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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Tom Bilyeu on Quest Nutrition, Truth About Patience, and Teaching Entrepreneurship | #AskGaryVee 299

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- On this episode Tom Bilyeu stops by

and we talk impact motherfuckers.

(upbeat music)

Hey everybody, this is Gary Vaynerchuk

and this is episode 299 of the #AskGaryVee Show.

Which before I introduce Tom, and get into the Q & A

Facebook, and Instagram, I know you're watching.

Instagram, if you wanna get a question in

you gotta go to Facebook,

or are we gonna do that email thing we did last time?

- [Andy] We can.

- I liked it.

- [Andy] I liked it too.

- Cool, so we're going to.

Instagram, Facebook, if you're watching,

if you want to ask a question to Tom

who's an incredible entrepreneur,

who's an incredible new member of the Vayner family

for a second time, we're gonna get into that.

We're gonna announce a little fun stuff.

Maybe a little preview.

I know Zach's already freaking out.


We can do that?

That's locked in?

Or not yet?

Locked in right? - Oh locked, yeah yeah yeah.

- So then I'm gonna give a little preview,

have a little fun, break our announcement system.

What is it?

Gary Vee Team


If you want your question at,

what are you, what are you worried about Max?

He wants it closer? - Yeah.

- That's alright, fuckin' figure,

what are you doing with your computer otherwise?

Yeah, cool, yeah, it's fine.


put in your--

- [Andy] Question in the subject email.

- Put your question in the subject email

and your phone number in the body.

If you want to ask Tom a question,

during this show, Facebook and Instagram,


Put your question in the title

and your phone number in the body.

We're gonna ask a question a minute

this is episode 299 which means,

A, we need a real strategy for episode 300,

B, I'm super pumped you're here.

- Dude, I'm psyched to be here, man.

- Tell the Vayner nation who you are.

- My name is Tom Bilyeu,

I'm one of the co-founders of Quest Nutrition

and now I'm doing Impact Theory.

Came up as an entrepreneur because I was super frustrated

with my inability to get a movie made

the way that I wanted to.

And I met these two successful entrepreneurs and they said,

"Look dude, if you want to control the art,

"you've got to control the resources.

"So come with us and get rich."

And we all thought it would take about 18 months,

thought this is amazing.

It took 15 years.

- How old were you at the time?

- At the time, like 25,

26. - You know what,

this is such a good place to go to

right before I let you continue.

Like, this is my whole damn thesis,

of like lack of impatience and like not contextualizing time

when you're 25, 18 months seems like a long time.

- Yup. - We're gonna

put in a lot of work.

- Yeah, it's so true.

- And now, in your 40's, 15 years doesn't seem so long.

It's context of time.

- Yeah, for sure. - It's really cool, okay.

- [Tom] So--

- What were you guys gonna first do?

- Ah, started in technology. - Yup.

- And chased that, it was literally chasing money.

That was it.

My sole focus, I woke up every day saying,

"I'm going to get rich."

It was the like centralized

thesis of my life.

- Do you think that that's what made you successful?

Or do you think - No.

- When you changed that thesis--

- Precisely.

When I changed that thesis.

So doing that,

I actually did on paper, was a multi-millionaire.

But I had so burnt out.

I went and quit, and I gave the equity back and said,

"Look, I'm not gonna cross

"the finish line." - You had equity

worth more than seven figures or seven figures.

Just like a lot of people running around now,

who are rich on paper,

but when the economy collapses

and that company goes out of business,

they're gonna be at zero.

- Yeah, people do not understand the difference

between real money and paper money, man.

It's crazy.

- Tom, this is why I keep putting out

the content I'm putting out.

I'm like cool, I'm glad that you work at this startup

that's now worth a billion

and you're worth 11 million on paper,

but until the exit, you're worth zero.

- Zero. - And when

the economy collapses and there's no fund raising around

and your direct to consumer gigolo company

doesn't make any,

doesn't, can't raise more capital,

then it goes for zero. - Yeah.

- Like every one of these kids

has to learn about the crash of 2001 and 2007.

But they don't. - Right.

- It's fuckin' bad, anyway.

So that's, on paper you had money,

- Yup. - You did it

for how many years?

- That was about the six and a half year mark

was when I said, "I gotta bounce."

- So for six and a half years

you did something that made you look like

you had something on paper but

because you were burnt out and it didn't feel right,

you gave it back, which in essence made, meant,

you made no money? - Correct.

- So you're basically starting over?

- Yup. - Yup.

- 1000% - Tell 'em one more time.

- Yeah, I started over.

Because I wanted to feel alive.

- You were 32. - Yeah.

- And you were worth nothing. - And fuckin' unhappy.

Nothing. - That's right.

- So. - That's me, though, Andy.

I built my Dad's store for him,

and at 30 fuckin' four,

I was worth nothing.

Like, - Let that hang in the air.

- I mean, yeah.

I need it to hang in the air because everybody like,

looks at us and I wish people understood.

- The one thing I really wish they understood,

is that, dude, I totally get chasing the Lambos

and all this,

I actually get it but at the end of the day

as somebody who lived that,

and tried that and thought that it was gonna be rad,

I'm just telling you it fuckin' sucks.

Like it will drain your soul in a way you can't predict

until you're doing it. - Yeah.

- And once you-- - And it's super fun up front.

Like at half time you're like this was exactly right.

- The first three years were awesome.

- Exactly. - Because,

but not because of the money,

it was awesome because I was getting more powerful.

- I get it. - So I was learning business

I was like fuck, - I get it.

- Like this is amazing.

I felt like I controlled my destiny.

I was like, this is the shit.

And then like, after a while it started to take from me.

It started to erode me as a person

and I was losing my relationships,

it was just, it was gnarly.

And my wife pulled me aside and was like,

"This is now damaging our relationship."

'Cause I was so unhappy at work,

I didn't want to talk about it at work,

which meant I didn't talk to her

about the number one thing in my life,

which is bananas.

I was just doing it ass backwards.

This is all pre, like, social media.

So when I went in and left,

it was like,

I have no idea what I'm gonna do,

I just know I'm gonna pursue something

that makes me feel alive. - So what happened next?

- So I go and I quit, and they say the famous words,

which were, "We could do this without you,

"but we don't want to."

And so I was like, well,

I've already done the hard thing which is quit,

so let me tell you the truth of who I am,

'cause I've been telling you that all I want is to get rich

and that I'll do anything to build this business--

- [Gary] But let me tell you the truth.

- Yeah, and it was camaraderie is a higher value for me

than pursuing money.

Meaning and purpose is what I'm really driven by,

I need to be passionate about what I'm doing,

and so for three very different--

- Did you say it that articulately, or are you?

- It was pretty close, man.

Articulate's my game, so-- - Yeah.

- Yes. - Yeah.

- I was as pretty on point with it, yeah.

- Even in that emotional state?

- In the meeting when I quit - Yeah,

that's what I meant. - I was a fuckin' mess.

- That's what I was asking.

- So no, there I was like (mumbling)

- Yeah (mumbles).

- Exactly.

And then they said, "Look, let's go out to dinner and talk."

And then once we got there,

then yeah,

I was back to focused. - And were you equal partners

with these individuals?

- Not then but when we did Quest

which is of course what is born out of this moment of crisis

we were equal partners.

- So this tech thing you had, you quit,

you guys calmed down,

decide to become equal,

a third, a third, I assume, I'm just asking, partners

in what literally you went from that to starting Quest?

- [Tom] Yep.

- A direct-to-consumer?

- [Tom] Yep.

- Health bar? - Yeah, so literally

we went from technology to food

and everybody was like, what the hell are you doing?

That's such a bizarre step. - What year was that?

- This was 2009 when we stared conceiving it

and then 2010 when we officially started selling.

- And you sold it first direct-to-consumer?

- Oh yes.

- What was the original Quest bar model?

What version of direct-to-consumer?

- So we were online,

it was online only.

You would come to our website

and we would sell to you there.

Literally just off of our website.

- And how were you,

you were doing paid media traffic arbitrage?

- No, we were doing--

- [Gary] Influencer marketing?

- Exclusively but it wasn't called that really back then,

at least we didn't know that.

So we were just out there

on Facebook. - I didn't call it

back then either.

