The Good, The Bad, & The Gary

Part One

Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the most influential people on the planet. His Instagram following alone (7.3 million as of 12/16/2019) is approximately the size of Hong Kong. And his followers are not passive, they appear to be deeply engaged with his content.

Gary Vaynerchuck is the king of social media.

Much of his content is inspiring and empowering. He preaches accountability, self-management, and a bias toward action. For that he receives well-deserved praise.

Other bits of content send out messages that are concerning to some. He admonishes school and the system of education, he advises young people not to listen to their parents, and (at times) heralds sleep-deprivation.

BUT WAIT, say his followers, you must not have heard his whole message. True. After a significant amount of research, it is clear that Gary Vee does not endorse sleep-deprivation. To find that truth, however, takes research… the very nature of social media (quick, headline-like clips) has limited access to his full explanation.

Although Gary might not endorse sleep-deprivation when given the chance to fully explain himself, plenty of his content – short and provocative – advises to give up sleep.

Still, there is a lot of high quality messaging coming out of Vayner Media’s visionary and headliner, so we decided to do a quick examination of where he gets it right, where he gets it wrong, and where consumers of all content might want to take a closer look.

The Good

Self-Awareness. “Self-awareness allows people to recognize what things they do best so they can then go hard on those aspects of their life. It also helps you accept your weaknesses.”

This has to be the starting point. Gary’s entire message begins here. Growth, success, initiative, self-care, motivation… regardless of which capacity one would ultimately hope to build, it would have to begin with self-awareness.

The only absolute truth about success is that it will ultimately come down to the self. One’s behaviors are one’s own. They might be influenced by a system, one’s resources, or other outside forces, but they are always one’s own. Even if the self-awareness includes the realization that there are limits in one’s options, the state of self-awareness is essential.

Do you need to do more? Begin with self-awareness. Are you burning the candle at both ends and need to do less? Begin with self-awareness. Are you destined to be a CEO or an elite #7 at an elite company? Would you find happiness working on a farm? In the garden? In politics? Begin with self-awareness.

Initiative. “Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.”

It’s a classic sentiment, enlivened by Gary for the social media generation. And it’s the truth. Ability is not enough; initiative is essential.

Most people on the planet have the ability to succeed personally and professionally. It seems, however, that most do not. Although it is technically a majority, only 51% of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs. There is a divorce in America every 13 seconds – more than 2 million per year.

It might not be surprising that depression and anxiety rates continue to climb. Gary Vee’s solution? Identify what you’re passionate about and take a step in that direction.

Too often people are thirsting for motivation – they want to be motivated, to be pulled hard in a certain direction and, ultimately, waiting for the energy of the world to pull them into action.

It’s not coming. One of the best bits of advice one can receive is to take initiative.

Recognizing that the next step is theirs can be frightening, but it can also be empowering. Sitting and waiting does not improve personal relationships or professional outcomes. Initiative just might, and Gary has a knack for stimulating initiative.

Gratitude. “Recognize that you have a much bigger chance and a better opportunity than your parents did to build a business around your passion and don’t take that for granted.”

Gary does a nice job of encouraging people to practice perspective and, through that, gratitude. Turns out, gratitude is an essential virtue – sometimes referred to as a ‘parent’ virtue, gratitude has the ability to influence all sorts of behaviors, including the demonstration of integrity.

Gary will often reference his humble beginnings as an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. He and his family worked hard to arrive at their current state, and he claims that not a day goes by where he doesn’t experience a deep sense of appreciation.

Making it ‘cool’ to be grateful, or at least decreasing the stigma of the word within a type-a population, is one of Gary Vee’s most powerful impacts.

“Recognize that you have a much bigger chance and a better opportunity than your parents did to build a business around your passion and don’t take that for granted,” says Gary. The modern opportunity can be overwhelming but, if nothing else, there are more chances for one to succeed than ever before.

How to capitalize on that opportunity? Begin with self-awareness. Take initiative. Be grateful.

That’s some of the best of Gary Vee. What has been impactful for you? Find us @goodathleteproject on Instagram and let us know.

Coming Soon: Part Two of The Good, The Bad, and the Gary