By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

Gary Vaynerchuk is a Belarusian-American entrepreneur who took over his father’s wine business in 1998, launched a website selling his wines and started a Wine Library TV on YouTube talking about wine, how to choose the best ones, and how to taste test them.  He grew his wine business from earning $3 million to $60 million a year.  In 2011, he stepped away from wine business and build VaynerMedia, a digital ad agency that earns $100 million a year.

His book on starting and running a business, entitled “#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness” is a best-seller.  He’s also an inspirational speaker on business and his formula for Entrepreneurial Success = Self-Awareness x Hustle.  It basically means be aware of your strengths and weaknesses in running a business and multiply it with a lot of hard work.  Below are details to that formula.

3 Ways Self-Awareness Leads to Success

(1) Let Your Goal Drive You

Gary’s next goal in life is to become a billionaire and buy the New York Jets football team.  It’s quite an ambitious goal since he is just currently earning a hundred million a year.  But that’s precisely the point of having a goal.  Make it big so that your drive to reach that goal will likewise be big.  His slogan is:  It’s not what a goal is, it’s what a goal does to you.  He says, your big goal will help you overcome the small inconveniences and discomforts of starting a business because the drive is so strong and big it makes you jump out of bed every morning.

(2)  Know Your Strengths & Leverage Them

Ask people around you if you are not sure what are your strengths that could help you start a business.  Focus on those strengths and even enhance them through more training.

(3) Know Your Weaknesses & Outsource them

There are many things you need to do to be successful that don’t fall into the ‘strengths’ category. If you find yourself struggling to improve at executing a certain task, swallow your pride and hire someone else to do it.  If you are weak in accounting, hire a good accountant to help you run your business.

3 Ways to Hone Your Hustle and Achieve Success

(1)  Make Each Minute Count

Needless to say, starting a business will require a lot of hard work on your part.  Wasting time would be wasting opportunities.  The author says, literally every single minute should count.   “It’s squeezing every last bit of juice out of your day. It’s putting all your effort into achieving the goal at hand. It’s making every minute count. Every. Single. Minute.”

(2)  Learn to love it all (the successes AND the challenges)

The author says, “I love the HR (human resource) nightmares of a 500-plus organization, the headaches, the grind, the calls with an upset customer, all of it. It’s easy to stay motivated when you know your day is filled with things that are getting you closer to your goals.”  To have this mindset of getting excited with challenges might not be easy at the start because we humans have this natural inclination to frown on difficulties and seek the path of least resistance.  The author’s advice is to look at those challenges as stepping stones to your success that the more challenges you overcome, the closer you are to your goal.


(3)  Use Gratitude to Fuel your Hustle

He says, “I’m grateful every single day. I feel so lucky to have been born in the mid-1970s, during such a special moment in Soviet history, instead of the mid-nineteenth century or the 1940s, and to have been given the opportunity to come to this country. I’m grateful for my parents, my wife, and my kids. I made this bed; how can I complain? Gratitude is amazing

fuel.”  Gary and his parents are migrants to the United States from Belarus that used to be under Russian Communist rule.  He’s just grateful to have escaped a totalitarian government and is making use of his found freedom to be successful in life.