Gary Vaynerchuk on Why Perspective Will Make or Break You | Impact Theory | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Gary Vaynerchuk on Why Perspective Will Make or Break You | Impact Theory".
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- Hey everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. You are here my friends because you believe that human potential is nearly limitless, but you know that having potential is not the same is actually doing something with it. So our goal with this show and company is to introduce you to the people and ideas that are gonna help you actually execute on your dreams. All right, today's guest is one of the world's leading marketing experts and living proof that the American dream is alive and well if you're willing to work your face off. He was born in Belarus and the former Soviet Union didn't speak a word of English when he arrived. His entire extended family lived together in a tiny ass apartment in Queens and as the foreign kid he was once bullied into drinking urine from a soda can. He was a D and F student and pretty much everyone thought he would fail in life. Despite all of that though, this guy not only refuses to complain about anything ever, he is wildly optimistic, upbeat and freakishly driven. A born entrepreneur, he began by ripping flowers out of people's yards and selling them back to them. He had an entire lemonade franchise system while he was still writing a big wheel and in his teens he was routinely making thousands of dollars a weekend selling baseball cards until his father forced him to go to work in the family business for two dollars an hour. But he didn't waste time whining about it. He just got to work and just at a college by being an early adopter of the internet. He took his father's discount liquor store from being a local store doing $4 million a year in revenue to an internet phenomenon doing $45 million in revenue in just five years. Now leveraging his unique ability to identify where consumer attention is going next, he founded the pioneering digital agency VaynerMedia which serves some of the largest companies on the planet. And along the way, he's also built a massive social following of his own that rings in at around 3.5 million devoted followers. He is a people first kind of guy and you can see it in everything that he does from his employees to his fans and partnerships. As such, he's greeted like a rock star. His business is growing crazy fast and he'll soon be starring in Apple's original series Planet of the Apps with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Will I Am. On top of all that, he's also a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist who was an early investor in such juggernauts as Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and Uber. So please, dearest of friends, help me in welcoming the four time New York Times best selling author and future owner of the New York Jets, Gary Vaynerchuk. Thank you, Gary. Welcome to the show. That was super impressive. Thank you, sir. There's no shot. I could have pulled that off. And also after listening to all that, I'm really glad my mom sent you the memo. Right? I got it all from her just straight out. It's good to be here. Thanks. Good to have you, man. Nice to have some peeps in the audience. I always like that a little bit better. You and me both, yeah. So play right to them.
Modern Parenting And Digital Lifestyle
Keyboard activism (03:12)
I mean, in many ways, this is for them. This all started originally back with Inside Quest. It was all about doing something for the employees. And I had this unending terror 'cause I have these 25 bullet points that I think anybody should be living by. And I was terrified people would memorize them, but not actually live by them. Sure. Which is like the death sentence. 'Cause you think you're doing something, right? You pacify yourself by memorizing it. So yeah, I love having people here and getting feedback. It's funny you just said that. I think so many people are keyboard activists, right? Everybody's good at sending a tweet about how the world should be and nobody's doing anything about it. And that is just very much human nature. I was just gonna ask, do you think that's human nature or do you think that we've gotten soft as a culture? Yes. You know, I mean, of course we've gotten soft as a culture in the US because the US has had an incredible 200 year run, right? Like this is just what happens. So as a culture, I can't speak for people that live in the Amazon River and I can't speak for people that still live in Belarus. But the American culture is soft and that's a great thing. That means there's been enormous amounts of prosperity but let's not be naive. I mean, people literally complain when somebody gives them the wrong amount of like extra cream in a Starbucks $6 coffee. Like this is like, we've gotten to a place where we complain, you know, out of all those lovely things you said, as I stood there getting ready to come, the part that, and I'm glad you pick up on this and not a lot of people have said it before. So thank you. My lack of interest in complaining is so high and when I watch what people complain about, it breaks my heart because they completely lack perspective and I genuinely believe my happiness and optimism comes from my perspective. Even in political unrest times like right now, a lot of people very bent out of shape but the reality is that it's just never been better to be a human being. It's just the truth, that's just data, that's reality. And yeah, I mean, it's just a very fun time to be alive, so much going on.
