Tom Bilyeu on Quest Nutrition, Truth About Patience, and Teaching Entrepreneurship | #AskGaryVee 299
– On this episode Tom Bilyeu stops by and we talk impact motherfuckers. (upbeat music) Hey everybody, this is Gary Vaynerchuk and this is episode 299
of the #AskGaryVee Show. Which before I introduce
Tom, and get into the Q & A Facebook, and Instagram,
I know you’re watching. Instagram, if you wanna get a question in you gotta go to Facebook, or are we gonna do that
email thing we did last time? – [Andy] We can. – I liked it. – [Andy] I liked it too. – Cool, so we’re going to. Instagram, Facebook, if you’re watching, if you want to ask a question to Tom who’s an incredible entrepreneur, who’s an incredible new
member of the Vayner family for a second time, we’re
gonna get into that. We’re gonna announce a little fun stuff. Maybe a little preview. I know Zach’s already freaking out. (laughs) We can do that? That’s locked in? Or not yet? Locked in right?
– Oh locked, yeah yeah yeah. – So then I’m gonna give a little preview, have a little fun, break
our announcement system. What is it? Gary Vee Team Good. If you want your question at, what are you, what are
you worried about Max? He wants it closer?
– Yeah. – That’s alright, fuckin’ figure, what are you doing with
your computer otherwise? Yeah, cool, yeah, it’s fine. Um, [email protected] put in your– – [Andy] Question in the subject email. – Put your question in the subject email and your phone number in the body. If you want to ask Tom a question, during this show, Facebook and Instagram, it’s [email protected] Put your question in the title and your phone number in the body. We’re gonna ask a question a minute this is episode 299 which means, A, we need a real
strategy for episode 300, B, I’m super pumped you’re here. – Dude, I’m psyched to be here, man. – Tell the Vayner nation who you are. – My name is Tom Bilyeu, I’m one of the co-founders
of Quest Nutrition and now I’m doing Impact Theory. Came up as an entrepreneur
because I was super frustrated with my inability to get a movie made the way that I wanted to. And I met these two successful
entrepreneurs and they said, “Look dude, if you want
to control the art, “you’ve got to control the resources. “So come with us and get rich.” And we all thought it
would take about 18 months, thought this is amazing. It took 15 years. – How old were you at the time? – At the time, like 25, 26.
– You know what, this is such a good place to go to right before I let you continue. Like, this is my whole damn thesis, of like lack of impatience and
like not contextualizing time when you’re 25, 18 months
seems like a long time. – Yup.
– We’re gonna put in a lot of work. – Yeah, it’s so true. – And now, in your 40’s, 15
years doesn’t seem so long. It’s context of time. – Yeah, for sure.
– It’s really cool, okay. – [Tom] So– – What were you guys gonna first do? – Ah, started in technology.
– Yup. – And chased that, it was
literally chasing money. That was it. My sole focus, I woke up every day saying, “I’m going to get rich.” It was the like centralized thesis of my life. – Do you think that that’s
what made you successful? Or do you think
– No. – When you changed that thesis– – Precisely. When I changed that thesis. So doing that, I actually did on paper,
was a multi-millionaire. But I had so burnt out. I went and quit, and I gave
the equity back and said, “Look, I’m not gonna cross “the finish line.”
– You had equity worth more than seven
figures or seven figures. Just like a lot of people
running around now, who are rich on paper, but when the economy collapses and that company goes out of business, they’re gonna be at zero. – Yeah, people do not
understand the difference between real money and paper money, man. It’s crazy. – Tom, this is why I keep putting out the content I’m putting out. I’m like cool, I’m glad that
you work at this startup that’s now worth a billion and you’re worth 11 million on paper, but until the exit, you’re worth zero. – Zero.
– And when the economy collapses and
there’s no fund raising around and your direct to consumer gigolo company doesn’t make any, doesn’t, can’t raise more capital, then it goes for zero.
– Yeah. – Like every one of these kids has to learn about the
crash of 2001 and 2007. But they don’t.
– Right. – It’s fuckin’ bad, anyway. So that’s, on paper you had money, – Yup.
– You did it for how many years? – That was about the
six and a half year mark was when I said, “I gotta bounce.” – So for six and a half years you did something that made you look like you had something on paper but because you were burnt out
and it didn’t feel right, you gave it back, which
in essence made, meant, you made no money?
– Correct. – So you’re basically starting over? – Yup.
– Yup. – 1000%
– Tell ’em one more time. – Yeah, I started over. Because I wanted to feel alive. – You were 32.
– Yeah. – And you were worth nothing.
– And fuckin’ unhappy. Nothing.
– That’s right. – So.
– That’s me, though, Andy. I built my Dad’s store for him, and at 30 fuckin’ four, I was worth nothing. Like,
– Let that hang in the air. – I mean, yeah. I need it to hang in the
air because everybody like, looks at us and I wish people understood. – The one thing I really
wish they understood, is that, dude, I totally
get chasing the Lambos and all this, I actually get it but
at the end of the day as somebody who lived that, and tried that and thought
that it was gonna be rad, I’m just telling you it fuckin’ sucks. Like it will drain your soul
in a way you can’t predict until you’re doing it.
– Yeah. – And once you–
– And it’s super fun up front. Like at half time you’re
like this was exactly right. – The first three years were awesome. – Exactly.
– Because, but not because of the money, it was awesome because I
was getting more powerful. – I get it.
– So I was learning business I was like fuck,
– I get it. – Like this is amazing. I felt like I controlled my destiny. I was like, this is the shit. And then like, after a while
it started to take from me. It started to erode me as a person and I was losing my relationships, it was just, it was gnarly. And my wife pulled me aside and was like, “This is now damaging our relationship.” ‘Cause I was so unhappy at work, I didn’t want to talk about it at work, which meant I didn’t talk to her about the number one thing in my life, which is bananas. I was just doing it ass backwards. This is all pre, like, social media. So when I went in and left, it was like, I have no idea what I’m gonna do, I just know I’m gonna pursue something that makes me feel alive.
– So what happened next? – So I go and I quit, and
they say the famous words, which were, “We could do this without you, “but we don’t want to.” And so I was like, well, I’ve already done the
hard thing which is quit, so let me tell you the truth of who I am, ’cause I’ve been telling you
that all I want is to get rich and that I’ll do anything
to build this business– – [Gary] But let me tell you the truth. – Yeah, and it was camaraderie
is a higher value for me than pursuing money. Meaning and purpose is
what I’m really driven by, I need to be passionate
about what I’m doing, and so for three very different– – Did you say it that
articulately, or are you? – It was pretty close, man. Articulate’s my game, so–
– Yeah. – Yes.
– Yeah. – I was as pretty on point with it, yeah. – Even in that emotional state? – In the meeting when I quit
– Yeah, that’s what I meant.
– I was a fuckin’ mess. – That’s what I was asking. – So no, there I was like (mumbling) – Yeah (mumbles). – Exactly. And then they said, “Look, let’s
go out to dinner and talk.” And then once we got there, then yeah, I was back to focused.
– And were you equal partners with these individuals? – Not then but when we did Quest which is of course what is born
out of this moment of crisis we were equal partners. – So this tech thing you had, you quit, you guys calmed down, decide to become equal, a third, a third, I assume,
I’m just asking, partners in what literally you went
from that to starting Quest? – [Tom] Yep. – A direct-to-consumer? – [Tom] Yep. – Health bar?
– Yeah, so literally we went from technology to food and everybody was like,
what the hell are you doing? That’s such a bizarre step.
– What year was that? – This was 2009 when
we stared conceiving it and then 2010 when we
officially started selling. – And you sold it first
direct-to-consumer? – Oh yes. – What was the original Quest bar model? What version of direct-to-consumer? – So we were online, it was online only. You would come to our website and we would sell to you there. Literally just off of our website. – And how were you, you were doing paid
media traffic arbitrage? – No, we were doing– – [Gary] Influencer marketing? – Exclusively but it wasn’t
called that really back then, at least we didn’t know that. So we were just out there on Facebook.
