Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk: Win a Free Copy of Crush It!

Today, before Courtney and I head to the airport, I’ve got a special treat for you guys.

Most of you know that one of my absolutely favorite people online is Gary Vay-ner-chuk.  He’s inspired this blog in many ways (especially the video I referred to my 6-month blogging update) and I’m absolutely addicted to his “Thunder Show” on Wine Library TV.  It’s single-handedly converting Courtney and me into wine drinkers.

Gary is the author of Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, which is now both a New York Times and a Wall Street Journal Best Seller.

I’ve been wanting to interview Gary Vaynerchuk for awhile, but coordinating a live call (especially from New Zealand) with his insane book tour schedule was next to impossible.  So instead, I prepared a series of interview questions specifically for Gary, whom took the time out of his schedule to answer them on video for us.

Not only that, but Gary and team volunteered to send a free copy of Crush It! to a Man Vs. Debt reader in the comments.  Just leave an answer to Gary’s final question in the comments below and I’ll randomly draw a winner after this coming Sunday.

My questions to Gary

In the video, Gary is read my questions which include:

  • How to defeat “someday” mode, without ignoring your responsibilities?
  • What changes are coming in online business and social media in 2010?
  • How do you avoid ‘passion burnout’?  And have you lost a little of your passion towards wine?
  • Where should Courtney and I start when getting into wine? (Gary gives some great suggestions for us)

Gary’s question to you!

I turned the tables on Gary and had him pitch a questions to the Man Vs. Debt readers.

What do you think your D.N.A. is?… Who are you, based solely on the fact that you popped out of mom?…  What are your 4-7 characteristics strictly based on your D.N.A.?

Answer that question in the comments below for your chance to win Gary’s NYT Best Selling book, Crush It!.

Special thanks to A.J. and Marcus for their work in coordinating the interview!  Appreciate it!

72 thoughts on “Interview with Gary Vaynerchuk: Win a Free Copy of Crush It!”

  1. Congrats on the interview and thanks so much to Gary for doing it. Looking forward to watching it now! Bought Gary’s book a couple of months ago and it’s great for getting fired up – a great reminder. Thank you!

  2. Great question Gary. This is one that most people never bother to ask themselves, but I see it as one of the most important.

    1. I am entrepreneur. Over the course of 34 years I have learned that I do not fit into many of the normal “behavioral structures” that man tried to construct around himself. College wasn’t for me, but I completed it. Working for others isn’t for me, but I’m currently doing it. Why? Because I have debt. What am I doing to change that? I have created where I pour my passion out on the table and work to monetize the effort. It is working and my goal is to be fully self employed by 12/31/2010. I spent 15 years trying to hide from the fact that I was not born to work for someone else, because the world tried to fit me in a box. I know now that I am a man who desires nothing more than to make his own way on his own terms.

    2. I am leader. Just as I am not meant to follow someone in my work life, I was not born to follow people in my personal life. I am a natural born leader. I tried to run from it, or make excused for it for years, but now I embrace it – and now I love it!

    3. I fear not failure. If you never risk, you never reap. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so failure was always something I tried to avoid. Now it is something I enjoy finding. Why? Because then I know what not to do… and if I find enough about what NOT to do, then I can hone in on what TO do.

    4. Life Work not career. I am on this earth to accomplish a life work. I am not going to retire, I will simply change my focus as I grow older. For me life is a race, and I will run it until I cross the finish line, not until I turn a specific age. Sound weird? That is because you are probably viewing your work as a career that you will someday step outside of. I view my work as the purpose of my life on earth. That life work includes more than just my career. It includes my family life, passions, play times, and legacy. I will run the race, I will finish the course. I WILL leave my mark.

    Great interview.

  3. Nice! I love listening to Gary talk… He’s always so spot on and says interesting things. Like, I wanna know what a two umbrella wine is now haha. 😛

    The DNA question is confusing me a bit… Does he mean literally? Like, literally, because of my DNA, I’m under-average height, under-average weight, have brown eyes and am a brunette? Or the attitude sort of things, like that I have moderate to severe PMS-induced mood swings or am stubborn? I mean, we all know it’s deoxyribonucleic acid, right? 😉 Just RNA without another oxygen atom.

