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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: This Is My Favorite Meeting Every Year | Fireside Chat With 2019 Summer Interns

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- Hey guys.

I just got out of a meeting with the intern class

at VaynerMedia this year

but what really ended up happening

was a complete manifesto to anybody

whose like 17 to 24 in the world.

So if you are or know somebody whose 17 to 24,

you need to watch this shit

and watch it four times.

(upbeat music)

You've got your perspective.

I just want to be happy.

Don't you want to be happy?


So you know,

I guess the thing that I can open with is

I think a lot about this program

and just internships in general

and I think that I've been pretty vocal in the past

from my content standpoint of like how,

like I unbelievably don't believe the ROI

of this internship

is the skillset that you're learning

though I'm sure for some of you,

especially knowing in certain categories,

paid media, I feel very confident about,

all of them I do

but there's clearly places where you will learn skill sets.

I'm sure you'll learn plenty on Team Gary,

like we're proud of what we're good at

but this has to be a huge big game

of interpersonal relationships.

It is like you're gonna cozy up with each other

'cause it's easy, you're going through the same shit, right,

and it creates a natural bond.

It's imperative that you muster up

whatever extroverted DNA you have

to just say hello in the kitchen.

It's just imperative.

I can't explain enough to you

that there are 13 people that work at this company right now

that in 19 years are gonna be the CMOs

of the biggest companies in the world.

I don't know what else to tell you.

So as you can imagine,

if I'm even half right,

the serendipity of one of those people

becoming somebody you have a relationship with

disproportionately changes the course

of your professional career,

not to mention the thing I'm proud of

and Loose, I'm sure you're feeling this,

like from a culture and pet team

and how we care about human stuff,

there's the professional aspect

of me being right about that

and you then becoming way more advanced in your career

12 years form now because you've tagged along

with Lisa or Johnny or Susan

as their careers progressed.

There's just also the fact that

a shocking amount of people at VaynerMedia

end up marrying each other,

becoming singular best friends with each other.

We have a very interesting framework

when it comes to human dynamics

that I think lends itself to a lot of ROI.

And so not every person is gonna be extroverted

or is comfortable to roll up on somebody cold

and say what's up

but I promise you,

there's very few businesses on Earth

that it's safer than here to do that

and I couldn't push you harder to do it.

Elevators, random meetings,

going to, obviously at this point,

you probably feel some comfort level

with the person above you

or the people that are rabbiing you,

asking them to create the serendipity for you

or bring you into different rooms just to take a look

or you're in project management

but are curious about creative,

just being thrown into a meeting,

tasting things,

is the number one strategy in your 20s.

You've made decisions about what you're about

and it's highly likely you're wrong.

And when I say wrong,

the holy grail of life professionally

is to love what you're doing and be good at it.

There's a lot of people who love what they do

and they're okay at it.

There's a lot of people that crush at something

but fucking hate it.

And the only way you'll know that

is if you taste more.

I always smile when I'm on this kick

because I think about oysters a lot.

So like I'm really into them

and I've gotten pretty knowledgeable about them,

like west coast, east coast, like that kind of shit

and it's just so funny

how many people have decided they don't like oysters

without every having them.

And that's how I think about careers.

You think you're fin ops,

but you're really strategy.

You think you're strategy

but you're really account.

You think you're project management

but you're really fin ops.

And I think about that every day.

My job at the top of this whole thing

is to put players in a position to succeed.

The nature of where you are in your life

gives you more flexibility to do that for yourself

if you have the patience and humility

to go through the process.

That's my schpeel.

What can I answer?

Who's got questions?

Like you can go super narrow,

you can go very broad.

- [Female] Mine is super narrow.

- Great.

We approved that.

- [Female] So I'm from the largest concentration

of Arabs and Muslims anywhere outside of the Middle East.

That's Dearborn, Michigan right outside of Detroit.

And what I think my purpose is

is to put my city on the map.

So I've learned

through talking to people outside of my community

that people are aware of it,

which was really interesting

'cause when you grow up in that

and you're a part of that community

you don't see the value in it.

And so as I've gotten older, I guess like--

- 'Cause it's your norm.

- It's my norm

and everybody looks like me, talks like me.

- It's your norm.

- Right.

And so I guess like

just certain experiences that I went through,

my dad was the first Arab Muslim administrator

of a high school in Dearborn

and he got a lot of Islamophobia and just hatred

and hate speech in the media.

And so that made me really passionate

about kind of like controlling that narrative.

So we started a podcast

and it's kind of taken,

so it's gotten a lot of statewide attention

and recently ABC,

I don't know why I'm so nervous

talking about it right now,

but ABC Nightline just reached out

and so now we're getting national attention

which is like a dream come true.

I obviously was crying all night last night about it

'cause it just happened yesterday.

- That's awesome.

- I'm trying to figure out

how to continue using the niche that we have

because news just spreads like wildfire in my community

and that's what's helped us get that attention.

But also so like using that niche but not,

not relying on the niche of the community

to get that global attention 'cause that's,

at the end of the day,

we want to be the ones telling our stories

because anyone whose talking about Arabs and Muslims

globally right now

aren't doing so from our perspective

and are misrepresenting us.

And I kind of want to create a universe

where we're the ones holding the mic

when we're telling our stories.

- Well that's called the internet.