High net worth parents are preferring to let their kids use Uber than buy them a car, 10 years ago there would be no way people would let their kids use ride sharing (05:14)
The internet is starting to hit maturity. Look what we're doing right now. This right now, right? Would have cost millions of dollars in production and distribution to have the amount of people who watched this just 15 years ago. Like, you know, I just think it's very interesting times and I was saying something to a friend the other day. I was like, could you imagine if you told a parent 15 years ago, hey, parent, what you're gonna wanna do in 15 years instead of buying a kid, you're 16 year old, a car, you're gonna convince your 16 year old daughter to go into a stranger's car every single day. You're gonna pay for your 16 year old daughter to go into a stranger's car every single day and you'll think that's normal and actually safer than buying that kid a car. That's literally what we're living in now. High net worth individuals in America are preferring to give their kids unlimited Uber to buying a car because they don't want them drinking and driving, they don't trust their driving. And literally, they think it's safer for their 16, 17 year old to go into a stranger's car than to drive themselves. That's sacrilege 15 years ago. Online dating 20 years ago, the weirdest, nerdiest, you're thinking 300 pound white dude in the basement of a kid's car, now it's just completely standard. I mean, if you add in sliding into people's DM on Instagram, it's like 89% of relationships, right? So, you know, I think that we are, I think we're going through a huge transition because all of us, even thought leaders, are grossly underestimating the internet itself and we're hitting scale, right? We now all are on at all times and this is now the beginning. I was joking when I was working out this morning to DRock, I'm like DRock, you're gonna get replaced by like a Pokemon ball. Like I'm gonna throw it out. Like people in 20 years are literally gonna throw something up, they're just gonna hover 360 and film everything they're doing. I mean, like it's just an incredible time and I think the way people look at the world right now because it's such an incredible time is actually the quickest tell to who they are. If you think it sucks or it's bad, you have losing pessimistic DNA and if you think it's awesome and phenomenal, you have optimistic winning DNA and I believe that to be true. And so, that's where we're at. No, I'm with you on that. So I've been involved in the X-prize now for a while. Reason I got involved with the X-prize is largely for that reason. Like I look at the future, it's so fucking exciting. Like what's going on is crazy and if you're the one that can see where the trends are going and you can ride those trends, be the early adopter, get into it before anybody else. And there's obviously chances for huge wins there. - While you're practical, right? 'Cause I think a lot of my friends, so I've had that career, but a lot of the reason is I'm not guessing or getting in too early, right? It's like real estate. Like there's a big difference between the people that bought beachfront property in Malibu than people that are buying beachfront property in off region, no infrastructure, islands in the Caribbean, which is right in theory, but it could be an 80-year theory, right? And so it's about timing. Like VR's coming, but consumer VR is very far away. All my friends are spending millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars in consumer venture virtual reality VR, yet there's nobody here, nobody watching this, that knows a single person that spends three hours a day on VR, right? Like it's just, it's way far away. I'm not sure there's people that know people that have spent three hours in their life yet in VR, right? And definitely not 10 people outside of people in the business testing stuff. So I think timing really matters on that because I get worried that people jump way too far ahead and the reality is the market's not there yet. - And what are the things that you look for in that? So you, I heard you tell a story and one of the interviews that you did, I thought the follow-up question there, which wasn't asked, you said, you know, I was talking to this woman, she said she doesn't do Snapchat, I think it was a woman cutting your hair, she doesn't do Snapchat, no social, and you said, tell me more, just in case this is a trend that I need to be aware of, how do you identify those trends? Is it stuff like looking at what app is, you know, on the front page of Apple and talking to the person cutting your hair, is it really sort of that? - It's very, very non-scalable. But that's my talent, right? Like I think like Clive Davis, like, how does he do it? I don't know, he just sat there and heard people sing and he's like, you, like, I'm careful to not give advice that I know is uniquely something that I was gifted with. Like, how do I tell you that, oh, here's how it actually works and it almost started happening, it didn't happen. Like, I actually get goosebumps, like actually, like real heavy goosebumps when I hear something that I know feels right. What's the advice there? Hey, Johnny, start getting goosebumps. Like, I, there's certain things that I can't talk about because I know they're not practical, they're intuitive to me, right? And so, yes, for me, it's the balance of, I feel like something's happening, but it always comes from seeing stuff.
Buying virtual real estate in lame environments like second life years before people got interested in buying the same in better environments like fortnight or minecraft (10:20)
Like, it's going to the candy store with my little guy and hearing four eight-year-old girls talk about slime and then later go to Shake Shack and hear another two eight-year-old boys talk about slime and I'm like, slime. And then I search it, and this is like a year ago and I search it, maybe, actually, it's 18 months ago and I search it on Instagram, this is hashtags, I search on YouTube, I search Google, I'm like, this is real, there's something happening. Spinners, right? Like, fads are easy for me and I think what I've been good at in business is trying to decide what's a fad and what's an actual business. So, something like Socialcam. I downloaded it and got very serious about it in 2011. I didn't even know even the founders of Socialcam, it wasn't that I knew if Socialcam was going to be big, I didn't invest in it, I didn't go after it, but I knew video on the mobile device was going to be big. So, when Vine got hot very quickly, I was an early mover, an early advocate of Vine and Vine influencers, right? Which, by the way, Vine influencers are absolutely the precursor to this Snapchat Instagram thing we're dealing with right now. That's where they came from first. Instagram was photos. Then, when Vine was dying a little bit, they all moved over to Instagram, Instagram was smart and made video, one minute videos and that's when you saw the shift and that became the seed and the foundation of Instagram influencers, which is an enormous billion dollar industry now. Everyone's like, how are you so early? It's 'cause I put in the work, 2011, Socialcam, learn how video on mobile works. 2013 comes along, Vine pops. I'm like, that's right. I lived through YouTube, 2006, '07, being in YouTube celebrity for my wine show. So, I knew what it looked like. I saw that the Vine kids were that. I flew to LA and met Brittany Furlan and King Batch. I'd put in the work. And so, it's intuition, but it's also putting in the work. - Yeah, no, that. Putting in the work is one of the simplest and most, I think, often overlooked kind of thing and how do you plan to, like, is that one of the things you think people just are either born with a fortitude to do that or is that something you know? - No, that's the one that I think, I mean, there's a lot of research, and again, being an F student in science, like I never, I really don't, it's not that I don't trust anything, it's that I know that I haven't put in the work to really know if I should quote things.