    Well, my Mom liked to write a lot and wanted to be a writer. I never knew until I started to get into writing a bit more and she told me… So I think it’d be awesome if I could become a writer as one of my various careers for the both of us. 🙂

    But I definitely want to get involved in racing, grassroots drifting and thoroughly educating kids about cars & driving. Perhaps some sort of business that helps do introductory talks or demonstrations or some crazy thing like that. Is that something like PR? I really have no idea. I’m just hoping that the degree I get from school doesn’t limit my options as far as what sort of business I’d like to get into… It’s something I’m worried about. (I’d be too happy to join a racing organization and work in the finance department, lol, but I’d love to do more than just that…)

  4. Before I answer the question, I wanted to say, YOU asked some good questions. I liked the one on passion burn out, specifically.

    Who am I? I’m an entrepreneur. I am tireless. I love motivating. I love helping people. I love solving conceptual problems in business and in life. I love taking a vision and bringing it to fruition. I am passionate about PEOPLE. I am passionate about LIFE. Therefore, anything I put my hand in, I typically love, since I’m passionate at the core. ATTITUDE is what matters. Anyone that sees me on a weekly basis can attest to my flame. For me, the trick is building a business that allows me to spend more time doing things I am passionate about. Be it photography, video editing, biking, cooking, helping people, making a difference in the *lives* of others, helping businesses, spending time with others, etc. Combine my 10 years in the technology field with my degree in Business Administration with an Entrepreneurship focus and you have someone poised for the future. I wanted to be where I am today when I was 9 years old and began learning about technology. It’s in my DNA.

    Like Gary said, we can die tomorrow. It’s true. A wake up call 2 years ago when I walked away from a car accident after I fell asleep at the wheel reminded me of this. Jobs will always be there. Business will always be there. But PEOPLE won’t be. And that’s what I want to surround my business with. And my personal life with. I’m on fire, and nothing will take that away from me.

  5. Awesome stuff. I love Gary, just recently discovered him and am now addicted. My DNA?

    1. Weird random thoughts that make awesome ideas in the end
    2. Problem solver extraordinaire
    3. Crazy action taker (I get stuff done)
    4. Curious about death
    5. Awesome writer (obviously…)

    Cheers Adam, excellent interview!

  6. I always love Gary’s passion – it totally comes through – I really think the “passion burnout” question is very important, I know I’ve struggled with it. But I liked your answer, Gary – it seems like the overall/underlying base level of passion can’t die, although there may be short-term periods of stress and fatigue on the surface or related to circumstantial things. Also, thanks for the reminder to get focused on the actions I need to take in the new year!
    DNA characteristics: analytical, inquisitive/investigative, critical, generous <– although I will think about this some more – I love your approach to the question!

  7. Great content! I especially found the 7pm-2am “passion” statement very interesting!

    The thing I’ve found about my “DNA” is that it isn’t wasn’t my DNA- I didn’t really own it- until I discovered it. Not until I made a then careless choice of a Telecom major in college did I discover my passion for graphic design and my EXTREME AWARENESS OF DETAIL. Not until my dad brought home a drum set and I hopped up and gave it a go did I realize that I have NATURAL RHYTHM AND AMBIDEXTERITY. These “discoveries” of my DNA have shown me the bigger picture aspects of it… that I’m NEVER AFRAID TO TRY AND EXCEL AT SOMETHING NEW, and, of course, THE URGE FOR DISCOVERY (even of myself).

  8. Based upon what has been passed onto me in strictly my DNA, I am:

    Curious: I piss my wife off so much because I get interested in so many things. Many colleagues have said that I take on too many projects as a result of my curiousity.

    Analytical: Sometimes over-analysis will trump my instinctual or emotive self. I go deep into the things I am interested in and sometimes have “analysis paralysis.”

    Blunt: I tell people my opinions and often eat crow because of it. Thanks mom.

    Tall: Seriously, if my DNA has given me anything, it’s height (6′-9″). It has ramifications on my own personal life as each and every day I am asked exactly how tall I am and if I play basketball. And I can’t shave my head due to all the bumps.

  9. Ah, another gem!

    DNA, interesting questions, because honestly I think as people we’re really influenced by environment as much as genetics. But for the sake of argument:

    1) Curiosity: part of the reason I decided to sell everything and run my business from a new country every 4 months is that I’m just insanely curious about anything and everything. The meal between lunch and dinner in Argentina is called a ‘merienda’ and usually consists of some medialunas (croissants) and coffee. I had no idea I didn’t know this, but I feel like a richer person for knowing it now!

