5 Lessons In Success I Learned Over the Last 5 Years

Have you ever encountered  a book, a place, or a person that from the very moment of contact, causes a dramatic paradigm shift in your life? I have.

There is no single person living who has had a greater impact on my life within the last 5 years than Gary Vaynerchuk. I thought long and hard before writing that last statement, but in every analysis I’ve done, Gary comes up as being most influential (by far).

Winning Lessons

What’s most fascinating to me about his influence is that,  even though I have been incorporating many of his winning lessons into my life for the past 5 years, I just met him yesterday for the first time.

I first saw Gary speak 5 years ago on the first stop of his Crush It book tour at American University in DC. It was a fluke encounter. I was on campus for another meeting and got invited by a friend to check out an “internet guy” talk about this “social media thing.” I was immediately interested in the topic because I had been evaluating ways to enter a new industry and thought at least I could pick up a few tips. So, I walked over to join about 100 mostly college students in a small lecture hall.

Gary was New York City police officer loud, he cursed like the Wolf of Wall Street, wore one arm band (which I thought was unusual), and, quite honestly, came off as slightly obnoxious.

So why did I stay through his 1 1/2 hour talk? Because I was sitting near the front row and didn’t want to be embarrassed by being “that guy who leaves after the first 15 minutes.” So I sat. As I listened to Gary, gradually, his story started to connect with mine. We had emigrant parents (his from Belarus, my mother being from Jamaica), we both had odd first hobbies as youth (he took flowers from people’s yards and sold them back to them. I did the same thing but with people’s lawn), we both loved Biggie (and both claimed to have been the first in our respective crews to “discover” him), we both were considered underdogs growing up, and the list went on.

Then, he hit me with a combination knockout when he continually emphasized his passion for (the art of) human communication and love for his family.

Hook, line, and sinker.

In hindsight, I attribute his talk and subsequently reading his book Crush It with creating an inflection point in my life.

Since that day in October 2009, I’ve consumed every last bit of content from Gary – every video, every tweet, every blog post, every Instagram photo, EVERYTHING. And guess what? His “virtual” advice and winning lessons have delivered  serious results! I entered a new career and industry as a complete layman 5 years ago. Now I’m considered a thought leader and top influencer within the space.

Gary spits truth and if you can’t spend late nights like me staying up and binging on his content, here are 5 winning lessons I’ve learned from Gary over the years that equally apply to life and business success

1) Accept that you will suck at most things, just be great at one.

Gary often tells the story of professional baseball player Mariana Rivera (widely known as only having one pitch). Rivera was a terrible pitcher, otherwise, but no one could hit/figure out that one pitch. As a result, he’s considered one of the most dominant relievers in major league history. This is a concept I completely  agree with. [inlinetweet prefix=”What’s Your One Thing? |” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”#WinningLessons”]Attempting to be a jack of all trades makes us a master of none[/inlinetweet].

 

2) EQ wins over IQ.

This is one of the winning lessons I’ve been trying to articulate most of my life but never put it as succinctly as Gary Vaynerchuk . Emotional intelligence trumps everything. I recall taking a battery of tests in middle school, never quite scoring high enough for the “smart kids high school” so I instead went to the “normal” kids high school. Checking now on many of my friends from both schools, there are an equal number of people “winning” or “struggling” in life from both schools. But, the standouts ALL have one thing in common, they are the ones (regardless of IQ) who had the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

 

3) Learn to Story Tell

Effective communication, especially through social media requires storytelling. Even more so, Gary drives home the concept of “native” storytelling in his latest book. Stories are powerful: They give meaning and context to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts. In fact, there’s ample research that points to the power of narrative not just as a way to engage people, but as the only way to change deeply entrenched views.

 

4) Set BHAGS.

You can’t hear Gary Vaynerchuk  speak for more than 15 minutes without him say in all confidence that he will someday buy the New York Jets. Now, does he have the $1.5 billion it will take to buy the team? Probably not (at least, not right now). However, he still talks about it…he still believes it. BHAG stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal, an idea conceptualized in a favorite book of mine. BHAGs are bigger, bolder and more powerful than regular long- and short-term goals. They typically take a 10- to 30-year commitment, but they are exciting, tangible and something everyone just “gets” without any further explanation. BHAGS change your mindset and mindset is critical to sustained business success.

