Man Crush Monday: 5 Reasons Why I Have a Thing for Gary Vaynerchuk
For those of you who don’t live in the high school girl Instagram bubble, here’s an (Urban) Dictionary definition of the fad that is Man Crush Monday:
“Revealing who is your man crush, must be done on a Monday.”
Unfortunately, today is not Monday. But just go with me here. I really want to reveal my man crush.
Ready…? (Drum roll, please.)
You’re probably thinking, “Well, yep. You already said that in the title.” And also, “Who the heck is that?”
Gary Vaynerchuk is a bestselling author, YouTube personality, and world class marketer whose wisdom has earned him spots on top media and wins him a six-figure fee for speaking engagements across the country. He’s won top business awards, hit bestseller lists, and become known as one the premiere marketing and social branding experts out there.
I’ve learned so much from Gary, and I look up to him immensely. Here are five reasons that I think he’s awesome, aside from just his smarts.
(Caveat: He’s quite brash and cusses often. It’s all part of his brand and is surely strategic, but I just want to warn you.)
1- He’s incredibly generous with his content, perhaps more so than any other big marketer out there. Gary has awesome marketing advice to share, and the majority of it is free. It’s a lesson in openhandedness, for sure–but also in strategy. Gary writes on his blog about “the leverage of being a good person.” While he’s touted as being super generous, he calls it pure savviness and uses his freebies framework to create leverage, develop emotional capital, and build up a trusted and authoritative brand. It might sound crass for him to say that the true motive behind his generosity is profit, but that’s just typical Gary. While his words are often sarcastic, he has shown great passion for helping others succeed through his content, and he mixes this well with pursuit of his own brand’s success.
2- He’s not afraid to hustle, and he encourages millennials to do the same. So often, we see big names rise to the top and then stop working hard. That’s not Gary. “You’re never too big,” he writes. “Hustle” is built into his tagline, and it’s a term he lives out. He encourages folks to determine their own dream and drives, to not fall victim to external factors that are too often seen as predictors of someone’s future. “Your hustle, your work ethic, your drive… is not predicated on your zip code,” he says in this YouTube video called “The Most Important Word Ever.” My favorite line is: “Your talent isn’t enough. You’ve got to go put in the work.” He says that millennials are a generation less willing to work hard than any before them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want laziness or the status quo to mark me. I want to hustle.I don’t know about you, but I don’t want laziness or the status quo to mark me. I want to hustle. Click To Tweet
3- He marches to the beat of a different drummer. Gary’s whole persona, probably more than anyone else I’ve experienced, screams, “If you don’t like me, too bad.” He curses and shouts; he’s sometimes crass. But it’s all strategic. He speaks and writes about the importance of having a thick skin and running hard after what you want, regardless of the opinions of the people around you. One of his well-known blogs is titled “Don’t Listen to Anyone; Listen to Everyone.” He doesn’t live for the approval of just anyone, but he does have his thumb on the pulse of the marketplace and is greatly in tune with the collective preferences and trends of the culture. That insight is what defines and refines his marketing. It’s a key distinction: deeply knowing and leveraging societal opinions, but not caving to singular opinions of him personally.
4- He is vulnerable and goes beyond the surface, which is highly strategic but also refreshing. Gary’s the first to admit that he’s not good at everything. One of my favorite YouTube videos features Gary talking about self-awareness, and he says, “I struggle to think about the things I’m bad at, but self-awareness requires understanding both and then choosing which path you want to go through.” He’s an advocate for admitting and accepting your shortcomings. Contrary to many other marketers, he often says that there’s not only one right way to do things, and that we all have different strengths, and therefore different stories and paths to success. It’s refreshing because it counters the traditional marketing messaging that says there’s one single path to winning consumers–and, more importantly, it shows the depth and heart behind a big name.
5- He builds his personal life into his brand. Gary loves sports. He’s all about the New York Jets and jokes (or maybe it’s not joking!) about how he wants to purchase them one day. He even helped them out with their social media once upon a time. The sports connection creates an empathy with his consumers. Same deal with his acknowledgement of his family. Gary has a wife and two kids, and while he works long hours, he’s all in with them when he’s home–and he’s honest about the work-family tension, as well. The openness about family, much like the conversation about sports, invites people in. It lets consumers see the depth of who he is as a regular ol’ guy, beyond just business, which deepens the trust and the brand relationship.
The short version: Gary Vaynerchuk, affectionately called Gary Vee (check out his YouTube series called #AskGaryVee) is a marketing genius who’s raw, original, and highly entertaining. I laugh at all his stuff–and also learn a ton. Check him out! If you want him to yell a little bit and tell you exactly why you should subscribe to his channel, this is for you. (Be warned, he cusses!)