It’s OK To Be Number 3

gary-vee-at-haste-and-hustleLast week, I volunteered my time at Haste and Hustle, a marketing conference in Niagara Region. It was a chance to get behind the scenes at an event similar in size to the one I’m working on and take home some tips to for our team. It was also an opportunity to hear my awesome friend Allie speak as well as some other great marketing minds.

One of those was Gary V. Although, I didn’t follow Gary before last week, I knew his story because it’s blogging legend, and I was intrigued to better understand what the hype is about.

He didn’t disappoint. After the event and for the remainder of the weekend, I found myself reflecting on his message. And the reaction of the audience.

See, there were a lot of people there who do follow Gary, and when he wrapped his session and stayed behind to take selfies, it was pandemonium. It seemed odd to me, for all these fans (grown men and women, entrepreneurs and want-to-be-entrepreneurs and marketing executives) to crash the stage for a selfie with a guy who just finished telling them to do their own thing.

It was the very thing he spoke about when he kicked off his presentation, commenting on the real fear he has that people will be destroyed when the era of “fancy entrepreneurship” soon comes to an end. Success take real work. Most people, just aren’t up for that.

He references this in his daily blog – check out the 8:00 mark in THE JOURNEY IS EVERYTHING DailyVee 156 video.

“Everyone is trying to map their behaviour to the 3 trillion dollar kids and they’ll fail. We need to take that off the pedestal.”

He called people on their talk (literally, called out people with CEO and founder in their Twitter bios) and challenged people on whether they really want to be number 1 or if they want vacations and work-life balance.

He made no bones about the fact that he busted his butt for a long time before he ever said a word on social media and the pace he runs today is one most of us can’t likely keep up too.

He challenged the audience to figure out what we want and reverse-engineer what we need to make it happen. For some of us, we might learn we don’t really want to be number one. We might not want to be the final say or to fight the fires.

“Being number three is good too.”

It’s OK to be number three.

I feel like you don’t hear that everyday and it left me thinking. Great companies don’t exist solely because of one great leader. They need great people. Great people at the top and great people throughout. As always, success is how you define it and you don’t have to be number one to be successful.

Aim high but aim where you want to go. As a millennial trying to figure out “what’s next”, the pull of entrepreneurship is certainly strong.

“Pursue your passion”, we are told continuously.

newborn-dairy-calfComing from a dairy farm, I know what the work and daily grind look like. I’d wager, farmers know it better than most.

I didn’t grow up going on vacations. We didn’t go out for dinner. And as much as a teenage girl can, I don’t think I got that caught up with stuff. The cows didn’t care.

But when I look at the farmers in my life, and I imagine the hustle it takes to be number one, it does scare me. Gary articulated the very fears which have weighed on my mind the past few weeks. I can’t help but wonder, do I really want to be number one?

Maybe, I am okay with number three because family and travel have come to mean something important to me. But then, maybe it all depends on the dream and how passionate we are about it and what we’re willing to sacrifice. Can we give up the now for the later? That’s the destiny we control.

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