- Yeah, literally like, I would drive,

this is a real story,

if you seemed like you might be an influencer,

I would drive the fucking bars to your house

if you were anywhere near us

and park around the block

'cause my car was such a piece of shit,

I didn't want you to see that we were just

putting this all together.

And I would deliver the bar

in the hopes

that I could make some sort of impression on you

about what we were doing.

- Were you savvy enough already

hoping they would post on social

or even was it just?

- Most definitely. - Yeah.

So you're like, get this on social.

- Yes, 1000%.

Our whole thing was-- - And they didn't know

how valuable that was?

- Correct.

- And that's the arb?

- Correct, yeah.

And it was, I mean you obviously know

and you've talked a lot about this,

it was a really cool time

if you were doing something real and it was beautiful

and people could really resonate with what you were doing.

So our thing was community, community, community,

add value to people's lives,

don't try to sell them shit

and make their life better. - And kids at home,

this was not just social,

like he probably, and he's gonna answer, maybe not,

this was like even when a forum post or on your own blog,

attention was in a lot of different places back then.

- Oh yeah, dude forums, we lived on forums,

it was crazy.

- Guys forums, way worse versions of Reddit.

- And it changes so fast.

Like the one just constant in the game

is that whatever you're doing today

is not gonna work six months from now--

- Which is my strength

'cause I'm unemotional about where the attention is.

Bro, I'm telling you,

I can't wait,

I'm literally sometimes laying on a flat bed flight

on a red eye and I'm like,

which is just the last time I thought of it

so I'm gonna use that example,

and dude, I can't wait for their not to be social media,

like none of it

'cause I'm gonna be dominating

whatever the fuck is happening

and then everybody will understand my thesis more

because right now, they don't understand

that I've been day trading attention my whole life

and that this just happens to be when I most popped

so this is what you think I am.

- Oh no, I get the game, trust me.

- I know you do.

Okay, so then you built a monster fucking company.

- Then we built a monster fucking company

and it blew up

and in five years, we went from not existing

to being valued at over a billion dollars

doing hundreds of millions in revenue

and it was in manufacturing, dude.

Like really think about that.

It's one thing to do it in software.

- No, no, no, you're preaching.

- [Tom] Yeah, it was bananas.

- When the cocoa trees are wiped out by the rain,

people don't get it-

- Almonds, man. - It's what I tell

all my team in house.

I'm like, "Guys, we're going in and pitching content.

"Their meeting before this

"was their supplier for the Fava beans,

"which is the core ingredient in the product died

"and the family's selling the farm

"and they can't make Cocoa Puffs."

- That's real.

- Right?

You know better than I do.

- It's crazy.

And you get locked into,

we got locked into an almond contract at one point

that has a material impact on your business.

So it's like, in fact, somebody was just asking me outside,

what makes you unique?

And my thing is,

I've spent the last almost 20 years building businesses,

sitting down, forecasting, sales meetings,

dealing with retailers who are pissed,

trying to figure out channel conflict.

What is channel conflict?

You know what I mean?

When you're having to do all that shit,

suddenly, coming and putting a mic in front of you,

it's just like, you've got a wealth of shit

that you've had to do and encounter to draw on.

- When you first discovered me

and as we got to know each other the last couple years,

is that the part that was most interesting to you,

that as you were starting to build your content,

personal brand and content, ambitions and doing it well,

that you're like, oh, Gary's like me,

he's an operator and does content as a person?

- The real answer to that question

is I was so pissed off by you.

- Really?

- [Tom] Listen to this,

listen to this. - This is amazing,

I'm pumped right now,

I don't think I know this.

- I start doing,

before it's called social media, all that stuff,

we're doing it

and we're fucking doing it better than anybody else.

I was about community

when no one was talking about that.

I was about authenticity and transparency

before those became buzz words,

just going fucking ham

because that's where I was.

I'm not chasing money anymore, mother fuckers,

I'm doing something I care about,

I'm saving my mom and my sister,

this is real for me.

So because of that,

and it was coming from somewhere so real,

we were doing social before anybody else,

creating all of our own content, everything

and it was so like for real,

I wanted to touch people's lives.

And so we blew up.

And I felt like I'm King Shit.

I get it,

I get something nobody else gets,

that the number one most powerful marketing vehicle

is being a good person.

This is fucking crazy.

We're living in this weird time

where just because I actually give a shit

and if I did something

like my product didn't work for you, whatever the fuck,

not only will I take it back, refund you,

I'll give you more for free, whatever right

and it just right time.

Then my team starts going,

"Tom, you've got to step out front, dude,

"you've got to step out front.

"We want to start filming you."

And I was like, "Absolutely fucking not,

"that is so weird."

I want to be in the background,

definitely not my personality

to want to step out front

and then you started popping off.

And they kept rubbing you in my face.

And they're like, "Look at this mother fucker,

"look what he's doing, dude.

"He's popping off,

"listen to his message."

And I was listening and I'm like,

this fucking guy's real.

Every word out of his mouth is fucking real

and if people take his advice,

and that's the thing I used to laugh about,

I was like, guaranteed,

most people are not actually taking his advice

but I'm gonna start taking his advice

because it's real and I can see

and I saw that you saw from a personal branding perspective,

what I missed.

And so this is probably about four years ago,

I was like, alright, this dude fucking figured it out

and now I'm in second place.

I do not fucking like second place

so I need to start hustling

and I need to get a show

and I need to do this shit.

And so we would literally

just like how do we bring all this stuff

that I've been doing behind the scenes

and how do we translate it in front of the camera?

But it really born out of watching you leap frog me

'cause you were smashing.

- I have so much,

I always love pointing to you,

and you know you were an early client of VaynerTalent

which is an evolving business for us here

and I remember just like,

maybe you were in that Syd or Andy

but I remember walking out, I'm like,

"Guys, he's super smart.

"He's doing it for the exact right reason.

"He's gonna absolutely rent the milk."

If you remember,

and this is just truth,

I was like, "Hey, we can help you build it for yourself."

But you're like, "Nah, it's valuable for me to pay the fee.

"I can see every nuance."

But it was like, I remember that meeting so clearly

but what I loved was you built an actual business.

Real quick, I'm not even sure I know this,

Quest sold to? - Well we sold a piece.

So I still have massive ownership,

I'm just not involved day to day.

- So who did it sell to?

What piece, what happened?

- So we brought in private equity, yeah,

brought in private equity

but just the valuation was so crazy--

- [Gary] You needed to take some of it off?

- The dollars, it was pure diversification on our part.

- And so who's operating it now?

- So my two partners are still there.

They brought in a new CEO just to like--

- And you were the CEO?

- No, I was the president.

And so businesses go through phases

and whose right in one minute's

not necessarily

right in the next. - I think that's right.

- So when I left,

they just changed things up a bit

and off to the races they went.

- And so what's going on with you now for the audience?

- So I've launched a new company called Impact Theory

which literally no bullshit,

when I got into business

it was because I couldn't get the films made

that I wanted to make.

Now admittedly, my whole thesis

around what film can be

changed in the intervening time

and now I've become all about impact but,

and this is one of the things

you and I talked about in the beginning

is I was telling everybody,

look, what Disney just did by buying Marvel,

you don't understand what's going on

and I pitched it to you and you said,

"My whole life is predicated on the fact

"that Disney just bought Marvel."

And I was like, "This mother fucker!"

So I was like, alright,

so my whole thing is Disney did something

nobody else did

which is they told one kind of story

from a thousand different angles

and because of that,

their brand means something.

So if I say I'm gonna go see a Paramount movie

or a Universal movie,

you know nothing about it.

But if I say I'm gonna go see a Disney movie,

you already know something.

So I'm all about impact,

I'm all about reaching out and touching people's lives

in a for real way

and hopefully we'll get into that

'cause I've recently been

really, really struck-- - Into it here?

- Yeah, yeah, yeah. - In this right now?

- Yeah, that would be amazing.

- You're going to take it there right now.

Finish this but then go right into it, segway.

- So I want to really touch people's lives.

I've worked in the inner cities a lot,

started when I was 18,

for extra credit,

I did an eight week assignment with this little kid

who was like drug and alcohol impacted,

total out of his mind

and he would freak out

when I would try to help him with his homework,

cry, just a nightmare,

and then when I'd say, I have to leave,

then he would beg and plead and cry and all that

and I would stay.

