CUNY CITY COLLEGE GARY VAYNERCHUK KEYNOTE | NEW YORK 2017Jan 02, 2022
- Good morning. - Good morning. - So, I'll give a little spiel, but honestly, I think given the size of the audience and given the vibe here, I think we should go into Q&A. I think that's where the most interesting value comes out. But, to create a small frame. I am an immigrant. I was born in Belarus in the former Soviet Union. I came here when I was three years old. I lived in Queens, in Rego Park for two years, in a studio with five, six, seven, eight family members. So, I can relate to that routine and that hustle.
I literally never even knew my dad for the first 14 years of my life, because he would leave before he woke me up and come home after he put me to sleep. First as a stock boy in a liquor store earning two dollars an hour, and then as a manager. And the immigrants, and I'm sure some of you know this, the immigrants have really discovered the secret of American business. Which is not spending money on nonsense for 10 years, putting it all away, and then buying something, right? And so, that's what my dad did. And he bought a little liquor store in Springfield, New Jersey.
I grew up in Edison, New Jersey. You know, lemonade stands, shoveling snow, baseball cards. You know, it's crazy for me to be able to live in the era where an entrepreneur is great. The fact that he takes 10 selfies of me a day drives me crazy. The fact that the hip hop artists I love send me direct messages. It's so crazy. And it has happened, right? He has gone through sports. I think a lot of people forget. In the 1950s, baseball and football players had summer jobs in hardware stores. Everything comes to its day, and I believe that there is nothing more American than the entrepreneur, than the business person and, therefore, I am lucky.
You know, when he was your age, he was a loser in many people's eyes, because he was a terrible student. And the narrative of 25 years ago was that entrepreneurship was not a feasible way out. That the only way out was Yale, Harvard, and Cornell. The school was the only benchmark that created opportunities and so for me, I'm excited about this business thing, but at the same time, to be very frank, one of the things that I want to try to dissect in our questions and answers now. I mean, I also think it's gone a little too far in the other direction.
I think everyone thinks he's going to be a winning businessman. You know, it's fun. Everyone says that he is a businessman. That's like me saying I'm a basketball player. That's great. It's fun to be able to run at the YMCA a couple of times. But they don't pay me. Right, I'm not an NBA All-Star. And what I think is happening right now is people are putting the word entrepreneur on their Instagram profile and thinking it's a wrapper. They think they're going to make it and this and that. And it is extremely difficult. He is extremely lonely.
Listen, if you want this, you have to understand that there are a lot of things that people don't talk about. No one in my world of tech startups talks about the suicides that occur when children fail. Maple, the food service that was supposed to be so big, closed yesterday. This is happening every day. Right? And everyone thinks it's so easy, and the reason they think it's so easy is because I grew up, when I was your age, you couldn't just roll over people and say, this is my idea and they'd give you a million dollars. at a $4 million valuation.
That was crazy, it wasn't. And I think the other thing that I'm afraid of, especially as I look around the room, it's a couple of us, but for most of you, we've had a good economy now for the last seven or eight years. And for many of you, seven or eight years ago, you were very young. So you haven't survived when the world melts down. I lived through the .com crash in 2000. And then, right after it, 9/11. And then 2007, and eight. And I've navigated my business through that. That is hard. Everyone is a general in times of peace, but who is a general in times of war?
Everybody is cool, everybody is a hero when you can print a logo on a t-shirt and say I have a fashion brand. Right? But what about building something sustainable that you can eat on and things of that nature? So for me, I'm not trying to discourage, I'm just trying to paint a very real picture. This is a long game. Like, from 22 to 30, I didn't do anything. I worked 15 hours a day, Monday through Saturday. You know, it's fun. I was speaking at a talk the other day, it was a Friday. I say, "Tomorrow, more of you are going to have more Saturdays off in your 20s than I have in my 20s, tomorrow." Because Saturday is the biggest retail day and that's when we sold the most wine, so I was there every Saturday of every 20 to 30 years, 10 years.
Every damn Saturday. And then when people, all the fucking clichés we all say, "I'm working," "I'm rushing," ya you know, like, 'I'm doing this.' I laugh because I look at people's Insta and they're fucking up at Coachella. (audience laughter) So I think there's a mix. There's a mix because the entrepreneurial spirit has also caught on. fashion. I said something in a talk that really resonates with me. And she's like, "Oh shit, club promoters have taken over entrepreneurship." TRUE? We are putting it on this pedestal. And now, with the way Instagram dominates our world, and the images of watches and private planes, and girls and boys, and boats and champagne, I'm like, "Fuck." 99% of people are going to lose.
And what scares me is that people really knew what to do, which is to eat shit, because he works so hard, be very patient. Do you know what I wish you more than anything? More than anything. And I'm looking around the room. Our wonderful police officers back there, a couple of people here. We are seven or eight. that you know this, the rest of you don't, which is if you knew that at 40, you feel the same way inside as you did at 20, I'd fuck your head off. I think we are friends. I think we are the same age.
It's crazy. When I was 22 years old, my cousin was in business. He was 30 years old, he was eight years older than me. I thought he was the same age as me. Shit. (audience laughter) I remember, that wasn't that long ago. I was 22, he was 30. he was old as fuck. So when I sit here and I'm 41, I'm like, "Fuck, these kids think I'm fucking old." (audience laughter) And I feel as fucking young as you guys. And if you knew that, if you knew that, you would be much more patient. If you knew that, you would be much more patient.
