Garyvee, If you haven’t heard of him yet, is the CEO & Founder of VaynerMedia, which is one of the most sought after jobs in the entrepreneurship/business marketing space which has hundreds if not thousands of applicants a week for jobs, internships, etc. Yet somehow, Josh Ordonez was able to skip the line and land a job at Vayner with little to no effort, and then very quickly most valued assets, his empathy wines Instagram account. Josh didn’t wake up one morning and get lucky, he worked hard every day and is no beginner when it comes to personal branding and social media management. Josh has managed massive personal brands & I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Josh because I had the pleasure of meeting him at Netcon, an event I spoke at last month. about his journey, what he’s done, and how he has managed to get to where he is now if you haven’t heard of him yet, I introduce to you, Josh Ordonez.
Hey Josh, How Old Are You, Where Are You From & What Do You Do?
“Hey Joe, Really appreciate taking the time to sit down with me! I’m 21 years old. I am originally from Riverside, California- About an hour south of LA. I do social media marketing/management. My current venture is with Gary Vaynerchuk”.
Did/Do You Go To College?
“Yes, I am currently still in college. I’m studying marketing and plan to graduate a year early this December 2019. I actually just started 2 online classes that I’ll be taking and balancing while living out here in NYC and working at Vaynermedia simultaneously.”
What Motivated You To Be An Entrepreneur?
“Achievement and my mindset. I think life is about goal setting and eventual goal achieving. My mindset is very driven towards growth- in all areas of life. The only “profession” that allows constant growth potential at a somewhat controllable pace is to be an entrepreneur. Along with growth comes self-development. Not many non-entrepreneurs are waking up and starting their mornings with a podcast or audiobook like the rest of us, entrepreneurs. I’d rather claim to be something other than just an entrepreneur if I knew the word for it. To define that word, I’m more of someone who is just always seeking to grow because my goals are quite higher than the average person- and having my actions reflect my goals and ambitions label me as an entrepreneur as default. Plus, I needed to put something in my Instagram bio category in order to have a business profile for my personal account (@joshordonez) so entrepreneur fit best, for now”.
What Made You Get Into The Digital Marketing Space?
“My journey took a lot. At my early stages of entrepreneurship, I pursued business models and almost all my actions were motivated by purely the intention to make a lot of money. Literally, like most kids in High school- you google “top paying salary jobs in 20__”. I don’t think I really liked any of the options nor could see myself doing any of those, but I knew I’d eventually find what was right for me. In chronological order, here are all the businesses I’ve tried and failed it:
Life insurance / Financial Advisor. I actually became licensed and got a job with a Fortune 100 company at age 18- New York Life. They were previously ranked at I believe 60 according to Fortune.com. I even had a million dollar round table “mentor” who helped me get the job and initially offered to be a mentor. I say initially because after I got into the company, he completely neglected me. I remember walking into his office once and he was closing a $500,000 commission deal that I had no idea of. Like at least let me learn/observe without taking a cut at first, but hey, glad I didn’t. Insurance and that whole industry were so boring to me. Before this, I attended Riverside Community College where I failed every class besides business 101. Here is where I actually thought business was for me. New York Life, however, was the reason for me dropping out of college at first. I then decided to reframe and refund my purpose, so I decided to go back to college to at least give me something to work towards as I figure things out. I entered California Baptist University in 2016 (After being told by my high school counselors to never apply for a university or 4-year college).
I then started to pursue to become a “Forex Trader” because of that Multi-Level-Marketing company many of you may have heard of- iMarketsLive. I thought this was it for me actually. I thought this was my destiny. I even remember quitting my position with the County of Riverside Marketing Department thinking that I was gonna crush it with IML. I ended up hating trying to learn forex trading and especially the whole trying to recruit people part made me feel like someone I wasn’t. I sat down and asked myself- “Even if I become successful in this, will I be happy/proud of myself”- and the answer was no.
The next business model I tried out was Amazon FBA. Couldn’t even afford to bulk purchase any product at the time, but I did take a fat L getting scammed out of a $997 course trying to learn this stuff. I bring all this stuff up because I think this was a crucial part of eventually finding what I genuinely liked and loved- which is social media marketing. Throughout the journey of entrepreneurship- many industries thought leaders would advise younger entrepreneurs to just try things and fail as much as you can to eventually find what worked. I honestly thought that advice was dumb, like why would I willing want to fail just so I could get better, but sure enough- failing is what it took to help me find what actually stuck with me. Despite all the lost time, lost money, etc, finding something I was passionate about was all worth it despite all prior failures”.
How Did You Land Your Position Working For Gary?
“Gary posted on his IG story saying that they were looking to expand his Empathy Wines Team. At the time I saw this, I didn’t jump immediately to apply or anything because I was already pretty happy with my prior social media management gig. However, eventually, Gary went live on his Instagram and he was calling a bunch of people on IG who bought Empathy Wines, Live. I was like “hmm, this is pretty cool and this seems like a meaningful project to Gary” During that Instagram Live which took place in March, Gary had mentioned something along the lines of “The Co-Owner of Empathy: Nate, is…”. I then thought to myself “Nate”, okay. So I look up “Nate” Into Gary’s Following list on IG- and sure enough, I find the Co-founder of Empathy Wines. I then slide into Nate’s DM’s, I share what I’m currently doing in the social space, what I have done, and what I’d potentially like to do with them. Nate sounded interested initially but eventually left me on reading. I later had a social media campaign with the Utah Jazz and Kickstradomis.
I posted some content of this campaign on my IG story and tagged Nate in the story (I hid the @ so only Nate and I know) and then after that, he told me to call him and pretty much offered me the gig right there.