You're not gonna create it,

I didn't create it,

it's been created.

What people don't understand

is we're going through cycles.

So even if you think about it at the highest levels,

there's so much more conversation today about privacy

that nobody talked about privacy eight years ago,

everything was about share everything.

This is just pendulum swings.

To your point,

right now, just like Jews in Europe in the '40s and '50s

and African Americans in the '50s, '60s and '70s,

these are just moments in cultural time.

Depending on how you see life,

you either have the serendipity

or the unluck of being who you are during this time

when it is your subculture

that is on the global pedestal currently

with a lot of people who want to control the narrative

in a negative light.

The reality is you cried out of happiness

of the national exposure to Nightline

but it's actually what you're trying to fight against.

This is what the funny thing is this whole game is.

We are in such a macro framework

that you view that as a good thing

because you understand the benefits

of the national exposure.

You have no post production control.

- Exactly.

- Like I'm sure some,

I assume at some level you're aware of me

which means you understand that I'm highly prolific

in putting out creative and I'm known

yet I spend almost no time

getting mainstream media attention.

I didn't even like the Business Insider article

that was written that was a pro piece for VaynerMedia

because I don't control the narrative

and Kristin Lemkau gave a 45 minute interview

that was glowing

and they took one half of a sentence

to show a hedge

'cause anybody who writes an article about a company

has to show some negativity

so it doesn't look like a press release thus,

I didn't even read it,

didn't even read it.

So couple things,

great news,

you do have the control.

The question is do you have the patience?

You know one of the things I'm most excited about

if you follow me on Instagram

is I'm getting to show these videos

from eight and 10 years ago

where I'm saying the same shit.

And so when I pontificate to you guys patience

it's one thing when I say it now and you hear it

and you're like easy for you to say

except I actually lived it.

You can't rely on the local community,

not because of anything other than

that's just not how the internet works.

One person shares one thing on one piece of platform

and it gets picked up in Russia and then,

the nature of communication on the internet

is not localized.

It is inherently viral

if it speaks the truth.

What you need to do

if you have this mission accomplish

is worry about your actions,

not anybody else's.

The biggest problem in our society right now

is everybody worries about everybody's actions

but their own

on every side of the equation.

So what I tell you to do

is what I'm doing for a living

which is I have unbelievable social wants

of kindness for the world

but I'm not gonna allow my friends

to tell me how to do that.

My friends tell me

I need to be a keyboard warrior on Twitter.

I think they're full of shit

and trying to look good on social media

but don't live their truth.

- So it's about understanding

the unique perspective that you bring

and not letting other people kind of like play with that?

- In action.

Meaning continue to do your podcast,

continue to put out content,

continue to wear your tee shirt

but not worry about what anybody else is doing with it

because when you try to boil the ocean, you don't.

When you're gonna put your town on the map

as such a young woman,

you're gonna lose

because putting your town on the map

is gonna take you 54 years.

So that's how I think about it.

And not that Nightline's bad

but you need to be thoughtful of what you're say,

the way you're framing it is right,

the concern I have for you and every other human

is lack of patience

and ideology over practicality.

- Thank you.

- You're welcome.

- Gary, what are the most important things you look for

in a company before investing,

particularly start-ups

and how old were you when you started investing?

- I was 31 when I started investing.

I didn't know I was investing,

I just took money out of my bank

and gave it to Mark Zuckerberg's parents,

like literally.

Like that's the truth.

Like I didn't think about my Facebook, Tumblr

and Twitter investment as I was an investor.

I thought of them as I'm in this point in my life,

I'm 100% positive these three platforms are gonna be big

and if I put money in now,

it's likely that it'll be worth more money later.

I didn't even understand IPO.

Bro, if I knew that you could carry other people's money,

what carrying means is I take a million dollars

from somebody who has it

and I invest it into Twitter

and I get 20% of the upside

after they get their million dollars back,

I'd probably own the Jets today.

That's how positive I was about those three platforms.

But I didn't even have any education

of what investing was,

so I only wrote my own personal money

instead of going to all my rich wine customers,

I would've probably raised 25 million,

I would've got 20%,

if I got five million dollars

and invested into Facebook

and got 20% of the carry,

it would've been 100 million dollars.

So that's one context point.

Today, today,

the answer to that question

is 100% based on the person.

I am no longer interested in an idea.

I don't want to hate the idea,

I don't want to hate it

but I now after 10 years see the patterns

which is this is singularly, for me,

a game about people.

- Yeah, I have a follow-up.

So particularly now with

you said this on your Instagram account

talking about the weed bubble's

similar to the crypto bubble and et cetera,

like what players do you think will win through that?

- The she and he

that I think knows what the fuck is going on

and knows how to adjust

and waits a decade to win

versus the 99.999% of people

who are infusing CBD into products

and thinking that's some magic fucking pill.

Hey Gary, I have a CBD cocoa,

I'm like cool.

They think the CBD part is the magic pill.

They don't realize it's the commodity,

everybody's doing that right now.

Everything is CBD infused.

- So will you go out and invest more in that now--

- Less. - Less.

- Less 'cause now is the time of danger

'cause everyone's in it.

So you have to be more thoughtful.

This is the great era of jokers in crypto and cannabis.

Yet, seven of them are the Meg Whitman's,

seven of them are the Mark Zuckerberg's.

