How to Rise Above the Competition in an Emerging Market | Hall of Flowers 2018 Keynote


(hiphop music) – [Gary] You’ve got your perspective. (crowd cheering) I just want to be happy,
don’t you want to be happy? – It is my tremendous pleasure to welcome to the stage our
first keynote speaker ever for Hall of Flowers to which we will have all of you guys to make
the next one even better, please give a warm welcome
to Gary Vanyerchuk. (crowd applauding)
(crowd cheering) – Thank you, thank you. Good afternoon, thank you so much. A bunch of things I wanna cover. Given that it’s an intimate crowd, I also might open up a
little Q&A in the end. Let me take a step back. For me this is an important
keynote, an event, for a bunch of reasons. But probably the biggest is it probably encompasses so
many of my core principles of how I see the business world. So much of my career has been predicated on things that were early,
or things that were evolving. A bunch of you know and
many probably don’t, but my career started
in the liquor business. So in 1996 I launched one of the first e-commerce wine businesses in America. So when I started really
looking this space even five or six years ago and much closer over the last year, there’s just so much empathy
I have for a lot of things that everybody’s going to be dealing with, really over the next half-century, as this all navigates and
I think a lot of people are like oh yeah in three years
or six years or nine years, you know you get into regulated businesses with all this kind of money in play, there’s a lot that everybody
in here’s gonna go through. But I’m gonna take is a
step back because I think the biggest thing when you give a talk, is you need to provide value,
and so I’m gonna give you a little context about how I see the world and what I see and then more importantly, what I think a lot of people here in the B2B or B2C space
can take away from it. I think the biggest elephant
in the room I’m sure for anybody that does know who I am is in the world of marketing
there’s clearly things that I deeply believe
in that are restricted in the environment, in this world. And I’ve been spending a lot of time over the last six to nine months, especially digging deep
into what would I do if I had to sell a consumable
product direct to consumer, or through a dispensery,
what does the world look like when you have to market something in 2018 that doesn’t have the ability to use Google or Facebook as infrastructures as almost every other industry
is taking advantage of? So, for me, it’s really interesting. In, when I was 14, I was dragged
into my dad’s liquor store, I was very much like
so many of you in here, already a hard core entreprenuer. You know I was making $2000-3000
a weekend when I was 14 selling baseballs cards. And when you have $30,000-40,000
in cash under your bed, and you’re 14, and
you’re not selling weed, you’re doing a good job. (audience laughing) And so, so I was doing it. I always understood supply and demand. I was really good at picking trends, great at picking players
that were about to pop, all that good stuff. But then my dad dragged me in, $2 an hour, you know bagging ice in Dad’s shop. I was born in the former Soviet Union, so this was an immigrant kinda situation, there was no negotiations. My weekends and holidays were shot my entire high school year and
I, in my high school career, and I worked and worked and worked, fell in love actually
with the wine business. Read a lot about this town and other parts of California and became
hard core about it. In 1994 I was in my dorm
room at Mount Ida College playing Madden 94, dominating by the way. (audience laughing) And my buddy walked in the room and said, “You have to come and see this.” So after I wrapped up that
game, I went into a room and there was eight guys
hanging around a computer. So how many people here
under 30, raise your hands? Cool, so you young fuckers,
you don’t understand. (audience laughing) There was world
pre-internet, I lived in it! It was fucking crazy! (laughing) And this was it, this was pre-internet. I sit instead of a computer, and I watch people spend
eight hours on the internet. It was so crazy, the internet itself, that it was worth sitting
and watching somebody navigate through it for eight hours. Finally I got my turn
to go on the computer at like two in the morning, and in about 20 minutes on America Online, I ended up showing up, landing somehow, on a baseball card bulletin board. And I realized literally
within the first 20 minutes of ever being on the internet,
that my life had changed. That everything I knew
was gonna be different, that this thing, whatever
it was, was important. And 18 months later I
launched that e-commerce site, and from 1998-2003 in a five year window I grew my dad’s liquor store from a three to a $60 million business. I did it on the back
of and during a time of that I feel is very similar
in this space and this time. What I mean by that is, the greatest thing for so
many people in this room and it’s really interesting,
I think when you look at the conference that we just watched, actually how about this. But a show of hands, how
many people have been in the cannabis space either
cowboyesque or professionally for more than five years, raise your hand. Makes sense, 10? Cool, so for events like
this, first year in, that kinda thing,
regulation, where we are, this is the foundation of the industry. Literally the only other
time I remember ever giving a keynote that feels like this was when I spoke at Web
2.0, when I spoke at FOA in 2008 and seven, in the internet world. Right it was 2006, 2007,
I knew that digg.com and you know all like
it was you know Flickr, for any of the OGs in here
if you remember that shit. (audience laughing) That’s pre-Instagram fucking kids. Flickr and woot.com, that was pre-Groupon, which is dead, you don’t
even know what that is. You know anyway, it was early. I was in the wine business, I had been in the internet wine business at that point for about 10 years but when
I would ask the question of how many people had been to tech, or things of that nature in
2006, it just looked like this. You guys are cooler, and
there’s a little more swag, but it’s the same fucking faces. It’s the OGs in the game
that understand exactly what is about to transpire over the next half decade and decade
but more importantly and I wish you guys could
zoom into the goose bumps, as Ashuma shook his head, like it gave it to me, to be honest and it did because the
one thing I remember about being in London,
or South X Southwest in 2005, six, seven, was they were there for it. In 2005 and seven when I
went to South X Southwest, people were there to be part of tech for the sake of tech to change the world. The aspirations and the
ideology were remarkable. The far majority of this
room, today, 2018, right here, together is in it for it. They’ve been in it. They’re not flying in from
Wall Street or Silicon Valley. There’s people in here,
there’s people in here. But the majority of this room is in it. Now this is super important, as I hear that wonderful
thank you and I get it, and I respect that. This is a very important conversation and I’ll tell you why. The OGs in this room that
have been through it, have been you know (chuckling) it’s funny I was spending some time and looking at an article being raided. And I was telling some
of the people on my team who don’t even hear this story, the amount of times the
ABC came to Wine Library because I was navigating
and doing things early that nobody ever did before, and when you’re biggest you get picked on because you can pay the fine. Don’t get it twisted, it’s very simple. It’s called winner’s tax, they don’t tell you that in B
School, but that’s what it is. This, the engery’s very interesting to me and I’m very, very humbled
and honored to be on it. You know I’ll say it this way, it’s unfortunate for me,
unlike when I got into tech, or many other things I’ve done in my life, because of the profile
of my business career, it’s harder for me to
kind of go into new spaces and do what I naturally want to do. To be very frank, I don’t
know if I’ve ever felt the combination of gratitude
and feeling humble, and at the same token a
sense of responsibility of giving this talk today because much like the way I
