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Marketing & Life Purpose with Guest Gary Vaynerchuk: MakingBank S1E58

with Gary Vaynerchuk



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The blessings of being a white man born in the United States of America, are lost on a lot of men, but not today’s guest who—despite not actually being born in America—knows just how lucky he is to be here.

His name?

Gary Vaynerchuk, and he’s a Making Bank veteran.

In case you’re unaware, Gary happens to be one of the most well-respected and highly sought-after marketers on the planet.

His gift isn’t funnel-building or an exceptionally high IQ, it’s knowing where consumer attention is going next (is it any wonder why he’s an investor in Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Venmo?), and he’s used that gift to build out a small media empire.

A self-described “day-trader” of consumer attention, Gary’s operating philosophy for business is “make money by doing what you love.” In his case, that love is marketing, but in your case, it could be anything—even working a regular nine-to-five earning $40,000 a year. As Gary sees it, if you can make a living by doing that which you love, you’ve won the game of life no matter how much you earn in a year.

Join Making Bank host Josh Felber, as he sits down with Gary to talk marketing, parenting, and Gary’s latest book #AskGaryVee. Listen as their conversation pivots back and forth on a number of interesting topics including…

  • The importance of taking care of yourself before anyone else
  • Building an empire on the back of good
  • The marketing medium that has a stranglehold on America
  • Life’s purpose
  • Determining where consumer attention is underpriced
  • The bullshit of balance

…And more!

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Josh Felber: Welcome to Making Bank. I am Josh Felber, and again, we are here with Gary Vaynerchuk. Welcome, Gary.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Making bank.

Josh Felber: Making bank.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I like that.

Josh Felber: Cool, man. Well, welcome back buddy.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Thank you, brother.

Josh Felber: After a 48 travel trip and 11 hours in Australia, you’re in Cleveland.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Is it normal to Sydney to Cleveland? Is that the normal?

Josh Felber: That’s it, man.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, everybody’s doing it now, right? [crosstalk 00:00:25]

Josh Felber: Everybody’s doing it.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, just wanted to make sure.

Josh Felber: Yeah, you just skip everything else and come straight here.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I wish there was a direct flight. The Honolulu and Chicago layovers were pretty interesting.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: All right, let’s do it.

Josh Felber: Cool, man. Well, welcome back to the show. Last time we were kind of chatting a little bit about your book.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yes.

Josh Felber: I kind of want to dive in a little bit more because now you’ve got exposure, now things are happening. Give us a little, is the book doing what you want it to do?

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, the book’s actually doing better than I thought it was going to do to be really frank with you.

Josh Felber: Okay.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I think in hindsight, I should’ve realized that the show, the Q&A show is me at my best for me which is I get to talk philosophically and in detail.

Josh Felber: Okay.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Unlike my other three books which they either took one or the other tactic, this one’s a little more 360, so we’re one week in and my best buds who know all my shit like it quite a bit. People that actually think I’m a little too much or a little too much bravado or caught me in the wrong light have been emailing me and say they like it, so this is definitely the best feedback I’ve ever gotten on a book.

Josh Felber: Awesome. I’ve seen some of those testimonials popping up, people like, “Oh man, I didn’t really connect with Gary,” and they’re listening to the audiobook which is totally diff than the book almost.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, I decided to do something interesting. I’m actually a terrible reader, which is a lot of times I make the joke that I’ve almost written as many books as I’ve read, and I think it’s because I’m not a good reader. Just a waste of time. I can’t retain information very well that way, so I’m doing the audiobook and I’m reading and I’m like, “This is going to take forever,” because the book is big.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I was like, okay, I’ve got an idea. Let’s not do that. Instead, I had a bunch of my buddies read questions for the book, and so I just sat in the booth and answered them as if it was the first time I was ever hearing it.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Luckily, they’re pretty consistent with what I wrote, but some of it adjusted a little bit.

Josh Felber: You’ve expanded on some for sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, we were talking about you. That’s really that you did that. Because I did that with the audiobook, it’s the first time I’ve heard of people reading and listening to the [crosstalk 00:02:27] audiobook. You said you did that.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: This has been a challenge because they’re different.

Josh Felber: They’re different.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yes.