Hard work is a learned behavior (12:28)
You know, so I kind of like just stay in my little lane, but there's a lot of push towards being a workaholic and hard work is a learned behavior. I see it in my team. There's people that come into my, I've seen it in the thousands of employees I've had, which is the closer they are to the sun, the harder they work. And I'm like, aha. And so, I definitely feel like I learned hard work by watching my parents. And so, it's why I talk so much about hustle. - Because it's one of the things that people can actually adjust and turn to. I watch people give advice completely predicated on natural talent and DNA. And I'm like, look, like I get it. Like I can throw a football every day for nine hours a day. I'm just not physically built to be competitive at the highest levels. So yeah, I do think, you know, if anybody watching right now, if there's anything they take away, it's like, look, like you're gonna only be so pretty, you're only gonna be so smart. Like there's things that are gonna be natural, and there's things that you can actually control. I do believe, and I don't know if I'm right or wrong, I don't. But I do believe that work ethic is a taught behavior. It's something you do have more control over. And yeah, I think, you know what really sealed a deal for me, getting healthier. I was 38 years old and it didn't come natural to me. Like it didn't come natural to me at all. I hate the gym. I hate it now. I hate it. I don't like it. I don't wanna do it. But I knew it was important. And somewhere around midway through being 38 years old, I got serious, I figured out my system. I made the financial commitment. And I've won, right? And I'll never lose again, because the system was, I needed to be accountable to another human being. So it was about Mike and now Jordan, whoever else is my trainer. I'm doing it almost weirdly more to not let them down. Then, and so that was the shift. And so I feel like there's a shift that can make people work harder. The big one that I push is, you're gonna die.
Life is broken down into complaining and not complaining (14:43)
Like, if you're, like to me, life is broken down into complaining and not. So if you're not complaining, well then I have no advice for you. I'm pumped. Like you did it. Like I have friends who make $42,000 a year, work nine to four, kind of, with an hour and a half lunch and 45 minutes of YouTube and 10 minutes of bullshitting and an hour of complete waste of time in a meeting. So they're kind of working like six hours a week, right? But, but, but they're pumped. And they text me, these are high school friends, and they'll text me like how happy they are to be the coach of their kids baseball team. And you know, like that's amazing. Like that seems very obvious to me. Like that's like, that's right. Like, you know what's super weird? I'm actually weirdly envious. You know, like I, it sounds cool. Like in theory, right? Grass is always greener, right? Like far less pressure. You know, like, like all that time with my kids. Ooh, that would be cool. Like there's just like all these things that I can justify. So to me, but I have friends who have $100 million in the bank because of Facebook's IPO, who complain, who are still hungry, who want to do even more, who will complain to me, 'cause they know I work a lot about no work life balance and they don't get to spend enough time with their family. And I'm like, you have $100 million. Like you could stay home. Like you're in control. Like you don't complain about it. You've made that choice. Don't bullshit me. Like you want to spend more time with your family? Spend more time with your family. This is back to what we said about keyboard warriors. I'm trying to be very careful about what I'm saying versus what I'm doing. Because that's how you get exposed. And I don't mean like people calling you out and being like, you suck. I mean to yourself. I don't want to be exposed by myself. It's looking yourself in the mirror and saying, like am I doing this right? So to me, there's so many people that are talking shit about how big of an entrepreneur they're going to be and how much they're going to achieve. And they don't work on weekends. You know, I worked every Saturday of my 20s. Like, and I talk to 20-year-old entrepreneurs every single day. Lately, I've been saying to them, this Saturday, you're going to have more time off than I've had in my entire 20s on a Saturday. So like before you tell me how you're going to be bigger than me, start thinking about what you're actually doing. Right. Yeah, no. I've heard you say that once it really caught the person off guard. Because they were like all about what they were doing. And they're like, oh, yeah. How do you plan to instill that in your kids? Or do you, I guess, if you don't? I don't.
