Inspiration & Social Proof: An Interview With New Parent, Gary Vee

Congratulations on your baby girl, Misha – she’s gorgeous! We’d love to know whether you’ve found it as challenging as we have, being both an entrepreneur and a new father. How did you manage to “crush it” as well as cope with the demands of a newborn/young baby?

Thanks so much, it’s been an incredible experience! It’s not easy to find the right balance and I’m willing to admit that I haven’t been perfect. With the book, Vaynermedia starting up, Cork’d relaunching, Cinderella Wine and Gourmet Library all happening over the past 6 months or so I’ve been running around a bit more than I should so I’m trying to get better with that…

It’s about balancing contradictions, something that I’m very comfortable with. On one hand your instinct as an entrepreneur is to work your face off, on the other hand your instinct as a parent is to spend every second with your family. It’s not easy but I think as long as you remember what’s really important in life it works out in the end.

According to the three rules you mention in your book “Crush It!“, “love your family” is number 1. Sometimes the practical implementation of taking care of your family seems to differ between male & female entrepreneurs. What does taking care of your family mean to you?

I mean, there’s an instinct there that you want the people you love to be able to live comfortably and have nice things, right? I didn’t get to really know my father until I started working at the store when I was 14 because he was working so ridiculously hard to make sure that his kids would have a better life.

I don’t have to make the same sacrifices my dad did though, in a large part because of the groundwork he laid for me. So for me, part of it is working hard to provide for my family, but a bigger part is making sure that I’m there for them.

One of the things we’ve found the most challenging as entrepreneurial parents is fitting in work around our baby girl’s schedule – this has often meant working until 3am just to get everything done. What advice can you give when you’re faced with the real time-crunch challenges of being a parent but still want to crush it?

We all have to be realistic about our responsibilities and remember that family comes number one. If you cut out all the video game playing and Lost watching and you’re still struggling to find enough time for your family then you need to start sacrificing some of the hours you were putting in to “crushing it”.

In a perfect world there would be enough time to go 2000% with everything, but as long as you’re cutting out the things that you’re not passionate about that take up your time, you’re on the right path.

In “Crush It you provide some very clear & useful steps for leveraging the social web to create your own success. For anyone who has not read it yet, what advice would you give to a complete newbie & non-techy? Where should they start?

My advice would be that platforms like Twitter and Facebook don’t change basic rules of marketing and business. They actually allow you to concentrate more on the basics and become like the baker and butcher of the 1950s.

I would get an account with Twitter and Facebook as well as checking to see if there are any forums or communities that are based on the niche that your business lives in. Once you’re there, listen for a while and then start joining the conversation. And by that I mean talk, don’t sell.

The biggest mistake people make is to start selling from the minute they launch an account, and that will always cause people to tune out. If you engage and converse and answer questions, you’ll be learning what your target customers want and you’ll be in a position to over-deliver. Once you understand how to over-deliver and consistently provide a great experience for your customers, you’ll be able to build the word-of-mouth marketing which is the true power of these new tools.

As a new parent, is there anything you’ll do differently when it comes to running your business & living your life?

I’ll definitely have to adjust how I work and live and I’m already starting to work on that. I’m still going to hustle because that’s in my DNA, it’s just who I am, but I’m accustomed to hectic days at a frantic pace, and I need more structure to make sure I’m doing everything I want to do. That will mean blocking out certain nights to always be home, scheduling calls for specific portions of the week, and saying “no” a bit more often than I am used to. But I’ll make it work.

On a personal note, any exciting travel plans for your family & new baby girl? When you do travel, do you continue to work?

Traveling is actually one of the times I get the most work done. I don’t want to think about how behind I would be in emails if it weren’t for cross country flights. Lizzie and I do have a special trip planned this year, but we’re keeping it private.

Editor’s Note: Thanks so much to Gary for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. I received a review copy of Gary’s book Crush It! – it’s an easy read with some extremely valuable tips on leveraging social media and branding yourself. Highly recommended! None of the links in this post are affiliate links, they take you straight to the website for Gary’s book.

3 Responses to Inspiration & Social Proof: An Interview With New Parent, Gary Vee

  1. Jeff Slobotski

    December 23, 2009 | 5:56 am

    Great interview and thanks for conducting! As a father myself, it’s great to see how someone like Gary, who I respect, is handling the transition…

    Gary’s the real deal and this interview continues to prove that with this interview.

    Keep up the great work guys!

  2. Julie

    December 30, 2009 | 2:00 am

    Wow- what a cutie Misha is!
    Thanks for this interview.

  3. Lisa Pietsch

    January 17, 2010 | 5:47 pm

    Great interview! Gary’s book has been on my TBR list and this interview bumped it to the top. Thanks!

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