Week five, I realized, he's trolling me

and that he actually knows exactly what he's doing

and I thought, this fucking kid's sharp.

So then I got a little respect for him

and at week six, you have to tell him,

"I'm only coming for two more weeks."

So I tell him, he goes nuclear,

I've never seen a human that distraught.

And so finally, I'm like,

"Is it because I said I'm only coming for two more weeks?"

He says, "Yes."

I say, "Look man,"

'cause by now

I've bonded with this kid. - Yeah you care, of course.

- So I'm like, "As long as

"I live in Los Angeles" - That's how I found Andy.

- "As long as I live in Los Angeles,

"I'll help you with your homework

"but you have to do it the second I get here.

"No more of this fighting and stuff."

That becomes an eight and a half year relationship,

completely changes my life.

I didn't know it at the time,

but he's being abused by his adoptive mother.

He gets taken out,

they make me the guardian,

I have to help him into foster care,

it was some heavy shit

for an early 20 something kid from Takoma.

And going through that process,

I just had this overwhelming feeling

that this kid could be something,

he could be really special,

he's a beautiful human being

but he's never going to be

because what he's been taught is so limiting that,

and so I used to take him to movies in Beverly Hills

because I was broke

but movies cost the same

and I wanted him to see beautiful places,

wanted him to have something to aspire to.

So anyway, flash forward 15 years,

now I've got about 3,000 employees

and about 1,000 of them grew up hard as hell.

One kid held his stepfather while he bled to death

from a gunshot wound to the head.

Another, his sister was shot in the heart with an AK-47

in his front yard when she was 12,

just like story after story after story

and I had that same feeling again.

These are amazing fucking people, dude,

but they're never gonna do anything.

And so back in the early days of Quest,

I interviewed everybody.

If you wanted to work there,

you're gonna interview for me,

whether you're janitor, EVP of Sales, didn't matter.

- [Gary] Me too.

- So I had this magic genie question

'cause I wanted to know what you were really about.

And so, "Hey, a magic genie's about to show up.

"They'll grant you one wish and one wish only.

"It can't be more wishes or to cure cancer

"or bring somebody back from the dead.

"It's got to be for you, what do you want?"

Dude, I must've asked that question,

I'm not kidding 300 times.

What are the odds every single person

give me the same answer?


every single person-- - Which was what?

- One million dollars.

- What?

- And I was like, I had that reaction.

So at person 10, I actually said to the team,

"Are you guys fucking with me?

"Are you prepping them beforehand?"

Because it doesn't make any sense.

You can't get a house in LA for a million dollars.

It's a magic fucking genie.

You don't ask for a money machine or a trillion dollars,

you ask for a million dollars?

- Would they have to pay taxes on it?

Was it 650 or was it capital gains,

did they get at least 800 or like?

- Dude it was so crazy to me.

And so what it showed me was

frame of reference-- - By the way, I apologize,

the million dollar thing really fucks with me too

because the one percent of earners in America,

the bottom of it, starts at 440

and this million fucks with everyone.

I wish the answer to that question was 440.

Because then it would be based on the merit of reality.

The delta between 440 and a million's pretty significant

and everybody thinks a million

is just the beginning of any level of success.

I think about it all the time.

Anyway, keep going.

- So it was, the only truthful answer

is it was heartbreaking.

And I thought, alright their frame of reference

is what's keeping them stuck.

It's not that they're not smart,

it's not that they can't learn, they can.

So it is entirely that they don't believe

that their energies will be rewarded

with powerful knowledge.

So they don't read a book,

so they don't think anything will come of it,

they don't dream big enough,

they don't think that they can.

So I was just like-- - Andy, do you have questions?

- [Andy] Yeah.

- I'm gonna get some more.

If you're watching on Facebook or Instagram Live right now,

Tom and I are gonna,

Tom's about to segway

into what he really wants to talk about

but then we're gonna do a couple questions.


Put your question in the title

and your phone number in the body.

- [Tom] There it is.

- Some people are just born with it.

Go ahead, what do you want to segway into?

- So my whole thing is

how do you help people like that at scale,

how do you really do it?

- And so you're gonna build a media company around that?

- Correct. - I love it.

- So there it is.

- I know, it's fucking right.

- [Tom] Thank you, man.

- What you have to do is do,

what you have to do is follow what we're doing at Vayner,

I gotta show you actually,

obviously we're gonna be seeing each other

probably a lot more

given what we'll announce in a minute,

I'm so happy for you, Zach.

Zach, you just made the best decision of your life.

Zach, when you decided to join

and create with me VaynerSpeakers, did you,

and we've know each other for what, eight years?

- Tomorrow.

- Cool.

It's even better than you thought, right?

- Yeah.

- That's all I needed to hear.

- [Zach] Which is what I hoped.

- In fairness, he actually said that outside

when there were no cameras. - What'd he say?

- That it was better than he thought.

He said, "I knew it was gonna be big,

"I knew it was gonna be special

"but it's actually better."

- Because what I do is sand bag,

I sand bag everything about it and me,

like it's gonna be so good,

you're so good, bro,

I just want to give you,

honestly, you're such a good dude, I'm so pumped.

What we're alluding to right now,

everyone's confused,

is we're gonna be,

we've announced VaynerSpeakers,

as you guys know.

Zach is the CEO.

We worked together for a long time when he was at CA

and we had a great run.

I have big love for CA Speaking and all that,

Peter Jacobs, big shout out to you, I love you.

And we're gonna announce our roster

probably in a month or so, within the month.

- At least. - Soon.

But Tom is one of the first who's with us exclusively

and we're gonna be doing his speaking career.

So we're gonna be,

I have a funny feeling, four or five events next year,

we'll be speaking at the same event.

So I'll be able to see you.

But where was I going with that?

Fuck, there was an interesting segway

and then I got excited about the VaynerSpeakers thing.

I want to show you something we're working on at VaynerMedia

that is gonna transcend content

that I think you'll need to do

to be a great 2023 storyteller

from a high low standpoint,

just the sheer volume of content needed to be,

kind of like what I do,

kind of what you're doing.

Stefan, it's great to see you.

Okay, so anything else you want to say

before we get into questions?

- No man, I'm ready, let's do it.

- Have you been doing investing?

You made a lot of money-- - I have.

- That's not as fun as it sounds, right?

- It's not.

- I hate it dude.

I'm kind of over it completely almost.

- My thing is I'd rather--

- Like I like it,

I want to do some sort of incubator.

I don't want to invest anymore.

I want to find kids and old people, I don't give a fuck,

people that have a three to seven million dollar business

and I want them to give me 49% of it

and then I want to just plug it in and make it do 100.

I think I can do that consistently.

We had a close deal, Syd.

They fucked up.

I love when people overplay their hands.


I love it.

Don't overplay your hands, kids.

A lot of people fake it and posture.

If you run into a real winner like Tom and I,

we might say no

and then the whole deal's dead.

That's what happened.

He overplayed his fucking hand.

Sorry, I'm doing so much subtalking.

Who's this?

- [Andy] Josh.

- Josh.

- [Josh] Gary, how are you?

- I'm amazing, brother.

You're on the #AskGaryVee Show with me and Tommy B.

- [Josh] Oh dude, this is awesome.

- Are you watching?

Clearly, you're watching.

How's the show going so far?

- [Josh] Oh dude, it's going amazing.

- Tom's killing it, right?

Like he's completely charming your pants off, right?

- [Josh] Dude, Tom is the man.

I'm watching a lot of his Impact Theory.

- His fucking Impact Theory with my boy Simon Sinek

like took over the internet.

- [Tom] Yeah, that was crazy.

- Like my team came in, they're like,

"Yo, Simon's got a super viral video."

By the way, we made the best video of all time.

I made a video that recorded me rebuttling Simon

on certain things about millennials

while I watched it for the first time,

we played it,

they're recording me,

I'm talking over the two of you

and I think the video would've had a trillion views.

The reality is I have so much respect and admiration,

I love Simon,

that I felt like,

and I'm so team millennial and I hate what's happening

with people misbranding them

that I felt like I was two teeth

and I didn't want it to become a me verse Simon thing

so I never aired it.

