From a kid living through inequality and poverty to a millionaire CEO in New York – Gary Vaynerchuk is the perfect example of how one can beat the odds and become a winner. Here is the story behind his success:
Gary Vaynerchuk was born in the former Soviet Union in a country now known as Belarus. In hopes of finding a better life, Gary and his family quickly immigrated to the United States. However, the beginning of their chase for the American dream was tough, as they did not have much money. His dad worked as a stock boy in a liquor store, and adapting to a new culture was not an easy task for Gary since he had to learn a new language, and consequently had a hard time in school.
Nevertheless, Gary quickly found out that the school system was not built for a kid like him. He described himself as a kid with special entrepreneurial skills as he was already exposed to entrepreneurship when he was only six years old. His business skills as a young kid were what he now describes as very raw – he would grab flowers out of people’s gardens, knock on their door, and sell them their own flowers. He also had several lemonade stands around New Jersey, and had his friends working for him at each location.
By the time Gary was a teenager, he made thousands of dollars every weekend selling mainly baseball cards, but also comic books and toys. He did all of this while being considered a terrible student from his teachers in school. However, Gary never thought there was any practicality in the school system where memorizing information is prioritized. Instead, all he had on his mind was what he could sell next.
By the time Gary graduated college, his dad had saved up enough money to buy his own liquor store. He convinced Gary to quit his other ventures and made him work for him at a minimum wage. Gary ended up spending all of his 20s working 15 hours a day for his dad. While observing how his dad would interact with the customers, Gary quickly realized his expertise in selling baseball cards could translate over to the wine business. He soon became an expert in selling wine. Gary also had a belief that the internet would be a big deal, which is why he convinced his dad to launch Wine Library, one of the first e-commerce platforms in the world for wine. As a result, the wine business grew from a $3 million business to a $60 million dollar business fairly quickly.
When Gary was 34 years old, he had hundreds of thousand of dollars in his pocket, mainly because he put his head down in his 20s, worked really hard, and had very low expenses. To this day he says he has no interest in materialistic things, and all he cares about is winning in business. The money he had saved up enabled him to invest in companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Uber, turning those hundreds of thousands of dollars into millions. He was not afraid to lose, he put all of his savings on the line, and it paid off.
Today Gary Vaynerchuk is the CEO of VaynerMedia, a digital ad agency he co-founded with his brother in 2009. He created the company because he saw an enormous opportunity to leverage the world’s changing attention to create a revolutional shift in the way products are marketed and distributed. He also does a daily vlog called the DailyVee on his YouTube channel providing his audience with an unfiltered view into his life as a CEO. Through social media he has been able to influence and will keep on influencing millions of people with his work ethic and hustler mentality.
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