Gary Vaynerchuk’s Advice To People Entering & Already In The “Real World” — Big Plans, Baby Steps

In Tim Ferriss’s book, Tribe of Mentors, Gary Vaynerchuk answered a question in a way that resonated with me.

The question was: “What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?

I like Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s a polarizing figure for many and it seems that there are mixed sentiments for people who have come across him on social media.

He is full of energy, loud, and charismatic, which works well in catching other people’s attention. He knows that attention is what companies crave in the modern world, so he preaches heavily on producing content consistently on every single platform that fights for people’s attention. (Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter)

His fans like him for his straightforward, authentic, and crude attitude. He cuts through the excuses that people tell him and he tells them what he thinks without sugar-coating it, which people find refreshing. Some people find it helpful to have their excuses exposed and prefer the hard truth over sympathy and consolation.

His critics dislike him for his extreme and seemingly arrogant attitude toward productivity and life. They believe he preaches a one size fits all rhetoric. They believe he isn’t able to sympathize with people who come from underprivileged backgrounds, since these people lack the knowledge or the time to do what he tells them to do. They believe he causes people to adopt a “work hard all the time” mindset, that he pushes them to grind every single day and if they aren’t doing so, they should feel like failures because they’re capitulating to the inner excuses and laziness.

I think there’s merit to both camps. But at the end of the day, I don’t find the need to side with one camp and get into any heated discussions with people who disagree with me.

We must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. We can learn a lot from smart and successful people if we learn to take their advice and apply it to our own lives.

Like him or not, you have to acknowledge the man’s drive and achievements. This was his bio in the book:

“Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients.

Gary rose to prominence in the late ’90s after establishing one of the first e-commerce wine sites, Wine Library, which helped his father grow the family business from $4 million to $60 million in annual sales.

He is a venture capitalist, four-time New York Times best-selling author, and an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo, and Uber. Gary has been named to both Crain’s and Fortune’s “40 under 40” lists.

Gary is currently the subject of DailyVee, an online documentary series highlighting what it’s like to be a CEO and public figure in today’s digital world.”

Now back to the question: “What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”?

Here is what he answered with:

“Macro patience, micro speed. They should not care about the next eight years, but they should stress the next eight days.

At a macro, I think everybody’s super impatient. I think I’m unbelievably patient in years and decades, and unbelievably sporadic and hyper every minute on a day-to-day basis. I genuinely think everybody’s the reverse. Everybody’s making decisions about, like, “What am I going to do at 25? I better do that…”

In years, they’re impatient and making dumb decisions, and then in days, they’re watching fucking Netflix. They’re super worried about 25 when they’re 22, yet they’re drinking every Thursday night at 7 P.M. They’re playing Madden. They’re fucking watching House of Cards. They’re spending four and a half hours on their Instagram feed every single day.

This is super important.

Everybody’s impatient at a macro, and just so patient at a micro, wasting your days worrying about years. I’m not worried about my years, because I’m squeezing the fuck out of my seconds, let alone my days. It’s going to work out.

As you can see, people can read this and think that he’s being overly critical and vulgar. Or they can read this and think that he’s right, and maybe a part of their mind resonates with his message because they know he’s right.

They know that people say they want to achieve lofty goals and have high expectations for themselves, but procrastinate and waste time when they could be working toward their goals. He puts a finger on a nerve that many people are trying to protect, which produces a negative reaction.

Personally, I think he’s right. I need to be focusing on the day-to-day habits that will transform my life slowly but surely, rather than thinking and worrying about my future plans while not taking any action to move toward them.

I think we are also sophisticated enough to rephrase this piece of advice to suit our own personal lives.

  • We don’t have to be workaholics, but we can choose to invest our time into habits that will produce value for the future rather than waste it on momentarily pleasurable activities.
  • Time is our most valuable asset, but we like to think that we have a lot of it. We like to fool ourselves into thinking that time is on our side, but it is always moving forward, indifferent to our goals and desires, and before we know it time will seem like our greatest foe.
  • Rather than focusing on getting to the destination as quickly as possible, or stacking up achievements and accolades as quickly as possible, we should be focusing on building fundamental micro habits that will move us closer toward our ideal futures.
  • When we spend time and effort on building a solid process, we will reap great rewards organically.
  • When we focus on the “end goal” of tomorrow, we fall into the danger of neglecting the actions of today, which are the fundamental building blocks that are important in attaining the things you’d like to attain.
  • We should not abandon the philosophy of “doing things right” because we want to “get to the end as quickly as possible”. We should be patient and believe that if we work hard to perfect the process, we will inevitably reach the desired goal.
  • We should remove the “If Only” thoughts in your head.
  • “If only I could skip to the end right now, I would be so happy and my life would be complete.”
  • “If only I could get to the part where I succeed in achieving what I wanted… ”
  • You distract yourself from taking action today because you are concerned about the future rewards. You prevent yourself from being able to be happy in the present moment because you have created a conditional statement that traps you.
  • “You cannot be happy until you have X. You cannot be happy until you finish X.”
  • The wide chasm that separates the unbearable present from the ideal future fills you with anxiety. You are overwhelmed with uncertainty and hopelessness that you don’t even bother to take the first step.
  • You’d rather pass the time with entertainment, where you don’t have to think about the practical steps you could be taking right now to move closer to your ideal future.
  • You’d rather dream and live in the imagined future than face the present and take responsibility for your life.

Maybe you thought Gary’s message was a little extreme. Maybe you thought he had a valid point.

But the truth and applicability of his words can only be revealed if you decide to try and implement them into your life. If they don’t serve you, you can discard the advice. If they do serve you, good! Keep following it.

Whichever path you choose, at least it will have moved you one step further than before.

If you want to ask me a question or simply want to talk: @ohc.william@gmail.com. Check out my publication — https://medium.com/sapere-aude-incipe