Atlanta, and I got a rental car, and there was nothing left but beaters left. As I was driving, I realized that my self-confidence was lowered. And I realized that I’d tied some of your self-esteem to status symbols and material things. It was a wakeup call, even for me.
“I used to think it was the value of money. Now, I realize it comes at the cost of the other players. So I’ve changed my tune a little bit more … I’m just so grateful for my process. I’m starting to realize, Oh my God, I’m way more obsessed with the process that I am with the trophies that come from it … There’s a part of me that always wishes that I had the athletic ability because I would have been a hall of fame athlete. I just know it. It’s the obsession of the game.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Fake entrepreneurs do it for show or flash, and they don’t always sustain success. The consistently successful entrepreneurs who win the long game have empathy. They connect to people. They care. They stick to their values, and they respect the process. To some, Gary might come off as rough around the edges, but he’s honest, he cares about people, and he’s concerned about the process over the result: This is what makes him the best.
The Secret to Gary Vaynerchuk’s Work Ethic
The three things that stand out to me about Gary are his kindness for people, his ability to articulate his thoughts, and his incredible work ethic. I wish I could go back and see Gary at 25 years old, working his mom and dad’s business. From a young age, Gary began his hustle, and he hasn’t stopped.
At age 29, Gary had over $400,000 in his savings account. He realized the internet was about to explode, so this is what he did:
I put all those savings into Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter stock. All of it. And then I started VaynerMedia at [age] 34 in a conference room of another company because I couldn’t afford rent because I had no money … So it speaks to what you can do in a decade if you fucking got it. 25 year old me — super pent up to prove to the world, most likely myself though, that I’m as good as I am.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is a freaking MACHINE. His hustle and work ethic is unparalleled. And I understand that hustle, because like Gary, I also know what it means to work — blood, sweat, and tears. When Gary was building his company, I was also hustling every day, creating a real estate business and working six days a week.
And guys — that success doesn’t come overnight. You’ve got to put in the hours and you’ve got to be patient with it. But Gary has a nuance to his work ethic that I want to point out. He’s able to work so hard because of the type of person he is and the game he loves to play:
“When you and I were doing it, entrepreneurship was not ‘cool,’ Ed. What you’re hearing in that nuance, brother, is concern — the concern that a ton of fucking people want to be [entrepreneurs] now and aren’t it. So I think people have now aspired to be an entrepreneur when they’re not. And those are the people that are going through depression or suicidal [thoughts]. They are unhappy because they’re in a game that doesn’t match them … It’s never a one size fits all.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
For Gary, his drive was the game fueled his insane work ethic. He didn’t do it for the money, to be part of an exclusive club, or have his own private jet — he did it because playing the game makes him feel alive.
“I’m more ambitious. I’m more hungry now, that’s the truth. That’s not some midlife crisis thing for all the 20-year-olds. If you’re like me, you’ll remember this fucking interview and be like, he’s right. It’s true. I’m hungrier.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
Guys, the best baseball team doesn’t always win the world series. It’s often the team that has the most momentum, the team who’s driving forward with everything they got because they love the game, and they love to win. Never underestimate the power of momentum.
Gary Vaynerchuk on Trends in Business and How to Create Good Content
Before we wrapped up the interview, I wanted to ask Gary if he sees any profitable trends in business and where the best places are to invest right now. Gary made a great call when he dumped his money into social media platforms, and his advice for today has a similar leaning:
“Everybody who’s listening should have a text service — text converts better than email, better social media. Number two — voice. I think Alexa, podcasts, and Google Home — this, I see four to eight years out. [For] text, I see 18 months out. Those are two things I’m obsessed with.”- Gary Vaynerchuk
Everybody’s got that, right? Because I’m telling you, in 8 years, they’re going to be replaying this video when he’s on stage talking about voice and text, and the whole thing is done and guaranteed.
Another question I wanted to ask Gary was about content creation, and if there was a certain way he crafts content for his audience that is strategic. This was his answer:
“No, I think I’m just speaking the truth in the narrow lanes that I talk about, and I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I’m very good at being me because I’m comfortable. I think if you have confidence, and you know what you’re talking about, and you don’t have hidden agendas, you can really build something special.”- Gary Vaynerchuk
Guys, the bottom line is just creating content aligned with who you are and your mission. Gary is nobody else but himself, and this is something that makes him so successful. He’s not compromising his personality or the integrity of his brand. So when you’re out there creating content, keep this in mind. I know it sounds cliche to be yourself, but it is true — you are better at being yourself than anyone else is, so own that in your business.
Why You Should Listen to this Gary Vaynerchuk Episode Right Now…
Gary and I dive deep into how to create a life that leads to happiness and financial success. We talk about how to create and optimize your MOMENTUM and break down what it REALLY means to hustle! We share tips on how to overcome DOUBT, lack of MOTIVATION, and how to truly LOVE the life you live. Really guys, this interview has it all.
I know you all are going to love this episode. Gary is even more of a giver and more time than I knew, and the impact he’s making in this world is incredible. I’m so glad we made this connection, and I feel like it’s probably the beginning of something really special.
Don’t forget to use the #MAXOUT hashtag and tell me your biggest takeaways in the comments below! I read them every week and select winners who get all sorts of prizes, gear, and even coaching calls with me! I love hearing from all of you, and please share the interview with anyone you think needs to hear it too!
Guys, you only get one life, so make it count — Pursue your passion and serve people along the way.