I’ve been listening to a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk these days. For those who have not heard of him, he’s a marketing “guru”, four-time New York Times best-selling author, founder of VaynerMedia. He took his parents’ wine business from $3 million in sales to $60 million. He’s a YouTube personality, and generally gives some of the best marketing advice for anyone willing to listen. To summarize his most important piece of advice in one sentence: Facebook and Instagram are underpriced, and it’s where everyone should spend their marketing dollars at the current time.
Above and beyond that particular recurring theme in his talks, listening to Gary has also made me realize that time, not money, is the most valuable commodity. The main reason why money is important (at least as a representation of success) is because it takes time to make. Indeed, often times people who make money too quickly don’t appreciate its value, and end up losing it as quickly as they made it.
And then there are other things, the value of which increases as a direct function of the time it takes to build them – relationships, reputations, communities.
Earlier this week, I was giving a phone interview to a reporter who is writing a story on local YouTubers (I will update this piece to include the link as soon as its out! 🙂 And as I was explaining my transition from law to YouTube and viral videography – as I detailed what has gone into every day for the last few year – I realized how crazy the journey has been. And that is why it has been such a valuable experience. You don’t get the value and experience of a decade of commercial litigation without having lived the trials and tribulations of a decade of commercial litigation (pun intended). The same goes for having built a brand and reputation in the YouTube / viral videography community.
When I sat down with my dad in 2015 and told him what I intended to do with the rest of the precious time I have on this earth, he had the same concern any reasonable person would have. “Marketers are a dime a dozen”, he said. “What makes you any different from all the others?”. I responded that lawyers are also a dime a dozen… There are almost 23,000 lawyers in Quebec alone. What makes one better than the other? The same thing that makes anyone better than someone else in their respective field – creativity, determination, responsiveness. At the end of every profession is a person, the personal attributes of which are going to separate the dime a dozen from the diamond in the rough.
The interview also came at a fortuitous time. I just launched my newly revamped www.vivafrei.com website, which highlights the value I can bring to anyone looking to break into the social media marketing world. Ten years of commercial litigation, and what is now fast approaching five years of compulsive content creation carries with it some value that can only be achieved through the sweat and tears of time, effort, and trial and error.
And like Gary Vee to his parents’ wine business, I revel in the challenge of bringing value to projects I believe in. Which is why I am also getting involved in a new project called “TailGateArt“. My feeling is that if I genuinely love a product, there are at least a million other people who will love it too. And if I can bring my compulsive creativity to the table, I can reach those people. I will now have to employ what I consider to be my best attributes to bring value to a project that I happen to personally value myself.
I may have lost my train of thought in this post. But at the risk of letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, I must retire to the family obligations that are competing for the infinitely scarce and indescribably valuable resource of my disposable time.