– I didn’t call it back then either. – Yeah, literally like, I would drive, this is a real story, if you seemed like you
might be an influencer, I would drive the fucking
bars to your house if you were anywhere near us and park around the block ’cause my car was such a piece of shit, I didn’t want you to see that we were just putting this all together. And I would deliver the bar in the hopes that I could make some
sort of impression on you about what we were doing. – Were you savvy enough already hoping they would post on social or even was it just? – Most definitely.
– Yeah. So you’re like, get this on social. – Yes, 1000%. Our whole thing was–
– And they didn’t know how valuable that was? – Correct. – And that’s the arb? – Correct, yeah. And it was, I mean you obviously know and you’ve talked a lot about this, it was a really cool time if you were doing something
real and it was beautiful and people could really resonate
with what you were doing. So our thing was community,
community, community, add value to people’s lives, don’t try to sell them shit and make their life better.
– And kids at home, this was not just social, like he probably, and he’s
gonna answer, maybe not, this was like even when a
forum post or on your own blog, attention was in a lot of
different places back then. – Oh yeah, dude forums,
we lived on forums, it was crazy. – Guys forums, way worse
versions of Reddit. – And it changes so fast. Like the one just constant in the game is that whatever you’re doing today is not gonna work six months from now– – Which is my strength ’cause I’m unemotional about
where the attention is. Bro, I’m telling you, I can’t wait, I’m literally sometimes
laying on a flat bed flight on a red eye and I’m like, which is just the last
time I thought of it so I’m gonna use that example, and dude, I can’t wait for
their not to be social media, like none of it ’cause I’m gonna be dominating whatever the fuck is happening and then everybody will
understand my thesis more because right now, they don’t understand that I’ve been day trading
attention my whole life and that this just happens
to be when I most popped so this is what you think I am. – Oh no, I get the game, trust me. – I know you do. Okay, so then you built a
monster fucking company. – Then we built a monster fucking company and it blew up and in five years, we
went from not existing to being valued at over a billion dollars doing hundreds of millions in revenue and it was in manufacturing, dude. Like really think about that. It’s one thing to do it in software. – No, no, no, you’re preaching. – [Tom] Yeah, it was bananas. – When the cocoa trees
are wiped out by the rain, people don’t get it- – Almonds, man.
– It’s what I tell all my team in house. I’m like, “Guys, we’re going
in and pitching content. “Their meeting before this “was their supplier for the Fava beans, “which is the core ingredient
in the product died “and the family’s selling the farm “and they can’t make Cocoa Puffs.” – That’s real. – Right? You know better than I do. – It’s crazy. And you get locked into, we got locked into an
almond contract at one point that has a material
impact on your business. So it’s like, in fact, somebody
was just asking me outside, what makes you unique? And my thing is, I’ve spent the last almost
20 years building businesses, sitting down, forecasting, sales meetings, dealing with retailers who are pissed, trying to figure out channel conflict. What is channel conflict? You know what I mean? When you’re having to do all that shit, suddenly, coming and putting
a mic in front of you, it’s just like, you’ve
got a wealth of shit that you’ve had to do
and encounter to draw on. – When you first discovered me and as we got to know each
other the last couple years, is that the part that was
most interesting to you, that as you were starting
to build your content, personal brand and content,
ambitions and doing it well, that you’re like, oh, Gary’s like me, he’s an operator and
does content as a person? – The real answer to that question is I was so pissed off by you. – Really? – [Tom] Listen to this, listen to this.
– This is amazing, I’m pumped right now, I don’t think I know this. – I start doing, before it’s called social
media, all that stuff, we’re doing it and we’re fucking doing it
better than anybody else. I was about community when no one was talking about that. I was about authenticity and transparency before those became buzz words, just going fucking ham because that’s where I was. I’m not chasing money
anymore, mother fuckers, I’m doing something I care about, I’m saving my mom and my sister, this is real for me. So because of that, and it was coming from somewhere so real, we were doing social before anybody else, creating all of our
own content, everything and it was so like for real, I wanted to touch people’s lives. And so we blew up. And I felt like I’m King Shit. I get it, I get something nobody else gets, that the number one most
powerful marketing vehicle is being a good person. This is fucking crazy. We’re living in this weird time where just because I actually give a shit and if I did something like my product didn’t work
for you, whatever the fuck, not only will I take it back, refund you, I’ll give you more for
free, whatever right and it just right time. Then my team starts going, “Tom, you’ve got to step out front, dude, “you’ve got to step out front. “We want to start filming you.” And I was like, “Absolutely fucking not, “that is so weird.” I want to be in the background, definitely not my personality to want to step out front and then you started popping off. And they kept rubbing you in my face. And they’re like, “Look
at this mother fucker, “look what he’s doing, dude. “He’s popping off, “listen to his message.” And I was listening and I’m like, this fucking guy’s real. Every word out of his
mouth is fucking real and if people take his advice, and that’s the thing
I used to laugh about, I was like, guaranteed, most people are not
actually taking his advice but I’m gonna start taking his advice because it’s real and I can see and I saw that you saw from a
personal branding perspective, what I missed. And so this is probably
about four years ago, I was like, alright, this
dude fucking figured it out and now I’m in second place. I do not fucking like second place so I need to start hustling and I need to get a show and I need to do this shit. And so we would literally just like how do we bring all this stuff that I’ve been doing behind the scenes and how do we translate
it in front of the camera? But it really born out of
watching you leap frog me ’cause you were smashing. – I have so much, I always love pointing to you, and you know you were an
early client of VaynerTalent which is an evolving business for us here and I remember just like, maybe you were in that Syd or Andy but I remember walking out, I’m like, “Guys, he’s super smart. “He’s doing it for the exact right reason. “He’s gonna absolutely rent the milk.” If you remember, and this is just truth, I was like, “Hey, we can help
you build it for yourself.” But you’re like, “Nah, it’s
valuable for me to pay the fee. “I can see every nuance.” But it was like, I remember
that meeting so clearly but what I loved was you
built an actual business. Real quick, I’m not even sure I know this, Quest sold to?
– Well we sold a piece. So I still have massive ownership, I’m just not involved day to day. – So who did it sell to? What piece, what happened? – So we brought in private equity, yeah, brought in private equity but just the valuation was so crazy– – [Gary] You needed to
take some of it off? – The dollars, it was pure
diversification on our part. – And so who’s operating it now? – So my two partners are still there. They brought in a new CEO just to like– – And you were the CEO? – No, I was the president. And so businesses go through phases and whose right in one minute’s not necessarily right in the next.
– I think that’s right. – So when I left, they just changed things up a bit and off to the races they went. – And so what’s going on with
you now for the audience? – So I’ve launched a new
company called Impact Theory which literally no bullshit, when I got into business it was because I couldn’t
get the films made that I wanted to make. Now admittedly, my whole thesis around what film can be changed in the intervening time and now I’ve become all about impact but, and this is one of the things you and I talked about in the beginning is I was telling everybody, look, what Disney just
did by buying Marvel, you don’t understand what’s going on and I pitched it to you and you said, “My whole life is predicated on the fact “that Disney just bought Marvel.” And I was like, “This mother fucker!” So I was like, alright, so my whole thing is Disney did something nobody else did which is they told one kind of story from a thousand different angles and because of that, their brand means something. So if I say I’m gonna
go see a Paramount movie or a Universal movie, you know nothing about it. But if I say I’m gonna
go see a Disney movie, you already know something. So I’m all about impact, I’m all about reaching out
and touching people’s lives in a for real way and hopefully we’ll get into that ’cause I’ve recently been really, really struck–
– Into it here? – Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– In this right now? – Yeah, that would be amazing. – You’re going to take it there right now. Finish this but then go
right into it, segway. – So I want to really
touch people’s lives. I’ve worked in the inner cities a lot, started when I was 18, for extra credit, I did an eight week assignment
with this little kid who was like drug and alcohol impacted, total out of his mind and he would freak out when I would try to help
him with his homework, cry, just a nightmare, and then when I’d say, I have to leave, then he would beg and
plead and cry and all that and I would stay. Week five, I realized, he’s trolling me and that he actually knows
exactly what he’s doing and I thought, this fucking kid’s sharp. So then I got a little respect for him and at week six, you have to tell him, “I’m only coming for two more weeks.” So I tell him, he goes nuclear, I’ve never seen a human that distraught. And so finally, I’m like, “Is it because I said I’m only
coming for two more weeks?” He says, “Yes.” I say, “Look man,” ’cause by now I’ve bonded with this kid.
