You talk a lot about the mental side and basically unfucking ourselves and Beachbody is big on personal development. However, you don’t seem to be big on personal development. What’s your recommendation? How do people unfuck themselves?
How do you define personal development?
Going to seminars, reading books, digging in…
Got it. If that’s what works for you, then mazeltov, right? For me, that’s not how I learn. I learn by being in my own head. It’s all DNA. It’s not like I was in third grade working on my craft on my mental development. I just think that when you know yourself, it’s very hard to listen to anybody’s advice.
There’s just nothing that anybody could ever say about anything ever that’s going to really be that meaningful to me. Even as I say it, I’m like, “That sounds like the craziest shit ever.” That sounds weird and maybe a little bit douchy, but it’s true. I’m not going somewhere and somebody’s going to unlock it for me.
I’m in that place there. There’s other places I need to learn things, but look, I also do believe that people that sell to masses want to sell against criterias. I do believe that a lot of people get value out of reading. I learn everything by doing and feeling so, what do I think?
I think that it doesn’t work for me. I don’t talk about it because I don’t fully have a whole lot to say about it, but I think that the first 20 minutes of my keynote was the personal development advice of all time because I think the other stuff is tactics. I think walking on coal is tactics.
Can you distinguish between those real quick?
Yes, I think that you have to unlock it. I think it’s religion over tactics. Okay, think about the thing that you’re the most religious about. Whether it’s religion or something else.
My dad’s number one religion is, “Your word is bond,” and so anybody who has even remotely fibbed to my dad is somebody he can’t have a relationship with. Which means that my dad has 0.0 relationships. This is true. This is true. This is not a happy thing for me and I’m not even joking. It’s really quite difficult, but it is funny but it is tough for me because my dad doesn’t like anybody. He struggles with that because that’s his religion.
My religion is the New York Jets. I’m not joking. That escapism that dumps all my stress 16 times a year for 6 – 7 hours is how I function and there is no conversation with my wife or my businesses to miss a Jets game. If these guys offered me $40 million to be here on Sunday in the fall, it would never happen. I never miss the Jets play in my life for anything meaning that I didn’t meet with the President of the United States because it was a Thursday night and the Jets were playing. Pass.
Back to it, I think that it’s religion. I think that mental health or personal development as a binary 1 and 0. I don’t think that any courses or any seminars fix that you haven’t dumped out the poison that’s holding you back. I fully believe that.
It’s good as a vehicle because I couldn’t do it on my own. I didn’t know how to do it.
But once you dump the poison, it’s out. That’s great, but make sure that it hasn’t given you already what it could give you and there’s still some left and you need to do something else to get rid of it. Got it?
Maybe you need to have 4 lbs of it and this, personal development or whatever, got 3 lbs out, but there’s still a pound there. I want to make sure that you don’t think that you’re going to get it through this because it hit what it could do for you. Now you gotta go do something different, see a therapist, climb a mountain, escape for two years and talk to nobody, eat fruit 24/7 a day, I don’t know, but you see where I’m going?
That’s where I see people get caught. I’m glad that it’s brought you value, but make sure there’s nothing left and if there’s nothing left then it’s game over. Then you won. Then if you’re doing it because you find it fun and it’s leisurely and you like hanging out with peeps, that’s great.
I live in Westfield, New Jersey so I’m one of the only guys in this room that shopped at the brick and mortars.
That’s so amazing. That’s awesome.
You mentioned during your talk, ego here, humility here. How do you manage that because you are at such extremes? How do you find that common ground?
I want to relate to everybody. I really do. I’m just self aware enough to know I’m not going to. It’s a difference between wanting to and being entitled to. Got it?
It’s a very important distinction.
I want to. Dude, no joke, on my children’s life, on the New York Jets, I literally want to be the single most popular person on Earth. I mean it with all my heart. I just know that it’s going to take me my whole life. So, that’s number one and number two, how do I manage it? I don’t.
I let whichever one of those that wants to shine at that moment to do its thing. I don’t calculate it. I don’t go home at night and go, “Okay, today 47% person for humility and 53% for ego.” I don’t think about it. I just live. I know that they’re both there. After living for the last 20 years and 10 publicly, that, “Okay, these are the patterns. Went on stage, little more ego.”
But the one big misconception from the people that follow me is, “Oh, Gary’s a badass. He doesn’t care what anybody thinks. He just does him.” I do. I’m just realistic about it. Most people aren’t ready to hear what I have to say. It’s hard. Nobody wants to really believe that it’s a lot of work.
I really wish it wasn’t. I would love to play Contra all day. I want to, but I know that if I want to buy the Jets…okay, this is full circle. This is very putting your actions where your mouth is, I sold 30% of VaynerMedia to Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, when I knew it was doing $14 million a year, which was only doing 2 and a half years ago, when I knew that I was going to build it to $100 million.
