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The Two Meetings with Gary Vaynerchuk That Changed My Life

Four lessons in life and business with one of the world’s savviest marketers.

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The Two Meetings with Gary Vaynerchuk That Changed My Life
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Noah St. John

ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK CONTRIBUTORCEO of SJECGlobal.com

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September 21, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Savvy entrepreneurs are familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk books like #AskGaryVeeCrush It and Crushing It. Those in the social media world know Gary Vaynerchuk as a brilliant marketer and entrepreneur. I had the opportunity to see Vaynerchuk speak before he was a social media phenomenon with eight million Instagram followers, and the lessons he taught that day are ones I still reference today.  

It was 2007, and I was one of a group of 300 entrepreneurs who saw Vaynerchuk at his very first public speaking appearance. We had heard of this crazy Russian with the funny name, but none of us knew what to expect. I remember sitting there listening to Vaynerchuk speak and thinking, “This guy is amazing – but I have no idea what he’s talking about.”

Social media was still a burgeoning industry in 2007, and frankly, pretty much his entire talk went right over my head. So he finishes with his speech (no notes or PowerPoint, of course) and then says to the audience: “Any questions?”

I looked around the room, and there was an awkward silence. No one raised their hand. So I slowly put my hand up. Vaynerchuk calls on me. I gulp.

I said, “Well Gary, everything you just said was brilliant. But I have no idea what you just said.”

The audience burst into spontaneous laughter and applause. I think a lot of other people were thinking what I was thinking and were glad I spoke up. Vaynerchuk’s response is just one of the brilliant lessons he’s taught me in the decade-plus since then. 

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Give away your content for free

When I asked the question, Vaynerchuk didn’t miss a beat. He says to me: “What do you do?”

I said, “I’m a business coach. I help entrepreneurs grow their business and have more financial freedom and time freedom.”

He says, “Perfect! Do you sell books, online courses and coaching programs?”

I said yes.

He says, “Great! Now I want you to start giving away all that stuff for free.”

I sat there, dumbfounded. Remember, this was back in 2007. Today, everyone gives away content to bring attention to their brands and companies. But back then, it seemed like a new concept, at least the way he was saying it. 

Long story short: I followed Vaynerchuk’s advice. (My momma didn’t raise no dummy.) I started giving away my content on platforms like FacebookYouTube, in videos, on my blog and on podcasts. Following his advice has become one of the cornerstones of my customer acquisition model, arguably the most important one.

Related: The Headline That Made Gary Vaynerchuk’s Head Explode

Put family first

Soon after that first life-changing meeting with Vaynerchuk, I had a second opportunity to spend time with him — this time, when I hosted him in my car. Vaynerchuk was about to go on his very first book tour, so I called his office, asked for his assistant and told them: “Hey, I’m a huge Gary Vee fan, and I’d love to host him while he’s here in Ohio.”

His assistant said, “Great! We were actually looking for somebody to do that.”

“I’m your man!” I said.

I remember how focused and driven Vaynerchuk was, but the thing that stood out to me the most was how he put family first. Vaynerchuk would take phone call after phone call — with CEOs, celebrities, his staff. Because he was in my car, I couldn’t help hearing his end of the conversation. During many of these important phone calls, he’d say this: “Sorry man, I gotta call you back. My wife’s calling.” Then he would click over to speak with his wife, and without the slightest hint of irritation, he’d say: “Hi honey, what’s up?”

Vaynerchuk’s Twitter profile says “Family First,” but that’s something many people in our industry say without actually following through. But I can tell you from firsthand experience that Vaynerchuk does indeed put his family first. 

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk and 8 Business Moguls Reveal Their Secrets for Building an Unstoppable Brand

Be present

One of the other things I noticed during that trip was how Vaynerchuk never hurried anyone. He was exactly the opposite of many of the divas you see on social media today. For example, after his book signing, I took him to a party that was held in his honor and filled with “Vayniacs” (passionate Gary Vaynerchuk fans).

You might expect the guest of honor to be “too busy” or “too important” to talk to everyone. Well, in many cases, you’d be right. But not our man Gary Vee.

Nope, Vaynerchuk took the time to talk with every single person who wanted to talk with him, no matter how long it took. He was completely present with each person. He looked them in the eyes and really listened to what they were saying. 

Related: Gary Vaynerchuk Is Showing Us How to Make It as an Entrepreneur

Be yourself

One big lesson I learned from spending time with Vaynerchuk is that you have to be yourself (as cliché as it sounds). I swear I’m not making this up, but in the two days I spent with him, I never once saw him go to the bathroom; he ate about enough to fill a hummingbird; and according to his schedule, he slept maybe four hours a night.