I promise you, the number one thing I'm trying to get out of here with is getting a couple of you to be really fucking patient because that's the singular advantage. If you don't really give a shit, like I don't, what people think of you, through your 20s, like you just don't care, like you literally don't care, and you just build something for yourself, you have a better chance. Many people here will fail on their business trips because they care what people think. That's just what it is, my man. That's just what it is. People are concerned about what other people think, how many followers they have, how well the business is doing, what they are doing, where they are going, what they are wearing.
I don't give a shit. It especially doesn't matter if you pour all that energy into building something and then at 33 you're winning and they're resetting. (Applause and applause from the audience) And if you really knew how young you would be at 33, it would really change everything. Like, that's the thing. I'm trying to put the words together because I'm going back to that time. It's hard. Right? It's hard when you're so young. It's hard to realize that you will feel so young. I just don't know how to say it. I really don't know how to say it.
I don't, but I want to say it with conviction, so that a couple of you will believe me. But you have to build a real business that makes money. If you're going to go into the technology business, if you want to create an app, it's hard. For every Snapchat and Instagram, there are eight million Insta-shits. You know? Everyone fails. And we are seduced by the two or three people who do not. It is fun. I went to Mount Ida College. It was 94% African American, Latino, real minority
college. And every person wanted to be a rapper. It was 1994.
Everybody was going to do it and I remember thinking, "Wow, this is some crazy shit." How you gonna be a rapper if you ain't writing? How you gonna be a rapper if you're not in the studio? How you gonna be a rapper if you ain't rushed? And it's funny, like the white boy version of that is now technology. Everyone thinks they are going to build Snapchat and Instagram. And I'm like, how are you going to do that when you're at Coachella? How are you going to do that if you go out every night? How are you going to do that when you're raising money and, funny, raising money has been so detrimental to the startup community?
It doesn't take a hero to lose $30,000 a month. Everyone here can do that. So a couple of things I want to get across, and I really want to get into Q&A, and get really detailed because I'm here. I'm not coming back (audience laughter) So let's take advantage of it, you know what I mean? So the couple of things I think you really need to understand is "it's for life." 99% of the kids that walk into my office or that I come across are trying to change their shit. Which means they're doing it for the money. And when you do it just for the money, you have a much less chance of making money.
So if you build a business, if you have the mindset, if you have the mindset to build it for life, you slow down. You become truer. You build a much better base. Basically, if you're thinking of building a house, everyone is worried about decorating the fucking room and what lighting you're going to have, or what color the wallpaper is. And meanwhile, the concrete you built the house on is shit and it won't matter because the first time it rains, your shit will fall off. Right? And so it is, everyone is jumping, everyone is so impatient. You want and listen, I understand.
I look around this room and associate. I don't look exactly like everyone else, but I come from the same kind of place with a lot of people. Right? When you have that chip on your shoulder, the hardest thing to do is be patient. Right? And there are so many stories, whether you come from nothing, whether your parents, whether your brother goes to Yale. There are a million different chips and we all have them and the hardest thing to do when you have a chip on your shoulder is to wait. Because you can't wait to say, "Fuck, I told you so." Right?
Everyone lives for it. I love it. I live for it. But the best way to do it is to achieve it and the best way to achieve it is to put it in a 10-year window, a 20-year window, and everyone is in a 10-month window. Everyone comes up to me and says, "I'm going to be a millionaire at 27." I'm like, "What the hell does that mean?" (audience laughter) I'm like, "Great, mazel tov." (audience laughter) It's the wrong mentality and the youth right now because of the pedestal of entrepreneurship and the nature of public relations. You know this.
Your fucking Instagram and Snapchat are basically your public relations to the world. They're getting that perfect lighting, they're waiting for that perfect lighting, they're even doing shit just for the damn selfie. You're like, "I really don't want to go out. But fuck it, I'll go there and get my--" (audience laughter). People are doing things now just for the selfie itself. So... I'm painting this picture and underneath in reality, everybody's going to lose, everybody's going to lose. So how do you build your brand? How do you build your app? That takes a lot of work, like real, you have to love the job.
What I really got lucky and that's DNA. When I was four and didn't read a business book or go to a GaryVee talk to motivate me at six to think it was fun instead of playing to get behind it. a table and sell lemonade every damn day. That's just DNA. So I don't sit here easily and do this because it's not easy. You have your DNA. You have the things that are natural. for you. But I'll tell you why I'm successful, because I like the routine, because I feed off the journey, because I love the process, because I like the pain.
I like the phone call. l that I had to have this morning about a difficult situation. fucking pressure. You build a business, you're just managing people. It's a lot of stress. And so, but I love that and you have to decide if you like that. If you are the person in your family who loves to have everyone's fucking problems with you and you try to get around them? Now I hear something that makes me think, okay, you might be able to build a business. But if you're not, you might want to be number three or number six.
You might want to catch that tiger by the tail of someone you see who can eat shit 24/7/365 and what you're good at is you're fucking organized , you're fucking creative, you're a great salesperson Many people confuse being a good salesperson and a woman with being a good businesswoman. They are very different things. You have to discover yourself. The key is self-awareness. The key is self-awareness. I suck at most things, really. I just suck at most things butmarketer, but I always tell people that if your product sucks, there's nothing you can do. Well, I could let a lot more people know that your product is crap, you know?
So A, first of all, you have to make sure that the product is the right one. B, have you asked? So the question is if I went on your Instagram right now, have you posted pictures of flies and cool stuff or did you say you know the link in our profile to buy our shit? Have you thrown that right hook? - Yes, yes, I have a live link to my entire website. - Right, so if you're not converting, the next thing I would do is literally PM everyone who follows you and ask them why not. Ask them like hey we did some stuff we just here you know you don't want to say hey we're doing a poll cause they'll say fuck you but like hey you know quick question like you know obviously you gotta be smart you gotta be - Nice. - Yeah, you have to be one on one, you have to be like, hey Karen, you know, thanks for following along, quick question, right?
