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Don’t be a dick: Everybody is “relevant”

Sorry for the strong language, but a question like this one deserves a strong answer!

A member from the audience asks how to network with “relevant” people…

The first opening move on how to network and business development with people your company is looking for is to get out of the mentality of douchery, that justifies and categorizes people. If I was able to execute what was happening in my stomach right now when I hear people talking about categorizing other human beings of being “relevant” it makes me want to vomit on myself. I don’t think that you are a bad guy for asking this question. I think that you asking how to network is a proper question. First of all relevance is massively subjective for example: There are people who have a lot of followers or that have business influence, it’s whatever you are looking for.

I would promise you, I don’t know if you are seeing a theme in my talks, I’m a big fan of the second chess move in life, especially if you are asking how to network with a specific person. Everyone is trying to get to this “relevant fucking person” and so what happens is that it becomes a supply and demand issue, where you are getting pounded on and you aren’t getting through because you are defending yourself from the supply. When you open yourself up to networking with someone who might not be a “relevant person” by your definition, there are a shit load of people running around on SXSW that if you have a drink with them and say hello they can be your gateway to that certain person you want to connect to. But on paper with their 306 twitter followers it is not going to seem too obvious that they have business influence. I promise when you stop strategizing “people’s fucking clout” and you start acting like a human being you will win.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author, self-taught wine expert, and innovative entrepreneur. Find more at

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