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Twelve and a Half: A Taste of the Ingredients

"The reason I wrote Twelve and a Half was because we all have “emotional traits” we can get to a better place to achieve the happiness and success we desire. People think of business as “hardcore” or “dog eat dog” where “only the strong survive,” but I believe that these traits are the actual strength and advantage. I hope this little taste of the ingredients from Twelve and a Half can help set you up for your best year yet." Gary Vaynerchuck

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      intro In this deck, you’ll see me combine the twelve and a half ingredients from my new book into a complete “meal” for life and business success!

      intro Developing these 12.5 ingredients individually is the starting point, but knowing how to cook the meal is the real takeaway. Even if you have all 12.5 in a solid place naturally or you were lucky enough to have learned some of them by experience, you still have to know how to use them together.

      INTRO You still have to be the “chef” who “cooks” them.

      So, without further ado…

      GRATITUDE Step 1: Add gratitude

      GRATITUDE (noun) The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

      In the face of disappointment, gratitude is my chess move to limit dwelling on it.

      If there were a list that ranked everyone on Earth in terms of overall success and happiness (from 1 to 7.7 billion), where do you think you’d rank?

      Got your number? Great.

      Do you have enough food to eat every day? More than 820 million people in the world were undernourished in 2018.

      Do you have a proper toilet at home? Around 60 percent of the world’s people (4.5 billion of them) don’t have a toilet that properly manages human waste.

      Do you have high-speed Internet at home? About three billion people aren’t even on the Internet. Even 21 million Americans lack broadband access.

      People don’t understand the reality of what’s happening in the world because their communities are so insular…

      People look upward at those who rank higher, but they don’t look downward at the billions ranked lower.

      GRATITUDE As you bring in the new year, think about gratitude and how you’re implementing it in your life.


      SELF-AWARENESS (noun) Conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

      The value of self-awareness first hit my radar in 2011 to 2013 during the explosion of interest in entrepreneurship in popular culture.

      When I saw some students and executives become startup founders, it struck me – how do they not realize that they have no chance?...

      Do they not realize that they’re making this jump because they think it’s cool, instead of doing it because it’s their calling?

      Self-awareness has a close relationship with self-love and self-acceptance.

      I’m realizing right now that it’s one thing to be self-aware…

      It’s another thing to look in the mirror and say, ‘Hey, you’re not good at X.’

      That doesn’t mean telling yourself you’re a piece of shit. It just means acknowledging a weakness.

      Self-awareness How well do you really know yourself? Your strengths and weaknesses?


      ACCOUNTABILITY (noun) The fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.

      People love to deflect blame from themselves onto other people.

      The greatest misconception is that avoiding accountability will lead to happiness, when in reality the reverse is true.

      When you blame others, you’re admitting to yourself that you’re no longer in control.

      You give leverage to the person(s) you’re pointing your finger at, and you become a victim of the situation you’re in.

      Instead of pointing a finger, consider pointing a thumb back at yourself.

      No matter what challenge I’m facing, I have to accept that in some way I made a decision that put me in that situation.

      It excites me to know that nobody else is in control. If I created the issue, then I have the power to fix it.

      If I didn’t create the issue and it’s bigger than me or purely circumstantial, I can still decide how I absorb it.

      accountability Accountability is a trait I think is more powerful than most people realize.


      OPTIMISM (noun) Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

      Optimism is a word that has become controversial in some ways. There’s a misconception that it means the same thing as delusion.

      Those who are scared and hurt are afraid of optimism because they don’t want to be let down…

      So they confuse it with naïveté.

      Does it make sense that with hope and confidence about the future, you have a higher chance of reaching your desired outcome? I think so.

      Choosing optimism over pessimism is, at the end of the day, wildly practical.

      Optimism is being thrilled about your next at-bat…

      While acknowledging that you’re not guaranteed to hit a home run.

      optimism Optimism is often mistaken for delusion or naïveté. Practical optimism is actually the key to happiness and success many are missing!

      EMPATHY Step 5: Add EMPATHY

      EMPATHY (noun) The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

      Empathy is the ingredient that provides the answers to the test.

      When you can feel what another is feeling, you develop an extraordinary ability to manipulate human beings. I believe it’s the ultimate superpower.

      You can create carnage with it, or you can use it to uplift the world…

      Empathy is like a cheat code in business and life. I actually think it makes the other eleven and a half ingredients easier to use.

      You can handle any situation if you can feel the feelings of others involved.

      empathy Empathy is one of the most central ingredients of who I am and how I operate. It’s what helps me communicate contextually and it’s a foundational trait to my life and business.


      KINDNESS (noun) The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

      People think of kindness as an ingredient to deploy toward people they’ve disappointed, hurt, upset, or put in a precarious spot.

      For me, it’s about being kind to those who have put me in a difficult position.

      I often tell my friends with big potential that being kind is easy when it’s easy.