– Yeah you care, of course. – So I’m like, “As long as “I live in Los Angeles”
– That’s how I found Andy. – “As long as I live in Los Angeles, “I’ll help you with your homework “but you have to do it
the second I get here. “No more of this fighting and stuff.” That becomes an eight and
a half year relationship, completely changes my life. I didn’t know it at the time, but he’s being abused
by his adoptive mother. He gets taken out, they make me the guardian, I have to help him into foster care, it was some heavy shit for an early 20 something kid from Takoma. And going through that process, I just had this overwhelming feeling that this kid could be something, he could be really special, he’s a beautiful human being but he’s never going to be because what he’s been
taught is so limiting that, and so I used to take him
to movies in Beverly Hills because I was broke but movies cost the same and I wanted him to see beautiful places, wanted him to have something to aspire to. So anyway, flash forward 15 years, now I’ve got about 3,000 employees and about 1,000 of them
grew up hard as hell. One kid held his stepfather
while he bled to death from a gunshot wound to the head. Another, his sister was shot
in the heart with an AK-47 in his front yard when she was 12, just like story after story after story and I had that same feeling again. These are amazing fucking people, dude, but they’re never gonna do anything. And so back in the early days of Quest, I interviewed everybody. If you wanted to work there, you’re gonna interview for me, whether you’re janitor, EVP
of Sales, didn’t matter. – [Gary] Me too. – So I had this magic genie question ’cause I wanted to know
what you were really about. And so, “Hey, a magic
genie’s about to show up. “They’ll grant you one
wish and one wish only. “It can’t be more wishes or to cure cancer “or bring somebody back from the dead. “It’s got to be for
you, what do you want?” Dude, I must’ve asked that question, I’m not kidding 300 times. What are the odds every single person give me the same answer? Literally, every single person–
– Which was what? – One million dollars. – What? – And I was like, I had that reaction. So at person 10, I
actually said to the team, “Are you guys fucking with me? “Are you prepping them beforehand?” Because it doesn’t make any sense. You can’t get a house in
LA for a million dollars. It’s a magic fucking genie. You don’t ask for a money
machine or a trillion dollars, you ask for a million dollars? – Would they have to pay taxes on it? Was it 650 or was it capital gains, did they get at least 800 or like? – Dude it was so crazy to me. And so what it showed me was frame of reference–
– By the way, I apologize, the million dollar thing
really fucks with me too because the one percent
of earners in America, the bottom of it, starts at 440 and this million fucks with everyone. I wish the answer to
that question was 440. Because then it would be
based on the merit of reality. The delta between 440 and a
million’s pretty significant and everybody thinks a million is just the beginning
of any level of success. I think about it all the time. Anyway, keep going. – So it was, the only truthful answer is it was heartbreaking. And I thought, alright
their frame of reference is what’s keeping them stuck. It’s not that they’re not smart, it’s not that they can’t learn, they can. So it is entirely that they don’t believe that their energies will be rewarded with powerful knowledge. So they don’t read a book, so they don’t think
anything will come of it, they don’t dream big enough, they don’t think that they can. So I was just like–
– Andy, do you have questions? – [Andy] Yeah. – I’m gonna get some more. If you’re watching on Facebook
or Instagram Live right now, Tom and I are gonna, Tom’s about to segway into what he really wants to talk about but then we’re gonna
do a couple questions. It’s [email protected] Put your question in the title and your phone number in the body. – [Tom] There it is. – Some people are just born with it. Go ahead, what do you want to segway into? – So my whole thing is how do you help people like that at scale, how do you really do it? – And so you’re gonna build
a media company around that? – Correct.
– I love it. – So there it is. – I know, it’s fucking right. – [Tom] Thank you, man. – What you have to do is do, what you have to do is follow
what we’re doing at Vayner, I gotta show you actually, obviously we’re gonna be seeing each other probably a lot more given what we’ll announce in a minute, I’m so happy for you, Zach. Zach, you just made the
best decision of your life. Zach, when you decided to join and create with me
VaynerSpeakers, did you, and we’ve know each other
for what, eight years? – Tomorrow. – Cool. It’s even better than you thought, right? – Yeah. – That’s all I needed to hear. – [Zach] Which is what I hoped. – In fairness, he
actually said that outside when there were no cameras.
– What’d he say? – That it was better than he thought. He said, “I knew it was gonna be big, “I knew it was gonna be special “but it’s actually better.” – Because what I do is sand bag, I sand bag everything about it and me, like it’s gonna be so good, you’re so good, bro, I just want to give you, honestly, you’re such a
good dude, I’m so pumped. What we’re alluding to right now, everyone’s confused, is we’re gonna be, we’ve announced VaynerSpeakers, as you guys know. Zach is the CEO. We worked together for a
long time when he was at CA and we had a great run. I have big love for CA
Speaking and all that, Peter Jacobs, big shout
out to you, I love you. And we’re gonna announce our roster probably in a month or
so, within the month. – At least.
– Soon. But Tom is one of the first
who’s with us exclusively and we’re gonna be doing
his speaking career. So we’re gonna be, I have a funny feeling, four
or five events next year, we’ll be speaking at the same event. So I’ll be able to see you. But where was I going with that? Fuck, there was an interesting segway and then I got excited about
the VaynerSpeakers thing. I want to show you something
we’re working on at VaynerMedia that is gonna transcend content that I think you’ll need to do to be a great 2023 storyteller from a high low standpoint, just the sheer volume
of content needed to be, kind of like what I do, kind of what you’re doing. Stefan, it’s great to see you. Okay, so anything else you want to say before we get into questions? – No man, I’m ready, let’s do it. – Have you been doing investing? You made a lot of money–
– I have. – That’s not as fun as it sounds, right? – It’s not. – I hate it dude. I’m kind of over it completely almost. – My thing is I’d rather– – Like I like it, I want to do some sort of incubator. I don’t want to invest anymore. I want to find kids and old
people, I don’t give a fuck, people that have a three to
seven million dollar business and I want them to give me 49% of it and then I want to just plug
it in and make it do 100. I think I can do that consistently. We had a close deal, Syd. They fucked up. I love when people overplay their hands. Right? I love it. Don’t overplay your hands, kids. A lot of people fake it and posture. If you run into a real
winner like Tom and I, we might say no and then the whole deal’s dead. That’s what happened. He overplayed his fucking hand. Sorry, I’m doing so much subtalking. Who’s this? – [Andy] Josh. – Josh. – [Josh] Gary, how are you? – I’m amazing, brother. You’re on the #AskGaryVee
Show with me and Tommy B. – [Josh] Oh dude, this is awesome. – Are you watching? Clearly, you’re watching. How’s the show going so far? – [Josh] Oh dude, it’s going amazing. – Tom’s killing it, right? Like he’s completely charming
your pants off, right? – [Josh] Dude, Tom is the man. I’m watching a lot of his Impact Theory. – His fucking Impact Theory
with my boy Simon Sinek like took over the internet. – [Tom] Yeah, that was crazy. – Like my team came in, they’re like, “Yo, Simon’s got a super viral video.” By the way, we made the
best video of all time. I made a video that
recorded me rebuttling Simon on certain things about millennials while I watched it for the first time, we played it, they’re recording me, I’m talking over the two of you and I think the video
would’ve had a trillion views. The reality is I have so
much respect and admiration, I love Simon, that I felt like, and I’m so team millennial
and I hate what’s happening with people misbranding them that I felt like I was two teeth and I didn’t want it to
become a me verse Simon thing so I never aired it. – He watched 30 seconds, talked for 10 minutes, was really, really good, I was like, “I cannot
wait to publish this,” but then you didn’t want to publish it until you fully watched it and could get grounded
in what he was saying, so we waited on it but then a week later, it already had had its moment. But it’s definitely in the graveyard. – I could do it right now, it’s a piece of amazing content. It’s that I have too
much admiration for Simon and I felt like my energy, it was kind of like my Trash Talk where I had to edit out a bunch of stuff in Trash Talk episode three ’cause my energy was in a place where I switched into the
competitive, you know? Anyway, sorry Tom. Tom, that video fucking went beserko. – Yeah, it was bananas, bananas. And that was all him dude, he just smashed it.