The problem is there's seven million that get through.

Four years ago,

there was 800,000 of them

and the same seven were there.

Now there's seven million of them

and the same seven are there.

That's the problem.

Got it?

- Yeah. - Gold rushes are dangerous.

Most people lost money.

- [Female] Obviously the culture here is so amazing

and different from a lot of companies.

How have you noticed it change

as VaynerMedia has grown from two to 800 people

in the past 10 years?

- There's more cynicism from people

because they're less close to me.

- [Female] So it was easier to control

when the company was smaller?

- You'll appreciate this,

I don't even think of it as control.

I think of it as 59 people are in the company

and I'm around them all the time.

They have a better read of what I'm up to.

There's a very big difference about

between the way Team Gary Vee feels about me

versus LIC Producers,

not because they're on Team Gary Vee,

it's that because they're closer.

Dustin Thought didn't like me

the first three months.

He's not here

but Dustin didn't like,

this is a conversation we had

because he by nature is cynical,

there's a couple people on Team Gary Vee

that were ready to leave Team Gary Vee

that were up to their own agenda

so they were burning bridges

and he was affected by that

and if he was a Vayner employee,

he would stay that way

because what Dustin had by being around

is just the luxury to see it play out.

- Mmhmm.

And different from being close to you,

how would you say it's changed

as you've grown more followers

and gotten a bigger image in the media?

- My intuition on that

is that there's a small percentage of people in this company

who think I don't care about the company

or am not involved

because they think I'm spending all my time being Gary Vee.

That would be the only case

and that's probably three to 12 percent of the people

within their first year to two years

or there's just inherent in people

who just like the idea of fighting against the company.

That's just the way life is

and that's okay.

I deploy enormous amounts of empathy against all of this.

But it's changed because everything changes.

It's like anything else.

But I think the spirit and the intent is 100% intact

which is why even at 850

it feels a lot better than other places

that are even 50.

People are so basic

they think size destroys it.

Intent destroys it.

There's plenty of 38 person companies that suck shit

because she or he is about their money

not about their employees.

Not super complicated.

So just natural stuff

that I'm super signed up for.

I don't like being judged negatively that way by my own team

but I'm empathetic.

You try to do open door policy,

try to do things like this,

but the realities are there's collateral damage

in anything that is growing.

As long as I put my head on my pillow every night,

it makes everything pretty easy.

And I look at data,

how much voluntary exiting do we have here,

how many people want to come back after they leave?

I don't look at fake data like Glassdoor.

I look at real data.

- Yeah, I was watching

this video that you did last year yesterday

and you were saying like whenever there's a sheet

and someone's leaving,

you always read all those papers

and figure out why they left

and it's both extremes.

- To this day,

there's not a single person that gets fired from VaynerMedia

without me personally approving it.

That's all you need to know about this company.

I'm so petrified to do the wrong thing

that I have that in place,

think about that,

and just to give you guys context,

which you wouldn't maybe know

is I give uncomfortable amounts of autonomy

to leadership in this company

yet to be fired here has to get signed off by me.

So yeah, it's intent.

And we're wrong sometimes.

But we don't value money enough

that it makes us right more often than wrong

because we're willing to spend the extra

three, six, nine, 12 weeks

to really look under the hood

to make sure we feel good about the decision.

- [Female] Thank you.

- So you're clearly like really bullish on social media.

- Yes, I've heard.

- So we've all kind of grown up with social media and such

and I think we're recognizing the upside

but also recognizing the downsides.

Even these companies are talking about things

like they know that technology's addictive,

we know that technology's addictive, all that,

and we see a lot of people

that are kind of wanting to detox sometimes.

So how do you think,

what is the evolution of social media look like

in that regard,

companies understanding

that maybe people don't want to always be connected

and people not always wanting to be connected

but understanding that social media's not going away?

What does that whole evolution look like?

- Accountability.

If you even for a second

think it's a good idea for Apple and Google and Facebook

to help you be less addicted,

you are on the path of losing.

You don't like Instagram?

Delete it.

The second we allow ourselves

to let the machines help us help ourselves

is the second you become more vulnerable.

I believe that.

- [Female] Could you explain that more?

- Sure, like you want Apple to limit

the amount of time you're on Instagram for you,

you think that's the way, you want that, mazel tov, take it

but I promise you then there's gonna be the next thing

and the next thing and the next thing.

You're either account,

social media is exposing us,

it's not changing us.

There is no social media, brother.

They're empty fucking pipes.

Social media doesn't make you mean.

Social media doesn't make you insecure.

You're insecure, you're mean.

We're getting exposed, not changed.

We're addicted to human interaction.

The reason the world exists

in a world where we've had atomic bombs for 70 years

is we like each other.

We're not addicted to social media.

We're interactive creatures.

You're addicted to people.

Cool, you don't want to be on Instagram.

Go read Vogue.

Knock yourself out.

This is a very fun thing for me to watch evolve.

People don't like being held accountable.

So a lot of things,

the way that these platforms claim they're addictive

is the way a lot of things are addictive.

Are we gonna ban pretty people?

Are we gonna limit our time to watching comedy?

Are we gonna limit the time we listen to music?

This is a really,

this is the demonizat, bless you,

this is the demonization of technology.

Let me give you a really good piece of advice.

