Gary Vaynerchuk Interview – CASH In On Your Passion
Gary Vaynerchuk Interview – CASH In On Your Passion
Originally published: Oct 12, 2010
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of being in New York and getting to meet Gary Vaynerchuk and interview him about his new book: Crush It
Meeting a hero is always a slightly awkward situation (or at least it is for me) — but never in my life have I met an individual who made you feel so comfortable and at ease, so quickly as Gary did.
Today I am pleased to release not only a Podcast (Player is above) of that interview plus a transcript. Gary delivers and Gary delivers quickly – this interview is literally riddled with Wisdom and Inspiration. I am just going to high-lite a couple of points that grabbed my attention personally:
1) There are a lot of social media experts out there that talk about making money, but have never made money outside of talking about making money
2) If you are playing Wii (XBOX etc) for four hours a day, or if you are watching football for 10 hours a day, you’re not entitled to complain about your job. You’re not.
Maybe my biggest “take away” from Gary was his work rate — no one can out work me says Gary, no one can out-hustle Gary.
The other bit Take Away was how passionate Gary is about Caring for his website visitors and how important it is for all of us to CARE about our customers.
Michael’s Strongest Recommendation:
Now occasionally on this blog I recommend a product – some of them can even cost $100’s of Dollars and I am fully aware that not everyone can afford that kind of investment – so today I want to give my strongest recommendation ever of a “Must Buy” product if you are serious about becoming a successful blogger / website owner — Gary’s new Book: Crush It Right now I am seeing CRUSH IT available to pre-order on Amazon.com for $10.79 and on Amazon.co.uk for £8.44. All this information for around the cost of registering a Domain Name — Amazing Value! Official release date is: October 13, 2009 – so BUY IT today.
Also, if you would like to have a bit more of a Crush It Experience, check out: Crush It! – The Experience — options include: Buy 250 Books and you get to meet Gary on December 2nd for a full day of business advice followed by a wine tasting on the top of the Roger Smith Hotel in NYC, but there are also options like getting Crush It Wrist Bands or getting a personal video from Gary.
I know you will enjoy this interview – and I look forward to reading your comments
To Our Success
Podcast / Audio Version of this interview below:
Gary Vaynerchuk Interview – CASH In On Your Passion
Michael Dunlop: Today I’m with Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s from “Wine Library TV” and we’re doing an interview today about his new book and passion. Welcome, Gary.
Gary Vaynerchuk: Thanks for having me.
Michael: Great. Would you like firstly just to tell everyone who are you are and describe yourself?
Gary: Sure. I’m going to assume the far majority of people here don’t know who I am. My name’s Gary Vaynerchuk. I was born in Belarus in the former Soviet Union. I immigrated to the U.S. in ’78.
I’m a serial entrepreneur, not the kind that you eat, just like lemonade stands, baseball cards. I was making thousands of dollars a weekend selling baseball cards when I was 13.
I got involved in my family business when I was 15, a liquor store, Shopper’s Discount Liquors, and re-branded it to Wine Library in my college years.
I took over the family business in 1998 and renamed it to Wine Library. From ’98 to 2005, I grew sales from a couple million dollars a year to 45, which was a big deal. It made everybody in my family very happy.
In 2006, what’s probably led to a lot of people, the few that do know me on this video, is a show called “Wine Library TV,” a show where I taste wine five days a week, three or four wines in front of me.
It became really big here in the States. I’m actually going to the UK and taping the “Paul O’Grady Show,” so it’s made a lot of attention throughout the whole…
Michael: You’ll enjoy that.
Gary: Well, I’m excited about it. I saw some clips on YouTube. I think it’s going to be pretty radical.
Anyway, in 2007 I started talking about business on GaryVaynerchuk.com, which really led to an explosion of my brand – 850,000 followers on Twitter.
I get tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of views on my business videos. I’ve spoken at tons of conferences. I’m in the UK once every year to speak at FOWA, the Future of Web Apps.
Now I’m now writing this book called “Crush It” – CrushItBook.com, check it – because I really think that for $14, I have something to say and something that people can get out of it.
I like that I’m not full of baloney. There are a lot of social media experts out there that talk about making money, but have never made money outside of talking about making money, and I think that separates me in a lot of ways.
I think it’s powerful, and I think it changes the dynamic a little bit. It doesn’t come from the intellectual standpoint. It comes from – not that I’m a dummy, but maybe I am. It comes from actually feeling it.
It comes from this: 15 hours a day, grinding, hustling, understanding that this new media is about listening and not talking. That’s been able to separate myself.
