Hustle & Do What You Love: Gary Vaynerchuk


Look out, punk rockers.

I’m engaged in a fierce debate with thoughtful writers in the HR blogosphere who believe that it’s possible to become wealthy & successful bloggers.

Peopleshark jumped into the fray and sent me this video of Gary Vaynerchuk — a man who has a message about making a little coin in this new economy. Gary thinks you need to

  • do what you love,
  • pump out good shit,
  • and hustle.

See it for yourself.


Your hard work & dedication will pay dividends, according to Gary, because you are building something that lasts. In this new economy, you are building a new kind of American product.

You are building brand equity.


Maybe I’m old school, but I believe that ideas are only valuable when they are implemented into something tangible and sustainable. Brand equity has no value on its own (regardless of what Oprah and Tom Cruise tell me) unless it’s paired with a product or service.

All this talk about optimizing your blog for maximum advertising revenue is nothing but modern-day alchemy. You can’t turn shit into shinola, no matter what some Web 2.0 evangelist tells you.


Now let me backtrack and say that I watched Gary Vaynerchuk’s video several times because Peopleshark is awesome. She doesn’t waste her time on nonsense, and she doesn’t suffer fools.

Gary’s message about building brand equity and achieving success in this new economy gets muddled with self-referential hipsterism; however, the video becomes super-interesting & compelling around 14:20.

A woman in the crowd asks him, “How do you get money to do what you love?”

Gary responds, “You don’t. I lost a shitload of money when I started doing what I loved. What you do is you position yourself to succeed.”

He tells this woman to keep her day job and do what she loves — after hours. He advises her to work from 9-6, go home, see the family for an hour, and get to work on her dreams.

“Everyone has time,” he says. “Stop watching fucking LOST.”

It’s at that moment when Gary sheds his pretensions and starts getting all Real World on us. His message isn’t about Web 2.0 snake oil shit — he is delivering common sense business skills that were lost on the Gordon Gecko generation. As Americans, we know how

  • to build businesses when the economy sucks
  • to adapt our products and services to new & emerging economies
  • to work hard, stave off immediate gratification, and look to the future for our rewards

Are you kidding me? Our parents and grandparents immigrated to this country — without money or Wharton educations — and managed to run successful restaurants, liquor stores, and barber shops. Many of our family members came to America and opened factories, worked as tradesmen, and built interstate highways. Why did they do it?

They did it for freedom — and for the chance to achieve something better for themselves & for their families.

Gary is telling us that if you want something bad enough, you must commit to the cause with your entire existence. This message is as relevant in 2008 as it was in 1928. Do what you love and do it with integrity. Nothing less will do.

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