You Could Be Happier Not Making Any Money | David Neagle Podcast


– I do believe that we
need to reframe success. We have to, for the fucking sake of so many fucking millions of people, we have to make success happiness. We have to, have to, have to, have to. – Hey everybody, this is David Neagle and welcome to the
Successful Mind Podcast. Today, we are in New York at VaynerMedia and we have our special
guest Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary, thank you so much for doing this. – Really excited to be here. – I’m very excited to
talk to you about this because you talk about
something as self awareness. You say that self awareness is the key. And my number one question for you is how did you become self aware? When did that happen for you? When did it all click in? You’re like this is who I am, this is what I’m here to do and then you were like nose
to the grindstone with it? – In some way when I hear that question what feels natural to me is an evolution between 11 and 18. Somewhere between definitely fourth grade when I had the conviction and the guts to have weird little
conversations with myself in bed when I would be anxious about the fact that I was
making this transition to being a bad student. I don’t know how else to say it. In third grade, I got straight A’s and would win in flash cards ’cause I have good math skills and in fourth grade, I literally
started getting bad grades and A, it didn’t come
natural to me anymore. Now I think my mind
was wandering in class. So the ability to just
listen and go off of that to be successful became a problem because now I was
already starting to think about how to sell baseball
cards to my friends, what am I gonna do after school, let me make a joke to
make everybody laugh, my brain started to wander and then it was also around the time when it was time to actually do stuff at home, like homework, and that was unacceptable ’cause I had to play Nerf football and try to sell and video games. So between that moment and even right up to
senior year of high school navigating that and understanding this is what I’m good at, this is what I’m not good at, and then really in high school intuitively, subconsciously, naturally, being able to not have to fit in and not being affected by, look, it’s really interesting, I think anybody who’s listening, maybe this is Jersey thing but everybody made fun of
everybody all the time always. That was just the nature of, right? I think a lot about what
are we doing to children in our parenting now that make it so difficult? And extreme bullying is very different than getting made fun of occasionally and so there’s a lot of variables to this but the high school years of like not worrying about my
popularity and valuing, one of the things that I’m most proud of is getting DM’s and messages
from high school friends today saying, man, this is so cool ’cause this was always actually you. You literally have the, verbatim, you had the guts to be friends with
everybody in high school. And I was very proud of that. I was very proud of
weirdest kid on the bus. – So you didn’t try to fit in? – I thought fitting in was
fitting in with everybody instead of fitting in to like six people. So I wanted to fit in with the kid that nobody was nice to, I wanted to fit in to the kids that were naturally
kind of my core friends who were like into sports or sports cards. I wanted to fit in with popular kids, and that was easy too, I am who I am, obviously, I have people skills but I was aware that it was unusual how I was navigating through high school, not going to parties, but working, being friends with the weird kids, not overpandering to the
coolest kids in our school, not being good at grades. I was an enigma my whole life and I think 11 to 18 was when that manifested and that’s a long-winded answer to that’s when I started understanding myself which is what I would
argue self awareness was. It was also when I went through wait a minute, I’m not
the cutest kid in class, wait a minute, I’m not the best athlete because in second and fourth, fifth grade, in fourth grade, I thought
I was the best looking, most athletic kid in my class and very honestly I think
there’s a chance I was but, but– – But that’s because also because your mom was pumping you up, like she was like positive all the way. – Yes, that and I was competitive and I have great hand eye coordination and I matured slowly so I had boyish looks. Yes, all those things but it was a great, I was not scared of all the bad stuff and I think we live in a world right now where people are scared of the bad stuff. – [David] Tremendously. – And I believe that that’s
what leads to delusion. You don’t want to face that
you’re not the fastest, you’re not the best looking, you’re not the smartest. You don’t want to face that. You don’t want to accept that which leads to a lack of self awareness. – So I’m kind of guessing that you were sensitive kid. I hear you cried a lot,
you got your feelings hurt? – By the way, I’m gonna
give you a huge dap, that is the first time