Why? Because I want to buy the New York Jets and I thought that it was in my best interest, not financially, but for what I’m actually professionally living for and now I’m very friendly with 7 owners because every Super Bowl I go to the owners dinner. There’s one thing to amass the wealth, which I think I’ll do. I think I can get $3 – $4 billion. Personally. I do believe that.
The problem is most people think that I’m a hare, but I’m a tortoise in a hare’s costume. I don’t have $3 – $4 billion now, but I will. That’s only one part of it. They have to vote you in. So I act on my advice which is why I’m so proud of it. Play the long game.
Who in their right mind is going to sell their business or a big chunk of business when it’s doing $14 million in revenue when it was $3 million the year before when it was on track for $27 million in contracts and you know you’re going to do $100 million? Not many unless they’re very clear in what they’re trying to accomplish and I’m not trying to accomplish money.
So on your own fitness and health journey that you’ve been on the last couple years, what’s the biggest upside you’ve seen in your business and in your personal life?
Well my cardio’s better which is good for sex. So here’s something weird about this, some of you may know that right around 2 years ago I started getting serious about my health and people have asked a lot of questions. It was even funny watching that video, I was like, “Oh boy…”
I don’t have more energy. All the cliche stuff. I don’t have more energy than I did 2 years ago. I think my chemicals are off balance on my energy to begin with so that hasn’t happened. Really very little even though I’ve lost 40 lbs in fat and 10 lbs back in muscle, 30 lbs overall.
I’m stronger. I see it funny little places like I travel a lot. It’s fun to just grab my heavy luggage pretty easily, carrying the kids around for 4 blocks when they don’t want to walk in New York is a piece of cake. That feels good. I’m more flexible and I feel it in little parts.
I know what it’s gonna do and so it’s kind of funny how it worked out. It’s almost my business thesis. Not a whole lot in the short term, but I have a funny feeling quite a bit in the long term.
Nothing. Nothing that I can see. Maybe, but I don’t feel sharper. I just don’t, but I think that I’ll be sharper for longer, I don’t know. So far, nothing.
Why did you make it a priority?
I knew that in the same way that I analyze businesses or the same way that I know what’s holding back so many, I knew that it was a vulnerability. Not being healthy is just not a good idea. It’s pretty black and white.
I love my friends that are lazy about health and fitness when I got into it. They’re like, “Yeah, but bro, you could get hit by a bus. That’s how you could die.” And I’m like, “Yes, you can, but the data is much more likely…” So, for example, the number one reason that people have to go into nursing homes is because they don’t have developed leg muscles.
As much as that’s the worst part and I never want to do it, I’m always like, “Let’s do a leg day,” because I don’t want anybody picking up my shit. It’s just practical actually.
I talked to you earlier and said that you fired me up. I know everybody here is fired up this weekend. If you were in our space as a Beachbody Coach, would you think it’s more important to do personal development, come to seminars, go to everything and get rah rah, or just be at home grinding it out and talking to people?
I think it’s back to the first gentleman’s question which is it depends on where you are in your journey. I would tell you that depending on what you need, I would probably do the thing you already have and not what you need. Meaning, if all of you are sitting right now and saying from doing to getting inspired to do, whatever you’re better at, I would do more of that instead of fixing the other one.
I’m a big, all-time believer in betting on strengths versus fixing weaknesses, but again, I use the Jets as a restart mechanism. I know a lot of people that grind 330 days a year, but use things like this as the re-motivator and refresher. Other people use vacations. Other people use fishing and golfing.
I think that nobody can stay 100% on anything always. I think that listening to me, the person that really wins from me being here is having an honest conversation with yourself always every day.
Everything I believe in is on watch. Everything I believe in is on watch. Meaning, I might change my mind on some of the stuff I told you today tomorrow. It has to be. It’s a living business. Think about your life. Think about how many things have changed priority wise. You wanted money, you got money. Didn’t matter as much, did it?
I say it a lot now, how you make your money is more important than how much you make. I actually think that’s a problem for a lot of you. I actually do believe that some of you do not like the model of this, I believe that, thus you’re not posting it because how you make your money is more important than how much you make and you’ve been broken by that.
But, again, who gives a shit what I say? Who gives a shit about what others say? But if you’re saying that to yourself, you’ve lost. You’ll never get going. You’re going to be half-pregnant. It’ll always be your side thing.
If you take anything away from me, it’s talk to yourself and know yourself.
So with the metrics that you do and the numbers you crunch and all that – with Facebook ads, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter – where do you see rank-wise over the next five years, which is going to potentially give the most ROI?
