Gary Vaynerchuk is the founder of VaynerMedia, a multimillion-dollar digital media company that employs 800 people worldwide. He's written books, invested early in massive startup successes like Facebook and Snapchat, and remains a social media icon to an impressive and devoted international fanbase.
Though he's come a long way from the eager young entrepreneur who started his first company, WineLibrary.com — he's become a self-made millionaire, for starters — he still considers himself a hustler, and he worries that other would-be founders aren't willing to do what's necessary to succeed.
On Business Insider's "Success! How I Did It" podcast, hosted by U.S. editor in chief Alyson Shontell, Vaynerchuk talks about his impressive, intense work ethic, and the traits he sees in the next generation of would-be leaders that make him cringe.
Here are three things Vaynerchuk says entrepreneurs should be giving up if they're serious about making it to the top:
"There are not a lot of [young people] who can say they worked every single Saturday of their entire 20s. Period. I did," Vaynerchuk tells Shontell.
Though the entrepreneur is big on sleep and makes sure to get around six hours a night before working out, he points out that humans don't need vacations or long weekends when they're working to build something big. Until your company is in a place where you can afford to take time away from it, the perks of being the boss don't mean you can come and go as you please and still expect your business to thrive.
For 10 years, Vaynerchuk explains, he went to work learning everything he could about wine, the internet and marketing. He says he would come in, train his staff, watch trends and constantly look ahead to what he could be doing next to evolve his business and the brand.
"I didn't say a word," he tells Shontell. "I didn't do podcasts. There wasn't social media ... I didn't start a MySpace page to say, 'Look at me, look what I'm doing.'"
"I do believe that the people who care less about what other people think about them tend to have a better life. It's just liberating," said Vaynerchuk, speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festivals in Austin, Texas, this year. "I genuinely believe that self-esteem is the ultimate drug in life."
It may make you laugh, but Vaynerchuk is serious. He says it's frustrating to invest in young founders with promise who then turn around and take trips to music festivals and ski resorts when they run into obstacles.
That, he says, signals that "they're not putting in real work to the business."