Listen in on live Q&A from Gary Vaynerchuk (Part 2 of 2)
On this special episode of Marketing Secrets Podcast you will get to hear the second half of the Q&A section of Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentation at the viral video launch event. Here are some of the questions Gary answers:
-- Why you should still invest in influencers to build your brand even if they are in a different niche than you.
-- How you support and strengthen your belief in your own intuition.
-- And What Gary’s number one business challenge is right now.
So listen to Gary’s insightful answers to these questions and many others as we finish up part 02 of this special set of episodes.
I’m crippled by opportunity, is my number one business problem and it’s similar to what I gave over there. I’m just attacking it with blind intuition. Every time me and my team try to attack from a quant standpoint, it’s too foreign, it’s moving too fast on us, and so that’s it man. Crippled by opportunity, which is a blessing and a [expletive] half, as you can imagine. But it’s the truth. You know, it’s the truth. Like do I say yes to a second season of Planet of the Apps? The Knicks are for sale, it’s running through my mind. There’s a lot going on. I have a lot going on.
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What’s up everybody, this is Russell Brunson again. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I hope that yesterday you had a good time hanging out with Gary Vee. So just to put this into perspective, his speaker fees to come to something like this is about 100 grand. And that’s about what I had to spend to get him to Boise to hang out and get his presentation, and you guys had a chance to hear it here for free.
So what does that mean? Number one it means that this podcast is awesome. Do you agree? If you guys agree and concur then I ask you just one little favor, tell other people about it. If you’ve got an email list, tell them. You post on Facebook, let people know. I spent $100 grand to give you these two podcasts and you’re getting them for free because I love you and I care about you and want you to be successful.
So I hope you get something good out of it. Again, every time I hear Gary speak I get more pumped up and motivated and excited. I don’t know if he ever gives the tangibles, like here’s the steps to do, but that’s my role. That’s what I do for you guys. I will give you the tangible, here’s the process, and Gary will get you pumped up.
So I hope that’s okay. With that said, we’re going to jump into to part 02 of his presentation. Once again we have edited out as much profanity as possible to make this PG, maybe PG13 so that my podcast will stay clean for all the kids and the people like me who like to listen to clean things. So I hope that’s alright. Anyway, that’s it you guys. Enjoy part 02 of the Gary Vee Show.
Audience member: Gary I want to talk about influence for marketing. YouTubers, bloggers, instagrammers, a lot of people are talking about Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Snapchat ads, ROI. We can measure ROI with those.
Gary: You can measure with influencers too.
Audience member: You can, but it takes a lot longer.
Gary: No it doesn’t.
Audience member: How so?
Gary: You’ve got to make the creative be a sales creative rather than a brand creative. You can’t measure the ROI of Facebook either when you do it the way I do it, because I’m pumping it for brand. Not trying to sell you [expletive]. I could measure it if I’m trying to sell you a $49 course. Josh, people are confused between branding and selling. Make [expletive] phenomenal and [expletive] influencers go for the sale in the creative if they chose to. And you can afford them.
Logan Paul sold a [expletive]load of Dunkin Donuts [expletive] gift cards. Sales are super [expletive] measureable Josh.
Audience member: So would you focus, like let’s pretend you’re not Gary Vaynerchuk, let’s take you out of the equation. You are a 41 year old nobody, you have say a million dollars of investors behind you…..You’re a 41 year old nobody, you’re getting into the game. Would you focus on growing your personal brand or would you focus on leveraging other people’s personal brands that are already a thing? Would you ride the backs of using the people you’re building, that you’re investing in.
Gary: Sure. Yeah. What are you asking? I’ll give you the answer. Are you trying to build your personal brand?
Audience member: I am trying to build my personal brand. But I want to build my personal brand in a different niche than the influencers that I want to invest in.
Gary: understood. I think that as long, understand this, just because they may be in a different niche, they have so much awareness that the people that watch them may be into other things. Got it? So if it’s a good deal on awareness, you might be able to convert and then your product has to be good. Do you know what I mean? That’s the math you’re looking at.
You don’t have to use the targeted nature of the ads if the influencers a better deal, even though you might lose 85% of the audience because that’s not why they’re watching them. But they’re still going to get 15% of opportunity and then the whole [expletive] kit and caboodle is, are you good enough?
