The CEO of a multimillion-dollar company explains what he did in his 20s to set himself up for success in his 30s

Gary VaynerchukGary VaynerchukIn his 20s, ‘I worked my face off,’ says Gary Vaynerchuk, pictured.

In his 20s, Gary Vaynerchuk “worked his face off.”

The CEO of media empire VaynerMedia sat down with Alyson Shontell, the editor in chief of Business Insider US, for an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It.”

By his mid-30s, Vaynerchuk had taken his family’s New Jersey wine business from about $US3 million annual revenue to around $US60 million. He’d written a bestseller, “Crush It,” and established VaynerMedia, which he expects to generate more than $US125 million in revenue this year.

So, Shontell asked him, “What did you do in your 20s to set you up for success to really strike in your 30s?”

“I worked my face off and learned my craft,” Vaynerchuk replied. He continued:

“I’ll give you a good example. There are not a lot of 20-year-olds who can say they worked every single Saturday of their entire 20s. Period. I did. I worked 50 to 52 Saturdays a year, from 22 to 29, until I met my wife and started having to build some level of work-life balance. That’s hard work.”

As for what exactly he was doing on those Saturdays, “I got to Wine Library at 7:30 in the morning and I left at 7, 8, or 9. I just worked,” he said. “I just built a management staff, I tasted wine, I built up the website. Learned how to do Google AdWords. I just worked.”

He told Shontell that when critics “try to take a razz at me as a self-promoter” he points to all the years he spent working behind the scenes, before being a YouTube personality and amassing millions of social media followers. “If they even spend four seconds digging, they will realise I didn’t say a word until I was in my mid-30s and had already built an enormously large business.” 

Listen to the full podcast interview:

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