And then you have to remember how Instagram works and the DM only shows the first two words, so you have to try different words that will attract more people like you, you have to be smart. Because if it's like Hey Karen, she might be out, but if it's like a quick question, she might watch. Or like she has a thing for you, she'll definitely look. Like you have to be smart as what people don't understand is that there are clouds and dirt, right? And when you look at me and DailyVee, I'm giving you the clouds, right?
Because I can't give you the dirt because it's usually my clients' dirt and I can't share it, but what I just made for you is the dirt. Understanding how it all works you have to be a practitioner. I have to be a plumber, not just an architect. And that's why I'm different than most people who look like me. I'm on this. I'm doing the job. I understand how this shit works. I understand how to get people to swipe up on an Instagram ad and watch a four minute video, excuse me a Snapchat ad and watch a four minute video, most people haven't even posted a Snapchat ad yet.
I understand why it's smart to buy filters around 20,000 like you should buy filters around skate parks. You know if you're doing great it makes me happy and yet you should be smart. You should buy it from 4 p.m. onwards so you catch both after school waves, not just nine where you catch one like this is detail crap. - Perfect, thanks. - Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm vice president of marketing for the club of entrepreneurs. - Awesome. (audience applause) - I don't know how I did it, I've seen the fight first hand, it's been a long fight.
He's not really my father because he wasn't really here for me. I've seen the fight and in the face how do you soften the blow? - How does one soften the blow of what one sees? - How to fight because it's like I'm a student and I fight here and I fight there, so how do I soften that blow? - Realizing you have no choice. Like you know that's not a funny answer. Just like I wish I could come up with a little more honey for you, but the reality is I think it's better to go the other way.
Just like I think it is like it is what it is. You could stop at that struggle that is very real or you could change your perspective and say okay, the odds of becoming a human being are 400 billion to one. You were more likely to win the Mega Millions nine times in your life than to have one life. So you could say fuck like I have this life, it's not as good as some rich white kid who got a $400 billion trust fund, but at the same time and let me tell you this, I look at that face and I'm like do you know How sad am I for my children?
I am being very serious. You may think it's funny, I don't want that life. I love this narrative. I like admiration. When you are coddled by the trust fund, they disrespect you. Like, how I look at this, I look at you with much more respect than my friends who have it all handed in, because I'm like you gave it all away, that's not fun either, I've spent time, like I used to think it was fun, I've spent time with they are really screwed. Like, I'm serious, you know, everyone's grass is greener on the other side, I get it, and I don't want to be like, hey, it really sucks being a trillionaire kid, doesn't it.
But, there's a lot of suicide and fucking depression and all that. I think the correct answer is to realize that you have what you have, and it's like poker, right? You may not have gotten the best hand, from your perspective, but you still have a chance. You know, my favorite story of my life is playing checkers with the founder of Uber, Travis. We're at a fancy fucking conference in Hawaii and we're playing checkers. Right, it's like two in the morning, I don't know, we're just playing damn checkers, right. (audience laughter) And I'm in deep shit, like it's all over, like he's got me.
If you've ever played checkers, I'm finished. And so I'm like fuck man, I really don't want to lose this match and so I decide, I think about it a little bit, in a couple of moves, and I decide to pretend that I made a move that bothers me, hoping that I'll react quickly. So I do this move and say "Fuck." And I try to pretend that I need to go back, but my hand was ready. So he jumps me, which sets me up for a triple jump, and I won. This is how I think of your life. (audience applause) You know.
Thanks man. Thanks man. Listen, listen, the other thing is perspective. I've been in Harlem a lot, and obviously not as much as you, but when you go to Ghana, when you go to other places, there's a lot of people out there, man. The trip I send a lot of my friends on, who come from the inner
cityshores, is Mississippi. Like, perspective is a funny thing. I think there is only one person on Earth who is allowed to complain. For example, there are over seven billion of us, and there is literally someone who is in the last place.
Like in that range. Well well? They're in a cave right now as human slaves, or something. I'm being... This is weird but it's true, there is someone who is in last place. And unless you are that person, you can't complain. And I think if you take that mindset, it becomes really good, and that doesn't take away from the equation being a minority, being a woman, being poor, being born into a really difficult parenting situation, like, that doesn't take that away. I'm just trying to figure out what the mindset is to get out of it. Because if you're defensive, you're defensive.
Because I see the same thing happen with the kid who sits and complains, a friend of mine who literally, literally, literally has $20 million in the bank, as a trust fund kid, is losing. All that comes out of his mouth is defense. And it sounds ridiculous, but you sit there, and he's another human being, and that's the problem, right? Everyone disrespects me, I'm a loser, this and that, like. Such is life, you got it. - Hi, Gary. - Hello. - My name is Kayla. - How are you? - Thanks for coming, this is very surreal for me, because I actually grew up in Edison, representing JP. - No way! - Yes I love it.