– I know, I know. – [Tom] He just smashed it. – Anyway, nonetheless, what’s your question brother? – [Josh] Hey, so before
I get into my question, you talked about Trash Talk three, I’ve also been following that, I think that’s a major key for anybody who’s looking
to make some extra money or who hates their day job. So if you’re listening and
maybe this happens after, definitely check out Trash Talk series by Gary.
– I like this guy. – [Josh] Just wanted to
give a shout out for that. – Dude, you know what,
back to that shout out, it’s kind of why I like Tom and me, I like practical operating practitioners. I love that shit. Learning how to make $230
a week extra on OfferUp and on Craigslist and
Facebook Marketplace and Ebay is just smart because not only for a lot of people, 800 bucks a month, 900 bucks
a month is gamechanging and you and I share the perspective of seeing other parts of the world where 200 bucks a month is a big deal. Number two, it teaches you shit. Anyway, go ahead, what’s your question ’cause we’re about to
hang up on your face? – [Josh] (static)
corporation as an employee. – I lost you for a second there, brother. One more time. – [Josh] How do you change
a culture at a corporation as an employee? – Tom. – Yeah man, I think the
real honest answer is unless it is being
supported from the top down, it will never, ever work. So you can go to them and if you can get your
leadership on board, then you’ve got a shot. If you cannot get them on board, it will never work and if the culture is that dysfunctional, my advice to you is if the top
isn’t gonna get on, get out. – Yeah, I’m gonna be even
more black and white, even though I know exactly
what he was saying, the answer is you can’t. Even if you, for example, me, I’m a really good dude, but still, if it’s pitched into me, I have to manipulate it into mine or I don’t like it as much. That’s just what the leader does. You agree with that, Andy? It’s funny, right? You guys have to strategize how to make me feel like it’s mine otherwise you know I’ll never do, Seth, you’re laughing, right? What happens, you guys just sit out there and try to figure out, how do we make Gary feel like this is his otherwise he will completely
not support it, right? – We’re not smart enough
to think about that. We just see it come out a week later, we’re like, I feel like I was
the one who told him that. – Yeah, so anyway, brother listen, if you’re at a company, look, culture to me is really interesting, I think companies build it from the get. So if you have the original founder there and it’s not good, get the fuck out because she
or he was never on board. If you don’t have the original founder and they’ve been there for
more than a year or two, get the fuck out ’cause they changed it. I literally tell my whole company in all hands on company meetings, “Hey, real quick, by the way, “before the end of this meeting, “if I ever sell this
place, quit the next day “’cause everything I’ve promised
you is not true anymore.” So I’m with Tom, man. Unless you miraculously have leverage on the singular A leader of the company which even in a three person partnership, there is an A within that, you will not be able to change the culture ’cause culture 100% stems from the top. You’re either CEO that likes
happiness and impact and like, why we have a good culture is I hate negativity. I’m weirded out by it. And so because I’m also
the best money earner, nobody has leverage on me so I fire other people that don’t do good things to my culture. Unless you have a leader like that, that means they care about the money. And when you care about the money, the culture has no fucking prayer. – Yeah. And culture, man, is literally everything. – [Gary] Everything. – My thing is my new absolute
obsession is emotional safety and it’s one of those things
people don’t talk about, in business, it feels super weird to say words like emotional safety but I’m telling you right now, whatever you do, whether you’re starting your own business or you’re in a business, look for somewhere where you
can have emotional safety because coming into work
and feeling good about it is a big deal. And I think there are two metrics and this is really gonna
get people in a weird place, metric number one, laughter. How often do people laugh? You have to fucking pay attention to that. And then number two, and dude, the first time
this really occurred to me was I was in your office and I was looking out and I saw two people put
their arms around each other and I thought, wow that’s interesting. And so when you build emotional safety, you will just see that
people connect and bond in a way that becomes physically expressed.
– You should see VaynerMedia weddings. They’re absurdity. People that haven’t been here for six, lifelong friendships. – [Tom] That’s trust man, emotional safety.
– There’s like an agency being built in Bali right now by Sean Calao and Pinsuda. This is in perpetuity. I tell everybody, it’s like a framework. I totally agree. My big one that’s more practical, I like yours better, I hate that I have to be the straight man but it’s a good one for
a lot of people listening is voluntary retention. The way I judge Vayner is how many people that I
really give a fuck about that I think are awesome people and are awesome at their
job have left Vayner? The number is staggeringly low. I know we got something. – [Tom] Yeah, totally. – You know? Thank you for the question brother. – [Josh] Got it. Gary, just a point, Google did a study on effective teams and they called it Project Aristotle, biggest piece of making a successful team. So it’s backed by research, Google actually–
– Yeah it makes sense. It makes sense. It makes sense, brother. But here’s the problem, Google’s stuck because they’re a publicly traded company and that’s why they have the entire company walk out on them. They’re stuck. Guys, life is binary. As a business, either you
care more about the money or more about the feeling
you feel in running it. I would be fired by every publicly traded, if Vayner went public, I’d be fired, fired fast. I have easily taken this business from 40 to 140 million
in revenue and 200 over kind of the holding company and I’m making way less money
today than we did at 40. – God that’s so interesting and I really hope people are listening. No, no, no, for real, hold on because that, dude, that’s the juice. Once you understand that in
your life, mother fuckers, you’re either going to be chasing money or you’re gonna be chasing fulfillment and narry the tween shall meet and when you chase fulfillment, you may also build a
massive fucking company. – I’m gonna do both. I always say, and I’m making up the rules, that I’m gonna be the best entrepreneur because I’m gonna make the most money and have the most impact
on other entrepreneurs. – Yeah, no I love that and I think there’s a third part to that that I clearly see in your company and is literally the
cornerstone of Impact Theory and that is people over everything. It’s the connection that
each person feels, the trust. From that, we’ll be able to
do something extraordinary because when you believe in people, your guard is down, you’re emotionally invested.
– Let me ask you a question. Where does entitlement fall into it? Because I will tell you one of the flaws in me running Vayner over
the last seven years, and we’ve gotten a lot
better in the last two years and we’re well on our way, but I definitely created a
macro culture of entitlement because I had people over everything and I took everything on my head. – Yeah, so it’s two things. One, it is absolute high standards. So you have to have standards, explain what they are and know what people have to do I order to be in that
sort of safety circle. And then the other is your boy Ray Dalio, I’m looking at your
girl Lindsay down there. So Ray and his whole notion
of say truth, hear truth, that is the one time I will say, when I read that book, it changed me forever as an entrepreneur because it was a failure of my imagination to believe that you could
hold thousands of people in an organization to, and this is how he says it and this is so true, even if you have a criticism that you’re prepared to take to the grave that you don’t even say
to your significant other, you still have an
obligation to voice that. – That’s super fascinating.