Audience member: Alright, one last question. I’m a diehard patriots fan, if Tom Brady makes it to the Superbowl this year, will you go to the Superbowl with me, on me?
Gary: No. And not only that, I’ve been to the last 6 Superbowls, they’ve been there two or three times, I’m now with Vayner Sports and Steve Rostio and the Dolphins are my business partners and I go and the owners dinner is all fun. The last two superbowls, two of the last three Superbowls I left the city Sunday morning.
I have not watched the Patriots play a down of a Superbowl game in the last 4 Superbowls that they’ve played in. Because I refuse, everybody’s like, “The greatest comeback in a superbowl.” I’m good, I have no [expletive] idea what you guys are talking about. I didn’t see [expletive].
Audience member: Well, you like winners and I’d like to invite you to the winning team any time you’d like to come.
Gary: Josh, you’re confused my friend. I’m a winner, you route for winners, dick.
Audience member: That’s very true.
Gary: Be careful. By the way you just witnessed my favorite move. Knicks/Heat game, 7 years ago, dude walks by, beer sports muscles. Guys, I get up and say, “You [expletive] suck. Sit the [expletive] down.” I mean it, I get weird. He looks at me and goes, “Yeah we suck. Look at the scoreboard [expletive]hole.” I go, “Not them, you [expletive]hole. You suck.”
By the way, the darkest version of what you just saw, and Josh knows I love him. But the darkest version, I go to Foxborough for every game, we always get [expletive] on, around the 3rd , 4th quarter when I’m really getting [expletive] on, because I bring my Jets jersey, I’m running in there proper. Somewhere around the 4th quarter when I’m getting [expletive] on, I change the conversation. I’m like, “Look Zan, I’m super pumped that your entire self esteem is wrapped into your football team because you work at pizza hut.
So [expletive] you. My life’s better than yours. Maybe your football team is better than mine, but I’m better than you, Zan.”
Audience member: Going back a little bit, you talked about intuition, your belief in your intuition. I’m a 2 day idea guy. I get an idea and then after 2 days I’m like, “That was a crappy idea.”
Gary: You’re probably a 7, right Nicole? Like he bothers the [expletive] out of you right? He’s like, “What about a drone ice cream company?” Go ahead. Audience member: That’s a good idea. So how so you develop that intuition? How do you support and strengthen your belief in your own intuition to move forward? Gary: By acting on some of them.
The biggest problem is, especially when you have people around you, you want to be right. It’s much better than getting made fun of for being wrong consistently. But by [expletive], I try to do stuff every…..everyone’s like, “You’re always in it doing…” Just try and [expletive]. No one talks about the stuff that I’m doing that….guys nobody remembers the part where Michael Jordan couldn’t get to the finals because the Pistons were beating them every single time. You know what I mean?
Guys let me really unleash doing more [expletive]. Nobody remembers the losses, as long as you have a win. You know, listen, some of you know my stuff and I’m started to like figure out my own stuff. It comes down to six people. Your mom, your dad, your siblings, your loved ones. You’re doing so much [expletive] based on their points of view on stuff, you can’t even imagine.
You can unwind that, you’re off to the races. It scares me how much I value my wife and parents opinion and how much I don’t at all. And in that balance I win. On a macro I value them. But on a micro, my decisions, not at all. You just gotta do one or two of them. If you 1 for 7, it’s a lot better than going 0 for 0.
Audience member: Thank you. Last question, would you sign my book?
Gary: Hi, let’s do it while I’m signing. What’s your question, Katie?
Audience member: Hi Gary, I’m Katie Richardson, and I was first introduced into you as I was trying to go to bed at night and my husband’s got his phone on and I’m hearing this guy make a rant in a cab, throwing f-bombs every other word. I’m like, “What the heck is this?” And turns out, you speak tons of truth, so you have won over this mother of 4 who is a business owner and I love it. So that’s part of what my question to you is, you own who you are and I love that.
And that’s what people are so attracted to, right? You’re up there being Gary, at what point….you talked about how you worked with your dad and it was a 3 million dollar company and you took it to 10 million after he left, at what point did you give yourself permission to be you and then realize….tell us that story where you were like, “Wow, this is working, people are connecting with me and my way of being.” What was that like when you were like this is working, I’m going to keep doing this.
