Gary Vaynerchuck is one of my favorite speakers to listen to. If you don’t know who he is, you should. He’s arguably the world’s leading expert on social media marketing and he runs Vaynermedia, an international marketing agency, where I got to spend a day a couple of weeks ago.

“Gary Vee” speaks like theNew Yorker he is; fast, with a fair amount of profanity. Nonetheless, most who listen to him gladly sift through the foul language because his message is so strong. One of his favorite statements is that young business owners must “eat sh*t” for a while during the growth phase. What does this mean? I’ll explain.

Last week I was called by a young dentist who is moving to Dallas with his wife, also a dentist. They’re going to open a new business and he wanted my advice about what he should do to succeed. I passed on Gary’s advice on his new suggested diet of manure. He didn’t understand, so I elaborated.

“When your friends decide to play beer pong” I said, “you need to be at home working on your business. When your buddies are playing softball, you need to be working on your business. When your friends buy a Range Rover, you need to be driving your beater. When your friends fly to Peru for a “guy’s trip” you need to be home working on your business. Sure, you’ll be able to take some time off when the practice starts to produce an income, but for the first 2-4 years, you need to eat a lot of sh*t.”

I later found out that he told my friend that I was “really intense”. Welcome to the big leagues buddy, and here’s your bus ticket back to the minors.

Business isn’t for the weak of heart or those who want to just make a quick buck. The free market economy means that anyone can succeed, but if you’re to stand out, you better figure out a way to make your business work and hammer at it like water trying to get through a dam. Work hard enough and it WILL happen eventually. But, way too many clinicians think that getting out of school means it’s time to start making money. Ummm, sorry.

You want to work a 4 days a week, 8-5 and have your weekends free? There’s nothing wrong with it, but I’d suggest that you stay an associate in a corporate chain because the market will swallow you up. Make all the rationalizations you like, but there’s a reason why less than 1/3 of US businesses are around after 10 years (according to USA Today). The market owes you nothing.

I’m not the smartest guy in the room but I promise I’ll outwork anyone. Any success I’ve had in this life (much against the odds) came because I was willing to do the hard work when others wouldn’t. I got out of residency at age 47, with three kids and a brand new practice. Yeah, intense.

You went to school for 23 years, have a ton of debt and are a small fish in a giant pond, but your destiny is in your hands. When it’s 12AM on a Tuesday night and you’re tired and roughed up from a tough day and your policies and systems at work need to be rewritten. You can go to bed or you can work on your practice.

So, embrace your diet and remember what we tell kids. If you want to grow, you better eat…a lot.

All the best,

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Glenn
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