It was silent. The room was full. The man didn't see it coming. He was so excited; most likely nervous, yet almost smug.
"You do a lot of Q&As and people always ask you the same thing. So now I want to ask: what is the question you want to be asked?"
It felt rehearsed – from the slowness of his speech to the emphasis on the "you".
"This is literally the worst fucking question you could have asked me."
And just like that the audience gained an appreciation for Gary Vee (Vaynerchuk), the no bullshit, entrepreneurial genius. An incredibly successful man, Gary has built his family's wine business from $3m to $60m, written four New York Times bestsellers and been an angel investor and advisor for Uber, Facebook and more.
He is also confident enough in his marketing knowledge and general advice to take on a live SXSW Q&A session.
People came up to the stage and one after the other gave a jab, jab, right hook. Sometimes even a jab, jab, jab, jab, jab, right hook. They spoke about their own businesses, each one more different from the next.
"I have a financial consultancy business for people in the social media industry."
"I have a high-end cannabis fine dining app."
Gary gave advice on being an entrepreneur, taking on the negatives of social media, success and failure in this space and knowing what the fuck you're doing in marketing 101 before graduating to the likes of VR.
His pragmatism led the way for the best answers to some very left-of-centre business questions.
So here is a run down of my memory of his best bits. (Most of this is paraphrased as I didn't record it and I'm not a robot.)
Q. How do you not get bogged down by social media? People use it to take out all their frustrations on the world and I can't read it all.
A. So don't. Social media is negative as fuck. Would you rather have a $3 million business and be happy because you didn't read every negative comment out there or a $6 million business where you're unhappy because you read it all? You have to be on the offence of it.
(For the record, I'll take the $3m, thanks Gary.)
Q. My business doesn't have a lot of money. What is the best way to get it out there and increase profits?
A. Facebook video is the most under priced medium there is right now. I will keep using it until it becomes overpriced. You need to be the expert in your industry so create video. If you can't afford much, record it on your phone. Also, publish a monthly podcast and be the voice of your industry.
Q. You've said in the past that TV and radio are dying. Do you think there's still a place for them?
A. Definitely there's still a place. When I say they're dying, I don't mean they're dead. They're still around and will continue to be but they're not where everyone's attention is. People are looking at their phones when an ad comes on TV or when walking past a billboard, so it doesn't make sense that these mediums are going up in advertising cost.
In a single hour of power, Gary nailed question after question, hugged a fan and called the line a "sausage fest", consequently inviting more women up to the stage.
So my point is: if you ever get a chance to see Gary Vee speak, take it because you will definitely be blown away by one of the top speakers of the industry.