Round 1: How I realized no one else cares what happens to me; and how GaryVee insulted me into making that ok.
Hello there! I’m Tyler! I’m a small business owner slash semi-successful-nearly 30 year old. Through my gratuitous use of exclamation points and short, staccato introduction you can tell I’m a go-getter, who, while probably a tad idealistic most likely has a good head on my shoulders. I work hard. Play fair. Want the best outcome for everyone. Prototypical college grad with a knack for helping businesses grow through my involvement.
I’m a 27 year old college drop out salesperson who was fucked over enough being an employee in different sales jobs early (ya know… “good work; we’re going to make the account book you built the past year house accounts. we’ll need you to get back out there for us if you’re going to get back to the commissions you were making.” that shit. Or “you were hired by the previous leadership; the commission structure you signed on for isn’t going to happen in this era. sorry you spent 15 months thinking those were going to happen.) that I finally got angry enough to say screw this and launch my own business. I then got my ass kicked by companies who saw me as a potential threat due to that aforementioned go-getterness and basically told established business owners to avoid this punk like the plague. Sucks right?
Here’s the thing. No one gives two shits whether I live or die (outside of family), let alone if I’m successful or not. Everyone’s #1 is #1, themselves. Now it took me basically 25 years of shittiness to catch on to that; or, rather, to snuff out that little spark of “it’ll all work out T, don’t sweat it.” The last 5 of which are when it REALLY sunk in. So to get you up to speed on all of my woe-is-me, pre-realization self I’ll give you another staccato introduction. Bear with me.
Divorced parents early on. Abuse as a child (mental/sexual). Taught that only through football could I reach success (must get full scholarship). Get scholarship/football but career ends freshman year due to concussions (this was pre-CTE craze or at least early on so I could either continue playing for this guy and ya know…die. Or get out of here.). I got out. Life over, yeah? Not yet. Keep going I’m only 18 here. Bounce around various bouncer/customer service jobs in PCB, FL (bastion of indecency it is) from 18–24 with no light at the end of the tunnel. Insert depression/existential what-the-fuck time period right around there. Stepfather (one of those abusers. the mental side, though.) is murdered in Atlanta by a few kids with a gun that want a car… from a dealership for some reason. Literally murdered at work at 7:00 a.m. in the showroom. Mixed feelings of happiness/self-disgust/sadness for that one. Two years later my 30+ older brother (my role model/personality clone/father of two beautiful babies) kills himself. This is when rock bottom happens. And not the wrestling move; although that same brother did use me as a wrestling dummy as a tyke, where many rock bottoms were performed. So bottom of the bourbon barrel is more accurate, as I was knocking back a 5th of whiskey a day. (I know bourbon and whiskey are differentish. fuck off.)
So nestled comfortably in my black pit of despair, in a job I hated where I wasn’t appreciated I kind of snapped. I said screw this I don’t want to do this anymore. Left my job and launched my company- Head1st Promotions with grand ambitions of paying my own bills like a big boy, independent of any boss. Now what?
Enter a few Thought Yodas (that is probably some sort of copyright infringement by now) who had figured out to articulate what I could only get out as guttural, rage-filled ramblings about how unfair everything is. I was born into a caste that I couldn’t ever leave; the low income white guy class. Basically universally hated by every group on the planet these days, amirite?
No stupid, you’re wrong. That anger I felt? That’s fuel motherfucker… That low-income, under-educated, college flunky cloak I had swaddled myself in was my crutch. It had me fooled into thinking I was special/different/deserved more than my neighbor because I had to deal with some rough patches. I needed someone to kick the crutch out from under me. Then burn it. Then throw the ashes in my face and tell me I was a little bitch.
Enter our first brain-kung fu-wunderkind: Gary Vaynerchuk.
I knew nothing about the guy until I youtubed (that’s also a thing now right? Like googling?) how to be an entrepreneur. I think maybe I saw the name in a comment thread so clicked over to his channel and OH MY HOLY SHIT HE’S SAYING WHAT I’M THINKING BUT ANGRIER… except he isn’t angry. He’s is borderline psychotically happy I think… He just deals with the shit and forces the system into submission. I THINK I’m fast with sales, and I can outhustle my neighbor and all that grindflowworkhustlelifementality-type crap I see in all the CEO/BossMoFo social media accounts that almost read as spam to get my nickel; or to sell me a protein shake. Except thinking and doing are drastically different actions with one requiring the other in a very specific order.
What’s the difference? For me it was the realization that it is ofuckingk if no one gives a shit. I should’ve figured that out like… as a twelve year old fat kid getting picked on middle school because my last name is Head. Seriously… it is AND I wore glasses and can quote both Tolkien and Dumas (specifically the Count of Monte Cristo because I love noble quest/revenge/redemption arcs). I got WAY better at the jokes about me, so much that, by 14 than anyone else could even come up with. Self-deprecation is a highly under-utilized weapon, my friends. So thanks to GaryVee I had permission (not that I ever needed any… that’s the point y’all), finally, to not give two damns what any competitor, partner, cold call thought about me. I should just work.
Here’s where that helped. I’m good at what I do. I know it. So why worry what anyone thinks and I should, instead, talk to EVERYONE. Someone will bite, right? Right. They did. I took an idea I’d sat on for 4 years, and in 6 months built it into a 50 business/500 paying member local’s appreciation club (discount club for the layman and inexperienced salesman) in tourism-dense markets. Beginning with the market with the highest level of income around, too, where they “don’t do that kind of thing”.
I was able to do this by not giving a shit about those people that didn’t give a shit about me; but simultaneously making myself available to help them with every small thing I could for a fixed annual rate of $1 per day. Basically I’ve worked my face off the past 6 months getting 1 yes to 9 no’s on a daily basis with zero capital/parnership for launch. Now we’re very early on and rolling into our first turnover of membership but the response has been tremendous and we literally use a plastic card that isn’t trackable as the driver of this monster. So effectively… all I do is SELL a product. The magic happens when I’m not around. Except I BUILT the platform that makes it possible for the magic to happen.That Reciprocation of Appreciation for those who live/work 24/7/365 in a Tourism Economy. Yeah… I made that sandbox. Go and play in it.
Back to Gary, though. Kudos for being able to, without knowing I exist at all, motivate ME of all people whose been smothered by depression and self-loathing most of my life, into a hyper-productive (maybe not highly profitable. it’s a low annual buy-in guys. be nice. or not. I don’t care.) guy that people now say “dude, you’re crushing it man congrats”. How did he do that? He didn’t. He basically told me to get over myself, realize that no one cares AT ALL. I’m not special and I should stop caring about the outcome of what I want to happen and focus on forcing that to happen instead. Care about the process and you will find the value. Give that value to others. Care about the people you’re able to help and not the ones who say piss off. Oh and most importantly…Work motherfucker.
Now for my second Thought Yoda…
Actually this is a long enough for now. We’ll save that person for Round 2: Empathy.
I still fight depression. Except now I punch it in the fucking face as often as I can with personal victories. You can check out my shenanigans on Insta at @Head1stPromo or by creeping every account I have like a normal person.
Thanks for reading!