Michael: Wicked. Thanks. All right, so you have the “Crush It” book, which is about cashing in on your passion, is that right? Do you want to just tell us a little bit more about the book and why people should check it out?
Gary: It’s my thesis. It’s my thesis on, hey, everything has changed. I mean, look what we’re doing right now.
Let me tell you something. If 10 years ago, you would go up to somebody – 10 years is not a long time – and said there’s going to be a computer that’s movable, that’s connected to the Internet, that’s fast, there are going to be two little devices that are more powerful than the thing that’s like this, and costs $5,000, and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people have the chance to see it, and you don’t have to spend any money to buy commercials or newspaper ads to get them to see it.
Do you know what that means?
Michael: That would be great.
Gary: It would not be understood two decades ago. That is what I’m excited about. People back then thought CDs were the greatest invention ever, and they changed the world, right?
Gary: Well, now they’re obsolete, and one day this will be too. I talk about why there’s a lot of money involved in that, why there’s a trillion dollars in play for people to get a little piece of their action.
So if they’re passionate about what you guys call, rightfully so, football, if they’re passionate about that, or they’re passionate about something I’m passionate about, boxing, if you like Ricky Hatton, for example, if you love boxing, or if you like soccer – or football, sorry – or gardening, or yoga, or wine.
The fact that you can use WordPress, or Tumblr, or Movable Type, or anything to build a platform for free, and the fact that you can then go use Twitter, and Tumblr, and Facebook, and leave comments on blogs and forums for free, and build a business that allows you to make $10,000, or $20,000, or $100,000, or $400,000 a year instead of doing that job that you hate – well, that’s game changing, and to me, I’m going to scream loud about that.
Michael: Brilliant. What would you actually say, because so many people don’t have passion? What would you say to them?
Gary: What do you do when you have free time? What do you do? What do you do when you’re not sleeping and working? Are you watching television? Fine. What are you watching about? Are you watching a cooking channel, or are you watching a sports channel, or a music channel?
Are you outside climbing rocks? Are you painting? What are you doing? That is your passion, because that’s when you have a choice to do anything, and you decided to do this.
Are you going to movies with your husband or wife every night? If that’s what you’re doing, maybe you need to start a movie review site.
It’s all there, but people don’t want to work as hard as I do. I’m going to always win, and I’m going to give away all my information for free because nobody watching, none of you guys, are going to out work me – not one of you.
That’s the defining moment that people need to understand. Who’s going to hustle the hardest? The only way you can hustle that hard is if you love it. Do you know what I mean?
Gary: So you’ve got to really love it, and then you can work that hard. I think that that’s what I want to get people to understand. You’ve got to find a way to love that much.
Michael: All right. You brought up a really good point about working hard. You’ve got to crush it and hustle.
I remember I read some chapter, and it mentions the Wii. You shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t waste all your time. You’ve got to get on it, and hustle, and do what you have to do.
What would you say to those people, myself included, who play too much and are not on the ball all the time?
Gary: I have no problem with you playing, because you probably need a balance. I needed to play a quick game of Ping-Pong in the office today because AJ was talking trash and I had to beat him.
We need escapes, but I want you to understand this. If you are playing Wii for four hours a day, or if you are watching football for 10 hours a day, you’re not entitled to complain about your job. You’re not.
Everything has a price. I’m jealous that you get to play the Wii so much. I’m jealous that I’m not fishing all day today or laying on a beach, but there’s a price to be paid for success.
People that are looking for shortcuts, which a lot of you right now watching are. SEO, affiliate, all this stuff – they’re shortcuts. If you want to build a real business, it takes years, and years, and years, and it takes lots of passion and lots of hard work.
There’s no one-hour [snaps fingers] quick. There are no four-hour work weeks. I love Tim Ferriss because Tim Ferriss works about 44 hours a day.
The fact of the matter is this: find what you love, because then you could work that hard. I have no problem with people playing the Wii or doing that mainly because that means I’m out-hustling them and I’m getting their cash. So keep playing.
Michael: I love that. All right. OK, on to running your own entrepreneur site. Does it have a big readership with lots of young people? What would you say to young people at school and college that want to do something big in business?
Gary: Don’t listen to your parents, or your teachers, or anybody else besides yourself. If you’re entrepreneurial enough to be watching this man, to be part of this community, or listening, that already means that you have something different.
Why did you seek out to be with me in the first place? That means you’ve already got it. You’ve already wanted my opinion. What you’re not doing now, the next piece is to understand how right you are.
Don’t listen to your elders because they’ve been around longer. Listen to yourself only, and if you do that, you have a far greater opportunity to cash in because too many people think they’re too young.
