Love him. Hate him. Tolerate him. Maybe you blocked him, who knows? No matter what you think of him, Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee) is ubiquitous.
His posts, videos, podcasts are everywhere. You can't digitally spit without hitting one. And you have to wonder, does he really have that much to say?
The answer? Not really, no.
Once you get past the brashness, the self-obsession, and the overly-confident opinions about how the world works, Gary Vee has about 5 things that ring true. And he just keeps repeating them, over and over, in different contexts.
(Yeah, yeah. I know this all could be said about me, too.)
I know, because I've listened to him. A lot. To the point where I don't think I'm going to listen to him anymore. Actually, let me correct myself: I don't need to listen to him anymore.
Because here are the 5 helpful things he says. Again and again.
1) Have pride in the grunt work, too.
Gary Vee phrases it, "Love the process."
When it comes to our industry, he means that we need to lose our ego as creatives. We're so obsessed and entitled, thinking that every single thing we do should be fame-making, flashy, and award-winning. When, in reality, there's a ton of "grunt work" that we have to do. Work that isn't exciting, isn't necessarily creatively rewarding.
What he says (and I agree with) is that we should enjoy all that work. The fun stuff and the not-so-fun stuff. It all deserves our creativity and passion.
2) Patience in your what you do.
Whether he's talking about building a global brand or a personal one, patience is something Gary Vee never shuts up about.
He has a good point. Look at every great brand out there. The ones that people truly love have been consistent with their message, their efforts, and their products. And they consistently grow because of that. Rarely has a major spike in popularity been the long-standing success of anyone. Some might go viral, but that virality needs to be sustained.
The same goes for our careers, too. Many people these days want to get to the finish line without running the race. They see others that "made it" and want the same success, but lack the patience to make it happen.
It's like the old story about The Beatles: they were an "overnight success," only discovered after playing years at a dumpy bar, waiting to become successful.
3) The ad industry gets caught in nostalgia.
Essentially, he says that just because some things have worked for the past 75 years in the ad industry, doesn't mean that we have to do it the same way today.
Sometimes the old ways work, but be open to innovation. If you hold onto the past too much, you'll never break new ground. And yeah, it's hard being the first ones. You'll be out in front, with a target on your back when people want to criticize you. But in the end, it's the only way to evolve.
4) Bring positivity and gratitude to everything.
In today's world, it's easy for a rich white dude to be positive about life. But the reality is, Gary Vee is the son of an immigrant family that crammed 9 people into a studio apartment in New York for most of his childhood. Something had to get him through that all, to make him what he is today.
Ultimately, he just wants people to be happy. And I do, too.
That's why he constantly pushes the idea of being positive about the opportunities we have. The simple fact that we get to create, or be part of the creative process at all, is something that people around the world are envious of. We should be grateful for what we have and what we can do.
But that doesn't mean that it's perfect. Though, if we approach it all with positivity and gratitude in general, we'll be much better armed to change things for the better.
5) If it makes you happy, fuck everything else.
Gary Vee talks about blocking out the voices, getting real quiet, and only paying attention to yourself. He's not saying that you should lash out at the rest of the world, but instead he's trying to push self-awareness and confidence.
Ultimately, he just wants people to be happy. And I do, too. In this industry, that has so many different definitions, though many people like to make you think it's money, titles, or awards. But I even wrote about how your happiness is only what you define it to be.
It's Always New To Somebody
Saying the same thing over and over isn't necessarily a bad thing. As long as they're true. And universal.
But just as I say we need to do with our creative, he takes a universal theme and personalizes it to whomever he's speaking to. Whether it's a college student, a single mother of three, or a room packed full of marketing execs, the same advice can be tailored to their situation.
Whether you love him or hate him, you've probably heard of him. Because he came into the industry without knowing a damn thing about it, the way that Gary Vee approached forming his agency and leveraging his personal brand to build an ad empire was unconventional...though, effective.
Maybe we can learn a thing or five from him.