I found out about Gary Vaynerchuk a few years ago, when he started to post seriously on YouTube. At first, I didn’t think much of it. He was a successful wine entrepreneur who spoke extremely passionately about his beliefs. I simply found him interesting and moved on — but things change.
Over the years, Gary and his content were mentioned and shared more and more frequently. I started seeing him pop up in podcasts, blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube videos, and other venues. Top influencers I followed quoted him and talked about him.
I started following his Q&A videos and slowly started binge-consuming everything he put out. I learned a lot and put some of it into action. I want to share with you some of his top rules of success and what happened when I lived it.
Here are 3 things I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk:
1. Family First
A key motto in Gary’s messaging is “Family first, then…”. I think this is admirable, but not because family should always be everyone’s main priority. It’s because it tells people that money shouldn’t always be your main goal in life.
I’ve seen so many successful people sacrifice things they shouldn’t have for money and live to regret it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sacrifice to get what you want. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice sleep or free time. But it does mean that there are values you shouldn’t and don’t have to sacrifice.
I’ve used this as a constant reminder to be clear on my values and priorities in life outside of just money. Define your values and prioritize moving forward. For you, it may not be family first. It may be religion, relationships, giving back, love, impact, legacy, or something else.
I value family time, fitness, being a great person to everyone I meet, relationships with friends, and making the world a happier place. Therefore, I have used what Gary has taught me and infused these priorities into my work.
Sometimes, that means pausing my money-making side-hustles to invest in these other priorities. Other times, I can do them both at the same time (e.g. exercising with friends or making people smile online with my content while building a business).
“Family first. Nothing else really matters.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
2. Work Your Face Off
A core theme of Gary’s is to outwork your competition. Gary worked 12+ hour days every day of the week for over a decade without anyone praising him. In many of his shows when fans call in, he quickly picks apart how much time they waste — usually, right after they claim they work hard.
Working hard has always been something I’ve emphasized and something my immigrant parents taught me through example. But I clearly had room to grow. Although I could outwork most of my classmates, I knew that I still slacked off a decent amount. It’s not about if you work harder than others, it’s about if you are working as hard as possible; absolute beats relative.
Honestly, I’ve found it near-impossible to be a workaholic like Gary, though I’ve tried. I’ve experimented with this through the years, and I inevitably burn out or get disillusioned with why I’m even doing it. Nonetheless, his spirit can clearly be seen whenever I’m working while others aren’t. What can I do to fix this? That leads me to the next point.
3. Follow Your Passion
For some of you, this advice is cliche. However, I’m still shocked by how many people I meet in the real world, outside of personal development, who don’t follow this advice. In most third world countries (which accounts for most of the world’s population), it’s still considered blasphemy.
Gary has admitted that he never burns out because his work doesn’t feel like work. In fact, he said that at one point in his life, he completely restructured his business and job because there was 1% of it that he didn’t like.
99% of young people aren’t there yet though. We’re just looking to move from a job we like 20% of the time to one we like 45% of the time.
I’ve infused this into my own lifestyle by always looking for what I can do to move closer to a job I’m completely passionate about. This means everything from noting what I like and don’t like about a job to seeing what I can do to change my job into one that’s more enjoyable and still gets the results my boss wants.
Passion isn’t just some woo-woo thing. It’s not about just doing it because you “feel better.” Yes, it’s more fun. But it also helps everyone else out. You end up working harder and longer, you’re a better coworker to be around, and you do more for free.
“I love people, and the hustle.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
If you look at the results of my efforts using Gary’s message, you may be disappointed. I’m not flying around in private jets with bikini models or anything close to it. Of course, that’d be great but it’s perfectly fine that I’m not.
You see, one of Gary’s final philosophies is “macro patience, micro speed.” It’s just a fancy way to say that you have to be patient and wait decades while you’re working your butt off daily to see results.
Finding your perfect dream job, making great friends, or becoming a multi-millionaire doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s a competitive world and the best things are only given to those who deserve it.