- He watched 30 seconds,

talked for 10 minutes,

was really, really good,

I was like, "I cannot wait to publish this,"

but then you didn't want to publish it

until you fully watched it

and could get grounded in what he was saying,

so we waited on it

but then a week later,

it already had had its moment.

But it's definitely in the graveyard.

- I could do it right now,

it's a piece of amazing content.

It's that I have too much admiration for Simon

and I felt like my energy,

it was kind of like my Trash Talk

where I had to edit out a bunch of stuff

in Trash Talk episode three

'cause my energy was in a place

where I switched into the competitive, you know?

Anyway, sorry Tom.

Tom, that video fucking went beserko.

- Yeah, it was bananas, bananas.

And that was all him dude,

he just smashed it. - I know, I know.

- [Tom] He just smashed it.

- Anyway, nonetheless,

what's your question brother?

- [Josh] Hey, so before I get into my question,

you talked about Trash Talk three,

I've also been following that,

I think that's a major key

for anybody who's looking to make some extra money

or who hates their day job.

So if you're listening and maybe this happens after,

definitely check out Trash Talk series

by Gary. - I like this guy.

- [Josh] Just wanted to give a shout out for that.

- Dude, you know what, back to that shout out,

it's kind of why I like Tom and me,

I like practical operating practitioners.

I love that shit.

Learning how to make $230 a week extra on OfferUp

and on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace and Ebay

is just smart

because not only for a lot of people,

800 bucks a month, 900 bucks a month is gamechanging

and you and I share the perspective

of seeing other parts of the world

where 200 bucks a month is a big deal.

Number two, it teaches you shit.

Anyway, go ahead, what's your question

'cause we're about to hang up on your face?

- [Josh] (static) corporation as an employee.

- I lost you for a second there, brother.

One more time.

- [Josh] How do you change a culture at a corporation

as an employee?

- Tom.

- Yeah man, I think the real honest answer is

unless it is being supported from the top down,

it will never, ever work.

So you can go to them

and if you can get your leadership on board,

then you've got a shot.

If you cannot get them on board,

it will never work

and if the culture is that dysfunctional,

my advice to you is if the top isn't gonna get on, get out.

- Yeah, I'm gonna be even more black and white,

even though I know exactly what he was saying,

the answer is you can't.

Even if you,

for example, me, I'm a really good dude,

but still, if it's pitched into me,

I have to manipulate it into mine

or I don't like it as much.

That's just what the leader does.

You agree with that, Andy?

It's funny, right?

You guys have to strategize

how to make me feel like it's mine

otherwise you know I'll never do,

Seth, you're laughing, right?

What happens, you guys just sit out there

and try to figure out,

how do we make Gary feel like this is his

otherwise he will completely not support it, right?

- We're not smart enough to think about that.

We just see it come out a week later,

we're like, I feel like I was the one who told him that.

- Yeah, so anyway, brother listen,

if you're at a company,

look, culture to me is really interesting,

I think companies build it from the get.

So if you have the original founder there

and it's not good,

get the fuck out because she or he was never on board.

If you don't have the original founder

and they've been there for more than a year or two,

get the fuck out 'cause they changed it.

I literally tell my whole company

in all hands on company meetings,

"Hey, real quick, by the way,

"before the end of this meeting,

"if I ever sell this place, quit the next day

"'cause everything I've promised you is not true anymore."

So I'm with Tom, man.

Unless you miraculously have leverage

on the singular A leader of the company

which even in a three person partnership,

there is an A within that,

you will not be able to change the culture

'cause culture 100% stems from the top.

You're either CEO that likes happiness and impact and like,

why we have a good culture

is I hate negativity.

I'm weirded out by it.

And so because I'm also the best money earner,

nobody has leverage on me

so I fire other people

that don't do good things to my culture.

Unless you have a leader like that,

that means they care about the money.

And when you care about the money,

the culture has no fucking prayer.

- Yeah.

And culture, man, is literally everything.

- [Gary] Everything.

- My thing is my new absolute obsession is emotional safety

and it's one of those things people don't talk about,

in business, it feels super weird

to say words like emotional safety

but I'm telling you right now,

whatever you do,

whether you're starting your own business

or you're in a business,

look for somewhere where you can have emotional safety

because coming into work and feeling good about it

is a big deal.

And I think there are two metrics

and this is really gonna get people in a weird place,

metric number one, laughter.

How often do people laugh?

You have to fucking pay attention to that.

And then number two,

and dude, the first time this really occurred to me

was I was in your office

and I was looking out

and I saw two people put their arms around each other

and I thought, wow that's interesting.

And so when you build emotional safety,

you will just see that people connect and bond

in a way that becomes

physically expressed. - You should see

VaynerMedia weddings.

They're absurdity.

People that haven't been here for six,

lifelong friendships.

- [Tom] That's trust man,

emotional safety. - There's like an agency

being built in Bali right now

by Sean Calao and Pinsuda.

This is in perpetuity.

I tell everybody,

it's like a framework.

I totally agree.

My big one that's more practical,

I like yours better,

I hate that I have to be the straight man

but it's a good one for a lot of people listening

is voluntary retention.

The way I judge Vayner

is how many people that I really give a fuck about

that I think are awesome people

and are awesome at their job have left Vayner?

The number is staggeringly low.

I know we got something.

- [Tom] Yeah, totally.

- You know?

Thank you for the question brother.

- [Josh] Got it.

Gary, just a point,

Google did a study on effective teams

and they called it Project Aristotle,

biggest piece of making a successful team.

So it's backed by research,

Google actually-- - Yeah it makes sense.

It makes sense.

It makes sense, brother.

But here's the problem, Google's stuck

because they're a publicly traded company

and that's why they have

the entire company walk out on them.

They're stuck.

Guys, life is binary.

As a business, either you care more about the money

or more about the feeling you feel in running it.

I would be fired by every publicly traded,

if Vayner went public,

I'd be fired, fired fast.

I have easily taken this business

from 40 to 140 million in revenue and 200 over

kind of the holding company

and I'm making way less money today than we did at 40.

- God that's so interesting

and I really hope people are listening.

No, no, no, for real, hold on

because that, dude, that's the juice.

Once you understand that in your life, mother fuckers,

you're either going to be chasing money

or you're gonna be chasing fulfillment

and narry the tween shall meet

and when you chase fulfillment,

you may also build a massive fucking company.

- I'm gonna do both.

I always say,

and I'm making up the rules,

that I'm gonna be the best entrepreneur

because I'm gonna make the most money

and have the most impact on other entrepreneurs.

- Yeah, no I love that

and I think there's a third part to that

that I clearly see in your company

and is literally the cornerstone of Impact Theory

and that is people over everything.

It's the connection that each person feels, the trust.

From that, we'll be able to do something extraordinary

because when you believe in people,

your guard is down,

you're emotionally invested. - Let me ask you a question.

Where does entitlement fall into it?

Because I will tell you one of the flaws

in me running Vayner over the last seven years,

and we've gotten a lot better in the last two years

and we're well on our way,

but I definitely created a macro culture of entitlement

because I had people over everything

and I took everything on my head.

- Yeah, so it's two things.

One, it is absolute high standards.

So you have to have standards,

explain what they are

and know what people have to do

I order to be in that sort of safety circle.

And then the other is your boy Ray Dalio,

I'm looking at your girl Lindsay down there.

So Ray and his whole notion of say truth, hear truth,

that is the one time I will say,

when I read that book,

it changed me forever as an entrepreneur

because it was a failure of my imagination

to believe that you could hold thousands of people

in an organization to,

and this is how he says it

and this is so true,

even if you have a criticism

that you're prepared to take to the grave

that you don't even say to your significant other,

you still have an obligation to voice that.

- That's super fascinating. - Dude.

- 'Cause that is absolutely not a strength of mine.

Radical candor is something I continue to evolve into,

it just doesn't come,

I'm really great when shit comes natural to me.

I just don't like money

and I will use money

and I'm really emotionally strong,

I will help the other people emotionally,

it's really funny, radical candor

and even to that level is absurd,

no question is a strength of his and others

that I haven't had.

And now I've gotten dramatic,

my brother had, AJ was much better at it naturally,

I've gotten lot, lot better

and it's been a strength of mine.