– Dude. – ‘Cause that is absolutely
not a strength of mine. Radical candor is something
I continue to evolve into, it just doesn’t come, I’m really great when
shit comes natural to me. I just don’t like money and I will use money and I’m really emotionally strong, I will help the other people emotionally, it’s really funny, radical candor and even to that level is absurd, no question is a strength
of his and others that I haven’t had. And now I’ve gotten dramatic, my brother had, AJ was much
better at it naturally, I’ve gotten lot, lot better and it’s been a strength of mine. Look, today, we fired
somebody that, it fucking, I’ve been thinking about it for nine days, super not pumped, I feel like shit right now but if I don’t do it, the whole fucking thing crumbles. – Yeah, it gets toxic for other people. – And so people over
everything doesn’t mean keeping people around even though you’ve
manipulated your own self in believing they’re better off with you than not with you. – True. But here’s part of why I
say people over everything and it doesn’t mean that I’m just gonna let you get away with murder. It’s like, you’ve got the collective and for the collective to
have trust and all of that, then they have to know that if somebody isn’t living up to it, they’re not carrying
their end of the bargain, that they’re gonna be let go, simple as, but that it’s gonna be done
openly and respectfully and that you’re gonna help
them transition out gracefully unless somebody’s just willfully horrible. – And that happens too. This is where ego of
hiring is a vulnerability. People hire people, they end up being awful and they don’t want to
admit they made the mistake and they keep ’em around. – [Tom] For sure. – [Khaled] Hello. – Colin. Khaled. – [Khaled] Yeah, this is Khaled. – Khaled, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk. You’re on the #AskGaryVee
Show with Tom Bilyeu. – [Khaled] Lord! – Alright.
– What’s going on, Gary? – Life is good, my man.
– Super pumped, man. Thanks for having me on your show, I really, really appreciate it. I’mma get straight to the point ’cause I know your time
is really expensive. I just had a question, this is something to do with my life. I’ve been in the exotic car
business for a very long time. It’s a very expensive business to get into as someone in my shoes, an entrepreneur, don’t have a lot of funding
behind me at all actually. So I have a large list of contacts, I’ve been networking for a long time. It’s not the grade to make sandy shakes. So I’ve met a lot of
people, lot of celebrities, A-list celebrities, music
artists, all walks of life and I’ve been doing
this for about 10 years, I’m 26 now. So I’ve been in the
game for about 10 years. – Dude, how the hell do you
not have an Instagram link at the bottom of your website when you’re in the most visual
and kind of exotic car world? – [Khaled] You know, I definitely need, I have a really nice Instagram. – But you have a nice website with some fucking exotic fucking animal on top of a cool car but you have literally the
Facebook and Twitter logo at the bottom but not the Instagram one. – [Khaled] I know. So that was actually a
dealership that I worked for. – Got it. – [Khaled] I’m currently
working for myself now as basically a broker.
– Respect, respect. – [Khaled] And now I’m working by myself and brokering deals, I’m taking clients. ‘Cause clients come
back for me, they don’t come back for the dealership–
– Of course. The person has the leverage. – Exactly.
– So what’s the question? – [Khaled] My question is now basically I have the experience, I have the clients, the demand is there. I’m getting calls every time
a concert’s in town, anything, celebrities need cars for rentals, they want to buy new cars. I’m trying to figure out, how do I get to the next level, Gary, as far as getting funding to
start a company like that? How do I find investors
who have the capital and are looking for
that kind of a business? – Dude, your entire fucking life is interacting with people
that have that kind of money. – [Khaled] And you know,
that’s very true, Gary. I mean I meet people who are billionaires, all sorts of people but here’s the biggest
thing I have to overcome, I feel like, every time, there’s an objection, it’s that I’m young, I don’t have per se a track record.
– Brother, brother, brother, the number one mistake
that people make in life, let alone business, is they say no for the
other party without asking. – [Tom] Word. – Look, I have empathy, I hate asking anybody for anything. So you’ve got these clients, it doesn’t feel appropriate
from transitioning to you just rented them out something and now you’re like, “Hey,
give me a million bucks.” But inevitably, you’ve now interacted with some fucking ballers
an eighth time, a 10th time, some of them have even
shown a liking towards you ’cause they see themselves. Tom and I, I’m sure do this, just knowing him a little bit, when we see ourselves in people, you just gravitate towards it ’cause you’re just always very aware that circumstances helped you so much. And so I’m always in the
business of helping somebody out when it feels right. You just live it that way, right? That’s just the fucking game. Look brother, you’re
gonna have to ask somebody for the money and a kid like you, who’s more like a kid like me, you’re not gonna get it
from traditional VCs. They don’t invest in shit like this and we don’t have the pedigree to get money from those people. You have the pedigree to get money from other hustlers. – [Tom] For sure and– – [Khaled] Well here goes nothing. Gary, you ready to invest
in my company or what? – 100,000% not. Here’s why. You must’ve either missed
it a few minutes ago or you skipped over it, I literally just said 11 minutes ago that I hate fucking investing. – [Khaled] I know, I’m
just messing with you. – I know you are but– – [Khaled] But I really appreciate you having me on your show and I did want to tell you, I never kept it above me to do other side hustles like going to garage sales or picking up wine boards
and scooters and charging, I’ve been doing all the
things that you have trying to save up money and invest it.
– Good for you, man. Look, there’s a lot of your
vibe that’s interesting, man. You come from an industry
that I’m always scared of, it’s the slickiest of the slick but you’re articulating yourself even like in my intuitive feelings which I go by all the time, look man, listen– – [Khaled] Really appreciate that. – Let me say something to
everybody who’s listening, the reason so many kids
are starting companies and want to get venture capital is if they fail, they don’t
have to pay anybody back. – I think there’s another reason. – There’s a lot of reasons but this is one that
nobody talks about, Tom. – [Tom] Yeah, fair. – You give up 25% of your company, the amount of people that I
think are starting companies, start ups, that already know on day one that they have no chance of success is remarkably high but the capital they raise allows them to live the lifestyle with no damage to their credit. There’s too much fucking
money in the system. Here’s why I’m telling you that. If you really believe in yourself, bro, and you’ve been doing
something for 10 years, this is gonna brain fuck
everybody on my team, I hate when people have credit card debt. It’s my freak out of freak out, right, or debt in general. I will tell you that I’ve been at my best when I knew that I was
operating not taking any chance and when I’m willing to do that, I’m willing to do
anything to get the money, like fucking loan shark shit, like mafioso breaks my life shit. You know why? Because if I understand the interest and I understand I can figure it out even if I’m paying 50%
interest let alone five, the days of getting money from the bank, people don’t think about that anymore but let me give you
where I’m actually going. You know how many kids should be asking their parents for money or their rich aunt? A lot. The problem is they’re not
thinking about it right. They need to walk into
their rich aunt and say, “Aunt Sally, I need 150K
but I will pay you back.” And if it dies, I will then get a job and I will pay you back
5,000 bucks every quarter for the rest of my fucking life. People are not putting their
fucking balls on the line. People aren’t doing that anymore. Everybody wants to raise money and give up 20% of a
company worth nothing. You don’t have to risk
it when you’re delirious. The reason I’m giving you this advice is you’ve been doing it for a decade. You feel intuitively right to me. So I’m saying to you, do what Tom and I did and live the practical life, not this bullshit life. Live the practical life, man. – [Khaled] And you know what, that was the first step
for me to move forward is to stop trying to live up to everybody’s expectations, stop looking at everybody else and humble myself and actually have my friend move in, split the rent, share a studio.
– Yes, dude humility, humility for the alpha male
and woman in their 20s, humility is the secret fucking sauce. – But now let’s push it, did you actually do that? – [Khaled] Yeah I did because here’s the thing, I was always trying to buy
the most expensive stuff to keep up with everybody.
– ‘Cause that’s what you were looking at. – [Khaled] When I stopped doing that, when I just focused on myself and I accepted myself
for what position I’m in and I’m like, “Okay,
Khaled, you’re fucking shits “in the toilet right now.”