Gary: You know, it’s funny. Thank you first of all, there’s a lot of things there. Number one it is 100% because of nature/nurture. Being an immigrant and always having a chip on your shoulder, you’re always an outcast to begin with on some level. And I was a Russian immigrant, which was our major enemy when I was a kid, so I had some weird [expletive] going on that I don’t tell a whole lot because it’s not as relevant these days.
But there’s a lot of parallels to whoever the bad guys are now, I was the bad guy, it was kind of weird for a little while. Number two, my mom. My mom, I remember walking sophomore year in high school….no, freshman year in high school. I’m 4’11” my freshman year of high school, I spurted in sophomore year. I have the worst [expletive] mullet you’ve ever seen in your life. I’ve got a backpack that I’m rolling with that’s bigger than me.
And I’m walking down the hall, and I go… I remember this vividly, I’m like, wait a minute. I’m not the best looking, awesomest dude in the world? My mom had me so brainwashed…I’m being serious….on straight positivity, that that never went away. If I open a door for a woman, my mom was super smart. I’m doing the same thing. If I opened the door, this is a true story Katie, I opened the door for a woman when I was 9 at McDonalds. That’s the story.
I went to McDonalds, a woman was coming and I held the door open for her. My mom reacted as if I’d won the [expletive] Nobel Peace Prize. And she did that about all the [expletive] that matters, which makes me who I am today. Fourth grade I got an F on a science test, I needed to get it signed because that’s how they used to, I don’t know if they still do that [expletive]. I flushed it down the toilet because my dad hadn’t gotten to me yet. And then, I was still a kid so my conscious was still around. So I just couldn’t sleep and I told my mom.
And basically three weeks later I was sitting in social studies fourth grade and said, “[expletive] this, I’m out.” And from that day on I decided to fail every class, work on my business skills and become whoever I’m going to be. Audience member: I love it. Thank you. Sorry, I just had to quick ask, I make amazing baby products and I don’t know if you’re still having babies or not, but if you need the awesomest baby gift for a friend, come to me. My company’s call Pudge, like baby pudge. Gary: Send me an email to Gary@vaynermedia, in the title write our entire story, “I was the woman with four kids and the husband in the bed and you won me over. And the pudge and this, all of it”. And then we’ll interact.
Audience member: I’ll make you look amazing as a gift giver.
Gary: Thank you.
Audience member: So I was going to say this is my second time seeing you, and it’s funny how different energy with different audiences. The first time I went, you were like, you even told the audience, “I am not excited to be here. I looked at your stuff, it sucks.” And the lady had been talking about coaching the whole time and then you’re like, “Don’t do it, just do stuff.” Anyway, it was awesome. It was in Provo. Just a couple of months ago in Provo. It was funny. But anyway, quick side question, do you sense different energy in different audiences? Because it’s like, it’s the same….
Gary: 100% I have my religions and my beliefs and then I have me craft. So I’m doing everything state of the art. So I have my theses and then I have my work. I was in Seattle yesterday, spent 9 hours. Understand the voice space, my craft. So I have my thesis’ Bret, I have my craft and the reason I’m doing well in speaking is I take my thesis’ and I take my craft, which sometimes has some nuances that are valuable, usually always ahead of the market.
Then I reverse engineer the actual audience. I reverse engineer the audience. I give a lot of thought and speak to the people that organize. Who are you? Where are you in your funnel of life? And what can I bring to the most general and how quick can I get to Q&A, so that whatever I miss in the general we can get to in the details.
Audience member: I totally agree, because it’s just a different energy, I feel this time versus last time. But my big question is, when you think of Lavar Ball or Kim Kardashian, or even Donald Trump for that matter, what are your thoughts on them and is that the kind of fame you want? You talked about fame being the biggest arbitrage, what are your thoughts on those kinds of people?
Gary: So there’s a really interesting thing that I believe in, which is until you know somebody, you don’t know somebody. So look, I mean getting political never works, but Trump’s got his shtick and he won on my thesis for the last ten years. Kim Kardashian literally is, we are all living in reality TV. People [expletive] on reality tv in Hollywood, then they [expletive] on influencers, they’re all going to pay because if you’re not abiding to what the consumer wants, you will always lose.
