One of the people that I was most excited to hear speak at the National Achievers Congress in March of 2017 was the marketing, or “attention,” genius, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Here’s a fun quote from the event to kick things off. He’s talking about the need to experiment when trying to get on the front end of a new trend:
“Sometimes you have to eat a few poison berries in a new land before you know the good ones.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
As a kid, Gary collected baseball cards, and, on the weekends, he would go to trading conventions where he said he literally made thousands of dollars. He said he had a natural talent for entrepreneurship, and his parents supported it instead of trying to make him follow all the normal rules.
As soon as he got out of college, he went to work for his family wine business and grew it from $3M to $60M in just 5 years. He wanted to create what he called the TOYS-R-US of wine. When the internet came out, he jumped on the opportunity and created winelibrary.com, which was a huge success.
Now, Gary is CEO of VaynerX which is a holding company that owns the digital agency Vaynermedia and the publishing company The Gallery. He’s an angel investor and venture capitalist. He’ll be in Apple’s original series Planet of the Apps, along side Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Will.i.am in Spring 2017, so… very soon. And, he has around 3.5M fans and followers on his social media platforms.
Aside from all these accomplishments, I’m a huge fan of him for a few reasons:
- He gives zero shits about what people think of him. He knows who he is, he is genuine to himself, and you can take it or leave it.
- Even though the man appears to be a work-aholic (I’m talking 14-hour days seemingly every day…), he stresses that family is the most important thing. (I would love to get his perspective on how he balances this.)
- He understands people, what they want, and how he can deliver it. Much benefit comes from this in a capitalist state!
Interestingly, these reasons translate quite directly into what he calls his Pillars of Success:
He focuses a lot on “hustle,” because he thinks this is the pillar that is most within our control. He says that self-awareness takes a lot of practice, and it’s much less tangible, so it’s difficult to measure. There’s a similar difficulty with empathy, but he says that a leader works for his followers, which requires empathy. Really, though, the world would be a better place with more empathy overall.
Interestingly, his presentation was actually NOT live; it was via some new hologram technology. Gary said he always wants to be on the forefront of new tech, but I will say that his talk lost a lot of kick. If it had been live, a hologram would have probably worked fine, but the guy’s so funny that it didn’t flow very well with the audience laughing and him just moving on.
But enough about that. During his presentation, Gary focused a lot on ATTENTION. Did I get yours? He said that, even as a kid operating a lemonade stand, he was obsessed with attention. He would spend his time finding the exact location for his sign to get the most people to stop and buy.
He says that his objective is to find however he can get in front of you and tell you his story. Once he has your attention, he can monetize it. If you buy attention early (in other words, before marketers like him ruin the platform–his words, not mine), then people will consume the content.
Our attention is shifting to our cell phones, and Gary’s goal is to be the best show on. We used to watch TV, and the different stations were ABC, NBC… Now, the stations are FaceBook, Twitter… and he doesn’t care what channel you’re watching, as long as you’re watching his show!
Gary’s perspective is incredibly enlightening, and one of the things he stressed to people like me is to put out tons of content. He said the key to doing this is to stop creating and start documenting. My “documentation” of this event is trying to follow his advice, and I recommend that you do to.
Now, go grab some attention! For inspiration and help how… here’s a ridiculous quote from Gary at the event. If you say things like this, people will laugh, enjoy, and pay attention:
“I would literally rather someone come up to me on the street and stab me in the stomach and steal my wallet than lose my phone.” – Gary Vaynerchuk