Gary Vaynerchuk Reveals What It Takes To Conquer The Asian Market
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you will have heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, the fast talking, New York based, natural-born entrepreneur. He was hustling at the age of five, setting up lemonade stands, and selling baseball cards, making thousands of dollars a week. He then took his family’s wine business from three million dollars in annual revenue to 60 million dollars in just five years. Now, he runs VaynerMedia, which is one of the world’s hottest digital and social media marketing agencies and just announced his upcoming role in the highly anticipated iTunes show Planet of the Apps. (also featuring Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, and will.i.am.)
Gary is also a prolific angel investor in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Uber. He is a New York Times best-selling author of four books, popular podcaster, inspirational public speaker, and all-around entrepreneurial giant.
So yeah, Gary is kind of a big deal. If you know him or follow any of the content that he produces on a daily basis, you will know that he’s a very busy guy. I was fortunate enough to sit down and speak with him recently about his master plan to expand in Asia, where the attention will be in 2017, and what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
With China being the second largest economy in the world (first by many metrics) we are living in an interesting paradigm where most people acknowledge that Asia cannot be ignored yet so few have successfully penetrated the market. As a first generation immigrant into the United States who was originally born in the Soviet Union, Gary is no stranger to doing business in emerging markets. He is a businessman who appreciates the nuances that come with each distinct region.
“There’s so much audacity, especially American business people, and I just will not take that approach. I’ll be very calculated, very patient, very empathetic, very respectful, and most of all, I’m going to repeat it again…outrageously patient.”
That said, Gary is extremely excited about his future plans of expansion in the region and his upcoming speaking engagements (he will be a keynote speaker at the RISE conference in Hong Kong in July). He’s already begun converting some of his content into Mandarin and sees a large crescendo of attention building up in the region.
On where the attention will be in 2017
As someone who invested early on in Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Snapchat you could say that Gary is good at spotting trends. If you follow what he does on social media you will easily pick up on the fact that he is devoting a lot of his time on video content across YouTube, Facebook Live, Instagram, and Snapchat.
But what about this year? He is still bullish on the big three social media channels Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. He also likes Musical.ly and WeChat. Tumblr and Pinterest no longer excite him and he believes Twitter will continue to struggle.
So what’s the best way to spot these trends going forward? To this Gary responds:
“Out of everybody, I think I’m the easiest to get value from because my actions. Watch. Watch me reply to people. Watch what I post. Watch how I post. How often do I post? Why do I mainly reply on Twitter but not post content? Why do I email once a week? Why do I have a YouTube show? Why am I 90% Facebook video? Watch me.”
On becoming a successful entrepreneur
Here’s the question everyone wants to know the answer to. As opposed to getting caught up in the tactics of social media or how to write the next viral blog post, Gary takes a big step back and explains that the single most important trait any aspiring entrepreneur can have is self-awareness.
“Once you know who you are, if you accept it—you can roll. I wish I was a lot of things. I wish, but I’m not.”
Time is one of life’s most precious commodities and none of us should waste it by chasing a dream that will never become a reality.
“Not all basketball players are born LeBron, Carmelo, and Durant, right? I definitely believe that I was gifted more on the entrepreneurial upside than most people, no question. Beyonce was born with more singing talent than me. Can I be a better singer than I am today? I sure can after three years of singing lessons. I think I’ll be borderline below average.”
The word “hustle” has become a favorite among aspiring entrepreneurs and yes, to become successful, it does take a lot of hard work. But before you jump head first into your next billion dollar business idea like open up a hair salon to sell hair product like lace wigs, hair pieces for men , take a step back and take a close look at your strengths and your weaknesses. Focus on finding a niche that you are good at and look to scale it. Often times this is something that you take for granted that you don’t even think about, but that comes easier to you than to others. Taking a moment to fully understand this and targeting your efforts thereafter will save you hours if not years and is the only surefire path to success.
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