Look, today, we fired somebody that, it fucking,

I've been thinking about it for nine days,

super not pumped,

I feel like shit right now

but if I don't do it,

the whole fucking thing crumbles.

- Yeah, it gets toxic for other people.

- And so people over everything doesn't mean

keeping people around

even though you've manipulated your own self

in believing they're better off with you

than not with you.

- True.

But here's part of why I say people over everything

and it doesn't mean that I'm just

gonna let you get away with murder.

It's like, you've got the collective

and for the collective to have trust and all of that,

then they have to know

that if somebody isn't living up to it,

they're not carrying their end of the bargain,

that they're gonna be let go, simple as,

but that it's gonna be done openly and respectfully

and that you're gonna help them transition out gracefully

unless somebody's just willfully horrible.

- And that happens too.

This is where ego of hiring is a vulnerability.

People hire people,

they end up being awful

and they don't want to admit they made the mistake

and they keep 'em around.

- [Tom] For sure.

- [Khaled] Hello.

- Colin.


- [Khaled] Yeah, this is Khaled.

- Khaled, it's Gary Vaynerchuk.

You're on the #AskGaryVee Show with Tom Bilyeu.

- [Khaled] Lord!

- Alright. - What's going on, Gary?

- Life is good, my man. - Super pumped, man.

Thanks for having me on your show,

I really, really appreciate it.

I'mma get straight to the point

'cause I know your time is really expensive.

I just had a question,

this is something to do with my life.

I've been in the exotic car business for a very long time.

It's a very expensive business to get into

as someone in my shoes, an entrepreneur,

don't have a lot of funding behind me at all actually.

So I have a large list of contacts,

I've been networking for a long time.

It's not the grade to make sandy shakes.

So I've met a lot of people, lot of celebrities,

A-list celebrities, music artists, all walks of life

and I've been doing this for about 10 years,

I'm 26 now.

So I've been in the game for about 10 years.

- Dude, how the hell do you not have an Instagram link

at the bottom of your website

when you're in the most visual and kind of exotic car world?

- [Khaled] You know, I definitely need,

I have a really nice Instagram.

- But you have a nice website

with some fucking exotic fucking animal

on top of a cool car

but you have literally the Facebook and Twitter logo

at the bottom

but not the Instagram one.

- [Khaled] I know.

So that was actually a dealership that I worked for.

- Got it.

- [Khaled] I'm currently working for myself now

as basically a broker. - Respect, respect.

- [Khaled] And now I'm working by myself

and brokering deals,

I'm taking clients.

'Cause clients come back for me, they don't

come back for the dealership-- - Of course.

The person has the leverage.

- Exactly. - So what's the question?

- [Khaled] My question is now

basically I have the experience,

I have the clients,

the demand is there.

I'm getting calls every time a concert's in town, anything,

celebrities need cars for rentals,

they want to buy new cars.

I'm trying to figure out,

how do I get to the next level, Gary,

as far as getting funding to start a company like that?

How do I find investors who have the capital

and are looking for that kind of a business?

- Dude, your entire fucking life

is interacting with people that have that kind of money.

- [Khaled] And you know, that's very true, Gary.

I mean I meet people who are billionaires,

all sorts of people

but here's the biggest thing I have to overcome,

I feel like,

every time, there's an objection,

it's that I'm young,

I don't have

per se a track record. - Brother, brother, brother,

the number one mistake that people make in life,

let alone business,

is they say no for the other party without asking.

- [Tom] Word.

- Look, I have empathy,

I hate asking anybody for anything.

So you've got these clients,

it doesn't feel appropriate from transitioning

to you just rented them out something

and now you're like, "Hey, give me a million bucks."

But inevitably, you've now interacted

with some fucking ballers an eighth time, a 10th time,

some of them have even shown a liking towards you

'cause they see themselves.

Tom and I, I'm sure do this,

just knowing him a little bit,

when we see ourselves in people,

you just gravitate towards it

'cause you're just always very aware

that circumstances helped you so much.

And so I'm always in the business of helping somebody out

when it feels right.

You just live it that way, right?

That's just the fucking game.

Look brother, you're gonna have to ask somebody

for the money

and a kid like you,

who's more like a kid like me,

you're not gonna get it from traditional VCs.

They don't invest in shit like this

and we don't have the pedigree

to get money from those people.

You have the pedigree

to get money from other hustlers.

- [Tom] For sure and--

- [Khaled] Well here goes nothing.

Gary, you ready to invest in my company or what?

- 100,000% not.

Here's why.

You must've either missed it a few minutes ago

or you skipped over it,

I literally just said 11 minutes ago

that I hate fucking investing.

- [Khaled] I know, I'm just messing with you.

- I know you are but--

- [Khaled] But I really appreciate you

having me on your show

and I did want to tell you,

I never kept it above me

to do other side hustles

like going to garage sales

or picking up wine boards and scooters and charging,

I've been doing all the things that you have

trying to save up money

and invest it. - Good for you, man.

Look, there's a lot of your vibe that's interesting, man.

You come from an industry that I'm always scared of,

it's the slickiest of the slick

but you're articulating yourself

even like in my intuitive feelings

which I go by all the time,

look man, listen--

- [Khaled] Really appreciate that.

- Let me say something to everybody who's listening,

the reason so many kids are starting companies

and want to get venture capital

is if they fail, they don't have to pay anybody back.

- I think there's another reason.

- There's a lot of reasons

but this is one that nobody talks about, Tom.

- [Tom] Yeah, fair.

- You give up 25% of your company,

the amount of people that I think are starting companies,

start ups,

that already know on day one

that they have no chance of success

is remarkably high

but the capital they raise

allows them to live the lifestyle

with no damage to their credit.

There's too much fucking money in the system.

Here's why I'm telling you that.

If you really believe in yourself, bro,

and you've been doing something for 10 years,

this is gonna brain fuck everybody on my team,

I hate when people have credit card debt.

It's my freak out of freak out, right,

or debt in general.

I will tell you

that I've been at my best

when I knew that I was operating not taking any chance

and when I'm willing to do that,

I'm willing to do anything to get the money,

like fucking loan shark shit,

like mafioso breaks my life shit.

You know why?

Because if I understand the interest

and I understand I can figure it out

even if I'm paying 50% interest let alone five,

the days of getting money from the bank,

people don't think about that anymore

but let me give you where I'm actually going.

You know how many kids

should be asking their parents for money

or their rich aunt?

A lot.

The problem is they're not thinking about it right.

They need to walk into their rich aunt and say,

"Aunt Sally, I need 150K but I will pay you back."

And if it dies, I will then get a job

and I will pay you back 5,000 bucks every quarter

for the rest of my fucking life.

People are not putting their fucking balls on the line.

People aren't doing that anymore.

Everybody wants to raise money

and give up 20% of a company worth nothing.

You don't have to risk it when you're delirious.

The reason I'm giving you this advice

is you've been doing it for a decade.

You feel intuitively right to me.

So I'm saying to you,

do what Tom and I did

and live the practical life,

not this bullshit life.

Live the practical life, man.

- [Khaled] And you know what,

that was the first step for me to move forward

is to stop trying to live up

to everybody's expectations,

stop looking at everybody else

and humble myself

and actually have my friend move in,

split the rent,

share a studio. - Yes, dude humility,

humility for the alpha male and woman in their 20s,

humility is the secret fucking sauce.

- But now let's push it,

did you actually do that?

- [Khaled] Yeah I did

because here's the thing,

I was always trying to buy the most expensive stuff

to keep up with everybody. - 'Cause that's

what you were looking at.

- [Khaled] When I stopped doing that,

when I just focused on myself

and I accepted myself for what position I'm in

and I'm like, "Okay, Khaled, you're fucking shits

"in the toilet right now." - Yes, keep going, Khaled,


- [Khaled] "You need to get your stuff together,

"lower all living costs down

"and just do every little side hustle that I can

"so that I can maximize my time

"now that I'm working for myself."

So I could do a bunch of little stuff.

At night, I'm doing the scooters,

I'm doing 40, 50 scooters a night.

We're going to garage sales,

picking up stuff free off Craigslist,

I'm marketing stuff online for people, GoogleAds.

