5 Things You May Not Know About Social Media Influencer Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk wants your attention. He thrives on it.

ByABC News
December 9, 2016, 1:07 AM

— -- Gary Vaynerchuk wants your attention. He thrives on it. The 41-year-old entrepreneur and CEO of VaynerMedia has mastered the art of social media, but unlike other “influencers” he says he isn’t trying to sell you something.

“I think [followers] understand genuinely that I have no interest in getting anything out of them. The only thing I want from them is their attention and in return I’m willing to give them everything I’ve got,” Vaynerchuk tells ABC’s Chief Business, Technology and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis in interview for “Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis."

In addition to running VaynerMedia, Vaynerchuk also runs VaynerSports, is a venture capitalist, a New York Times bestselling author and host of The #AskGaryVee Show.

Here are 5 things you may not know about him:

1. He is from the Soviet Union: Vaynerchuk was born in Babruysk, Belarus, in the former USSR and immigrated to New York with his parents as part of an exchange program.

"I think being born in a communist country as a purebred capitalist and then having the great fortune...to be able to come to America... It absolutely shaped me" Vaynerchuk tells Jarvis.

2. He’s obsessed with the New York Jets: His dream as a child was to become the owner of the New York Jets and it still is. In fact, it’s part of why he’s building an empire.

"My next step in my career, is going out and buying businesses and then running them through the VaynerMedia machine, and then flipping them and then making hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars and hopefully billions and then buy the New York Jets," he said.

3. He doesn’t want your advice: The worst advice he's ever received? Well that would be nearly everything, he says.

"Advice is bad unless it’s contextual and you really dig deep... Best advice only comes from the people closest to you and the ones that actually have your best interest in mind, and not theirs. That means, almost nobody... I just don’t listen to anybody," he said.

4. He’s in Apple’s new reality TV show: Alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Will.i.Am, Vaynerchuk will help mentor app developers on Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’.

“I think it’s an interesting story for the ability to build actual brand equity in the digital age,” Vaynerchuk says.

5. He’s always been a hustler: While other kids were watching cartoons, Vaynerchuk was selling baseball cards, and apparently lots of them! While you’re sleeping or watching Netflix, he’s working.

“I’ve always had one substantial advantage against the market which is… I just work 13 and 14 and 15 hours a day… competing against people that are working 7 and 8, and really 5 and 6 when you count in lunch and a couple of YouTube videos and a phone call or two.”

Get more of Gary Vaynerchuk and his interview with Rebecca Jarvis on "Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis".

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