Gary Vaynerchuk is described as a “thought leader” and “social media guru”, neither of which he particularly likes. He sees himself as a business builder first and foremost having built a $60 million wine business using the internet and subsequently a $100 million social media company. A lot of what Gary says isn’t new but he frames it in a no nonsense, high energy way, that engages business leaders and entrepreneurs alike. His messages cut to the bone, are frank, honest and on point. He builds his personal brand around giving value, so I thought we should include some of his messages for you to take insight from….
- Ideas are s**t, execution is the game – we can all come up with ideas, but ideas mean nothing without taking effective action that delivers results. Execution comes down to talent. Not everyone is talented enough to execute effectively. This feeds directly into the next point
- Improve Self Awareness -know what you’re good at and not good at. Face the truth and make progress from that perspective. Get help doing the things you can’t do and concentrate on what you are good at.
- Bet on your strengths -Double down on them and punt your weaknesses. To be extraordinary, you have to be an anomaly. You ain’t gonna do that if you spend time bringing your weaknesses up-to-speed. You lean towards doing some things over others for a reason. When you’re good at something, it’s usually because you like doing it, and have tended to do it a lot, so it makes sense to keep doing it even more. The opposite is true of the things you don’t like to do. Make your expertise narrow and deep, rather than wide and shallow, stay in your lane, and delegate everything else if you can.
- Bring perspective to your business -When the going gets hard, instead of fixating on the negatives, be grateful for what you have and realise things could be much worse. Gary imagines getting a call saying his mother has passed away, he says that although this is a dark thought, it grounds his reality and adds much needed perspective to the situation.
- Work your ass off – If you’re in a job but want to be an entrepreneur, grind 5pm-2am to build something for yourself in your off time and, “Stop watching episodes of Breaking Bad” says Gary. If you work 9 hours a day, sleep 6 hours that leave you 9 hours a day to grind and hustle.
- Stick to your DNA – Be true to yourself, be authentic, it’s what makes you, you and separates you from everyone else. It’s okay to admire others, but don’t try to copy who they are, be the best version of yourself.
- Do what matters – Don’t get hung up on unimportant tasks. Micro manage or delegate, you decide. Most things don’t matter. Focus on what matters. Take right action.
- Stop making excuses – Lack of time or capital are just two obstacles amongst many others that you will inevitably have to overcome but don’t use them as excuses not to do something. Lack of optimism is the major problem. Overcome the inevitable obstacles. “Lack of ……” are just excuses. There are a million reasons “why not” but just one reason “why” which is you gotta persevere and get on with it. Take responsibility.
- Care for your Customers – run your business with your heart as well as your head. introduce “random acts of kindness” for loyal customers not just when they are leaving you. Find a way to go “the extra mile” at scale
- Learn what motivates your customers – Understand what makes people tick and reverse engineering that so you can add value to them. Be empathetic, and really give a s**t. The customer is not always right but they are always the customer. If you want to take their money, you have to get out of the way, and do what’s necessary to close the deal, put pride to one side. It’s how you make them FEEL that they’ll remember you for. Technology lubricates word of mouth, and customer service is key to creating an experience that will be talked about.
- Find where your customers attention is focused – Understand where your customers can be found. Attention is much more focused on mobile phones and particularly on social media through mobile. If you want to get your brand in front of those customers you’ve got to meet them were their attention is. Stop holding onto what worked yesterday, and realign to what is happening in the world today. Get out of your own way, stop resisting and move with the times. Two questions to ask yourself, “Where are your prospects focusing their attention?” “Are you engaging or telling stories to them there?”
- Be open to change – Roll with the punches. Don’t try to hold ground. Don’t resist what is. Don’t fear change, embrace uncertainty, evolve, and go with the flow. When you try to resist the way things are, you hurt your business. Market in the present day not yesterday. Things are moving fast, keep up, or get left in the dust.
- Be a student of behaviour – This point builds on the previous three. Study behaviour and react to it. Today people are spending huge amounts of time on social media, via their phones, however this is very likely to change in the future as a result of technology advancements, so you need to keep observing and reacting to how the market evolves as a result of these future changes. You don’t have to have a defined plan of attack other than “observing and reacting to what’s happening in the market.”
- You must have TALENT – Do you have the talent to be successful, either by being funny, clever, creative, good at DOING something of value, KNOWING something of value, CONNECTING people. It’s the variable that either makes you and your content interesting or not. For instance, you can get away with a drab setting for your videos, if the content is valuable enough to the audience. Deliver something of value using your talent.
- Use storytelling in your Marketing – if you understand what the consumer wants, you can then back track to get them emotionally there using story. When done properly it is an invisible influencer. We’re wired to tell and listen to stories. Stories lower our emotional barriers and allow ideas to enter our subconscious.
- Embrace your uniqueness – Technology will inevitably take out the B, C, D players in many industries and niches, because they have commoditised themselves, but the “A” players will grow and take B, C, D’s market share. So concentrate on growing your brand. Be authentic, be genuine and don’t try to fit in, or blend into the background, or copy what others are doing, otherwise you will become a commodity (same as everyone else). Ask what makes you different? What makes you, you? Dare be noticed, and stand out.
- Nothing happens overnight – It takes lots of work, talent, luck, and serendipity. to be “an overnight success”. Put yourself in the best position to succeed and take a long term view if you can, rather than looking for quick wins. Think Branding over “transaction marketing” for instance.
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