Whenever I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s books or watch his videos, I always pick up at least one piece of wisdom that helps me succeed in business and life. Here are the 7 things I have in common with the most influential entrepreneur on social media, #GaryVee. (By the way, Gary Vee was born on November 14, 1975, making him a Scorpio just like me.)
1) Both Gary Vee and I love what we do — and we do it well.
We love entrepreneurship, and we love leading by example. Our family is important to us. We are both Scorpios: outspoken and confident leaders of our packs. And we’re both risk-takers: he has taken risks like starting a social media agency when he knew nothing about it, but one of his first clients was Michael Bloomberg! And if that’s not enough — he’s also an author! He wrote Crushing It, which makes sense because he’s also a bookworm (and so am I). If you haven’t read any of his books — which include Jab Jab Jab Right Hook and #AskGaryVee — I would highly recommend them because they will help you think outside your box, broaden your horizons, and learn more than what you think you know. They’ll push you to be better as a leader, employee, entrepreneur — as a person. He inspires me to be better every day, and I thank him for that because life is an adventure worth living! And lastly, we both put our money where our mouth is: he started VaynerXperience camps where students came to learn from him how to become successful in business. Imagine if universities invited entrepreneurs to speak rather than celebrities? We’d all get so much more out of college — even someone like myself who graduated from a top-tier institution. There’s no denying that Gary Vee gives excellent advice.
2) Both Gary Vee and I understand how to influence people.
We both lead by example and people are hanging on to our every word. We both understand that people listen to what we say because they know it will help them. We both know how to affect change and do it regularly. His business is built around helping other people succeed; mine is, too. I’m a big believer in helping others achieve their goals as well as their dreams — by showing them what’s possible, and then walking alongside them as they get there. There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you take action on your own behalf. The only thing stopping you from getting anywhere is yourself. So take some initiative! Identify your goals and plan for achieving them with your unique strengths, passion, and creativity. Get out of your comfort zone; act like someone who has already achieved those dreams! Lead by example, not just words. People follow their leaders based on past experiences and habits. It takes courage to be different. But once you put yourself out there, try something new, take a risk — it feels amazing! And people notice — and appreciate it! Sure, it’s okay to talk about all that stuff you want to do, but most people won’t take you seriously until they see that you mean business. This brings me to my next point: Leading by example means being more than just an armchair expert — take risks (even if small). Hence, people learn through experience instead of lectures. Gary doesn’t sit back and tell his audience what he thinks is good or bad without taking part in the conversation himself — he actually participates.
3) Both Gary Vee and I are risk-takers.
There are many people out there who are scared to take a risk. This is completely understandable because taking risks can sometimes lead to adverse outcomes. However, successful entrepreneurs tend to be risk-takers which means they’re willing to do whatever it takes for their company to become successful. Personally, being a risk-taker has given me an advantage over my competition because most of them aren’t willing to take chances and learn from their mistakes. If you’re looking to start your own business, you must also be a risk-taker. You must embrace all opportunities, even if it doesn’t seem like a great idea at first glance. Many people will tell you not to take risks, but don’t listen to them. They are too afraid to pursue success, so they want everyone else to feel that way as well. You should never let anyone stop you from pursuing your dreams!
4) Both Gary Vee and I lead by example.
In every aspect of life, leadership is about leading by example. You must show others what you want to do and believe in your own actions. In business, if you fail to lead by example, then people will not see a reason for them to follow you. You need to learn how to walk and talk at all times. The person who leads by example has a contagious enthusiasm for doing whatever it takes, no matter how challenging or seemingly impossible it may be. These are true leaders; they are respected and loved by those around them. They understand people work harder when they work towards a purpose they believe in; they get energized when they know someone believes in their abilities and are willing to support them through any challenges, both internally within themselves and externally. If we genuinely want to excel past our competitors, we must find ways of making ourselves stand out more than our competition, primarily through customer service efforts and going above and beyond every time we can. In almost every position I have held, I have won leadership awards and other accolades.
5) Both Gary Vee and I never quit.
We aren’t scared to put ourselves out there. We take risks, and we don’t want anyone to slow us down. We want our businesses to succeed, and we will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens. Nothing will stand in our way, and if something gets in our way, we go around it or over it — no matter what! The great thing about being a risk-taker is you can do anything you want with your life; as long as you never quit, anything is possible! And let me tell you now that success comes from taking chances! Success does not come from playing it safe. The only way to really know your productivity goals or how big of an impact you want to leave on people’s lives is by taking chances every day; without any risks, how would success find its way into your life? So many people today follow the rules because they believe those rules will protect them from failure and make them successful. They don’t realize that following those rules might help keep them alive, but it won’t help bring success into their business. Rules were made to be broken; it’s time for everyone to step outside their comfort zone and start breaking some fucking rules already!
6) Both Gary Vee and I cuss — and often.
Is that really a surprise? Business is hard. It’s emotional. Passionate people will curse. That’s why we all love Gary Vee. He knows how to connect with people and make us laugh at ourselves when we mess up (which is always). I am a great connecter and powerful networker. As well, in business, sometimes you need to cuss to get your point across — and if it leads to others laughing along–all the better. #whoops #fail #oopsagain #shitwedidntdoitthistime
7) Both Gary Vee and I believe in quality over quantity.
If you want to make a name for yourself, you have to produce high-quality work and then distribute it to your audience consistently. This is how we build our respective businesses. If you don’t always offer new and relevant content that caters to your audience’s interests, it doesn’t matter how popular you are; your followers will lose interest and leave, taking their attention (and potential business) with them. Quality over quantity. The beauty of digital marketing is that quality doesn’t require quantity: one post can be shared thousands of times, reaching thousands more people than it would have otherwise — and those people might share your message even further down the line. Gary Vee gets this; he knows not only what his ideal customer wants but also how best to serve her in ways she didn’t even know she wanted — from eBooks to podcasting to live events and beyond. He offers up value to his customers at every opportunity, ensuring they get their money’s worth out of each interaction. And so do I. Whenever someone purchases from me, my goal isn’t just to sell her something — it’s also to give that person an experience.
It is essential to understand that risk-takers will succeed because they’re willing to take action. If you want success, then start taking risks. Decide on a goal and work towards it; define it, research it, and put your plan into action. Whether you fail or succeed along the way, keep learning and growing from each failure so that you can eventually achieve success. And when you get there, recognize that starting a business isn’t about one crazy success story — it’s about achieving what seems out of reach for everyone else by working hard and putting yourself out there again and again. In short: be bold! Risk-taking is built into our DNA as entrepreneurs; we simply don’t know any other way. That doesn’t mean we aren’t afraid; heck, I was terrified launching my first business. But it does mean we have confidence that comes from experience — if you fall flat on your face, dust yourself off and try again tomorrow. You won’t see huge returns until many years down the road (even if you do strike it rich), but if building a company has been your dream, today is all about defining how successful your dreams become. Above all else: define them.
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