WeWork Boston Gary Vaynerchuk Keynote | March 2016

– I think that one out of every
two or more likely to out of
every three people in here that
are a cofounder are not purebred
actual entrepreneurs and
are making a mistake
in starting a company.
And let me explain
what I mean by that.
I know that’s a razz and that’s
a tough thing to say but it
leads to a bigger
conversation of self-awareness.
I’m not saying it like
I’m cool I am, you aren’t.
I’m saying that we are living
through a narrative time right
now where over the last half
decade entrepreneurship has been
glorified to an extreme
where everybody just feels that
they’re entitled and should
and it’s attractive to start a
company and what they’re really
doing is not putting themselves
in the best position to succeed
and are wasting time,
hurting their brand,
losing people’s money
doing a lot of things
that won’t help them
and stunting their
own growth because they
would’ve been incredible number
twos, threes, fours, fives.
You have a lot of people that
are built DNA-wise and skill-wise
and have studied and went
through school and have been
formed and have trained
to be unbelievable
consultants at Bain and
McKinsey and other places,
have a great career
and then get involved in
entrepreneurial ventures where
they can leverage the monies
they made and invest and things
of that nature who are starting
consumer apps out the gate and
have no fucking clue on how to
be a true bred entrepreneur
because they don’t have the
stomach to deal when the
market says go fuck yourself.
And so, that’s a problem.
And more importantly that
problem, bless you, and that
problem is about
to rear its head.
Because as a lot of people in
this room know, you know, I know
and I’m sure others as I look
around as money crunches start
to happen, bless you.
I think that we’ve just lived
through the Golden Era of people
saying they were entrepreneurs
but what they were was they were
operators that were
building machines
a.k.a. companies that were
built for financial arbitrage.
People have been building
startups that are predicated on
raising the next round.
You’ve been building your
company for user growth
to raise your next round.
You’re not building a company.
And so look, this is not me
standing on my high horse right
before shit hits the fan.
In 2009, and Jeff you know this
better than anybody in the room,
in 2009 at the height of my
career, bless you, as I,
listen, I get it.
Does anybody else
weirdly love to sneeze?
Anybody?
You do?
I’m super into it.
It gives me like a weird high.
You too?
What is that?
Okay, let’s figure it out later.
At the height of my career, by
the way just for context I got
much worse at investing but my
first three investments were
Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
I’m in that, so
I’m friends with Zucks.
Friends with Travis from Uber.
Crush It! just came out and it’s killing.
Everything’s going great.
And it’s the middle of
2009, it’s all about to happen.
I’m at the height, I’m one of
the 20 most followed people on
Twitter and Twitter is
just starting to matter.
Me and my brother start
a client service business.
A client service business.
Something that is
really at the lowest end
of admirable startups. Right?
Just an eight
times EBITA business.
Like a not super sexy.
Like each shit
from clients all day.
This is not me post gaming or
Monday morning quarterback,
this is me telling you what I’ve
been doing with my behavior.
While all this was available to
me, nobody could’ve raise more
money than me in 2009 and 10.
I’m right there
at the top of it.
All that.
I had already built a
$65 million business.
I’m at the top of my game and I
took four steps back including
being ridiculed and made fun of
by my Internet famous friends,
I went and built VaynerMedia.
AJ didn’t love it ’cause all his
friends were millionaires on
paper joining Path and Digg
and Reddit and all this stuff.
We kind of struggled with it for
the first two years
because it was hard.
It was a big humble
pie that I had to eat.
I had to go into brand manager
meetings and it was crazy for
where I was in my career.
But I was self-aware to know
what I was capable of building
that would be successful.
And in the 48 month since I’ve
really run it it’s been alive
for six years I’ve grown that
company from 30 to 650 employees
from three to $100
million in revenue.
And not pass through revenue
of media, we do $100 million.
And in current 2.5 to 3 time
revenue valuations for agencies,
it’s a $250 to $300 million
valuation with a business is
going to kick $17
million in profit this year.
That me and my brother my
partner and right and that one
you can clap because it’s real
execution in the face of a lot
of sexy other things to do.
And I wasn’t a kid, I had
already made it and
I still went practical.
The level of practicality the
level of self-awareness,
the level of patience,
the level of humility,
the level of empathy
to the market and gratitude for
your opportunities and the level
of understanding of what
understanding and the macro and
micro economic climate
in our space is shit.
And it’s about to hit the fan
and so I highly recommend if you
take anything for my
talk tonight I would ask
you to do one thing,
start the process of becoming
much more honest with yourself.
It will help you make much
better decisions and it will
help you in the long run.
It may not taste as fun or as
glamorous in the short term but
it will put you in a
much better position.
Because something that I’ve
learned as this has become more
obvious to me in the last year.
As a started doing the
#AaskGaryVee show and started
giving more EQ, more
self-awareness, more those kinds
of talks and as I wrote this
book I started realizing, huh,
I started asking questions.