– Yes, keep going, Khaled, yes. – [Khaled] “You need to
get your stuff together, “lower all living costs down “and just do every little
side hustle that I can “so that I can maximize my time “now that I’m working for myself.” So I could do a bunch of little stuff. At night, I’m doing the scooters, I’m doing 40, 50 scooters a night. We’re going to garage sales, picking up stuff free off Craigslist, I’m marketing stuff online
for people, GoogleAds. We’re doing a bunch of stuff and I have my cousin–
– And are you happy? – [Khaled] And he’s helping me. You know what, I’m very happy because I’m not working for anybody.
– So then, real quick, this is real quick ’cause there’s a lot of bubbling up of Gary, you’re pushing
people to work too hard and all this stuff and I’m watching it and I’m like, I love when
elitists who work their faces off to make a bunch of money, then tell everybody else not to work hard. – That’s some bullshit anyway. – So to me, if you love what you’re doing and you’re happy and you’re
mentally and physically healthy, do you, I’m not judging
anybody about doing anything but it’s all about self awareness and putting a framework around where you don’t keep up with the joneses. – Yeah and I want to put
my finger on something. So dude, your vibe changed so much when you got into the pocket
on where you’re confident. Humans lead with belief. In the beginning, you
didn’t have that belief ’cause you’re stretching for
the fancy cars and all that. But when you slid back to I’m
living in a studio apartment with six other dudes, I believed in you. And if you came to me with that hustle, and you’re like, look, mother fucker, I have boiled my life down to nothing, I have no expenses. I eat top ramen and I
grind it the fuck out from the floor of my friend’s bathroom, I will make this shit. If you give me money, I will spend the rest of my life paying you back if it fails and you have that belief ’cause you actually believe it, you know it’s true, you know you can do that and you’re operating from
a position of strength. Now just your energy is gonna convince people
to get on board with you. But when you try to posture, hustle, like from a place that’s not real, that’s where people don’t buy into you. – And the beauty is, that’s what I sensed the whole time. Dude, this is really cool. By the way, this is the kissing cousin to why I want kids to stop
taking money from their parents. It all comes down to the same thing. It’s called fake environments. Either you live on your
merit or you don’t. The end.
– I’ve been on my own since I was 15 and I’m
very thankful for it ’cause my parents instilled
me with the right morals, with the right hustle, at a young age. And then I was forced
to be a man on my own and I worked mechanic shop and I sticked to the car
thing for a long time. So it’s like my passion too. So it goes hand in hand. I enjoy everything that I do, it doesn’t feel like work even when I’m working long hours. – Khaled, you live in Atlanta? – [Khaled] I do live in Atlanta. – Cool man. Send me an email to [email protected] I want to high five you
when I come for Super Bowl. – [Khaled] Dude, that would be so awesome. – And that wasn’t like secret code ’cause I don’t code
for I want a fancy car. Fuck, I hate that shit. I mean I just want to
actually high five you. – [Khaled] Dude, it would be a pleasure to be standing within your proxy. – Awesome man, thank you for the call. Fake environments. I want to wrap up with this. Okay, you get it because last time Scooter
made us do another call and it turned out so awesome. – [Andy] Someone wants
an internship with Tom but we’re not gonna call them. – Okay, got it. Tom, I’m so about these fake environments. If I can convince people
that credit cards are bad, that parent’s money is bad, that posturing’s bad, the happiness is absurd, the happiness is absurd. – Also, I want to get people
on obsessive thinking. So one of the things people always ask me, okay, what’s your secret to your success. I normally say reading but I’ll say that there’s
actually something else I do that people, it’s hard to
articulate but here it goes. There’s a great question
that Peter Thiel asks, “How do you take your 10 year plan “and make it happen in six months?” So if you obsessively think about how do I accelerate this? How do I, what’s that
quantum leap forward? And for him, to be thinking about that, the collapsing down to very little expense so that he can get into a
place that’s actually winning, win with that, build a package up that he can go pitch to people and say, “Look, I only want whatever, “I want to flip more scooters, whatever.” So he’s getting in at 1,000 or 10,000 instead of 400,000, then he can build that momentum and you just keep going
upstream, upstream, upstream. – Lack of patience, man, lack of patience.
– Well, it’s interesting. You and I disagree on the use of the word
patience so violently. – [Gary] Please. – So my thing is fuck patience, literally. But the thing is I always tell people, I know what Gary means and Gary means play the long game.
– Macro patience, micro speed. – 1,000%. The problem is when people hear patience, they get in a passive mode.
– They become passive. – Yes, so I’m fucking psychotic about that.
– Well then brother, you used the word passive though. – Yeah exactly. You can’t let people get into a passive situation.
– That’s fine, the word’s patience, not passive. – Yeah, but what I’m saying is when people hear that word out of anyone’s mouth–
– I understand but I’m living a life of everybody
semantically articulating the manipulation of words
to their non meaning. – It’s interesting. So here’s how– – The amount of judgment that is being thrown at
me right now in circles around people manipulating
the words that I’m, it’s absurd. Patience is not passive. – So my thing is how
do people react to it? – I couldn’t agree more but the reality is if
we are now in a place where we can’t allow the words to actually mean what they mean, we have to challenge that
conversation as well. Because now you’re getting into
how people filter everything and now we’re talking
about the most important P which is perspective. If their filter is taking it, then that’s what gets so interesting about having to do this one on one versus through content. Content is vulnerable in its macro. It’s super interesting shit. – Very interesting. And on this particular thing, I’ll say forget the words because you and I are
saying the same thing so the last thing I
want to do is argue that when we get to the point.
– It’s semantics. – 1,000%. – [Gary] And I’m with you. – My thing is how do you
get people to realize that, momentum is the thing
that I think matters. So have you ever been in an
above ground swimming pool? You can start walking in a circle and it creates the vortex and then you can pick your feet up– – The whole thing I was
talking to you about that I’ve gotta walk you through of what you need to do for your studio to win the world, literally internally for a few minutes was called momentum marketing. We can’t be believing more–
– You need momentum. – Yeah Who is this? – [Andy] Royce. – Royce, like Royce Clayton? If you know who Royce Clayton
is, leave it in the comments. I forget that Google exists these days. I so grew up in a non-Google world. Everybody’s like, that’s easy, he’s the short stop for the Giants. – [Royce] Hello, this is Royce. – Royce, it’s Gary Vaynerchuk and you’re on the #AskGaryVee
Show with Tom Bilyeu. – [Royce] Oh my God, holy shit. I was listening to you guys live, oh my God, it’s so cool. – How are you doing, Royce? Where you from Royce? – [Royce] Cincinnati, Ohio. – Are you a Bengals fan? – Oh big time.
– Good respect. You’re cursing ’cause you
used some upping in your game but I appreciate it man. You do know that the Jets beat the Bengals in a huge playoff game in
Cincinnati in 2010 right? – [Royce] Oh I’m sure. – Clearly you did not. Okay, go ahead. – [Royce] Yeah. Andy, I put in a couple
questions, which question? – Pick whatever, which
one do you want, Andy? – [Andy] The ones that you
said Tom and Gary differ on? – [Royce] Oh yeah, Tom,
love your stuff too. I listen and watch a lot of Impact Theory. – Love it.
