Last night I attended my first NJ Tech meetup in Hoboken. It was pretty great – I’m so glad I went! Did some good networking, heard some pitches, learned about some resources…but the best part by far was the “fireside chat” with Gary Vaynerchuk.
I’d read The Thank You Economy a few years ago and appreciated Gary’s simple prose and the easy way he saw and described the potential in new technologies. I knew he’d probably be a good speaker from the way he wrote, but have come to realize that this is something he really shines in (and he knows it). I would go out of my way to see him speak in person again.
A lot of what he said was inspiring and also gut-checking for any new entrepreneur. He was asked if he thought we’re in another tech bubble, and he replied no. But he thinks we’re in an entrepreneur bubble because it’s so easy for anyone to say they’re an entrepreneur without having really done anything. It’s also easy for some entrepreneurs to get investment funding because there are lots of small investors who want to get in on the startup scene because it’s trendy, and they have the fear of missing out.
That made a lot of sense to me. But it also, of course, made me wonder about my own goals, accomplishments, and ambition. Do I have the drive to make it in this startup world? Gary talked about how much it bothers him that new entrepreneurs complain that they don’t have enough time to get things done. He said if he audited those people’s time, he guaranteed he’d find another four hours each day they were wasting. Sleeping, watching tv, playing mobile games…if you want to succeed you are working all. the. time. Putting in the work matters.
Honestly, in our current culture and economy in the U.S., we have it easy. These are not difficult times that we live in. But sometimes it seems when times are easiest is when people complain the most. Have you ever noticed that? People don’t complain much when they are really going through serious difficulties.
But I know I am one of these people. I’m a complainer. Ugh. Or at least I have been to those closest to me who I feel free to vent to (and to myself because I am my own captive audience). So one of my key takeaways from Gary’s comments is to think about the bigger picture more, adjust my perspective, and complain less. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. When people ask me “So how’s the new business going?”, I’m going to need to retool my responses to be less complainy and more grateful. I don’t need to fake that this isn’t a hard thing I’m doing, but I can change the way I think about it all.
I left the event with some great advice and a new spark to do and achieve. Thanks Gary.