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  • Writer's picturePatrick Novak

Meeting GaryVee, changed Everything

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

Gary Vaynerchuk and Patrick Novak at VaynerMedia's New York City office.

Right after launching Trident Strategies, I was invited by one of my best friend's and partners Rabiah Sutton, CEO of FWDThink, to meet with world-class entrepreneur and business guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. Rabiah was there for a KSWISS collaboration to launch GaryVee's "Clouds and Dirt" sneaker, and start her new business podcast series with him.

Rabiah and I have been friends in the Federal Government contracting space for years. We're both extremely passionate about leadership, integrity, and most importantly, treating people right along the way.

Unsurprisingly, we're both massive fans of GaryVee's no BS and transparent approach to business. I was deeply honored by Rabiah's generosity and the opportunity to share her meeting time with GaryVee.

GaryVee, Rabiah Sutton, Sean Holladay and Shonduras at VaynerMedia chilling during the #AskGaryVee show.

Before this meeting even occurred, GaryVee and his team already included me in a few snippets on DailyVee 497 rocking KSWISS "Clouds and Dirt" sneakers while skydiving. Since then, the support and connection has been amazing and I'm so proud of GaryVee and Rabiah's mutual success. Many great things ahead for both of their companies.

As always, there's much more to this story that we'll discuss in the future, but here are just a few key lessons from my interaction with Rabiah and GaryVee at VaynerMedia.

It doesn't matter if you're a $5 Million or $200 Million company, the rules are same. Be a good human first, the rest will follow.

  • Humility is the best fuel for high performing teams. Nobody works hard for egocentric leaders anymore. There's too many great places out there to waste time doing that.

  • Relationships are strongly built with one thing in mind: helping others.

  • Emotional Intelligence isn't a "nice-to-have" for success in business. It's mandatory.

GaryVee motivation at Vaynermedia, Trident Strategies on site..

So how exactly did everything change after meeting GaryVee?

Authenticity and Perspective. Sometimes you must absolutely go all in on what you believe. What do you have to lose?

Far too many people and businesses shy away from who they really are. They'd rather put out an image, instead of reality.

Watching someone like GaryVee (who has plenty of reasons to play the role of highly unavailable celebrity) take significant time to genuinely help Rabiah get to the next level was incredibly impressive, as it was uncommon.

That kind of leadership without expectation, is what changed everything for me. It reminded me that hunting down dollars will never make sense if what I'm doing isn't genuinely motivated by improving the lives of others.

GaryVee meeting with Trident Strategies CEO, Patrick Novak

"Knowing there's a high probability of getting nothing in return, is how you win." - Patrick Novak

That's why we started Trident Strategies. We all know that a strong leadership culture is important in Federal government contracting as it is anywhere else, because the end goal should always be to make the customer experience more effective, expansive, and enjoyable.

Humans will always be the best technology in the world, let's never forget that. Especially as we build and grow technology companies to better serve them.

Trident Strategies CEO, Patrick Novak at VaynerMedia's lobby in NYC.



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