It doesn’t matter what you want on your ivory tower, it matters what the world is consuming. But I don’t, to be very, very, very frank, I don’t think about it a whole lot. I know why they’re winning. They were native….DJ Callin is a unbelievably important case study in the last ten years and the next ten years. His personality was native to a platform at the right time in the right moment and he’s disproportionally changed his career on that back.
Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump navigated reality TV when reality TV was what social media has been for the last four years. Someone here is going to get inspired and make a voice application for their business that will be that, when voice is here in two years, for the next six years. From 2020-2026. It’s literally the same game over and over, Bret. So I want, what I want…..listen, fame and exposure, it doesn’t change you, it exposes who you are.
So I don’t know how you personally judge those three and everybody here judges those three differently. I just want to be known for what I am and who I am and how I roll.
Audience member: Appreciate that, thank you.
Gary: You got it.
Audience member: Hi Gary, I’m here with my amazing husband Josh, who is like my backbone and amazing business partner. I’m a little googly talking to you, because I remember meeting Justin Timberlake when I was 14, but you’re like my 32 year old Backstreet Boy.
Gary: He was in NSYNC.
Audience member: yeah, I loved them all, but I love you more. For the past 7 years you’ve given me the ability to be really authentic. I’m in a niche where it’s very club promoting. It’s network marketing. So I basically for the last 7 years have sold my soul to direct selling companies and made a lot of money and have built an incredible following of network marketers and direct sellers and now that I’ve built a great team that’s passive and I served them and I love them, but I really want to branch out into more main stream impact. Primarily female entrepreneurs. And I want to know what’s your recommendation for someone like me who’s had this huge niche and they all expect me to be the prospector, the closer, the lead generator, the team builder. Now to say, alright I’m someone new, transition…
Gary: If we had coffee, I’m going to give you the 90% answer because there’s 10% that’s too personal and I don’t want to do it here. I have to figure out how main stream you want to be.
Audience member: I’ll buy you coffee.
Gary: I’m sure. I don’t know how main stream you want to be. If you want to be main stream, like the cover of Forbes. Like all the way main stream, you’ll have to give up network marketing completely.
Audience member: and I have no problem with whatever God has for me, I just would know….
Gary: it’s a stunningly binary answer, Rach. If you want to go main stream, you have to give it up.
Audience member: Because of the stigma?
Gary: And the math around how many people make money in it and how many don’t.
Audience member: Correct. And my last question is, is there any trends that you see, or platforms or any advice that you see with women entrepreneurs, primarily my age 30’s, 40’s?
Gary: So the thing, it’s funny, Katie said the most important part. I’ve become unbelievably fascinated and empathetic in the difference between men and women. I’m super fascinated by it, from a business standpoint, that’s my lens to the world. It’s harder to be 100% yourself when you’re a woman. I genuinely believe that because men are dick-faces. The answer to your question is to be 100% radically transparently you. I’m also massively empathetic how that’s difficult for everybody, especially attractive women.
Audience member: So four years ago I was couch serving and living out of my car and I sat in a room with Gary and 13 other kids and Gary told us that this app was going to change our lives forever. And it did, and Gary was such a positive change on my life. Now, unfortunately they deleted the app. What do I do? Actually I just wanted to make that joke. The real question, when you run into your failures and you feel like you’re at your rock bottom, what’s your next move? Because I’m always trying to reinvent myself and I’ll do things that work and I’ll do things that don’t work.
Gary: You and some of your friends there at the table, you guys have a big advantage, and all of you have gone a little bit different with that transition of buying and what happened on Snapchat and Instagram and things of that nature. But you have something very special. You have talent. Second of all, you’ve once tasted what it’s like to buy beach front property in Malibu.
Audience member: No, I live in an apartment. But yeah, that’d be nice.
Gary: You know what I mean. AKA, you knew what it meant to your career by being one of the first 40 people that mattered on a platform that became huge. Instead of trying what you and others …….I wish you could see the goose bumps I have right now. It happened to me.
