Why I Stopped Listening to Gary Vaynerchuk
In early 2012 a friend of mine forwarded me a video with a note that read, “You have to watch this guy…he’s killing it and his stuff is awesome.”
Curious, I watched the video of this cocky young guy lamenting how dumb big companies were for still spending their money on TV ads and the importance of building relationships with people in your social network even if there was no obvious ROI.
This intrigued me since I am a self-taught direct marketer and everything this guy was saying was the antithesis of what I had spent the last 10 years learning. Frankly, it was a breath of fresh air after the absolute focus on ROI as the predicator of “success” in marketing. Not that ROI isn’t important, it is. It’s crucial. It’s vital. It’s necessary. BUT…ROI as a by-product of building solid, lasting relationships was a relatively novel concept to me at that time.
As you can probably guess (unless you didn’t read the title), that guy was Gary Vaynerchuk. I immediately bought into everything he said. I watched every video, every interview, read every tweet, Facebook status, and blog post. I followed him on every social channel he was on (and it’s a lot) and bought every book he had written, including some in bulk orders so that I could score a 10-minute interview with him.
In short, I drank the Kool-Aid.
Fast forward 4 years to the summer of 2016. My life - both business and personal - had changed drastically. V-Squared Creative was in its third year and although things were going ok, they were moving slowly.
I was still listening to Gary Vee faithfully. Soaking in his advice. Agreeing with his take on business intently. And not doing a damn thing with what I was hearing.
Around that time I was watching one of his podcast episodes and he started ranting about how most of the people who listened to him never really did anything with the information. I’ve always prided myself as a doer, but when I got completely honest with myself, I knew I wasn’t doing all that I could.
I decided to go on a Gary Vee fast. I wasn’t going to listen, watch, or engage with anything he said or did from that point forward. I was just going to buckle down and DO the things he had been preaching all these years.
The transformation in my business was incredible. It wasn’t immediate, but it didn’t take long. I started my Gary Vee fast in about August of 2016 and in November of that same year we had our best month ever. Then in December we topped it.
Starting off 2017 I made a vow to double down on everything I was doing (which mostly consisted of nurturing existing relationships, upping our output of content, and being more engaged with the community).
January of 2017 we topped December’s numbers and then in February we blew past January’s. As I write this in mid-March I have calculated the sales we have already brought in and the sales that will 100% for sure go out and we have already exceeded February’s numbers.
The transformation has been absolutely stunning. Our hyper-focus on growing our young company has paid off in spades and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon.
Additionally, this growth has allowed us to snowball our efforts and build a momentum that is taking on a life of its own. The more we put in the effort to create content people are looking for, the more we build relationships with those around us (whether they can help us or not), the more we focus on the work and doing a great job for clients, then the more we grow. As we grow we are given additional resources to do the other things that got us here…it’s a perpetual motion machine that continues to feed itself.
I miss Gary Vee’s videos and posts and I am sure he has put out some great content over the last 6-8 months I have been away. But, I am also sure that he would be ok with me stepping out for a bit and doing the work, not just thinking about doing the work.
I would like to think that he would approve.