– Thank you, man. – [Royce] Tom, I saw you, sorry, I listened to you
on the Joe Rogan Experience a couple months ago and you mentioned how you heard how some people believe that you have to be a
natural born entrepreneur or you can turn into one if you have entrepreneurial tendencies and you disagreed with the fact that a lot of people out there believe that you have to be
a natural born entrepreneur. I was wondering, I know Gary you always say how you’re only a natural
born entrepreneur. There’s no thought, if you’ve ever worked a job in your life that you could be one. Can you become an entrepreneur or do you have to be a natural born one? – Well good news, I’ll lose this right now because everybody’s an entrepreneur now and most of them are not
natural born entrepreneurs. Now let’s talk about people that are successful entrepreneurs and not successful entrepreneurs. – [Tom] That’s fair. – That’s a big deal. Then there’s also people
bleeding entrepreneurship with operators. So I think operators are something that can be taught and those individuals she and he are incredible COOs, cofounders as the number two. Guys, there is a mental strength that comes along with you’re
the last line of defense, that is by definition what entrepreneurship is built around that I do think we underestimate in what is like comes natural but I think that being a
successful entrepreneur is more of a skill than a taught behavior in the framework of my perspective. Being taught to be an operator is, I see every day, most great COOs are people that were
taught to be an operator. Many of them are considered cofounders but would have not been successful without the energy of the human that was there to eat the pressure and actually lead the company. This is how I see it. Tom? – Yeah. So this is one that I have
lived the exact opposite. So I started out, my parents taught me to
go be a good employee, to keep my head down, do as little work as possible and avoid punishment at all costs. I had a newspaper route. I was too afraid to go knock on the doors
to collect the money. So for like two years, I delivered the paper for half the money I could’ve gotten. I never stole somebody’s
flowers out of the yard and sold them back, none of that. But then to get what I wanted which was to make films on my terms, I had to generate the capital
– Why do you need Lambos to do that? – Why do I need Lambos? – Well you said earlier, you were into some of the flashy stuff. – No, I get why other people chase that. – [Gary] So you weren’t? – No, I was chasing, I wanted money to build a studio. – [Gary] Got it. – So I knew that I had to
learn a certain set of skills. Now my whole thing comes down to humans are the ultimate
adaptation machine. Literally what we do is adapt. That is our design. So you can take, there was a woman who
swam the Bering Strait and she turned, literally over a year of cold exposure, turned white adipose tissue which is the fat, into what’s called brown adipose tissue which generates more heat. Now people will believe it at the body. Nobody’s here telling me
that I’m crazy for that, it’s so easy to show people
that you can change your body. But for some reason, people don’t think that
you can change the mind. – So let me ask you a weird question. First of all, I completely only believe
you can change the mind which is now gonna get into
an interesting semantic. – [Tom] So keep going. – No, no, no, I’m sorry,
I’m gonna go keep going but you’re gonna appreciate it, you’re gonna answer.
– Yeah, take your time, for sure. – Does that mean everybody’s born a natural born entrepreneur? That means everybody is? – It means everybody that
meets minimum requirements, and we will have to talk about that. – Okay so that gets, that’s fine, that gets
into a different place. – So if you meet minimum requirements, and some people do not. – But what if you’re a chemalishawan. What if you, Tom, are
actually a chemalishawan? So a chemalishawan is born in Africa, doesn’t realize he’s a natural
great basketball player because he’s not exposed to it but actually was born a natural, what if you actually were? Just ’cause the environment you were in suppressed–
– So you’re saying I was a natural born entrepreneur just in a weird environment? – That’s right. Because that’s where I’m
going with this which is you were in an environment where your parents created the environment to eliminate the entrepreneurial spirit but that it was down deep in there and more importantly, just ’cause ripping flowers, first of all, you had a paper route. Let’s break that down for minute. Maybe you were scared of asking for money just like the last kid but let’s really, really talk about it. What the fuck were you
doing with a paper route? – In my family, you had to have a job so my parents made me get a paper route. – Did they make you get a paper route or did you have more than one choice? Tom, now this is very important. – [Tom] I don’t remember. – Fair enough. – I don’t remember.
– I believe you. – To me, that’s– – Well but let’s answer that question. So let’s assume for a second that I’m secretly a born entrepreneur just in a bad environment which I’m very okay with. – And not a bad environment. It’s bad for entrepreneurship. It’s a great environment. – That, I have no beef with that. So my thing is knowing that people can either good environment, be trained and bring out those
natural inclinations or not, my thing is, figure out what you want to do and then go down the path of gaining mastery in that. – I got it, I got it. I apologize. Now I’m being selfish ’cause this is so fun hanging with you. Fear. Fear is an incredible part of all of this. – [Tom] Yes. – When and how did you start taking
fear out of the equation? ‘Cause that’s the transition you made. – I don’t know. I would never say that. Fear for me is a constant– – So you feared asking people for money. – [Tom] Definitively. – Cool. Later you didn’t. – No, I still do. – Interesting, me too, by the way. This is the weirdest part of me. One of the reasons I didn’t
finish off raising my fund is ’cause I hate asking people for money. But I don’t know if I
fear it, I just hate it. I hate anybody having leverage. That’s really what I’m all about. – I’d really have to sit down
and think about the semantics of whether I just hate it or I fear it but there are definitely
things that I do that I fear and I use fear as a
guidepost of where to move because my fundamental assumption is humans adapt via stress. – Restrictions are an adversity, they’re such an incredible framework. – Right and those are the
things that change you. – Oh by the way, the biggest reason I want to talk about real and fake entrepreneurs
right now, you know why? There’s no fucking restrictions to being an entrepreneur, not only in money but in the bio of your
fucking Instagram account. This is it. This is the punchline. Unlike, you and I are so fucking similar, I have so much fun with it because that means I love you so much because fuck, I love myself. – [Tom] That was amazing. – No, but I’m serious, by the way, self love is super, the greatest gift my, by the way, loving yourself doesn’t mean you’re delusional
and think you’re great. Self awareness is the
foundation of loving yourself. I love myself for the things
that I am and I’m not. It’s super important. In the same way that
people were uncomfortable talking about mental health, we need to start making it comfortable for people who like
themselves to talk about it because it will encourage other people to realize liking yourself
isn’t ego or delusion, it’s grounded in self awareness. – Yeah, here’s the thing. Your superpower is you
don’t judge yourself. – You’re right. – That became very clear to me and I think that’s amazing.
– You nailed that and by the way, you nail, and you know what else
not judging yourself does? You don’t judge other people either. So you end up liking a lot more people. You mother fuckers are judging. Last night, I spent 98
hours consuming judgment. People fucking judge, we’re doing this post
election, people judge. Who the fuck, you have no context of what’s going on in somebody’s bedroom or most important in their head. You’re right, I don’t judge myself because I know what my intent is. I’m obsessed with intent. It’s insane how much I love everybody here if I know their intent, once I wrap my head around one’s intent, it’s game over. It’s like fucking binary switch and I’m going to bat
for them in perpetuity for me, outside of me,
with me, against me. If I think somebody’s a good person and they’re literally
my direct competitor, I weirdly secretly root
for them in some weird way because if they’re better than me, they deserve to win. I was so pumped when I was
with all the super angels and Scott Belsky and Chris
Sacca had better investing, I had a great investing
career, they were better and I love talking about it, right? I fucking love talking about it. They deserve it. That’s what I love about sports, man. None of this bullshit
of like entrepreneur, entrepreneurship’s amazing, you know why? Nobody can judge it. It’s all hidden. Man, God do I want the world to melt. You know why? People are confused. Everybody thinks I want the world to melt ’cause I do a bad job communicating ’cause I like keeping a lot of shit in, that I’m gonna take advantage of it. I want the world to melt because people are gonna be happier. – That’s really interesting. – Tom, people are in fake environments. No listen, this is why Tom’s smart, man. He gets it, he gets it right away. I’m serious, people are gonna be happier because everybody’s living
a fake life right now and keeping up with the joneses and when everything melts,
everybody gets back to the right, not paying the piper in 2009 in America for the economic melting and going through seven
years of a recession and us propping up fucked our culture in a way that nobody talks about. – Have you read The Stand by Stephen King? – I don’t read shit.