I won twitter. And then I wasn’t at the top of stuff, like I was in the 2006,07, and 08 world. Why do you think the vine thing…and this is where I’m going with this, basically if you chose to, it’s going to happen again. And let me explain why. The reason I got you guys all together and I flew to LA and met with others of you, the reason I did that is it was black and white. I’m like, I’ve [expletive] seen this show before.
Audience member: You said that, you actually said that. You were saying this is the new YouTube.
Gary: It was so black and white. And obviously it took different tacks and the ones that kind of tripled down on Instagram had what happened. But instead of trying to catch up to what’s now, I give you the recommendation that I took myself, because I tend to only give advice that I’ve actually done, because it just feels better. You’ve got to either hibernate, make due, grind through and spend all your time looking for that next one.
You should be downloading a top 100 app in the apple store that is social or consumer facing every day of your life. Creating an account and producing the first piece of content.
Audience member: okay, I’m going to do that. Thanks Gary.
Audience member: Hello, 4’11” freshman here. Really quick question, maybe a little personal. You know we have this engine, all of us here in this room, we have this engine we have a hard time shutting off. It’s what makes us successful. How do you balance work and family? How do you do it?
Gary: By first and foremost not adhering to the current state of political correctness that everyone here has deployed on me. Most of all. And second, extremism. I almost took the whole entire month of August off. I go all in. When I’m in…Monday through Friday I do not see my kids, pretty much at all. 39 weeks of the 52 weeks in the year, just what it is.
And then on weekends and 7 weeks, 8 weeks of vacation a year, I’m all in the other way. That’s how I do it. For me. But that is only uniquely going to work if me and my partner in crime are aligned in that strategy. Audit that strategy every day. By the way, I don’t even want to do it anymore as now they’re 8 and 5 and not 5 and 2.
They’re just more interesting to be around, you know. For example, I guarantee you in 24 more months, this exact trip, they’re here and we go and see the Grand Canyon or something, I’m so sad that so many people do certain things in parenting because that’s what the other parents think they should be doing. I don’t know, I just want to make a very important statement that I implore every parent in this room understands.
Everything that is right in parenting right now by the common standards, will not be in 20 years. You’re going to be judged one way or the other.
Audience member: Hey, fellow 42 year old, I think your mom and my mom should hang out bro. Same mom’s. Just want to let you know, validation on the sound, totally true because I totally take a shower with you every morning. Dude I just hit play on the little shower thing, listen to your audio, gets me going. So thank you.
Gary: That visual is [expletive] awesome.
Audience member: I didn’t even think about you seeing the visual, but now that I think about it, it could have gone a different way. So I got a two part question for you. One is on cultures, our company is growing and we’re doing pretty well and you’ve been to 9 figures and that’s where we want to go, right. So my first question is from a culture standpoint, when you grow rapidly, how do you imbed the culture to make sure that it grows with the right people. So we’ve had values, manifestos….
Gary: Ready? How do you get muscles by doing pushups?
Audience member: You do it consistently, everyday.
Gary: I spend an ungodly amount of my time on HR. Now, I have 800 employees, the biggest thing I’m working on for 2018…. I have an open door policy, which is not working for me. It’s real open door. The big thing for my 2 admins and assistants is when an employee asks, they get booked. Whoever, first day, nine years, done. Not working. They think I’m fancy and Gary V. They’re scared, nobody wants to really talk to their CEO.
So next year I am going to mandate that I see every one of my employees every six months for 15 minutes, which is going to eat up big amounts of time. Culture is the only thing you trade on.
Audience member: So you’re going to see all 800 employees 15 minutes?
Gary: Yes, twice a year. The math is daunting.
Audience member: When I do the one on one time, it always works, but I’m just thinking now for scale standpoint. How the heck do I do that?
Gary: Scaling the unscalable is how you build long term wealth.
Audience member: [expletive] dude, that’s a good one.
Gary: Thanks bro. I didn’t get up here for my looks.
Audience member: Now we know why you get paid to stand up there. Second question was, as you grow obviously you have things, you’ve got haters I’m sure. People who don’t like you or whatever. So I always focus on the mission and the vision and the people that we’re helping, but when you get certain people, it’s still effects me when I get that stuff. So how do you overcome that so you can keep growing?
Audience member: For them?
Audience member: And just their life circumstances?
Gary: Sure. If a human being can generate hate, they’re not in a good place.