entered into the tech space or the wine space or other
things that I’ve done, I just want to learn right. There’s a lot you know, I’m
doing a lot of listening. The reason I teamed up with Josh, Rama, and the rest of Green Street is I didn’t want to come into this space and think that I knew everything
or things of that nature. I want to take it nice and
slow and pay attention. I have a lot to say, listen. I, there’s a lot of things that I think I can bring to the
table, to this industry, and that’s really what I want to focus on. I don’t know if I could
be disproportionately the least knowledgeable
of a lot of the nuances within this space for giving this talk. But what I do know, and I
appreciate the thank you, is I did live very aggressively,
the transformation, of the tech industry going
from the OGs to everybody. Right to those kids being
nerds to then everybody wanting to be a part of it. This space, it, and you guys
know this better than I do but I fucking pay attention
to everything and everybody, how they talk, what they talk about. The level of disrespect
and misunderstanding about this industry from
the outside, is laughable. The sophistication that I saw in that room of people navigating their brands, distribution and how
they’re gonna navigate it, is as good, if not better, than any other industry that I see. But here’s the key, and
this is super important. There’s nuances that I, and I
spent a lot of time thinking about what the fuck am
I gonna talk about today that’s gonna bring value to this audience? The two core things that I
think you can get out of my talk are really interesting, number one, being underestimated and misunderstood is a massive business advantage. There’s a lot of people in this room that are so desperate for acceptance of like this is real, and
all these kind of things, like this is gonna be
and spending so much time trying to convince
somebody of the legitimacy or the seniority or the
sophistication of this space, without realizing that
they should be spending 100% of their time on the end consumer and building their advantage. The leverage and
preference of the majority of the people in this
room would actually be for people coming into this space to dramatically slow down, not speed up. For all the good, that dollars
and all these other things come out, the more time that
you have planting your flag and establishing your brand
and building a relationship with the end consumer, the
more leverage you have. Period, so I think there
needs to be very thoughtful of who you want coming in, how fast, and spend less time on
trying to get legitimacy from somebody, let me
promise you something, trying to convince
people that are no people is a waste of fucking time. Trying to convince
people that are no people is a waste of time. And I think that’s just something
some of you need to hear. Because that no person for a lot of you, is your fucking mom. (audience laughing) That no person is that your
brother that you respect, or your homie, or so
just be very thoughtful of you try to convince this is real, because I think that’s
a lot of wasted energy in early times. Number two, you need to be thoughtful of all the new people that are coming in. If you play it right for yourself, it can be the most remarkable thing. But as a collective, these very early days are super important. This is inevitable, at scale. This is, watching this makes me laugh because this is exactly
what the rooms look, and this is actually way more, this is more even this is,
these days for me a small room. You know this is way more than faces than the ones that I saw in the tech space and a lot of these faces went on to become the founders of Uber and Zucks and the founders of Instagram and things of that nature
so a couple things. Number one, if you are fortunate enough to be smart enough, and that’s
the only word I can think of, if you are fortunate
enough to be smart enough to be in this fucking room right now, please do not do what so many of my homies from tech in 2006, seven,
and eight do to me. Which is reminisce and are sad that they did not take full advantage
of their pole position in where the world was going. The biggest mistake that so
many of you will do today is not network with other
people at this place. And I’m actually saying
that for the people that are sitting at the top 10 and 20% in this space right now, who think they’re somebody
and aren’t understanding. I remember when Mark Zuckerberg and there’s a picture that I have that I’ll probably throw on
a Throwback Thursday soon, where Mark Zuckerberg asked me to set up having lunch with Kevin
Rhodes, the founder of digg.com at the time cus that was the alpha player in the space of the time. There are fancy people here walking around like they’re big shit because
they just raised some money or they got a couple
dollars in their pocket, and they don’t realize the person that wants to say hello to them is gonna be their fucking
boss in six years. (audience cheering) Next, you could not even fathom the level of abundance that
there will be for this room. If I could convince you
with anything in this room is for you to understand that your gains are not coming at anybody
else’s expense in this room. Every single person in this room today can get theirs without it coming out of somebody else’s pocket in this room. (audience applauding) It makes very, it makes me very happy that you guys clapped that
up, I’ll tell you why. That level of collective
response to that statement really makes me feel good cus I’m like cool, that’s what’s up. Like if you really,
really fucking understood, even if you’re directly, if you’re like fuck how the fuck is that? Like that dude over on the other side’s got the same exact kind of
vape pens as me and fucking, no!
(audience laughing) No! If you really, really
wrap your head around how much abundance is in the system, you’re here, this event. This is not a bullshit event, this is, take as many fucking photos in
the next 30 hours as you can because you’re gonna throw these Throwback Thursday photos up in 11 years and this is going to be the foundation of the industry that is, and
you’re gonna be really happy you have these photos. People are like oh shit
I used to have hair and all this stuff, it’s gonna be amazing. (audience laughing) If I, I think you guys
are starting to pick up on the cadence for me early
e-commerce in the 90s the kids that switched from
baseball cards to comic books, I won’t bore you. Fucking, definitely the
tech space of 2005 and six, that is what is going
on here, I promise you. I’ve got a lot of options,
a lot of opportunities in my life right now,
I’m not sitting here, I didn’t do the Green Street
deal for kicks and giggles. Joe Whitmarsh is sitting right here, Gagnon, where are you? Right there. You know real just quick, Joe Whitmarsh worked at
VaynerMedia from day one. I didn’t send him to head
up account at Green Street for kicks and giggles,
there’s plenty of shit going on at Vayner, a
$150 million company, we need our horses. Gagnon I was courting forever to move from Florida to New York, I didn’t send him to head up Creative at Green
Street for kicks and giggles. I’m not spending my time at this event, I’m not spending all my fucking times on the calls with Raman and his fucking crazy fucking bullshit ideas.
(audience laughing) The best part about him though
is one fucking genius idea fucking net scores the rest of it by 100. Be in the yes business,
be in the yes business. That’s not happening for kicks and giggles this has happened. I’m not guessing, this has happened. When I see the economics just
in the state of California, whether it’s two years, six years, 44 fucking years, if you’re
playing it for the game. My biggest thing is, I just wanna, weed out the people in this room who think they’re coming in real quick, doing a financial arbitrage,
getting a lot of funding, and flipping to a bigger company. (audience applauding) And you’ll appreciate
this, the claps are coming from the OGs that are purely in it. I’m saying it because it’s a
stupid fucking business idea. (audience laughing) Mainly on the back of it’s gonna be harder to exit than you think, there’s gonna be some
early action right now. It’s like cryptocurrency. Who here’s fucking with crypto