Go read the articles around the kaleidoscope.

I'm being dead serious.

Go Google the early articles around the kaleidoscope.

You'll think you're reading about Instagram.

History's got all the answers.

I could not be in this program

because I failed all my classes

but the one class I was good at was history

and it is the continuous framework

of how I think about a lot of this stuff.

Literally the articles of the kaleidoscope

are making the same arguments now.

So if you have FOMO,

it's because you have levels of insecurity

that are raging

which has a lot more to do

with the way you were parented

and where you grew up

and the natural DNA you were given,

not Snapchat.

So how do I think it's gonna play out?

In its worst,

our government gets disproportionately involved,

which will be fine,

I could care less.

Just so everybody knows,

I care about attention,

not social media.

So if we all stop doing social media,

I'm gonna figure out where your eyes and ears are going.

You're gonna go somewhere.

We're not locking ourselves up in a room.

So I don't give a fuck.

Google and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

and Snapchat and TikTok and LinkedIn

could disappear off the face of the Earth tomorrow

and I'd probably be the single happiest person

because my most comfortable state

is reacting quickly to where attention goes.

I just feel bad for any human being

that thinks that's gonna help them

'cause they're gonna find something else to complain about

or to be controlled by.

This is an internal framework conversation,

not an external technology conversation.

- [Female] What/who are you reading, watching,

consuming right now

just from a free time standpoint?

- The people that leave comments in my content.

I consume nothing.

I literally have no idea what's going on

other than if it's serendipitously hits my radar

through my own community.

I'm just consuming how people are reacting

to what I'm focused on.

And I think that's been a huge strength of mine.

For example, because I did consume a lot

of Richard Pryor and Chris Rock and Eddie Murphy as a kid,

I completely believe the way I give keynote speeches

has an underlining tone of a comedy routine

more than just the classic keynote

which is why I think it's worked for me

'cause there's a level of entertainment

that comes along when I give keynotes.

So I become a character,

I've been affected by them

in the way that I act.

I think the reason my voice is resonating

is I'm not affected by anybody else right now,

I'm only affected by the way people are reacting to me

which allows me to continue to build

in the purity of human truths

without blending and trying to be like.

- [Female] So you're clearly a very busy guy

with controlling your public image and--

- You'll appreciate this,

real quick on that front,

just to jump in, I'll let you finish,

I give zero thoughts to controlling my public image, zero.

I mean they doc, my team's in here,

I don't even look at what they're making.

The way I control my public image

is by living my truth

and letting the chips fall.

It's the most liberating thing of all time.

I don't think about it at all.

Keep going.

- [Female] And you're evergrowing companies,

VaynerX, VaynerMedia.

I'm just curious what keeps you up at night?

- Health, health.

Health keeps me up at night.

The health and wellbeing

of the 12 people that I'm closest related to

or love the most as a friend scares the fuck out of me,

like way more than it scares most people.

I think about it all the time

because I don't care about the work enough.

It's what my passion is

but like if a core 12 person in my life

is terminally ill or passes away,

it will shut me down.

So that keeps me up.

Professionally, I'm not kept up.

I'm capable, I'm talented.

Business is tricky

'cause we haven't,

we don't treat business

the way we treat music, artists and athletes

but I think it's much more similar to that

than it is other things.

So like once you know you're a good athlete,

you may not win every game,

but Lebron's not confused that he's bad.

He doesn't think tomorrow he's not gonna be able to play.

He may not win every game,

and I genuinely feel like I'm that.

I'm not gonna miraculously tomorrow

not be what I've been for the last 38 years of my life,

which is a disproportionately successful business human.

So I'm good.


- [Female] Hi Gary.

I'm on the phone from the LA office.

- I am so sorry I didn't get to say hello.

I didn't know.

I completely blame Alex Klein.

Who is it?

Please go around,

I don't know how many are on the phone

but please say hello.

Go ahead.

- [Lindsey] Okay.

So I'm Lindsey,

I'm from the LA office

and I'm actually from Atlanta, Georgia

but (mumbles).

- Awesome, Linds, go ahead.

- [Lindsey] So I just had a follow-up question

when you were talking about social media earlier

and exposing people.

What's your opinion on Instagram passing,

taking away likes and stuff like that?

- I hope they do it.

- [Lindsey] How will it impact social media?

- It will change a lot of people's creative

because they won't pander to likes.

They'll start putting out more

of what they want to actually put out.

It will make a very high percentage of people lose leverage

because their social equity

is predicated on their following count.

And I think it would lead to good behavior.

- [Lindsey] So specifically,

how do you think it will affect your social media presence?

- Zero.

- [Lindsey] Zero?

- Zero.

I'm not predicated on my following count

or my blue check

or how many likes a post gets.

I'm predicated on the message I'm delivering

in the content.

- [Lindsey] Cool, thanks.

- You're welcome.

- [Female] I kind of have a follow-up comment on that.

I was reading an article about TikTok

and basically the article said people on TikTok,

their likes are like their value,

their likes are their money,

their likes are their--

- It's their currency.

- It's their currency. - Yes.

And I just sat back and thought

and I was like what kind of world would we live in

if that's the only thing that we value?

We sit home and we go,

oh hey, guess how many likes I got today?

- It would be the world we have always lived in.