“Well, I don’t get it. Let me listen to Mom and Dad, or let me listen to the professor. They’ve been successful.” Be more successful. Just listen to yourself.
Since you’re part of this community already, you’ve already got that interest, that taste, that hunger for entrepreneurial success. Don’t listen to anybody. Listen to yourself. Work extremely hard.
Don’t get discouraged, because entrepreneurs like us, we fall, but we get up. It’s like the best boxers are the ones that get knocked down. Those are the best guys.
How can guys like Roy Jones, Jr., who never gets knocked down, and the first time he gets punched hard in the jaw, he falls and he never gets up. Sorry, Roy Jones.
Not Calzaghe. I know he’s undefeated and all that. I want to see him go – well, actually that’s not true. I’m on it, because Calzaghe got dropped in the first round against Bernard Hopkins and got up. Those are the guys I like.
Entrepreneurs get knocked down because we’re taking chances. We’re taking risks. But we love the game, don’t we? Just keep loving the game.
Michael: Brilliant. We’ve got lots of older people people on the site as well. For example, one reader has just started his first blog about how he wants to climb Everest at age 75.
Gary: I love him.
Michael: What would you tell those older people that think they can’t get on the Internet, can’t deal with the things that they can do to make money, and just have fun with their passion?
Gary: Yeah, I think that age is irrelevant. I think it’s DNA. I know a lot of 25-year-olds that have no clue what the hell is going on. It’s barriers, it’s barriers of listening to your… Last question, parents and professors, it’s barriers of listening to society say you can’t because you should be done.
Nobody is putting me into retirement. I’m going to retirement when God says I’m going into retirement, that’s about it. No society or case study or survey that you should be 68, I’m not listening to anybody but my heart and my soul that I want to do this. So, that’s it.
Michael: Brilliant. And you’ve had so much advice. You’ve given out so much great advice, what in the tape would you say to anyone? What advice would you give out if you had to give one thing?
Gary: I think that people care about themselves too much. I promise you, if you care about your audience – how many people leave comments on a post of yours?
Michael: Sometimes hundreds.
Gary: OK. How many of those people – do you use WordPress?
Gary: How often do you do this? Because this is what I do. The first thing, my top bookmark, is this. And what I do is this.
Michael: I completely agree with you.
Gary: If you emailed every person that leaves a comment, and read it, and left a comment thanking them or added your two cents every day, you would be even more successful than you are now, which is wildly successful.
Michael: Yeah, you’re right. So many people will forget about inviting anyone, caring about everyone who comes to their site and to visit.
Gary: The fact that anybody is watching us right now is insane. People take it for granted, they completely over estimate who they are. They think they’re big shit – you’re nothing. You need to remember that. And neither am I or you or anybody else who are lucky that other human beings respect our thoughts and ideas enough to spend time in our communities, and we need to cherish that gift and that opportunity.
As big as – and listen, I’m going to be big ass – but as big ass as I’m going to be, I’m going to be – and sometimes people think I’m a big ass, too. But as big as I’m going to be, I’m never, ever going to forget where I came from, and that’s a very big differentiator. The reason I’m winning is because I care more than my competitors.
Michael: Exactly. All right, so we’ve mentioned WordPress and your blogging, so what would you say to those people out there who want to do their own video? Because you’re at the top of the video growing market right now.
Gary: Make sure you’re good enough to do video. Do what you’re good at. If you don’t like video, then don’t video. If you like writing better, great. If you like audio better, great. Do what you’re good at. I think a lot of people – when you’re a turtle, don’t try to be an elephant.
So first, decide. Just because you hear video is working and Flip-cams are cheap and people like me are doing well, this is my domain. I’m cozy with the camera. I want to make love to that little Flip-cam. It’s my environment. You put a pen and paper in front of me… The reason I was able to do my book was because I dictated the whole thing. That’s why the book is doing so well to the long lead magazine writers, because they’re like, “Holy crap, that sounds exactly like you.”
Hell, yeah! Because that’s exactly how I talk. The ghost writer just fixed the grammar, right? So I think it’s imperative for people to understand if they’re good enough to do it, and if they are, they need to understand it’s not about the lighting or the makeup or the camera. It’s about what you give.
And it’s not even so much about what you give here, in the content, it’s what you give them there for the community. It’s very obvious to me that I lead out those principles in the book.
Michael: Brilliant, and actually, you’ve touched on another good point. You started with blogging when you came online, and we recently featured Gary in a list we did about 20 people who started with blogging and are now doing so much more. You’re releasing your first book next month, I believe. What would you say – because that’s one thing so many people want to do is they want to write a book – what would you actually say to those people out there?