    2) Creativity: I definitely feel an innate need to always be creating, and I’m one of those fortunate few who can honestly say that I would be doing what I’m doing even if I wasn’t getting paid for it.

    3) Rebelliousness: I also can’t help but challenge norms and test boundaries. If I were a Disney character, I’d probably be the Little Mermaid, because I would be checking out what was going on above the surface, even though everyone else told me not to. Also: I would look great in a seashell bra.

    4) Ambition: I’m never satisfied. This is not to say that I’m not happy – I’m VERY happy! – I’m just not contented. There’s a big difference.

    Keep up the good work Gary! You too, Baker!

  10. Great interview! Thanks so much to Adam and Gary!

    This is a tough question. It’s hard to say what traits I really had at birth and which ones I “grew up with” by the influences around me.

    1. Love to learn. I always have been intrigued with life. I usually have a book going on something that I just want to learn about. I’ve kind of given up fiction unless it makes me think because it seems like a waste, and I don’t have anything to “take away” from it. I’m interested in new things and how things work, although it takes some initial effort to get out of my comfort zone and admit that the way I’ve always thought it was may be wrong.

    2. Strong-willed. This had to be a trait from the moment I was born. I am told that I challenged everything from the beginning. I still do. It has to pass the test for me to believe it or to embrace it. Once I’m convinced something is true, right, noble and worthy, I give it my all and will fight for it.

    3. Perfectionist. This is one of those things that may have been there at birth. In psycho-speak, it may be because I was a first-born that was born to two exacting first-borns. Whenever it began, I don’t give up easily until I reach my definition of perfect. It’s actually a weakness I have had to overcome to some extent. I still try to reach for the moon, but now know if I miss, I will fall among the stars, as the cliche goes.

    4. Love to communicate. From the moment I learned to talk, I gave my very unsolicited opinion to a waitress and have never stopped. Well, I have learned that I should wait until it IS solicited. This is the reason I recently took up blogging. I can say what I want, about what I want, how I want and when I want.

    Thanks again for this great exercise! Never thought about it this way before.

  11. I think this video is premium content… as is so much of what is on this site. Thanks Gary and Baker and all the others involved.

    That said, I hardly ever comment (sorry Baker) but I want the book. So…

    I am a defender of the masses. I like to take a stand against people who do a lot of mindless bashing.

    I am a nurturer. One past boyfriend scared me to death when I realized that he was not needy. *Shudder*.

    I am a half stepper. I have “started” three businesses since 2002 and don’t really have anything to show for it.

    I dream for the stars, then turn around and do the dishes. They have to be done. And no one else will do them.

    As a scientist I happen to know that DNA controls which proteins are expressed in a cell. My proteins seem to be quite different than those of the other commenters who already have all the superstar qualities that enable them to pursue their passions. Pick me! Pick me!(for the book giveaway, I mean. I’m sure you weren’t thinking to hire me, but I don’t know how I’d do working for you…)

  12. Only 4-7 huh?

    I’m a:

    Hustler.Capitalist.Adventure seeking. Risk-taking.Open-minded.Humorous.Goofy person

    and yes all traits come from my Dad 🙂

    “Crusher” is the new Hustler. Gary you should add that word to Wikepedia, Ha!

    Go Gray V.!!

    My name is Marie and I’m a crusher! ~

  13. Fantastic questions, so myself thinking about how I’m wired I came up with:

    1. Resourceful. My nickname in High School was MacGyver, no I didn’t have a mullet a sweat leather jacket nor am I Canadian. I can use the resources around me to come up with something else.
    2. Sarcastic. I can’t get away from this one, for good or bad it’s there and when I can harness it for good great things can happen. Some of my most commented and favorite posts came from humor.
    3. Generous. This is the one trait I’m proud of, I will devote my time, money and resources to those things and people that need help. Although if you’re not busting it yourself don’t ask me for anything.
    4. A Hustler. No I’m not going to steal your money in a game of pool. People love it when they see you hustling to get something done. Whether it’s on the playing field, at work or in your personal life it takes some hustle. Nothing makes me more proud to see my son out there on the basketball court diving to keep the ball in or sprinting up and down the court each and every time the possession changes. I don’t care that he missed most of his shots, he’s giving his all out there and is not going to sitting on the sideline wondering why he never gets a break. Make it happen for yourself.

