We all want to know the secrets to success!! But what parts of success actually matter???

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Gary Vaynerchuk by my friend and fellow business owner Matt Evers of Evers Photography. I bought one of Evers Photography’s limited edition and autographed pieces. As a “Thank You” for doing business he bought me the book, #AskGaryVee. The book has since changed my life. Little did I know an investment in the atmosphere of my office would catapult the attitude and culture of my business.


According to my wife, Gary Vaynerchuk is my new “man crush.” That might be exaggerating a little, but the reality is I was beyond impressed and inspired. #AskGaryVee was the first book I’ve read in a long time that I did NOT want to end. I could not get enough! I’m so fired up for life and business after finishing it. So, Matt and Gary, THANK YOU!!

My #ibbtop3 tips from this book were…

1. Hustle – Gary talks a lot about hustle. Personally, when I think of hustle I think sports. My dad was my coach for almost every team I was on. He always yelled, “Hustle James! You need more hustle!” Now that I’m in the business world I realize that the sports background has helped me succeed.

My dad doesn’t follow me to work, but his words do! I hustle my face off at work. I get more done in one day then a lot of my competitors get done in one week. That’s why I’ve continued to win and a lot of my competitors have fizzled out.

2. Reverse Engineer – This is where I began worshiping the ground Gary Vaynerchuk walks on. THANK YOU!!! Thank you #AskGaryVee for speaking the truth. I FAILED miserably as a manager early in my career because I was focused on what I wanted and how my team could get me there. What a mistake!! Who cares about what I think, feel, want, etc??? If I want results I need to know what my TEAM wants. It’s so simple and yet it almost never happens.

If you want people to follow you then you need to lead them to where THEY want to go. He helped me understand that I need to REVERSE engineer what the people I want to lead want. Notorious BIG sang about “More money, more problems.” In business, leadership, and management it is more money, but it’s more OTHER PEOPLE’s problems. So be ready and understand that it is NEVER about you from the moment you begin to lead. NEVER.

3. Your Funeral – This was amazing. If you want to know who Gary Vaynerchuk really is then you need to listen to this part of the book. For him it’s all about his legacy. And your funeral is when that legacy begins. According to him it is “the ultimate climb.”

For the cross country team I coach our saying is, “Live Like a Legend.” The reality is we are ALL leaving a legacy. Some good. Some bad. However, whether we like it or not people are watching us. We might as well inspire them while they do.

There was so much more that I learned, but those three stuck out the most.

It seems like every time I read a book I find another thing to focus on. At first it was frustrating. Yet the reality is that it ALL MATTERS. There were moments in the book where Gary would reference multiple aspects of business and life that were crucial for success. Then by the end of the section say, “Well, it all matters really.”

My fellow leaders, there are so many things we need to do well for long term success. My challenge to you is to read #AskGaryVee and pick your #ibbtop3 to start taking action on immediately. Check out his YouTube clip below and get ready to be motivated!!

It is possible my friends. Maintain focus. Achieve Greatness!

— James R Schleicher