– Of course. I already knew the answer. – [Gary] Can you break down it for me? – Yeah because it literally
speaks to exactly this, the center character of the book is somebody who’s just
popping off as a musician right when this world ending flu happens. But the guy survives. And so he goes from everybody loves me, they’re treating me well, I’ve got free cocaine and then now no one
knows who the fuck I am. And that whole machinery
that was about to make me the biggest thing on the planet, just fell out from under him. – [Gary] And he’s solo? – Well it’s not solo because there’s enough people to survive but he realizes all that
bullshit that he was chasing now it just doesn’t exist. So there’s this simplification of life and to your point, as he gets beyond that hunger for the fame and the adulation and just has
to deal with staying alive, his life actually gets better. – I love this shit so fucking, God, can I not wait for
the economic meltdown because it’s the beginning of happiness at a bigger scale. – It’s interesting. So the comic book that
we wrote for Neon Future is literally about that. So I wanted to start
post economic meltdown, look at how people react and then– – Your fucking superhero
better look like me ’cause I fucking believe in it the most. – Right, we’ll have to work that in, Gary, we’ll have to work that in. – Caesar, start drawing. Did we answer my man’s question? – [Andy] What do you think? – [Royce] Yeah, yeah, no yeah, for sure. I did have one other question that’s just been like on
me for about a month or so. – Ah that’s it? So I’m hanging up, that’s not that long. I’m kidding, go, fast. – Okay, okay, okay. So right at this minute, I’m busy, I guess in the
dirt, I guess you could say. I just graduated from college and I’m working for a
start up here in Cincinnati as business development and being around this environment, I’m listening to you, Gary and Tom, I truly believe I have a lot
of entrepreneurial tendencies. So I’m building my personal brand and just documenting things that I believe and things that I’m learning about life just through LinkedIn and blogging. – Good, so you’re documenting
more than posturing, right? – [Royce] Yeah, no, I’m not faking it. – Good, keep going. – [Royce] If I don’t know something. So I’m in the dirt but I know you also say to try
as many things as possible, taste as many things as you can.
– Remember, and this is what is hard about advice and putting out content, people start blending it and that’s why I have a lot of empathy for your patience thing. When kids ask me, I have no idea what I want to do, Gary, I don’t know what I like. The only practical answer to that is like, yo bro, hey gal, go taste some shit. It sounds like you have a better feel of what you like and thus, you don’t have
to quit this start up and be a sous chef. – [Royce] Right, no, I get, and then my question in that is in doing this, I have a
lot of people asking me why are you doing this? What are you trying to get out of it? Or what are you trying to be in 10 years– – Tell them to go fuck themselves. Who gives a shit? (laughing) You don’t fucking know. Brother, the next time somebody says, “Where you gonna be at 30?”, or, “Where do you see yourself
in five years or 10 years,” look ’em dead in the face
and say, “What about you?” Do you know how many miserable fucking 54 year olds there are? Most. – And I’ll give you a slightly
different take on that and I’ll say that skills have utility man. This is something that
people don’t think about. You’re gonna spend years
developing a skill set. That skill set is going
to let you do something. And so what do you want to be able to do? And that’s the thing
to me about adaptation, about anybody being an
entrepreneur or not. It’s like, it’s just
about skill acquisition. The difference between where I was when I didn’t know what
the fuck I was doing as an entrepreneur and now when I do is I’ve learned a set of skills that apply themselves in the real world, either influencing other people, getting them pointed
in the same direction, creating momentum, knowing how to sell, knowing how to market.
– Or a tactic. Some weird tactic.
– 1,000%. – How old are you? – 42. – And you’re young as fuck. – As fuck. – When are you 43? – [Tom] March. – Great, so I’m four
months older, okay fine. So listen, Royce, do you understand? – [Royce] Absolutely, no I– – No, but do you? Who gives a fuck why they’re asking? Bro, people asking questions like that, it’s fascinating to me, I’m really watching this obviously, the amount of people
that ask that question sheerly out of misery loves company has been one of the
most fascinating things for me to observe. – I think people are also terrified they’re gonna miss out on something and the only thing that you have is today. So if you’re worried about today and you take care of today, 10 years from now is
gonna take care of itself. What do you fucking love doing right now? What do you want to
get great at right now? – You’re so right because you’re not gonna
know the alternative. There’s no weird video game where you pick a path but then you get to rewind it and watch what would’ve happened. If you go move to the company’s
headquarters in Afghanistan or go to work for a different
friend in Cincinnati or move to the big city of New York, Royce, you’re not gonna know
how it would’ve worked out. – And if it sucks, switch it up. That’s the thing that drives me nuts. Here’s how I think entrepreneurs need to think of themselves. You’re standing in a
room with 1,000 doors. Your job is to close 999 of
them and walk through one. And people are so paralyzed
by all the opportunity costs of actually having to shut a door, that they never make a decision. Make a decision, even if
it’s fucking terrible. Mistakes are the most information
rich data stream there is. Standing still is the only problem. – Dude, I make decisions so fast it scares the fuck out
of everybody around me. (team laughing) Seriously.
– Yeah. – I’m just making decisions. The end. – And that my friend
– What Andy, talk. You can add value to the show.
– Is why you win. – It’s 100% true. A decision that the team’s
debating for days on end, Gary answers in two seconds and all of us walk out of the
room feeling very confident. – Here’s the thing, even if you didn’t, it’s better to have a decision and be able to go try then to sit there and fucking talk about it.
– The end. – [Andy] Thus why he can do it so quickly. – The end. I love losing. This is how it all works together. I love when I made the wrong decision. I’m not gonna do that
decision in that circumstance if I recognize it again. – Right. Yeah I think of entrepreneurs as athletes that don’t
have a limit to their body. So it’s like, it’s one thing if you know
you’re only gonna be in the NFL for four years ’cause your body can’t take the tax. When you’re gonna be in it forever, it’s like, yeah, if you fuck this play up, you make a mistake, what’s it matter?
– And entrepreneurship is more science than people realize. You’re learning from the nose, it’s a data point, you build on top of it. – [Tom] For sure. – I’m insanely better than I was at 22 which would blow the 22
year old me out of the water ’cause I thought I was the best then. Experience fucking matters. And what the 22 year old
named Royce doesn’t know is that 42 year old Tom feels exactly the way Royce
does right this second. Because when you’re doing what you love and you’re in that zone, I feel way younger than
99% of the 22 year olds that are unhappy. – [Tom] That is for sure. – It’s fucking true, man. That’s living.
– And just energy level, that’s the thing and I know you get a
lot of criticism for it, I get a lot of criticism
for how many hours I work and I’m like, mother fuckers,
are you not listening? Here’s the punch line. – [Gary] Happiness. – I work that hard because I’m having fun. – Happin, I don’t want to go skiing, dick face. I do not want to go skiing. I do not want to go to a beer garden. It is not fun for me
to go look at a museum. I am not interested in watching Netflix. I am not interested. That doesn’t mean that I think everybody
else should do that. I think, and I’ve said consistently, self awareness, happiness, I’ve said it a million fucking times, do I believe in hustle? Yes I do. I like work ethic. It’s controllable. Do I want that to put you into depression or health scares? Yeah. Of course not, dick face. Of course not. But don’t sit on a pedestal after you’ve fucking
worked hard for 15 years and then tell all these kids that they should have work/life balance, you fucking elitist. – [Tom] Yeah, dude I’m, yeah, if that’s what lights people up, go for it.
– Do not be a fucking hypocrite. Do not be a hypocrite. If you make 47,000, I only talk what I live, right, just like, I got really scared when you transitioned on that one debate we were
having a little bit there and you’re like, “Weird ’cause I just lived
the actual opposite.” I’m like fuck. Because it’s the number
one thing I believe in. I hate when people work 11
years on their start up, work their faces off, I watch them grind and then they hit and then they’re sitting on money and they’re not part of their life and then the advice they’re giving isn’t what they lived. I want to hear from people publicly that made 47,000 a year their whole life and are happy as shit. Go talk about that, we’re talking about happiness. People are using mental health as a weapon to make themselves look good just like non-profits. You might be tricking the 99% but you’re not tricking
the one percent, partner. Cool, thanks Royce. Tom. – Dude.
– Dude. It’s a great episode. – [Tom] It was amazing, man. – [Andy] Great episode. – Tom, you get to ask
the question of the day. – There’s only one, at
least from my perspective. – [Gary] Can’t wait to hear it. – What is the impact you
want to have on the world? ‘Cause baby, chasing
fulfillment, that’s the game. – That is the mother fucking ROI. Thank you, brother. – You got it, thank you. – You keep asking questions,
we’ll keep answering them. Book Tom for speaking. (laughing) Awesome. (upbeat music)