Let me tell you what likes were in 1984,

your popularity rank in your high school.

This is human behavior.

- [Female] And then another question is

do you think that your feelings

and your relationship with your family

reflects in your work and your business life

and the model at Vayner?

- Yes, 100%.

I think that this company is a complete and utter reflection

of the way I was parented

and the circumstances in which I was parented.


I think that this company is optimistically practical.

And that's uniquely what I can bring to the table

in this company.

So this company's extremely young and coastal,

which means it's unbelievably social, liberal,

which is incredible 'cause I am as well

but that also leads to vulnerability.

And so my practicality in immigrant upbringing

and merit-based infrastructure

helps us a lot

when the most senior leaders

do things that are currently popular

but are unbelievably

scary to me of what that could lead to a month later.

I mean Slack at VaynerMedia

is like dark Reddit.

There's a lot of good

but there's plenty of dark

and that's just the nature of what happens

especially when what's happening

outside the four walls of VaynerMedia

is happening in our society

which is activating people in a completely different way

than a decade ago or two decades ago

or two decades from today.

And so yes, I feel like

I'm very fortunate to be the human that I am

during this time

because I think I have practical optimism.

I'm a Jets fan because in August of 1982

when I moved to Edison, New Jersey,

what 1982 kids did was you went outside

and randomly walked around.

And in one of those walking arounds

I found three kids throwing a Nerf football

and a kid by the name of Eric Godfrey

looked me dead in the face and said,

"Who do you like?"

I don't recall what happens next

but I remember who do you like in football

but basically he's like

well we're Jet fans,

so you're a Jets fan

and that September I started watching the Jets

and I haven't stopped.

That is it,

that is the story.

- I'm curious what you said earlier about tasting,

tasting things in your 20s.

Where would you say is the best spot to do that?

Is it at a company?

Is it in college?

- It's definitely not in college.

- Taking the trip to Argentina or something?

- It's anything but college only because,

and not to overly razz on college

but it's a fake environment.

There's nothing about college

that has anything to do with your professional career.

So not college

but then anything in the real world.

In a company that has flexibility

to let you do a lot of different disciplines,

something I'm proud of that we have here,

and I'm sure others do.

I believe the framework of the world is backwards.

I think that everybody in their 20s

should be at their highest risk behavior.

And I think most of you are feeling pressure

on the other side

to start being more responsible in real life,

that we've created this narrative

that you fuck around for four years in college

and it's your last great thing

and then in May when you're 22,

you now need to get serious

and everything becomes super practical

both as a macro thing,

a level of underlining pressure we feel from our parents,

an underlining pressure we feel from ourselves

to prove that we are what we think we are

and I think that unfortunately,

I'm trying to figure out through my communication

and hopefully that influences others to start a debate,

I think the right model is actually

that 20 to 30 should be ludicrous,

should be all the most extreme versions

of four different countries,

19 different jobs,

that you have the ability still at that point

to have the humility to live shitty

which then gives you the luxury

to be able to taste.

When you're 36,

you now have created overhead

in family, home, car, loans,

mortgages and other things

that give you less flexibility.

When you're 22,

it still seem feasible

to live with five other girls

in a two bedroom apartment

where everyone's trying to figure out their world.

- Yeah and then college,

you don't like college purely because of the value prop?

- I don like college for the value prop

for a big percentage of people.

I think college works for,

somebody left a comment yesterday on my Instagram

that like GaryVee, you convinced me to stay in school

and I was pumped.

And I was like yes,

this kid is hearing me.

I'm not shitting on college.

I'm cheerleading for self awareness.

There's no such thing as one thing works for everyone.

And one of the scariest things in American society,

one of the scariest things

is parents putting pressure on kids to go to school

to make the parent feel good

and making the kid take on debt for that

when the kid doesn't feel like they want to do that

and then they come out the other side

and they literally spend the next 15 years

trying to reconcile that debt.

That's why you have a lot of unhappy people.

And then what that means

is then they go yeah,

I'm gonna vote for the person

that's gonna wipe out college debt, right,

'cause that's your short term issue,

just like other people vote to the republican side

on their short term issue

which then leads to accountability issues

which leads into people like

Google needs to take care of me.

This is how the machines are gonna win.

You understand that right?

I don't want the machines to win.

I want all of you to think every single thing is your fault

without judging yourself into depression which,

everything's your fault,

that's a great thing,

means you're in control,

let's go.

- So this actually is a good segway to this question I have.

So for someone like myself

who wants to go into entrepreneurship ultimately

and start a business,

I'm interested in several areas

like media, emerging tech, all that

but I don't really know

which specific thing I want to do,

would you say to like start at some company first

and then kind of figure it out from there

or just like kind of go--

- How do you learn?

- I think mostly by doing.

- So then don't

go to a company.

- But I feel like there's a lot of like,

I guess pressure in a sense to go--

- You can stop this sentence right there.

You know that you learn that way

but you're gonna do something else based on somebody else.

- Yeah, that makes sense.

- That's what everyone's doing, bro.

And so everyone's sitting around

and trying to figure out why everybody,

all these young people are so upset,

it's because of all this.

'Cause they were overcoddled

by a generation of overcoddling parents.

And they don't know how to fucking do their own shit.

And I think they can do tons of shit

and believe you can do so much

as long as you tune out.