Because I was so isolated from
Silicon Valley when I built my
web 1.0 company I started
talking to my old 40 and
50-year-old friends of these
companies. At GE, at Proctor &
Gamble, at Fox News, at Turner,
at Toyota, at all my big clients
Fortune 500 and you
know what I realized?
Holy shit, a lot of these 40 and
50-year-old friends of mine they
were all worth millions of
dollars in 1999 on paper in
Silicon Valley.
Because the next wave of what we
just lived through is a lot of
people getting jobs.
And so you can either right now
with my advice if you believe me
for the three of you in
here, you can either take your
business and start becoming
practical with it and try to
build a business that makes
money instead of trying to
position it for your next round
or you can start dusting off
your resume and trying to get
the best first jobs that are
about to become
available as all the shit
is going to hit the fan.
Because I promise you it is.
And so I’m not here to doomsday.
I’m here to go practical.
And the level of practicality
in our space is grossly missing.
And so I hope you heed that.
Now at the same token let me
go crazy optimistic on you.
This is why’s the most
interesting time in my career.
In parallel this is not 1999 and
2000 when the Internet wasn’t
ready and wasn’t at scale
and it wasn’t there yet.
This is at a time where you can
build something that can go from
0 to 100 million users in 18
months ’cause we’re full-scale.
We’re at mobile revolution.
With all this talk of me telling
you you suck and shit’s about
that the fan, in parallel, there
may be three people in here that
are poised because I promise you
Airbnb and Uber and companies
like that and even potentially
hopefully I’m an investor
drizzly things like that,
these are the previews.
They’re not anomalies.
So in parallel to 98% joker-land
fake entrepreneur-land
everybody thinks they’re one.
In parallel there’s going to be
an enormous amount of companies
the next 24 months, maybe more
than last 24 months, that go on
to become the Slacks and the
Ubers of the world because
there’s so much opportunity
because Andreessen and is right,
software is absolutely eating up
the world and every single thing
that we, as humans, are
inefficient at will be closed
the gap by technology so
it’s an interesting place.
I’m about to close a very large
fund and probably $100 million
fund it’s going to be funny for
me to deploy capital during this
because I know so many people
are posers but I also know this
going to be so many
opportunities for big businesses
to be built.
And so I think were sitting at
a very interesting time and I
think the reason I decided to
put the word self-awareness as
one of the key title part of
this book is I think we start
having a very important
conversation of self-awareness.
Because there is another part
and then I’ll open up Q&A to the
self-awareness thing.
The dirty little secret about
our world that is not being
talked about enough about
is depression and suicide.
My friends in a world where
everyone is cheering when you
get a Series A or B check which
means you just given a piece of
your business by the way and in a
world where everybody is going
to crush it and everybody is
going to win there a lot of
people especially when they were
built to be good students and be
good number fours and sevens
that when they go to be a one
and after a life full of winning
because they understood that
system they go into
the actual marketplace.
No more rich friends and
families and connections in
private school and
good universities.
No, real shit.
The fucking game.
Nobody gives a
fuck who your dad is.
That game, when they go to that
game and they lose, it’s tough.
And if we keep telling everybody
that it’s so easy to do it and
if we don’t start talking about
that the entry level to be in
the top 1% earners in America is
only $400,000 a year and I use
the word only because
nobody here is in the mindset of
million-dollar or bust we
need to start having proper
conversations.
If we don’t start talking about
95%+ of your startups will fail,
if we don’t do that then were
really doing disservice to
the people that join the
greatest thing in the world in
my opinion which is capitalism,
entrepreneurship, market dynamics.
What makes this place great and
so I’m not saying this because I
want to sit on my high horse
I’m saying this right here and
saying we have to have to start
having much, much, much more
honest conversations in our
space because we’re
doing nobody any good.
I had a meeting other day
where a person I invested in
lost his company.
It’s gone.
It’s over.
He’ll be shutting
down the next 15 days.
He had one last ditch effort
on a down round, didn’t happen.
It’s over.
By the way get ready to read a
shitload of articles about
down rounds this summer.
Anyway, over, dead. Right?
I have a sad face during the
meeting because it’s a sad event.
It’s over.
And he sees that I’m sad and he
said “Oh Gary, don’t worry like
I’ll be fine.
I learned a lot
through this process.”
I said, “Mother fucker, I’m
worried about the $150,000 you
lost of mine. I’m not
worried about you.
I gave you money and
you fucking lost.”
Like this notion that this is
play money or who cares,
the VCs don’t care.
I fucking care.
I came from zip.
I lived in the studio apartment
with eight family members the
size of this stage.
When I write a check, it hurts.
I want you to win.
I want to do something. I’m not
worried about your education
process of the
entrepreneurial journey, fucker.
Seriously.
That meeting
caught me off guard.
We are broken.
We are not having the
right conversations.
And I’m trying to give everybody
in this room, anybody that
watches my show, anybody the
reads my book a 6 to 12 month
head start that is going to
pay dividends for them if they
either choose to do
one of two things:
Look in the mirror and
recognize and figure out if
they have the luxury of having
self-awareness is this
maybe not what they’re about.
