Daily Outlook

7 critical success points from a self-made millionaire

Gary Vaynerchuk wears many hats: serial entrepreneur, investor, and CEO. Here are seven things I learned from my afternoon with him:

1. Gary doesn’t get jetlag, but he needs adequate sleep

Gary flew in from London on the day he arrived in Dubai to speak. The 6.5-hour flight was too short for him to get enough sleep. He said that he never typically suffers from jetlag, but that he does need an adequate amount of sleep. Even though, he is often advocating people hustle hard and work late nights, he also advises people get between six to eight hours of sleep.

2. Self-critique, but don’t judge yourself

Gary doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the famous quote from America’s founding father Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Before speaking on stage, Gary said he didn’t know what he was going to talk about. And even though he critiques himself, he says he doesn’t judge himself. While answering a question from the audience about whether he ever felt stuck, he responded: “Nope. Because I don’t judge myself.”

3. Ask questions before giving answers

In most of his interactions, rather than immediately responding to a question, he asks them a question instead. That way, it not only ensures that he understood what they were asking, but also conveys that he was truly listening. He even often responds with a question to some reporters’ questions.

4. Remember the ‘four-second interaction’

Gary told me the importance of paying attention to those short moments of meeting people, referring to them as “4-second interactions.”

5. Be concise in your words

Gary is very deliberate in his choice of words and as a result, he often conveys what’s on his mind through an example or visual image. Here are some examples from him:

-The best thing you can do is listen. Communicate your truth and let whatever happens happen.

-You take compliments too high and pushback too deep. People who are winning don’t take either that seriously. He said that when people tell him, “You suck,” or “You are a god,” he doesn’t care much about either.

-Too many people put money on a pedestal. Do you know how many millionaires who are miserable?

-Success is the ability to do what he wants, when he wants.

6. Be truly present in every interaction

I was surprised to see that even when an attendee without proper credentials approached him backstage, he didn’t get annoyed and answered her questions intently while speaking with her.

7. See change as a constant

Despite being the expert in the room, Gary is quick to admit how much of his advice changes.

I spent a day with self-made millionaire Gary Vaynerchuk. Here’s what I learned, CNBC, Feb 17

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