Audience member: So what do you do mentally in mindset to just keep going?
Gary: I deploy gratitude that I’m not them. Thanks man.
Audience member: So I started mine as well, doing…..and now I do it on Instagram and I grew a large following on there. And it’s still growing a lot, but I want to be ahead, as you say, and I know I have a lot of meetings about VR and creating content with NVR.
Gary: I’m a very anti-consumer VR guy in the timing that I like. So everything for me is 24-36 months. I just don’t know how many people are consuming at the scale that you would be giving up opportunity costs in other places in 36 months of VR. Until I see even one person consistently consuming VR, an hour a week.
If I can find one human who’s not a [expletive] really weird nerd, who spends one hour…So I think the reason you’re feeling that is you’re in the LA bubble, everybody is pumping a ton of money from venture capital into VR, and it’s literally….the thing you should study is what happened to the web in 99, 2000, you’ve probably seen it. Pets.com, all these companies worth a trillion, that’s how I feel about VR.
It’s coming, Amazon’s coming, Ebay’s coming, but I think for you and knowing the arbitrage that you can trade on, I don’t believe….if I was talking to you every week, I’d be like, that’s not a good place to be spending your energy. That’s my intuition. I do think voice is incredible. And then I think for you specifically, because I know enough from afar…we don’t know each other super well, but I know a lot from afar, you might want to think about what you want to put that energy into, what bucket.
That’s why it’s good that you’re here. What I do think these guys do, that sales and….or if it’s a brand or an event, you’re going to be able to push that energy towards something, you need to take a step back and get thoughtful with yourself. What other interests you have, that wouldn’t come natural as the first thing you would think of. Like the 5 or 6 things you think of health and wellness and lifestyle. It’s interesting, it’s probably something subtle, putting your energy into building in that world if you want to really double down on entrepreneurship is a good idea.
Speaker: Alright guys, we have only time for 3 more questions. We’ll go Miles over there, and then we have two here and that’ll be it.
Gary: Charles get up there, we’ll do four. But you have to stand up. I saw your face.
Audience member: Hey Gary, I’m a big fan of mental models and ways to kind of overcome challenges. And I like understanding other people’s processes. So my question to you is, what is your number one business challenge right now? And what is your process to come up with that solution?
Gary: I’m crippled by opportunity, is my number one business problem and it’s similar to what I gave over there. I’m just attacking it with blind intuition. Every time me and my team try to attack from a quant standpoint, it’s too foreign, it’s moving too fast on us, and so that’s it man. Crippled by opportunity, which is a blessing and a [expletive] half, as you can imagine. But it’s the truth. You know, it’s the truth. Like do I say yes to a second season of Planet of the Apps? The Knicks are for sale, it’s running through my mind. There’s a lot going on. I have a lot going on.
Audience member: Right, but other than the intuition, I gotta imagine that there’s a bottleneck in terms of leverage.
Gary: Intuition is the salve for the bottleneck which is making decisions and deploying my energies against those decisions, while leaving everything else on the side. I decided a year ago, I was raising a 150 million dollar fund, I gave all t he money back. It was the biggest financial loss of my career because I’d hired the staff and I was going to pay the staff with the 2% if you know venture, of the overall fund that I was going to raise 150 million dollars on.
That’s a lot of money, 2%. I had a pretty expensive staff. I was going through the process and I’d raised about 80 million dollars and one night I’m flying home and I’m like, I don’t believe in this. I don’t want to spend this 150 million dollars in startups. I think there’s too much [expletive] faith in the market. I don’t know where to deploy it. I think I’m going to lose it. And I gave it all back. That’s intuition, thought process, understanding. So I’m just doing that every day.
Audience member: Big fan, but my girlfriend is an even bigger fan and I basically couldn’t live down the shame of not asking you a question. So I’m a social media manager and I would just love to hear about what you think is the best campaign you’ve ever run and why you qualify it that way?
Gary: Sour patch kids candy. We made it a cultural phenomenon because we took all the money from television commercials, which go figure, 12-15 year olds don’t watch and we gave it to all those people that sit at that table. Or the ones that look like them. In four and half years we took sour patch kids marketing budget and put it into Snapchat and Instagram when nobody was thinking that way and if anybody has a 9 to 17 year old in their life, they eat sour patch kids.