 

5) Give a Damn.

Do you really care about your audience (or customer), or is your relationship with them simply transactional? If it’s the latter, all good, do your thing. But know that thing you do will be short-lived. We’re in a new economy now, one that places a premium on adding value. [inlinetweet prefix=”Give a Damn |” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=”#WinningLessons”]Be obsessed with being useful[/inlinetweet]. Proactively add value in the lives of the people around you and your future path will be paved with gold.

 

To learn more about Gary Vaynerchuk , check him out here. He’s a person who I and so many others admire. I know I speak for many when I give thanks to him for allowing me to not only envision, but live a life I only once dreamed about. As a matter of fact, I’ve only come across one person in the last 5 years who hasn’t sipped the Gary Vaynerchuk Kool-Aid…my wife hates him. 🙂

What other winning lessons have you learned from a key influence in your life? Let’s talk about them!

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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Jacqueline Smith Whitehead
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Jacqueline Smith Whitehead

Awesome!

Monique Steadman Eddleton
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Monique Steadman Eddleton

I love him!

Jane Posten
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Jane Posten

That second sentence sounds so scandalous Paul… 😉

Tanya Aniteye Amet
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Tanya Aniteye Amet

Lol oh lawd now folks really gonna google you again to see if your gay haaaaaaaaaa!

Rashan Registe Magloire
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Rashan Registe Magloire

Oh lord, Paul Carrick Brunson Thou shalt not start le scandal LOL.. but then again, happy that you confessed lol..anyway, I heard about Gary before he’s quite an inspiration for young entrepreneurs! (^__^)

UngenitaPrevost
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UngenitaPrevost

PaulCBrunson thedivatweets garyvee Ooh…met Gary years ago time with him… #Priceless

Mike Street
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Mike Street

My old boss.

Arlene Bayley
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Arlene Bayley

great advice!

Jagger Babuin
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Jagger Babuin

Hey Boss – I just started following u but I gotta say so far I am digging your stuff……..keep up the good work……

chriskazirolle1
Guest
chriskazirolle1

He’s dope! 

He inspired me to be accept and be myself. 

I may not be the best but I am me. And I am special. Because there is only one me. 

He doesn’t fit the mold for what he does, but the way he does it make him stand out. Very much like me. 

I used to turn down certain things about myself, trying to be like the folks who are popular. Now I turn my uniqueness. 

I would attribute all that to GaryV.

Kermit Alexander King
Guest
Kermit Alexander King

Oh, such happy reading!!! Thank you.

Kendra Tobey Knueppel
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Kendra Tobey Knueppel

EQ trumps IQ…very interesting. My oldest son has High IQ. Understanding the need for balance, I teach and model EQ for him. My youngest child has EQ in spades but struggles in school. We will continue to strengthen his academics. Ppl makes predictions about my oldest being successful and my youngest not so much. It makes me angry. I believe there is power in our words so I speak life/ success/blessings over both my children and teach them to as well. I am very encouraged by your observation of EQ being the equalizer as it is something I stress more… Read more »

Analise Kandasammy
Guest
Analise Kandasammy

I love Gary!!! Saw an interview with him with Marie Forleo and was hooked!

James Lopez
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James Lopez

who is this Gary Vaynerchuk fella you mention Paul Carrick Brunson ha ha #bossup

imjamesjlopez
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imjamesjlopez

Learned to be myself at all times, some would buy in others would run. The ones that stayed were the golden ticket.

Carla Friday
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Carla Friday

oh no he didn’t! you both are awesome though!

Elena Jurca
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Elena Jurca

ahahah

Magic20099
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Magic20099

PaulCBrunson I loved reading this article Paul! I love the concept of BHAGS. I one day want my own island and that goal keeps me going!

PaulCBrunson
Guest
PaulCBrunson

Magic20099 you’re going to win Mike b/c I see you value self-development. Keep grindin’ fam!!!

Magic20099
Guest
Magic20099

PaulCBrunson Thank you so much for the encouraging words fam! I certainly will! And will continue to work hard & create new opportunities!

