I had the great pleasure of interviewing Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerMedia, author of NYT Bestselling book “Crush It!” and just all around famous web guy. He is an inspiration to anyone trying to figure out how to build a successful business and fulfilling life with equal abandon.
We recorded the interview, so you can hear Gary’s advice in his own words (and accent) below. I’ve condensed things up, but kept the best nuggets here.
Balance is My Religion
Pamela: First, I asked Gary a bit about how he manages so many impressive accomplishments; running a business, authoring several books and staying so involved with his family.
Gary: I have a great partner in crime. Balance is the religion I am most connected with. It is crazy to me that 2013 is the year I worked the most, but it is also the year I spent the most time with my family. I did it through extremes. I work hard & long during the week, but I get more from the weekend and vacation because I am all in when I am working.
Avoid Paralysis of Tools
Pamela: Gary is famous for his personal engagement. He answers all of his e-mails, tweets, vines, etc. I asked Gary what tools he uses to stay so engaged.
Gary: I make it a priority to engage with the end user. I am a farmer equally as I am a hunter. Massively important thing to me. I am less tool oriented. People over tool themselves. All you really need to eat your meal is a fork. It gets the job done. Paralysis of tools. People are crippled by tools. People want tools because they don’t want to do the work. It’s like bringing a cannon to a thumb wrestling match.
Find Your Own Balance
Pamela: I asked Gary how he balances his work/life efforts.
Gary: Communication is the one magic pill. Over communicate with parents, family. The occasional get home at 5:00 to eat dinner and bathe the kids did not work because I could not shut off work. For me, I am all in when I am in work mode and all in when at home. I shut my phone off. But that might not work for others. You need to try a lot of things and find what works for you.
The Family Environment in Your Business
Pamela: I asked Gary how he makes sure his team knows he values their work/life balance, as well as his own.
Gary: Number one thing I care about is building a family environment for the company. The only way I know to build big businesses is to build a family environment within the company. I respect employees and families. We have unlimited vacation policy and next year will implement mandatory vacation time. Whatever it takes to make it good for my team is what is important to me. Get to know every employee one by one. Let employees know I want to reverse engineer their ambitions including if it is to work somewhere else.
Pamela: The rest is a red faced me getting complimented by Gary V. on the priorities I have set for my business. I got a little tongue tied at that point, so just said thank you a few dozen times.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
It was a joy to share some business building strategies with Gary. I would love to hear how you all tackle these work/life balance issues at your business and in your life. Please share.