Gary Vaynerchuk and His Ferocious Fundamentals

Growing a business through passion, effort, and social media.

Photo by Vasyl Dolmatov/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Vasyl Dolmatov/iStock / Getty Images

If you’ve ever seen one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s personal or promotional videos, the first thing you’ll notice about him is his sheer determination to succeed. The man just talks with a tone of voice that says, “I’m going to be the best and nothing is going to stop me.”

You’d think that such a mindset comes from nothing but experience and learning to recover from failure with room to spare; in reality, anyone can possess Gary’s level of ferocity as long as he or she is passionate and has a solid understanding of the fundamentals. In this case, he or she should have a solid understanding of the very basics of social media marketing and be able to look at things through the eyes of the customer to figure out how he or she will value what you have to offer.

Why? Simple: When you’re a master of the fundamentals, you’re a master of opportunity. You can only build on top of the foundation you’ve laid for yourself and will be able to, as a result, reap greater rewards, strategize more intelligently, and be a better competitor.

“Gary Vaynerchuk…has helped grow his family wine business from $4 million to $50 million through the use of social media,” writes Erik Qualman in his book Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business. “Gary’s eccentric personality and offbeat oenophile knowledge have proven a natural path to success.” “Oenophile” is a fancy word for wine junkie; Gary’s widely known for his popular YouTube series, Wine Library TV.

But Gary wasn’t that way overnight. One thing Gary excels at and has done well in the past, something that many will argue is the most important fundamental in business, is listening. “After listening,” writes Qualman, “you then have the appropriate baseline and credibility to join the conversation.” Gary had an idea, conducted research, and kept an open mind full of perseverance until his family wine business finally took off, over 1,000 YouTube videos later.

And not simply listening in the literal sense, but listening in a circumstantial sense. In many of his interviews and personal vlog videos, Gary talks about surrounding yourself with people who will encourage and push you, instead of people who do nothing but bring you down and try to make you think “realistically.” Doing so, he argues is the only way “to change your mindset” and contribute to a healthy, strategic spirit of optimism.

Passion and hard work, combined with a thorough understanding of the fundamentals, can get you anywhere, and it all starts with believing that it’s possible. This is Vaynerchuk’s simple recipe for success. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something.