I named my upcoming book, Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success. Even though it’s positioned as a business book, what I really want is for people to take these traits and apply them to their lives overall. Success here isn’t about making the most money or flexing for strangers with stuff you don’t need — it’s about finding what makes you happy and doing more of that. How do you do that? — one way is by following your curiosity.
Curiosity is next up on our Road to Twelve and a Half, and I really believe this trait holds the ticket to happiness for so many — they just don’t know it yet. When it comes to figuring out who you are, what you like, what you don’t like and what you want to do with your life and career, curiosity — with the help of some other emotional ingredients — is the key 🔑
I actually believe that curiosity is an unknown trait behind my success. To truly understand why I value it so highly, watch this video:
What is Curiosity?
A strong desire to know or learn something.
This trait tends to get a bad rep. Just think of the old saying, “curiosity killed the cat.” In reality, I think that you actually need to go explore anything that grabs your curiosity. It’s not just a good idea — it’s the difference between a life you love and a life you hate.
“The word curiosity is underrated in our society. It feels fluffy, academic, and childish, but I believe it’s one of the most important characteristics for success in business.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
Too many people are talking themselves out of happiness because they’re too worried that their ideas are dumb or won’t work. If you’re curious, just execute…stop being scared. Judgment of others is stopping so many when really, your opinion should be the only one that matters.
Curiosity always leads to opportunity. If you are unwilling to try new shit, please understand that this is a mistake grounded in fear, and I hope this blog inspires just one person to do one new thing they’ve been thinking about!
Let Your Curiosity be Greater Than Your Fear
My passion to be curious has always been greater than my fear of all of your judgment. Back in the start of my career, if I had let people’s comments about me being just a “wine guy” stop me, I wouldn’t have gone all in on social media, or VaynerMedia, or now, NFTs. If I lived my life according to the fear of other people’s opinions, there would be no “GaryVee.”
I urge you — do it for yourself, not for what “they” think. Who are they, anyway? You’re the one living your life — your one life! You’re the one that’s gonna be unhappy if you keep doing things you hate to please others…and you’re the one that’s gonna die! You owe it to yourself to follow the things you’re curious about.
“When people lack curiosity, they dismiss new opportunities instead of taking the time to explore them.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
There’s a reason I’m known for so many different things: wine, sports cards, garage sales, business, NFTs. I see my curiosity as an advantage that has led me down the path of opportunity over and over again. So ask yourself…are you actually pushing yourself? Are you learning? Are you taking advantage of the power of curiosity, or are you letting fear and lack of optimism control you?
If you don’t like your current chapter, you have to go all in on the things you’re actually curious about to create your next one. 🔑 What do you have to lose?
Too little curiosity, too much cynicism
On top of fear, a lot of people’s lack of curiosity is fueled by cynicism. They’re quick to yuck someone else’s yum. They’re all about the “or” instead of the “and,” and the “no” instead of the “yes” or “maybe.” Don’t be that person.
The truth is, it’s really easy to talk shit from the sidelines…but it’s the ones who actually followed their curiosity that become the athletes executing on the field.
You don’t need a “take” on everything .. especially if you haven’t done the homework … “no take” is almost always the right answer .. but we live in “super hot take” life .. stay narrow and deep 🙂 and patient and curious— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) July 8, 2021
Listen, I have compassion for people’s “takes” from the sidelines, but your lack of curiosity and your addiction to cynicism is hurting you so much. There are too many people missing out on something that will make them happy because they are scared to be wrong or aren’t willing to lean into “maybe” and feel very comfortable in the darkness of “no.” It’s time to face the facts…if you’re always saying no, curiosity just might be the “half” that you need to work on.
Deploy Some Humility After Your Curiosity Kicks In
All that being said, curiosity means nothing without the execution to back it up. It’s all good to be interested in something, but now, what are you gonna do about it? This is where humility kicks in.
“The two words that stand out to me in the definition of curiosity are strong and learn. To maximize the value of curiosity, you need a strong work ethic. You need a strong desire to continue learning, no matter how much you’ve accomplished.” – Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success
We’ll explore humility more in depth later in this series, but it is important to touch on it now because it goes hand in hand with curiosity. Too many people’s interests go nowhere, not because they aren’t genuinely interested or because they’re not capable, but because they lack the humility to do the work to really learn.
This is why I’m always talking about the importance of doing your 10, 20, 100 hours of homework. People want to make a quick bag off of NFTs, but do they take the time to join Discord groups, read Twitter threads, blogs, and other educational articles? Do they do research into different projects and founders? People want to go viral on social media, but do they take the time to read their comments?…to get curious about what their audience likes and doesn’t like?…what they need? If you’re really interested in something, deploy some humility after that curiosity kicks in and spend the time to get in the dirt and really learn something new.
So many feel like they “missed the boat” on things like TikTok or even NFTs…but those same people could have spent 20 hours educating themselves instead of saying no upfront. Instead, too many people fear “wasting their time.” The truth is that your time isn’t worth shit if you’re not fully fulfilled, and even if the thing you’re curious about doesn’t pan out or doesn’t become big, it was still worth the hours of homework because you practiced executing against your curiosity.
You can’t find the gold unless you go dig for it
Hear me on this. Your time is not more valuable than following your curiosity. Everyone sees me making “predictions” or calling things before they get big, but no one sees the hundreds and thousands of hours I spend researching, learning, and having conversations with people who know more than me. Better yet, no one sees the same hundreds and thousands of hours I spend looking into shit that ends up going nowhere!
When that happens, I’m not even upset. I don’t dwell on “time lost”…one, because I have patience, and two, because I love the process. I understand that you can’t find the gold unless you go digging for it! Curiosity is what makes the digging fun.
If you’re not having fun, maybe you just haven’t found the thing you’re genuinely curious about. That’s when self-awareness and accountability kick in for you to think about what you actually care about, and not just what you think you should do based on other people’s opinions.
For me, curiosity is extremely exciting. It’s about wondering what else is possible — how big can I build my business? How many people can I impact with my content? How many will show up to my funeral? Following my curiosity has brought me so much opportunity, and it will do the same for you!
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this blog. As the Road to Twelve and a Half series comes to an end, I’m really curious to know your thoughts. Tweet me @garyvee on Twitter!