And number two, if it is, to
figure out how that business
makes money in the
next six minutes.
Thank you.
(applause)
My man. I’m going to
repeat these questions.
We don’t have a second
mic to run do we? OK.
– [Man] So you talk a lot about
Facebook ads being the
cheapest thing out there–
– Not the cheapest thing,
just the best value. Yes.
– [Man] So what you think about
Instagram ads and
I have a follow-up to that of
you’re telling people to book
reviews views on Instagram–
– Yes.
– [Man] What you
think about that for
long form content on Instagram?
– Yeah, so two things.
Instagram not working the way
I thought it was going to work
today nine months ago is the
most stunning thing that’s
happening in tech for me.
The fact that Facebook’s backend
isn’t accurately working on
deploying
Instagram ads is stunning.
What I mean by that is when
I target 18 to 22-year-old
African-American males on a
piece of content on Instagram,
54-year-old old white women
shouldn’t be showing up in my
comments but they are.
And that doesn’t happen on
Facebook and it is on Instagram.
So Instagram is not working yet.
Punchline it’s not consistently
working and I think they’re
still trying I think of trying
to figure out the cadence on how
much they want to
deploy there, right?
Because it’s such a golden goose
but I think Instagram the reason
why ask for people to review my
book not on Amazon, definitely
not on Twitter, definitely not
on their blog the reason why ask
everybody who would do it to
review my book in long form on
Instagram with a picture
and 25 sentences on
Instagram is two reasons.
One, day trading attention.
From an organic standpoint,
the number one platform
in the world is Instagram.
If you have 300 followers across
the board, the best chance for
me to get people to know what I
want from you is on Instagram.
It has the best depth
from organic reach.
Go ahead, I see you
want to ask me something.
– [Man] So from a long form
content standpoint you found
people engaging more?
– Yes. That’s part two.
We do tons of testing
at VaynerMedia at scale.
We know that long form post
on Facebook and Instagram are
over-indexing short letter
posts right now yet every single
person on earth tells
you that’s not true.
Go home tonight for kicks and
giggles if your Facebook fan
page put a picture up and
write 12 sentences of copy.
Watch what happens
your organic reach.
So to me bro the truth is
when you day trade attention,
no romance.
For example, I know that
seven minute videos
on Facebook dominate.
But everybody tells you
to write 30 second clips
’cause it’s micro-content.
It’s social media
and duh, duh, duh.
My man, we live in a
world of headline readers.
Somebody reads one
person say something and
it becomes the momentum.
We don’t have practitioners.
The reason why maintain my
personal brand is because I’m
better at social media than
anybody that works for me and
we’re the best social
media agency in the world.
– Yes, Jeff.
– [Jeff] So a lot of investors
talk about user acquisition
versus building a business.
– Of course because the VC game
is predicated on having on one
unicorn drive your entire fund.
If you can get one company to
really crush it because they
became 200 million users, you
pay for your whole thing but the
99 other companies
that you tell to do that
go out of business.
Building a business that makes
money is usually a good idea
when you’re building a business.
(laughter from audience)
I’m into it. I think
it’s a good strategy.
– [Man] Gary.
– Yes sir.
– I think we have some.
– Oh a mic, awesome.
Thank you brother.
You’ll run around?
– Very impressive talk.
– Thank you, Paul.
– So you talking about the
pressure, the struggle as a
founder and I wonder how
you deal with the self-doubt.
– The what?
– Self doubt.
– The self-doubt?
Do I?
I don’t but that’s because my
mother hyperbolized the shit out
of me and over
built my self-esteem.
In business I don’t have doubt.
In swimming, huge doubt.
I suck at swimming.
I’m scared of swimming.
I don’t but I only don’t and a
very specific and narrow reason.
And again, it’s fun
to have you Jeff here.
Jeff is somebody I
worked with very early on
when we started Vayner.
I just stay in my lane.
This is back to self-awareness.
I stay in my lane.
I’m a salesman,
I’m a business builder.
I’ve done it my whole life.
I was in an F
student at 13 and 14.
My friends’ parents told my
friends not to hang out with me
because I was a loser.
I’m more successful than
my entire graduating
class combined.
This is because the market
doesn’t understand,
that people don’t get it.
You have to double
down your strengths.
And you have to
punt your weaknesses.
In America there’s billions of
dollars made on selling you how
to fix the things
you’re not good at.
It’s a huge mistake.
You need to figure out
who you are and go all in.
That’s what I did and so when
you talk about business or
marketing, when you talk about
the New York Jets and when you
talk about wine, I’ve
got nothing but bravado.
Everything else, you should see
me sitting around dinner tables
right now talking
about politics.
The level of humility and the
level listening you wouldn’t
expect for me because that’s not
how you used to consuming me.
I’m loud and proud
because I only stay in my lane.
Pay very close attention,
I’ve got nine years a content
on the Internet now.
Maybe a little bit more.