And Sabrina, to answer your question, the reason I qualify it that way. There’s been campaign’s that we’ve done that have made more money, made more likes or awareness or more views. He stands up here and he goes, thanks to everybody we have 100,000 views, I already know him enough to know….yeah, and what’s happening with those views.
A lot of people on social media, they plan vanity metrics, not sales. The sour patch kids is the answer because we have had campaigns get more views, this Budweiser Derek Jeter and Harry…the stuff we’re doing for Budweiser is insane. We’ve really crushed sales, we’re changing a tough brand in the US, but sour patch kids became the fastest growing candy in 20 years.
Audience member: I’m a course creator and I also help entrepreneurs teach better. So their students get better results. I’m a little bit at a crossroads. I heard you talking about being in a space that’s a little over crowded. So course creation is a little that, right. I see though, the chance to make better teachers, to make their products better. That’s one thing, and I think I could do really well there. But I’m also around the opportunity of, I’m a past tenure track professor and I left academia. As I was leaving fellow professors were like, “You figured it out. Go.” I also feel a calling to help professors kind of do what I do.
Gary: You should definitely do that. Audience member: That scares the [expletive] out of me. But this is easier. Helping entrepreneurs is so easy. Gary: No [expletive] Linds. But this is back to that….you have to decide whether you…by the way, I have a crazy thing to tell you based on something I’ve been looking at.
Audience member: Please tell me.
Gary: The professors are about to become easier. Because they’re all about to go out of business.
Audience member: It’s a sinking ship and the ones who know it…
Gary: This is the thing I wrote about in Crush it. I said, all these newspapers and magazines are in deep [expletive]. It’s that the writers are going to be better, not worse, they think they’re going to…..these professors are about to get the money they deserve. Eat [expletive] for 36 months, leave money on the table that was easy from the entrepreneurs that are never going to make it, and go help the professors.
Audience member: What’s my first move?
Gary: you’re first move is to build the business structure. What’s the business that you want to do? Do you want to be Ted Conferences? Do you want to be a course? Do you want to teach one on one? Do you want to sell a product? I mean, you need to decide what you are.
Audience member: I want to help them plan an exit strategy and to realize that there’s actually money. That there’s a lot of professors that could probably make courses really good.
Gary: That’s what you should do. So charge them money for your knowledge if that’s what you want to do. And you know you can put that in 7 different buckets. I’m telling you right now, you’re walking right into what is going to be an enormously large space, and the fact that you were one of them, do you know how much I kill with small businesses? Not because it’s funny and ha ha. It’s because I was one of them.
Audience member: Hey Gary, I’m Kaelin. This is crazy to literally be face to face with you right now, so thank you so much for answering my question. One of the reasons that I love you so much and love following you so much is I really resonate with the whole chip on the shoulder thing. That’s what drives everything that I do. I grew up super poor, like standing here with all these people right now is just insanely surreal.
Gary: And you want to kill them, right?
Audience member: I don’t want to kill them. I want to [expletive] work with all of you. Hit me up, please. But the thing that’s happened is I feel like an entrepreneur on accident, honestly. And the thing that I love to do is the business that I do that’s making me money. But lately I’ve started being way more vulnerable about the whole chip on the shoulder thing and telling my story. And that’s resonating with a lot of people, but that is [expletive] hard. I hate doing that. I’m very introverted; I don’t like being out there that much. But that’s what seems to be making the biggest impact.
Gary: I have great news, it’s binary. Either you do more of it and get used to it and like everything in life, once you get used to it, it just becomes your norm and you didn’t realize. You may never be the most extraverted, but you just….everybody here could be a better singer, dancer, or basketball player. They may not become Lebron, but if you do it every day, you get better. You keep putting yourself out there every day, you’ll get better.
So you can either choose to do that, or you could say, “I don’t like it. I’ll leave the money on the table because I love the privacy and the private life and not having to engage.” And you do that. It’s your choice. You’re in charge.
Audience member: Are you an advocate for doing what’s harder, though? If it’s going to make an impact?
Gary: I’m an advocate on doing what you want to do. Not because I said so, or your friend said so. I’m advocate of you doing what you want to be doing. But I always encourage to taste more, because it works. Do you know how many people here hate oysters but have never had one? I think about that [expletive] every day. That’s how I think about business.
