- 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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
- 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,
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,
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 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.
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.
- 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.
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,
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?
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?
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,
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.
- [Female] And you're evergrowing companies,
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.
- [Lindsey] Okay.
So I'm Lindsey,
I'm from the LA office
and I'm actually from Atlanta, Georgia
- 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?
- [Lindsey] 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,
- 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.
but I felt really, really great at 24
when I schlept that case into my friend's car
because I love process,
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?
But everything is micro-losing
besides death or bankruptcy.
- [Female] Like being the underdog?
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?
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?
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 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,
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,
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?
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,
'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,
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 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.
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.
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,
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.
My mom was 41 when I was 21.
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.
- [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.
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?
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,
And when I tell you I don't think about it at all,
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
- [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.
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.