Are you in a place where you're comfortable to do

what I lived through?

I mean I lived it.

I lived the world where

now I'm me,

but 26 year old me

was ringing up my friends from high school

at my dad's liquor store

when they rolled in with their BMW

because they went to a good school

and started working at Goldman Sachs

and could afford one,

or not really,

but they wanted to look like they could,

and they were buying a case of Moet Chandon

and I was ringing it up for them,

and this is real stories now,

and carrying the case to their car

and putting it in their trunk.

I walked in feeling fulfilled

because I was happy I made a sale.

They were leaving there feeling unbelievable

because Gary's bringing out my case.

The problem was that was just when we were 26.

Now that we're 43,

it's real, real, real different.

I just had the internal strength

to deal with that scenario.

99% of you aren't.

- [Male] How fucking great do you feel

at the end of the day?

- Really fucking great.

Mainly though,

but I felt really, really great at 24

when I schlept that case into my friend's car

because I love process,

not winning.

I actually like losing more than winning,

I've come to learn.

This is something I'm really trying to reconcile.

I actually like losing more than winning.

It speaks volumes to why I'm obsessed

with the Jets and Knicks

and completely have abandoned the Yankees and the Rangers

after they won a championship.

I like losing more.

- Micro-losing or macro?

- Micro-losing.

But everything is micro-losing

besides death or bankruptcy.

- [Female] Like being the underdog?

- Yep.

Like I just don't give a fuck what you guys think.

And that goes from you all the way up to my parents.

- [Female] How?

- By recognizing that you guys don't have,

nor my parents has all the context.

Nobody fully knows you.

It's actually through empathy.

- [Male] And what age was that like?

- Early.

Phew, early.

I can't believe how I,

now understanding a little bit more,

back to being in your own cocoon,

I can't believe the mentality I brought into high school.

To navigate high school the way I did,

which is like completely and utterly

not affected by peer pressure in hindsight

is wild to me.

That takes a level of self confidence

at such an early age that I think,

I just understand so much more of what I am now

really on that window

'cause that is such a tough spot and


- [Male] Do you attribute that to your parents

and the work from a young age or?

- Yes.

The DNA my parents gave me,

clearly the way that my mother raised me,

having to earn my keep

and then just DNA man,

just like that voice that we all have.

I just always felt that I was better

and here's where it gets really good,

but if the world showed me I wasn't,

I remember going through,

this is actually interesting.

I don't know if I've ever shared this.

I remember vividly going through the ages of seven to 16

being stunned any time I didn't win in something,

like shocked,

like just could not believe that Rick was better at tennis

or John just beat me in one on one

or I wasn't the fastest in my class,

just shocked.

And I've been thinking about that lately

'cause it sparked in me a few months ago,

I'm like, wait a minute, that was weird, what was that?

'Cause I just kind of remembered it,

like shocked,

I remember actually

what seemed in my mind as a disappointing thing at the time

and now I look at it as a great thing,

I remember thinking somewhere around 13, 14, 15,

that I lost my expectation

of always winning in everything every time.

And I remember thinking like that wasn't good

but in hindsight I think it was great

because the reality is I got into this place

of complete and utter confidence

but being able to not come up with excuses

if it didn't work out,

like watching people lose

and then blame the sun,

literally, I overheard it a couple weeks ago somewhere,

I was walking,

oh, on vacation, I overheard it,

this kid lost to his cousin, it seemed to me,

they didn't look like brothers

and he was blaming the sun.

And it took everything I had

to not like roll in and be like bro,

I love you but like you need to realize

the sun was there for him too.

And I think a lot about that, accountability.

If you're coming up with excuses,

being super confident

filled with excuses when it doesn't work out

is called delusion.

So I feel great 'cause I love process.

- [Female] What kind of impact

do you want to leave on the world?

Obviously a successful business is one of them

but it seems to me that you talk a lot

about personal care and empathy

which is really refreshing and nice to hear.

I want to know what your impact

and what you want to leave before you go.

- I want to be the greatest entrepreneur of all time

by reframing what an entrepreneur is.

And so I probably have a very ideological point of view.

It was crazy when you just said,

obviously, leave a successful business

and it was funny how my chemicals reacted,

which was like not really.

I'm into it,

I love it, it's my sport.

It's also why I garage sale.

I just like the game.

So sure, but

if you read my DMs for a day,

you'd understand that I'm way more evolved into that.

And I think people are sensing it, to your point.

And I just want to leave a positive impact.

Look, I think I have a charisma and communication level

that allows me to have impact.

And I think when one is gifted

with that extreme of that capability

they can go one of two ways.

And I'd like to go the way

that history tends to look positive on, not negative.

I'm gonna leave a lot of money on the table

and a lot of personal gain

for a really nice reputation

when I can't even taste it 'cause I'll be gone.

I want two days of trending on Twitter,

not two hours.

- [Female] Do you have a definition of success for you?

- I do.

- 'Cause I know that,

I feel like your businesses and everything's always growing

and moving forward and looking into the future

and what's the next thing.

So is there ever like,

or is it like a step process?

- My definition of success for me

is to be able to do what I want to do

at all times always and be happy about it.

Having freedom is everything.

- Has that changed over the years?

- No

but I don't think I was,

I didn't realize what was going on in my youth.

You know what I mean? - Yeah.