Josh Felber: Yeah, you started going off and adding all this cool extra content and it’s like, boom man. Okay, cool. I usually take notes following right along, but it’s been having to just stop one and just really absorb audiobook and then go back and pick up the written book again.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Thank you.

Josh Felber: I guess what was the whole purpose and drive behind this specific book?

Gary Vaynerchuk: It was very selfish, and I want to be very frank about this. I’m obsessed with Q&A.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I want to do Q&A, and I decided 18 months ago to make myself a little bit more known for Q&A. That’s why I started the show. That’s why I wrote the book, and now I can go to conferences and just be Q&Aed or just do Q&A. I’m not big enough yet where I can go into any venue and go “Okay, hey everybody. You know my spiel, let’s do Q&A.” If I can get to a place where I go 15 minute spiel, 45 minute Q&A versus 45 and 15, that would be really great. I love the stage. I love Q&A. I think I get to show my best version of myself in Q&A because I get to show that I actually know what the hell I’m talking about, which I think matters.

Josh Felber: Right, really dive into the problems and, you know.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Just even details, right?

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I’m a practitioner in Snapchat and Facebook Live and in Twitter, and I think that there’s a lot of people headline reading or watching other people and just grabbing on to quotes. I mean, I literally sit in presentations where people talk about product in an incorrect way.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Like just say do this and the product doesn’t do that, so I take a lot of pride in my actual knowledge and usage of these things or theories or philosophies.

Josh Felber: Awesome. One of the things, and I know you talk a little bit about it in the book as well as on some of your shows and everything, is a whole family and kids. I have three kids myself and a wife. Like you said before i met you and really dove into who you were, I thought I was a badass hustler. Now it’s like, “Oh man, this other guy Gary’s just crushing it.”

Gary Vaynerchuk: Is it giving you-

Josh Felber: It’s driving me.

Gary Vaynerchuk: A lot of people are using me to get [inaudible 00:04:29] with their husband or wife about how much they work. They’re like, “Well Gary, look how bad he is.”

Josh Felber: It’s okay with him.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Exactly.

Josh Felber: You know, how-

Gary Vaynerchuk: How do I deal with it?

Josh Felber: Yeah, because people talk about balance. I think that’s bullshit because-

Gary Vaynerchuk: Well, balance is personal.

Josh Felber: It’s integration, I think it is.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Integration is, look, here’s the real answer. I have no interest in telling people how to parent their children.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I have no interest in telling people how to manage their work life balance with their spouse or their partner. Right? You know, every relationship is different. Everybody’s got their own stuff, so my key is to over communicate with Lizzie. That’s what I have to do. What I have to do for a living is for the most important thing is to over communicate with my partner and now as my children are six and three, and I can see it already. Misha’s almost seven now. Now Misha’s got her opinions.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I have to factor those in, and so it’s constant adjustment. I’m working harder today than I did, more hours today than I did 36 months, but I may decline over the next seven to ten years because those might be formative years for the kids or who knows? The truth is or I may work more.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: We may find the balance of let’s be insane about weekends and vacations and my kids, my intuition is my kids are going to be very over programmed and they’re going to be on nine to five, and really not because we live in Manhattan, but because there’s so much they want to do and there’s so much you can do. By the way, if they don’t want to, that’s fine too, but what my point with that little story is it’s communicating and adjusting daily, and that’s how we deal with it.

Josh Felber: I think that makes sense because you can’t really aways know where it’s going to be two weeks from now or a month from now.

Gary Vaynerchuk: If my dad gets sick tomorrow, I’m not going to work at all.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I don’t understand why people think this is a thesis that can be your thesis. I don’t know, I’m working more now than I did in my twenties when I should’ve worked the most.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I thought I worked a lot then.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I was working 12 hours a day. Now I’m working more. That blows my mind. That was not something I could have ever foreseen. Are you going to work more as a 40 year old man with two kids than as a 24 year old that wants to rule the world? No way I would’ve won that bet.

Josh Felber: Yeah. I’m the same way. I mean, definitely there.

Josh Felber: One of the things too I know you said you do is you integrate seven weeks of vacation.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yes.

Josh Felber: As well to really just totally shut down, spend time with the family.

