Examples of currently successful digital entrepreneurs are never very far away, we see them being presented and consume their messages and content all the time. We might change our ‘heroes’ according to what we experience, and if we receive valuable information and inspiration from them, or not.
In these often crazy times we all live in, the cult of personality seems to have grown larger with the internet – it is now much easier for individuals to reach us, to focus their message and build their audiences in vast numbers. Media is abundant and cheap to use, it seems there is a personality figurehead to lead just about any ‘flavor’ of ideas, opinion, movement, disease, genre, art, sport. It seems we all love to follow our heroes!
Certainly one of my favorite personalities that represents the successful ‘little guy makes good’ story has to be Gary Vaynerchuk. You might know of ‘GaryVee’ or have heard of him, perhaps you have never heard of him. For those who are not familiar this is a very condensed biography:
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in the Soviet Union (when there was such a place) in Belarus – his family left and emigrated to the USA when Gary was very young 2 years old. So Gary grew up in New York, his father gained employment in the liquor industry and eventually saved enough to buy a small liquor store of his own. As Gary developed it was pretty obvious he had an entrepreneurial flair – selling collector sports cards on weekends making several thousand dollars per week(!) Gary’s dad put him through college, but he was not an academically inclined student, he scraped through. On graduating Gary came to work in the family liquor store, taking a pay cut from his own side businesses. Gary had the idea of running a video-based weekly wine show, demonstrating varieties of wine being stocked, discussing local & international wines; he published the ‘Wine Library T.V’ on YouTube 10 years ago when YouTube had only just got started.
You can read the story in much greater detail online if you want, but the upshot of all this is that Gary Vaynerchuk was able to boost the sales of his family’s liquor store from an annual 3 million dollars in sales to 56 million through promoting the business using this revolutionary ‘new’ social media platform.
From being able to massively improve the family liquor store business, Gary gained the insight and confidence to invest in emerging social media platforms, and then set up his own digital media company ‘Vaynermedia’ with his brother. The acclaim and reputation that Gary Vaynerchuk built from 2006 from harnessing the WWW platforms demonstrated very powerfully just how much the business world was changing, and the crucial need to adapt and leverage this emerging technology, and importantly the culture online!
He was so successful in doing all of this that Fortune 500 business owners began seeking him out for guidance and help in transitioning their 20th Century marketing into the 21st Century. Vaynermedia now has many prestigious clients that invest millions with the agency to promote their business. Gary is also a keynote speaker who is much in demand, his entire business is built on the integrity and genuine quality of his own clear sighted awareness of the changing nature of the business world.
A truly spectacular success story, one that I cannot help but admire and learn from myself. Gary’s message and teaching is appreciated by a great many ‘Start Up’ dreamers and entrepreneurs – the great thing about Gary’s content is that he is not selling you anything, he does not need to, he is not selling training courses or eBooks, or membership sites. Occasionally Gary writes a book, and he promotes this but this is not the central plank of his business. His last book: Jab Jab Jab, Right-Hook’ is all about the approach of providing value before you ask for a sale. Simple right? You provide genuine value and actionable information, and only after you have built trust and authentic relationships do you then ‘right hook’ with your sale message.
Here is a classic piece of GaryVee inspiration, you will either get it, or completely not get it 😉
Truth right? We will all die one day, it might be in 80 years or today – we never know this date but you can count on it so you need to do something about it, get your dreams and your desire going on the road. Stop whining, stop messing around, stop being afraid, stop procrastinating. All of your time will run out anyway, the time will elapse it will pass, so you may as well get some value out of your time-stop hoping and start doing!
So yeah, this is what I like about Gary Vaynerchuk he is actually a real person not a ‘personality’, not a bullshit poser, he cares about people and is not afraid to reveal this – he loves business, he loves observing what is taking place and then leveraging this. Social media is interesting, but more importantly people use it in huge quantities, you can make this work for you- it is plain practical reality. Get to work and stop worrying about perfection, get something published, build your business, blog or app, whatever it is that takes your fancy. But just start and keep going!