I finally asked him about that, and he admitted, “I’ve always had a weird metabolism. I don’t need to eat or sleep much.” (I didn’t press him about the bathroom part.)

That might work for him, but I eat like a horse and need sleep, like a LOT of sleep. Don’t try to be like Vaynerchuk if that’s not your body or your metabolism. 

I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to spend time with Vaynerchuk and learn from him, as well as for the life and business lessons he taught me that I continue to use today. 


How To Develop Traits For Success From 7 Entrepreneurs

7 Entrepreneurs and Their Traits That We All Can Develop for Success

Published 4 hours ago

on Sep 15, 2020

By Madhur Kushwah


Succeeding in life and entrepreneurship takes more than just desire and passion. According to many successful entrepreneurs, life rewards people who take time to cultivate their minds for success.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you might recall his idea of a mastermind alliance. In case you’re not familiar with the book — a mastermind alliance is “a friendly alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Imagine what wonders you would make if you could have the most successful people as your allies. In this blog post, I have listed 7 successful entrepreneurs and their advice to develop traits for success.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Enthusiasm

“If you 100% enjoy the chaos and the unknown, you’re an entrepreneur.”

Running a business involves dealing with many people and shouldering several responsibilities; at times, working this hard can exhaust you to unexpected levels. That’s why entrepreneurs need to be pleasantly energetic. 

If you have watched any of Gary’s videos, you can visibly tell that his energy is on another level. Being energetic helps Gary work long hours, like 12 – 14 hours a day. Gary suggests practising natural optimism for high energy.

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2. Grant Cardone – Confidence

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”

Having confidence in your abilities will take you places. While on your entrepreneurial journey, people will point fingers at you for your decisions, choices and desires, but how you respond to them will depend on you.

The degree to which you have faith in your skills and vision will drive your efforts. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll not budge from your goals. Confidence will also allow you to do more for other people. Keep doing the difficult things to build confidence, says Grant.

3. Narayana Murthy – Courage

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

Courage is the differentiating factor between successful and the rest. Entrepreneurship requires you to go out and make decisions that no one else is making. To do that, you need courage. 

Many entrepreneurs fail not because they lack skills or resources, but because they shrink when they should expand. All the stories we hear are stories of courageous decisions and not cowardice. Without courage, there is no progress in life and business. According to Murthy, openness to new ideas is what makes people and organizations courageous.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Change

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

Change is the only constant in life and entrepreneurship, and people who realise this are usually the ones who change the world. Often we make the mistake of sticking to one way of looking at things, which hinders our progress. Learning how to move quickly and at the right time is the winning formula of the game of entrepreneurship. Mark states to move quickly, “iterate, learn from the feedback and go from there.”  

5. Bill Gates – Gratitude

“Through it all, what makes you happy?”

On your entrepreneurial journey, there will be instances where you’ll feel dissatisfied with your progress. To keep dissatisfaction at bay, practise gratitude — it’ll keep you focused on your destiny. 

Helping others to achieve their goals is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. You can also do philanthropic work to express gratitude. Practising gratitude generates a cycle of good relationships by promoting others to do generous work. Giving $41.3 billion away is how Gates expresses his gratitude.

6. Jeff Bezos – Patience

“Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Sticking to a long term vision and having patience while you build your dream is important for success. Having patience can help you stay in the present moment, and consider the big picture. If you look at Bezos’ journey, you’ll notice Amazon has been around for 26 years, but it feels like it’s been in business for 7 or 10 years, which shows how patient the multibillionaire has been in building his company.

Patience allowed Bezos to build Amazon from a suburban Seattle garage company to a multinational conglomerate. Bezos says, stay focused on long-term to be patient. 

7. Steve Jobs – Leadership

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Leadership is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you’re at the helm of an organization, people look up to you for inspiration and effective influential decision making. The ability to influence others will help you get the best out of the people. 

Jobs has been arguably the most influential corporate leader in the last century which allowed him to build Apple from scratch. Developing leadership skills will also help you impact people and touch their lives. ‘No excuses’ is the way forward to be an effective leader.

Which piece of advice from the 7 entrepreneurs above resonated most with you & why? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSENTREPRENEURIAL TRAITSHOW TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEURHOW TO SUCCEEDJEFF BEZOSLEADERSHIPSTEVE JOBSSUCCESS ADVICESUCCESS TRAITSSUCCESSFUL LIFEDON’T MISSThe One Mindset You Need to Focus on to Thrive in Times of Uncertainty

Madhur Kushwah

Madhur Kushwah is a certified content marketer. Currently, he writes for a leading ed-tech company and Marketing Hashtags. Connect with him @madhur_kushwah!


