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Apparently, students at VT have been asking Gary to come for years. Professor John Boyer (renamed “Coach” by Gary) of the Plaid Avenger pulled together a video with his students to make this most recent request, and well, Gary rolled into Blacksburg (tornado warnings and all). Gary was poised to do a keynote about The Thank You Economy, tape episodes of Daily Grape and Wine Library TV, and sign a few books. The one-hour event went well past three hours, and as Gary said, “This is out of control.”
For me, the major take-away from the evening was passion. You have got to have passion. But passion isn’t enough, you need to execute. You know that I consider myself a “get it done” kind of girl, but let me tell you: after years of hearing about the fabulousness of ideas, it was refreshing to hear someone else confirm that you have GOT to execute to get that fabulousness to the world.
If you can’t deliver, then it doesn’t matter, especially since original ideas are few and far between. We all think along the same lines, so don’t get mad when you think someone stole your idea. It was probably a logical next step thousands of people thought of, they just executed and you didn’t.
You’ve also got to use your resources. Gary said he spend WAY more time in school thinking, reading and studying about wine than worrying about his other classes. He wanted to get everything he could at his fingertips. He mentioned that we have a huge advantage right now as students because information is free, fast, and being updated constantly.
While we have the time, we need to use the resources to our advantage. That’s something I’ve been thinking about the last few months. I haven’t really considered myself an entrepreneur, and I’ve even called myself pro-corporate. However, the two years I’m here at VT, I’ll be in an incubator in which I create six to eight businesses with thousands of resources at my fingertips. Entrepreneurs would kill for that kind of an opportunity.
The biggest event of the night was not the filming or the keynote, but it was when Gary showed his passion to us by investing in us. Sure, he was there to give away some books and sign a few autographs, but in the process of having a drawing, we went from iTunes gift cards to internships at Facebook or Twitter.
What would you give to have Gary Vaynerchuk make a personal call toMark Zuckerberg about a summer internship? Or how about interning with Gary’s own company? When Gary realized that the crowd went nuts as soon as he said, “You want a job?” he knew he was in a different world.
If you want to see real investment in the future business minds of this world, you need to know that Gary gave away $10,000 in VC with a promise to coach and aid a student looking to get his or her startup off the ground. THAT is the passion it takes to make things happen, but not just for yourself, but for everyone.
Gary may need to set aside this $10,000, but trust me, he isn’t paying any opportunity costs with it. In fact, his return will probably be more than just dollars, but the value he gets from the word-of-mouth this event creates, the views this post gets, and the clicks his episodes receives. He’s made a social contract with a student here at VT, and I bet she will more than deliver.
And after all that, I’m even more motivated to deliver. That is passion, and it took one man. What kind of motivation are you providing today?