Did you go to John Adams High School? - No, I actually went to Rochester Prep and Liberty Franklin, but my brother went there. So, very surreal because I was seeing Wine Library in 2007. - I love it. You are O.G. - Yes. So I'm actually on this quest to learn from the best people, I consider myself a student of life and a student of people who are not in any institution, thank you. (audience applause) - You know nobody else gets anything remotely close to that now, right? That's how it starts, that's it, it's over. She was smart, she won, let's move on. (audience laughs) - Okay, I wasn't going to ask you to yell at me. - (laughs) Definitely not. - So, my brother and I are starting a business and we want to expand a lot during the summer. - What kind of business is it? - We're doing it as an ad tech startup. - Yes. - So, we're trying to attract more people and we wonder how much time we should spend attracting good people instead of trying to attract them quickly.
And also make them share the vision of the company. - Is the company in a place where it is receiving a lot of business flow and clients? - Recently, not really. - So, are you trying to bring in engineers to build it? - Yes, engineers and people like that. - Then I would go with the good. It would be a bit more demanding. The only time you should overextend yourself and hire only C and D and hope some are good is when commercial pressure from people wants to give you money. And for lack of people, you say no.
But when you're actually building the product, a bad engineer can really set you back, right? So are you both engineers, or is one of you? - Yes, we are both engineers. - So that's great. Entrepreneurship has created some fun stuff, including two non-technical co-founders, who create technical products and outsource and fuck each other. So you guys are in a good place. Which I would do, to be blunt, you're young, right? Like, I think you should spend every minute on it. Like, I think you should be interviewing people at 10:00 p.m. m. and 11:00 p.m. m., at 6:00 a.m. m., like, I would try to get 20, 15, 10 interviews in a day, instead of three, four, five.
That's how I'd probably attack it, because you'll need to gain quality. Are they having trouble with the deal flow to get good talent? - I think we just need to talk to more people. I'm trying to reach people, but I'm still trying to get more people to interview us. - Are they spending any time in communities like Meetup or Reddit or other places where there is a scale of people talking? - No, but I think we need to start doing that more. I just entered engineering classes. - Awesome. The good thing is that you are roofed, right? - Yeah. - You know...
You know, that's crazy and I think some of you know it's crazy that bulletin boards still exist. And kind of real, right? So I know when a lot of my engineering talent is looking for talent. It's amazing to me that they get on some of these ruby or even python bulletin boards, you know? I think the Slack channels are a place where you can divert some... The public Slack channels are a place where I think you can find some engineers. Those are just a few details that I think you can use. - OK thanks. - No problem. - Hello, Gary.
This is Jarrett. - Jarrett. - I watched your content for a while. - Thank you. - I think it's really amazing, so thanks for being there. - Thank you. - Actually, I'm starting a business right now-- - Good, great. - With some friends. We are still in the design phase. And I wanted to know when it comes to, of course, designing and then marketing and building a website. We are only three. Do you think it's smarter to focus on one thing at a time? Do you think it's smarter- - What's the deal? - It is for skaters to protect their shoes from any damage that may happen to them while you are stopping. - Have you already designed the product? - It's basically finished.
We just have to make it. - And then, is there something stopping you? Is it money? Are you the right partner? Is there something stopping you from making it? - Well, not now. Money is definitely an issue, but we're working on it right now. - So clearly you're going to sell this on Shopify, right? - I've never heard of Shopify. (audience laughter) - So you should definitely build it on Shopify. Because that means you won't have to actually build the site. So you will be there. So that's good. - Ok. - I'm glad you came to this talk and heard about Shopify. (audience and Gary laugh) So I think they're on the move, right? - Yes. - If the product arrives.
The site is going to be, once you Google Shopify and learn how to do it, that's a very cheap way to be in retail, so that's huge. And then on the marketing front, I think it's hard-core influencer marketing. Obviously, you have to re-file it in your thing. It is possible that you have the wrong influencers, right? Maybe they gave you-- - Yeah, I realized that getting the top tier guys doesn't really do anything. You have to get the B-tier guys because they're the up-and-comers. - Yes, the long tail is always more interesting because a lot of people actually pay.
If someone has 18,000 followers, a lot of times, those 18,000 are actually watching and following. You start to get to that high level, it just becomes passive and one's food. So I have to find the right influencers and get rid of them, right? I just have to become aware, you know? But aim for the moon. You should hit. You need to slide into the DM of each of the top skaters in the world and ask them to put you on. And 99.999% of them will say "No". But if one says "Yes", everything changes. It's just grinding. It's a numbers game.
Do you have the perseverance? Do you love "No" like I love "No"? I love "No", you know. Because "No" is followed by "I told you so." (audience and Gary laugh) (audience applause and cheers) - Come on, Kenny! Hi Kenny! Kenny, yes Kenny! - Mename is Kenny. Nice to meet you. - I hear you. (audience and Gary laugh) - My question is not necessarily related to entrepreneurship. - Of course, do not worry. - It is more related to personal branding. - Sure, let's do it. - How can
collegeseniors and recent graduates start building a personal brand to potentially build a business or get hired at a company they want to get hired with? - Talk about shit you know, Kenny. - That is all? - Yes. (audience laughter and applause) You know, everyone is trying to build a personal brand. it became stodgy.
It's crazy. You're holding Crush It!. When I wrote that, people didn't even know what the word meant, right? People laughed at the book you're holding. Because you have to understand, it's 10 years ago. The idea of "going to YouTube". People didn't even know what YouTube and Twitter were. I was like, "Go on YouTube." I went on CNN and all these places. These are literally the interviews. You can find them on Google or on YouTube. I'm like, "Go on YouTube and Twitter." And the anchors, this is CNN, the anchors are like, "What is YouTube?" (audience laughter) It sounds crazy now, but everyone wants to do that.