I’ve stayed very,
very, very narrow.
For me, it’s lucky.
The reason I’ve been able to
kind of grow is my narrow thing
is consumer behavior which I
can deploy against anything.
So my narrow thing
happens to be quite wide
which allows me to play.
Allows me to be a
good investor.
It allows me to run businesses.
It allows me to be
a personal brand.
It allows me to do things.
But I don’t waver from that.
I don’t talk about
building product.
I’ve been around
startups my whole life.
I don’t talk about product.
I’m pretty good at UI, UX.
Ev Williams and David Karp from
Tumblr they always give me good
daps behind the scenes that I’m
good and it because it’s, it’s a
little consumer behavioral kind
of I have good feels I used to
know how to layout my liquor
store and that’s why did well in
e-commerce early on.
I just think about.
All I just deploy
empathy at scale.
I’m an empathy machine.
That’s what I do.
So on the flipside for the
people who do have self-doubt
I feel like I’m the most
extreme pure bred entrepreneur.
– You’re the
wrong person to ask.
– I’m not the wrong person ask,
I’m just the North Star over
here and I think the more you
have self-doubt is the further
away you are for being a
pure bred number one
to run a company.
Everybody knows that VaynerMedia
is a moldable dictatorship.
You can sell me but you just
better fucking bring it because
I got fucking ideas.
You know?
I don’t yearn at all for.
But what that makes me think is
this goes back to self-awareness.
Maybe you need a cofounder.
Maybe need to give secondary,
since you’ve already built
something, a 20% cofounder.
If you’re yearning for that then
you should listen to GaryVee
saying fuck a cofounder.
I don’t give a fuck.
I’m a dictator.
You should be like no,
no this is what I’m feeling
and this what I need.
Who cares what anybody says?
Do you know how many
things that I do that make
no sense to people on paper?
I give AJ 50% of
VaynerMedia when we started it.
I had all the leverage.
I was 11 years older.
I got us all the clients.
I was the social media guy.
I did everything and he had 50%
of the business because I knew
that’s what felt right in
the energy of our brothership.
I make decisions all the time.
I sold Stephen Ross, owner the
Miami Dolphins and related real
estate a 30% share of
VaynerMedia three and half years
ago when I knew I was building
the business from 3 to 100
million in a heartbeat because
I want to buy the New York Jets
and so I left tens of millions
of dollars on the table to be in
the ecosystem of the NFL family.
I make decisions
all the time that are
not predicated on money.
So if you feel in your heart
if that was the question you
decided ask me to probably
bring in a real cofounder that
has minority interest and who
cares if everybody told you
that it was a bad deal that you
gave her 20%. It’s a great deal
for you because you
know what you need.
Way too many people in this room
listening to the market or the
five tips or somebody
else’s advice that did it.
Nobody’s done of the way
that I did it and I’m not
listening to anybody about it.
Everybody asks me
who’s your mentors?
No one.
Myself.
Me.
(applause)
And maybe I’m too far and I
respect that I know what that
sounds like if
you’ve never heard me.
I’m not confused that there’s
8% of people in here
be like fuck this guy.
He’s a huge fucking ego.
I get it.
I know that a lot of people
aren’t doing any of what I just
in that rant and I’d like
you to do a little more of it.
Questions. Let’s give
the guy a mic.
Nice running.
Good form.
Good form.
– [Man 2] Alright, great talk.
You’re obviously fantastic at
consumer behavior and
understanding how the consumer
is thinking in part
and to the consumer.
But the consumer
is totally fickle.
You gotta be ready to pivot.
– Every day.
– [Man 2] How much of
that is gut versus data?
– For me, it’s all gut and then
I put data against it to prove
me right or wrong.
That’s what I do.
I built VaynerMedia to scale me.
VaynerMedia was built to build
the machine, I call it a machine
it’s people, the
organizational scale of me.
So I intuitively feel like
something was happening with
Snapchat in the summer and then
I deployed people, the math nerds
she’s and he’s in my
organization that love math,
that don’t have intuitive DNA,
that don’t like EQ, that don’t
like people but boy they fucking
love numbers and then I have
them double check and
call my bullshit but I move
before they come back.
Because it’s worth it for me to
lose because if I’m right which
I’ve been right enough that I
want to keep going the upside’s
incredible in the first mover
land grab of this stuff because
it is a marketplace and they
do move and they move fast.
They move real fast.
You just wake up and it’s over.
I built my brand on Twitter I
was at the top of the heap.
Top.
I’m devastated that’s one that
kind of faded off from attention.
But I’ve written articles 2
1/2 years ago about
my concerns about this.
You know, it was
happening I can taste it.
Back to being an actual practitioner.
I knew that when I have 50,000
followers and said follow my boy
Nate, 1,000 people would do it
and then I knew today with my
1.2 million if I said follow
my girl Susan like 49 would.
I’m like uh oh,
this is not good.
I could just taste it.
Guys, the level of disrespect
that I have for impressions and
all that stuff, this
is about attention.