on the side, don’t laugh! (audience laughing) Right, I know you, you got
this DNA, you got that, don’t bullshit me! The biggest problem I have with crypto, just as a comp, is crypto’s right, right? Blanching’s right. It’s just that I have the advantages of being a little older, a
little OG with my business. I lived through the browser wars, and the search wars, of the early 90s. I remember when Ask Jeeves
and fucking existed. (audience laughing) And Dog Pile! Was gonna be the next big search engine! What you realize is
only one breaks through. Yahoo! broke through,
Google broke through. So cool, and I don’t know
if it’s gonna be Bitcoin, or Ethereum, or whatever it’s going to be, something’s gonna break through, the problem is 98% are gonna go to zero. And people are maxing
out their credit cards to get the next fucking crypt so, it’s about thoughtfulness. That’s different than
what’s going on here. If you ask me and you’d notice
I just talked about that 15 minutes ago, my bet, and I’d like to be historically correct so I’m not just saying shit
to be nice to this crowd cus I don’t give a fuck. (audience laughing) I’m selfish, I wanna be right. I’m saying this strictly,
D-Brock, were you at? – [D-Brock] Over here, yo. – Cool, I’m saying this,
where’s your camera? – [D-Brock] Right here. – Okay cool.
(audience laughing) I’m saying this for myself, 25% of this room is
gonna be the foundation and the OGs of this fucking
trillion dollar industry. Most things aren’t gonna go to zero here. That is not the sense,
that is not my audit, that is not my prediction. And I think you need to
be very, very thoughtful. I always talk about, let
me make a little bounce. I talk, it’s really tough, cus we can’t do it in our space here. I talk about everybody spending
as much money as possible on Facebook and Instagram
right now cus it’s underpriced. I say that because when
I built my dad’s store, when people are like oh man
it built it from three to 60, that’s amazing, I think
that fucking sucks, because I know it shoulda
been from three to 200 but I didn’t spend enough on Google Ads when I had the best hand. Right, the biggest, you know
forget about passing on Uber, when you’re investing, you’re
always making mistakes. I operated Wine Library, so when I say the biggest
mistake I’ve made in my career, I was controlling that car, right. The biggest mistake I’ve made in my career was I didn’t spend enough
money on Google AdWords in 2001, two, three, when I knew I had it. But I was too young and didn’t understand how special that moment was,
when I was buying keywords for five cents and getting
unlimited customers. I just thought it would always be there. I didn’t know any different,
I was a fucking kid. I didn’t have the experience. I was smart enough to see it, but I wasn’t experienced enough to squeeze the fuck out of it. That’s why I’m yelling so
loud if you follow my content on Instagram and Facebook, because the ads are so underpriced. And I know it’s going to go away. And shit you buy for three
and $4 CPMs to get people, are gonna be 20 and $30, they’re not gonna be as affected, so actualized it’s gonna go
from $2 to $50 in my brain. And it’s gonna happen fast. Two years, everyone’s gonna be sad that they didn’t do more on
Instagram and Facebook right. They’re not gonna be
crying about algorithms, they’re gonna be crying
about where are people? Cus that’s what always happens. We’re not gonna be able to do that here, but what we can do here is understand our leadership position and
the underpriced (taps mic) hello? – [Man] Go acapella, it’s all good. – It’s true, I might!
(audience laughing) Hello? And so what I really am passionate about is for people in this room to understand how many options we do have. If you’re in this space,
even if you’re a brand, or if you’re a grower,
your permission to be the media company of this space is there. AKA every fucking person in this room needs to start thinking about
their podcast yesterday. Every single person in this room needs to be thinking about
writing a white paper and putting it on LinkedIn yesterday. Everybody here has to shift from crying and that’s what a lot of
you are doing, wah wah, Instagram and Facebook and
Google aren’t taking my money, nobody gives a fuck about your tears. Stop crying about what you can’t do and start figuring out what you can do. You can be dominating Instagram, spend the fucking 900 hours building out an influencer network so
they can fucking do posts and give you co-signs. You could. You could start a YouTube
vlog and document the journey of building your business
in a space along the way. I wish I could watch Zuck’s fucking vlog and how he built Facebook
you know if he was doing this 10 years ago. God forbid, AKA god willing,
your company explodes, that vlog of how you made
it is gonna be watched for the next 50 fucking
years in perpetuity. You can do a ton of shit, but have to shift our
marketing mindset in this space from being advertisers
to being media companies. We have to produce content. You have to produce content.
(audience members clapping) – [Woman] Woohoo! – Thanks, Mom. (audience laughing) Kidding, she’s not here. I think that the other thing that I would spend a ton of time on is more business development
within each other. You know if you really
clapped up the whole there’s abundance here, I
think if you make that switch in your head, if that
fucking made sense to you, if you look at it slightly different, it’s gonna open you up to
doing shit with other people. Everybody’s in the beginning especially and just every business, everybody thinks they’re
sitting on some secrets. That their ideas are worth a trillion. That they know something
that nobody else is seeing. That’s your fucking ego talking. You got no secrets, there is no IP, you don’t copyright shit no more. You execute. And I think the relationship
currency in this marketplace is very, very high. So these are the things that
are running through my head, these are the things that
are very obvious to me. And I think that what is
inevitably going to happen in this space is the market
is going to filter out. I’ve noticed a lot of clapping and some, I really enjoy it from, let
me make you one promise. Cus this happens every time, the authentic winners are gonna win. No matter how much you know, it’s like when your favorite
band gets big right? Like you love this band,
you go and see them, then they get big, and then you get mad at
them for getting big. It’s like this fucked up relationship. (audience laughing) That’s exactly what’s gonna happen here. It’s gonna happen. Some people are gonna get big, they’re gonna go to the next platform. But the reality is you
need to be thoughtful. The market speaks, just cus
you’ve been fucking with it. Let me make, let me, let me
help everybody here real good. Cannabis has been around much longer than you’ve been fucking around. (audience laughing) You’re not even close to OG. You grandfather’s
grandfather’s grandfather isn’t fucking OG so calm the fuck down. It’s very nice you’ve been
smoking weed for a minute. Or selling it, or marketing
it, or thinking about it, or legitimizing it, that’s fine. But way too many people at this moment spend half their energy on ideology when they could spending
that all on execution. I’ve sat with a lot of people
that were way ahead of me in social media but they wanted to debate why it was cooler when
all just nerds were on it and not club promoters and
they were just debating and debating and complaining
and pontificating and I was executing and
executing and executing. This is going to be one
of the biggest industries in the world (chuckling) period. Right there’s gonna be
plenty for everybody, the OGs, for all the people that love it and want it to stay special, good news. The market will always speak. Whoever brings the most
value to the end consumer gets to be the winner. Not your opinion of who’s doing it right. It will play out, and so what
I would say more than anything as somebody who has seen
these patterns play out over and over and over again, if you become a historian, watch what happened in hiphop
over the last 50 years. Watch what happened in tech
over the last 30 years. This is very simple, it’s very simple. If you really understand. And I guess where I’m coming
at is in the same energy that I was sad that I didn’t