So that’s way to far, Lou, for that game. Way too much changing. But for this year, the next 12 months, I think for your guys’ business specifically, I think that Facebook Ads and Instagram Influencers are the two best arbitrages in the game. I think that some time should be invested into creating some content on Snapchat and learning it just so you know it.
You can’t run a marathon right now if you haven’t been training for it. Too many people think, “Well, I’m going to do Snapchat. If Gary’s right in 3 years, that’s when I’ll do Snapchat.” That’s why you’re going to lose because you’re not going to buy the best property. You’re going to pay 4 times x for 9 blocks from the beach. I bought up the whole fucking beach front.
And if it doesn’t become the next big thing, well then I lost, but I might have learned something. Let me tell you this story about Socialcam. Anybody remember Socialcam?
Clearly somebody who’s been watching a whole time. I was hot on it. This was mobile video. This is a while ago and it was something that I put a lot of time on and it failed, but it was the backbone of what Vine and Instagram video and Snapchat is today and I learned tactics.
Nothing goes to waste if you’re really learning and you’re still in the game to deploy it later.
The way I set up my baseball cards on my tables as a 14 year old was one of the main reasons why Wine Library became a big store because as a 17 year old I re-merchandised my dad’s entire liquor store and instead of having mini-Johnnie Walker bottles at the register that wanted to shoot one on the way out, I had the most profitable wine at $10 a bottle at the register that people just grabbed on impulse. When you first walked in, it wasn’t the thing that we made the least money on (which is what my dad had there) because it sold and it was easy, it was the most profitable and I merchandised based on the way I learned how to merchandise my table as a 14 year old.
I have a little follow up on that. Given the fluid nature of social media, how do you avoid chasing shiny things all the time?
Yeah, by chasing them. I chase shiny things because that’s where the upside is and I know I’m getting value by chasing them. I’m not worried about the ROI for musical.ly for the next 6 months. You are. You’re worried that you’re going to put an hour into Snapchat and it’s not going to lead to a transaction because you’re a salesman and I’m a marketer and brander.
On that marketing and branding tip, Beachbody business is done in 1 of 2 ways most likely. You’re either going to sell retail product or you’re going to get Coaches to sell retail product, but at some point, people have to actually buy the product. So with marketing and branding, to get new audiences how do you attack that?
Let’s start right there. First and foremost, I go contextual. I can’t believe, and I tried to do some homework on this before this and I didn’t get very far so I can’t make a blanket statement like I normally like to, but do you think a 31 year old latino male with 2 kids from Detroit is going to think about this product the same way that a 45 year old female from New York City is?
First and foremost, I would think about making it contextual to them. So right now, if you’re a Thunder, Golden State, Cleveland, or Toronto fan, you’re on high emotion athletically, maybe you target fans of Cleveland Cavaliers with some messaging around it. There’s so much smart shit you could be doing, but the problem is that most people are not practitioners in Facebook advertising.
They’ve read 1 or 2 articles, they’ve heard 1 or 2 people talk about it, and you’ve made up your mind about what it does for your business.
So the first thing that I would do is context over content. For example, I had a video on Facebook about me yelling about kids that were graduating from college. So the reason so many of you saw it was D-Rock was with me and he was like, “You talk about this context stuff, why do you then think that virality is not guaranteed?” He hears me always talk while we’re in the car during DailyVee about virality.
I was say that you can’t produce virality, but I’m like, “Look, you can give yourself a chance. I bet that right now, I could make a video that goes viral on Facebook,” and he goes, “Okay. Do it.” And literally I stood there for one second outside in LA and I’m like, “Okay, it’s May 13th. Kids are about to graduate.” I context, I don’t content. I’m like, “Where are we right now? We’re in May. Kids are graduating from college. Oh, I passionately believe that people aren’t smart the first 5 years out of college. They go safe because they have college debt. Instead, they should go high risk because that’s the time to go high risk. You can go safe at 27.” I felt that would have people excited so that’s what I made.
I had 20 million organic reach, 9 million views on Facebook. The most viral video I’ve ever made in my life.
Right now, I could make a Father’s Day piece of content that will work and if Golden State wins, I can use the theory of Steph Curry’s relatable because he’s not a mountain, he’s a little guy. I just think about trends. I just reverse engineer the context.
I would think about targeting people with either the business upside or the product based on their realities, their demo, their geographics, their interests. Facebook is the greatest marketing tool in the history of time. It just is.
On that note, as practitioners that are trying to build a business and recruit customers in two different ways, the fact that all of you are not 100% verse in how to place ads, create content, and deploy against it is why your business is not as big as it should be. You don’t deserve it. You haven’t put in the work.