We're doing a bunch of stuff

and I have my cousin-- - And are you happy?

- [Khaled] And he's helping me.

You know what, I'm very happy

because I'm not

working for anybody. - So then, real quick,

this is real quick

'cause there's a lot of bubbling up

of Gary, you're pushing people to work too hard

and all this stuff and I'm watching it

and I'm like, I love when elitists who work their faces off

to make a bunch of money,

then tell everybody else not to work hard.

- That's some bullshit anyway.

- So to me, if you love what you're doing

and you're happy and you're mentally and physically healthy,

do you, I'm not judging anybody about doing anything

but it's all about self awareness

and putting a framework around

where you don't keep up with the joneses.

- Yeah and I want to put my finger on something.

So dude, your vibe changed so much

when you got into the pocket on where you're confident.

Humans lead with belief.

In the beginning, you didn't have that belief

'cause you're stretching for the fancy cars and all that.

But when you slid back to I'm living in a studio apartment

with six other dudes,

I believed in you.

And if you came to me with that hustle,

and you're like, look, mother fucker,

I have boiled my life down to nothing,

I have no expenses.

I eat top ramen and I grind it the fuck out

from the floor of my friend's bathroom,

I will make this shit.

If you give me money,

I will spend the rest of my life

paying you back if it fails

and you have that belief

'cause you actually believe it,

you know it's true,

you know you can do that

and you're operating from a position of strength.

Now just your energy

is gonna convince people to get on board with you.

But when you try to posture, hustle,

like from a place that's not real,

that's where people don't buy into you.

- And the beauty is,

that's what I sensed the whole time.

Dude, this is really cool.

By the way, this is the kissing cousin

to why I want kids to stop taking money from their parents.

It all comes down to the same thing.

It's called fake environments.

Either you live on your merit or you don't.

The end. - I've been on my own

since I was 15 and I'm very thankful for it

'cause my parents instilled me with the right morals,

with the right hustle, at a young age.

And then I was forced to be a man on my own

and I worked mechanic shop

and I sticked to the car thing for a long time.

So it's like my passion too.

So it goes hand in hand.

I enjoy everything that I do,

it doesn't feel like work

even when I'm working long hours.

- Khaled, you live in Atlanta?

- [Khaled] I do live in Atlanta.

- Cool man.

Send me an email to

I want to high five you when I come for Super Bowl.

- [Khaled] Dude, that would be so awesome.

- And that wasn't like secret code

'cause I don't code for I want a fancy car.

Fuck, I hate that shit.

I mean I just want to actually high five you.

- [Khaled] Dude, it would be a pleasure

to be standing within your proxy.

- Awesome man, thank you for the call.

Fake environments.

I want to wrap up with this.

Okay, you get it

because last time Scooter made us do another call

and it turned out so awesome.

- [Andy] Someone wants an internship with Tom

but we're not gonna call them.

- Okay, got it.

Tom, I'm so about these fake environments.

If I can convince people that credit cards are bad,

that parent's money is bad,

that posturing's bad,

the happiness is absurd,

the happiness is absurd.

- Also, I want to get people on obsessive thinking.

So one of the things people always ask me,

okay, what's your secret to your success.

I normally say reading

but I'll say that there's actually something else I do

that people, it's hard to articulate but here it goes.

There's a great question that Peter Thiel asks,

"How do you take your 10 year plan

"and make it happen in six months?"

So if you obsessively think about

how do I accelerate this?

How do I, what's that quantum leap forward?

And for him, to be thinking about that,

the collapsing down to very little expense

so that he can get into a place that's actually winning,

win with that,

build a package up

that he can go pitch to people and say,

"Look, I only want whatever,

"I want to flip more scooters, whatever."

So he's getting in at 1,000 or 10,000

instead of 400,000,

then he can build that momentum

and you just keep going upstream, upstream, upstream.

- Lack of patience, man,

lack of patience. - Well, it's interesting.

You and I disagree

on the use of the word patience so violently.

- [Gary] Please.

- So my thing is fuck patience, literally.

But the thing is I always tell people,

I know what Gary means

and Gary means

play the long game. - Macro patience, micro speed.

- 1,000%.

The problem is when people hear patience,

they get in a passive mode. - They become passive.

- Yes, so I'm

fucking psychotic about that. - Well then brother,

you used the word passive though.

- Yeah exactly.

You can't let people get into a passive

situation. - That's fine,

the word's patience, not passive.

- Yeah, but what I'm saying

is when people hear that word

out of anyone's mouth-- - I understand

but I'm living a life of everybody semantically articulating

the manipulation of words to their non meaning.

- It's interesting.

So here's how--

- The amount of judgment

that is being thrown at me right now in circles

around people manipulating the words that I'm,

it's absurd.

Patience is not passive.

- So my thing is how do people react to it?

- I couldn't agree more

but the reality is if we are now in a place

where we can't allow the words

to actually mean what they mean,

we have to challenge that conversation as well.

Because now you're getting into how people filter everything

and now we're talking about the most important P

which is perspective.

If their filter is taking it,

then that's what gets so interesting

about having to do this one on one

versus through content.

Content is vulnerable in its macro.

It's super interesting shit.

- Very interesting.

And on this particular thing,

I'll say forget the words

because you and I are saying the same thing

so the last thing I want to do is argue that

when we get to the point. - It's semantics.

- 1,000%.

- [Gary] And I'm with you.

- My thing is how do you get people to realize that,

momentum is the thing that I think matters.

So have you ever been in an above ground swimming pool?

You can start walking in a circle

and it creates the vortex

and then you can pick your feet up--

- The whole thing I was talking to you about

that I've gotta walk you through

of what you need to do for your studio

to win the world,

literally internally for a few minutes

was called momentum marketing.

We can't be believing more-- - You need momentum.

- Yeah

Who is this?

- [Andy] Royce.

- Royce, like Royce Clayton?

If you know who Royce Clayton is, leave it in the comments.

I forget that Google exists these days.

I so grew up in a non-Google world.

Everybody's like, that's easy,

he's the short stop for the Giants.

- [Royce] Hello, this is Royce.

- Royce, it's Gary Vaynerchuk

and you're on the #AskGaryVee Show with Tom Bilyeu.

- [Royce] Oh my God, holy shit.

I was listening to you guys live,

oh my God, it's so cool.

- How are you doing, Royce?

Where you from Royce?

- [Royce] Cincinnati, Ohio.

- Are you a Bengals fan?

- Oh big time. - Good respect.

You're cursing 'cause you used some upping in your game

but I appreciate it man.

You do know that the Jets beat the Bengals

in a huge playoff game in Cincinnati in 2010 right?

- [Royce] Oh I'm sure.

- Clearly you did not.

Okay, go ahead.

- [Royce] Yeah.

Andy, I put in a couple questions, which question?

- Pick whatever, which one do you want, Andy?

- [Andy] The ones that you said Tom and Gary differ on?

- [Royce] Oh yeah, Tom, love your stuff too.

I listen and watch a lot of Impact Theory.

- Love it. - Thank you, man.

- [Royce] Tom, I saw you,

sorry, I listened to you on the Joe Rogan Experience

a couple months ago

and you mentioned how you heard

how some people believe

that you have to be a natural born entrepreneur

or you can turn into one

if you have entrepreneurial tendencies

and you disagreed with the fact

that a lot of people out there

believe that you have to be a natural born entrepreneur.

I was wondering,

I know Gary you always say

how you're only a natural born entrepreneur.

There's no thought,

if you've ever worked a job in your life

that you could be one.

Can you become an entrepreneur

or do you have to be a natural born one?

- Well good news,

I'll lose this right now

because everybody's an entrepreneur now

and most of them are not natural born entrepreneurs.

Now let's talk about people

that are successful entrepreneurs

and not successful entrepreneurs.

- [Tom] That's fair.

- That's a big deal.

Then there's also people bleeding entrepreneurship

with operators.

So I think operators

are something that can be taught

and those individuals

she and he are incredible COOs,

cofounders as the number two.

Guys, there is a mental strength

that comes along with you're the last line of defense,

that is by definition

what entrepreneurship is built around

that I do think we underestimate

in what is like comes natural

but I think that being a successful entrepreneur

is more of a skill

than a taught behavior

in the framework of my perspective.

