Gary Vaynerchuk is the Belarusian business mogul who transformed his father’s $3 million wine business into a $60 million empire. He used YouTube to start Wine Library TV which now has over 15,500 subscribers. His love of video marketing and staying on top of the latest Internet advances led him to create Vayner Media; a “social-first digital shop that focuses on storytelling across platforms”.
Vaynerchuk loves to share his knowledge about entrepreneurship and growing your small business using content marketing, creative campaigns and social media. Here are 14 of his most inspirational business quotes for entrepreneurs.
1. “I’m a counter puncher in a world where everyone wants to be an aggressor.”
This is the opening phrase from Vaynerchuk’s website and sets the tone for the rest of the content on the page. It’s a bold statement that instantly gives you an impression of who he is and what he stands for. Vaynerchuk recognizes his uniqueness and personality in one simple sentence; can you do the same on your website?
2. “You need to bet on your strengths and don’t give a **** about what you actually suck at.”
Whilst presenting an Entrepreneurship Keynote at USC, Gary spoke (language in this video may not be work-friendly) about growing up poor and struggling at school. This gave him a strong sense of belief in himself and his strength. He recommends that you “audit who you actually are” in order to grow your own sense of self belief, which will further your belief in your company and supercharge your drive to make it a success.
3. “You have to understand your own personal DNA. Don’t do things because I do them or Steve Jobs or Mark Cuban tried it. You need to know your personal brand and stay true to it.”
It’s easy to become obsessed with the latest and greatest entrepreneurs or motivational speakers. Vaynerchuk urges small business owners to use experiences and advice as a guide, not a mantra. Find your own style and methodologies for success.
4. “You need to spend all your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value.”
Focus your efforts on quality over quantity. What’s the point in pushing out 10 short blog articles or five press releases if nobody reads them? Wouldn’t it be better to spend the time crafting one in-depth, detailed article that gets shared hundreds of times on social media and brings thousands of visitors to your website?
5. “People are chasing cash, not happiness. When you chase money, you’re going to lose. You’re just going to. Even if you get the money, you’re not going to be happy.”
This message will resonate with many small business owners. All too often we end up chasing the next invoice, the next sale, the next pay check — when instead we should be focused on creating a happy, fulfilled life for ourselves through our business.
6. “Surround yourself with people who give you permission to […] take risks”
Gary says that the ability to stay focused on your goals should come from deep within yourself. However, we all need some level of social acceptance from those closest to us. He recommends that you surround yourself with people who give you permission to take risks. These people believe in you; that helps you to believe in yourself and your business.
7. “You need to be wherever your customers are paying attention.”
Social media is huge. There’s the ‘big boys’ like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, but also the ‘new kids on the block’ like Snapchat and Periscope. Rather than try to cover all the social networking platforms, do some research into which ones are used most frequently by your target market and focus on those.
8. “Ignoring platforms that have gained critical mass is a great way to look slow and out-of-touch. Do not cling to nostalgia. Do not put your principles above the reality of the market. Do not be a snob.”
You should always be looking for the next opportunity to grow and market your business. In the past few years, that’s expanded from simply having your own website to being found on Google, growing your social media accounts, building a mobile app, creating video content on YouTube and countless other online opportunities. Don’t be afraid to embrace the changes in the marketing landscape to ensure you stay ahead of your competitors in an ever-crowded digital marketplace.
9. “A broad trend I’m completely obsessed with is mobile commerce. Like completely. I’m completely convinced that everybody’s going to be buying from their mobile devices.”
We hear you Gary, and we totally agree! 2015 was the first year that mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing. Smartphone and tablet usage is still on the rise — ignore responsive design and mobile apps for your small business at your peril. If you’re looking for an easy to use app maker check out Bizness Apps.
10. “If you’re in business, first and foremost, you have to be nice. Show your customers that you care.”
This again links to the rise in social media and the importance of customer relations. These days, a negative review on Twitter or Facebook can be devastating. Treat your customers with respect, praise them, appreciate them — and they’ll do the same for you.
11. “Be reactionary. React to what the market wants. And the market wants one-on-one real time engagement.”
Customers don’t just want to purchase your product any more. They want to experience it. They want to know the story behind it, your vision for your small business, your inspiration and your goals. Share your journey with them and interact when they ask questions; they’ll reward you with loyalty to your brand or business.“
12. “All your ideas may be solid or even good… But you have to actually EXECUTE on them for them to matter.”
How many times have you jotted down a product idea or marketing plan on a piece of paper, only to bury it in a drawer a few days later and forget about it? You can spent all the time in the world planning how to grow your small business, but without following those ideas through, you will stay exactly where you are now.
13. “I’m just always looking forwards. I spend very little time, looking backwards”
It can be highly demotivating when you put a plan into action and nothing comes of it. Maybe you’ve spent hours writing an eBook that nobody buys, or have just launched a new product line that hasn’t gotten the sales you were expecting. Don’t sweat it. Look forwards; not backwards — is there a new way to market the products that might resonate better with customers? Could you offer your eBook as a free download when people subscribe to your mailing list? Think of future possibilities and opportunities rather than wallowing in self-pity when things don’t quite go how you expected them to.
“A penguin cannot become a giraffe, so just be the best penguin you can be.”
Lastly, remember that it’s your purpose and goals that set you apart from everybody else. Don’t try to copy competitors (or even the businesses that inspire you) just for the sake of trying to ‘fit in’. Embrace your own individuality — that’s the best way to make your small business shine.