I’m not day trading impressions.
I can get you impressions.
You want one cent YouTube.
Want a million views on every
YouTube video you can do,
I can get for you
right now. One cent.
I know how to
pre-roll it. Let’s do it.
10,000 bucks, good, all day.
You can say you’re
fucking Casey Neistat.
I think the people don’t get it.
I don’t think the
people don’t get it.
And honestly, very honestly,
as I get older, he left or he
moved, I’m getting more
confident because as I’ve gone
higher up the ranks and now hang
out with Fortune 500 CEOs and
I’ve watched my homies become
the most respected business
people in the world, I’m
starting to realize oh shit
maybe I’m too humble.
Maybe I really got gifted.
Maybe I’m fucking Lebron.
I really know what’s going on.
I know what’s going on.
I know VR is going to happen and
I know a lot of VCs are going to
lose a shitload of money because
there betting on consumer VR
which is 20 years away.
But I’m betting on
B-to-B VR like crazy.
I’m learning everything I can
about what Facebook, Apple and
Google and Amazon think
about VR and going backwards.
I’m investing in VR sound.
I didn’t know VR sound existed.
But I know the thesis.
I know the pattern recognition.
I know how this shit plays out.
Yes darling.
Sorry about that my man.
Let me give her the mic.
You stay there.
– [Woman] Speaking of gut versus
data, you spoke a little about
your team of nerds basically a
backend, crunching the numbers.
You talk a little about you know
all this information and data
about Instagram and Twitter
and all those other sites.
Do you read research reports
and do you have your team build
models on that is that how
you know all that information?
What’s your source?
– No.
(laughter)
I don’t.
– Do you just read online?
No. You’ll like this.
I think you going to like
this and you see
why I don’t read
research reports.
First of all, I was never smart
enough or educated to even know
shit like that
existed in my 20s.
As I got in to my mid-30s and
understood that there was shit
like Forrester and this that
and the other thing once I
realized who is doing that
work I became less interested in
it because these were people
that especially when social
media reporting started
happening. I’m like that guy?
Works for Forrester?
This is fucked.
Because I knew so
here’s what I do,
you’re going to find this wild,
I consume almost no media.
Period.
When I tell you none, it’s the
scariest thing when people
ask me what you read?
I don’t read anything.
All I do all day is watch
people at scale on platforms.
So what I mean by that,
I mean that I’m basically
consuming people’s
actions on social
networks across the web.
So what I do for living is I’ll
go to Hershey Kisses’ Facebook
page and read every single thing
that a normal human being does.
I go to Twitter and look at for
four hours look at everything.
And I’m a scale now where I have
so much inbound, I’m watching
their behaviors and their
reactions to my own stuff.
And then I’m watching exactly
how people are responding right
now to Kate Hudson’s Snapchat
stories or what people are doing
with Jake Paul on MusicAlly for
junior high behavior and then
I’m projecting what I
intuitively think is behavior
that ages up from the
teens to mainstream
a.k.a. why I loved Facebook,
a.k.a. why am so
bullish on Snapchat.
I know this maps the 40 and 50
years old or let me rephrase
I really think I know
and I think it will.
So what I’m really doing is
watching people like for example
you know I love to travel
more than any other reason?
Just really watching what people
do on their phone at airports.
Literally watched at scale
people stopped going to
Hudson News and buying things
and just going in
their Instagram feed.
What I’m doing is I’m making
pretty quick judgments.
I married my wife four
minutes in to our first date.
And we met on JDate.
Blind, four minutes in. We were
married within a year
best decision of my life.
Hands down, not even close.
So I’m intuitive, right?
Seven minutes into the Internet,
I was on a bulletin board
I’m like I’m going to start
a wine store on the Internet.
I didn’t even know
what the internet was.
So I definitely jump quickly
because but the way I’m doing my
decision-making is watching
people. That’s why I’m so scared
for the death of Twitter.
And why and so it’s excited to
then invest in the next Twitter
because the water cooler of
society is not going away.
Without Twitter there’s
nowhere to talk about the
presidential debate. Not seamlessly.
It’s harder on Instagram.
It’s harder on Facebook for us
to do what we like to do there.
Shame on them for not evolving
the product to keep people’s
attention and never fully be
explained to normals but for me
it would be devastating because
I can’t just use it because it
never went to
Facebook’s scale so I need that.
And then just do simple stuff
other things that
people don’t think about.
When I opened an office
in Chattanooga, Tennessee
everybody’s like why did
VaynerMedia open
an office in Chattanooga?
Because there’s two
different Americas.
There’s a very different America
between Boston, New York, LA and
San Francisco and Chattanooga,
Tennessee so I force myself
in to pockets there.
But it’s mainly just watching.
Basically I’m
listening 24-7-365.
I’m listening to the questions
that are being asked here.
It’s why I’m branding myself
as an ask me questions
because I’m getting double benefit.
I’m bringing you value and I’m
learning from where the wave
of questions are going.
