Gary Vaynerchuk doesn’t’ want to see my interview questions before-hand. First, he doesn’t have a second more than the 20 minutes he’s allocated for the interview. His company, VaynerMedia, a social-first digital shop, grew 79% from 2013 to $40 million in 2014 revenues. Employees now number 500, and he just opened a fourth office, in Chattanooga, Tennessee breaking the flyover trend of most media agencies. This is in addition to his first company, WineLibrary.com, his investment fund, Vayner/RSE, and most importantly, his family!
Second, Gary loves not knowing what he’s going to be asked, thrives on jumping into the ring, listening intently, stretching his mind to respond even as he talks. For that 20 minute he is ‘there’. He doesn’t have a pat answer, doesn’t want a pat answer, and is happy that his answer is the opposite of what he just answered in the previous question. “If you listen to this interview carefully,” he interrupts himself, “I’ve now created the first heavy contradiction.”
The joy of this resounding message is struggle to Be Yourself – Discover Yourself.
Some high points:
- I start off with the statement that Gary has a huge following because he is follow-able. You can look at him and see simply where he started – then he did this, and then that. This prompted him to talk about his love of ‘the climb.’
- In my first interview he talked about the difference between those who are just hustlers and someone who ‘has the chops’ – that ‘having the chops’ gives one patience, the confidence to do the right thing by the client. Here I ask him about those who feel either because of desperate or other circumstances reduce themselves to hustlers – what happens if you don’t have the chops? His answer – you fail – and then what to do.
- Why he’s on my podcast.
- What he learned from his mom – believe in people.
- What he learned from his brother – shoot straight.
- Growing up in an Eastern Europe – inside his house.
- Biggest epiphany – calling himself out “You are not behaving to back up your own words”
- The power of gratitude.
- On paradoxes.