I hope everyone reading this appreciates the fact that we live in a very strange world (a good strange), and a far different world than just 10 years ago. I’m referring to the opportunities all of us have to quench our thirst for knowledge and explore the far reaches of the world from behind our digital screens. This has given us a chance to interact with people from all walks of life that the “small town” generations prior couldn’t even fathom.

I bring this point up because aside from some close mentors of mine I had growing up; I really haven’t had many in my adult life. I’ve utilized the resources I’ve been given in an “Internet world” to expand my personal knowledge and career growth by exploring individuals that I can relate to and gain inspiration from.

One of those individuals is Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee). Some of you reading this may have no idea who he is. Kudos to you for wandering onto the article and continuing to read it! As an assist, here are a couple of random quick links to some content Gary has put out.

A Day in the Life of Gary Vaynerchuk

Between the Clouds & The Dirt

2015 Keynote: Gary speaks at USC

Also, check out his website – https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com

Now, Let’s take a step back before we go forward.

In late 2011, I made the toughest decision of my life. I had gotten married and had a child on the way when I began to notice the golf industry moving in a direction that I didn’t like. It was at that point that I decided to make a career shift. I had learned a lot in sales & marketing from running my teaching business and had passions in those areas. I began to change the course of my life and focus on those. Emotionally, it was a tough move, as I loved the game of golf and loved making people better players.

Serendipitously though, it was at that time that I discovered Gary Vaynerchuk.   (Here is the first video that I ever saw of Gary –RE/MAX Keynote 2011) There were other people that I looked up to and found inspiration from but it was the passion, the confidence and the straight talk that got my attention. My thirst for knowledge was at an all-time high as I wanted to crush it in my new career and Gary’s knowledge of business, marketing, and people was just what I needed.

So, back to the present…As I was catching up on my #AskGaryVee episodes, I decided to sit in thought and ponder the amount of hours over the last 4 years I had invested into my pursuit of knowledge, solely from Gary Vaynerchuk related material.

Here was the math I came up with.

I had watched videos of Gary’s keynotes, random “in-your-face” ones, podcast interviews, and (as I am writing this) 127 episodes of the #AskGaryVee shoooow! In total, I estimate around 200 videos/interviews at an average of 15 minutes per video (very conservative).

If you do the math that equals roughly 3,000 minutes and when you mix in the blog articles, tweets, or Instagram posts in this equation, (crazy hard to estimate) but maybe double that number is accurate

6,000 minutes! That is 100 Hours or over 4 full days of content!

Well shit, you’d figure I’d had to learn something in that time, wouldn’t you?

It was awfully hard to whittle down to a few ideas but here are 4 key takeaways I’ve learned that have helped shape my career and could be helpful to you.

  1. Bet on Your Strengths

This advice actually came at a great time and it made me realize that I have some real awesome traits that I should go “All-in” on and make those even better. Surround myself with people that do things better in areas where I may be weak and built a solid team that way. I do see a lot of people stretching themselves thin because they want to be the “jack of all trades”. It was a turning point for me to hear that and it reminds me of a famous poem passage, Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

  1. Have Self-Awareness

I tried to write a few sentences to sum this up poetically but had a very hard time putting it better than the video below. Audit yourself and be honest with who you are as a person. That’s how you win.

I suggest you watch – Self Awareness

  1. Legacy is Greater than Currency

This is actually something important to me because it is not something I learned from Gary but was reinforced. I’ve been wired with this notion my entire life that it’s about the end game and about being a good person and actually giving a flip about people. I work hard to be the best I can be and make people better around me and I appreciate Gary’s reinforcement of this time after time.  You have to think big picture and your actions today will leave a lasting legacy tomorrow.

  1. Lifetime Engagement

When I was reading “Thank You Economy”, this idea came up a lot and it makes so much sense. You can’t just go for the jugular right out of the gate and expect to build lifetime engagement with people whether in business or your relationships. It takes time to build up trust and respect and that needs to be taken seriously. Gary’s quote of “Give more than you take, that’s how you win” applies very well here.   I’ve been more cognizant of it over the last few years and I’m amazed at the returns that come to you by continuing to engage through many mediums and being totally truthful and transparent.

I could probably sit here for hours writing all the things I’ve learned from Gary over the years but it’s a funny thing, a lot of the ideas are hard to decipher because I’ve put so many into practice and they have become a part of my daily life. That’s how you truly engrain new patterns or disciplines in your life; keep reinforcing them!

We should all feel lucky to be living in this time of great access. You wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn so much from so many great people. It’s pretty neat. I think about my career and where it was just a few short years ago and where it is trending and I am a firm believer that you never get anywhere yourself. It’s those mentors and thought leaders before you that provide insight and expertise where you may be still a little “green”. However, It’s your job to go seek that information, soak it in, and make it useful for your life.

So really, you may be asking, what is the ROI of Gary Vaynerchuk?

Well, my friends, for me that’s simple…It’s Everything!

Thank you, Gary!