The way you build a personal brand is for people to want to follow you, right? So why would people want to follow you? You're pretty. You're funny. You're smart. You are motivating You have to have something. But the thing to do is not to cope. Everyone is playing an act that is a house of cards. You need to speak your truth. - Document, not create things. - Document, not create. Like all those people who gave you daps because you're clearly a nice guy. That's going to work, that's a winning formula, that's the shit I had too.
Right? Me too, first of all, and this is something you need to think about. I also decided to put my head down for 12 years before building a personal brand because it was so much more fun building a personal brand around building an actual business. . The reason I came up with document don't create was that it gives a kid like you a chance. So you could, you could put your head down for 15 years, go out and then start building or right now you could say, I'm Kenny, I've got it, this is what I'm doing. Not much yet.
I'm not going to give you business advice when I haven't built a fucking business, but I could surely tell you what fucking kids they're fucking with right now. You could talk about your life, culture. Everybody wants, listen if you want, I knew, this is a bit younger than this demo, but you might have some younger nieces, nephews, and kids. I knew slime and spinners were coming because I watch eight year olds. Do you know how much money you could have made buying a bunch of spinners in China and selling them on Amazon? There are people who make a hundred thousand racks, like real money, like real money, like every week on Amazon because nine months ago they saw kids going to fuck with spinners and they started buying a bunch of them in China and they took the top spot on Amazon.
Everybody wants to know what you guys fuck with. All fashion brands, all brands of soft drinks, all brands of sneakers. So tell them. You know how valuable a show is and how many people would follow you if your day was to walk around this campus and ask people what's your favorite song, what's your favorite soda, what's your favorite brand. That is valuable. I'm interested. - Do you think that personal branding will eventually replace the resume? - Sure, if you define it as, I definitely don't give a damn what your resume says. I'm much more interested in how our interview will feel and if I'm intrigued I'll definitely go on your social media to find out who you are.
I know when Jet players aren't going to be good by the way they treat their friends and women on social media. It's crazy. I'm like, this guy is a fucking piece of shit. It actually sucks. Hell yeah. What, am I going to listen to your piece of shit against your actions? - Thank you. - No problem. (audience applause) - Hey, what's up, Gary? - That was a little loot, right there. Like a mic finger roll. - My name is Ariel and I want to congratulate you on congratulating Reezy Resells. - Yeah. - I actually met him this weekend.
The question was on Amazon, Gary, I saw them one day. - Yes. - So my question is, I'm a senior electrical engineer. However, lately I have been dreaming of helping my dad in Ecuador. - I'm lovin 'it. - He has a business there but I'm doing Amazon. I'm a senior and I've got a few things lined up for next year-- - And the thing about Amazon, just so everyone knows, is that you're buying shit in stores and reselling it on Amazon and making a profit. - Exactly. - I don't even want to go in, I don't know if you heard, you know that all this started because I was in Breakfast Club, right? - Exactly, yes, yes. - And Envy tried to call me, try to put me in gas.
I was like, “Okay, Envy. “Fuck you. Look at this." And I dropped everything and it's-- Guys, I'm getting 500 emails a month right now from people like, "I make $23,000 a year, we're broke. "I have $40,000 in credit card debt. I live with eight family members and this has changed. Now I go to Marshalls every day and earn an extra $200 a week." It's crazy what's happening on Amazon and eBay. Literally if you have three hours you can make hundreds of dollars every day just going to stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls and Dollar Store scanning shit, looking up how much it sells for on Amazon, buying it and selling it.
It sucks, it's crazy, right? - Yes. - What are you freaking out? - So I started flipping books, I'm doing wholesale sales and in fact I pay for my daughter's daycare with that kind of money. That's really amazing. - How much time do you spend on it? - I probably spent probably 10 hours in the beginning just watching YouTube videos and direct messaging people, but now I probably only spend five, 10 hours and it's amazing. - So five, 10. - Five, 10 hours a week. - Buy, go places to buy? - No, just researching products online. - Understood, are you doing everything online? - Yes, I'm doing it all online. - Are you finding shit? - Yeah, just a few extensions, I think one is through Amazon, and it's Jungle Scout, buy later, the app itself is ridiculous.
Just scan what you have at home. It only tells you how much it's worth. And it started with an investment of $5. - What dollar? - An investment of $5. But in the end I earn a thousand dollars already in the last four months. - Again, break that down for me. How much investment? - So I started, the story is really boring because I was working at home and then I found a book on web design and I sold it and they gave me $6.50. I went to my girlfriend's library. And I'm like, you have books you never read.
Let me take those, turn them around. - So you stole books from the library? - No, my girlfriend-- - Did your girlfriend do it? Even better, even better. Because if you got caught, it was her fault. I like you. - My girlfriend's library. So I took that, flipped it. I made a few dollars of profit and then I've just been doing it. - Guys, I tell you, if you need it, this is something different. If you really want to be an entrepreneur, selling is always a good idea, engineers, skateboard, it doesn't matter. Whatever your experience, selling, just to learn it, just to savor it, is fundamental.
At the end of the day, it's what you're going to do. You could build the best product. Someone is going to sell it. You might also have a bit of knowledge about it. Everyone must be based on the sale. Right now, while you have time and you have time. Just so you know. A lot (laughs), a lot. Start going places and buying shit. Get the app, scan apps on your phone. Earn two or three hundred dollars a week on your investment of five to 12 hours of going places, list it, is a fundamental thing that will serve you well and could also put a couple hundred dollars in your pocket each week. .