Being taught to be an operator is,

I see every day,

most great COOs

are people that were taught to be an operator.

Many of them are considered cofounders

but would have not been successful

without the energy of the human

that was there to eat the pressure

and actually lead the company.

This is how I see it.


- Yeah.

So this is one that I have lived the exact opposite.

So I started out,

my parents taught me to go be a good employee,

to keep my head down,

do as little work as possible

and avoid punishment at all costs.

I had a newspaper route.

I was too afraid

to go knock on the doors to collect the money.

So for like two years,

I delivered the paper

for half the money I could've gotten.

I never stole somebody's flowers out of the yard

and sold them back, none of that.

But then to get what I wanted

which was to make films on my terms,

I had to generate the capital - Why do you need Lambos

to do that?

- Why do I need Lambos?

- Well you said earlier,

you were into some of the flashy stuff.

- No, I get why other people chase that.

- [Gary] So you weren't?

- No, I was chasing,

I wanted money to build a studio.

- [Gary] Got it.

- So I knew that I had to learn a certain set of skills.

Now my whole thing comes down to

humans are the ultimate adaptation machine.

Literally what we do is adapt.

That is our design.

So you can take,

there was a woman who swam the Bering Strait

and she turned,

literally over a year of cold exposure,

turned white adipose tissue

which is the fat,

into what's called brown adipose tissue

which generates more heat.

Now people will believe it at the body.

Nobody's here telling me that I'm crazy for that,

it's so easy to show people that you can change your body.

But for some reason,

people don't think that you can change the mind.

- So let me ask you a weird question.

First of all,

I completely only believe you can change the mind

which is now gonna get into an interesting semantic.

- [Tom] So keep going.

- No, no, no, I'm sorry, I'm gonna go keep going

but you're gonna appreciate it,

you're gonna answer. - Yeah, take your time,

for sure.

- Does that mean everybody's born

a natural born entrepreneur?

That means everybody is?

- It means everybody that meets minimum requirements,

and we will have to talk about that.

- Okay so that gets,

that's fine, that gets into a different place.

- So if you meet minimum requirements,

and some people do not.

- But what if you're a chemalishawan.

What if you, Tom, are actually a chemalishawan?

So a chemalishawan is born in Africa,

doesn't realize he's a natural great basketball player

because he's not exposed to it

but actually was born a natural,

what if you actually were?

Just 'cause the environment you were in

suppressed-- - So you're saying

I was a natural born entrepreneur

just in a weird environment?

- That's right.

Because that's where I'm going with this which is

you were in an environment

where your parents created the environment

to eliminate the entrepreneurial spirit

but that it was down deep in there

and more importantly,

just 'cause ripping flowers,

first of all, you had a paper route.

Let's break that down for minute.

Maybe you were scared of asking for money

just like the last kid

but let's really, really talk about it.

What the fuck were you doing with a paper route?

- In my family, you had to have a job

so my parents made me get a paper route.

- Did they make you get a paper route

or did you have more than one choice?

Tom, now this is very important.

- [Tom] I don't remember.

- Fair enough.

- I don't remember. - I believe you.

- To me, that's--

- Well but let's answer that question.

So let's assume for a second

that I'm secretly a born entrepreneur

just in a bad environment

which I'm very okay with.

- And not a bad environment.

It's bad for entrepreneurship.

It's a great environment.

- That, I have no beef with that.

So my thing is knowing

that people can either good environment,

be trained and bring out those natural inclinations or not,

my thing is,

figure out what you want to do

and then go down the path

of gaining mastery in that.

- I got it, I got it.

I apologize.

Now I'm being selfish

'cause this is so fun hanging with you.


Fear is an incredible part of all of this.

- [Tom] Yes.

- When and how

did you start taking fear out of the equation?

'Cause that's the transition you made.

- I don't know.

I would never say that.

Fear for me is a constant--

- So you feared asking people for money.

- [Tom] Definitively.

- Cool.

Later you didn't.

- No, I still do.

- Interesting, me too, by the way.

This is the weirdest part of me.

One of the reasons I didn't finish off raising my fund

is 'cause I hate asking people for money.

But I don't know if I fear it, I just hate it.

I hate anybody having leverage.

That's really what I'm all about.

- I'd really have to sit down and think about the semantics

of whether I just hate it or I fear it

but there are definitely things that I do that I fear

and I use fear as a guidepost of where to move

because my fundamental assumption

is humans adapt via stress.

- Restrictions are an adversity,

they're such an incredible framework.

- Right and those are the things that change you.

- Oh by the way,

the biggest reason I want to talk

about real and fake entrepreneurs right now, you know why?

There's no fucking restrictions

to being an entrepreneur,

not only in money

but in the bio of your fucking Instagram account.

This is it.

This is the punchline.

Unlike, you and I are so fucking similar,

I have so much fun with it

because that means I love you so much

because fuck, I love myself.

- [Tom] That was amazing.

- No, but I'm serious,

by the way, self love is super,

the greatest gift my,

by the way, loving yourself

doesn't mean you're delusional and think you're great.

Self awareness is the foundation of loving yourself.

I love myself for the things that I am and I'm not.

It's super important.

In the same way that people were uncomfortable

talking about mental health,

we need to start making it comfortable

for people who like themselves to talk about it

because it will encourage other people

to realize liking yourself isn't ego or delusion,

it's grounded in self awareness.

- Yeah, here's the thing.

Your superpower is you don't judge yourself.

- You're right.

- That became very clear to me

and I think that's amazing. - You nailed that

and by the way, you nail,

and you know what else not judging yourself does?

You don't judge other people either.

So you end up liking a lot more people.

You mother fuckers are judging.

Last night, I spent 98 hours consuming judgment.

People fucking judge,

we're doing this post election, people judge.

Who the fuck,

you have no context of what's going on

in somebody's bedroom

or most important in their head.

You're right, I don't judge myself

because I know what my intent is.

I'm obsessed with intent.

It's insane how much I love everybody here

if I know their intent,

once I wrap my head around one's intent,

it's game over.

It's like fucking binary switch

and I'm going to bat for them in perpetuity

for me, outside of me, with me, against me.

If I think somebody's a good person

and they're literally my direct competitor,

I weirdly secretly root for them in some weird way

because if they're better than me,

they deserve to win.

I was so pumped when I was with all the super angels

and Scott Belsky and Chris Sacca had better investing,

I had a great investing career, they were better

and I love talking about it, right?

I fucking love talking about it.

They deserve it.

That's what I love about sports, man.

None of this bullshit of like entrepreneur,

entrepreneurship's amazing, you know why?

Nobody can judge it.

It's all hidden.

Man, God do I want the world to melt.

You know why?

People are confused.

Everybody thinks I want the world to melt

'cause I do a bad job communicating

'cause I like keeping a lot of shit in,

that I'm gonna take advantage of it.

I want the world to melt

because people are gonna be happier.

- That's really interesting.

- Tom, people are in fake environments.

No listen, this is why Tom's smart, man.

He gets it, he gets it right away.

I'm serious, people are gonna be happier

because everybody's living a fake life right now

and keeping up with the joneses

and when everything melts, everybody gets back to the right,

not paying the piper in 2009 in America

for the economic melting

and going through seven years of a recession

and us propping up fucked our culture

in a way that nobody talks about.

- Have you read The Stand by Stephen King?

- I don't read shit. - Of course.

I already knew the answer.

- [Gary] Can you break down it for me?

- Yeah because it literally speaks to exactly this,

the center character of the book

is somebody who's just popping off as a musician

right when this world ending flu happens.

But the guy survives.

And so he goes from everybody loves me,

they're treating me well,

I've got free cocaine

and then now no one knows who the fuck I am.

And that whole machinery that was about to make me

the biggest thing on the planet,

just fell out from under him.

- [Gary] And he's solo?

- Well it's not solo

because there's enough people to survive

but he realizes all that bullshit that he was chasing

now it just doesn't exist.

So there's this simplification of life

and to your point,

as he gets beyond that hunger for the fame

and the adulation and just has to deal with staying alive,

his life actually gets better.

- I love this shit so fucking,

God, can I not wait for the economic meltdown

because it's the beginning of happiness

at a bigger scale.