What your rich kids should be (17:19)
I plan to instill kindness into my kids. I plan on instilling perspective into my kids. I plan in instilling-- just being a good human being. I plan on making sure they don't use their parents' wealth and micro fame and leverage to impose on any other person. I'm petrified of that. If my kids try to punk their friends on my shit, I'm going to beat the fuck out of them. Like that's just loser DNA. You didn't do that. That's interesting. So I've heard Will Smith say before to his kids, you guys aren't rich. Mom and dad are rich. Yeah, sure. But not really, right? So I'm not obsessed with tactics. I'm obsessed with religion. So I have a lot of wealthy friends at this point who think it's smart for them to sit first class, but the kids in coach. It's a tactic. They send their kids to Africa to build a school for a week. It's a tactic. It's like my friends that love the environment. The number two sector in the world that is hurting the environment is the fashion industry. When you run the math of what's doing bad to the earth, the number two industry behind-- I don't even want to say it because I'm not sure if it's gas and oil. The number two industry-- this I know for a fact-- is the fashion industry. So all my fancy friends who love the environment are they willing to give up their fucking Louis bags? Let's say. So I think people talk shit. So you let them sit coach and you went first class, but you went to Hawaii and ate at all the best-- you can't pick and choose. To me, it's binary. So I don't want to be a hypocrite. So my big thing is like, look, you need to be kind. Mean mean is just non-negotiable in our family. And then you just need to not be full of shit. If you want to look at Daddy's mountain, and you want to say what I did to my dad's-- and that was a big mountain for an immigrant, like, wow, dad did it. If you want to say, I'm going to climb that, and I'm going to climb bigger, awesome. I'm pumped. I'm weirdly not cheering for you because I'm just a weirdly competitive dude. This is actually something I'm not proud of. I'm comfortable saying this, and I believe this is a flaw. But I don't want my kids to beat me. I don't-- I hate saying it. I know this is where I get in trouble. People will take one little clip from one video interview, and they're like, you're bad. It's just my truth. I don't want to bullshit you guys. I'm that competitive. But I've got my kids. If anybody was to-- first of all, I love when people beat me because that's the meritocracy of the game. Like, I'm a good investor, but Chris Saka was a better investor, and he's my homie, and I'm pumped for him because, guess what? He deserved it. So I won't be upset if they beat me because they deserved it. But if they look at that and want to go the other way and give away all of Mommy and Daddy's money and be nonprofit kids and give it all away, great. I just want them to be all in on them. I don't need them to be an entrepreneur. I don't need them to make me proud. They don't need to go to Harvard. They don't need to do shit. They need to be themselves all in, and they need to be kind, and I'm good. You are so fascinating. You're like this super weird conundrum. So first of all, you won't let your son who's six-- Five, four. About the term five. OK. Score against you, right? Swatler. No, I did something weird. I did something even worse than that. I played missions. I played them on basketball two on one the other day-- OK. --to five. Yeah. And this time, I decided to let them go up for nothing. This is really bad. This is really bad. The best part is when I hit the game winner, they collapsed into tears. I hit this-- we're in the living room. I hit the game winner. The couch is over there. I hit the game winner, and they both just run to the couch, cry. I mean, like big tears. And Lizzy was there, and they ran into her, and I look at her, and I'm just so happy. And I'm like, yes. Yes, so I won't let them score. OK. Or definitely not let them win. Now I'm starting to fuck with them. Right. So scoring becomes strategic for maximum punishment. That's good. But you did episode 118, I think, with your dad. Yes. And you actually cried in the episode when he said that he missed driving with you to the store. And you guys didn't even talk about it, by the way. Right. Watching it, I was like, the fuck just happened. It was in that moment, I realized, that even the shtick isn't shtick. Like, that it's just flavors of who you really are, which is amazing. It's so incredible.
Discrepancies between Garys worlds (22:06)
But it's got to be for people that don't really get into your world. It has to be almost impossible to believe that that's really you. That you could love your fucking kids more than anything in the world, but not judge yourself to the point where you admit, like, I kind of don't want them to be me. Yeah, man, you've clearly done some homework. Yeah, I'm a contradiction. I'm pulling from very opposite directions, which is why people struggle, which is why it gets such extreme reactions when people first encounter me. Even looking at this audience, some of them immediately like, yes. And then some of them here who are now yes, were like, fuck no. But yeah, I understand where you're going with that. Yeah, it is utterly fascinating. And I think gives people permission to actually be who they are. And I never thought about it like this before. But as you were talking just now, I thought, God, is his secret power that he doesn't judge himself? Do you feel like you judge yourself? I don't. That's a very, very, very good observation. And it's what I want for everybody else. We're beating ourselves up. Like, everybody sucks. That's something, right? Like, we all have shortcomings. And we all have strengths. And for me, it's like, why don't we just audit that? Like, why don't we just look at it that way? And be like, all right, well, I'm good at this, but I'm not good at that. And then I only focus what I'm good at, right? I don't dwell that I can't fix shit around the house. I call somebody to fix it. Like, I'm not like, I'm not a man. I don't give a fuck. Like, you know, I don't get it. I also think it's awesome that I'm so emotionally stable. And I'm the emotional backbone of everybody. Is that what a dude's supposed to do? Like, like these cliches, these stereotypes, they're so silly. You're exactly right, man. I don't judge myself. I'm fully in love with myself.
Nobody's ever let me down (23:54)
But I'm also fully in love with everybody else too, right? It's not like, like it goes both ways. Like, I tell people to buy into me that work for me. It's 'cause I buy into them first. Like, I don't need anybody to gain trust with me. It's there. Like, I believe that the human race is so grossly underrated. We are good. Of course we have some bad. There's fucking seven billion of us. But like, when you look at our net score, it's bonkers shit. Like, you know what damage we could be doing to each other on an hourly basis? And we don't? Like, we're still here. Like, we won. We're the alpha being. And we've figured out how to stay together. This is insane when you think about it. And yet everybody wants a dwell on like, somebody said something mean. - What I love is in that though, is your whole concept of nobody's ever let me down.