And God forbid you trip over something. This will happen and then the spinner or the slime or something happens when you walk into the right store doing the right close and you scan something and it sells for 35 bucks on Amazon and it's $3 a piece and they have 400 of them and you've been saving and earning some money and you go all-in, suddenly you have $4,000 on that $5 investment. These are the emails, 500 emails a month, starting at $9 and now at $4,000. But that's a little less Madden, that's a little less listening to every single Logic and Russ song played 400 times a day.
That's a little less hanging out. It's work. - So I just want to mention... - Go ahead. - Help my dad, but I don't know if it's feasible to do it abroad, because I haven't earned enough money to go there. Do you think it's a good idea to do it because he has technology, so I don't know what-- - What is he doing? - Build products to help flowers last longer whether they come here or just, there's a lot more, I guess greener and different-- - How old is your dad? -He's probably in his 60s, but he has a Ph.D. in how-- - The reason I asked you how old, I think I would wait, but in the same way, there's nothing like working with your family.
Maybe you can come and go. I'll tell you good news. I don't think there is a wrong answer here. I think either way is going to be fine. - Okay, great, thanks. - You got it. (audience applause) - What's up, Gary? - How are you, my man? - My name is Jose, I'm a big fan. - Thank you. I had a question about marketing, a little bit of entrepreneurship. - Let's do it. - I'm trying to start my own business like many people here. I would work for myself. Working for others sucks a bit. But I wonder, we've heard various buzzwords like products, sales, and so on.
I'm wondering if you could talk a little bit about how, when your product is an idea, it's a concept, like a value system, I'm trying to build a web platform for parents, that can buy some resources from the community. , things like that because I feel like that's a lane that's not really addressed. - To understand. - It is being built now. - I get it. - But what I became not so long ago. - Congratulations. - I think there is nothing here for men to speak to them. (Applause and audience laughter) But at the same time what I'm doing now, you know, I have the blog.
I'm starting to get more into YouTube and create consistent content. - You got-- - That jab, jab, jab. - You are not an idea, you are a media company. - That is what it is. - So what you need to know is that you are a media company and how do media companies make money? They earn money from subscriptions. You have to sell your content. The hard thing about selling content is that there is so much out there. A lot of people here don't want to pay for content because, sure, this person might be selling something for $8, but they know they can find it for free elsewhere.
We don't like to pay for content, but if you're good enough, they will, so here are a couple of things you should do. Keep pumping out tons of content. It's your only chance, and then you have to build a real fan base that cares about you, like a personal brand. They have to care. They have to care enough to pay for something. If you have enough fans who love you, then all of a sudden Harper Collins shows up and offers you $100,000 to write a book. That is one way to make money. If you have people who love and care about you and you bring value to them, suddenly people could pay you $500 to give your first speech, right?
And then it's built, right? Or, if they really love and care about you and you brought value to them, maybe you'll start doing a parent retreat, right? And maybe a fan of yours has a property upstate and they don't charge you, and now when you charge $200 per person and 150 people come, you have no overhead because the fan you brought value to gave you the property. free. So you have to treat yourself like a media company. And then it is not an idea. You just have to put that energy and that content and that fanbase into buckets that you can monetize, but first, man, you have to build a community. - Which is what I'm working on right now. - I love it, so just build, now is the time you should work for someone, right?
Nine to three, just go up, but it's late at night. Those are the things I talked about. Smash it! It was a breakthrough for me because I started talking about 7:00 p.m. at two in the morning, right, because I want to be practical. It's not like, hey, drop it, everything's going to be okay. It's going to take two years to get to a place where people pay you for the things I just broke. What are you going to do in those two years? So I'm a big fan of getting that job that's kind of light and just pays you and it's easy.
I don't care, stand behind a slow store cash register so you can work on fucking phones now. When I wrote that, they were desktop computers. Now, with the phone, you can conduct your business while standing behind a cash register at Saks Fifth Avenue, as if no one was there. You're just building your shit. And charging. I love that - Dope, dope. (Gary laughs) - You're welcome.(audience applause) - Hi Gary, thanks for being here. I guess I want to get away from the businessman-- - Come on. - Questions. This is more like morality with everything that's been going on-- - Yeah. - Since last year. - Yes. - Almost all the notifications you get from CNN - Yes. - New York Times. - Yeah. - It's like-- - Negative. - As an immigrant, a woman-- - Yes. - A sister of a special education child. - Yes. - How, it's like the system is against you, how do you get past that? - It's funny, isn't it, because I gave that young man the same answer.
And I've spent a lot of time with minority friends in the last year about this. For me, I'm just trying to remind you, it's perspective. Really, what I'm going to say is very, very awkward because I'm a white guy. (Woman 2 laughs) But I'm going to say it because I think it's my truth. I truly believe that happiness is much more of a mindset than people realize. You are more than welcome to look at those things and you are getting hit by them. But I've been lucky all my life, forget being a guy, even when I was a bad student, I just don't listen.
I don't think you've ever had more opportunities than you have now. I understand the propaganda that is being pushed, but the reality is that the internet doesn't give a fuck, the market doesn't give a fuck. You know what's really funny? When it comes down to it, people want to make money, people want to win, people want to be happy. I think you have a lot more control than you think. I don't know what else to tell you like what, like now, obviously because of the discomfort... Listen, I didn't get my green card until I was 19. My family was putting off our citizenship.
I think about it all the time. I'm like fuck. We could have really been caught. Unless you're sitting without the right paperwork, which I think is a real conversation that I have no interest in, like sitting in a podium, but if you're ready and you're here, you have a really good time. I don't care what people say. There is an unlimited amount of opportunities. First of all you old white guy, angry white guy, they can't stop you. What are they going to do? What? For starters, the cliché angry white guy we're referring to isn't in a position of power. - In fact? - Sure angry white guy, like all these angry white 28 year olds, they are losing. 64 years old, when you mean it, let me tell you about a 64 year old white guy.