Gary Vaynerchuk: As things increased on 15 hour days and I really, and to travel, I was like, “Okay, two weeks vacation is just not enough.” Just net time.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I think what I’ve done in these last three years as it’s gotten crazy is been completely shut down on weekends. You know, even though right now as I’m addicted to Snapchat. Just talking to my friends here, sorry. You could see on the weekends like I’ll sneak one in when I have to take Zander to the store just because I feel I want to get something out there, but I’m really off, I’m really with the fam. I’m really focused, and then on vacation, I’ve gotten really great. I’ve really started shutting down and really all in.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Look, it might be not enough for some people. It might be enough for other people. I don’t know. When I think about 52 weeks and I can get 12%, it feels like a lot of time.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: It feels like a lot of time, and so we just bought a summer home, so I’m going to try to work from home on Fridays now and do calls and interviews, not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Try to stack them in on Friday so by five o’clock maybe I could be, that’s another six hours that I’m buying back to family that I never did before because of that new variable. It’s just adjusting.

Josh Felber: The key is being present and when you’re totally shutting down-

Gary Vaynerchuk: The key is to be happy with yourself.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I have no interest in making you happy about my work life balance. You worry about your work life balance. My key is first me, and this is in order, then my kids and my wife because if I’m happy then I can do anything for them, and that’s it.

Josh Felber: Do it. Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: That’s what matters. If this feels good for now, then great. That’s it. The only thing that can waver from what I want to do is a real belief that I’m doing the wrong thing by my family because either my daughter, my son, or my wife tell me they’re very unhappy with the allocation that I’m giving right now.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: My wife ended up being way more independent than I thought.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I never saw that coming. I didn’t see my wife being like, I secretly think my wife has a separate husband somewhere. She’s just so not into me. Lizzie, come on. She’s so independent. She’s on her stuff, and that clearly makes it work too.

Josh Felber: Definitely, and that’s the same way my wife is. I think that’s just who I attracted.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, I think that’s probably right.

Josh Felber: Yeah, because that’s the way I was as well.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah.

Josh Felber: That kind of leads, I know you talk about don’t be me, be you. Can you dive into it a little bit more?

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah, I mean …

Josh Felber: [crosstalk 00:09:55] Because you’re out there hustling hard and people want to …

Gary Vaynerchuk: I’m super pumped with the attention and the admiration that I’m getting, but it scares me because I don’t want people to do what I’m doing because I know that I’m very, first of all, I feel like I’m an extremely unique dude.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I’ve always been unique my whole life. I’ve always done stuff so differently, so it doesn’t feel like I’m a good blueprint for a lot of people. It doesn’t feel practical. It doesn’t feel practical that you can work 18 hours a day without eating or drinking. You know, this is why I’ve been throwing around the robot emoji on my social lately because my brother coined this a long time ago inside of the family and now because of Daily V, my daily vlog where people really see it’s true, yeah, I don’t think I’m a good comp.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I’m happy for me and I want people to be happy for them, and if that means nine to five and if that means 49,000 a year in income and you’re happy as hell, well then you’ve won because I’ve got miserable friends making 10 million dollars a year.

Josh Felber: Sure, oh yeah. Definitely. Just dive into a little bit of marketing real quick.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah. I like marketing.

Josh Felber: Snapchat, you’re on this Snapchat high. You’re …

Gary Vaynerchuk: I got my man [inaudible 00:11:50], are you done?

Josh Felber: Shawn Stevenson’s getting Snapchat. [crosstalk 00:11:52]

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yes, get in there, brother. I follow attention. You know, lately, I know you know, some of you, it sounds like you know, I’m kind of saying now I day trade attention. That’s what I do for a living. I look at attention, and that’s been my career. As a 40, now I know what I am. I’m a person that day trades attention. That’s why I liked e-com and email marketing and Google AdWords and Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and now Snapchat.

Josh Felber: Yep.

Gary Vaynerchuk: In 24 months, the far majority of Americans under the age of 45 will be spending a lot of time on Snapchat. That’s important. The end. Whether you want to raise money for your NGO or get your soap business off the ground or if you want to get elected for mayor, attention is what you need before you tell people what you’ve got.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: You’ve got to go where it’s going, and I like going where it’s under priced. TV’s got attention, but it would take up all my time and I don’t have a good business deal by being the start of a TV show and [inaudible 00:12:49]. Where is it under priced? Snapchat is conducive to very quick thoughts and ideas.

Josh Felber: Does it have to have a special name or [crosstalk 00:12:58]?