    Thanks again for the question makes me want to go out there and make something happen right now.

  14. Great interview. Let me tell you, Gary is just as awesome to hear live. I got to see Gary speak last night in Atlanta at his book signing, and it was amazing. Inspirational! This is definitely a tough question.

    My DNA:
    1. Personal finance, money, & investing junkie
    2. Entrepreneurial
    3. Leader – “Go To Guy” to put out fires
    4. Calm and collected under fire

  15. It’s a thought-provoking question, which has provoked some thought but no answers … perhaps I’m a little too deliberative … or just weary from too much work … hard-working? that sounds so trite, doesn’t it? I question myself a lot — so I’m not only motivated but wary of my motives. I love to goof off as much as the next person, but I’m not given to a lot of things that I consider a waste of time. At the same time, I can’t seem to find enough time to do enough of the things that I want to do. So I’m glad I discovered this site — and this interview.

  16. Very interesting interview Baker,

    Here are 4 of my Mommy and Daddy’s contributions to the world, sorry in advance 🙂

    1) Hard Working: Ever since I was 10 I’ve been working some kind of job. I’m working harder than ever to pay off my debt. Up to 60-70 hrs at job #1 and 22hr delivering pizzas for job two.

    2)Personable: I’ve always had the knack of getting along with everyone. I’m a manager/supervisor in job one and have zero people issues because for some reason people seem to like me and follow my direction 🙂 And as a bonus, my managers seem to notice it and just let me handle it.

    3)Addictive/Persistent: Either way I need to see things through. Whether managing a project to completion or pay down my debt. My thoughts are always on ways to go faster, go bigger, and go better for each task in my life. Yeah, this can be a bad thing. But that’s how Momma made me.

    4)Creative/Visual: I’m a left handed person using his right brain in a right handed world. I’m an engineer my training and a troubleshooter by trade. My business is fixing problems, hey now that I think about – I should CRUSH the troubleshooting/problem solving niche…

    Thanks for the question Gary and Thanks Baker for letting us comment on it.

  17. Thanks to Gary and Adam! Gary you always rock my socks with you feisty attitude 🙂

    Who am I based solely on DNA?

    1. A short blonde. Like the rest of the women in my family.
    2. Determined. Some have called it hard-headed.
    3. Loud. Because in my family the loudest wins. 🙂
    4. A bit of a gypsy. There’s several people in my family tree who’ve ridden off into the sunset never to be heard from again. I’ve moved 20 times in the last 20 years and I’m itching to do it again.
    5. An extrovert. I love meeting and talking with new people.

    Thanks for the fantastic video blog. Your comment about dying tomorrow really resonated with me. I have a friend who says “it’s never to late to be who you were always meant to be.” My philosophy when I get out of bed each day is to make sure I’m proud of what I’m going to do that day, because it could be the last one I get. Make it count!!

    Thanks again 🙂

  18. Pingback: Bits and Bobs #1: Links and a Request

  19. Great stuff, I’m digging the passion that comes through in this interview! I feel like my DNA is a bit F-ed up…which is why I’m an engineer by day and a marriage blogger by night:

    1. Analytical to the core.
    2. Extremely attentive to detail.
    3. Tenacious/Obsessive. I can’t shake a thought or leave a problem alone once it gets in my skull.
    4. Absolute and total planner.
    5. Empathetic. Like “girlie” empathetic.

    Thanks again!

  20. Almost nobody commenting seems to know what DNA does. Really, you think it makes you entrepreneurial?

    My DNA traits? Average height, light skin, male, brown eyes.

    I don’t want the book, give it to someone else.

  21. Wow, incredible interview Baker, and thanks for taking the time to give so much to the MvD community like this Gary!

    I’m gonna have to agree with Tyler K above and LOL a little bit at all the natural-born “entrepreneurs, leaders, and great writers” but whatever. I think, like Colin Wright, that our environment and the challenges we overcome shape us much more than anything else, but I can see how some traits might be “passed down” one way or another from one’s parents. My life shaped me to be drastically different from my family in that I completely shunned the accepted way of doing things, started a business, decided to be homeless and travel the world instead, but I suppose I inherited the following few characteristics from my parents:

    1) Fieriness
    2) Compassion
    3) Perseverance/Tenacity
    4) Sense of Humor/Goofiness
    5) Intelligence/Intuitiveness (to the point I was bored with school)

  22. Tyler Karaszewski-
    Did you know that genetic predispositions exist for addictive personality, major depression, and even and angriness? Why can’t the same be true for “entrepreneurial personality” or extrovertedness? Actually, scientists at the University of Wurzberg, Virginia Commonwealth University and other institutions are constantly researching genotype correlations with personality traits.

