I had one of the more surreal experiences of my life yesterday, March 18, 2017 and I want to share it with you.
Let me first give you some context; I have been a single working mom for 19 years; all of those years I have been doing everything in my power to give my girls, and myself, the best life possible. It hasn’t always work out the way I hoped, but I have done my best. Mostly uneducated (as in, some college) and truly nothing extraordinary, I’ve always still believed I could make something of myself, so I have, for those same 19 years, always tried new opportunities, projects and ideas in order to make extra money. Raising a family definitely is not a cheap process and while I’m grateful for what we have and the things we’ve been able to accomplish, there’s always never QUITE been enough.
Enter 2009 and Gary Vaynerchuk with Crush It … I had never experienced someone with this amount of fire and passion who, simultaneously, actually seemed to know what they were talking about because they were DOING what they were talking about! I WAS HOOKED. Since that day I have been, what we OG’s call, a Vayniac! [“A crazed, dedicated, wine-loving individual whose day is defined by the visual consumption of their daily fix: a webisode of The Thunder Show at winelibrarytv.com, hosted by Gary Vaynerchuk (Vay-Nurr-Chuck!!)” Urban Dictionary]. While I wasn’t necessarily about the wine, I WAS about the passion and the learning. Wine Library TV soon turned into #AskGaryVee and then #DailyVee came on the scene. Fighting my feelings of “unextraordinariness” and wanting to make something of myself became a little easier with Gary in my back pocket.
Social media is such an amazing concept, and why I love it so much…you can connect with people from anywhere in the world and genuinely feel like you know them. Knowing most of everything Gary has put on the internet and social media has given me the chutzpah to follow my passions. It’s not been an easy road by any stretch, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Enter Saturday, March 18th 2017 and an email from a friend saying “hey, do you want to go see Gary, I have a spare ticket”. HELL YEAH I DO!! I was kind of stunned at first, “IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING” … but jumped into action and got myself to Vancouver, which is about an hour away from where I live.
These were my experiences, feelings and reactions from seeing Gary Vaynerchuk, live and in person….for the first time.
- Your hero becomes “just” a human being as opposed to someone on a pedestal
It’s true, he’s still GARY, but now he’s that guy on the stage, giving life-changing [for me anyway] value, insight, knowledge, wisdom and humour to the crowd. He’s no longer that guy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest…he’s a guy I [almost] met and managed to get his attention
- Your perspective either improves or the “bubble” is popped
There were about 1400 people in the crowd yesterday for Gary’s talk and it was clear that some were there to “dismantle” his online persona. There wasn’t any heckling, but there were rumblings. It’s truly a phenomenon to me, when you put yourself out there in the public eye as much as he does, scrutiny abounds. For me, my perspective of Gary improved as he became an awesome human, and not just that guy on a pedestal that I could never talk to.
- You get motivated to become more … or not
See, a real life hero, in person, can do one of two things, in my experience. It can either motivate you to do, be and become more … or not. For some people seeing, hearing and meeting “the real thing” makes it harder for themselves to live up to that individual. Those people, IMHO, struggle with self-awareness and self-confidence. I too struggle with those things, but, Gary being Gary simply motivated me to the former … be, do and become more and better. I have lacked certain perspective in my business over the last year or so, and I feel re-centered, re-charged and re-focused after yesterday.
- You feel like the luckiest human on the planet
Quite honestly, yesterday’s experience happened because of a series of connections all based on social media and I truly just feel like the luckiest person alive. I’m very grateful and I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA!
- You cry [get emotional] when they enter the room because you can’t believe this is happening
Yup … it happened. I’m a sap, I know it! I always get emotional when things, events, music, books, conversations … when they really move me. I’ve always been that way, and always will be. I used to hate that part about myself, but now I actually don’t mind it.
- You start to believe bigger things for yourself
Seeing the greatness that you believe in and of your hero can cause chain reactions. For me, it is causing me to rethink and restructure parts of my business that were stuck; VERY stuck for a while now. We all need a kick in the pants in different ways and for different reasons. Seeing Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday was a massive kick that I needed. My intentions of who I am serving and how I know I can help them are reset and I am 100% refocused. Funny thing is, you can say and teach and even do things, but without that correct intention, you can get off course VERY easily. Yesterday was a giant reset button for me!
- You choose to BE in that moment, or document that moment
I had thought of live streaming the entire thing, on multiple platforms…but within moments realized I may never get this chance again, so I decided to live IN the moment; to really be there and soak it all in. Yes, I took a few snaps, pics and videos, but for the most part I was all in, mesmerized and grateful.
So this, for me, is what happened when I saw, live and in person, my hero, Gary Vaynerchuk. Love him or hate him, he’s an exceptional human that will go down in history as one of the greatest entrepreneurs who ever shared himself with us.