A Heart-to-Heart with Gary Vaynerchuk

A Heart-to-Heart with Gary VaynerchukWine is more than just a drink. Wine is an experience. Wine, and the appreciation of wine, is a lifestyle. You can grab a cheap bottle of wine at the liquor store, sure. But why? Why not take the time to research the wine, learn things about the area the grapes came from, and enjoy the wine with your meal. Take the effort to pick wines based on what’s for dinner. I have a hard time drinking the same wine twice. (I am drinking a glass of red as I type.) For every wine that I drink, I want to drink a different one. It’s like seeing the same band twice or visiting the same country multiple times. There are just too many options out there. If you need help finding what wines you might like, look no further than this man. I have known this guy for many years, and it has been so cool seeing him grow from a man sitting behind a camera (he still does that, but it’s not the same as when he got started) to an author on the  New York Times bestsellers list. The only word that could describe him is passion. He brings 100% to everything he does, and he is someone I am glad to call a friend. I have been waiting a long time to sit with him and bring his story to my readers, but the time has finally arrived. It my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the one…the only…Gary Vaynerchuk.

Where did this all start? Not the wine or social media stuff, I mean you. Where did the personality of Gary Vaynerchuk come from?

I would say if you look way back, I am no different now than I was when I was at baseball card shows at fourteen years old. I have always had confidence and some brashness. I always felt I was capable. There was no shot I wouldn’t do it. No shot I couldn’t do it. It was what I did well. I very much feel like all that is going on now is a replication of my DNA. This is what I am good at. This is what I do. It has been a journey of my DNA. Any new genre, the Internet, ecommerce, wine library; it has always been the same game.

I am going through the HubSpot Inbound Marketing University. You are one of the instructors in this webinar series. Do you suggest it and have you been certified yourself?

I do suggest, of course. But no, I have not been certified with HubSpot. It is great though. I love it any time I get the chance to educate. For someone who was such a terrible student it is amazing how much I enjoy teaching. That has been a lot of fun. Getting asked to be a part of the Inbound Marketing University was a great experience.

Tell me about your obsession with the New York Jets.

It’s one of the first things I remember about America. It holds a deeper meaning because of that. It means more to me than you could ever know. I have watched every game since. It’s pretty intense. I am a BIG fan. (Laughs) It’s what I want to accomplish professionally. I want to own them. It’s something I think about and I absolutely focus on.

Have you seen the trailer for The Social Network?

Yes, I have seen them all. I don’t go to a lot of movies, but I will go see that. It’s our world.

If someone were only going to use one tool, only one social network, which one would you recommend?

I would say Facebook. A Facebook fan page (business page) is the most important place to be.

If you could only drink one wine for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?

Probably Salon Champagne. It is great stuff.

It has been said that you are notorious for returning every email you get. Is that true?

Yes I do. Although I am very behind on them right now, but I try to return them all. I am flying to Utah soon and I am excited to answer a couple hundred emails.

Do you fly first class when you fly or are you okay sitting in coach?

When I fly,  I do both. I end up traveling a lot of times with business so much is taken care of with the people I am doing the business with. It is funny; I almost never wanted to sit first class. I didn’t want to seem like a sell out. Just take care of yourself when you travel. I don’t think one way or the other is good or bad.

When should we expect the new book?

The next book is coming out in February. It is called The Thank You Economy. It talks about the return on investment (ROI) of social media and manners in marketing.

Please tell me you are carrying an iPhone 4.

No, not yet. It was crazy busy when it came out, and with the antenna thing happened I wanted to wait to see how it flushes out. I hate AT&T already with the number of issues they have. I didn’t need another one!

How cool is it being a New York Times best selling author with your first book?

Pretty intense. It is so humbling and awesome. I was a terrible English student and I could just laugh at thinking what my teachers think about it now!

You have been on a ton of television shows. Does any one appearance mean more than another?

I would say the first Conan appearance. It was my coming out party.

Is there such a thing as a social media expert?

I think it’s abused and that’s terrible. Every subject matter has people that are more knowledge about it than others. I do think superlatives are being thrown around too much. Things like expert, life changer, stuff like that. The truth is undefeated. I think anyone who is getting paid that doesn’t deserve to get paid will ultimately not get paid. The ones that suck and are cheesy will chance the next trend, and I think the people who have chops will work around the new marketplace.

What do I have to do to get a guest spot on Wine Library TV? If not a guest spot, at least a follow Friday on Twitter or something!

I stopped doing guests. I am going back to basics. I want it to just be the bottles, the camera and me. You have to patient first and foremost. Secondly, I think you are in the running. I appreciate your patience for this interview. You have been beyond gracious, that alone give you a shot!

Do you play golf?

Never. I want to. It’s so funny you brought that up. I better start learning now. Most people learned much younger, so if I don’t start soon I won’t be very good. I might never do it if I don’t start soon.

Explain a typical Friday night for you.

Spending time with Lizzie. You will find us doing things like seeing a movie or having dinner, that kind if stuff. It’s all about family time now. It has been that way for the last eighteen months. Prior to that it was heavy email work.

Not all press that you receive is positive. How do you handle the folks that have negative things to say about you and what you are trying to do?

I think by ratio it has been more positive than negative. That is good! But I would say I respect it and that I listen to it. Then I try to figure out why people feel that way. I understand I am over the top, high energy, and I respect their opinions. More than anything else actually. I try to wrap my head around why people feel that way. I hope I get the chance to meet them again and make them realize who I really am. I hope that if I get my head down and work I will win. Anyone that thinks I don’t have depth will be wrong, and if I don’t, then I won’t win. It’s not too difficult . You are good, or you are bad. You win or lose. I don’t spend my time trying to convince people I am winning player, I go out and let the chips fall.

What was it like being on College Humor with Jake and Amir.

I love those guys. They are crazy talented. I am a big fan of their work

Why do you always say, “sniffy sniff” when you smell a glass of wine?

Not really even sure. You know what, I have no idea how it started. I just started saying it one day. I think that is why it works. It came from a natural place. It wasn’t researched or anything, I just did it.

Do you ever go back to your hometown and visit?

No, because it is really a mess of a place. It still has a dictator. It doesn’t allow me to go back and experience it. I was three when I came to the USA and I have not been back since.

What is the Vook platform all about?

Vook is awesome. It is like having a Kindle or an iPad, but with videos thrown in through out. It is really cool. I am a big fan of it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I don’t. I don’t think about it that way. I am not very focused on that short term. I think about being happy along the way and I think about buying the New York Jets, and that is kind of where that ends.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

That nobody wanted to work harder and to do better and to care more than I did. I want to be known for all of my crazy DNA. That I was a good guy. I always say that there are two ways to be the biggest building. One is to tear down the other buildings. Or two, just build the biggest building. I just want to build the biggest building. I want every other building to be big, just slightly smaller than mine.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

Love your family because no matter what you accomplish financially, nothing tastes better than having love from your family. When you are 90 years old that is the thing you will wish you did more of.