    And, I DO want the book.

  23. Nice interview, thanks for putting it up.

    Some of the traits I have because of my DNA:

    1. I have a tendency to say ‘awesome’ a lot.

    2. I enjoy listening to both Disney songs (eg ‘A Whole New World’) and Progressive Metal (Tool).

    3. Inventor of the ‘sappy’ (sad/happy) style of song writing where I write a happy sounding song with slightly sad or introspective lyrics. Happy people only notice the happy melody, sad people pay more attention to the lyrics. Both get to enjoy the song.

    4. One of my ambitions is to create a secret organisation that goes around the world searching for lost artifacts, civilisations and continents. When I’m older I want to be the grey-haired millionaire that sits in the swivel chair and hands out the missions while keeping tabs on the progress made from the secret cave beneath the mansion the private island.

    5. Ability to laugh at my own jokes more than other people do.

    Studies have shown that the above behaviours are the result of specific genes that have proved to be superior in ensuring the propagation of themselves compared to others.

  24. I agree with Gary that we all have traits that make us a more natural fit to do certain things. My caveman ancestors were probably very afraid of getting eaten by a saber tooth tiger (more than other cavemen) so now I have been passed those genes and I am prone to worrying and have good attention to detail.

    1. Curious: I always try to read a lot of blogs and books on different subjects
    2. Introvert: Always have been
    3. Neurotic: I worry a lot
    4. Hopeful: Always thinking that the future will be better

    Here’s to crushing it in 2010!

  25. How to defeat “someday” mode?

    Stop watching f*cking LOST ! My favorite Gary V quote 🙂

    My DNA:
    – Patient
    — Curious
    — Inclusive
    —- Committed

  26. Great interview – it’s always fun to hear some of the social media and web big wigs talk about where they see things going, and of course, to get some wine recommendations!

    So who am I based solely on my DNA?

    1. I’m giving: I love people and I can’t help but want to give a helping hand whenever someone comes my way looking for help -whether it be with their own blog, a design question, or just submitting someone’s post to a social media website. It definitely helps in the realm of networking – people can tell when you’re genuine and you care.

    2. I’m obssessive: Once I start working on something I have to keep working on it until I perfect it – and it’s never perfect! I love the process of creating something new, working on it and seeing it grow.

    3. I’m cerebral: I love thinking about new ideas whether it be in the personal finance realm where I blog – or in other areas. I love to read, and love talking about ideas.

    4. I’m creative: I love taking an idea and turning it into something concrete. I love seeing things take shape, colors blending and moving – different moving parts coming together to form a complete picture.

    Thanks for the post and the questions Gary! Look forward to seeing where all your projects end up in the coming year!

  27. Great interview, one of the first things I did this morning and I have to admit this pumped me up! Now, the answer to Gary’s question:

    1. Dreamer: I cannot stop but imagine things, scenarios, putting people together, seeing myself and others in various contexts. I start my life in my mind first.

    2. Practical dude: the rest of my life, after I start it in my head, is about making it real. Do the chores. Use a hammer or a shovel.

    3. Inertial: once started, it’s getting really difficult to stop. But it takes a little while to get started.

    4. Word guy: I work with words better than with my hands. I know how to talk. Sometimes I even talk myself into things I never thought I would. 🙂

    5. Risk taker: very curious, ready to embrace anything even remotely challenging. They say sometimes this can be a bad thing. Although you can be punched in a face every once in a while, the end result is good. Very good.

    That’s it, that’s what I do easily enough to call it my “core” behavior. Thanks Adam for putting this together and thanks Gary for his time. And charismatic presence 🙂

  28. As everybody is pointing out, awesome interview Adam & Gary.

    As @Tyler pointed out a little harshly, my DNA Traits? Tall, brown eyes, fairly tan, great smile, haha.

    The “DNA Traits” you are probably looking for:
    1. Desire to help others.
    2. Talkative, but still laid back.
    3. Eagerness to learn and keep learning.
    4. Desire to party, haha.