- It's interesting.

So the comic book that we wrote for Neon Future

is literally about that.

So I wanted to start post economic meltdown,

look at how people react and then--

- Your fucking superhero better look like me

'cause I fucking believe in it the most.

- Right, we'll have to work that in, Gary,

we'll have to work that in.

- Caesar, start drawing.

Did we answer my man's question?

- [Andy] What do you think?

- [Royce] Yeah, yeah, no yeah, for sure.

I did have one other question

that's just been like on me for about a month or so.

- Ah that's it?

So I'm hanging up,

that's not that long.

I'm kidding, go, fast.

- Okay, okay, okay.

So right at this minute,

I'm busy, I guess in the dirt, I guess you could say.

I just graduated from college

and I'm working for a start up here in Cincinnati

as business development

and being around this environment,

I'm listening to you, Gary and Tom,

I truly believe I have a lot of entrepreneurial tendencies.

So I'm building my personal brand

and just documenting things that I believe

and things that I'm learning about life

just through LinkedIn and blogging.

- Good, so you're documenting more than posturing, right?

- [Royce] Yeah, no, I'm not faking it.

- Good, keep going.

- [Royce] If I don't know something.

So I'm in the dirt

but I know you also say to try as many things as possible,

taste as many things

as you can. - Remember,

and this is what is hard

about advice and putting out content,

people start blending it

and that's why I have a lot of empathy

for your patience thing.

When kids ask me,

I have no idea what I want to do,

Gary, I don't know what I like.

The only practical answer to that is like,

yo bro, hey gal, go taste some shit.

It sounds like you have a better feel

of what you like

and thus, you don't have to quit this start up

and be a sous chef.

- [Royce] Right, no, I get,

and then my question in that is

in doing this, I have a lot of people asking me

why are you doing this?

What are you trying to get out of it?

Or what are you trying to be in 10 years--

- Tell them to go fuck themselves.

Who gives a shit?


You don't fucking know.

Brother, the next time somebody says,

"Where you gonna be at 30?",

or, "Where do you see yourself in five years or 10 years,"

look 'em dead in the face and say, "What about you?"

Do you know how many

miserable fucking 54 year olds there are?


- And I'll give you a slightly different take on that

and I'll say that skills have utility man.

This is something that people don't think about.

You're gonna spend years developing a skill set.

That skill set is going to let you do something.

And so what do you want to be able to do?

And that's the thing to me about adaptation,

about anybody being an entrepreneur or not.

It's like, it's just about skill acquisition.

The difference between where I was

when I didn't know what the fuck I was doing

as an entrepreneur and now when I do

is I've learned a set of skills

that apply themselves in the real world,

either influencing other people,

getting them pointed in the same direction,

creating momentum,

knowing how to sell,

knowing how to market. - Or a tactic.

Some weird tactic. - 1,000%.

- How old are you?

- 42.

- And you're young as fuck.

- As fuck.

- When are you 43?

- [Tom] March.

- Great, so I'm four months older, okay fine.

So listen, Royce,

do you understand?

- [Royce] Absolutely, no I--

- No, but do you?

Who gives a fuck why they're asking?

Bro, people asking questions like that,

it's fascinating to me,

I'm really watching this obviously,

the amount of people that ask that question

sheerly out of misery loves company

has been one of the most fascinating things

for me to observe.

- I think people are also terrified

they're gonna miss out on something

and the only thing that you have is today.

So if you're worried about today

and you take care of today,

10 years from now is gonna take care of itself.

What do you fucking love doing right now?

What do you want to get great at right now?

- You're so right

because you're not gonna know the alternative.

There's no weird video game

where you pick a path

but then you get to rewind it

and watch what would've happened.

If you go move to the company's headquarters in Afghanistan

or go to work for a different friend in Cincinnati

or move to the big city of New York,

Royce, you're not gonna know how it would've worked out.

- And if it sucks, switch it up.

That's the thing that drives me nuts.

Here's how I think entrepreneurs

need to think of themselves.

You're standing in a room with 1,000 doors.

Your job is to close 999 of them and walk through one.

And people are so paralyzed by all the opportunity costs

of actually having to shut a door,

that they never make a decision.

Make a decision, even if it's fucking terrible.

Mistakes are the most information rich data stream there is.

Standing still is the only problem.

- Dude, I make decisions so fast

it scares the fuck out of everybody around me.

(team laughing)

Seriously. - Yeah.

- I'm just making decisions.

The end.

- And that my friend - What Andy, talk.

You can add value to the show. - Is why you win.

- It's 100% true.

A decision that the team's debating for days on end,

Gary answers in two seconds

and all of us walk out of the room feeling very confident.

- Here's the thing, even if you didn't,

it's better to have a decision

and be able to go try

then to sit there

and fucking talk about it. - The end.

- [Andy] Thus why he can do it so quickly.

- The end.

I love losing.

This is how it all works together.

I love when I made the wrong decision.

I'm not gonna do that decision in that circumstance

if I recognize it again.

- Right.

Yeah I think of entrepreneurs

as athletes that don't have a limit to their body.

So it's like,

it's one thing if you know you're only gonna be in the NFL

for four years

'cause your body can't take the tax.

When you're gonna be in it forever,

it's like, yeah, if you fuck this play up,

you make a mistake,

what's it matter? - And entrepreneurship

is more science than people realize.

You're learning from the nose,

it's a data point,

you build on top of it.

- [Tom] For sure.

- I'm insanely better than I was at 22

which would blow the 22 year old me out of the water

'cause I thought I was the best then.

Experience fucking matters.

And what the 22 year old named Royce doesn't know

is that 42 year old Tom

feels exactly the way Royce does right this second.

Because when you're doing what you love

and you're in that zone,

I feel way younger than 99% of the 22 year olds

that are unhappy.

- [Tom] That is for sure.

- It's fucking true, man.

That's living. - And just energy level,

that's the thing

and I know you get a lot of criticism for it,

I get a lot of criticism for how many hours I work

and I'm like, mother fuckers, are you not listening?

Here's the punch line.

- [Gary] Happiness.

- I work that hard because I'm having fun.

- Happin,

I don't want to go skiing, dick face.

I do not want to go skiing.

I do not want to go to a beer garden.

It is not fun for me to go look at a museum.

I am not interested in watching Netflix.

I am not interested.

That doesn't mean

that I think everybody else should do that.

I think, and I've said consistently,

self awareness, happiness,

I've said it a million fucking times,

do I believe in hustle?

Yes I do.

I like work ethic.

It's controllable.

Do I want that to put you into depression

or health scares?


Of course not, dick face.

Of course not.

But don't sit on a pedestal

after you've fucking worked hard for 15 years

and then tell all these kids

that they should have work/life balance,

you fucking elitist.

- [Tom] Yeah, dude I'm, yeah,

if that's what lights people up,

go for it. - Do not be

a fucking hypocrite.

Do not be a hypocrite.

If you make 47,000,

I only talk what I live,

right, just like,

I got really scared when you transitioned

on that one debate we were having a little bit there

and you're like,

"Weird 'cause I just lived the actual opposite."

I'm like fuck.

Because it's the number one thing I believe in.

I hate when people work 11 years on their start up,

work their faces off, I watch them grind

and then they hit

and then they're sitting on money

and they're not part of their life

and then the advice they're giving

isn't what they lived.

I want to hear from people publicly

that made 47,000 a year their whole life

and are happy as shit.

Go talk about that,

we're talking about happiness.

People are using mental health as a weapon

to make themselves look good

just like non-profits.

You might be tricking the 99%

but you're not tricking the one percent, partner.

Cool, thanks Royce.


- Dude. - Dude.

It's a great episode.

- [Tom] It was amazing, man.

- [Andy] Great episode.

- Tom, you get to ask the question of the day.

- There's only one, at least from my perspective.

- [Gary] Can't wait to hear it.

- What is the impact you want to have on the world?

'Cause baby, chasing fulfillment, that's the game.

- That is the mother fucking ROI.

Thank you, brother.

- You got it, thank you.

- You keep asking questions, we'll keep answering them.

Book Tom for speaking.



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The Description of Tom Bilyeu on Quest Nutrition, Truth About Patience, and Teaching Entrepreneurship | #AskGaryVee 299