The market is the market (24:44)
So this is what I always tell people about. The things you're ever gonna hear me say, will always be consistent with exactly what I'd say if you woke me up in the middle of the night and then punched me in the head. 'Cause it has to be so real. It has to be so fundamental to who I am as a human being that I'll give you that answer even if I'm dazed and confused, right? Just because that is my fucking North Star. It's like my true foundation. And hearing you talk about how no one's ever let you down, it's like, like to me, it's just binary. Like, unless it's complete death blow, death to me and my 17 people that I give a shit about, like everything else is super secondary. And let me tell you something. If you actually get into that mindset, it gets real good. Like everybody like makes these big deals out of things that just don't matter. It's perspective. You know, my selfishness comes from my selflessness. Like, it's what makes me feel good. I see it in my mother. My mom is the epicenter to every single person in her life. Her sister-in-law, her cousins, aunts, everybody goes to her. That's her comfort zone, me too. Ask Gary Vee. Like, this is my comfort zone. Like, I like this. Like, I hate when people are like, what can I do for you? Like, I say nothing. I don't want anything. I hate that feeling. I went into my family business 'cause I felt like I owed it to, like, pay them that. Those are my parents. So if that's what I feel about them, what do you think I think about everybody else? - I love that. - So one of my favorite Gary Vee answers was, when asked what you would do if your daughter, when she turns 14, goes into her room and is filming all her videos and nobody likes it and she comes out and says, "Nobody in this world loves me." And your answer was, "Step your fucking game up, "I believe you're saying answer."
Step Your Fking Game Up (26:18)
Tell us about that. - The market is the market, man. Like, like, you know, if nobody's watching their stuff, like, it's not good enough.
Nobody's Watching (26:33)
Like, everybody thinks their stuff is so good. Like, every day, Gary, my Instagram's so on fire. It's so awesome. Why is nobody, like, why am I not gaining followers? 'Cause it's not awesome. Like, it's just back to the same. Like, you've seen it. You all have friends and be like, look how cute my kid is and you're like, "Ugh." You know, like, it's what we think. We all think our stuff is the best and like, I get that, but yeah, that would be my advice only because that also is liberating. Like, to me, everything's about breathing, right? Like, to me, everything is about, like, take full ownership for everything and then everything gets easy. 'Cause then you're in control. And then learn how to love to lose. Like, for me, my game's simple, right? It's all my fault. So now, I'm not mad at Lindsey or DRocker. That's it, my fault. I'm empowering them. So it's actually true. My fault, now, oh, we lost this or this didn't deliver or we fucked up. All right? So now, like, everybody's got losses. You know, it's funny, when UFC started getting popular and I started using it to paint the picture, I'm like, look, business and entrepreneurship is much more UFC than it is boxing. In boxing, a loss is devastating. Like, you know, if you ever, you know, if you're, I'm a big boxing fan, like, most big fights, like the big, big, big fights for the year, almost, it's just unbelievable amounts of 33 and O versus 35 and O, right? Just like, oh, that's like what you do. You don't fight anybody and you get to that level. Everybody's got losses in the UFC. And so, I think that's how entrepreneurship, that's how life is, we all have losses. And so, I like losses. I love adversity, I like the climb, I like the chip on my shoulder, I like when people are like, oh, I knew it. He's not that good. That is like, like, I'm even weirdly scared as I continue to ascend and I'm getting popular and what do you say, the marketing leading, like, if people start putting these words in front of my name, I'm like, am I gonna sabotage myself to like, re-correct this? Like, I like adversity. So, yeah, all on me, you know, I enjoy losses. Now all of a sudden, like what? You become completely invincible. I feel invincible. I really genuinely, outside of the health of myself and 20 people feel 100% invincible as a person. I know what my intent is, I wanna do good at nobody else's expense.
Mother Son Emotional Intelligence (28:55)
I'm far from perfect, we all are. And so just easy, it feels very light to live life. I'm just in a good mood. - Talk to me about how your mom played into that. 'Cause-- - A ton. - So, I know your mom, you've credited her with really helping to build your self-esteem, but you're also a huge believer in like, don't fool yourself, don't tell yourself you're good at something you're not. So how did she make you feel so good about yourself? - She walked. - You're struggling. - That's a great, great, that's very, you're doing a good job here. - Thank you, sir. - That's a very, no, it's a very good way to ask it because the truth is, she strategically used bullshit and real. What I think in hindsight, she did was she overemphasized things that were subjective or good. So, she, really, I'll never forget this. I opened the door for a woman in McDonald's in Edison, New Jersey, literal, like when I was eight, just, you know, we were both walking away a little head and I opened it and let her walk through. If I tell you that my mom basically treated that event, like I won the Nobel Prize prize, for like three weeks, but think about how smart that is. Like, think about how reinforcing that played out. Played out so much that one of the most interesting comments in the 250 blogs that I've done was, I got an email from somebody who said, "Hey Gary Vee, you know, this comes like, okay, at first I thought like, eh, you know, and then I got into it a little bit and I was watching this vlog and then the other day you really, you nailed it home." And I'm like, you know, I'm reading, I'm like, I can't wait to see what I did. He's like, "You went into the elevator and you let all your employees go first." And you know, it's just so interesting, right? These subtle little things, it's important, it's so fascinating what matters to people. And I get it, like I actually think that's right, but it's so weaving into me at this point. I don't even, I don't recognize that. That's what she did well. She made big deals out of the things that were tried and true. And then when I got these in F's, she punished me. Even though she knew I didn't need school in her heart, she made me know that there was accountability for things. So I would lose television and video game and friends privileges for, it would always be for a month. She'd break down somewhere around day 14, 13. My sister would tattle on me when I was sneaking TV. It was funny, it was a sitcom in itself, the three of us. She really made me feel special, man. She really did it right. She really, really, really pounded home my EQ, my kindness. I've done it with Xander too. He went to the playground when he was two. We were at the playground, a little three year old kid falls and skids his knee and he walked over and was like, "Are you okay?" And I made that like a two week thing, right? Like empathy, right? And so she just really did a good job of making me feel good about the things that were around my kindness and my support of my sister and my leadership skills and my friends and taking the, you know, I took a bullet once for something my friend did in the neighborhood and she thought that was a good thing and just kind of those personality traits that I think, you know, if all of us, everybody watching wrote down like personality traits that we admire. Any time I showed any of those actions, she drove them home and I think modern day parents and most parents do not do that. I think they focus on dumb shit like grades because they are insecure and they want to put the bumper sticker that their kid went to, you know, Stanford. Like it's real fucked up when you really think about what's actually happening. So much of it is Misery Loves Company or people reflecting of what's inside of them. That's really interesting.