He wants to make money and if a brunette girl can do it for him, they're in. That's the truth. That's the part no one talks about. Nobody stops you. Jeff Zucker may be running CNN Breaking News because he wants ratings and he could be cheating on you. But you're letting it fool you. So I would change your mind. You have, you can do whatever you fucking want. You can, you can, it's hard. I think it is more difficult for you? Yes, and? - That's all I needed, really. - I think so, right? People need to be reminded.
It's very strange, but I was, I'm telling you, the little bubble that he lived in, and again, some of the 40-year-olds here know that. It was just school. I was an F student. I had no chance. I think you can win. I'm sure you can win. You just need to start changing your mindset. fuck them - In the organization and trying to influence the community, along the lines of Social Work. - I'm lovin 'it. - Instead of trying to make a deal. - I would listen a lot and document a lot. The media is the powerful thing, isn't it?
So if you're trying to make a change, first know what change you're trying to make, listen to the community, don't be idealistic about what you want. One of the things that's been really interesting as I've gotten into social efforts and things of that nature is that people have their say in what they want for the community, not what the community wants for themselves. Right? People get on his high horse, the way he wants it to be. So the first thing I would say is you can look exactly like them, but make sure you listen to them because it's a psychological game, not a facade game.
So first, know what they want. Once you understand what they want, literally with your iPhone make videos and post them on Facebook and Instagram. We live in the best moment in history. We have control of the media. The media run shit. Why do you think dictators or when there is a coup in a country, first take over the media? The media makes you think shit. That gorgeous, wonderful woman thinks those motherfuckers pump out that negativity because that's who we are, we're human. I get it, I'm not mad at you. That's the game. So the fact that we now have that at our fingertips, like shooting, publishing, distributing?
Do you know how much money that costs a media company? My man there, like Z, for me to say you're a media company, that's crazy. You needed people to choose you. You had to wait four years. You needed to be lucky in Hollywood. You needed 800 people to put you in and take out all your money. It's all you. The Internet changed everything. It is the biggest change in our society. We greatly underestimate it. You take it for granted. We underestimate it. It is the greatest change in human culture ever seen. That is why I am optimistic.
That is why I am optimistic. Because you have many options. That's why I'm optimistic, that you could actually make a change where you couldn't have 30 years ago unless you were a very special human being of all time. Now you can make that change, create content around the real stories people need to hear. - Thank you very much. - No problem. (Applause from the audience) - To complete that objective of Fronzi? Fronzi's questions, so I started a Christian clothing line on Shopify,-- - Christian? - Christian-- - Clothing line on Shopify. - At Shopify about eight months ago-- - Heard about Shopify (audience laughs) - About eight months ago I started the journey, so there's a greater cause behind the clothes, so it's not the clothes that I'm selling, TRUE? ? - Of course. - So I'm really focused on putting that at the forefront, emphasizing the why and the purpose.
And I haven't been in much-- - What are the technical details besides being Christian, like what happens with money? Are you donating everything? - No, not at the moment. - I understand. - However, my question is that I've really focused on providing-- - The reason I asked that question and made that joke is that you really have to make sure that you walk the fine line, when you get involved in a cause or good for make a profit, you have to make sure you're not full of shit or people who smell it. - Right. - And okay, you should earn money!
There is nothing wrong with that. But make sure you know, how I love it when people say "Oh I'm so" So Tom's shoes, do you remember that back in the day? I was super friendly with him, he came from a decent place, like he was actually the first guy who said, “Fuck it, I really want to make these shoes,” and I really want to give a pair of shoes. But then all the damn huckster entrepreneurs come by my office and say, "Okay, great, listen, I'm starting an umbrella company," and when you buy an umbrella, I give an umbrella "to kids who get rained on." .
Like everyone is doing, like people are making things up and then they'd look under the hood and say, "Why is your candy bar, where you're donating one, double the price of each candy bar?" Oh I see. "You want to keep all the money, "but you want to show yourself like you're doing something good, "so your shit costs double. "You're not really giving," you're inflating the price "so you can look like a good Christian." I'm not saying that's what you're saying, I'm saying that you have to be careful because that's what everyone thinks - Right - So, my question refers to the other side: go ahead - I'm extremely focused on the purpose, the cause behind this. and I'm not sales enough. - Understood. - So I was wondering what would be some suggestions to balance that. - Well, what do you think sales means to you? - Well, I think that's what It's, I think it's more of a perspective thing.
You know, I've been in retail for a long time growing up, and I don't know, I've been pushed like, “Oh, you've got to sell this, do that.” So you became visceral? - Yeah, I think that's what it is. So now-- - So how about running Facebook ads against American Christians with income levels of $100,000? - Right, so I've done that. - Y? - I'm still trying to emphasize the messages behind it, rather than the shirt itself. So I'm still looking for that balance. - So how are you doing that? - That's one of my concerns right now, so-- - So you need to pump content. - Yeah, that's what I'm doing.
I am currently doing that. - Ok. But sales don't stay high enough, right? - Right. - So why did you stop doing the Facebook ads, they didn't work? - I decided to revamp my entire website and just sit back, strategize, head down. And now I'm going to continue with the Facebook announcement. - Yes. To be very frank, I just think it sounds like it's early. Like I think you're having an early conversation right now. Like, patience seems to be the word running through my head. I'm like, clearly you know what you have to do. Like creating content about the purpose behind it, running ads, and trying to sell the other stuff.
