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I have no doubt that there are many people who, upon their introduction to me – whether it was at a conference, or through a video I made online– didn’t necessarily like me. Or maybe they liked me and thought “this guy is full of it.” The cynicism around me and my brand is pretty high, and I’m very aware of it.But I love it.

The reason I love this is because I know that once you look under the hood, I deliver. You can market your ass off, but if your product sucks, you’re dead. Your steak can sizzle and look crazy appetizing, but if it doesn’t taste any good, your customers aren’t coming back.

In order to build a functional business that can take on a life of its own, your product just has to be real.

You need to spend all of your time and energy on creating something that actually brings value to the people you’re asking for money!I know it sounds obvious, but it’s something I can’t overstate. It’s imperative.

So let’s take a step back and talk about me. I was 30 years old when I began to produce Wine Library TV episodes. I had already built a very large business. By the time I segued into making videos about business and marketing, I was 34 years old. So as far as a spectator was concerned I came out of nowhere and was all this and all that, but I had already built the businesses to back up everything I said. One of the reasons I created VaynerMedia in the last few years was to remind everybody (and myself!) that I actually build businesses (VM has 300 employees up from 20 just 2 years ago and has taken zero funding).

It is insane to me that people can speak on marketing and business without having even built a business. I mean I can respect that sometimes the best sports analysts never played the game, but those people tend to have other qualifications like being the son of a head coach who was groomed since birth or some other variable, they are also far and few between.

Do you have any idea how many “Social media experts” were literally selling real-estate four years ago? Now I’m not going to get dragged into that mess because the truth remains undefeated. I mean how in the hell does anybody listen to a marketing author if her/his book is a best-seller on its first week when he gets all his friends to buy, and then is ranked 100,000th on Amazon two weeks later?! I released JJJRH 10 weeks ago. It’s currently in the top 300 books on Amazon. If that wasn’t the case, what good is my advice?

Now this is where some people might talk about the whole idea of “Fake it ‘till you make it,” but they’re missing a really important detail that’s right in front of them. The part of that statement that really matters is that you actually have to make it eventually. There is no such thing as “Fake it ’till you fake it.” Even though I think a lot of people behave as though that were the case.