take it from three to 200 and why I popped, there’s one reason why, for the people that have
discovered me in the last 18 months even though I’ve been around for a decade. It’s because when I saw it happen again, like Google, this time I
didn’t fuck up, I went all in. There was no hedge, and I
got the advantages from that, from a personal brand
awareness, standpoint, things of that nature. This whole fucking space is that moment. That’s what’s happening in the
macro in this entire space. There’s, take it from somebody
who could ship to this state and then couldn’t, lost
license, and couldn’t, like I have been through a regulated business since I was 15 years old
and really gave a fuck about my family business. I’ve been picked on by the authorities because I did it best, I fucking dealt with you know
one day I just got a letter and we were shipping to
Texas and now Texas picked one store in the country
that couldn’t ship anymore. I lost $4 million in one night. We’re a small business,
not funded you know. Like I been through it, I get it. And really I’m not looking
to be Debbie Downer but I want people to wrap
their fucking head around this, this is gonna be a long game. Regulations and rules
are here until you die. This is, listen. Be a historian, be a historian. Go read, I mean this,
take the 15 fucking hours and go read and watch
videos and documentaries of the first 15 years after
prohibition in America. If you do, you will start
understanding patterns. That will help you make
good business decisions on where you’re going. Understand the people that
sell the picks and the shovels make money during gold rushes. Understand why there’s only one or two Coca-Cola and Pepsis and Marlboros. Understand, be thoughtful. Because here’s the biggest
thing that you could do during this time, you need to be flexible. When I think back of tech,
and that’s really the one, the people that were building
the next big startup, the amount of homies that I have that were offered to be
number seven, number nine, number 15 at Facebook and Uber, but didn’t go cus they
were building Schmuber. (audience laughing) There’s a lot of you in here right now who have a business that
has no fucking shot. You think it does, you’re excited. Meanwhile the person’s literally
sitting right next to you is about to build a
billion dollar CPG brand. Your homies! She’s killing it and grows, and about four months
she’s gonna hit you up and be like yo, you wanna come
and join my shit and be this? And you’re gonna say no
because you got fucking ego and you think Schmuber’s
still gonna make it. And then in six years
you’re gonna come up to me and be like yo you gave this talk and this conference and
the whole Schmuber thing? Yeah that was me. I fucking held onto Schmuber,
number 17 at her startup made $44 trillion and I fucking
work at Bank of America. (audience laughing) There’s a reason I’m
painting you this picture. Not to make a joke or raz. This is stupid good in here. This is remarkable because guess what? Now in 2018, unlike 2005,
six, seven, eight, and nine, you don’t get to be number
seven at Uber and Facebook anymore because you’re part of the system. Those companies hire
bullshit people from Harvard. Do you understand? (man laughing) There’s a substan, you like that one? (audience laughing)
It’s a good one! I like it too and I’m glad you got it because let me tell you,
you will never ever ever forget this talk hopefully for one reason, not that I was so great
but because I’m gonna pound this fucking
message down your throat. This is a remarkably good time for you to be in this business. This crew is the creme of that business. This is that time. You know how many people
in here are gonna leave and go to different states
when shit goes down? This is gonna happen,
this is gonna happen. And I just hate it, and I’m
coming from a place of pain. And it’s not real pain
but it’s like there’s a, there’s a, there’s a
good Russian word for it, it’s called (speaking foreign language), it’s kinda like this mix of like it fucking sucks, they shouldn’ta fucked, it’s like there’s no
good, you know what it is? Yeah it’s like that’s the better word. There’s no English word
for the feeling that I have but there’s 50 people I’m thinking about from 2005-2008 that were in it. That were in it! Could’ve done one of 30
things that would’ve worked and didn’t for one reason, they didn’t understand how big it was. This is a mature industry
that’s just getting started. This is a mature industry, that is just getting started. You have to be thoughtful
when you were smart enough to be in it. If I’m sitting in there, I’m saying hello to everybody
and trying to desperately figure out how I can bring the most value to everybody in this room. I come to this space with two core things. And my partners know
this, at Green Street. Desperately I want to listen and learn. Just listen and learn. And two, disproportionately
figure out how I can help. How can I help? I think this keynote for me
was a first step in helping which is I’m painting
you a very clear picture of what the fuck’s going on, and you may know a helluva lot more about the nuances of this space but I fucking promise you right now, I know what I’m talking about
in this moment at this time. Cus it’s the only thing I’m
good at, I have one pitch. Mariano fucking Rivera, one pitch. And that pitch is I understand
what people are gonna do before they do it. And I know exactly how
this is gonna play out. So I implore you to take advantage of this remarkable moment in your industry where it’s not a baby, but
it hasn’t even started. And I highly recommend you understand how early platforms and industries start the ROI is in the fucking people. The ROI is in the fucking people. I promise you right now,
everybody is watching how you’re navigating right now. Everybody is watching. And there’s a lot of you,
and I fucking was in the hall for four minutes and there’s a lot of you unfortunately getting
seduced by the short term ROI and finances in the system,
and everybody knows it. And you will lose. Three of you will get
through and make that trade, that’s fine. We’ll never see you again. But most of you will have a scarlet letter for trying to take from it
instead of giving to it. So be thoughtful, navigate, understand. You know I’m sure a lot of you thought where I would go with the
keynote and I’m happy to and actually I’ll probably open it up since it’s a small room for some Q&A, but on the marketing front,
I’ll be honest with you. We’re gonna do plenty of
things and I know we’re working with a bunch of you
on the Greet Street side, but at the macro you have to
think that you’re a publisher not an advertiser. You have to produce content,
you have to produce content. And I highly recommend the audio space. I think that there’s
four to seven winning, cannabis industry, cannabis consumer, cannabis culture podcasts
and I think whoever moves first and best, first and best, will see a humongous
impact in their business. I fully expect an email
from somebody in this room in nine months saying
I heard you, I made it, it’s fucking killing it,
and we’re selling shit like fucking crazy, I
fucking love you Gary Vee. (audience laughing) My friends I am so
grateful to give this talk, and I’d like to open, I’d
like to get more specific cus I gave you my thesis. So to bring more value
I’d like to open Q&A for a couple questions, but
I wish you nothing but health and thank you for having me. (audience applauding) – [Man] This mic’s a little better. – Thank you. Thank you. Anybody have a question? Awesome. Cool, you’re gonna run? Awesome. – [Man] What do you think about Elon Musk and his stock going down cus he was live, smoking a blunt? – I see we’re starting off easy. (audience laughing) Couple things run through my mind. First, I think that Elon
doesn’t give a fuck! (audience laughing) There’s nothing better
in life, besides health, the biggest thing I wish on you, is being in a position to not give a fuck! (audience cheering) I think Elon understands brand. I think Elon lost some points with people that are about to die, and won a ton.
(audience applauding) And won a ton of points with
people that aren’t born yet. I think Elon will be okay. (audience laughing) Questions. Anywhere, yep. Get you in a bit, I’ll get you. (man drowned out) Yes I remember. – [Man] I had an agency that started, we saw a client a few years back. And now I’m moving into
