How Gary Vaynerchuk Changed My Life
In May of 2016, my friend shared a video that would change my life. The video was titled “What To Do After College Rant” by Gary Vaynerchuk. This was the first time I had consumed Gary’s content — before him it was really just listening to Les Brown’s speeches over those epic motivational instrumental songs. What attracted me was Gary’s rawness and his personality. He wasn’t afraid to cuss on video and everything about his message was…genuine. In fact, I didn’t even know who Gary was! Here’s this guy wearing a white t-shirt, swinging his Apple headphones around going on an epic rant about being patient. Be patient. I knew what he was saying, I just didn’t know what he meant. Immediately, I google up Gary Vaynerchuk and was obsessed to see who he was or what he did. “Entrepreneur” was the first thing that I saw. I didn’t even know what that really meant. So I went back onto YouTube and searched him up. He had TONS of videos and there was a clip of a keynote that he gave to USC students of the Entrepreneur club.
His first words to a room full of “entrepreneurs” were “you can’t teach entrepreneurship.” I remember thinking holy shit…he just dropped the bomb. Gary acknowledges the energy of the room. He adds “I know, this is awkward.” He goes on to explain that if you are working a job, you are not an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is someone who cannot stand a 9 til 5 job. At that point, I immediately knew I wasn’t an entrepreneur. Gary goes onto explain that you may have entrepreneurial tendencies and that’s okay but don’t kid yourself and say that you’re an entrepreneur. I knew I had stumbled across something unique.
Like anyone would, I followed all Gary’s social media accounts and was hooked on his YouTube series DailyVee filmed by DRock. I go back, and literally consume hundreds of hours of content that they’ve created, to get a better understanding of what he was talking about and the next thing I know its 3:00 AM in the morning and my ears hurt from my headphones being on for the entire day. Then I came across this video “Document vs. Create.” In it, Gary Vaynerchuk poses the question, “wouldn’t it be cool to see Vera Wang learn how to make a dress for the first time — like literally learn how to make a dress.” He adds “everyone looks at Kobe today, everyone looks at Beyonce today…I’m more fascinated to see where they started.” And he goes onto explain what document vs. create is. As for someone who is looking to create their brand, documenting versus creating is key.
Gary professes that documenting is way easier than going out of your way to create content. When you document your late night grind or your drive to the most important meeting of your life and everything in between, it doesn’t take much work. So I decided to jump on board.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t know what business I wanted to create. I just knew that my work ethic was second to none. So I made my first video, it was titled Outwork Me. The video took place in my car at a local gas station after work. It starts “I’ll preface my video by saying this, I’m 22 years old and I don’t know shit. What I do know is that I’ll work my ass off to get to where I want.” I recorded that video through Instagram camera and saved it since the audio was more clear than the camera on the phone. The next morning, I participated in a research study for Twitter in Santa Monica. I didn’t have a DRock. So I set up my camera on a tripod and seat belted the shit out of the tripod to make sure it didn’t fall over and break my camera. This acted as my DRock. Nothing fancy, just finding a way to make it work. After the study, I record the next speaking part on my phone. I reiterate what Gary had talked about which basically stated that with the help of social media everyone was on the record — your life, your successes, your failures…everything. I talk about not doing it for the “glitz and glamour” but doing it because I’m crazy enough to make it work. This was my manifesto.
I uploaded the video and it was the first video I’ve ever made. The font looked super amateur, the audio was off, most of the video was dark but it was the first step in becoming patient. You see, becoming more patient came at the realization that life is long. Gary talks about being 40 is young, being 50 is young whereas where most of us youngsters thing 40 is old. Understanding that life is long game forces your behavior to match that mentality. For me, I stopped caring about making short-term “transactions” like worrying about how I can capitalize now. I started to understand the concept of playing for life. Gary talks about not worrying about what other people have because they don’t want the same shit you do. The reason why he does what he does is he is always looking to give more value than ever receiving. He calls it the 51/49 rule. And that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to provide value. Being self aware of what you can or cannot do, is what got me into video. I could do all the social media platforms like snapchat and instagram and was quite a character so I knew that youtube was the next step. Why not bring people along for the ride? This may sound egotistical but I know where I’m going and like Gary says, how cool would it be to be able to point at a single video and pinpoint the exact moment my life changed — whether that was capturing the one interaction with the person that would elevate my career. And so the more and more I do, the more I become patient. Patient that even if I don’t do anything correct for the next 10 years, I can start over and still be young as shit. Understanding that I’ve got time was the unlock for where I am now. Don’t get it twisted, by no means am I taking my time, I just understand that this is the time to just do and to document my journey because you never know when things will take off. Thanks for reading.