“I’m just making lemonade, my friend.” And so began a conversation with Gary Vaynerchuk. Well known for his online creation of Wine Library TV (which just celebrated its 3rd birthday) Gary has become something of a 21st century evangelist for authenticity, motivation, hustle and above all, achieving your dreams.
The Best part of all this isn’t the Business or the Brand Building or the opportunity…though awesome they all FAIL in comparison to the fact that WE are able to meet so many darn PEOPLE!
Gary Vaynerchuk (sitting on the floor of the Soiux City Airport)
Gary’s opening comment referred to the fact that his flight from Soiux City had just been canceled, but rather than grumble about it, he simply flipped the situation on its head (making lemonade when life handed him a bag of lemons) and decided to do his favorite thing – connect with people.
Sharing A Common Bond
I’ve been a fan of Gary and his show for years due to his honest approach toward wine appreciation. Having consumed wine for decades, and now judging in two international wine competitions, it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of drinking wine, but not too happy with all the rating systems which often seem to rule the market with an iron fist. I prefer hearing what someone thinks about the wine, and that’s what Gary does like no other.
Known as The Thunder Show, his style is brash, edgy, comical, eccentric, in-your-face, yet also quite serious – he truly wants to educate the public and instill in them the confidence to make up their own mind when it comes to what wines to drink. This is passion at its best. Forget about what’s politically correct, and there’s never a note of condescension in his delivery – just a major dose of spot on opinion without any soft edges.
For those of you trying to make a connection between wine and Global Patriot, my love of wine has been most instrumental in discovering different cultures and our innate connection to the earth. From my early adventures in the California wine country to numerous trips abroad visiting the vineyards of France and Italy, the beauty of wine, food and people has ingrained in me the notion that we’re all connected in a way that transends nationality, ethnicity, religion or ideology.
Breaking Down Barriers
I asked Gary about his own experiences with regard to this idea of wine bringing us all together. “Wine has the ability to break down barriers and while also giving people a respect for terrior.” Loosely translated as “a sense of place”, terrior in reference to wine speaks of the uniqueness of each vineyard – the soil, the vines, the clone of grape, the weather and vineyard management.
In my opinion that philosophy mirrors what we should do in our daily lives – remove the barriers that keep us apart, while also developing a respect for the individuality of each person and place.
Gary went on to describe a wine tasting that he conducted with a group of Israelis and Lebanese, sampling wine from each region. The wines were served blind, with the bottles hidden from view so that the country of origin could not influence their opinion.
“It was such a fascinating experience, as someone’s favorite wine was often from the other country and I could see this common bond develop before my eyes just from tasting wine together.”
The Passion Of You
In the past year Gary has moved beyond expressing his passion for wine and is now a motivational speaker at conferences from coast to coast. While the talk may change from one venue to the next, the fundamental topics center on living your life with passion and dedication, of making things happen, of connecting with others, and not living with preconceived notions of what can’t be done.
This message is extremely powerful in its ability to inspire us to chase our dreams and do whatever is necessary to achieve our goals, and it’s an important message that is fundamental to the vision of Global Patriot, that we all posses the capability to accomplish that which we can envision.
What’s In Gary’s Future?
While he could rest on his laurels, Gary still puts in 12 to 15 hours a day to “make things happen.” He’s working on a half dozen projects at the moment, though not at liberty to divulge details yet. When I asked about his long term goal, the big thing he really wanted to accomplish, he replied:
“I want to buy the New York Jets.”
He often talks about the Jets on his show. In glowing terms when times are good, and in scathing fashion when times are not so good. As with wine, he doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to registering his opinion. Passion through and through, 7/24, hustle till your dreams come true.
As the conversation wound down (he had 50 other people to call back by this time) we returned to the topic of people. In one of his videos Gary spoke of his desire to meet every person on the planet. Not that such an objective was actually possible, he knows that, but living with that frame of mind drives him to connect with as many people as possible – anytime, anywhere – because in the end, above his drive to win, to hustle, to crush it, you will find an overwhelming passion for people.
How are you expressing your passion for people, and living your dream?