Gary Vaynerchuk: No, you can have your name. I have my name. Just your name. [crosstalk 00:13:01] Oh, well yeah, I mean, come up with something. You know. We’ll work on that though. I’ll help you. Take something temporary. It’s going to be there. I think that people that are watching right now that are selling real estate to 38 to 52 year old couples, they don’t think Snapchat’s important because 14 year old girls are on it.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: My point is, if you’re going to run a marathon, you have to start doing a 5K or get on the treadmill. The quicker you start understanding how to sell real estate on Snapchat, it’s going to take you a year to really get a cadence down, and by the time you do if the market’s there and you’re the only one doing it there, well then you become the biggest broker in Malibu.

Josh Felber: Yeah. That’s the interesting thing was that you had those stories popping out daily on Snapchat, just kind of what is happening in your life.

Gary Vaynerchuk: For a lot of you that don’t know, stories is the main product of Snapchat where you get to put out content, bits and pieces, and it sits there for 24 hours and every piece of content expires in 24 hours, so it’s this rolling story. It’s a very unique, different social network. It’s a little bit YouTube, it’s a little bit Twitter, it’s a little bit Instagram. It’s very, very different, but it’s very powerful. You should go to YouTube and literally type in how to use Snapchat. There’s thousands of videos. If you allocate three hours of your time into it, you will really understand what to do after watching a bunch of them, and it will be a game changer. I think it will be a game changer for a lot of you.

Josh Felber: Where do you think the whole social media marketing segment’s headed? I know you got Snapchat. What do we see in 2017, 2018?

Gary Vaynerchuk: I don’t like predicting, as you know.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I like reacting, but I think Facebook has an absolute stranglehold on the American attention between Facebook and Instagram for the next three years. I feel very comfortable saying that. I think Twitter’s got to evolve or it will fundamentally go the way of Tumblr and MySpace and Google Plus which is a secondary, third tier platform. I think Snapchat will be a monster, and I think inevitably something will pop up that we don’t even know right now that will be very important in 24 months.

Josh Felber: I know we’ve talked a little briefly, you have the and Anchor and all that. [crosstalk 00:14:59] That’s kind of breaking in a little bit.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Yeah. You have, Anchor, Peach, AfterSchool, these are things I’m watching but they’re all penny stocks that I’m kind of watching.

Josh Felber: Still early.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Early.

Josh Felber: Cool. How do you continue to operate at such a high level of performance?

Gary Vaynerchuk: Gratitude.

Josh Felber: I mean, traveling 48-

Gary Vaynerchuk: Gratitude.

Josh Felber: Gratitude?

Gary Vaynerchuk: Gratitude. [crosstalk 00:15:19] I’m just so grateful, and it just drives the crap out of me. I don’t know. I got to be a person. I really, I know you guys, some of you have heard that. The math around becoming a human being is so insane, and so wait a minute, you’re telling me that I got to be a human and I got to be a white man in America? I believe that every white man that lives in America should be put in jail if they complain. That is my new belief. That is a law that I would like to pass.

Josh Felber: Amen.

Gary Vaynerchuk: If you are a white man in America, you’ve literally won the universe. You’ve won it.

Josh Felber: For sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: You’ve won the universe lottery. Shut the fuck up. Everybody else should complain more than you.

Josh Felber: Yeah. No, I-

Gary Vaynerchuk: What? I’m right. I’m right. [inaudible 00:16:07] I don’t want to hear it from. You didn’t figure out to be born in America. You just were born and you were white and you’re in America. You won. I’m hungry and driven and excited and happy because I know I can feel in my soul the alternative which is almost everything else. Almost every other human being. Almost every animal. I don’t want to be a giraffe.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: That’s not the best. Every human won that game. If you were the most poor human minority in a very small village in the middle of nowhere, you beat the giraffe.

Josh Felber: Right. Yeah. You got to run fast.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Or a flower that just gets picked and dies. I don’t know. I’m very, very grateful, and then on top of all that, I think I was gifted with some talents that are interesting. You could have been an athlete, and that’s cool, but you’re done at 30 or 35.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I get to do my businessman thing forever, so I’m just grateful. That’s what drives me.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome. Now you got everybody over there working on Snapchat.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Good. [crosstalk 00:17:11] Good, man. [inaudible 00:17:13] Makes me happy, man. When I look back, when I get emails right now of the people that I, the last time I was probably this emphatic was probably Twitter. You know?