Business Values And Strategies
Work Culture (32:41)
You know when I decided that I wanted to work with you? When I saw your employees hugging each other without, it wasn't like greeting. They just were standing next to each other and they both put an arm around each other and I saw a couple different people do it so it wasn't like it just happened to see people that were dating or something and I thought, employees like each other. Like that's such an amazing sign of what you're building and I know how hard it is to work that into the culture and to create a safe space where people are really excited about what they do, where they come in, they feel it, it just permeates the entire office. And now having been to your offices several times, it's like you get that sense that, a, people like what they're doing and I'm sure they work really fucking hard but they like what they're doing and they like each other and that was a big thing for me. - That's 'cause you have experience. Like you didn't take that for granted. - Sure. - The biggest thing I fear at VaynerMedia is the kids that come out of school and work at VaynerMedia and after three years, you know, you're 25 and you're like, well what else might be out there, right? Like they love it. They love VaynerMedia. I mean, I'm the ones that I'm thinking of. Some people don't. I mean, look, VaynerMedia is the serendipity of who you interact with, the clients you have. Like there's a lot that can go into it. There's no one VaynerMedia, there's no one America, there's no one anything, right? But yeah, they've been getting caught. This grass is greener thing and I'm actually very weird. I'm starting to try it. Now we're at a scale where I'm a little loosing it up but for the first five years, you couldn't come back. 'Cause it was a vulnerability. - Sure. - Now we're at a different scale and now I'm considering it a little bit more and we've taken a couple of people back through the years. I would break my own rule 'cause I think that's important. You have to be flexible but yeah, I appreciate you saying that but I think that's because you understand how difficult that is at scale. - Sure.
Employee Retention (34:28)
- When you have 700 employees to have a real culture of like good, that's hard. 'Cause you have a lot going on. - When did you decide to do the chief heart officer? - So Claude was an incredible employee. She was an SVP, which means she ran a piece of business. She was running the Unilever business and the way that the 30 people that interacted with, they were bought into her at a level that was incredible. She and I just had an instant chemistry. All this stuff we're talking about here. That's what we talked about, not the other stuff. And we started talking about maybe her potentially doing something else and having a bigger impact on the company, not just running this piece of business and then out of nowhere she quit. And it was devastating for me. I was, you know that gut punch, I was just like frozen because I don't get cut off guard that much 'cause EQ is so good. It just completely caught me off guard. And literally it was amazing. Talk about like leadership and like something things that I'm proud of about myself. I get punched in the face and before she leaves the room of like her telling me she's leaving, which was a 25 minute conversation, somewhere seven minutes into it, the last 18 minutes I was thinking about the plan of making sure she didn't land anywhere that would be too settling so that I could get her back. And basically I didn't want her to feel the full core pressure, but a month later I started like meeting up with her and having drinks and how's it going? And I think the best way back to all the energy of this conversation, you heard what I just said and what I did was I tried to get her the best job in the world that I could. Like my way of getting her back was by trying to help her more than it would help me. That just karma is practical. I love how people think karma is like this weird thing. Doing good for other people is a good strategy. Like it's like, you know, I've been like trying to, I'm like, why does this thing even exist? It's actually the most common sense thing of all time. Why is karma seem weird? That fuck is karma. Like, wait a minute. So you're telling me like if you do lots of good things that weirdly good things happen to you, yeah, that seems like common sense. Like it's amazing to me. Anyway, I tried to do all the right things. We started rolling. There seemed to be an opportunity for somebody to sit above our current head of HR. And so we decided there was that opportunity, but I could not call her the head of HR. I did not want the world to think of that's what we were doing. And I wanted her to sit at the pedestal as the most important person in the company besides me. More than the CFO, more than the COO, which got you into chief, right?
