The business world is full of gurus. They are the the social media and marketing people who use Twitter to promote their "5 Best Ways to Use Facebook" or "Download My E-book and Learn How to Get More Instagram Followers." Once they get your email they bombard you with solicitations to "free" webinars and whitepapers designed to draw you in for a sale.
These are two examples of the guru industry. I subscribed to many of their email lists early in my journey thinking they had the magic sauce to push me over the top. The reality is they simply know how to sell themselves. Their "magic system" is nothing more than realizations you can gain by paying attention and applying a little critical thinking.
I found Gary Vaynerchuk in 2014 on LinkedIn. Someone embedded one of his videos into their blog post. His honest and direct style was refreshing in the face of the fake nice, smooth sales tactics of most. The best thing about Gary Vee is his energy and effort to teach his followers all for free. Much of what he puts online is keen business observations and motivational quotes.
Gary Vee built a social media empire with keen observations and shrewd investment. He works out of prime office space in New York and puts modern technology to use to convey his messages of hard work and creating value before asking for something in return. Now he gives plenty of powerful keynotes and spends much of his time making short videos where he dispenses advice.
I subscribed to Gary Vee's YouTube channel and followed him on Twitter and Facebook. I watched all the episodes of the "Ask Gary Vee Show" and his short videos about hustling and grinding his way to the top. The majority of his message can be summed up in a simple phrase: Laser focus, hard work, and honest self-assessment will get you anywhere you want eventually.
Don't take any of this as me disparaging the man. He works hard every day, and his consulting business is powerful and successful. His services are in demand by the biggest companies and brands in the world. He's self-made from head to toe, and everyone should endeavor to be like him.
After following him for over a year, I came the to realization he wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. Sure he makes seemingly crazy statements about social media and operating a business that might sound counter-intuitive until you read a little about human behavior, get out of your own way mentally, and look at the world through a different, objective filter.
I also realized he is just like every other marketing, social media, and motivational guru. He tells us what we think we want to hear so we follow him hoping he'll validate our hustle somehow. That's where we fall into the trap. The cult of personality takes over, and we can't function on a daily basis without our daily hit of Gary Vee. We can't make a decision without sending a barrage of tweets with his hashtag hoping he'll answer our question on his web show. We think we are somehow smart and savvy if Gary Vee reads our email, says "That's a good question", and turns it into a short rant.
Our very being becomes wrapped up in making sure our vision is just like his because we want to be him. This is no better than drooling about the Kardashians aside from the practical business advice Gary Vee dispenses. Gary Vee tosses around some f-bombs and tough talk, and it "breaks the internet" for the business world like Kim Kardashian's photo-shopped butt.
So I stopped being a fanboy and unfollowed Gary Vee.
I came to understand I have all the validation I need. Fear doesn't paralyze me. I'm not afraid to fail because I know I'll get right back up and keep moving, learning, and growing. If I have a question about a word or trend I research it and find the answer myself. I can read something and decide for myself if it deserves my energy based upon my own goals. I can teach myself any skill I think I need to get ahead. I don't need a daily hit of Gary Vee to motivate me to get going. I took his advice to heart and started doing my own work.
I'd like to think this is something Gary Vee would want. I get the impression he doesn't need mindless sheep following him around. He doesn't need our adoration. He wants people to be successful. I believe Gary Vee is the kind of person who would get mad at us for being groupies then punch us in the face before telling us figure out our own s***.