My introduction to Gary Vaynerchuck was through a podcast episode he did with Rich Roll back in March of 2016. Gary spoke with a zeal and vigor that I’m not sure I’ve heard in my life, even now.
I have a level of trust in Rich Roll that probably isn’t normal for a person who has never met another person, so when Rich described Gary in the intro as “a bit of a maniac”, I was intrigued. Not just because I consider myself to be a bit maniacal when it comes to work, but because Rich doesn’t do intros like that. Usually, his California surfer looks bleeds into his voice, giving more groovy, go-with-the-flow vibes to his already glowing introductions for his guests.
Once I finished the podcast, I was hooked. Over the next 3 months, I binged every episode of #AskGaryVee on YouTube and watched many of the other videos on his page. In addition, I bought all of his books. As I said, I was hooked. Call it young naivety.
Now, before I get into defending Gary’s point of view, know that there has been PLENTY that I’ve heard him say that I didn’t agree with. Even stuff that irritated me. Hell, I used to think what Gary was saying was impossible too. But honestly, that’s kind of the point of what Gary says. Let me explain…
Gary works more hours in a day toward his business than almost anyone. How do I know? Because he documents almost every hour of his day on social media. And this leads to the primary reason so many people are writing articles disavowing his advice and claiming they “didn’t learn anything” from him: you can’t do what he does.
Are you actually willing to put in the time, effort and energy into elevating your work, whatever it is, to that level? For most of us, the answer is no. I’m coming back to this point, though, so bear with me.
Gary does take time off. He’s not a machine. He works anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day if I had to guess, and uses those free hours to spend time with his family and workout. He doesn’t sleep a lot, he enjoys the occasional New York Jets football game, and every year he takes a vacation, and then it’s back to business.
As I said, I’ve had my disagreements with this viewpoint before. I mean, how the hell is someone supposed to work this much and actually enjoy life? Doesn’t Gary do ANYTHING to de-stress?
And here’s where we get to the WHY of your dislike of Gary. He is able to work so much and stay so focused because that’s what he wants to do, over anything. People like you and me, we have other things we want to do more than work. We want to watch Netflix or play video games. We want to bullshit on our phones or even do worthwhile things like volunteer.
The world needs all kinds of people. Very few can be like Gary Vee, which means the rest of us have to balance things out. And this was when I knew that trying to be like Gary Vee was causing me to miss the point.
Gary has done several videos recently explaining everything I’ve talked about. He never once said that it was not okay to live your life, to do things you enjoy and work a regular job. He encourages people to do what they want to do, what inspires them.
But you can’t have both. You can’t work 8 or 9 hours a day and expect to start a successful business. Hell, until you have your own business that you are earning a salary from, you most likely can’t work 12 hours a day and be successful.
You can’t work your 9–5 day job, then watch Netflix on the couch for 4 hours and then work on a “side hustle” for an hour or two and expect to grow your own business that will allow you to quit your day job. It just doesn’t work like that. That’s why there are so few entrepreneurs and people that commit to putting the time in. Because it’s not as fun as what we COULD be doing.
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My point, and Gary’s, is that you have to put in the work to get what you want. You have to want it more than anything. More than Netflix, more than the movies, more than your phone.
We don’t have to be Gary Vee to get what we want. In fact, I recommend you don’t try to be like him. It’s going to burn you out and you’re going to hate it. But if you tap into your authentic self, and you put in the work there, you can be as happy as Gary Vee.