Gary Vaynerchuk, also known as Gary Vee, is a self-starter and social media master. He is a prestigious keynote speaker and podcast host, as well as the author of a multitude of bestselling books.
But don't get complacent. We're not stopping there. He's also a serial entrepreneur, serves as the Chairman of VaynerX, is the CEO of VaynerMedia, host of #AskGaryVee, and even the creator of VeeFriends, an NFT project. Now, that's a lot of Vayner.
But how did he get here? We promise he wasn't minted, NFT style.
In his early teens, Gary used his sharp sales aptitude to take over the local baseball card selling scene, often making thousands in a weekend with his keen eye for deals. But it wasn't to be a long-term career.
When he was just fourteen, his father pushed him into the family business, Shoppers Discount Liquors.
After returning from college in 1998, Gary took charge of the business, renaming it to a more sleek-sounding 'Wine Library. He also saw the potential of launching sales online, and in 2006 started Wine Library TV, a daily webcast on YouTube covering wine. With this skill, he grew the business from $3M a year to a whipping $60M a year.
Then, in 2008, his career was defined. Gary gave a show-stopping keynote at Web 2.0 in New York City, solidifying his position as an industry thought leader and becoming the backbone of his 10-book deal with HarperCollins.
This deal lead to his first book Crush It! in 2009, which went on to become an international best seller. It detailed the foundations for what would become his defining principles, exploring elements of media, marketing, and communication. Soon after this, he began angel investing in notable companies including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, Snap, and Venmo.
In 2009, Gary teamed up with his brother to found VaynerMedia, a social media-focused digital agency. The company still provides social media and strategy services to Fortune 500 companies today.
In 2011 Gary stepped away from the wine business to concentrate on VaynerMedia whole-heartedly. Then in 2014, after two years of building his own personal production team, Gary launched a new regular YouTube show '#AskGaryVee.
This involves the man himself taking questions from his social media followers, and responding in an unrehearsed manner. These questions range from marketing to entrepreneurship, to family, to the NY Jets.
The success of the show helped Gary grow his YouTube following to over 130,000 and paved the way for follow-on content on sites like Medium, LinkedIn, and the Huffington Post. Gary also runs DailyVee, an online documentary series.
Then, only a few years later in 2015, VaynerMedia was named one of Ad Age's A-List agencies. Growing to 600 employees in the following year, VaynerMedia grossed $100M in revenue. The company also partnered with Vimeo to connect brands and filmmakers for digital content.
In 2017, VaynerMedia ventured into the publishing industry. The company acquired premiere Women's magazine PureWow under the Gallery Media Group and restructured it into VaynerX.
Later that year, in the Autumn of 2017, Gary announced his first signature sneakers in collaboration with K-Swiss. The GaryVee 001 & 002s were released in November 2017, the GaryVee 003s were released in July 2018.
In the summer of 2018, the second media brand under the Gallery Media Group umbrella, men's lifestyle brand ONE37pm was launched.
Then, in 2021, Gary launched his famous NFT collection VeeFriends, comprised of 10,255 unique tokens. The project aimed to provide the industry with a blueprint for others on how to bring value using NFT technology, by giving access, to the community a real-life value found in the smart contract.
The premise of the project is to create access and serve the community, two aspects Gary has come to recognise as vital in his years working in the industry, meaning he was able to identify the potential and be an early adopter of NFT with utility. By adding this utility to tokens the project is not just about selling art; each NFT will include a smart contract attached to each token purchase, giving them 'utility' through metadata.
On top of all this, he also serves as a partner in the athlete representation agency VaynerSports.
Gary regularly documents his goings-on to his 34M followers, showing the behind-the-scenes of life as a CEO. He racks up over 272M monthly impressions across all platforms. His podcast 'The GaryVee Audio Experience' ranks among the top podcasts globally.
He also serves on the board of GymShark, MikMak, Bojangles Restaurants, and Pencils of Promise. Gary is also a longtime Well Member of Charity:Water.