Fox Shakana
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Fox Shakana

Hey Paul Carrick Brunson, thanks for the recommendation on your page I just finished JJJKO (I believe that’s correct). I’m seeing results for my clients already!

Carrie Young
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Carrie Young

Awesome

Julie M Holloway
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Julie M Holloway

Love him!

NibbleOnThis
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NibbleOnThis

PaulCBrunson every night? Lol!

PaulCBrunson
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PaulCBrunson

NibbleOnThis lol!

EllaRucker
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EllaRucker

Honestly, after my GV interview I had the confidence to go after anyone (including one PCB)!  He really rocks and love all these takeaways.  Also, the story of how you first came to know him was great.  Where’d you actually meet though?

PaulCBrunson
Guest
PaulCBrunson

KasandreaSereno love that you loved the post Kasandrea!

KasandreaSereno
Guest
KasandreaSereno

PaulCBrunson Great advice! I have followed you on FB for a while and just checked out the blog today. I too am a fan of garyvee 🙂

Shakirah
Guest

Hi Paul! These are great tips. I especially love the tips on storytelling, BHAGs and providing value for your audiences.

My BHAG is to write tons of books while traveling the world speaking to women about God’s love for them. I’m actively working to make this happen. And if we want to get fancy you can throw in a supportive, loving and equally Jesus-loving hubs, with a cute baby slung to me and an adopted kid whose life has been changed simply because we choose to love him.

I need to check out Gary.

AdaezeDiana
Guest

Thanks for the info Paul! 
Funny enough, I got “hip” to Gary a
few months ago when watching an interview of his on MarieForleoTV (the
YouTube Channel) about his book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. I remember
being surprised by how taken I was with his words and advice on how to
grow your own business – with the main standout point for me being that
he was so open about his imperfections and comfortable focusing on
enhancing his strength(s). Ever since then I have taken notes on
advice he gives and followed him on Twitter. So yes, I believe in the
magic of Mr. Vaynerchuk too/:

PaulCBrunson
Guest
PaulCBrunson

TiaLeeRadio love it!

Dennis K Chen
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Dennis K Chen

thank you for continually pushing all of us!

OneTough Muther Karen
Guest
OneTough Muther Karen

Gary is great, a real force. Yes, the answer to your question, I have been blessed to meet many.

Monique Nykia
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Monique Nykia

Sleep…. but it doesn’t pay well

Que Jahara
Guest
Que Jahara

Thank you, as always, for taking your time out to share your thoughts and experiences. Very much appreciated.

Brittany Adams
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Brittany Adams

You got me hooked on his books!!! I’m so happy I started reading your blog!

Alisha Madison
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Alisha Madison

Lord how i pray one day I can!!

angelejfreeman
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angelejfreeman

I love this post! However I kind of disagree with being really good at just “one” thing. I often read about entrepreneurs being good at many different things which helped them in the long run. I also read this great article by Tim Ferris on Why being a “Jack of All Trades” is a good thing. http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/09/14/the-top-5-reasons-to-be-a-jack-of-all-trades/

Tina Renee Sam
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Tina Renee Sam

The Last Lecture Randy Pausch

Angel Miner Nuce
Guest
Angel Miner Nuce

I quit a good job to do the perfect job – wake up smiling every. Single. Day.

Veronica Lamb
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Veronica Lamb

That is the ultimate question.

Shanda Panda
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Shanda Panda

yes!

Tanya Maxwell
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Tanya Maxwell

Happened in 2009,,,things have never ever been the same…

Keoma Hamer
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Keoma Hamer

hmmm

Soffi Love
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Soffi Love

I have. Manifesting Change & You can create an exceptional Life.

Sonya Caines
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Sonya Caines

Aw! I’m stuck vacuuming 🙁
Ah well, there are worse gigs I guess.
#cheapthrills!

Regina Kennedy
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Regina Kennedy

I’ve looked, I’ve asked, answer = clueless, now what ??

Silvia Flores
Guest
Silvia Flores

Be happy make sure my kids are happy!!

Helen Nickerson Jones
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Helen Nickerson Jones

Haaahaaaa!!!

Salana Merriex-Tyson
Guest
Salana Merriex-Tyson

Cute!