Let’s not dwell on the motives behind this short film, because guess what… there aren’t any, it’s simply the documenting of 72 magic hours I lived through in October 2016, only made possible via the generosity of some wonderful people. I’ll cite these people shortly, but for now, I wish to focus on the film’s finalé, and share PRECISELY how it is I managed to appear on a show presented by one of the fastest emerging humans on Earth, Gary Vaynerchuck, the $100 million entrepreneur seducing the world with his hypnotic charisma. By outlining the EXACT steps I took in my pursuit of appearing on his show, hopefully, my learnings assist your own endeavours, whatever they might be.
So, firstly, who is Gary Vaynerchuk? Oh dear! Sorry, I have no interest in outlining stuff you can easily Google, so please just do that, I’m not wasting valuable tea-drinking time doing Wikipedia impressions. What Wikipedia won’t tell you, however, is why Gary’s online world has become so entrenched in my daily routine. I watch content from Gary’s beast of a YouTube channel every single day. I’ve discussed Gary’s mild influence over me in many recent interviews about my work, so maybe read this interview.
Okay, now we’ve established that I’m inspired, in part, by the bloke behind a multi-million dollar digital advertising company, the next logical question is, what steps did I take to GUARANTEE I appeared on his #AskGaryVee show – a series where people from across the world submit questions via Twitter videos and Gary answers his favourite? Easy, I wasn’t a dick. Laugh all you want, but if I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that not being a dick is a true life essential, I wouldn’t have recently done a college talk where that’s all I spoke about. (Doubt I’ll be invited back, frankly).
How Was I Not a Dick?
Not being a dick is a multi-dimensional state of being, sure, it means not being rude, not being entitled and not being annoying, but it also means not being beige, not being boring or not being unremarkable.
Firstly, in the interests of not being beige, I studied the tone and style of previous contributors to the #AskGaryVee show, while asking myself, ‘what hasn’t been done yet?’. It soon became apparent that no one had created a fanfare around themselves while asking their desired question, Research Gary Vaynerchuk and you’ll soon note how he lives for the spotlight, It’s his Oxygen. Christ, the guy is the self-proclaimed “greatest businessman of all time”. He actually once said that, by the way.
So, having identified my strategy for not being a beige dick, (i.e. I NEEDED A FANFARE), I exploited the fact I had recently been commissioned to present a burlesque show, so while there, I assembled an army of excitable dancer noise behind me, ready for my big moment. PLEASE NOTE: I didn’t arrive at the burlesque show knowing I was going to do this, in fact, the idea only came to me an hour before doing it, but again, not being a dick can also mean not being scared of risk, adventure or the seemingly absurd. I assure you, I’m the first person ever to ask Gary Vaynerchuk a business question at a frickin’ burlesque show.
So, my video question recorded, my next step was to make sure he/his team saw it. Understand, in the average week, hundreds, maybe thousands of people ubmit their question to Gary via Twitter, so I had to cut through the noise.
Okay, I needed to call-in some favours.
Call in some Favours
I recently realised that when you click on any Twitter hashtag, the top few tweets are occupied by the most popular tweets using said hashtag. So, after posting my video using Gary’s #AskGaryVee tag, I texted my mates and asked them to ‘like’ & retweet it. UNDERSTAND, this wasn’t easy for me, because I hate all that ‘would you please retweet this?’ shit, but sometimes, if you’ve got a goal, you have to get over yourself, suck it up, and get on with being a sad loser. So, tail between my legs, I asked my mates to help a brother out, which of course, given how iconic my mates are, they happily did. (I love you tools, by the way x)
Cool, within a few hours, my tweet was trending, mission accomplished, so I left it there and let the universe do the rest, right?
Next, I did some legal stalking.
Do Some Legal Stalking
It’s not difficult to discover who works at any given organisation on Twitter, just follow someone you admire, and Twitter immediately recommends his/her affiliated people. I already knew a few of Gary’s team were on Twitter, and not long into my research, I learned that one of them (‘Max’) is a fine photographer/videographer. Browsing his Instagram, there was one video he made featuring a spectacular soundtrack, and given my love of music, I was instantly curious. “Okay, screw it, I’m gonna reach-out to this guy… I wanna know who’s singing the song” I thought, emailing him immediately.
WHO JUST SPOTTED MY DON’T-BE-A-DICK METHOD?
My email to Max made ZERO reference to my #AskGaryVee video, instead, I focused on Max’ undeniable creativity.
