The other day I came across an interview with celebrity entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk where he said that all he did between the ages of 20 and 30 was work. No social life. No outside interests. Every single hour of his life was dedicated to the grueling labor required to build his empire.
This is not the first time Gary Vee has talked about this. Far from it. Actually, a major percentage of his videos, articles, podcast episodes, and blog posts are devoted to how hard you have to hustle if you want to make it.
Why would a business owner with Gary's level of success dedicate so many hours to convincing his fans to work like boilers in Antarctica? Is it simply because he wants to make the world a better place? Or is there something else going on here?
The Persuasive Power of Hard Work
Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson are social scientists who have dedicated their lives to the study of propaganda. One of their favorite subjects is the methods religious cult leaders use to get people to commit their lives, time, and income to them.
(Pratkanis and Aronson's book Age of Propaganda is a classic. If you want me to send you some lesser-known books like this that are full of wisdom about persuasion and marketing, drop me a line. It would be my pleasure.)
Pratkanis and Aronson talk about how cult leaders like Reverend Sun Myung Moon and Jim Jones constantly told their followers that the secret to attaining happiness both here and in the afterlife was to work tirelessly to further the mission of the group.
Despite their psychopathic tendencies, Moon and Jones were natural marketers. They knew that the more they got followers to hustle, the stronger their attachment to the leader would become. In other words, when someone invests time and energy into a dream, it becomes increasingly harder for them to separate themselves from the figure they associate most closely with it.
What Does All This Mean For You?
So do I think Gary Vaynerchuk is a modern version to two of the most sinister cult leaders of the last hundred years? Of course not.
I do, however, think that Gary Vaynerchuk understands mass psychology on a very deep level. He wouldn't dedicate so many hours and dollars to spreading the gospel of relentless hustle if there wasn't something it for him. And what's in it for him is an army of fans who spend a good part of their own lives evangelizing his message.
If you really want to be as successful as Gary Vaynerchuk, pay less attention to the content of his message and more to strategy behind his message. Rather than focusing on hustling until your bones hurt, figure out how to get other people to do the hustling on your behalf.