the cannabis space. – Yes.
– At an agency. – Yes. – [Man] The challenge I’m having is I’m just taking your
advice and telling them, brands content, need to create content. What is your advice in convincing all of these emerging brands
into making that investment into creating brand
content that provides value and you know building the email list, and all those different things. How do you project on
convincing them to understand? – I think the biggest thing an agency, and to be very frank, the
biggest thing a person should do is not convince anybody. I spend zero time trying
to convince people. VaynerMedia, you know this, VaynerMedia was a social media agency. We sold $100 million a year on shit that nobody really wanted
to buy, you know this. Like convincing them is
a complete waste of time. What I would say is communicate with them, make relationships, give your pitch. When they don’t go with you
right, they don’t go with you, when somebody goes with
you, I’d rather you ask 8000 and get nine clients than
dwell on 37 to try to convince cus the energy will amortize and you’ll actually build a business. And here’s the best part
of getting 2000 nos. After you go and fucking dismantle it, you get to look at em and
say you fucked up, dick! (audience laughing) I mean it. Like the only thing better than yes is no. (audience laughing) I mean it. When you’re good enough, right? Yo. – [Man] I’d like to thank
you very much for your time, I think everybody in here
values your time tremendously. – Thank you. – [Man] With that being said,
I think the largest challenge that a lot of these brands
are facing right now is that the consumer is vault. Because of the tax rep that
we’re forced to deal with in the dispenser market, it’s elevated price
structure which put a lot of traditional purchasers
outside of the traditional, legal ways to purchase cannabis. – Yep. – To score outside.
– That’s right. – [Man] What are the top three strategies you can give to these brands to identify and build brand
loyalty with their new consumer? – Look I think number one,
two, and three is patience. Like (chuckling) like it’s, you’ve gotta wrap your
head around patience. Right like I think event
marketing will help right? I think content will help. You know the reason why you do a podcast. Look if you make a podcast
called 43-year-old Mom, that’s literally the name of it. And you’re targeting housewives and high net worth individuals who are gonna be in the edible space because that’s who you’re targeting, you gotta really just go
after your target audience with content that they’ll consume, that’s always been the case. But the reason I said one,
two, and three is patience is cus that’s what it’s gonna take. There’s still a fucking mass of stigma! Go fucking read the first
15 years of prohibition. How many people in here
for life, raise your hand? For life, you want to be
in this industry for life. Raise your hand, and it’s okay not to be, I’m just curious, raise
your hand for life. Cool, super easy for everybody
who just raised their hand. If you’re in here for a quick score, and by the way a quick score
might be seven or four years, not even months, that’s okay. Like I don’t think we should boo you out of the fucking building. Like this is America, do you. I just think you need
to be smart and realize there’s a fucking stigma! Guys Nancy Regan did a good fucking job. (audience laughing) She’s a fucking gangster! That’s a fucking branding lady! Go watch it. They figured it out. Like don’t get it confused, that takes a long time to unwind. So like my big thing is, it’s bro I’ve lived it my whole life. Social media, I got shit
on, everything was a no. And I was a wine guy! I was a wine guy peddling
social media to big companies. They didn’t fucking wanna hear from me. They Googled me and found one video I said “fuck” 38 times
they said, “No thank you.” (audience laughing) I deployed patience. And so you know I think like, it’s gonna be very easy to find them when Google releases their restrictions. Or when TV, like there’s
a lot that will happen. Plenty of money comes in,
buy fucking commercials. There’s a lot you’ll be able to do, but I’m telling you my guy, it’s one, two, and three is patience. You know everybody just,
like this is cultural, this is the majority of my
Instagram fucking content. Everybody thinks making
a million dollars a year is the beginning of
making it in a world where $440,000 a year is the top 1% and above of the earners in America. My biggest problem with
everybody’s brands here is they just have to wait. We’re early. Like internet ’96 when no
one was buying wine from me. And I mean nobody. The first year, we did
17,000 for the year. My dad, Sasha Vaynerchuk was pissed. (audience laughing) He got a lot happier three years later when it was four million. It’s early! And the good news is with
the way the taxes work, you’re all in the same boat. It’s not like he doesn’t
have to pay them and he does thus he has an advantage,
this is now the market. You know cheap alcohol was
when it was bootlegged? History bro. – [Woman] Hi. Hello? – Yep, we can hear you. Just. (woman speaking away from microphone) Can you get it closer to your mouth? There you go. – [Woman] Can you hear me? – Yes.
– Okay. So my question is, do
you have a sole mantra or something that inspires you daily to keep doing what you’re
doing and/or keep you grounded? – Yeah. It’s called nobody gives
a fuck about my feelings. (audience laughing) (audience applauding) And I (laughing) I appreciate it. I’ll tell you why it’s
an important mantra. We are living through right
now, especially in America, look I don’t wanna get
like super macro here, but here’s what happened. We should be just getting
out of a depression or a massive recession. We, and this is not political, on the back of the Democrats
and the Republicans, we as Americans in 2009
didn’t have the appetite to eat shit, so we bailed
the whole thing out. We are in the most ludicrous
generation of entitlement of all time and this isn’t the kids, the fucking the parents are the ones that raised these fucking kids. This is the parents and the
kids and the grandparents. We have lived through abundance and growth and easy street for a long fucking time. Of course not all of
us, some circumstances, we got plenty of issues. But in the fucking macro, so
the reason I’m always happy, every morning and why
my mantra works for me is the only people in the world
that listen to you complain are other fucking losers and your mom. (audience laughing) And so like once you go there and realize that nobody’s listening, cus here’s why, and I really
want people to hear this, this comes from empathy. People have their own fucking problems. People don’t get it. Really you know what the biggest, scariest things in the world are? Having too little and having too much. When you’re poor as fuck and on Welfare, you don’t think the trust
fund baby who’s got 100 mil’s got it bad, you think that’s the greatest. What you don’t realize is that kid is always gonna be told
that he never made it and he’s got a drug problem and fucked up and on meds and at the psychiatrist cus his game is broken
before he even started. The bottom line is my dear, everybody’s got fucking problems too. Because when it’s yours, it’s yours. And so I navigate happy
because I’m just grateful for what I have and
other people have more, other people have less. When I had a whole lot less I
was happy with the fuck I had. And I just every day, recognize that. That, if I’m in my own head and realize that everybody’s got their own shit too. Then I don’t spend time
complaining and dwelling, I spend time on doing. (audience applauding) – [Man] First of all
thank you for your time, this is awesome and my question is, do you think it’s a good
idea to create technology and start with cannabis
industry and then branch out of the cannabis industry because– – That’s interesting.
– I’m working on something that it’s to end discrimination
during the hiring process. I think that’s a big problem.
– Love that. Love that.
– In this industry. But I also feel like that’s a big problem in every other industry. – Couldn’t be more passionate