- So no I wasn't,

it's hard for you to really know yourself completely

at this point.

You'll look back and realize

it was all the same shit

but articulating it takes time within yourself

and also it just takes time

of you actually executing on it.

Back to the subcontext

of what we're talking about here,

one of my biggest problems right now

of everybody whose trying to make positive impact

is they're doing semantical work, not actual work.

They're jockeying for their personal reputation

by what they wear or what hashtag they use,

not necessarily what they're actually doing.

And if they actually asked themselves,

once they actually embrace

the fact that they're being selfish,

then they can become selfless.

When they're posturing to selflessness

and disguising their true selfishness,

they're losing

'cause that will play out.

And that is the vulnerability of being overwoke.

That's the vulnerability.

And these are,

and the reason I like saying them out loud

is because people aren't saying that part out loud

which then doesn't allow a lot of this good

to actually be effective.

And then it starts getting into delusion.

There's so much I love about

making the world a better place

but it has to be practical.

I would be thrilled if the government decides

to wipe out all these college debts

but let me promise you what the reaction to that's gonna be,

even worse behavior.

Watch what the 27 year old does

when you take 230 off her bill.

Watch what she then does for the next 20 years.

It's not gonna be as good as people think.

Recognizing that there's always gonna be some level

of like whichever one you do,

you have to know yourself.

What I know about myself

is I don't have microregret behavior.

Maybe when I'm much, much, much older it will kick in

'cause I'll run out of time

but having time in front of me

doesn't allow me to dwell or regret.

Other people I'm watching here are 24

and are regretting shit already.

I'm like okay,

I need to help them think about this

because that's a bad framework

because if you regret,

if you're that insecure,

if that's your perspective,

then you have no right answer

'cause if you go and travel and you're 34,

whatever you are financially and professionally at 34,

you're gonna be like, mother fucker,

I should've worked more, fuck Argentina.

Or if you do the other thing and you work your face off,

you'll be like fuck,

I ended up just like fucking Gary,

all my friends had fun

and yeah I got a million bucks in the bank

but I'm sad

'cause I wish I went to the fucking beach more often.

So either you're in that framework or you're not

which is a great way to put a bow

on everything I've been telling you.

You want to blame other people, the government, Google,

knock yourself out.

You will go to the grave blaming somebody for something.

You want to understand

that even if you're in the worst circumstances,

the hood, drug parents, super triple minority,

trans minority brown,

everything "stacked against you"

but the reality of actually an internet centric world,

means you have a lot more control than our grandparents did.

It becomes an interesting game.

You have full control of your podcast.

Let me tell you about your podcast in 1984.

It's not getting put on the air.

This internet thing is going to,

this is gonna be a circle guys,

this internet thing was so fucking amazing in 2000 to 2010.

Now we're saying this thing is bad.

Woe is me,

too much power,

it's bad.

The extreme left is saying

we need to limit these,

the extreme right's like you're censoring conservative,

and guess what?

When you guys are 42,

we're gonna be back to this thing is great.

This is what got us out of the dark era

'cause the good came.

I'm just right down the middle

not giving a fuck about anybody else's opinions

or signals or noise

because I know it's selfish in nature.

I'm doing my thing,

trying to be good

with this framework of guilt

and gratitude of my circumstances

that put me in my position.

I'm trying to give back more than I take as a legacy,

51/49 and some of the other shit I talk about,

and if I fuck up,

that'll be just fine too

'cause you were all gonna fuck up too.

That's what I'm gonna do.

Thanks for your time.

Yes, no, no, definitely since you didn't ask one, go.

- [Female] I'm sorry.

- It's okay.

- [Female] So we were talking about losing earlier

and I personally hate like macro or even micro

even if it'll help me in the long run,

what do you have to say to someone who hates losing

to come to terms with it?

- You need to figure out

who you're most upset about losing in front of.

- [Female] What if it's literally everybody?

- That's great.

Then you need to start really thinking

about creating behavior to make yourself lose more.

You basically are in the same place

that a slow maturing 11 year old is

who hasn't started swimming yet.

The only answer to your question

is to jump in the pool.

If you were like my younger sister,

I would tell you

that everything you should do for the next five years

are things that you're likely gonna lose at

until it becomes so numb

that it changes your relationship with losing.

Hating to lose

in the way that you're describing it

is completely predicated

on not being able to deal with other people's judgment.

And that is a tough spot to be in.

You know?

You got to reconcile that with,

I'm probably the most competitive person I've ever met

or just in the mix with the other people.

So I'm trying to win.

I don't want to lose

but I respect the game enough to accept it

and I weirdly get good tingles from it

because it excites me to try again.

You know?

Is that how your relationship is with it

or what's your relationship with it?

- [Female] I do think the fear of losing

does hold me back a little bit from--

- Doing, of course.

- [Female] Doing for sure.

- But why?

- [Female] I guess it's because I'm afraid of being judged

or I don't know, my personal sense I guess,

I'm afraid of wasting time and wasting resources.

- Mmhmm.

Well that goes to the other word I love so much.

You lack patience.

And/or, and/or the biggest thing that kids struggle with,

contextualizing time.

Out of all the things we talked about,

for my parting shot I can inject something into you

it would be one thing,

for you to feel the way I feel right now about 43 years old.