How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

The 5 Ways On How To Let Your Inner Leader Out

Dateline: September 10th, 2020

By: Ben Grant


For some reason, many people think that such words as “leadership” or “leadership qualities” refer only to extraordinary people. But these words are not as special as they might seem to many. What is more, every person has the potential to become a leader, the only thing you need to do is wake certain qualities up. If you are doubting your skills, then our tips will help you reboot your inner leader. Below you will find out about the most common problems that prevent you from enhancing your inner leader, and the top five tips to help you solve them.

Why Don’t Most People Show Leadership in Life?

There are several common reasons that prevent many people from becoming leaders.

  • Unwillingness to Stand Out From the Crowd – Most people like to “live like everyone else” and go with the flow. In most cases, this is the result of their childhood experience. After showing an initiative at an early age, they received rejection or criticism. Therefore, the majority strive not to stand out from society, and calmly do what they are asked or ordered to do.
  • Internal Fears – Many people cannot reveal their inner leader due to the presence of fears and low self-esteem. The most common fear is the fear of failure. By the way, all this interferes not only with the manifestation of leadership qualities but also with living the way they really want to live. It is extremely difficult for many to cope with these fears on their own, but it is even more difficult to decide to fix these problems with the help of psychologists. Therefore, only a few become successful and can show their leadership potential.
  • The Misconception About Inner Leaders – Some people think that they will be able to show their leadership talent when needed. But in practice, they never reveal their potential. What is more, such people purposefully miss many opportunities and think that they will prove themselves next time.
  • Disbelief in Your Own Leadership Qualities – Many people think that leaders are born, not made. This stops them from awakening their inner leader and somehow expressing their individuality. Such people admire their successful peers but do not even know that they can do the same.

If at least one of the reasons seems to be about you, then it’s time to work on yourself and awaken your inner leader. It is important to remember that you have to follow the road to success day after day, since you cannot arrive at your final destination instantly. Therefore, the following tips will help you change your life.

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Five Simple but Effective Tips to Awaken the Inner Leader:

 

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1. Look Inside Yourself

In order to become a leader, you need to start working on your personality. To lead other people and make them listen to you, you need to learn to lead yourself and be able to hear yourself first. It is a lot of work, but it is the key to success. The ability to lead yourself will allow you to become a leader for others. Consider the following 3 questions:

  • Why do I want to be a leader?
  • What will the development of leadership potential bring?
  • How do I need to act and think?

When you start to understand yourself, learn to listen to yourself, and put everything on the shelves, then you can start to act. Therefore, the first thing to do is to begin to understand what leadership means to you. 

Try to return to the above questions as often as possible, since, as soon as you start working hard in order to better yourself, your answers will change. These responses will guide you towards unlocking your inner leader.

2. Find and Accept Your Uniqueness

It is extremely important for you to bring out your uniqueness. Most people think that they are not that different from other people but, in fact, this is not at all the case. 

List your strengths and unique abilities. Each leader knows his or her strengths, and each person has them. Most people think that it’s necessary to work on weaknesses, taking your strengths for granted. But to awaken leadership qualities, you need to start by working out the strengths. This does not mean that you shouldn’t pay attention to weaknesses at all, surely, you should work on fixing the critical ones too. But keeping the focus on your strengths will help you to boost your self-esteem and awaken your inner leadership potential.

3. Leverage Your Public Speaking Skills

Unfortunately, many people have a fear of engaging in discussions, and this may be the result of negative experiences. If this is familiar to you, then you need to learn how to fix it. Perhaps people are not listening to you because you speak incoherently or not clearly. Therefore, reading classical literature and video recording your speeches will become paramount in solving these problems.

Whilst everything is obvious with the first, the questions may arise about the second one. Pick a topic and start talking about it on video. After that, see what you have done, and your mistakes in your speech will immediately become apparent to you. Be sure to write down each problem, and the next time you do this exercise, try to fix it. By the way, this exercise will help not only improve your speech but also help to cope with the barrier of starting a conversation.

“It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.” – Mark Twain

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4. Learn to Control Emotions

Most likely, you paid attention to the fact that you are more engaged when listening to those people who are emotionally balanced. Often such people emit positive emotions, but they never overplay them. So the next challenge will be to learn to control your emotions, calmly respond to criticism and always keep your emotional state under control. Real leaders are hard to drive mad. The previously mentioned exercise with video recording can help you with this too. For example, you may start a private video blog, and make a short video every day analyzing situations that happened, your emotions, and the ways you responded to them. 

