“The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.” ~ Brene Brown
Who is Gary Vee?
I first heard the name “Gary Vaynerchuk” in a podcast in early 2016. Like all good marketing ‘targets’ I needed to hear his name about seven more times before I finally decided to figure out who he was. The podcasts that had mentioned him all talked about him in venerable tones… the king of social media and social media marketing. The master of the vlog. An omnipotent and hugely successful investor in fledgling social media platforms. And the guru of picking the next hottest internet trend. Given the credibility and influence of those who were name dropping him, I had pretty high expectations.
So I watched #AskGaryVee and I was deeply disappointed.
He spoke too fast (he has a brash New Jersey accent), swore too much and was disrespectful of everyone and virtually everything.
I honestly thought he was an overhyped idiot with nothing to say.
All flash and no substance
Needless to say, I didn’t listen or watch any more…
Roll forward about twelve months, and a strange and unexpected thing happened.
Another podcast showed up in my feed: Chandler Bolt – a softly spoken guy with a charming southern drawl – was interviewing Gary Vee about his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
Now I like Chandler – and his podcast is about self-publishing – so I thought I’d hear him out, despite my reservations.
And it started pretty much as I expected. “Me me me… blah blah blah…” He was even happily pointing out how happy he was with traditional publishing – which is kind-of anathema to the point of Chandler’s podcast!
Then about nine minutes in, Gary said something that gave me pause…
“…I had realised that I was at my best and people thought I was the smartest, and I was the best version of myself in Q&A form. Every keynote I ever gave, people were entertained but 20% of the audience didn’t like the cursing or the ego, but in the Q&A they were like – this guy might be smart… Q&A was shedding the best light on me.”
He went on to talk about how what he has to say (effectively, “work hard if you want results – no shortcuts”) isn’t sexy or cool or interesting, and Chandler asked him “how do you make it sexy?”
“My charisma. My personality. My showmanship. And again… for seven out of 10. For three out of 10 it’s too much, it’s too New Jersey, it’s too irreverent… And I respect that and I don’t disagree. I have empathy and self-awareness of how I’m being consumed. I know that the reason I win net-net is because I have the right intent.”
The right intent…
He goes on, in a genuinely self-deprecating way, to say that he realised early on in life that he had a very narrow skill set, and he doubled-down on that in a big way. He plays to his strengths, he doesn’t try to be someone he isn’t – and he knows that this means he won’t appeal to everyone… Particularly women over a certain age… (yes, guilty as charged!).
Through the remaining 25 minutes of the podcast, I was enthralled. I started to see his bravado and obnoxious demeanour in an entirely different light… That of someone who has become exceedingly successful by deeply understanding what his skills are, ‘owning’ his limitations and the consequences of those skills, and learning how to Crush It with authenticity and confidence.
Confidence, Authenticity and ‘Faking-it’
Can you ‘fake-it’ to feel confident? Or does the very fact you’re acting in an inauthentic way undermine your confidence?
What impact does your intent have? If your intentions are good, does that create authenticity even if you are faking it?
And what wise counsel and valuable insight do we miss when we ‘tune-out’ someone who doesn’t immediately appeal to our sensitivities and social norms…?
I’d love to hear what you think – let me know in the comments below.
Listen to Chandler & Gary’s interview here.
I want to help you to lead. Not from a position of power, but from exactly where you are now.
So I’m writing a book specifically for you. It’ll be out early next year (28 February 2018 to be precise).
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