Creating A Legacy (37:03)
And then, you know, heart just seemed right. Like it just seemed like a nice word. So, it didn't have like, you know, if she was chief emotion officer, then she'd be CEO and that'd be weird. You know, like, so it just fit. - And have you seen other companies pick this up? - We've seen companies like NASA and other big companies reach out to us and they're like auditing us. - Wow. - I have a feeling that it could happen. Yeah, I feel it could happen. That would be a great legacy. - Yeah, dude, I'll tell you from the outside, watching that and understanding the really weird dynamic that is the HR department where they present themselves to the employees we work for you. But in truth behind the scenes, they feel essentially it's not a fiduciary responsibility. It's that same kind of idea to the business, right? I don't want the business to get sued and here's what's going on, they have to be careful of. And it's like, God, the employees feel that, man. - And that's why I think we're winning because, you know, and we have our stuff, well, listen, we just did a major reorg, 60 people let go. That's really hard to convince people you're the best, but you are the best 'cause you're doing it for the master. Like it's the right thing to do. But I'll tell you the person who deserves the most credit. I would say Alan Harker, like he's the chief financial officer and he's been incredible, he's new and he's been incredible in not, you know, he, I told him during the interview process, I'm like, this is a bad gig. We will make decisions that are not financially sound based on my intuition of where there's growth based on what we think about people. It's been really interesting, right? Like we've, we've, we're trying to help our leaders become better business people 'cause I believe in them. Lindsay, right? You get to work with a Ravenner talent. She knows what she's doing and she runs a type P&L, but then I'm always trying to break it, you know, heart, it's a matrix for them, right? 'Cause when they sit with Alan and she financial, they're trying to run a business. But then I'll come over to the top and be like, no, this is working higher, more, and you're gonna have a negative P&L this year, but they're like, but Alan, I'm like, fucking Alan works for me. And it's like, you know, like, it's a whole thing. It's a whole thing, but it's been great because we're back to pushing for opposite directions. I'm seeing it, right? I'm letting the company do its thing, but I'm a force that's equal to the company of magic, right? And I'm pushing, and now I'm starting to really figure it out. I'm kind of like almost weirdly separating them. I'm even thinking like things like a Gary tax, right? Like if, and basically that's just offense, right? That's Lindsay saying, hey, I really see it. I wanna go for it and I'm like, cool, you know, Gary tax it. And so like, what that would mean is that she can still run the business or her division properly subtract the weird things I did dollars-wise and then see if she's running an actual business. Because what was happening was the leaders were all under Gary tax and they didn't know how to run a business. Because my halo of being able to create top line revenue protected all their inabilities. And as we scale and I wanna give them other opportunities, I needed them to be able to be capable outside of magic. - Yeah, yeah, for sure. All right, there's one thing I have to-- I've never talked about that before. - No, I love it. - That was good, right?
Run a Proper Business (39:58)
I saw that you were loving it. And then I was like, man, that's cool. But that's a really interesting thing for entrepreneurs that are scaling businesses because entrepreneurship is actually completely in contradiction to running a proper business. They're opposites. - No, I've always said the reason that we were successful at Quest was 'cause we knew to zig when everybody else is zagging. Like you have to be able to make the counterintuitive choice. - You have to. - And by the way, it's super fucking weird. So when you and I met for dinner, God, like five months ago at this point, I had pitched what I pitched to you to, I don't know how many people, 30, 40 people. And every single one of them looked at me like, what the fuck? And they literally had no idea what I was talking about. And I said, look, a huge part of what's driving this is when Disney acquired Marvel Studios, like that changed everything for me. And I knew what needed to be done. I knew what that opened up in the market. And you said, and I quote, my entire life is predicated on the fact that Disney bought Marvel. And I was like, what the fuck? It was like the first time it went from getting looked at like I was out of my fucking mind to somebody who's like, yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I was like, it was very fascinating. But that's like when you realize that it's the ability to see that, it's the ability to see the oblique angle and more fucking importantly, it's the ability to believe in yourself enough to rally a team behind you and say this is what we're gonna do. Because what I'm telling everybody is, we're gonna build a studio bigger than Disney. Now you can imagine how everyone looks at me, right? Like think of you in the early days saying that you're gonna buy the Jets, everyone thinks you're a fucking idiot. - I get it. - So saying that, it's like that to me is being an entrepreneur versus a business person who can run a positive P&L and they understand all that. And I'm fully gonna steal your notion of coming in like magic. - Yep. - But yeah, that's a key insight for anybody that really wants to be an entrepreneur. It's not the license to be reckless because I'm prepared to come in and now fucking execute against building Disney. What's super interesting is, and those people that are CFOs and CEOs and COOs, they think that's the magic. I always laugh at them, I'm like, you're a commodity. There's millions of you. That's math. That's easy to understand. I always say, if you wanna be an anomaly, you have to act like one. Like people want all these special things to happen, but then they're acting like everybody else. And that gets into this Saturdays on in your 20s. Like, or just like taking risks or things of that nature. Like, I totally agree with you. I think about it as, you know that picture where it looks like two people kissing or it looks like a glass of champagne? Like, I just basically think at this point in my business life, the world sees the glass of champagne and I see the two people kissing. Like, I just can see it. Like, I know what's coming. Like, now it's about where do you wanna take advantage of it? Like, I knew seven, eight years ago that the phone was at it, that was nothing else. Like, like, everyone's like, ugh, like, I know that ABC, CBS and NBC is finished. They're infrastructures. They're infrastructure costs don't match the reality of consumer behavior. We are gonna watch things on OTT, whether it's Netflix or Hulu or Amazon, Facebook's coming out with original programming in a month. Right? We're gonna watch it. Now, if it's shit, we won't. If it's a bad show, we won't. If it's a good show, you'll watch it. And that's that. And so like, I know that's coming and I know every brick and mortar retailers and deep shit, I know that's coming, I know influencer marketing hasn't even started. You know, like, there's a lot of things I can tell you that are gonna happen over the next three or four years. It's about what are you gonna do about it? Which one are you gonna choose, where are the opportunities, where are the angles?