  29. Always fun to watch Gary. My DNA is like a process. The objects of the process are more arbitrary than I’d like. I didn’t pop out “business” or “beer.” Would have made for a tough childhood, anyway.

    1) What’s going on?
    2) Is it screwing with you?
    3) Why is it happening?
    4) Can I love it?

    If yes, GO.
    If no, catalog. Will come in handy.

  30. This is awesome Baker you locked him down! Nice work! Gotta love the internet!

    My DNA is to just never stop going once a project is on. Nothing motivates me MORE than being behind.

    Take the personal finance blogosphere, for example. There are conglomerate blogs with 3-10 writers or more, and there are blogs with whose owner does it full-time for a living. How can someone who works full-time, with 1 writer 90% of the time compete?

    The motivation is to simply try harder! Being at a disadvantage, whether it is being education, physical attributes, time is my biggest motivator. To be able to “crush it” while not having the same tools is the most rewarding thing ever!



  31. Loved this interview and thanks for thinking outside of the box to make it happen!

    It’s funny that you ask this question because I think about it all the time. I see in myself traits from both my parents (wonderful people).

    1. Persistant and Determined
    2. Humble and Caring
    3. Confident
    4. Considerate

  32. Awesome interview….I love following Gary through blog interviews. Solid questions and more reality and consistency from Gary. Thanks Adam.


    1. Will power
    2. Will power
    3. Will power
    4. Pragmatic/Task Oriented
    5. Opportunistic
    6. Interested
    7. Giving/Social

    I want the job too by the way. Tunnels all the way!

  33. Love it love it! Thanks for grabbing this interview Adam!

    I would say that my DNA contains…

    1. Dreamer – When I look at the world this may sound cliche, but I see what can be rather than what is. Sure, I live in the moment, but I more often than not live in my rosy picture of an innovative future. Most importantly, I love making those dreams come true. That is where my fulfillment comes from.

    2. Passionate – Ask me any day of the week what I’m currently passionate about and I guarantee I’ll have an answer for you. Life is too short to not have a passion.

    3. Speaker – Put me in front of a crowd and we’ll all be laughing, learning, and smiling. In front of a group is undoubtedly where I feel most comfortable.

  34. Hi, I just found your site, so inspiring, thank you!

    Interesting question – I think many of my personality traits have been influenced by outside forces, as everyone’s probably are, but I am distinctly unlike either of my parents as far as outlook on life, relationships, work ethic, and general personality. The only things that are truly in my DNA would have to be physical:

    -blue eyes
    -lack of leg muscles (and tendency for cellulite yikes)
    -fair, reddish complexion

    If I had to pick out one inherited personality trait that is most noticeable, it’s a quick and stubborn temper from my dad. But I’d like to think I’m better at controlling it =).

  35. Brilliant interview! Best I’ve seen in a while… the questions, the answers, the message. I love your take on the 7pm to 2am thing, and the passion burnout issue. I guess if we burned out, maybe it wasn’t our Passion after all… just one of many things we enjoyed. And even if we DID burn out, perhaps that is still better than the lackluster alternative.

    I love the “very pumped,” but not reckless, approach to giving it all you’ve got.

    My DNA doesn’t require Crushing anything, just yet, but I’ll gladly pass on the link to anyone I know who might be in need of a serious Crushing manual. 🙂

  36. Hey thanks for the chance at winning a FREE Crush It!

    My DNA:

    1. Health and Wealth: There are many things in life you get a 2nd change at; your health is not one of them.
    2. Hard Working
    3. Honest

    Say NO to debt!
    4. Look for the best in people

  37. OK, I need to edit the above and there’s no edit button (Adam, why no edit button? ;)).

    So, here goes again:

    Hmmm, who am I based solely on my DNA?

    I am a determined (thanks Dad), red-headed, German(Mom)-Irish(Dad) girl who is of average height (don’t know who to thank for that as both parents are somewhat tall)and above-average intelligence (thanks Mom and Dad). I am analytical (thanks Dad)and critical (sometimes to a fault-thanks Mom), creative (thanks Mom), resourceful (thanks Mom), helpful (thanks Mom), hard working (thanks Dad) and love teaching others (thanks Dad). Oh, and I am a bit of a Type A(-) organizational freak (again, was there someone else involved in my creation?).

    Yup, that’s me, just because I was born. Now, what I have become as a result of my parental nurturing and time on earth thus far, well, that could be a book. No, really, it could be. I just have to sit down and write it. Hmmm…perhaps that’s a good goal for 2010?

