I was recently chatting with an up-and-coming professional speaker about some of the best presenters I’ve seen on stage. I immediately launched into an unplanned sales pitch for Gary Vaynerchuk, or Gary Vee, as many of us know him online. Within minutes I was citing important milestones in Vaynerchuk’s life, such as his pre-school move to the United States from what is now known as Belarus, his experience operating a number of lemonade stands when he was just eight years old, and his college years working in his parents’ liquor store. After I walked away from the conversation, I tried desperately to recall when I had seen the bestselling author speak, or more importantly, if I had ever met him in person.
While I have chatted with Vaynerchuk a few times over Skype, I slowly realized that I have never been in the same room as him (but have watched quite a few of his keynotes on YouTube). Nonetheless, here I was, a thousand miles away from where the well-known entrepreneur lives, spouting off personal details about his life. Yes, Vaynerchuk has achieved a long string of professional milestones in his career, but what makes many of us feel as though we know him is the stories he regularly shares about his life, including moments like this passionate rant from his airplane seat 30,000 feet in the air.