What is the Impact That You Want to Have on the World (43:26)
I have one more question for you, but tell them where they can find you online. Gary VEE is where I am mostly on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and then on Facebook, it's /Gary. And that's probably the right place to go.
What Is the Impact That You Want to Have on the World (43:38)
All right, what is the impact that you wanna have on the world? So I would say this is my current POV, because I think it's actually important that I have a different answer for this at 50 and 60, because you're gonna adjust to the reality. I'll give you a good example. If something terrible happens in my life and it's disease based or it's because some kid was texting while he was driving and hit my dad, those will become things that I wanna leave a legacy about, 'cause that's just how we act as humans, right? They become your truths. But no question, this will never go away. I want to do the following. I'm fascinated by the same thing that attracts so many of millions of people to people that are selling bullshit, those same people are attracted to me. And what I wanna do is suffocate out all those other people and become the alpha of that entire world of people that are hoping and are desperate to look at me and what I wanna do is inspire two 14 year old girls in Kansas City right now to build a billion dollar company on having a bunch of employees hugging each other in the halls. I think that Steve Jobs came along, became an icon, but the sad part of that narrative was he did not treat his employees well. He became an icon and the narrative became, he got the most out of people by being a jerk and that became romanticized. And a lot of people in Silicon Valley today run companies where they're mean because they think that's the right thing to do because they put Steve Jobs on a pedestal. I want my pedestal moment, I wanna become that big and what I want to come from that is that kids that aren't even born today think that they can build a five billion dollar company and be a great guy or a great gal. I wanna build the biggest building in town ever by just building the biggest building in town while I think most people try to tear down everybody else's building. So I think positivity and good is practical advice to building an empire and I wanna be the poster child of the person that built the biggest, baddest empire and did it by being a good dude along the way. And not everybody's gonna be happy about everything I did, but if it's 97% of people talking good behind your back, that's a real legacy. And I wanna do it in a pop culture way. I'm gonna do it anyway. People have done that before, just so you know, there's plenty of people, more buffets are really good dude. Like there's plenty of people that have done that. There's a difference, I wanna do it and I wanna be a rock star, right? Like and that's where you influence people. Like, you know, like I wanna do it but I also wanna be the most popular and so then that person's like, oh I wanna be him. So I guess I'll be nice. Like I wanna literally take people who have DNA that's kind of nice and make them more nice because they think that's how I became big. So I basically wanna trick the business world into becoming kinder. - I love that answer man. Thank you so much. - Thank you so much.
- Thank you. - It was awesome. - All right guys, you're gonna wanna dive into the weird and wonderful world that is Gary Vaynerchuk online is absolutely insane. The sheer volume of stuff that he puts out and what I love about him is he is trying to give away every secret that he has for free for anybody that's willing not only to listen to what he's saying but to actually watch what he's doing and I'm telling you right now, I watch everything he does like a motherfucking hawk because there is so much amazing shit happening there and the fact that he's trying to do things the right way. He is completely transparent in a world where I believe the only things that are gonna set you apart as an entrepreneur other than your ability to actually build a business by the way is your willingness to be transparent and authentic. If people can actually connect to you, I think for the right type of entrepreneur, it opens up a window that is incredible, that is never before been seen in human history. Now I am somebody who prides himself on being an otherworldly marketer and I built a very large business by understanding something in marketing that other people didn't understand but at the same time you know me. I'm never afraid to admit when I'm wrong and there was a time where I realized he was doing something better than I was doing and I just sat at his feet and I'm doing my best to learn. So guys, I'm telling you it will not be wasted time and effort. He is an emotional conundrum. I am only just now beginning to understand like what is going on with this man? But it is incredible. He doesn't judge himself. He is completely who he is. He recognizes his strengths. He plays to that. He finds people that can help him with the negative side and being around him is like being around a fire. Many people warm their hands on it and become better as a result. So dive in you guys. And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe. This is A Weekly Show. And until next time, be legendary. Take care.
Outro 1 (48:26)
That's awesome. - Thank you. - So fun. That was great. - Hey everybody. Thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Impact Theory. If this content is adding value to your life, our one ask is that you go to iTunes and Stitcher and rate and review. Not only does that help us build this community which at the end of the day is all we care about, but it also helps us get even more amazing guests on here to show their knowledge with all of us. Thank you guys so much for being a part of this community. And until next time, be legendary my friends.