    And, in case it was not made clear by my needing to go back and edit this post, I am somewhat of a perfectionist too (thanks Mom and Dad).

  38. A very uplifting interview with all the passion in the questions answered and asked!

    I had to pass on and post on 5 groups I belong to on LinkedIn…especially to people looking to reinvent themselves since they are currently without their next employment adventure…and some are remaking themselves as GREEN!

    1. Caucasian – we have education and social position advantages that some others still lack

    2. Being a survivor – father died when I was very small, one learns to overcome albeit with trial and error

    3. Love of family – close family ties

    4. Love of education and learning – being taught early to learn something new every day

    5. Being around people who are present minded – today is all we have!

    6. Raised in English speaking family but encouraged to learn other languages to reach out to the world

    7. Learning about life from a single parent

  39. Good questions, Baker. I’ll have to watch this when I get home tonight.

    My DNA – brown hair, blue eyes, fair skin, average height, good metabolism and constitution

  40. My first time being exposed to Gary. Very cool interview and I highly recommend a good Pinot for a lighter wine.

    What’s in my DNA?

    1. Deoxyribonucleic acid that gives me an entrepreneurial mindset.
    2. Nucleotides that all me to persevere through crap to do what I want.
    3. Hydrogen Bonds that allows me to be creative.
    4. Adenosine Monophosphate that keeps me pushing for what I want in life.

    Thanks Adam

  41. Great interview. Baker, I can tell that you put a lot of thought into the questions. I am going to give the DNA question a sniffy – sniff.
    1. Off the wall humor. For example watching a movie. I laugh when others don’t. When other people are laughing usually I’m not.
    2. Curious. I have to know how things work and how they were built. To a overkill level.
    3.Entertain. I have always been the class clown.
    4.Competitive. I love to compete. I thrive on it.

  42. Four strands of inherent DNA include:

    Family – You’re nothing without them
    Drive – I hate to lose and work at winning everything I do
    Erasing No – worst word in Webster’s
    Passion – Love everything that I do, when I don’t, I walk away

  43. The older I get and the better I get to know my parents, I’m shocked by the amount of things I seem to have inherited from them and from my parents. Things like:

    1. a love of reading and learning
    2. a desire to see the world
    3. the inability to sing on key
    4. incredible clumsyness and the tendency to talk inappropriately loud
    5. goofy looking feet.

  44. Congratulations on landing such a great interviewee! Thanks to Gary for doing it.
    As for DNA:
    1) Im a nomad (dad was nomadic 20 years – mom in foreign service)
    2) I love languages (dad speaks 4, mom 2)
    3) Very liberal (both sides on that)
    4) I am completely fascinating (of course!)

  45. I think that’s a very interesting question!
    My characteristics would be:

    1. Brown hair & eyes (from both)
    2. Honesty (from both)
    3. Curious (from both)
    4. Worry-wart (from my mom)
    5. Always wanting to have my own business (from my dad)
    6. Soft voice (from my mom)
    7. Determined (from both)

    I enjoyed watching this interview!

  46. Hi there – I’ve recently started to follow your blog, and I’d like to thank you for this great resource! As I comment here – I’m working on content for my very first blog entry. (It’s all in this head of mine… it’s been asking to get out for a while now.)

    I appreciate the question. It’s a great exercise to travel back to my roots, to have a think about what makes me ‘me’. My building blocks are clear.

    Props to my Dad for sharing his
    1) analytical mind
    2) drive
    3) nose

    Props to my Mom for gifting me with
    1) calm, cool, & collectness
    2) honesty
    3) courage

    Not a bad combo, come to think of it… I think I’ll send some flowers.


  47. Gotta disagree with Tyler @ Dec 15 10:33. As an adopted person, I never put much faith in the power of DSA. I definitely favoured nurture over nature. Since becoming an adult, however, I’ve met and stayed in touch with my biological family, and the similarities in personality are ASTONISHING.

    So, I firmly believe that my DNA codes puts me at the upper end of the scale for the following personality traits:
    1. intelligence (in terms of IQ & reasoning)
    2. curiosity
    3. facility with languages
    4. anxiety
    5. compassion

    On the other hand, I tend to blame my choices (not DNA) for the worst traits: laziness, vanity, greed, etc. Not sure why there’s the good/DNA bad/choices split — maybe wishful thinking?

