By: Hillel Fuld
If you are not familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, you must not spend too much time on the social Web. He is the guy who is the answer to all the people or companies that are skeptical about the returns of social media. Where do I start?
Gary is most well known for taking a local wine store and transforming it into a 50 million dollar business using the Web. He did this by utilizing online videos and creating his own wine tasting YouTube channel. Combine that with his unparalleled enthusiasm, charisma, and energy, and you got yourself a legend.
If the wild success of Wine Library TV is not enough, Gary wrote a book called Crush It, which has been a best seller on Amazon, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I am personally in the middle of the book and all I can say is it takes a talented writer to be able to convey real passion through writing, and Gary excels at it.
Since the man is a true role model, I was obviously extremely excited when he agreed to do an interview for me. I continue to learn from Gary on a daily basis on Twitter and other channels. Despite my complete lack of interest in wines, I love people, and Gary is an expert on people if I ever saw one.
Here is the interview I did with Gary, hope you enjoy it.
1. What was your first job and how did it affect your current success?
It was a lemonade stand when I was 5. It is the backbone of my success because I probably learned more from my lemonade stand than any other job that I had after that.
2. When did you realize the power of the social web?
Probably in 2005 when I noticed that my lead developers were spending all of their time watching video online and I started hearing rumblings from friends that they were using things like Friendster and MySpace… and it just kind of clicked.
3. How do you explain your personal success?
4. Besides the “hustle” advice, what other advice would you give a beginning entrepreneur? Something you have not told us before.
Talk about the things you know. Always, always, always out care your competition and never,ever stop networking.
Also, it may not be something that I haven’t said before, but it’s something that I believe in more than anything: if you over-deliver dramatically in every relationship, you will always win.
5. What gets you excited besides wine and “hustling”?
The New York Jets.
6. To get a little more technical, what are your thoughts about the whole new location trend? Services like Foursquare and Facebook Places, will they take off?
They have taken off and, more importantly, it comes down to point-of-purchase. Why these things are so important is because they will be with us at our point-of-purchase, which is the most important time in a transaction, thus enabling this whole world to become very important. I’m very bullish on it – as seen by the fact that I invested in both SimpleGeo and Gowalla.
7. What do you think about the whole online privacy issue? Does it concern you at all?
No, it doesn’t concern me.
8. Where do you see yourself professionally 20 years down the road?
Getting awfully close to buying the New York Jets.
9. What is the number 1 mistake you find people make on social media?
They talk and don’t listen.
10. How do you think the Web will evolve over the next decade?
That’s beyond my thoughts, no doubt about it. With that being said, I do believe things will be doing things for you instead of you being proactive. I see things being proactive for you. Meaning, think about the check-in phenomenon, I believe phones will be checking in for us.
You probably noticed that the answers are a bit shorter than past interviews I have done and the reason for that is simple. Gary has been known to personally answer all the thousands of emails he gets every day. He spends time hustling as he likes to call it, meeting as many people as possible, while always staying with two feet on the ground. All that requires a lot of time and Gary’s crazy schedule probably did not permit him to elaborate too much.
Having said that, the fact that he even found the time to do this interview says a lot about the man and it is things like this that make Gary one of the very few people who truly deserve the title “Social Media Expert”.
The following is one of the most popular Gary videos online and it pretty much sums up who Gary is and what his philosophies are about success. FYI, some of the language might not be suitable for work, but that is Gary for ya.