Known by many simply as “Gary Vee,” Gary Vaynerchuk, 44, has used his decades-long impact to motivate millions of people. The entrepreneur, author and business expert is well-regarded for his tough teachings, occasionally laden with adult language, as well as his knack for deeply and thoroughly documenting his life.
Born in Belarus, Vaynerchuk moved to the U.S. when he was just 3. He shared a studio apartment with eight family members in Queens before his family moved to New Jersey. His entrepreneurial spirit began when he helped his father grow his small New Jersey liquor store into a massive online wine retailer with $60 million in annual sales.
Vaynerchuk was one of the first people to see the internet’s promise as an ecommerce platform. Since then, he’s gone on to launch myriad ventures, including VaynerX, a media conglomerate that serves as the parent company to VaynerSports—an agency that represents athletes—and VaynerMedia, an advertising agency with clients like Chase, Toyota, and Johnson & Johnson.
Right now, Vaynerchuk is focused on helping people grow their online businesses and social media platforms—he recently launched a 270-page guide for how to create 64 pieces of content a day.
Face of the Future
Vaynerchuk has been vlogging (video blogging) his life for decades. When he began in the early 2000s, he produced grainy, poorly shot videos about wine from a dark room with a bleak background. Now, he’s a major player on TikTok, the latest social media app to take the country by storm, not to mention Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. He isn’t afraid to pivot and explore new forms of technology—it’s part of the reason he’s been able to grow his follower base exponentially.
If Vaynerchuk thinks a platform has potential, he’ll try it out. And if he sees his followers are spending time somewhere else, that’s where he’ll focus his energy.
Vaynerchuk has mastered the need for thought leaders to reach their audiences exactly where they are.
A Daily Dose of Vee
Vaynerchuk prides himself on being a robust content creator, pushing out at least 64 pieces of content each day. A day doesn’t go by without a hit of motivation from Vaynerchuk, whether it’s on the #AskGaryVee Facebook Q&A; his podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience; or YouTube. He has so much content, in fact, that he recently launched the GaryVee search engine, which helps followers search through thousands of his videos for a specific topic.
One of Vaynerchuk’s latest initiatives is DailyVee, a YouTube series that documents a day in the life of being a CEO. With over 600 videos to date, DailyVee explores all things business and personal development, from happiness and failure to regret and the importance of individuality.
How does he do it all? The key to growing a personal brand, he says, is to focus on documenting, not just creating. For example, he says, imagine how cool it would be if we had documentary footage from when Vera Wang created her first dress. “You need to be thinking about documenting more than you need to be thinking about creating,” he said in an #AskGaryVee YouTube video.
The One-Life Mindset
Vaynerchuk’s teachings explore everything from growing one’s business to the pitfalls of procrastination. But perhaps what he’s best known for and the subject of his most-watched video is his ongoing message that we only have one life, so it’s important to live without regret.
“The biggest poison in us is regret,” he says. “If anybody ever did it, then you can, too. Stop making excuses. Stop complaining. Nobody’s listening.”
At the end of the day, he says, you only need to make one person happy: yourself.
“If you have any inkling to take a jump—do it,” he told SUCCESS. “Because at 80, you’ll be more upset that you didn’t try than the fact that you lost your life savings.”
Gary Vee By the Numbers
7.2 million+: The number of Instagram followers Vaynerchuk has.
64: The number of pieces of content he creates daily.
3.4 million+: The number of Facebook fans Vaynerchuk has.
$160 million: His estimated net worth, per 2017 data.
5: The number of New York Times best-selling books Vaynerchuk has written.
2.4 million+: The number of subscribers on the GaryVee YouTube channel.
175 million+: The total number of views on Vaynerchuk’s YouTube channel.
800: The number of employees at VaynerMedia.
2 million+: Vaynerchuk’s Twitter followers.
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This article originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Illustration by Hanane Kai