Josh Felber: Yeah, I remember.

Gary Vaynerchuk: You know, Facebook ads, and that’s worked for people, but that already a different kind of thing. It wasn’t the platform itself, it was the tactic within a big platform. I get emails every day like you made me go on Twitter, this happened because of, and I mean like, I got married because of it. I got started a business because of it.

Josh Felber: Wow.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I helped my friend find his lost dog because of it. The whole gamut.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I feel like I’m going to get those emails in 40 years about this too.

Josh Felber: Awesome. Well, we got a few minutes left.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Go ahead.

Josh Felber: Want to dive in really, what is your life’s purpose?

Gary Vaynerchuk: I think it’s equally massively selfish and extremely noble which is I want to build an empire on the back of good. I want to build an enormously big business because I love capitalism, I love business.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: It’s who I am. I want to build a billion, I want to buy the New York Jets, I want to document the entire process for probably from the time I was 30 to the time I’m 70 or 65 when I do it, I want to create 35 years of content of me chasing something, doing it the best and most right way that I know how, which I think is very good and very nice and the right way behind the scenes and in public, and then I want to achieve it, and then I want to be the blueprint for everybody of, “Okay, I can achieve anything at the highest of levels and be a good person along the way.” That would be an incredible way to go into the ground.

Josh Felber: Definitely. You know, that’s what a lot of people really struggle with that whole thing is what is my purpose?

Gary Vaynerchuk: I think I know mine. I really do. I think I’m meant to pull off a very big thing in public and become a blueprint for, I’ve always been able to motivate people. I never knew that I would do it in public.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: It was kids in my class. It was my dodge ball team. It was my siblings. It was my neighbor. I was always that guy. The fact that now it’s at a bigger plane and it will continue to grow and I think it’s pretty cool. I don’t think we’ve ever in the world had the hardcore documentation of somebody setting out a ridiculously big goal and drawing it out for a very long period of time. I’m really excited to go, I really, really, really am excited to go to the premiere of the movie made of my life of pulling it off.

I really think that’s going to happen. I truly believe that I’m going to be a fairly good looking old dude going to the premiere and being super pumped some hot looking of the moment Hollywood dude is playing me. I truly believe that’s going to happen. I truly believe that I’m going to create a public narrative that everybody’s going to know about where I took 40 years to accomplish something I wanted in the best way possible, and it becomes a modern day blueprint in the way that the Steve Jobs thing bothered me in the other direction.

Josh Felber: Right.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Which was when he passed and when his narrative was starting to be formed, it was that he was a tough bad guy and it got the best out of people, and I want to inspire people with honey, not with vinegar.

Josh Felber: Awesome. That’s what you do by creating the value. I mean, you’re all about creating value. I think the landscape has really shifted over the last several years is especially with online internet marketing, everything else, it was like, “Hey, opt in and I’ll give you something,” or you get to give [crosstalk 00:20:38]. Now it’s more like, “Hey, let me give to you.”

Gary Vaynerchuk: I think I’ve even been unfair to the people running masterminds and conferences and e-books because I’m being so aggressive and I’m lumping everybody into it, and this is a good opportunity to say, “Look, there’s different versions of everything,” but yeah, you’re right. I’m looking to really give away the best of, I mean, I watch it every day. I watch people repackage my free information from my show into sellable assets online, and I watch people and I’m fascinated by it. Yeah, I’ve chosen my path. I want to put out the best content in the world that I can, and then every three years I want to sell something or 18 bucks and that’s my cadence.

Josh Felber: Cool, man. Last thing, should we do a book giveaway?

Gary Vaynerchuk: Sure.

Josh Felber: Awesome. We got some extra books.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I figure.

Josh Felber: We’ll have you come opt in, grab Gary V’s book, and all the contents information will be right on our link next to the video here.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Awesome, man.

Josh Felber: We’ll ship some people some cool free books.

Gary Vaynerchuk: I hope you guys enjoy it when they get it to your home.

Josh Felber: Well, I really appreciate you coming back on Making Bank.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Thank you, brother. Excited to be on.

Josh Felber: Just looking forward to connecting with you again. I am Josh Felber, and you are watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.

Gary Vaynerchuk: Bank.