Basically, my entire being
is predicated on listening which
fucks with people because I’m
such a loud mouth and they think
I’m always talking.
But I’m listening, man.
– I would like you to, I don’t
have a question but maybe–
– Repeat what I talked about?
– Just a little more–
– How to find self-awareness?
– Self-awareness.
Everyone talks about emotional
IQ and intelligence but I think
self-awareness is the core.
– The Core. Thank you.
Thank you for that.
Glad I put my
picture on the book.
Fought that one.
So in that article I talked…
Back to the last question,
I really appreciate you
asking that, I have a lot
of shortcomings.
I didn’t go to
school for anthropology.
I don’t technically know the
pillars of what’s taught or
widely accepted
around human behavior.
I don’t know if it’s accepted
in society that self-awareness.
Actually I’ll weirdly ask you
guys is self-awareness being
talked about as something
that people think is teachable?
Some people shaking yes.
Here’s what I know,
I’m not sure.
I definitely think it’s a DNA
thing however I gave my at-bat
in that article to how to figure
it out and here’s how it goes.
I think you need to take the
7, 4, 8, 2, 9 closest people in
your life, closest in a couple
of different circles, find that
inner circle and go on a crazy
journey where you literally
spend a week or a month actually
making them comfortable for the
next meeting which is
giving them permission
to tell you the truth.
The people that know you the
best and love you the most are
not going to tell you this truth
on the shortcomings which is the
key to the conversation.
The reason why I often times
give very blunt answers in Q&A’s
that people are
always surprised by is
I think I’m bringing them value.
I’m trying to tell them what
they think is the situation and
I don’t like you know with
ironic you’d find this funny.
In public settings I’m
quite a straight shooter.
In private settings, I’ve only
now gotten to a place where I’m
doing a better job with my
employees by deploying critical
feedback because I used
to not like confrontation.
So I’m crippled
by confrontation.
Crippled by it which would
be funny because there’s more
people and more cameras I’m
quite combative yet in real life
when I run my business my
biggest shortcomings was because
I didn’t want to give Chris a
negative review, I would never
do it and then I would sandbag
him out of nowhere he be fired
not knowing how it happened.
I did a terrible job as the
operator of Wine Library.
I would actually give my brother
AJ a lot of credit because even
though he’s 11 years younger
than me, he was better than it
when we started Vayner and I
didn’t want him to be better at
something than me
so I got competitive
and I got good at it.
I’m not even joking.
That’s why it happened.
All my good stuff comes from
this negative, competitive,
I want to kill
everybody kind of place.
Anyway, I think you have to make
the people closest to you safe
to give you real feedback and I
really think
it’s so obvious now
I feel old and wise.
I’ve always felt that but now
with 20 years under my belt it
is just so obvious to me who is
winning and who is losing and
it’s the people that understand
themselves first that are
winning and are not worried
about what others say
and can get into that safe place.
You know it’s funny, when it
comes to business and careers
and entrepreneurship we have
these lofty visions that we
don’t have for us
athletically or in the arts.
People are very quickly realize
they’re not Kobe or Beyoncé.
But for some reason everybody
thinks that they can build a
million-dollar business
when the data shows you
that it’s for so few.
I’ve been hot of this
new $400,000 a year thing.
I don’t think
most people know it.
The 1% the most competitive
best market in the world
of all humans, America.
And that’s true.
This is a purest form
of capitalism, period.
I think China’s incredible but
coming from a Communist country
and studying it there’s plenty
of things we don’t talk about
why WeChat can get so big.
It’s not America.
Zucks doesn’t go
to Barack and say
yo hook it up, kill Snapchat.
(laughter)
We’re naive
in America about that.
This is the market.
This is it.
This is the big-leagues.
America and in America to be
the one percent for all you
math people that’s very hard.
That’s the best the entry-level
is making $400,000 year.
And yet were in this place
where it’s like billy or bust?
For every Instagram and Uber and
Slack there’s 8 billion shit.
(laughter)
And yet, that’s what the
barometer is and what that’s
doing is making every try to
build those things when there’s
people in here that actually
build a business that gets them
$400,000 a year by being
the CEO and the distributions
at the end of the year.
We’re making a big mistake so
I’m feel like when I’m done buy
the Jets in 20 years and this
and that, I’m going to build a
self-awareness institute or
something hopefully
science will kind of.
I don’t know I got to find my
kind of complement partner that
understands the things that I
don’t know but in my heart,
right here, right in here.
– [Woman] Could be yoga.
– I know that.
I just need the nerd to
tell me this is a deal.
I’m like that’s
right this is miss.
I need more grounded
stuff but I know that
self-awareness is the thing.
It’s the thing because let me
explain to you what happens with
self-awareness when you’ve
got it at an extreme level.
You start the process of being
internally happy because what
self-awareness allows you to do
is to accept your shortcomings
and focus on your strengths.
And what it does is allows
you to navigate other people.
You know what else
happens with self-awareness?
You start developing empathy
and all the other things around it.
