Three Things I Learned From Meeting Gary Vaynerchuk

Everyone who knows me will know I’m a massive Gary Vaynerchuk fan. If there’s one person that inspires me most in business and life, it’s him. Blue Cliff Media is a similar business to VaynerMedia, albeit a lot smaller and I’m obsessed with the #hustle. Yesterday, for the first time, I got the opportunity to meet Gary (and his awesome team), not just once, but twice. I was down in London for the launch of his #AskGaryVee book and despite the saying “Never meet your heroes”, Gary didn’t disappoint – he blew my mind.

I arrived into London around lunch time on Wednesday and met up with an awesome digital marketer and friend, Mary Philip. We decided to go for a walk around London and ended up heading to the Hoxton Hotel to crack on with some work. When we got there, we saw Gary and his team in the hotel lobby. Gary was in a meeting at the time so we started chatting to the legendary D-Rock, who was one of the nicest guys I’ve met.

We managed to catch Gary before he left and we had a chat about life, business and he showed a genuine interest in what we did. We got our pictures taken and let him go. Meeting him there was a massive coincidence and totally unexpected!Gavin Bell & Gary Vaynerchuk

At 5pm, the #VaynerWorld event kicked off. There was queuing right around the corner and the whole vibe of the event was like something you’d feel going to a rock concert.

Gary Vaynerchuk Queue

500 people squeezed into the WeWork office (which VaynerMedia are going to be taking later this year). Everyone shuffled in and got their goodie bags (which included a minimum of 2 book, some promotional goods and even some #VaynerWorld chocolate) and the event kicked off with some Hip-hop DJing. The place was rocking!

Vaynerworld

One of the amazing things for me was the number of people I recognised from Twitter, or who recognised me. You get the feeling the ‘VaynerNation’ is a very tight knit community and I think the fact that I made a lot of new friends goes to show that.

Again in the evening I got to chat to the whole team: D-rock, Alex, Mike Vacanti etc. All of whom remembered us from earlier on. I had challenged Mike (Gary’s personal trainer) to a water chugging competition the week before so when I saw him, we had the competition, which I won of course…

Gavin Bell & Mike Vacanti

I learned a lot yesterday and I want to share my top three lessons learned:

You’ve got to care about your audience

Gary blew my mind yesterday with how much he REALLY cares. People say you should never meet your heroes because they’re always different behind the scenes. Getting to meet Gary both at his event and outside of it, showed me that that certainly doesn’t apply to him. He really does care.

Gavin Bell & Gary Vaynerchuk

The most mind-blowing part of all of it all was when I met him in the evening to get my book signed and to have a quick chat with him. Firstly, he remembered me from earlier but he also claims “I even know your Twitter is black & white”. This is a guy who gets 30,000 snapchat views, has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter and gets tweeted thousands of times a day yet he still knew me personally through all that noise. Amazing. Can you imagine if more “mainstream celebrities” like footballers etc. cared about their fans as much as he did?

Content really is king

As I was standing in the queue for the event, it striked me that everyone was there to see Gary simply because of his content.

His obsession with putting out so much quality content has allowed him to build such a large community around him. He practices what he preaches and it really goes to show how content is king. Without his constant stream of content, nobody would know who he was.

His philosophy of ‘trying to put himself out of business’ by giving everything he knows away just goes to show how much he really does care about his audience and providing them with as much value as possible.

Hustle and be patient

One of my biggest problems over the last few months has been my lack of patience. I think it’s a common trait amongst business owners and entrepreneurs: they want everything to be quicker and faster.

Gary was really pushing the importance of putting in as much work as you can and just being patient. Especially for the younger crowd, like myself, who have literally got their whole lives in front of them.

It’s very easy to look at other entrepreneurs and business people, some who appear to have come out of nowhere and shot to fame. But when you really look at what they’ve done, they’ve been grinding away for years and years. As soon as you start comparing yourself to others, you’ve lost.

I just want to say a big thanks to Gary and his team for coming over for the event and also everyone at #VaynerWorld for putting on such an amazing event. Until the next one!

Gavin

  • Great write up buddy, was fun following along yesterday too.

    Very timely reminder on the content point. I’m sure we could all do more (for me it’s about not overthinking it rather than trying to find more time).

    PS I’m assuming I’m the #2 person that inspires you the most in business and life 😉

  • Great piece Gavin. I love that thing about meeting your online contacts in person and feeling a sense of community and shared purpose. Are there any of the #VaynerNation twitter contacts who you think would a good fit for me to connect with? Anyone who has a writing focus? Or maybe just shout out some of your favourites and I’ll go and check them out.

  • Craig Ramsay

    Brilliant Gavin! I’m a big Gary Vaynerchuk fan too 🙂 Hope he’s inspired you to make an even bigger success of Blue Cliff Media!

  • Hey Craig, thanks! He sure has. Coming to get your Vaynermedia 😉

  • Thanks Owen! That’s exactly it and I find it’s happening more and more now. Often I’ll meet people online before face-to-face! If you go through the people who I follow on Twitter, all of the recent ones are Vayner people 🙂

  • Thanks Nick! What do you mean when you say overthinking it? Of course you are 😉

  • Alasdair McGill

    great post Gavin. I love that he came across so genuine with you, and remembering when he met again in the evening is pretty damn impressive. I’ve just finished the audiobook, and am going to listen to it again right away. Kind of pissed off that I didn’t go now, but had client commitments…..

  • Ha, cheers 😉

    I mean rolling out a quick but awesome post like this one, rather than overthinking all the angles and delaying posting it (or never getting round to posting it at all).

  • Ahh, yeah! Just gotta get it done man. Slack me if you’re thinking about it and I’ll make sure you write it!

  • Thanks Ali! Tell me about it, pretty awesome! Can’t wait to get stuck into the book myself!

  • Thanks, will do!