When I was 22

and I started working at my dad's liquor store,

my cousin Bobby worked there,

whose my dad's first cousin

but my grandma was older,

punch line was he was only eight years older than me

'cause there was kind of that

like skip generation kind of things

with like older siblings,

he was 30.

When I walked in that first day at 22

and I'd worked with him since I was 14

but like when it became real,

like I'm a professional now,

we spent a lot of time together,

best friends, right,

15 hours a day in a liquor store together,

small one so like every day,

I thought he was so fucking old.

I thought that mother fucker was so old.

So sitting in this room right now

knowing how you feel about 43 at 20, 21, 22,

it makes me laugh because I could literally,

how old are you?

- [Female] I'm 21.

- Great.

My mom was 41 when I was 21.

I'm 43.

If I was from the old country,

there's a great chance that I could be your dad.

I come into here and I'm like I'm older brother, right,

but it's like now getting into like dad territory right,

meanwhile, I feel like I'm exactly one of you guys

on some real shit.

- Mentally?

- Yes.

- [Female] Yeah, your energy is the same.

- I feel way more similar to you

than I do to a 43 year old other person,

like way more.

I probably know way more about stuff that's cool

than you guys do

by the nature of my business,

not because I actually live it.

But the punch line is

if you knew that,

if you actually knew how much more time you had,

if you could context how uncomfortably young you are,

if you guys could understand

that you're part of a generation

that means you're gonna live four, four,

four more full lives,

from the day you were fucking born to right now,

you're gonna do that four more times,

if you can contextualize that,

if you could contextualize the blessings you guys have

that you don't live in a culture

where you're expected to be married at 25

and have a kid at 26,

that there's normalcy created around the fact

that you can go and have a 20 year career

and then start your family

if you chemically or intuitively

or culturally or internally want that for yourself.

We are being so confused by the macro media landscape

and the political landscape.

It has never been a better time to be alive

in the history of the world.

For everybody whose being persecuted for looking different,

I remind a lot of my friends

to go talk to their great grandparents

and ask them how it went for them.

This is why we need to spend more time with elderly people

that are not our relatives.

You want equal pay and like this and that, cool,

go talk to a 63 year old professional woman.

Shit's good.

And a lot's bad.

You get to choose how you look at it.

Not me, not them, you.

And that's how this shit plays out.

You just haven't contextualized time.

I'm yelling at you to waste eight years

just to begin the process of trying to do something.

I'm telling you

and I know I'm right in my fucking soul

that you should waste,

the way you see the world,

eight years on resources and time

just to start the thesis

of what you should do with your life.

And a bunch of you debated heavily

if this was the right internship

versus a different one

and like what will happen, and this and that,

none of it fucking matters.

The second you understand that you'll nev,

let me tell you this,

and I know I'm running late but we'll be fine,

if you actually knew that you would never find out

what the alternative was,

shit would get real good.

You know how easy it is for me to make decisions?

Super easy.

Do you know why?

I wouldn't know what the alternative was.

- [Female] You don't overthink it.

- Because it's not practical.

I don't have time to dwell on the fact

that I passed on Uber twice

which was my best friend of any investment that I made.

Every person I invested in

was not as close to me as Travis was

and for some miraculous cosmic reason

I passed on Uber twice

which means that my $50,000 investment

which would've been worth $700 million today,

didn't happen.

And when I tell you I don't think about it at all,

here's why,

I'm smart and thoughtful enough

about knowing how life works,

had I made that investment,

everything would be different.

Maybe I'd be going to India to give a keynote

about that investment

because I would've had a much bigger profile,

much different resources,

and maybe in that private flight,

maybe that flight would've gone down

and I would be dead.

- [Female] So you just don't overthink

the other possibilities

'cause I always find that that's hard.

- It's the biggest weakness everyone has.

They're trying to spend time

on something that doesn't exist.

There is no time machine.

Sorry you picked the wrong school or sorority or girlfriend

or major, sorry.

What are we gonna do?

Are we gonna build a time machine here?

- That's your practical optimism?

- Sure is.

'Cause it's both optimistic and way more practical.

- [Female] Just roll with the punches.

- 'Cause the punches are the framework.

- [Female] Yeah.

- [Female] Everything will work itself out.

- Especially if you're fucking on the offense

versus dwelling.

- [Female] True.

- Everything will work out

if you decide everything will work out.

It's very real.

My mom lost her mom at five.

She was in the Soviet fucking Union, real communism.

Her dad then went to jail for a decade.

That's a fucking tough hand.

She's the most optimistic fucking person I know.

You're uncomfortably in control

yet this is the great generation of feeling we're not,

Google's in control,

Trump's in control,

Brexit is in control,

my parents are in control.

You want your parents to not have control?

Stop taking their money.

It happens real fast,

real, real, real, real, real, real, real fast.

And all that means

is you just have to live a little more humble

which oh by the way would most likely lead

to much better behavior by you going forward

and a shocking

shocking level of happiness.

That's life

as I see it at this moment.

And it's real.

I really want this for you guys.

Happiness needs to be the ambition.

And you're way more in control than you think.

You just have to stop paying attention to others.

And unfortunately the framework is

to pay attention to others,

which is how this is all happening.

The Description of This Is My Favorite Meeting Every Year | Fireside Chat With 2019 Summer Interns