about you doing that. That will work. When there’s macro problems, oftentimes fixing something in the micro leads to you solving the bigger issue. So many of the biggest things ever started off feeding a
niche and then realized that it worked for more. And so, bro! Instagram was made for photographers. (audience laughing) So yeah if you can solve, if you decide, cus you’re in this space
and you understand it, that if you can stop, you know if you can get into that place where
can get all the data and not know who the person
is and make hiring decisions. You know you’re gonna learn two things, one, it will work. And two, it’s not the software. It’s that we need less fuck
faces making decisions. (audience applauding) – [Man] We do have one more. Just a simple question. What’s a list of your books on prohibition that you would recommend? – You know what’s funny,
that’s a great question. I’ve never read a book on it. Like I’ve read like six books. But I read.
(audience laughing) Just telling you the truth. I’ve written five. (audience laughing) Read six. I’m laughing at what those books were, it’s like Joe Nameth! (audience laughing) But I would go much deeper into Google. I’m also super into like
documentaries more so so like literally.
– Documentaries? – I don’t because it’s literally been Google City, USA for me. Like I don’t remember shit. I consume, it’s in, it’s out. Like I would just go down. And you know what the
best thing about like Google and Wikipedia is? It’s like and even Instagram
accounts it’s like, there’s something amazing
about the internet where you start on one thing
and then nine hours later you’re like, you’re like
reading about panda bear shit. (audience laughing) You’re like you’re like how
the fuck did I get here! (laughing) You know so, I think, if you can stay disciplined
and you stay within prohibition like it’s amazing what’s actually out there information wise. But to be honest even the fact that you’re asking that question,
it gets me so pumped. And knowing a little
bit about your business because you have
flexibility in some products and not in others. Like it’s crazy to me that you, cus I know
enough about your business. May read a story about how Anheiser-Busch did this with the beer
barrels during this time which and you’ll be like
fuck that’s what’s going, you know like that’s
where this shit gets good. What gets good if your
brain synthesizes history that allows it to
understand what’s happening in the contemporary world
that’s tried and true, you can take that advantage. I understood everybody was
gonna be on cell phones. I bet my life that the
i-Phone was gonna be big. Right guys? Facebook is an app company. Facebook owns WhatsApp, Facebook, right? Instagram, they’re apps. It’s a trillion dollar fucking company that is apps on the i-Phone. I knew that was gonna work
because what I understood is you need a platform and then everything’s built on top of it right? ABC, NBC, CBS, built on
top of the television. Right, look for patterns. And I think if you do that you’ll find and so I don’t have an answer in detail. The good news is it’s super easy to find. I’m okay, sneak him in, sneak him in. Yeah. – [Man] Heya. – Hey brother, last one. – [Man] Long time no see,
but fun time to represent. I don’t know if you wanna New Jersey. (laughing) So anyway, I saw something
about e-cigarettes. – Okay. – [Man] And we’re kind of
running into the issue right now or soon to be running into an
issue with their marketability cus they feel like it might
be branded towards children. So in with that, is this something where you kind of see that coming with cannabis and is it something where you can kind of get in while the getting is good and then make sure you stay away from it once the legislation comes? Or is it something where you
think ahead to kind of say no I don’t go there.
– No. – [Man] I just think that’s different. – No look, I think
that’s a great question. I think everybody here knows, and this is kind of you know. I think you can see I’ve taken
a lot of things in a macro cus I thought that was the best value, like I’m very fearful that people think this is all gonna be figured
out and regulation like cool! In two or six years we’ll get a Democrat and four years after that
like, cool I can’t wait. In 10 years this’ll be set, I’m 41, at 51 cool, I’m good with that, 20 years. This is forever. This is forever, you have made a decision to be in an industry that
will be over-regulated for the rest of your life. I promise you that. And that’s super okay. I did the first 20 years
of my business life in a super regulated business. But it still sucks compared
to not regulated businesses! (laughing) Like I don’t know what else to tell you. And so much like the
admiration I have for Travis, I could’ve never built Uber. Cus Travis had a DNA that was
good at fighting City Hall. I’m scared of City Hall,
that’s just my DNA. So I think everybody here has
to make a decision for them if they have the muscle
memory and the stomach to deal with the ebbs and flows of things. The toughest thing, and
anybody will know this, the number one toughest
thing to me in life, is not having little cus you don’t know. It’s having little, getting
something, getting a lot, and then losing it. People going backwards just struggle. And I think the toughest thing
in a regulated business is cool, they open up Illinois. A couple people here have Chicago roots or they move, they go, and they crush it, they saw what happened in Cali. They went in, they fucking kill it. And then for some reason
seven years later, they reregulate it, and it’s gone. Tough, that is what you’re signing up for. And I think the better, kinda like nobody gives a
fuck about your feelings. Right the quicker you understand
this is gonna be regulated in perpetuity, then you can start really starting to think about how you navigate and how you go about it. I do think the bigger companies
you see the consolations we see the, we see what’s going on. I think that will help. And that will be a stabilizing force. I wouldn’t be here if I thought
this was so unstable, right. But I think that you’re not gonna know. And honestly, living in fear and whatifs is a bad business strategy. So I think you pay attention
to what you wanna do, I highly recommend you go in deep into the thing you’re
most passionate about. One great thing about the world right now is it’s more global than ever. One terrible thing about Americans is we’re very insular and we
really just think about America so if I could get you
to start thinking it, obviously this space is thinking. You guys never gave such a fuck about Canada like you do now. (audience laughing) You guys couldn’t fucking
name one city in Canada seven years ago, now you now
suburbs of fucking Winnipeg I know you! (audience laughing) So, I think more of that. You know thinking a
little bit more global. Like if you, if you don’t
have a fucking passport or you don’t travel, or
you don’t like traveling, like breaking your patterns
and trying to get into that. Cus I do think global will be a way for a lot of people here to subsidize some of the vulnerability. America’s a very funny place. Funnier than we realize a lot of time so need to be thoughtful,
but I’m a big fan of you sleep in the bed that you made. So I think going back
to that great question that young lady asked, I think if you’re
signing up to be in this, and you’re gonna be such a
fucking genius in 30 years for being in early. Then you better be prepared for all the punches in the fucking mouth. And if it doesn’t go your way, you’ve gotta be ready for that. To me, this space reminds me of UFC. This isn’t boxing. Everybody in here will have an L. Everybody will lose. But I think if you sign up for that and you understand it, it
makes you so much more capable to win in this space. So I wish you guys the best. I’m so grateful that I
was able to give this talk at this time, it means a lot to me. I’m super excited to get to know the majority of you over the
next two or three decades, and I wish you great
health and great success thank you so much. (audience applauding) Thank you! Thank you, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. – Gary Vaynerchuk everybody! – Thank you guys. – [Host] Thank you to everybody. – Can I see your phone? Just trying to see if that card hooked up. (mellow music)