(If you watched my recent meeting with a senior TV Producer, you’ll know how obsessive I am about NEVER talking about myself on initial contact with people, it’s professional suicide!)
So, a brief email was sent to Max outlining my genuine appreciation of his video and asking what music was used. I received a reply within two days, and to my astonishment, it turns out Max is Gary’s brand director.
A few email exchanges later, and I felt totally comfortable mentioning my #AskGaryVee twitter video, and even more comfortable saying, “I don’t know how involved you are in producing the show, but I’d be enormously grateful if you could, at the very least, make the relevant person aware of my tweet.”
Max’s reply was basically, “Sure, I’ll pass it on.”
(NOTE: Max just agreed to get me one step closer to a show that receives hundreds of thousands of YouTube views every episode. Bravo, world!)
Fast-Forward four weeks, and I wake up to the finest Tweet imaginable, alerting me to my appearance on the #AskGaryVee show. Boom.
And that’s it, it really was as ‘simple’ as that, depending on your definition of ‘simple’, of course. None of the steps I took were more important than the other, they were 100% co-dependent. I’m sure Max would have told be to “GET FU*ED!” if my email was a ‘Yo, Max… help me out, bruh!” style correspondence. In fact, even if my email was as invested in hum as it was, it’s debatable whether I would have been featured had my question been dull or unimaginative. But, above all else, I guess the most critical feature of this whole story, is, and I didn’t even realise this until I started writing this blog post… the most critical part is that I had a very clear goal…. I wanted to be on the #AskGaryVee show, and once my target was set, everything in its attainment looked after itself. I remember, months before I was even asked to host a burlesque show, wondering how I could make my video stand-out. I dismissed countless ideas, trust me, COUNTLESS!! I had no idea a crazy burlesque show was on the horizon, which would give me a creative edge, I just knew I wanted to be on the show and so, was willing to be patient until the right idea came to me. PATIENCE is a huge theme in Gary’s content, and fortunately, I too embrace its value.
How are you with patience? I used to want everything yesterday, but I’m getting better at playing the patience game.
Right, anyway, it’s been at least 23-minutes since my last cup of tea, so I’m done here! Do one thing for me before you go, though… tell me what ‘questionable’ steps you’ve taken in the pursuit of your goal(s)? Did you have these steps planned-out from the start or did they develop as you progressed? I’d love to read your thoughts, do post in the comments box below.
Thanks for reading, I really am going now… gotta plan my route to Oprah.
– Goldiing x
================ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ====================
A few people I’d like to thank for their involvement in this film.
Firstly, without James Hargreaves relentlessly ‘hounding’ the owners of Bailey of Sheffield, suggesting they explore a creative collaboration with me, I wouldn’t now be in possession of Bailey’s lush bling. I’ve known James for a couple of years, but only recently, has he become the wizard behind Bailey’s digital advertising. Apparently, he always knew them & I working together would be fun. He was on the money, bless the quiche-loving bear!
Scott, owner of Bailey of Sheffield, was so generous in inviting me in to take ownership of my very own handcrafted piece of stainless steel majesty, especially when you consider there’s a waiting list bigger than Gary Vee’s ego. As a former club owner, Scott was also kind enough to impart the benefit of his business experience upon me during a phone call recently, which, given my strength lies in creating rather than the biz side, was hugely welcomed. Thank you for dinner, too, Scott.
Eileen… aw, so welcoming the day I went to collect my cable bracelet. Thank you! You too, Geoff!
Okay, let’s move onto the film’s soundtrack – courtesy of the vocal colossus Braver than Fiction. aaaaaaaaagh, that song, though!! The first time I heard the song was two years ago at a gig, when it was little more than a 70%-completed idea the band were still refining. I FUCKING LOVED IT IMMEDIATELY, and made a point of telling Mel (Braver than Fiction’s singer-songwriter) how much I adored it. Fast-Forward two years, and Mel randomly tweets me, telling me the song is on the band’s new EP. Well, it was a no-brainer, I was looking for a song to soundtrack this film that very week, and thanks to Mel, I had finally found it!! Thank you for saying “yes” Melanie & the rest of the band – )
Simon & Georgina, directors of the Unsigned Music Awards, I’m hugely proud of your monster achievement. It seems like just weeks ago we were scoffing pizza as you outlined your plans for the UK’s first ever event of this kind. Bravo a million times! Pizza next year?
Max, mate, thank you for enabling me to get a little closer to the icon himself, Gary Vaynerchuk. Remember, during your first UK visit, drinks on me!
Oprah… put the kettle on, I’m coming.