that somebody has said that and it couldn’t be more true. I cried constantly from 1982 to 1988 and I mean multiple times
a week, real crying. – So that brings me to another question. So you talked about when you
went to work with your dad and he kind of sensed your bullshit right, like you could really bullshit people and you made a comment
on one of your podcasts that there were many times
you were in his office crying. – Yes. – What was he doing? – You know what’s funny, him saying to me like, the number’s the number, my dad doesn’t talk a lot, so he was a man from the old school. So it wasn’t like he sat me down and said, son, this embellishing
or lying is unacceptable, it wasn’t like that, it would be like a customer would walk in and I would trey to sell
them a bottle of wine, and you want to talk about
not being self aware, the audacity that I had as a
14-year-old who looked nine to have a grownup come
into a liquor store, hand them the bottle of wine that I knew we had to sell and be like you should buy this, and they would look at me and say, well, have you had it? And I would say yes with
a straight fucking face and really like believed it is pretty ludicrous and what would happen is
he would give me a look and I could sense like oh I
did something wrong, not right even though I accomplished the goal. And very quickly it started chipping away. The reason I would cry is my dad is tough. I would be a 15-year-old kid, I would work 11 hours, like we’d leave the house at seven a.m., the store, got there at 8:10, my dad would do the deposit, I’d have to keep myself busy, the store opened at nine, it’s now seven p.m., no lunch break, I’ve worked very minute, this is like child fucking
hardcore real labor and then at 6:50 I would go to my dad and muster up the guts to be like, hey dad, are we going home soon? And he would like bark at me. And that made me cry, I don’t know, it was like sad, I was like
fucking like fuck, this is hard. And the truth is actually I’m embellishing a little bit there, not that that, that would upset me, what made me cry actually is my dad genuinely did
not treat employees well, and I’m sensitive to it as
I’m saying it right now. He transformed in the way that
he changed my ability to lie I changed his point of view on employees. He just wasn’t nice. I’d watch people really work. He came from the Soviet Union. He looked at employees like not the way, genuinely the complete opposite of the way I look at employees. I look at them and I just know what I feel and I feel a sense of responsibility and my dad genuinely
felt like I’m paying you and fucking work, like
fuck you, like really and that really bothered me. – Yeah, well the guy was
working for his fucking life. What a break to get
out of the Soviet Union and be able to come
here and do what he did. – I judged him immensely at the time. Look, there’s people that
have come from hard places that don’t treat their
employees like shit. So I still judge it at some level. I understand it a lot more. He really feared, really feared, was crippled by the notion of people stealing from him, crippled. – Did that happen a lot
in the Soviet Union? Was that was the deal? – Oh, so I don’t know if you know this. This is one of the most fascinating things to talk to Americans about. I don’t think Americans
actually really genuinely understand socialism or communism. – Agree. – ‘Cause they can’t, I don’t blame. – Everything was stolen. – [David] Everything was stolen. – The government owns everything. So imagine every store and every company is owned by the government. So I Gary, don’t own Vayner, I’m some general manager of, not compensated in any
way based on its success. So now I’m making a deal with Dustin that he can come in at night and steal the computers and
sell ’em on the black market but kick me some cash, everything was stolen. The entire country ran
on the black market. Think about what’s illegal in America, drugs, black market, guns at some level, a certain type, but everything that’s illegal
here is on the black market. – And everything is over there. – Everything, milk and
tile and carpet and chairs. People waited 13 years, my parents waited 13 years to get a phone and 20 years to get the
line for a refrigerator and 15 for a car and you waited seven
hours in line for bread. When I talk about utter ridiculousness of entitlement in America
in its current state, seven dollar coffees, complaining about Delta
being late by 10 minutes, I not only come from a kid
that grew up in America in a very immigrant household that never bought anything
for anybody about anything, I also come as the byproduct of parents and stories my entire childhood of ludicrous shit that not a person here can understand, not here in this room, not anybody who’s listening. Go wait seven hours in
line for a piece of bread and have access to no other food. Go, show me, show me how
much you’re gonna cry about not getting as many
likes on Instagram posts. – There’s this huge
breeding of entitlement that is going on in the country that is– – It’s called prosperity. It’s why empires fall, Rome did it, Genghis Kahn