After a couple more phone calls, I had to eventually find a place to live in NYC in the middle of my school semester. I actually think I left a week or so before finals week. Luckily, I have built really good relationships with my professors so I was able to either miss the final or just do it online:) Thanks Internet!”
Walk Us Through It, How Did You Go From An Everyday Employee To Now Running His Empathy Wines Page?
“Well, I guess I have quite a qualified background in the social media management space.
I’ve managed social media with NBA Player Lonzo Ball and his family. I was the social media intern for the @JBA .I’ve also done socially with Andy Nguyen– He’s the co-founder of @AftersIceCream (Largest ice cream chain in Southern California)
I was managing 3 accounts for him at one point, 2 similar millennial based marketing food concepts in Chino Hills California, and also had an international client based in Qatar (next door to Dubai). Those times were fun because I’d have to sometimes stay awake until like 12-2AM at night because of the time difference.
I also have managed @Kickstradomis on social, a pro shoe designer for NBA players, Pro Athletes, Celebs, etc. This was a very fun project.”
How Have You Leveraged Personal Branding?
“I haven’t touched my physical resume in over a year, haven’t updated my LinkedIn is probably the same amount of time, It’s literally all strategically using and posting on Instagram. My IG is essentially a visual demonstration of my business card. As you can see, networking on Instagram is how I ended up here at Vaynermedia. I do think about posting more and more content on YouTube to see how I can add value/inspiration to this generation. I have filmed Vlogs of my work life, but I have not yet made one yet. I’ve connected with tons of people through IG first and have built friendships, professional connections, new clients, etc- all through my personal brand and Instagram strategies.”
What Does Your Average Day Look Like?
“Monday- Friday, I’m usually at VaynerMedia from 9-6. However, thanks to the power of the Internet and social media I am allowed to work remotely if I want. However, the vibes and energy at VaynerMedia make it really easy to actually want to be here. The Empathy Wines team is also amazing, seriously amazing people. I gym at around 7 PM, Eat at around 8 PM and do intermediate fasting every day. Eat my last meal at around 8-9pm and I won’t eat my next meal until 12-1pm the next day. Weekends are dedicated to the gym, and game planning/brainstorm on my personal brand / my next business move. Being in NYC makes it really easy to always find “fun things to do” like going out to bars, clubs, etc. But I oddly would rather work. I do let myself go out and have fun too, but it is certainly not a priority. I do have a social engagement priority. Business / networking events / parties. I do really enjoy business conferences. I recently attended NextGen here in NYC, NetCon in East Hamptons at the World Famous “Glass Mansion”, and also attended a cool networking event/party at Muhammad Ali’s house in Cherry Hill, NJ lol. Things like that are much more “fun” to me than just going mindlessly going clubbing and spending money on alcohol. And then on Sunday’s, it’s gym, work, and Homework days. All my Homework is usually due on Sundays, so I DO on Sundays.”
What Are Your 3 Core Principles?
- Know your motives, and try to develop self-awareness as much as you can. This will help you discover your strengths.
- Do not pursue a career/business only for the money. Don’t Chase Money, Chase Legacy and Chase to become valuable.
- Faith. Humans are God’s highest form of living creatures. Believe in yourself or no one else will. We all have high potential, it’s up to you to discover it.
What’s Your Favorite Book?
“Crushing It by Gary Vaynerchuk or The Law Of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson.”
What Would You Tell An Aspiring Entrepreneur In High School Right Now?
“I wish I could say ‘don’t chase money’ but chasing money is how I eventually discovered that this didn’t work for me. “Shiny object syndrome” was very real with me and for many people in this generation, I’d advice highest to attempt your hardest to avoid it. Avoid it by digging really deep and try to discover what you love. Chase Happiness. Other than that, I’d say high school is a super fun and easy time to just hustle to make a quick buck. Find a fun side hustle besides just High School and Video games. For example, I sold gum in High School. I actually built a pretty nice referral-based business as kids would come up to me and say ‘Hey, are you, Josh? You’re the gum guy right?’. And that I was. “
What Does Your End Game Look Like?
“To build a legitimate Brand with Legacy and awesome collaborative accomplishments in this generation. Whether that’s my personal brand or an actual product/service’s brand I build, which will then reflect on my personal brand.”
What Do You Want Your Legacy To Be?
“Would love to have a platform where I can share my insights on life. I think there’s so much more to life than just financial accomplishment. There’s a reason why people with money say that money is not the path to happiness. I’d love to build an amazing brand that inspires many. Would love to make my family proud, and God proud of me. Would love to inspire people to actually trust in their God-given potential. I’d love for my legacy to reflect happiness and joy because I know that joy is an actual lifelong currency rather than monetary currency. It would be amazing to share perspective on why happiness is the goal, rather than money. People interpret the bible’s saying of “The Love of Money is the root of all Evil” differently, I would love to have a platform where I can share my perspective and insight on what I think God intended for us. My legacy is still in the works, so I can’t give a flat out the answer to that. Maybe I lack the clarity, or maybe it’s become clearer and clearer to me each day.”
Well Josh, Thank You So Much For Your Time Today, Make Sure You Get Connected With Him!
The lesson to be learned here is that by building a personal brand, leveraging other peoples credibility, paired with unwavering determination anything is possible. So many people expect handouts, free advice, and just think the world will come to them. The quote “good things happen to those who wait” is the backbone of why people don’t reach success if you want something you will only get it if you go out and make it happen. Josh is living proof of this ideology, work hard & surround yourself with winners and you will see success, I can’t tell you where Josh will end up, but I think we can all agree when I say he’s well on his way to success.
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