47 thoughts on “How to Rise Above the Competition in an Emerging Market | Hall of Flowers 2018 Keynote”

  1. I will say it again because I commented on some other video from this channel about this subject: the easiest way to build a business is to really analyze what works in the US, even start something small there in order to really taste the environment. Once you have your lessons, move to an emerging market ( it can be an emerging industry or a different country) and apply that, with confidence, at scale. Sure, first you need to see if it's something fits culturally. If it is, educate yourself by watching Gary's videos on the power of social media and business mindset development and you are good to go. You have better chances to succeed than 90% of the people who will start a business next year.

  2. That talk somehow has a different kind of passion in Gary, really hope the people in that industry take to heart what he said there and work according to that!

  3. This was fucking brilliant. So much value for anyone paying attention.
    I'm grateful that you are in this industry already and impacting the future owners of it the way you do.

  4. If I was GaryVee, I'd be scared for my life. One day an entrepreneur is going to wake up and realize he can beat the market by slowing everyone else down. With the amount of value GaryVee puts out, there's no way he's not scared for his life! He just said something really important in this video and the only person in the comments got it at second-hand best. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y. 25:27–26:13. I don't watch GaryVee without my Evernote open. Just imagine working for him, I wouldn't want to be him, but be around him. I want to be able to see him and look him in the eye and just listen to him speak. Gary! Much Love!