did it, we’re doing it. We are gonna lose. China already won. This is just watching it play out. This is over. Every little Chinese kid is way more hungrier
than our little fuckers. And guess what, I say good. I don’t want it to be, this is my team, this is the jersey I’m wearing– – Do you think we rebound from it? – No, Europe hasn’t rebounded from it. We beat the fuck out of them. No, there’s no rebounding ’cause it’s the progression of the game. The young, hungrier thing wins and the fatter, older thing loses. We’re the fatter, older thing. We think somebody owes us shit. For what? Why? I love it. I love losing. I love the process. I love merit, that’s why I love losing. I do believe that one kid
in the suburb of China who is a single child because of population control and has parents driving the
shit out of them to make it, and of course that has all
its own shortcomings too, we all know what our
grandparents did to our parents, I get it, the question is which one’s better? We’re very good at sitting in our collective
ivory towers in America judging our parent’s generation and it was tough and beating a kid and hitting and all this,
haahahahah, guess what? We’re about to fucking lose. – They don’t think that they can. – What’s worse, spanking your kid or creating such delusion that they’re depressed for the
rest of their fucking life? I don’t know. I’m gonna hit a kid instead. And of course, everything’s a balance but like there’s a balance between beating the fuck
out of your child for real, like extreme terrible things
that happening our society and what my mom did which was smack me in the
face when I got out of hand, which said fuck, I’m
not gonna do that again, I don’t want to get punched again. And it wasn’t punched,
it was an open hand slap but it fucking hurt. – Where did your mom’s
positivity come from? – Her natural DNA. She lost her mother at five, her dad went to jail when
she was eight for 10 years. She fucking lived in the Soviet Union. It definitely didn’t come
from her environment. – That’s interesting. Well, like you were saying before, there’s a lot of people that grew up in different environments but their attitude, how that
plays out in their life– – By the way, for the record, and I love cosigning my parents, perfectly parented, all that shit, and my mom crushed it all time, I’ve mentioned it eight billion times, I promise you with the
natural DNA that I was given if I was born under a fucking rock in like fucking a shitty town in Turkey, to like some shit, shit, shit, I’d fucking be here, probably with a little
bit more fucked up shit and a little bit less love to give but I’d be here ’cause I’m optimistic. – Here’s one of the things that I find that’s really interesting, you talk about you have this natural DNA, that your success is
wrapped up in your DNA and one of the things that I do is I help people that want to become
successful, really successful. So we work on their mindset, we help them build out the company that they’re building, whatever, but what’s fascinating about it is you can’t instill the
want in a person to do it. So you have people be like, hey, I want to do this and then they don’t do anything and then you have other individuals they want it and they’ll do
anything that is necessary to get there.
– There’s a huge division between people that want for stuff and people who want for process. – Totally. – And I think one of the
things I’m trying to figure out is in the framework that you set that up, this is why I want to change success. You’re, properly, because
of the way we all came up, you’re creating a system, I assume, I’m making some assumptions here, that a level of, the framework
creates success financially, ’cause that’s the nature of a business. I believe that there’s a real atomic bomb that I can drop on society over the next 50 years around actually reframing success, which will then lead to
everybody having the chance to love a process. There’s a lot of people who have the natural DNA to be
an all-time stay-at-home dad but because we haven’t
created the framework yet to making a stay-at-home dad who crushes and raised three children that go on to do incredible things as an incredible north
star of being successful in the same way that we do a
billionaire or an NBA champion or a rapper that wins a Grammy, we have not given macro permission yet for the people to self, I know employees right
now that work for me, men, and I know their wives that they should be doing reversal, that the man should stay at
home and do the nurturing and the mom’s the fucking shark and she’s not happy and he’s not happy and the only reason they’re doing it is we have not had a mature enough
conversation around success. We have created so many, by the way, we talk, thank God, we talk so much more now about women and minorities
and that thing but like a guy who deep in his soul thinks he’s a nurturing father and wants to stay home is frowned upon by his
contemporaries, friends and society immediately it goes into
