A few months ago, my colleague and friend Alex has surprised me for my birthday with the awesome book “Ask Gary Vee” by the one and only Gary Vaynerchuck.
(You can check out Alex’s website and the podcast we do together here.)
And Alex, If you’re reading this, thank you again, I’ve devoured the book! ☺
Back to today’s post now.
This is a “pay it forward” type of article.
I’ve received the book as a gift and I want to share with You a few valuable lessons on intuition, self awareness, the power of your word, depth and width, failure and success in life and entrepreneurship, patience, empathy and gratitude.
So without further ado, here are my highlights from “Ask Gary Vee”.
Q: If you could teach everyone in the world one thing you’ve learned, what would it be? (p.218)
“My dad thought me word is bond, but as crucial as that lesson is, I think it’s a lesson that was uniquely important to me because of my personality.
Here’s the one universal rule I would try to teach everyone: depth matters more than width. That is, the smallest, meaningful, intentional act will mean more than a huge one that lacks intent or substance.”
These two rules don’t talk directly about intuition but they are totally valid for anyone looking into getting more attuned with their inner voice.
Going about in life respecting the rule “word is bond” will make you more responsible and aware of what you can and can’t do.
You’ll be more careful with your “Yes” and “No” towards others and towards yourself.
As for the second rule, “depth matters more than width” I should write it on my desktop picture and on a sticker on my fridge.
As a recovering “look-something-shiny-girl” I appreciate and value so much the people who are focused and determined to follow through on something as long as it takes.
And when it comes to listening to your intuition, going in depth with one tool or technique that helps you, like meditation, or yoga, or whatever works for you, is much better than spreading yourself too thin and trying every new and cool “shiny object” that comes your way.
Q: What usually prompts you to walk away from great opportunities? (p. 272)
“My intuition. It allows me to walk away from bad opportunities that may look good on paper.”
“I’m not an analytical thinker, and it’s not often that the data tells me an investment is going to work.
I taste and observe, and if I don’t feel it’s a good investment, I don’t do it.
I think many more people who read this have to find a good balance between their numbers and their gut. It’s a science and an art, and anyone who tells you otherwise has a vested interest or just doesn’t get it.”
I’m so excited to read or hear Gary Vaynerchuck talking about how much he relies on his intuition in his business decisions.
From a new investment opportunity to hiring a new person he always uses a good balance between reason and gut feeling.
I totally agree with him on this one and you can find more about the fine art of balancing analytical and intuitive thinking in this post about the lessons from “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell here.
Q: What was the biggest decision in your life that made you successful today? (p. 284)
“It was the day I made the choice to suck at school.”
After getting an F at a science test, crying and being afraid to show it to his mother, trying to make sense of why he was having such an intense reaction to that test he had an enlightening moment.
“And then it hit me, the thought that changed everything: Screw school. I’m a businessman.”
He decided to accept the pain of getting low grades and being named a “loser” at school, while focusing on what he enjoyed doing and was good at: selling baseball cards, later turned into Wine Library and Veyner Media and everything else that he’s proud of.
“That moment marked the first time that I decided to fight what society expected of me and deliver on what made me happy. And you should, too. Bottom line: stop doing things that make you unhappy.”
Being self-aware from such a young age helped Gary realise what he was meant to do and he had the courage to embrace it.
Even if that meant years of sucking up the bad grades and all that came with it like being called a “loser”.
Many a times when you want to go your way, the one that your intuition tells you to, those around will not get you.
Your family, your school, your neighbours, your co-workers will tell you you’re wrong for not going with the established way.
It’s not easy to go left when everyone says go right.
But you have to do it if that’s your calling. On the short or medium term, yes, it will suck. But on the long term you’ll be much better off.
Q: What was the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do for your career? (p. 285-286)
“Historically, my answer has always been that it was leaving the Wine Library and starting my venture in Vayner Media, but that’s not the whole story.
Truthfully, the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do professionally was decide that I was okay putting myself out there.”
Going from being tagged “Wine Wiz Kid Builds Business” to “self-promoter”, “social media guru” or “author” when he started reaching out to larger audiences through his online actions was not easy.
He had to accept that some of the entities and people he had admired were now “rolling their eyes” considering he had taken a step back.
“But, once “I was able to accept the fact that I was going to enhance my accomplishments and live at ease by being me, at the expense of the establishment’s respect, I was able to carry on and create everything I have today.”
I’ve chosen to put this lesson here for a very good reason.
One of the most important things you need to do when you are trying to follow your intuition, regardless of your professional or social status, is to accept that being truthful to yourself and embracing it, is going to make some people “roll their eyes”.
But it’s the only way to live a sane and fulfilled life.
And you don’t need to be a multimillion dollar entrepreneur to face these challenges.
It is available for every single person, on their own level, in their own circle.
There will always be an authority figure or someone who you admire and respect who will roll their eyes in front of your authentic self.
And it’s tough to go your own way. The quicker you do it, the happier and better you’ll be.
Q:What are the three values do you hold highest in life? (p. 244)
“I have more than three, but these are the three I look for in a new hire.
- Patience – “I want to work with people who believe in paying things forward and doing good for others, but I want to know that they don’t do that expecting immediate gratification.”
- Word is bond – “When you make a commitment, no matter what, you stick to it.”
- Empathy – “I hire for this one because I know it’s what makes a great leader. I need to know that my managers are going to listen to their teams and work with them, not drive them, especially when problems arise.”
- Gratitude – “I like people who don’t take anything for granted. It makes for a motivated worker, and generally a nice person to work with.”
Patience, word is bond, empathy and gratitude.
No matter what you do, how old you are, what country you live in, if you’re single or married, no matter your skin colour or religion, if you stand by these 4 values your life will get better and better.
You’ll be an inspiration for those around you, your co-workers, your family, your community.
And isn’t this what we all (secretly) want? 😉 To make a dent in the world, to leave a mark, to make Earth a better place to live on?
I believe you can do this even if you are not Gary Vee, Elon Musk or Richard Branson.
By being true to yourself and respecting the truth of others, by listening to your intuition, by respecting your word, by showing empathy and by being grateful you are like a candle in a dark room even though you don’t feel like one.
Even if right now you don’t realise the influence you have on others, I’m here to tell you that You matter.
You are important.
And you and I, even if we’re not famous or rich or highly influent, we do matter and we influence those around us every time we interact with them.
So let’s be the best versions of ourselves, learning continuously from those we admire and inspiring those who are a step behind us.
With all my love,
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Resources: “Ask Gary Vee” by Gary Vaynerchuck