It’s a really good idea to listen to a guy who was listed in the Fortune and Crain’s New York Business 40 under 40 lists back to back.
He’s the same someone who took a $3 million wine business and turned it into a $60 million wine business in five years— and the author of the amazing book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.
We’re talking of course about Gary Vaynerchuk.
The entrepreneur, speaker, writer, angel investor, and venture capitalist also hosts a YouTube channel where he answers questions about all things business, marketing and 21st century entrepreneurship.
Below, you’ll find a reader’s digest of one dozen Gary Vaynerchuk quotes taken from his books and interviews that we find particularly inspiring.
Vaynerchuk understands the value of knowing who you are and what you want. He always points out the connection between yourself and your work.
1) “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.”
According to Vaynerchuk, if you are living for the weekends, you are doing something wrong. Your work and your passion should meet and blend.
2) “You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”
In a world crowded with lots of prominent and distracting brands, Vaynerchuk encourages entrepreneurs to remember why they’re doing what they’re doing. Following your personal brand is so important because it will keep you on the narrow track to success.
3) “Whether you’re 9 or 90, stop trying to fix the things you’re bad at, and focus on the things you’re good at.”
If you’re a really great designer, you might need to hire a business manager instead of getting bogged down with, say, accounting. And if you’re a visionary accountant, go into business for yourself consulting with midsize businesses that want to save money.
4) “A penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin you can be.”
The crux of Vaynerchuk’s wonderfully titled book is that it takes a story to sell a product.
5) “Great marketing is all about telling your story in such a way that it compels people to buy what you are selling.”
You already believe you have something great to offer. Take the time to understand what type of story you want to tell about yourself, your products and services, and how they will change the lives of your customers and clients.
6) “A story is at its best when it’s not intrusive, when it brings value to a platform’s consumers, and when it fits in as a natural step along the customer’s path to making a purchase.”
Vaynerchuk recommends telling your story to increase a person’s interest rather than exclusively to hook it in the first place. Building relationships with people will teach you when to introduce your story for best effect.
7) “Creating content that allows us to share our experiences, thoughts, and ideas in real time is becoming an intrinsic part of life in the twenty-first century.”
One in five web pages viewed is on Facebook, Vaynerchuk says. That sounds like a good place to start.
8) “Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.”
The story of your product is a gift that you give your clients or customers before they buy to clinch the sale.
Hard Work (Entrepreneurship)
But success isn’t all story time and know thyself. Nobody realizes better than Vaynerchuk that it also takes plenty of hard work.
9) “Effort is grossly underrated.”
If you expect to just waltz into greatness, you’ve clearly never read a biography of anybody. The human experience is enriched by overcoming obstacles—by putting in the hours, as many of them as necessary.
10) “You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!”
All of your time and energy, Vaynerchuk says. All of it.
11) “You didn’t grow up driving. You figured it out.”
Expect to apply some serious problem-solving skills to your journey. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little driver’s ed on the way, either.
12) “All your ideas may be solid or even good, but you have to actually execute them for them to matter.”
Of course, moving from concept to action is one of the hardest parts of succeeding, but it’s the one that will set you apart from everyone else with a dream.
Let the spark of inspiration that one of these quotes lit in you (as they did in us) carry you on to great works!
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Kelly is a Contributing Writer at Sweet Fish Media. She has a master’s degree in creative writing because she really loves books. In fact, she reads over 100 books a year. She also writes test prep curriculum and news articles, and she edits dissertations.