      Being kind when you’re under pressure is tough.

      Those who judge themselves harshly tend to judge others harshly too.

      Those who are kind to themselves tend to be kind to others.

      People confuse the definition of kindness with the definition of pushover — ‘a person who is easy to overcome or influence.’

      They’re not the same at all.

      You can be kind, be candid, and hold your ground all at the same time.

      I intend to push the narrative of kindness as a strength and see what kind of impact I can have.

      It genuinely, genuinely works.

      Kindness Too many think being kind = being a pushover, and that's just not true. Kindness is cool (and the ultimate business strength)!


      TENACITY (noun) The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.

      If you want to be successful in anything, I do believe that tenacity is essential.

      However, it should never come at the expense of your peace of mind and happiness.

      Tenacity should never equal burnout.

      Being tenacious is about telling yourself, ‘I enjoy my process so much…

      …that I am able to push through what others normally view as obstacles along the way.”

      tenacity It breaks my heart that so many people think tenacity equals burnout. They're not the same at all.


      CURIOSITY (noun) A strong desire to know or learn something.

      In the early days of social media, many experts dismissed it as a fad.

      They said the same thing about Web 2.0.

      Now, in early 2021, we’re at the dawn of an era when artists will be able to generate livable income through NFTs.

      When people lack curiosity, they dismiss new opportunities instead of taking the time to explore them.

      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.

      curiosity Curiosity is an underrated trait that I believe always leads to opportunity. I hope this post inspires just one person to do one new thing they’ve been thinking about!


      PATIENCE (noun) The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

      When you have a good relationship with time, the pressure is lifted and you can do so much more.

      When you’re desperate to prove something to other people in the short term…

      …you don’t give yourself a chance to enjoy the process.

      Those who are patient aren’t any less ambitious or tenacious.

      In fact, patience can give you permission to dream bigger.

      At forty-six years old as this book comes out, I’m still patient.

      I’m not in a rush to realize my dreams in the next few years —

      I’m excited about the next forty-six.

      patience I talk a lot about speed and execution, but macro patience is another huge key to a successful framework.


      CONVICTION (noun) A firmly held belief or opinion.

      Conviction is the north star that keeps you on track,...

      …helping you be tenacious throughout your journey, despite the inevitable difficulties.

      Without conviction, you’ll miss big opportunities and lose because of other people’s opinions…

      …which is the most devastating of all.

      When you follow your convictions against society’s pushback,

      one of two things will happen:

      either you’ll be right,

      or you’ll be happy you saw it through.

      conviction When you have conviction, you never have to convince others. Conviction goes hand in hand with other traits like tenacity and humility.

      HUMILITY Step 11: Add HUMILITY

      HUMILITY (noun) A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.

      I actually hate this definition.

      Why is humility considered a low view? Fuck that.

      My definition of humility would be ‘a comfort in one’s own understanding of one’s position in the world.’

      I feel that’s more accurate.

      When you have a fair, modest view of yourself, you have a significant advantage over others…

      …because you’re willing to do what they aren’t.

      humility Traits like tenacity and conviction naturally come to mind when people think of what it takes to be successful, but what about humility? I think humility is key for building long term legacy and success.

      AMBITION Step 12: Add AMBITION

      AMBITION (noun) A strong desire to do or achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

      People tend to have an unhealthy relationship with ambition partly because they use it as a cover-up for their insecurities.

      Life is a joy when you have good relationships with your ambitions.

      I wake up every morning and chase my dream,...

      yet I’m so not in need of achieving it.

      I fully believe I’ll make it,...

      yet I don’t need to make it.

      Ambition is like a healthy “carrot.”

      ambition Having ambition is great, but it can potentially become a double-edged sword if it's not balanced out with other ingredients.

      KIND CANDOR Step 12/2: Add KIND CANDOR

      candor (noun) The quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness.

      There’s a reason why I added the word kind in front of candor…

      How you deliver the medicine matters.

      I have a visceral reaction to confrontation, and so I was very bad at giving critical feedback for most of my career.

      After twenty-four years as a business operator, I’m heartbroken that there are people out there who don’t feel great toward me because I wasn’t able to be candid with them.

      I didn’t see the beauty of candor, the humanity in it.

      I didn’t realize that candor actually is kindness.

      All my unhappiness in life and business has resulted from my inability to deploy kind candor when necessary.

      That’s why I’m calling it my half.

      I say “half” because nobody’s a zero on anything.

      note No matter how bad you think you are, the fact that you’re even aware of a weakness or a gap has already started your process of becoming better at the underdeveloped skill.

      Twelve and a Half: A Taste of the Ingredients - Page 141

      note As you go through this book, I don’t want you to be depressed when you find out what your halves are. I want you to be thrilled because, as you improve on those halves, more good things will happen for you.

      remember… The quality of your dish depends on the quality of your ingredients and the way you use them in combination.