old school people thinking, he’s a loser and he can’t provide and he’s balking out yet he would love that process. There are absolutely people who do not love the process of building a business that makes money. And thus, they will stop and start and have micro wins and macro failures and will never achieve it. – If a person comes to us and they want to work with us, that’s one of the first
questions that we ask them, is it actually love the
process of what they do? Because if they don’t, they’ll fail. If they’re just going after
the car or their house or the jet or whatever it is, it’s like, no, it won’t
happen, you will fail. – And I think eventually
they’ll be more businesses built on bailing them out, I have to be empathetic to what you have, up front opportunity
costs and other things, it think there’s a lot of
good stuff on the horizon. I genuinely believe your business, you exact human beings 40 years from now as things get reframed, the business was built from day one to be able to afford to
kick Dustin out a week in when you just decided no way, whereas I’m just, and
maybe that is what you do but I would never expect
a business to do that. I do believe that we
need to reframe success. We have to make happiness, we have to, for the fucking sake of so many fucking millions of people, we have to make success happiness. We have to, have to, have to, have to, we have to teach people
how to live very happily making $81,000 a year, that is controlling their expenses, that is not applying for credit cards, that is not valuing the clothes they wear and the cars they drive. We have to teach parents how to make their
children feel comfortable that they have a worse car or things. We have to teach that as an advantage. Kids are funny, I think you can educate kids
at seven or eight of like, hey, we have less, that is going to be your advantage. I believed it and so others can too. We’ve just become very consumeristic, we’ve become very at the mercy of opinion, judgment is at an all-time high. People are just judging
people left and right now because of the political climate. – And they’re crashing because of it. – Oh, I don’t think we’ve
even seen the crash. We are in a opioid and
mental health crisis and the economy is phenomenal. Does everybody understand
what’s about to happen next? Do you understand that
only financial success is holding up many as a last leg and when that goes, the whole, I genuinely believe the mental carnage that comes with the next economic downturn is going to be far more
extreme than we can predict because the overlay of
depression is far greater than it was in 1987, in 1998, excuse me in 2008, in 2001 post-9/11, and the dot-com bubble and all the other times it’s happened. I’m very, very, very concerned and hence my actions speak to that. My content has taken a fundamental shift over the last two to three years because I want to put
my head on the pillow when this all goes down to say, I gave it my best at-bat. Very few people on Earth have spent the dollars and time to create a communication infrastructure to pump positivity with
practicality at scale to the level that I have on fucking Earth. – I don’t know anybody. – And so I need to do that because I believe I see
what’s about to happen and I can’t look the other way and look myself in the mirror when it actually goes down when I know I have it in me to be the kind of communicator that can make a positive impact. And by the way, I actually
said this yesterday to Phil Toronto over dinner, my friend and business associate, I said, huh, I had never thought about it, and this is probably why I
just said what I just said ’cause how the subconscious works, I have a funny feeling
that Gary Vee consumers, people that consume my content, are gonna be major winners
during the next downturn because they’re going
to believe, like I do, that this adversity is good, they’re going to enjoy going back to Rocky and moving in with their
parents and all this, they’re going to put the process of the rebuilding on a pedestal while the far majority that haven’t consumed this perspective are gonna think it’s the worst
thing that ever happened. – Well it’s ’cause it’s
built on a false narrative. They blew something that’s
absolutely not true, that’s never gonna go away. – I agree. – Okay, we have a question, so we’re giving away
a case of Empathy Wine to one of our listeners. Her name is Chef Lizette and this is– – I’ve heard of Chef Lizette who has interacted with
every single content of mine over the last eight years. – Well maybe you’ve heard this before. So she said, “You stated so
smartly on a sports podcast “with Adam Shine “that you believe the metrics “for vetting incoming football players “should be based more on
emotional intelligence “versus bench press or performance stats. “What should the metrics or standards be “for putting social media
influencers on a pedestal?” – What was the transition she just made? – “What should the
metrics be, or standards, “for putting social media
influencers on a pedestal?” – Well it definitely should
not be following count, and that is what we currently score on. I think where Chef
Lizette is going properly is I believe in the gray,
not in the black and white, and the point I was making
