Risk & Business Magazine Cooke Insurance Group Magazine Winter 2018 - Page 10
HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK
I didn’t really think about emotional
intelligence. Those words had never
come out of my mouth. I didn’t think
about “operations.” I didn’t think about
“leadership.” I didn’t think about “content
creation.” I thought I could sell. Right?
Over the last 20 years I’ve gotten to know
myself better and one thing that happens
is success compounds on itself, and as you
gain more confidence, you continually gain
Doing was always my best strategy. I built
my vision through taking action. One day
at a time. The hard work, the hustle and
If there’s anything I can instill through this
article it’s not that vision is somehow bad
or irrelevant but that it’s actually OKAY
if you aren’t starting from that place. You
can always execute and figure things out
later. I think so many of you are crippled
by “I don’t have the right idea” or “I don’t
know where I want to end up” but the truth
is, it doesn’t really matter. Vision always
builds by taking action. One of my favorite
examples I like to use is Sam Walton, who
started Walmart at 44. It just goes to show
that you can literally do nothing for the
next 15 years. NOTHING and then build
the thing that puts you on the map. It’s
really that simple.
And now, when I look at it, it seems comical
to me, because obviously I am working
harder than ever. My days are literally
scheduled by the minute. I recently hired a
writer named Colin and he can definitely
give you the inside scoop. He’s been asking
to interview me for this article for weeks
and I just didn’t have the extra 10 minutes.
It’s why I do DailyVee… You all see
how hectic it actually is. It’s action. I’m
in constant motion. Everyday, always,
forever. For the most part, and during the
traditional work week, I have zero minutes
of down time.
All of my strategy came directly from
opportunity. It came from action. First
it was building the biggest wine store for
my family. Then it became, “Oh my god,
I understand what people do. Maybe I
should be an investor.” That got me into
Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley got me into
tech and understanding how the world is
going to fundamentally change.
Once I understood that, I realized the
biggest businesses in the world were going
to get affected. Then I decided that I
wanted to disrupt that world. The quickest
path of entry, of learning it, was to actually
be an agency and do work. To interact with
Fortune 100 companies and learn by doing.
Do work. Do work. Do work.
That led me to my vision now which
was like, oh my god… I can build a
communications Death Star, that I can use
for the rest of my life. That I can then buy
smaller brands and run them through my
marketing machine and turn 10-million-
dollar companies into billion-dollar
companies through brand.
Now, over the last three, four, five years
it’s been very clear to me that I’m trying to
build this thing, which is the entire macro
strategy, but it came from all the actions.
It came through the obsession with
continuing to sell. Winning more clients,
building my personal brand, creating
obnoxious amounts of content and
watching it all grow.
The funny thing is you can’t really decide.
You can’t lay out your epic strategy until
you are actually in the place to execute. I
couldn’t talk about VaynerX until I built
a 150-million-dollar revenue business. It
would have been a complete joke.
So that’s where I see the two align.
Through action comes vision and through
vision comes action. It all just builds.
You have to do, then react,
then revise, then win.
Most great entrepreneurs subtly have some
greater vision (which for me was to buy the
Jets) but I also knew that it wasn’t going to
be a straight line. Every 22-year-old wants
me to tell them exactly what to do, how
it’s exactly going to happen and what they
should do. That’s just not life. It’s just not
the way it works.
What I knew was, I had a vision to buy
the Jets, but I realized it was going to zig
and zag and there was going to be 857
things that were going to help me get
there. I was always okay and comfortable
in the unknown, which has allowed me to
navigate towards success.
It’s the obsession of the unknown and the
acceptance of the unknown that allows me
to navigate within it.
The last thing I’ll say is I think that
micro strategy is still grossly underrated.
Everyone reading this is so worried about
their years, while continuing to waste their
days. It’s all execution. You have to do. You
have to move insanely fast in the micro and
be insanely patient in the macro.
I think the key is to know that. You can’t
put yourself in a position where you have
golden handcuffs. Where you limit yourself
to what you can actually do. Where you
enter traditional media and you start to do
banner ads and then you begin to believe
that it’s the only thing you can actually do.
But the key is to understand that things
always change, and if you don’t recognize
that, you are going to miss what’s next.
My execution today is to run VaynerMedia…
In many ways that’s my micro strategy…
My macro vision is to buy the Jets. So if
something tastes different tomorrow I
would be happy to change. I’ll drop Vayner
overnight if I truly believe there is a 10X
opportunity that is going to help me
achieve my vision, which is to have the best
possible process of trying to and eventually
buying the Jets… The good thing is I don’t
believe that will happen, but you can
already see my strategy is changing as I
start to become more public about VaynerX
and the acquisitions I am going to make.
Vision means nothing if you don’t take
action. But always let your action inform
your vision because at the end of the day.
The strategy is the strategy, until it’s not. +