Last week I sat in a room with 2000 other people and was told to "get fucking real" by the most influential social media personality in the world, Mr Gary Vaynerchuck. I'm not normally one for an 8 hour long speaking gig, filled with various speakers selling...ooops, I mean talking about what they do to make their millions, however the pull of Gary Vee as the keynote was just too much.
If you haven't heard of Gary Vee then you're probably not paying enough attention to social media as a source of useful information, and spending too much time scrolling for cats, memes and threads of comments to point and laugh at. Gary is a new breed of social marketer, with a focus on building brand first, allowing the sales to originate as a 2nd teer outcome, passively in the background.
In a world of influencers, discount codes, free downloads, special offers, onetime mastermind programs, Gary floods his market with his unique brand of kick you in the face, get real content, designed to challenge you to engage with him and his audience rather than buy his products. Oh.. and beware, his potty mouth is legendary. More F-bombs than Mr Ramsey's kitchen.
His key note was no different. After 7 speakers and 3 heavy sales pitches, I thought I was all pitched out; when Gary strolled onto the stage with the casual flow of an entrance onto the Opera show. With an almost embarrassed smile and wave to the audience you could tell this guy was genuine without saying a word. I already knew what to expect from digesting his content over the last few months, however in real life... it just packs more punch, and was really funny.. Here are my actual words to a friend speaking about what to expect from his keynote... and I was spot on.
"You have 1 life...so go fucking smash it, focus on today and tomorrow, and get used to the world no giving a fuck about you and move on with being awesome with genuine in your connections and you'll crush it...but only if you're willing to put in the long game and hard fucking work".
Yep...nailed it. Patience is his gold nugget of wisdom for the budding entrepreneur. Put in the hard work and be prepared to focus on the long game. Nothing great happens fast... oh and content... more content. In addition to waiting he encourages us to ensure our content and branding is genuine and tells our story with truth and unashamed extroversion in all it's glory...failings and all.
It was refreshing to listen to a speaker that literally had no skin on the stage, in terms of being there to get something out of it directly. Yes, it's a fee for service for him along with branding for any of his products from Vayner Media, Wine Library to his Sneakers, however the tangible takeaway for Mr Vee, genuinely seemed to be contribution to a bunch of people. Kind of "TED" talk 'esk" in the delivery.
Overall a great event.. the other speakers were tops too in their own way, with some varying success stories all well an truly outside the box. Made me realise that the traditional method of doing business is changing in a big way. Primarily the ability to be global in our interactions is becoming more and more apparent. Perhaps Sip4Sip Coffee needs to go global?? Maybe.
We setup some fun too for the day as we do, to bring some purpose to the event. We created the hashtag #garysaysfuck on Insta and Twitter and pledged to contribute a week of water every time he dropped (in my kids words) "the naughty F word". Slightly worried at what we had committed to, we finished at a healthy 83 expletives for purpose. That's 83 weeks of water given to our project partners thanks to Gary's Jersery mouth. Well done Mr Vee!
Do yourself a favour and check him out... best with some headphones.