  48. What a nice introduction to MvD. Been a follower of Gary’s too.

    I went into a deep contemplation about my DNA… thanks to Gary’s prompting.

    Who am I based on my DNA alone? Well, I could go literal but that seemed in authentic as I sense there is something for me to “get” out of this exploration. When I went more authentic, these answers emerged…

    I am woman.

    I am creative energy.

    I am passion (sometimes to the point of zealous and have over time been culturally conditions to tame or channel that energy. Not sure if it’s good or bad but I know the core of me is filled with the energy of passion)

    I am love.

    The above are the aspects of me I can’t NOT be.
    Thank you for the inspiration, dedication and communication of your message.

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  51. Oh I can’t wait to watch this when I get home!

    My 4 DNA Characteristics? Hmmm…

    1) Linguistic Intelligence–my parents are very good with words, and so am I

    2) Empathy–I think that some people are born with the ability to be more “in tune” with other peoples feeling…good or bad. I think my parents passed that on to me.

    3) Wanderlust/Risk-taking–my parents were risk-takers in a BIG way back in Civil Rights Era rural Mississippi…I’ve taken risks in smaller ways such as backpacking across Europe alone and moving 2,500 miles away for a job

    4) Competitiveness–I’m pretty laid back so I’m whatever I’m doing is a hobby or casual pursuit. Once I start taking it seriously, I have to win though. I’ve seen the same trait in my parents.

    Thanks for doing this contest! 🙂

  52. Wow Baker, another great interval on your website with Mr. Gary Vaynerchuk! I especially liked Gary’s statement about people should be hustling from 7:00 to 2:00AM following their dreams or passions. This makes you ponder about what you do with your free time after work.

    I’m also confused about his question concerning our DNA at birth. I don’t believe he wants my physical traits: tall, dark and handsome. So in response to his question, my DNA characteristic traits are as follows:
    ● Curious, as I love to take classes and learn new things.
    ● Intelligent, as I have a passion to fix things and design mechanical equipment.
    ● Considerate and thoughtful as I’m always helping other people.
    ● Self-awareness, perhaps the most important trait I have as I grow older. I’m starting to realize there is more to life than buying nice material things. As soon as I buy something, my desire fades and I want something else. This leads to the dreaded mundane wheel of life: big home mortgage along with the property taxes, big SUV payment, and a garage filled with stuff I don’t use.

    How I envy people like you that are traveling to far away places! Have a safe and wonderful trip to Thailand.

  53. What do you think your D.N.A. is?… Who are you, based solely on the fact that you popped out of mom?… What are your 4-7 characteristics strictly based on your D.N.A.?

    1. d. dreamer
    n. nice
    a. affirmative

    2. A male with an insatiable need for knowledge.

    3. a. curiosity
    b. dreamer
    c. father
    d. moving forward.

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  55. Based SOLELY on the fact that I popped out of mom (and not based on being raised by her), I am 5’4″, I have thin brown hair, I have great skin, I have wide hips, I learn quickly, I am resilient and emotionally strong, I am a solid sleeper.

    Everything else is changeable. I used to be fat — I changed my diet and exercise level and now I am trim. I used to be desperately shy — people in my life now are amazed to hear that. I used to be more of a follower — I am much more free-thinking now. I used to be very conservative and am now quite liberal. I think we underestimate what we learn as very very young kids and accept it as “how we are.” Why is slouching in a chair comfortable? Because we learned that it is. (Our bodies aren’t made to do that, and it is possible to learn to sit up straight on a stool and be comfy.) Why are girls more emotional than boys? Because of what we teach them. (Ever been in a class of really young kids? You can’t tell by gender who the criers are.)

    But it’s easier to say, “Well, I’m just not made like that” — for whatever “that” is — “so I can’t do it.” Yeah, that’s true if you want to be six inches taller or you want to be super-muscular but you have sleek musculature. But you want to be outgoing, you want to be slender, and so on — it’s in your control. It’s just more work for some than others.

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  58. Nice interview. Based on DNA alone, I should be:

    * Overweight and stagnant
    * Short tempered
    * Afraid of trying new things
    * Critical of what others are doing, but not doing much myself

    Thankfully, my DNA does not equal what I choose to become 🙂

  59. Thanks for the interview, I found it informative and thought provoking. I didn’t agree with all points but needless to say it is food for thought.

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