on Shine’s podcast was now that I’ve been in the
football business for three years, I’m like, whoa, right, maybe ’cause football
is my one weird place, I never deployed my thought
on the world on football, but now I have, which is, oh right, football’s just
like everything I believe in. I don’t care that you went to Harvard and you’re good at sales, if you’re a piece of shit, you’re not gonna be good at my company ’cause you’re gonna destroy
everything around you. That’s football. I don’t give a fuck if you run a 39 40, if you’re beating women, if you fucking hang out with
fucking p;ieces of shit, if you’re an insecure
dick in the locker room and nobody likes you, I don’t care how many fucking
touchdowns you’re gonna score. Inevitably, that is going to be a problem. So, that’s what we need to do
with social media influencers or anybody else. I believe over time, we will get far more thoughtful around emotional intelligence and I do believe that, look, I think I’m the living proof of it, my level of fame, whatever
it is, is growing rapidly. It is not because I’m so attractive or so funny or so
incredible in my athletics. I am bringing value to human beings, which results in admiration. There are really fancy people that I have dinners with, handlers at events that handle way more famous people than me and they are constantly taken aback by the interactions I have with people who stop me in the halls, at the airport, in life, to the point where somewhere inevitable by the third interaction, if I take three selfies
or have two conversations, they will literally, and again, these are people who are surrounded by the most
famous people in the world, they will look at me and
say, what’s going on? And I do not believe they’re saying, I didn’t realize how many people knew you. I think what they’re saying is, why does this feel different? And I believe that
admiration feels different than liking somebody for something vain. And I believe that that
will be scored long term, impact and how you make people feel and like the quality of what you’re putting out into the world will continue to rise. – I think subconsciously people know the truth. It resonates with a
person when they hear it and you’re everywhere with that truth that you so passionately believe in, and it just resonates with the soul. – I think that’s right. And that’s why the other
thing that people ask me about when I’m in, again, I’m traveling enough
and doing enough events that people inevitably will
be with me for the day, the partners of the event or what have you and they’re completely flabbergasted by the demo range. A lot of people think my
audience is like young dudes and then we’ll be walking in the airport or at the event and a 73-year-old African-American
female will roll up and a 55-year-old white guy or Latino nine-year-old from TikTok. The truth is universal. – Okay, okay, so it is, and that brings me to my next question. It comes from Liv. My sales manager’s daughter
watches you on TikTok and she heard that I was interviewing you and she said to me the
other night at a party, she’s like–
– How old is she? – Steph?
– 10. – 10, she’s 10. She said, “Would you ask
Gary a question for me?” And I said, “Sure, what is it?” So she had two questions. One, why do you make videos and two, what is your favorite food? – I love it. – [David] Right. – This growth in the under 12 demo is gonna be a lot of fun. You get a lot of favorite food, favorite food is definitely English peas. So not snap peas, not green beans, there’s something called English peas. They are my complete obsession. I love them. When they’re in season,
I’m like the happiest boy. Why do I make videos? – [David] Yes. – I have an inherent want to share goodness that I
feel uncomfortably grateful and almost borderline guilty in having in my body. I used to hear things like, I have to, or my body’s making me and I would always laugh and think that was such horseshit, like from a musician
or an actor or actress, and I understand now. I had no interest in
anything remotely close to notoriety or fame. I was 34 years old before I, excuse me, I was 31 years old
before I made a wine video and I was 34 years old before
I made a business video. I didn’t move to LA and wait tables to be on television. I worked in a liquor store in New Jersey. – And that’s where you did the video was in a liquor store? – Yeah, I mean and this
is where I do mine now. It’s not super complicated. The world changed and gave
me opportunity to communicate and Liv, I needed to
do it, I had to do it, it felt right. What I was doing for my inner circle and for my acquaintances, I now had an opportunity to do at scale and the admiration is intoxicating. The attention is cool, I’m okay with it but I’m not in love, if I was in need of the attention, I would’ve gone for fame as a child. The admiration is intoxicating. I genuinely enjoy being admired and I don’t even know if that’s like good or like kind of like super weirdly selfish and kind of like narcissistic. I don’t think so but punchline is I’m okay saying, I’ve never really heard anybody say it so I almost don’t know where