Gratitude and all of a sudden
you know what else happens?
People stop letting you down.
Do you know the
nobody can let me down?
I get it.
I have empathy.
I have self-awareness, I get it.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,
right, my last book.
Give, give, give, ask.
Too many people read it 14 times
and think it says
give, give, give, give, take.
Or get.
No, no. Ask.
I just went through this
book tour the way I do.
I just launched it on Tuesday
the way I roll the week before I
go go in to full sales mode.
I hit up everybody and say yo
homie, I’ve done some good shit
for you and in detail,
no bulk fuckin’ email.
But this week, an individual that
I made $1 million by getting
into an angel deal that sold
that they would never have
gotten into, that they called me
and begged me to get in to that
I got them into
bought three books.
I don’t feel like it
was a good exchange
for all the other things I did.
And you would be stunned
how much it doesn’t
even register as a negative.
Because I get it.
He didn’t put the
pieces together. It’s okay.
Self-awareness, telling you
guys. Stop lying to yourselves.
It’s the single
greatest mistake.
– Gary, so would you think about
it twice, helping that guy a
second time or will
you always help them?
– Oh thank you for saying that.
I’ll help that guy 40 more times.
I look as a net human thing.
Maybe Sally sucks shit
but Ricky’s better
and net net it’s even.
I don’t hold grudges.
I don’t get sad.
I’m like zen-ed out about it.
Even my own well-being.
I love capitalism and market
dynamics so much that if I
deserve to go out of business,
I deserve to go out of business.
Do you know who I’m spending
the most time on right now?
With my old white male friends.
All the 60 and 70-year-olds
that think their capitalists and
their Americans and this and
that and what they want to do is
support a Republican to do laws
that will let them save and hold
onto more of their money.
I think they’re fucking losers.
Nobody saves IBM or BMW.
There’s no laws that just
because you were a good business
for 30 years this
president is going to save you.
Yet, these high net worth
individuals want laws to save
them because they’re old and
tired and want to be on yachts.
Fuck you, keep working.
Let’s go with you and the lady
behind you and then you and then
I’ll get the back
guy and we’ll wrap.
Yep.
Mic.
– [Woman 2] My question
is about location.
You mentioned your
Chattanooga office.
– Yes.
– [Woman 2] I’ve been to
Chattanooga and I was wondering
what have you learned or what
have you gotten out of that
office that he wouldn’t have
gotten out of New York or LA or
San Francisco?
– Nothing yet.
It’s nine months old but I’m
starting to see the early stages
my executives there starting
to understand what it’s like to
make $27,000 year,
have three kids and
shop at Dollar General
every day. Got it?
Like all of a sudden the big
ideas aren’t like hey let’s take
our customers and put
them in an Uber
with freshly squeezed juice.
All of a sudden they’ve become
more practical out of that
office to make people buy shit.
Got it?
Hi. What’s your name?
– [Jean] My name is Jean.
– Jean.
– [Jean] And I’m the cofounder
of a social media company that
specializes in the
restaurant and wine industry.
– Amazing.
– [Jean] I will go to the
ends of the earth to
promote my clients effectively
but I am pretty terrible
at self-promoting.
– Interesting.
– [Jean] And
you’re the best at it.
– Yes.
– [Jean] What are some tricks?
– I think the best thing
is really trying to reverse
engineer why
you’re not good at it.
I don’t if you want to get
that real and say it out loud in
front of all these people.
I’m more than happy to do it
with you for five minutes ad hoc
one day this summer but it’s
trying to understand whether
it’s your own confidence, do
you not think you deserve it yet
because you’re
early in your career.
Look at me, I might
be the best at it.
I didn’t start it until
I was 34 years old.
After 12 years of building an
actual business that I think
then I had that I had the
ability or the audacity to go
out and say hey look
at me I did something.
You’re very young so
maybe you think it’s that.
It’s first unlocking why.
Next, understanding
do you actually need it?
The Nike CEO isn’t
good at self-promotion.
They just make
great fucking product.
I think there’s a bad
conversation that all CEOs or
it’s really great
to be like this and
that helps your business.
There’s way more businesses
making way more money where you
have no idea who the CEO is than
there are of the alternative.
So I wouldn’t get so caught up.
Stewart Butterfield isn’t
crushing the personal brand game
but Slack’s doing just okay.
I think first you have to
decide if you have to do that.
If you aspire to do that, you’ve
gotta go inside and figure out
what’s held you back.
Does that make sense?
– [Jean] That
makes perfect sense.
– I think too many
people are like you need
to build your brand.
It’ll bring you new clients.
You know what
brings way more clients?
Do you know what brings
VaynerMedia way more clients
than Gary self-promoting?
Doing great fuckin’ work and
then them telling other people
to hire us.
– [Jean] That’s how
I survived so far.
– Go figure.
Cool.
– [Jean] Thank you.
– You’re welcome.
This gentleman right here
and then I’ll go on to back,
you got it.
– [Jack] What’s up, Gary?
