Ryan Danger Moran welcomes you to The One Percent! Today’s episode is very special, and features the much anticipated interview with none other than Gary Vaynerchuk — the other half, along with Brian Lee, of who Ryan wants to be when he grows up.
Don’t miss this one for some rare insight into Gary’s bubbling strategic mind, how he only ever plans for the long game, a surprisingly sharp lightning round, and the way this conversation has updated Ryan’s mindset about ho to best approach the next decade.
With a combined online audience of more than 13 million followers, Gary Vaynerchuk, often referred to as Gary Vee, is one of the most influential thought leaders on the Internet today when it comes to the subjects of entrepreneurship and social media marketing.
As an accomplished serial entrepreneur, Vaynerchuk heads VaynerX, a media holding company, and VaynerMedia, an advertising agency that works with a long list of Fortune 100 companies. Over the years, he has made a number of early investments in well-known tech companies including Facebook, Uber and Venmo which have helped him to build up an estimated personal net worth of $160 million. (See also, How Gary Vaynerchuk Built His Fortune.)
In a recent episode of The One Percent podcast, Ryan Moran (founder of Capitalism.com) and Gary Vee shared a candid conversation on a range of topics including parenting, finding self-fulfillment, sports, the upcoming Presidential election and his unique strategy for building an online following. Below we’ll look at three valuable lessons that can be gleaned from listening to the interview.
Vaynerchuk once wrote, “Entitlement is poison and leads to a dark place.” This strong belief is why he considers being raised in a house “that built a lot of self-esteem [but] not entitlement” to be one of the greatest gifts that his mom and dad ever gave him.
It’s not that Vaynerchuk didn’t have supportive parents. To the contrary, his mom and dad were always first to congratulate him whenever he had wins as a child. With that being said, they were also the first to tell him the truth whether that be to let him know that he wasn’t a good baseball player or to scold him when his grades in school weren’t the best. Simply put, nothing was ever sugar coated in the Vaynerchuk house.
According to him, sugarcoating begets delusion which ultimately begets entitlement. He thinks that many parents are leading their kids down a dangerous path because later in life, children who were raised to be entitled will more likely than not meet depression if they haven’t achieved what they had hoped to.
He advises parents to always be honest with their children, especially if they have hopes of becoming successful entrepreneurs. Even if that means letting their children know if they think they have a flawed business plan or encouraging them to move on from a venture if it hasn’t been able to put food on their kids table after a long period of time.
Vaynerchuk is a vocal proponent of giving without having any expectations in return, and in a certain sense, this idea is built upon his acknowledgement that he isn’t entitled to anything in life.
In the episode with Ryan, Vaynerchuk noted that he never has any expectations of converting his followers into actual customers and credits his philosophy of selfless giving as the principal reason why he has such a large social media following.
He explained, “There are probably 100,000 people a day that consume my content endlessly for free everyday, who have already felt the impact of my free content, financially, who have not bought a 3 pack [of my wine brand] for $81.”
Vaynerchuk acknowledges that from a purely economic standpoint, he has realized a very poor return on investment on the amount of content he has put out over the years. However, he justifies that, “I put out good content for the sake of putting out good content.” He truly believes that his audience loves him because he, unlike the vast majority of social media influencers, isn’t constantly trying to sell them anything. Vaynerchuk also believes that he can market his products and services to many more people who have never even heard his name.
Due to his brash tone and larger than life personality, Vaynerchuk is often mistaken for a workaholic and money hungry entrepreneur. He explained in the podcast that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Although Vaynerchuk is a big believer of hard work, he thinks that finding happiness should be the number one priority in life. According to him, too many people are chasing results and aren’t thrilled about the actual journey that is required to get to those end results. He acknowledges that entrepreneurship is definitely not a sexy endeavour and sees nothing wrong at all with someone deciding that a $40,000 a year income is all they need to be happy in life.
He warned: “[If you aren’t happy with what you’re doing,] someone else will love it which means they will work harder than you and therefore have an advantage over you.”
Gary Vaynerchuk has had a unique and inspiring entrepreneurial journey. A while back, we published a detailed biography that talked about his journey of immigrating to the United States at 3 years old with his family to becoming the influential business person that he is today, it can be found here. You can also find the full interview on The One Percent with him and Ryan here.