I'm Successful, Right?

A Commentary on Entrepreneurial Speech.

I remember the first time I was truly inspired by an keynote speaker.  A buddy of mine sent me this video that he claimed would change the face of  entrepreneurship.  At the time I had no intentions of starting a business or being a part of that world.  The video was the now-famous recording of the entrepreneurial legend (of my time) Gary Vaynerchuck, talking to a class at USC.

Right out of the gate he says to a class full of students hoping to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship,

“I fully, fully one hundred thousand percent with no hedge, do not believe that you can teach entrepreneurship, right?  So that’s awkward.”   

I’ve since listened to that talk 20+ times, and each time I pull something new and valuable to apply to my work.  This last listen however, I find myself contemplating a trend.  Actually, I’ve been thinking about this trend for a while, but right now I’m thinking about its origin.  The trend I’m referring to is: 

Every keynote speaker, every podcast host and every entrepreneur has made the decision to insert the word “RIGHT” after every single sentence!

But I was a bad student and a high school dropout, right?

But the best way to reach your audience is to go where they are, right?

But in order to make money you need to spend money, right?

At any point in time I have 20 podcasts downloaded to my phone (I don’t have cable).  In the past few days I’ve been captivated by the wonderful Ian Garlic’s Garlic Marketing Show along with The co-author of Play Bigger, Christopher Lochhead and his amazing podcast, Legends and Losers.  While there is so much knowledge to be had, these shows are beginning to hurt my ears! -- not really, I love them.

Every guest.  Every co-host.  Every HOST says the word “RIGHT” after every. Other. Sentence. Right?

I want to discuss the reasons why this is happening.  Is this an effective habit, or better yet, an essential habit to incorporate for the modern entrepreneur?

REASON 1:  Monkey See – Monkey Do

I’m the first to admit that to emulate the habits of Gary Vee is to emulate a marketing genius.  It’s no joke that picking up his habits is a good way to propel your way to success in most every business category.  But, is it possible that this has gone too far?

Gary wrote blogs, and so we write blogs.  Gary epitomized the cash cow in a hoodie persona, and so we all bought hoodies and decided that it’s cool and advantageous to drop the “F” Bomb in casual speech.  It seems to me, that use of the word “Right” is the final straw.

Gary recently stated in a Reddit AMA that he believes the early stage entrepreneurial bubble will crash in the near future.  Is this imminent event being exacerbated by the copy-cats of their respective industries?  Maybe…

But was does this have to do with the actual word?  Possibly nothing, Right?  But, is it possible that the use of this word and the very mindset that proceeds it, is a foreshadowing of times ahead?

REASON 2:  Establish Authority

It’s possible that I’m completely missing the point.  It may be that those who have reached a certain level of success have an entirely different understanding of how to communicate to their listeners.  Those who have adopted this habit inevitably excel to a verbiage and subsequent understanding of what resonates.

These people are now the authorities in their fields and everyone knows it.  They know how to reach their audience and usage of the word in question only serves to further cement their authority.


Here’s the Difference.

While listening to Gary’s keynote at USC, I’m 3 and a half minutes in and he’s said “right” roughly 8 – 10, now 11 times.  The difference is, the first 10+ times I listened to him, I DIDN’T NOTICE.  His talks are so brilliant and his speech is so organic and when he asks me, “Right?” I want to say YES!  That’s exactly right.  You are so right, and I want to absorb every bit of that.

Is that what all of us as content generators and solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are ultimately striving for?  I think so.  We want to talk to people and have them GET what we’re saying.  Even more than that, we want the ability to say things that are WORTHY of resonance.

Mostly, my commentary on this particular speech habit is the product of much inspiration and a longing to be someone worthy of asking my audience if they are on board with what I’m saying to them. 

The goal is that I earn the ability to spit out one-liner wisdom and tack that word on the end, and have my audience (reader or listener) to nod their head, jaw dropped and mind rolling. 

That’s the dream, right?

So, what’s the point?  The point is that, while I’m perpetually annoyed at the mental pauses I take, which are brought on by the over use of this word, I do in fact, had so much respect for those bold enough to use it.  I am seeking the confidence they’ve captured.  I’m striving to reach a level of authority currently unbeknownst to me.

Who knows… Maybe one day you’ll here me give my very first keynote, I’ll make a point, I’ll use the word, and you’ll be too much in agreement with me to notice.