Five minutes with entrepreneur and internet star Gary Vaynerchuk, who will speak in Dubai this week

Vaynerchuk reveals why building your personal brand matters in today’s world



AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 10: Gary Vaynerchuk speaks onstage at the Sound Ventures Tech Competition, PerfectPitch, at SXSW at Hotel Van Zandt on March 10, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Sound )

Creating a personal brand has been a key message of yours. Can you specify why you propagate this philosophy in today’s day and age?

All I think about when I hear personal brand is reputation. It’s no different than being an honourable businessperson in a small town 25, 50 or 100 years ago and through your actions, your ideas and your networking, you built a reputation over time.

I believe producing content with your ideas, hypothesis and opinions on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube allows you to build a reputation.

I think there’s a stigma sometimes around personal brand. People feel like it’s not for them. But communicating your thoughts has always been a good idea. And I just think this is the 2020 version of it.

Technology is moving at an unprecedented pace, making it tough for businesses and individuals to keep up. How does one stay abreast of the changes?

Just good old-fashioned work. How do you stay in shape? You work out and you eat well. I think to stay on top of things, you read, you consume information, you follow people that tend to be at the cusp of things, you put in the actual work and you prioritise knowledge.

As an investor, you have been credited with the ability to spot opportunities early on. How do you do that?

I think I’m just a fast mover. I have a good knack for understanding consumer behaviour. And if I see an indicator of early traction, I just move quickly. I don’t sit and ponder – like with Snap or TikTok or Facebook – and wait for three, four or five years to prove to me when they are profitable. If I see consumers are interested, eventually profitability comes.

You are currently involved with a blog, a podcast, and an online Q&A series apart from your regular responsibilities. How do you manage all of this?

By being efficient with my time, making 30-minute meetings into six minutes and doing things on phone call and text and Slack and WhatsApp. Also by having a lot of energy and gratitude and enjoyment in what I do. So if you’re actually working 12 hours a day, you’re obviously going to outpace somebody who’s working eight hours a day, also because they don’t love what they do. And they are also taking four or five extra meetings.

There are constant reports about the possibility of another global recession. What are your thoughts? Should people be concerned?

I always think people should save money. People should not spend more than what they have. I think people should always be concerned if they’re underwater, if you don’t have savings. And if you live a lifestyle you can’t afford, if the world collapses and dollars start to dry up at the same pace that they used to, you are going to be vulnerable. So yes, I think people should live within their means.

You are going to be in Dubai as part of the NAC global tour later this week. Tell us about it and what you hope to share with the visitors.

I love speaking; it’s one of my favourite things to do in the world. And when there are opportunities to speak in places, especially amazing places like Dubai, it’s always in consideration. Also I have an enormous agenda of communicating to everybody on earth. And obviously, the region is one of my top priorities.

There’s also an incredible entrepreneurial spirit in the region that I think maps to who I am and what I’m about and so anytime I can find an opportunity to be in the region, I’m always going to take it. What I’m looking to accomplish is to articulate my points of view on entrepreneurship and business, marketing and opportunity, mindset and execution and do that with reference to what’s happening with Snap, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube in the region, which is nuanced compared to the rest of the world. So I will provide a contextual conversation around those topics.

The National Achievers Congress (NAC) will be held in Dubai on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23 at the Madinat Arena – Conference Centre. Tickets are priced from Dhs599 onwards. To know more and register, click here.