If you know me, you’ll know I’m a massive Gary Vaynerchuk fan. If there’s one person that inspires me most in business and life, it’s him.
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!
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.
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!
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…
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.
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. 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 compare yourself to other entrepreneurs and business people. Sometimes it appears like they’ve shot to fame, like Joe Wicks. 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.