Michelle was a happy talk beautiful black woman who let me charge my phone and made my card and told me the girls at a Uber are amazing and if I'm early it doesn't matter, I could wait for my meeting at their reception.
While waiting at the VaynerMedia reception I'm looking at TV celebrities walk past and I'm saying to myself "thank you GOD".
They had wine! Of course they did. But they had wine!!! And 209 boxes of pizza and youngsters lined up with still lots of work to do, taking a break to have fun and eat some very good pizza. I wonder if the pizza guy knows where his pizza brand is being exposed to, the czars of branding and marketing, the favorites and the uber talented moguls of the VaynerMedia office, New York.
India, what's the next question?
A super sweet girl, asking India the proverbial; let's get into the show was like being with a superstar on the sets of their most famous TV show.
We spoke about social media, work trainings coming to India, has she ever been to India and how the Moguls villa knows her and misses her. Wished her all the best with a promise to meet again very soon! Is India your favourite, she surely is of mine! Chris was amazing, showed me around told me how he too felt he was on a TV set when he first came into this company. Chris was an Uber driver who met Andy while driving him and told him how much he loved Gary and next thing; he's hired and working for the team. Truly amazing things happen to people here at VaynerMedia. Cool very cool!
Andy Andy Andy! We spoke, emailed, exchanged messages throughout the year and meeting him was truly great. He is a talker and way better looking than he does on the show. It was a Friday evening after 6 and we saw no signs of him or his crew signing off for the day. Lots to do and miles to go before I sleep seemed to be his hustle mantra.
The absolute loudest shout out goes to my friend and brother Alex de Simone, truly a patient professional who gave me a super tour (called it "the lap ") introduced me to the culture. We spoke about the nuances of running an agency, client relations, team motivation and growing a business and the outlook for 2017. The entire day went by meeting Alex and brainstorming about the future. Learnt a lot more than anything, it was how to treat and respect another human/guest/friend/visitor... they say the best gift you give to another is your undivided attention and your presence, Alex has this down pat. We didn't go out for drinks because he had work plans for the weekend. Loved the culture of hustle!
D Rock! The man every creative professional looks upto, but the best part was he doesn't know it. Easy to talk to D rock, gobbled a quick lunch and then went on to telling me about what he's working on and made sure I get the right pictures with the crew across the office. I got Facebook messages asking me to ask him what camera equipment etc he uses but I thought that would clearly be disrespecting the man, his genius and ability to hustle like nobody else. This man too was taller and way better looking in person.
The man, the machine, Gary Vee
Late Friday evening as he walked in with his knocks jacket and kicks and a camera person following him, it seemed superman had landed. The team was of course used to him but I was like, dude Gary Vee is in the house!
A medium too fast paced texting while walking, saying hello, takes him to his core team that briefs him in short crisp sessions and then it's time for him to meet Avi. The feeling was surreal and I found myself taking time to get into my element, (this only happened once before when I had to ask my now wife out). He said Avi I like your energy and that was it, that made me even more comfortable and we went from there. The meeting happened for a long time. We discussed opportunities globally and the latest social media channels in Asia and the youth that is ready to consume his message.
He let me talk, he heard me out validated a few things and course corrected me in certain places and we shook hands to meet again next month. Sweet things are made of these; New York never felt so good. I didn't party or go crazy shopping, no Broadway, no sight-seeing for me, it was spending time with my online mentor who walks his talk and shows the way and is completely clued in what's happening.
Gary Vaynerchuk looks way better in real life, he is pink in his cheeks, super fit and a happy smile that lights up the room and makes people feel comfortable. He likes to get to the point, absorbs super fast and is quick to cut to the chase. I learnt how every meeting needs to be kept on track and one person needs to host the meeting, run it, conclude, make next steps and move on.
I left his office, I got a call from my office they said the server is going through its periodic upgrade and servicing and we have a backup server hosting the sites, nothing to panic but we wanted to keep you abreast, in case clients call you. Honestly, without a backup for anything I freak out and never relent, backup after backup after backup is my mantra for a good night’s sleep, but in this case fresh off the VaynerMedia experience I told my guys to relax and fix it and we emailed our clients that the weekend belongs to server maintenance and that we are on the job and Monday you all shall have flawless workings of your digital assets; checked for viruses and back on track.
But this should not have happened said the worried mogul from my office and went on to say maybe it's Friday the 13th that's why and I instantly rebutted; are you crazy I said, Jan 13th, Friday, 2017 is undoubtedly one of the best days of my life. I walked down these large steps waiting to share these pictures and videos with my team back in India and my daughter Raya who was so sure Avi will meet Gary and great things will happen.
I'm walking down and I spotted Michelle and I sprinted back up to say to Michele, hello again. Listen I have to say this to you, I said people give speeches, write books and all with a promise to motivate and uplift people, I said you my dear beautiful lady are like a filter; a filter that people go through while passing this office and they leave behind all negativity and feel happy as soon as they have crossed paths with you. You are special. She was almost in terms I could tell but it made me feel good that I said it like it is and that may have in turn made her a stronger filter for others that pass by those doors of the Hudson Bay Area building number one.