Wanted to thank you for your time.
– No worries, Jack.
– Actually bought my first
bottle of wine from
Wine Library TV last week.
– [Gary] Thank you, brother.
– My question is anybody who has
watched DailyVee probably will
understand you are like a master
of communication–
– [Gary] Okay.
– appreciation of your employees
so the question is who are some
other business men and women who
you think are kinda masters of
communication because we’ve been
able to see how far that goes in
solving problems
moving the ball forward.
– Truth is, I don’t know.
You know, really I don’t.
I don’t mind standing up here
answering I don’t know
when I don’t. I don’t.
Back to that lovely lady’s
question, I spend no time trying
to figure out what Tony Hsieh
or Richard Branson or Zucks or
Travis are doing.
I just don’t have time for it.
The only I do is consume people
so if I hear about them
I’m hearing the headlines about
those people but I know what the
headlines say about me so I
know there’s a difference.
When Business Insider’s
trying to get links
that’s what the headline is.
So the truth is I don’t know.
I can tell you this.
Tony Hsieh is wildly famous
for company culture,
he’s a horrible
internal communicator.
He’s quite introverted.
He understands the value of it.
He built brand around it.
He’s a great dude. He’s
massively awkward one-on-one.
His DailyVee, you know the Daily
Hsieh looks very different than
what you’ve been watching
what I’ve been putting out.
I’m in the business of
five-minute one-on-one meetings
because look at the
last one we just had.
I promise you that was good
fucking advice
with being cold
and knowing nothing.
Could you imagine if she were to
me and that she loves golf and
she’s great with her sister and
she did great on the Budweiser
account but not as good on
Hasbro because Hasbro did this?
When I have context, five
minutes maybe too much for me
to be able to do my thing.
Got it?
Let’s run him back the mic.
Gentleman in the back.
We’re going to get
it there for you.
You know what I
mean, so I don’t know.
I always assume that
any company that has great
culture for real not publicly
but for real probably has
somebody at the top was really
good at it or understands it and
empowers his or her HR
departments and people.
For example, VaynerMedia we’re
about to announce a new position
Chief Heart Officer that’s who’s
sitting over our HR but the
reason why we have such great
HR is that almost everybody that
works for Vayner is an account
supervisor and an HR,
a creative director and HR.
A lot of people go to different
people in my company for HR
usually senior people
in departments
that aren’t even in HR.
My man?
– [Tom] Hi Gary, my name is Tom.
– Tom.
– [Tom] Thank you so much.
– You’re welcome.
– [Tom] The counter
puncher that you are,–
– Yes.
– [Tom] and following this
self-awareness path–
you’re on this mission,–
– Yes.
– [Tom] do you have this vision.
can you offer us a
vision for what you see
beyond Twitter and
beyond Facebook?
– The truth is I don’t predict.
I don’t have an answer for that.
I’m a counter-puncher.
I’m reacting.
I’m day trading.
I don’t know
what’s being invented.
I don’t know the two girls at
UCLA right now inventing
the next thing.
What I can tell you is
I’m always keeping tabs
at things at all times.
So right now all my tab list
is Peach, is Anchor,
is MusicAlly, is After School.
So those are four platforms that
I’m paying close attention to.
I’ve also got a quarter of an
eye on some things are more
mature that with a tweak
or two can be much bigger.
Soundcloud, Kik, Wattpad.
Those are seven things,
stocks that I’m watching
that potentially
could be interesting to me.
But I can tell you there very
easily become SocialCode and
Plurk and these other things
that have happened through the
years, so I don’t talk
about them publicly.
What I usually do I put it
into an answer of DailyVee or
#AskGaryVee, I’ll ask one Medium
article about my intuition on it,
I’ll answer you right now
and I know DRock’s recording it
so I’ll have a copy but I don’t
do what I did with Snapchat on
January 1st where I
come out and say boom.
Buy.
These are things
on the watchlist.
And the truth is my
watchlist very rarely
brought something to buy.
Because there’s only a
couple things to buy.
You know?
Guys, YouTube,
LinkedIn, Facebook,
there’s like eight of them.
Instagram.
Why does everybody
think that they’re going to
build the next fucking Snapchat?
There’s like eight
of them in 12 years.
There’s been eight started
since I started this talk.
Mark?
– [Mark] You talk about
self-awareness and lack of it
being toxic–
– Yes.
– [Mark] When are you
going to become
self-aware to the fact
that the Jets suck?
(laughter)
You can own them, Gary,
but they’re still going to suck.
– I doubt that, my man.
How about that?
I think look some people are
lucky enough that they stumble
into a miracle in the sixth
round and good stuff happens
and others don’t.
– [Man] Somebody
gets hurt, first.
– But you know what I mean.
I mean look, let’s not get too
crazy on this Patriots dynasty
if it was so mastermind then
they would’ve taken around in
this first round not the sixth.
Sports is not business.
That’s a really good idea
I was about to get nasty.
Guys thank you so
much for having me.
I wish you well.
(applause)