Gary Vaynerchuk’s entrepreneurial endeavors began in his 20’s when he joined his family liquor store, which eventually led him to launch WineLibrary, one of America’s first wine e-commerce sites. He continued to keep his businesses in the family when he started his social-media focused digital agency VaynerMedia along with his brother AJ in 2009, and most recently launched a $25million technology-focused seed fund VaynerRSE. Through the years, he has also become a best-selling author with titles that include Crush It!, The Thank You Economy, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Gary has been a FoundersCard Member since 2010.
I talk a lot about the lemonade stand I used to run, but really it’s the “flower shop” — The move was ripping flowers out of people’s gardens and selling them back to them. That was my first real taste of the entrepreneurial bug.
What is your key to success as you’ve grown WineLibrary?
Throughout the years we’ve always been conscious of marketing in the year that we live in. What I mean by that is that we were one of the firsts to have an e-commerce site – one of the first two or three to do an email service – we were first movers with Google Adwords, FB, and Twitter, which all allowed us to acquire customers at in more strategic ways and at better prices. When a service was clearly driving sales, we never thought twice about going all-in.
Content is a major variable when it comes to success, and I try to stay on the forefront of content and distribution. I just got got the itch again, and I was able to scratch that itch because I finally have the infrastructure (in the form of people around me) which allows me to scale my production. I pride myself on being a practitioner and so I needed to start executing against that instead of speaking of it just theoretically.
Recognize that you’re not entitled to be an entrepreneur. It takes an obnoxious amount of perseverance, hard work, hustle, patience, and a ton of other virtues that are very difficult to execute on. Simply put, you’ve got to earn it.
This may sound sad, but in all honesty, it’s following the NY Jets.