I think one of the things that initially struck me about Gary Vaynerchuk is his dry practicality. His messages come packaged in a bombastic, charismatic persona, yet there’s an ineffable straightforwardness about them. Occasionally impolite, sparkling in the public eye yet remarkably thoughtful, the man strikes a chord of perfect paradox. He is not academically educated, but he is powerfully informed. He has lofty goals, but they are specific.
In a world of myriad distraction, Gary thrives by selectively tuning to the right signals. His business acumen has given him a profound dowsing rod for locating the ground water under the dirt. While he claims that he is in the business of “day-trading attention,” a more appropriate definition of his strategy might be “using social media to promote intimacy and engagement.” So that’s just one of the things that makes the gospel of his business recommendations a thing of the flesh: not only is he practicing what he preaches, but he is allowing us to watch him as he does. His advice is immediately actionable no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.
His latest book “#AskGaryVee” in many ways follows the same format as his YouTube show of the same name. Each chapter covers a different topic with submitted questions from followers and Gary’s answers. One of the most interesting things about following the mogul is the way that his lessons never really seem to go stale. If you’ve heard some of his talks as a keynote speaker, you’ve might’ve already heard some of his key ideas. You’ve probably him repeat some of his humorous anecdotes. He still continues to add value by providing new bits of clarification, detail, and passion.
The beginning chapters of #AskGaryVee covers Gary’s views on his most basic life choices. He talks about the way that his upbringing has affected his current life choices, how his relationship with his brother shaped his business life, and how these things have weighed on his decisions as a father. One can tell from reading about Gary’s origins that he is someone that has always been preoccupied with the science of making money. From dealing baseball cards as a kid, to making tough business decisions in his father’s wine store, his approach has remained unshakably pragmatic.
Perhaps there is an advantage to being someone that had always failed in his classes in school; Gary grew up uncontaminated by other people’s business theories. He has said himself that he doesn’t spend much time following other thought leaders in his field. He doesn’t have to. Gary learns what he needs to know by staying engaged with the public, and never allowing himself to get too big to be unreachable. By keeping a keen eye on consumer behavior, he knows that the money follows the attention of the people.
Not only does #AskGaryVee share some discussion about the value of modern education, it also reviews the tools of the media trade and how they have shaped the practices at Gary’s company, VaynerMedia. It’s worth noting that all of these things are accessible to everyone. Facebook ads, Pinterest, Instagram posts, these all are useful for self-promotion, and in some cases, undervalued for the amount of visibility they can provide.
Gary ends his book with a few chapters on music, sports, and wine, which add a more personal touch to the compilation, but the book is already saturated with personality. There book exudes the character of a New Yorker genius, a prime example of an American individualist who is carving out a name for himself through perceptivity and hard work.
So if any of you have seen this book online and wondered what the buzz about, this is why. Gary is reaching the pinnacle of his influence, as people everywhere are realizing that he has more than few good points and he’s doing it right. Even those who have no interest in actually putting his advice into practice are entertained and inclined to cheer him on. For a man that aspires to one day be the proud owner of the Jets, we can’t help but praise his audacity as he strives his way to the top.