Source: PR Week
Gary is a Belarusian-American serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, speaker, and internet personality. He is the CEO and co-founder of digital agency, VaynerMedia.
Gary is one of the most sought after public speakers in the social media and digital marketing world. He is an early investor in companies like Uber, Snapchat, Twitter, Venmo, and Tumblr. He starred on the Apple show, “Planet of the Apps,” alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Will.i.am.
The Story of Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary was born in Babruysk in the then Soviet Union (now part of Belarus). Aged 3, his parents immigrated to the United States to escape the communist regime of the USSR. His family lived in Queens, New York City, before moving to settle in Edison, New Jersey.
Gary’s father worked in a small liquor store before saving enough money to start his own business. In 1988, ten years after they arrived in America, he became a partner in Shopper’s Discount Liquors. In the coming years, he was able to buy out his partner’s share in the business.
Gary inherited his father’s hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and grit. One of his earliest businesses involved plucking flowers from his neighbors’ garden to sell back to them. He also started a chain of lemonade-stands as a child. In his early teens, he started earning thousands of dollars by selling baseball cards.
Unlike most immigrant parents, Gary’s parents didn’t pressure him to excel at school. They didn’t mind that he wasn’t a straight ‘A’ student. They probably didn’t have to worry much about him because he was already making $2,000 -$3,000 weekly from his multiple businesses while in middle school.
He attended Mount Ida College in Newton Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He left college with bright ideas on how to scale his family’s wine business. The internet was just becoming popular at that time, and Gary leveraged it to reach a wider audience.
Apart from being an entrepreneur, Gary has written several New York Times Bestsellers. Some of his books are,
- Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can, Too.
- #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness.
- Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.
- The Thank You Economy.
- Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion.
He shares videos of himself in real-life settings on his YouTube vlogs. People can watch him share financial advice at press events, and client meetings live. Some notable YouTube Videos include “My 5 Biggest Failures in Business” and “How to Find Your Path to Happiness.” As of October 2020, Gary has 2.86 million YouTube subscribers on his DailyVee vlog.
He also has a podcast with over 300 episodes. The podcast is a mix of entrepreneurial advice, keynote speeches, interviews, and digital marketing topics on social media and branding. Additionally, Gary does several speaking engagements throughout the country each year. He often charges as much as $100,000 for a single presentation. He currently lives in New York with his wife, Lizzie, and two children.
The Business of Gary Vaynerchuk
After college graduation, Gary returned to work in the family wine business in New Jersey. He had been exposed to computers and the internet while schooling at Mount Ida. He quickly realized the power of the internet and looked for ways to grow the family business.
Source: Wine Library
Before email marketing became a thing, Gary had already hacked ways to market his father’s wine business digitally. He emailed weekly specials and discounts and shared his favorite wine recommendations.
Gary’s initial goal for the expansion of Shopper’s Discount Liquor was to open several physical locations across the state, then eventually expand across the country. Then he discovered e-commerce and created WineLibrary.com. Within five years of launching the website, he successfully increased the sales of the store’s wine inventory from $3 million to $60 million a year.
In early 2006, a year after the creation of YouTube, Gary launched a 20-minute daily webcast on YouTube called Wine Library TV. It gave him a platform the reach a wider audience and indirectly promote his store’s website. His online popularity began to grow, and he amassed more followers.
In 2008, Conan O’Brien invited him to appear on The Conan Show. This appearance caused other television shows and publications to feature him. The shows focused on his use of social media to grow his brand and business. He later joined twitter, where he built an audience of over 1.3 million people.
After the success he had with Wine Library, Gary shifted focus to his social media and digital marketing agency. He was eager to use his branding and marketing skills to help other businesses replicate his success. In 2009, he teamed up with his brother, AJ Vaynerchuk, to start VaynerMedia.
It is a full-service global agency servicing Fortune 500 clients. Big-name clients like Shell, Hulu, Toyota, Johnson’s, PepsiCo, the NBA, and Chase use their services. They offer clients the same social media strategies Gary has successfully used. Their services include production, strategy, creative, and influencer programs.
In 2016, VaynerMedia grossed over $100 million in revenue. Today, they have a staff of over 600 employees worldwide. In 2017, Gary entered the publishing industry by acquiring the women’s magazine, PureWow. The next year, his second media outfit under the Gallery MediaGroup called ONE37pm was launched. There is also VaynerMentors, a consulting service that helps million-dollar businesses and startups grow and scale.
What Is the Net Worth of Gary Vaynerchuk?
Gary Vaynerchuk’s net worth is estimated at $200 million.
Why Is Gary Vaynerchuk Such a Great Idol?
In a way, we could say that Gary started building his business empire from childhood. All it took was a strong business spirit, the determination to succeed, and hard work. He looked for ways to add value, leveraged on a growing community, and invested all his resources into building himself a brand around it.
What Are You Waiting For?
Gary, at a young age, was able to sell his neighbors the flowers he plucked from their own gardens. Why? He saw a way to provide value to his community and he took it. What are the skills you have that can bring value to your community?