You’ve made a judgment on something, yet, you’ve never done it. You know what I’m going to say. You’ve consumed it. I already know you’re going to do more of it, because you’ve already done the hardest part, which is you’ve done it. You’re now a foregone conclusion to me KP. You’re just going to keep doing it.
Audience member: I love that you just called me that. Thank you.
Gary: That’s what you’re going to do. You’re just looking for me to give you a little more juice to do it a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more, which is amazing and I’m thrilled to do it. Because it’s [expletive] you. Here you go. Go.
Audience member: just really quickly, is there anything that is hard for you? Your mindset, the way that you think about things, you’re like, “I am confident, I can do this.” But is it hard to get up in the morning sometimes? Is anything hard at all.
Gary: Spelling is [expletive] impossible. I can’t read for [expletive]. If I was reading from a teleprompter right now, I would crumble and be out of here. Can’t read for [expletive]. You know fencing probably is hard. I’m really way below average in swimming. Poor swimmer, always think [expletive] I’ll be super pissed if that’s how….if I die because we get [expletive] up, somebody hits a….and I have to swim further than everybody. Yeah, there’s [expletive]. You know why you asked that question?
Audience member: Validation?
Gary: No why you asked me of that question. Validation the first part, the second part. You’re asking me that, as somebody who knows a lot about me, because I don’t spend any time on it. We all suck at [expletive]. I don’t care how you judge mine. You’ve got [expletive] too. So because I don’t care about that, the only reason people spend time on their weaknesses is because everyone else’s opinion on it that they’re trying to avoid. I don’t care about your opinion about my weakness because I know you’ve got them too. So let’s just move on.
Audience member: thank you so much. Can I get a photo with you when you’re done?
Audience member: Hey Gary, I swim a lot. So if you ever need to get certified, let me know. I’m 37, so I’m not where you are age wise, but I’ve been lucky a few times in life and I’ve done well and done not so well and everything, and I have done well. I guess my question is, it’s always the concept of the encore, you know when my one company, I’ve had 8 digit companies before and now I’m launching another one. And I guess it’s like, how do you get into it, make bets on it, but feel accomplished if you don’t outdo your last time?
Gary: Because I do not even remotely think that the financial part is the way I score it. You know what I mean. That’s really simple. Outdoing the last one is, the way you’re, I’m listening to your words. The way you’re positioning it like, if you’re putting pressure on, I need a 9er, then you’re probably going to….you know what’s funny about positioning a 9er when you’ve had an 8er? It’s hard to get going.
Audience member: That’s probably the challenge.
Gary: I know exactly what’s going on with you Charles. That’s why I’m asking you, are you doing the ambition of a 9 or 10 because you see the white space and you’re going to strike like a [expletive] cobra? Or is it because you really just want to [expletive] do it? So let me give you an example what I’ve been doing for the last 7 years. I don’t love it.
Client services. Having a 32 year old brand manager from the University of Chicago telling me what she should do with Captain Crunch when she can’t sell [expletive].
Audience member: I’m actually from the U of C, so…
Gary: Not fun for me, I know why I’m doing it. I decided at 35, 36 that I was going to spend 10 years of my prime as a business person building a death star of communication by eating [expletive] and building a very big business. And then I was going to point that death star, the Vayner X machine against the Crohns and Colitis foundation, because my brother has it and I want to cure it. Some business that somebody comes along but didn’t know how to run it, so I bought it for a million and I can get it to a hundred. But I realized 6, 7 years ago, [expletive] I now know who I am, let me build the biggest infrastructure in the world around it and then whether it’s to help hurricane victims, or sell sneakers, I’m going to be able to point this [expletive] thing.
So for me, I don’t look at me ebada, I don’t care how much we’re growing. I’ve made a 20 year decision that I’m in the process of and I’m going execute against that. And the numbers and dollars are just not the way I score. If you’ve been lucky enough to have the success you’ve had and you’re this young, I would take a big step back and try to figure out, what is the most fun or the most macro thesis you can come up with.
Audience member: Great, thanks.
Gary: Guys, thank you for having me, this was fun. Thank you.