5. Be Yourself

Staying true to yourself and your principles is an essential skill of every leader. Most likely, in the early stages of working on your inner leader enhancement, you begin to follow the example of some famous leaders and copy their demeanor. Hence, the best thing is to reveal your strong sides and be authentic. Of course, you can and should take examples from great leaders, but you don’t need to copy them. Be unique and true to yourself!

Now you know what you need to do to become a leader for yourself and for other people. The main thing to remember is that leadership is what you make of it. When you learn to control yourself, understand your actions, improve your speaking skills, then you begin to develop as a leader further. Implement these five tips, and get a solid chance to succeed.

What do you think is the most defining characteristic of a great leader? Share your thoughts with us below!

RELATED TOPICS:BE A LEADERCHARACTERISTICS OF A LEADERHOW TO BE A LEADERHOW TO LEAD PEOPLELEADERSHIPLEADERSHIP TRAITSLEARN TO BE A LEADERPUBLIC SPEAKINGSELF-CONFIDENCESELF-ESTEEM

 

 


 

 

 

 


How To Be A Successful Leader From Home

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out.

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out. Now it’s rather suddenly become a fact of life for entire workplaces and teams, and many of us are still working to adapt. If you’re finding it difficult to manage some elements of working with your team or even staying on top of your own workflow and habits in this new normal, here’s some great advice compiled from my clients who are experienced in successfully working and leading from home

For Your Team:

Overcommunicate, especially when things are uncertain. Provide additional detail and context to make up for the information people can no longer pick up organically in casual conversations. Be as clear and consistent as possible to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Raise the flag if something looks off. It’s important to speak up, because it’s harder to spot things that have gone awry when everyone is working separately. If you have a concern, check in to see if what others think . And if you’re spinning your wheels on a project, let your colleagues know. Identify problems early so you can start working toward solutions.

Create inner circles of collaboration. If you do your best work in collaboration with a work partner or small group, block a few hours to share a virtual room. Use technology to see each other, view each other’s screens and set up a virtual whiteboard to share ideas and work through problems.

Check in with others. Find the structure that works best for maintaining open channels with each member of your team, making sure you check in regularly. It’s more important than ever that you ask lots of questions and listen to the answers.

Recognize effort as well as accomplishments. There are fewer opportunities for recognition when everyone is working separately, so make an extra effort. In addition to celebrating wins, recognize those who are contributing extra effort and longer hours, those who are working through stressful situations, and those who have taken a risk or tried something new—even if it didn’t work out.

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For Yourself:

Start and end the work day at a specific time. Those who are new to working from home often experience burnout because they feel they never leave work. Set a schedule for the beginning and end of every work day. Of course there will be some nights you work late, but make them the exception, not the rule.

Work with your peak hours and low-energy moments. We all have times when we’re more focused and productive and times when our energy is lower and we’re more prone to distraction. An advantage of working from home is that it’s easier to balance your time, energy and productivity around your individual rhythm.

Remove as many distractions as possible. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to realize you’ve just spent an hour on social media or down an internet rabbit hole. Take social media off your work computer. Leave your phone in another room and get rid of any distractions that you know will get in the way of your productivity.

Create breaks during the day. No one can sit at a desk for 12 hours straight and do their best work. Even 15 to 30 minutes a couple of times a day can make a big difference in your focus and clarity. Treat it like a meeting and make yourself unavailable.

Exercise or do something vigorous at least four days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise increases mental sharpness and makes you better at handling stress. It’s harder to fit exercise in, especially if you’re used to the routine of going to a gym, but your productivity and mental attitude—not to mention your health—depend on it.

Pay attention to your mindset. Working from home makes it extra important that you stay on top of your thoughts and mental attitude. It can be harder to find ways to clear your head, and there are fewer interactions with others to keep you grounded. Find things that nourish you—take your laptop out on the porch, play some music, read an author whose work inspires you.

Fight loneliness and isolation. Working from home, you miss out on camaraderie, companionship and interacting with others. But you don’t have to feel you’re on an island. Set up a virtual lunch date or happy hour, or create chat channels for topics of interest. Spend a bit of time every day connecting with co-workers about nonwork topics- think of it as the online version of stopping by their desk to chat.

Lead from within: Successfully working from home is a skill; it takes time and commitment and dedication to develop that skill. But with a great leader at the helm, people and teams can find their way and be as successful as ever.


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What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

 

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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