Gary: Don’t try to write a book.
Gary: If you focus on your community, and you focus on building your brand, the books will come to you, books will come to you.
Michael: Brilliant, and what about Jets and branding? Because you’re pretty much the guy.
Gary: That’s the game, to me. To me, that’s the game, because look, I was a wine guy. But it was about Gary Vaynerchuk, right? And then when I segued into talking about business, people were like, “huh?” Plenty of people were like, “Stick to wine, douche bag.”
But, the fact of the matter is many more came with me and I think that’s very powerful to understand. You can’t call your thing twitterhouse.com or thefacebookconnectworld.net, because you’re associating with something else. It needs to be about you. My last name was impossible. My name is Gary Vaynerchuk, that’s no present.
But, the fact of the matter is because I own it and it’s about me, people know I love business, and I love wine, and I love the Jets, and I love root beer, and I love WFF wrestling and boxing. It allows you to show multiple tunnels to your personality. If I go now and start a Jets website, it’s not going to seem weird to people, because they already know what I’m passionate about.
Michael: I think everyone who follows you – that’s actually a question I was going to ask is you love the Jets, and you also love wine. If you had choose…
Gary: Oh, the Jets. I’d give up wine in 30 seconds and I love wine. But the Jets are my religion.
Michael: Yeah, brilliant.
Gary: Honestly, I wish I was more like you guys. I was born in Europe, my parents screwed up. I am, by DNA, a football, a real football, a soccer fan. My DNA, the way I am, I’m an anomaly in the U.S., fanatical. I fit right in in Europe when it comes to soccer, because I would punch somebody in the face. I get crazy, I lose my mind.
Michael: All right, and if you could jump in a time machine, go back and change something. I know there’s so many things.
Gary: That’s a great question.
Michael: I know there’s so many things like, it makes us who we are, our mistakes. But if you could actually change one mistake or one thing, what would it be?
Gary: Yeah, I would approach Sergei and Larry and try to invest in Google, because I know I’d make money and I could buy the Jets. The funny thing is I live very non regrettable. I don’t do bad things, because my parents raised me well. I’ve made mistakes, but I’m not sure I like that. My mistakes are the things I didn’t do, not what I’ve done, because when I choose to do something – and this is big.
If you’ve stuck around long enough to hear this or watch this, here’s going to be probably the best thing I’m going to tell you. If I’ve ever decided to do anything, Corked, Vayner Media, this gourmet food center is one, I did it with the purpose of enjoying and learning about the process, not how much money it made at the end.
I made the decision to do it, and the second I made the decision to do it, I had already won. I wanted to do this because I wanted to learn. And it’s never been the best financial decision, it’s the education decision. I need to learn this, let me take my bruises, but at the end of the day I’ll be better off for it. And most people are too thin skinned to take bruises in our society today. Love the process, and the results won’t matter.
Michael: Exactly. One of the things I always think about when I’m doing the sites and doing new projects is that the money is just a byproduct. The main thing is doing it and having fun.
Gary: The challenge.
Michael: Oh, the challenge.
Gary: The challenge is the game, it’s a game. Money is shit, except I like the fact that it allows me to count points. It’s points to me. I agree with you, that’s why you’re successful. If you love the game, you’re going to win. If you’re chasing cash, you’ve lost.
Michael: Exactly. All right, just to end the interview, you’ve been asked so many questions, what would you want to add? One question you haven’t been asked before. What question would that be and the answer?
Gary: I probably would want to be asked something that would allow me to elaborate on the fact that I know I got really lucky with my DNA in liking people. It makes me feel good when people, after six months of knowing me, are like, “Oh, crap. You’re like a really good guy, huh?” That’s what I live for. That’s what I wrote this book for.
I wrote this book for one reason, for February 2010. You know what’s going to happen in February 2010? I’m going to start getting emails from people saying, “Dude, I read your book in October, and this winter I’ve been doing what I’ve loved and been hustling, and I’m making 10K. But I’m not ready to quit my lawyer job, but my ski blog or my skateboard site is on its way and I think I’m going to be quitting by this summer because I’m making enough money. Thank you, you’ve changed my life.” That is the only thing I did this for.
Michael: So it’s a legacy.
Gary: Legacy is greater than currency. My favorite video I’ve ever done for myself.
Michael: All right, brilliant. Thanks, Gary.
Gary: Thank you.
Michael: This is Mike and Gary for incomediary.com. Work it.
Gary: Great job.
Michael: Thanks very much, man.
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