  5. So cool seeing Gary speak about cannabis. I remember sending him e-mails 2 years ago about the industry here in Canada. I'm still in the industry and it's booming more than ever! Awesome to be able to hear his perspectives.

  6. Thanks for the video Gary! You are so right in creating content. As I am building a new media / think tank, creating more content is VITAL for us. The fact that we are operating in French makes it a bit harder in regards to reaching people but as you've said NUMEROUS time, content is key.

  7. Watched this video 4X to sift through all the nuggets. What I took from this is.

    You’re a Media / Edutainment Company within your products & services.

    Educate your customers / clients with audio, visual, writing on these major platforms to get work and experiment.

    From these experiments you hone your business skills and learn how to get customers.

    Look for patterns and connect the dots. 🧪 🧪🧪

    Thank you Gee!

  8. Obviously, fuck illegal pot but also, fuck legal pot, too. Nobody needs this regulation except for useless politicians seeking to justify their useless jobs.

  9. One thing I try to tell people about social networks…and their posting everything that happens: no one gives a fuck about that beer, that night, that new car, or the kids in a party! Post things that add value to the rest of masses….

  10. Im a photographer but Instagram boobs and almost naked its what gets you there. I sticked to my content but its hard to compete with such almost erotic content.

  11. Putting up a business is something that needs a lot of research and studies. Not only because you need to know what works in the country you are in but also how will it benefit your interests. When I started in Affiliate Marketing, it has caught my interest because I learned that there are so many ways to earn and a lot of possibilities to enjoy it. Proving myself in this industry was not easy, but it is all worth it after all the hard work and the amazing outcome from it. Love all the motivating energy in this video.

  12. Thanks Gary! I'm a music producer but this information is completely relevant to my industry as well. He's inspired me to start my own channel and I just dropped my first production tutorial. Appreciate everyone who stops by to listen and am super excited about the growth I've been receiving.

  13. I’m in product development engineering in civil industry in Australia. Epic speech and concepts that too many people don't respect.

  14. How long did it take for the first successful public alcoholic beverage company to emerge after Prohibition ended?

  15. Love you stuff Gary you audio is not smart,carry a small 4 channel board so you can manage you and your q&a audio your self so this does not happen.I say this with love. Todd jr.

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