Gary Vaynerchuk was born in Babruysk, Belarus, in the former USSR, and came to America with his parents. When he arrived in the U.S., his whole extended family lived in a studio apartment in Queens, New York. And today, the 41-year-old runs a multimillion-dollar digital marketing company that he founded, VaynerMedia.
The 800-employee business has locations in New York, Los Angeles, London and Chattanooga, Tenn. Clients include Fortune 500 companies like General Electric, Budweiser, Toyota, Revlon and Unilever. Vaynerchuk is also a best-selling author and maintains an active social media presence for his more than 3.5 million fans, many of whom are obsessed with him and his work.
Vaynerchuk succeeded despite his humble beginnings and despite the fact that he was a D- and F-student in school. He attributes that success to his unshakable self-confidence.