#AskGaryVee – I Did & I Am Me


So you may think I’m trying to emulate Gary Vaynerchuk after reading this headline? Definitely not. However, having listened to him at today’s event in the Mansion House Dublin organised by Leading Social, I’m certain the life I have been living according to ME has actually been a very clever strategy.

Here’s what I have been preaching to myself for the past eight years after I left a 90k a year job to do it alone!

[tweetthis]Build your business from your gut, bare your soul, do not fear being exposed as you wear your brand on your sleeve[/tweetthis]

Promoting his new book #AskGaryVee, the social media practitioner, investor and award-winning author had the 750 attendees fighting over the mic to ask him a question. I had one question before I arrived and he answered it for me before I got my hands on the mic and that question was:

“What does Gary Vaynerchuk do that made and makes him so successful? What’s his secret sauce?”

This tweet from Jenny Brennan quoting Gary directly sums up the answer to my question.



#GaryVeeDublin Learnings

Here’s what I took away from #askGaryVee (apart from a copy of his book of the same name)!

1) Focus on your strengths

Solo-entrepreneurs and small business owners try to be all things to all people and a jack of all trades. Not a good idea according to Gary.

Don’t try to be good at everything because you are going to fail! Get in some hired help, re-invest your profits into making a hire and filling any knowledge or skills gaps in the company.

Have a deep self-awareness of what your strengths are and keep astutely focused on that. Good advice my friend! 

2) Spend more time on social media 🙂

One attendee confessed to working a 50-60 hour week after he asked Gary how much time he should spend on social media. Gary quickly responded:

Great, so you have at least 20 extra hours per week to spend on social media.


I think strategic social media use is what Gary meant and using it to create value-added content (most of it free) for your community. 

3) Just do it!

It’s not just Nike who preach this mantra, Gary Vaynerchuk does too! His classic line reverberated around the Round Room in the Mansion House like a drone on steroids!

Ideas are shit unless you execute them.

Another passionate attendee asked: “how do I stop another business/person from stealing my idea and being better than me. Gary’s ‘just do it’ mantra rang out again and also some other nuggets of advice!

If somebody is better than you then they deserve to better than you and more successful! You just need to be better than them if you want to be the best.

4) Authentic storytelling

Raving about Snapchat as a social network and live video as the now, not just the future, Gary gave us quite a few tips on how to leverage this ‘millennial’ social network for business. 

Storytell your day, your business on Snapchat. Don’t expect that your community are going to be on every social network so spread that story across multiple channels. Get to grips with Snapchat and don’t assume it’s for 12-25 year olds only. This is the biggest thing since Facebook!

5) Think engagement not followers

This is always a heated topic among social media practitioners – is your following reflective of your business model/revenue streams. Gary says there’s not a direct correlation. And it’s great to be reminded that it’s about the quality of the relationship and simply not just the numbers on a profile. 

I don’t care how many followers you have. I care about how your community translates to the bottom line – cash and customers!

6) Ditch the stuff that doesn’t matter

I loved hearing this again. I say it to myself all the time, but sometimes you just need a mad American to shout it at you from a stage! 

Spend your time on your business and family and after that ditch the rest. Focus on what matters.

7) Building a business takes hard work, there aren’t any shortcuts

Ah just in the nick of time, we are saved by Gary’s no-nonsense common sense. With our Facebook timelines filled with ‘build a 1 million dollar business in 90 days’ I have a real fear people will pack in the day job on the search for the holy grail million-dollar laptop lifestyle faster than you can say entrepreneur! 

I hate laptop lifestyle marketing poop. Building a business is hard work. Don’t let a 25-year old business coach who’s never built a business tell me how to build a business!

I enjoyed listening to Gary Vaynerchuk in real life. I watch his YouTube channel and listen to his podcasts, but it’s just different being there and seeing him in real life isn’t it? I’m off to carry on with my business and family life and continue to be just me, just JSB. 

If you missed today’s event in the Mansion House, I periscoped it just for you. 

WATCH #GARYVEE Live in Dublin

I periscoped Gary’s keynote and also most of his Q&A session which you can watch below on replay.



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  • Ailie @BusySocialMedia Reply

    Great piece Joanne. Sums up the take-homes from today perfectly. Can’t believe how fast you got that blog post done. And so well crafted too. You’re a true pro ?

    • Joanne Sweeney-Burke Reply

      Thank you Ailie, I wrote it on the train back to Galway when it was all fresh in my mind. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Max Pronko Reply

    Thanks Joanne for the great summary. I also enjoyed live show with Gary more than videos. The way he inspires and motivates people is unique.

    • Joanne Sweeney-Burke Reply

      Thank you Max. Gary certainly entertains on stage.

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