And if you feel like you're not sales enough, hire a partner or sales manager to worry about it and put your all into it, it sounds like maybe you don't want to put your energy into it, and maybe you need someone to Focus on the sales so you can focus on the purpose. - Right. Thanks. - Patience. You know, just keep pulling the levers. (Audience applause) Also, hashtags. Christian hashtags on Instagram, click it, see the top nine posts, click. - Yes, I go thirty at a time. - Okay. - Hello good morning I'm Chris, - Chris. - Do I want to take advantage of your idea that there was no option before? - Yes - So I was forced to start a business because I can't legally work for a company-- - Understood. - At first I thought it sucked, but it's been the most empowering thing I've had in the last two years. (audience applause) But my friends still have like two or three side jobs.
So, I wanted to get your take on what you think about a side hustle and whether or not people should drop it and focus on one. - I think you have to know the person, right? So as I think, if you look at the data, focusing on one business always performs better than three. I always tell kids when they come in they say, "Okay, I have this umbrella company," "I have a sneaker company," "I have a babysitting company," oh, and I sell bananas on the side." "Okay, cool," I'm like, "When you have four businesses, you have no business.
Right? But, I look at myself, I have my core businesses, but I'm so entrepreneurial and I love the action, I do side things here and there. I almost always lose because I'm not focused on it and dependent on someone else. But I need that action to make it really do the main thing. Like the sides, it's like a good meal. I like sea bass, but English peas, too I need them to make all the food but I do think it's a lot more fun to start creating side hustles after you have something that is stable and can afford to lose side hustle instead of thinking that the right strategy is three things because you definitely know they stretch.
And it is very Guys, 99% of small businesses don't win. When are we going to accept mathematics? It's hard, right? We're just, the vibe, it feels like half of us will make it. One person in this room will really make it. Because when shit hits the fan, I can't say it enough, when the market crashes, that's when you have to have a big enough business to get by. There are a lot of people here in 24 months who could be on their way, but then the money falls. And people no longer buy. So your suppliers want your money. - So it's 10:00 AM.
We're running, kind of like, we're out of time. - We can't, we can't kill this guy. - The last question with him. - Brilliant brilliant. - Thanks for that. My name is Gerard, Gary. Thanks for doing the Pat McAfee Show. It was amazing - Thank you. - So my question is, I'm making the transition to take over my father's business. - Yes. - Open another one, rather. - Yes. - It's an Eastern European grocery and deli. - I'm lovin 'it. - Port Chester. So the demographics have changed because of some of his personal issues and flaws.
We have lost a lot of good customers. - By the way, how does it roll? - As an alcoholic and drinking at work, yes. - Respect. - To cut a long story. - Yes. - So, between social media, community events and lack of capital, what can I do to invest and try to get some income back in the business? - So you're going to be, so it's a deli so what? - Delicatessen, grocery store. - Right. And the lack of capital and what else? - Bad credit too. The reputation has diminished as part of its flaws. - And he's okay with you becoming a public face because he knows he needs to be saved? - I am currently going throughsome barriers with it. - Yes, because, I mean, notice how I asked a rather unique question. - Yeah. - Everyone would assume, sure, right?
See sometimes things fail for those reasons. If your father is able to be humble that he knows that he has no choice but to let you become face due to damage control, then you have a prayer that then you can commit a serious offense of creating content every hour it puts you. to the forefront And the good thing about local businesses is that it won't take long for word of mouth to spread. And I'm going to assume, it also sounds like, have you had the business for a long time? - 30 years. - I knew it, very well.
Many people don't want it to go away, stressing that if it is a more recent phenomenon, people are as sad as they are angry. Right? So I think if you can put your face up front and then I would start doing, I would start doing guerrilla marketing, like stunt marketing. The only thing you really have as an asset is your inventory. Right? So I would start doing, I mean, this is a risky move. This is really what I would do. I would start doing, I've been thinking about doing this for Vayner, for the Wine Library. I want to do something called Free Food Friday.
Literally, literally just giving away $20 in gourmet credits at Wine Library on Fridays for like four hours, just to see what the heck would happen. Just to see how many people show up. Obviously you can't take that big of a financial risk, but maybe a version of that, to start giving back to the community. I would do very weird things, like I have a very weird one for you. I think the first day it snows, you should stay with me here, I think you should go, I think you should go and shovel people's gardens as a thank you for being a customer.
Things that are stunts that could change the mood. Right? When you need to change momentum, you can't change it by doing little things. You need to do big things, weird things, things that have, own, and want to give back to the community. So a lot of community stuff. I would literally put a
city-wide search query on Twitter and Instagram and literally, as a business, respond to every damn comment. If you go into business. You are going to be similar to how I arrived. You're just going to be sitting there, right? - Right. - You'll be fucking sitting there.
So fuck man. If he'd had a fucking cell phone when he was sitting there, he could have done even more damage. And you could literally search your town, Port Chester, look it up, look at every photo, and just fucking pound pound pound. You see a guy who has like 4,000 followers who's from the local high school, drinking a Gatorade. Send a private message and say, "I'm giving you free Gatorade for this whole month. Come on in, take a picture with me." It can happen fast. See where I'm going? Your asset, credits are trouble. You're going to a fire but You still have products, some, I'm sure there's food in there, there's stuff in there. - Lots. - Beautiful.
That's your ammo. Your ammo is your hustle and the fucking product. - Thank you. - You're welcome. (Applause and applause from the audience) - Thank you. - You're welcome. - I think...
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