Daring Claim of the Day: Gary Vaynerchuk is the New Alexander Hamilton
Wow, Eddie! That IS daring!
But not as wild a claim as you might think.
Among his many accolades, Hamilton was a Founding Father of an entire country. But he was alive centuries before the first smart phone, let alone the emergence of social media.
Vaynerchuk is one of the leading players in the current social media game, yet he did not create social media as Hamilton created our economic system, nor will he likely garner “Vaynerchuk: An American Musical” anytime soon.
So what gives, Ed?
Sure, the two men differ in many ways including time period, circumstances, and given career. But when it comes to work ethic and people skills, the two couldn’t be more alike.
Both Hamilton and Vaynerchuk earned their success through hard work. Here’s a quote that sums up Gary’s view of earning success: “I have never seen anyone increase their natural talent, but I have seen people transform themselves by increasing their hustle.” He then defines Hustle as “maximizing the energy you put into what you are passionate about…Hustle until there’s not a single drop of juice left.” Anyone who has seen the hit Broadway musical or read Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton knows how unparalleled Hamilton was in his determination and drive to work harder and longer hours than anyone else in order to get ahead and serve his country. Major William Pierce of Georgia said of Hamilton, “there is no skimming over the surface of a subject with him. He must sink to the bottom to see what foundation it rests on.” Hamilton realized then as Vaynerchuk realizes now: you get out of life what you put into it. Just like Vaynerchuk, when it came to knowledge, the more Hamilton ate, the hungrier he got. Hamilton, like Vaynerchuk, did everything above and beyond, which is why their lives are above and beyond!
With many of Hamilton and Vaynerchuk’s thoughts/sayings, one could almost play “Who Said It?” on account of how eerily similar they are in meaning. In Chernow’s book, it is said of the founding father, “throughout his career, he operated in the realm of the possible, taking the world as it was, not as he wished it to be, and he often inveighed against a dogmatic insistence on perfection.” This sounds like a colonist-talk translation of Vaynerchuk constantly talking about betting on strengths opposed to worrying about weaknesses! Vaynerchuk also advises, “smart work will never replace hard work; it only supplements it.” While Hamilton was incredibly resourceful and efficient, he could have never accomplished all that he did if he did not also put in countless hours of hard work every single day. Vaynerchuk says of founders and brand names, “You want people to recognize and remember your name? Earn it.” Hamilton may be the household name “ten dollar, founding father” everyone knows today, but he was born with nothing and only earned a name for himself through pure, relentless perseverance. Speaking of perseverance, Hamilton said, “Perseverance in almost any plan is better than fickleness and fluctuation.” This mimics Vaynerchuk’s mindset of always moving forward, even through the hard times.
Few can match either man when it comes to charisma. Vaynerchuk advises, “provide 51% of the value in a relationship, whether it’s with an employee, a client, or a stranger.” While Hamilton had some fierce political enemies, when it came to people that liked him, they LOVED him. This was because of Hamilton’s unparalleled ability to talk to people and make them feel special, regardless of whether they were a family member, friend, or stranger on the street.
Also, both Gary and Alex share a comfort with public speaking. “If you’re comfortable with your subject matter and speaking from the heart and from experience, you’ll always sound like a pro”, says Vaynerchuk. Hamilton was known for his extremely long yet amazingly elegant and thought-out speeches that wowed audiences ranging from townsfolk to the U.S. congress.
In his book, Vaynerchuk includes a quote from poet Robert Browning: “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” Gary talks about his biggest fear being a lack of desire to continue pursuing goals. He says he wants to be thinking ahead and working toward the next goal up until his dying breath. Even on his deathbed, “Hamilton, struggling for breath, promised that if he survived he would repudiate dueling.” He knew he was going to die, yet he still acted in character by thinking about his family but also looking ahead to working toward a better America. Man, these men are NON-STOP!
One of Vaynerchuk’s mantras (and an entire chapter of his book) is Self-Awarness. He says he feels confident making outlandish comments about himself because of how well he knows himself. Hamilton said of himself, “Perhaps my sensibility is the effect of an exaggerated estimate of my services to the United States, but on such a subject every man will judge for himself.” Again, the wording may differ, but the meanings have an uncanny resemblance! Also, Vaynerchuk has an awareness of his surroundings and future trends in social media as well as Hamilton had awareness of the future of America. Vaynerchuk says, “Skate where the puck is going to be, not where it already is.” He is very big picture in all of his business ventures and investments, always keeping the long road in mind. While Hamilton’s adversary, Thomas Jefferson, predicted that America would remain mostly rural, Hamilton had amazing foresight about just how industrial America’s future would be. Jefferson was going toward where the “puck” already was, while Hamilton was going where the “puck” would inevitably be.
Alright, Ed, we get it! You’ve proven “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that Gary Vaynerchuk is the modern Alexander Hamilton. Why should I care? Can I get back to jamming to the Hamilton soundtrack now?
Besides the fact that it is a neat, unique comparison, this matters because Gary Vaynerchuk is someone that should be just as important to millennials as their Hamilton soundtrack. That is, if they want to succeed on social media.
Vaynerchuk is outstanding in his ability to inspire hard work in millions of his followers, a majority of whom have yet to and probably never will meet him in person. He uses a wide variety of social platforms as well as photos, videos, articles, gifs, and graphic designs in ways anyone remotely interested in upping their social media game should take notes on (I personally have about 4 pages of notes dedicated specifically to Gary Vaynerchuk). While my personal social media game has been on the rise ever since I started taking Lisa Buyer’s #SocialMediaManagment course at UF, I still have a long way to go to reach Gary’s level of social media dominance and influence. If there is anything big-name brands and everyday people can learn from GaryVee and his unique style, it’s that people won’t just allow you to be yourself, they’ll LOVE you for it! When people think “Vaynerchuk” they think “authentic”, “raw”, and “real”. So many companies try to be politically correct that his style comes off as refreshing and magnetizing. I personally will work my hardest to make all of my content as unfiltered and personal as possible in hopes that my audience will love me for it as Gary’s audience loves him for it.
I leave you with this quote by Vaynerchuk, because it sums up how perspective in all aspects of life, not just social media, makes all the difference: “It’s amazing how as soon as you make the shift from ‘I can’t’ to ‘Why can’t I?’ you go from defense to offense, and as everyone knows, the best place to score is always on offense.”
All quotes are from Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton and Gary Vaynerchuk’s #AskGaryVee. (I highly recommend both books!)
And for more things Datz, check out eddiedatz.com!