it sits when people hear me say I’m addicted to admiration. I see it as good. It means I’m being held accountable to doing good things because I can’t be admired
for making the most money. – As long as you don’t get high on it. As long as it doesn’t– – I’ve gotten more sober on it. As I continue to gain momentum, I find myself going the other way. I find myself trying to
scrutinize myself more. I find myself trying to share more of my shortcomings or inabilities. I find myself overreacting to making sure I say hello to everybody or be thoughtful of
utterly every interaction. I find myself speaking
to myself more saying, fuck are you? Do you understand that
you could die in an hour and nobody’s gonna give a fuck in a week outside of like seven to
12 of your family members and then your inner circle a little bit, maybe you get a month
out of them but what? The amount of times I say to myself, who the fuck are you? Do you understand that
if you died right now nobody’s gonna give a fuck is very high. And I love that. I don’t think that’s dark. I think that’s a counterbalance
conversation with myself that is reacting to there’s a lot going on with me right now and I’m aware of it but I don’t think that makes me special. I really don’t. I think it makes my parents special. I think it makes my circumstance special. I feel like I’m a FedEx box, I’m just a thing that’s delivering it. I’m just the container, really, mean it. VaynerMedia’s success I feel good about. I’m the architect. But I feel like I’m the product, I’m the Pinocchio, I was made. And so it’s hard for me when they’re like, you’re great, I’m like fuck man, I wish I made me instead of being me. That’s why, actually this is funny, that’s why me Gary Vaynerchuk, the human strategist is much more proud about
what’s happening with me than the person that gets the, me behind me as I think
about how and what I do, ’cause I set the strategy, that I’m actually really proud of, not that people are
like, you’re so awesome. – Right, so if you’re
coming from that place, I ask everybody to leave our audience with one successful mind tip. Given that you feel like
you’re just a channel for that, that your parents made you what would you recommend to everybody that’s listening is something that they could
do from a thinking perspective? – Practical optimism. – [David] Practical optimism. – It’s pulling from the
opposite directions. This is why left and right in America are getting torn apart, they’re both right in different ways. There is absolutely no room for being cruel or mean or suppressive to another human being, period. There’s also a very dangerous slope when you eliminate merit
and accountability. It leads to entitlement and delusion, which leads to depression. So fuck your eighth
place trophies, Brooklyn, but fuck you if you’re fucking, you think you’re better than somebody because they don’t look like you. You’re not from here, fuck you. No cruelty and no delusional,
practical optimism. You don’t work, it’s highly likely the
thing you want to happen will not happen. But be optimistic. Optimism really matters. The internet is the playground, not the government, not America, not your parents, not
schools, not your job. We all have unlimited, we have levels of freedom that have never been seen before. You can create an avatar character, if you think you’re so suppressed, create a cartoon, make an old white man
if he’s got it so good. By the way, that’s another thing that people need to understand, the level of depression in white males is just as high as everybody else. Privilege is mindset,
not what you look like. The mindset game, and we can see what we all look like, and so we can make
judgment and that’s fine, I’m not gonna be able to change that. But if you want to have a
more thoughtful conversation, what’s going on in people’s
chemicals in their brain is far more privilege than anything else. There are people making $32,000 a year, are a super minority of
minorities within this country and are fucking skipping and whistling to happiness every day. And there’s fucking a
41-year-old white dude with a fucking Benzo and a
Ferrari and a Lamborghini and a private plane and
making 33 million a year who’s fucking doing drugs at night just to cope with the deep
inherent pain in his heart. That’s the truth. – That’s true. – And so we got a lot of work to do but I always think that times like this lead to the bounce back. I think we’re on the verge of a tremendous era in our society that is going to be the reaction to a lot of what’s going on right now, all the tension in the air, and I’m looking forward to that, I’m looking forward to in
my mid-’50s through ’60s to watch our society prosper in its real efforts to do more
of the right collective thing and I think that will only happen once we have empathy
and compassion to listen instead of just yelling
at each other and judging and everyone sucks. – Awesome. Gary, thanks so much for doing this. Really appreciate it. – [Gary] My pleasure. – Thanks. (upbeat music)

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