3 Sentence Summary
“Twelve and a Half” (2021) is a guide to the twelve emotional skills that can lead to success in business and life. Written by GaryVee, the book emphasizes the importance of “soft” skills, which are often overlooked. With a foundation in emotional intelligence, executives, founders, and entrepreneurs can navigate difficult situations with poise and confidence.
Summary Read Time: Less than 4 minutes
Actual Book Length: 202
First Published in: 2021
Key Ideas from The Book Twelve And A Half:
Below is the detailed yet quick summary of the book covering each idea:
Idea 1 – Gratitude
The author asks readers to imagine a scenario of a new business owner who’s struggling despite producing tons of content. Emotional intelligence is essential to leveraging the situation, starting with gratitude. The ability to show appreciation and be thankful is important, especially in challenging times, as it helps gain perspective and recognize how fortunate one is compared to others. Gratitude is the first of twelve ingredients in emotional intelligence, applicable to almost every situation in life.
Idea 2 – Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is an essential quality for individuals seeking success in their personal and professional lives. It involves having a deep understanding of your own emotions, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses. With this knowledge, you can make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and have more positive relationships with others.
When it comes to being a CEO, many people are drawn to the idea because of the perceived status and power that comes with the title. However, this is not a good enough reason to pursue this career path. To truly excel as a CEO, you must have a deep passion and sense of purpose for the work that you do. You must be driven by a desire to make a positive impact on the world and have the skills and abilities to lead others to success.
In the context of being a new business owner, self-awareness can help you to create content that is truly aligned with your strengths and passions. For example, if you are a great writer but struggle with speaking on camera, then you may want to focus on producing blog posts instead of videos. By doing this, you can leverage your strengths and create content that truly resonates with your audience.
Idea 3 – Accountability
The key message here is that accountability means taking responsibility for every situation in which you find yourself. This is often challenging, but it’s important to refrain from blaming others and instead focus on your own actions and reactions. By doing so, you regain control and the power to change the situation. Accountability is a powerful tool that enables you to take charge of your decisions, your strategy, your content, and your delivery. It’s not about beating yourself up, but rather, about taking control of the situation.
Idea 4 – Optimism
Optimism is having a hopeful and confident outlook about the future, without being naive. It is essential to keep hope and confidence in difficult situations. To apply optimism in our scenario, you can challenge negative predictions about your content by reframing them in a more positive way. Instead of thinking negatively about creating a piece of content that works, you can think positively about creating a post that will change the course of your business. This shift in thinking can have a powerful effect.
Idea 5 – Empathy
Gary Vee emphasizes the importance of empathy, which means being able to understand and share the feelings of others. He believes that empathy is crucial for success in business and in life, as it allows you to predict the desires of the market and understand what people want before they even know it themselves. In practice, this means responding to negative comments with kindness and compliments instead of attacking back. This not only disarms the troll but also shows your audience that you are a compassionate and empathetic person.
Empathy is like a cheat code that makes all the other emotional skills easier to use. By feeling the emotions of others, you can handle any situation that comes your way. Gary Vee credits his success to empathy and urges others to cultivate this skill in their personal and professional lives.
Idea 6 – Kindness
Being kind goes hand in hand with empathy. When someone is misbehaving, instead of being angry, be kind to them. It’s about understanding the situation and responding with empathy.
Gary Vee’s business partner stole $250,000 from him, but instead of being angry, he deployed empathy and tried to understand the context. Being kind doesn’t mean being a pushover; it means being friendly and balancing kindness with accountability. At the end of the day, you must hold people accountable, while also being kind and empathetic to their situation.
Idea 7 – Tenacity
To be tenacious means to have a passion and perseverance for the process of achieving a goal, without burning out or trying to impress others. It’s about having the grit and determination to keep pushing forward when faced with obstacles, setbacks, and failures.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s experience with launching his YouTube channel, Wine Library TV, serves as an example of the importance of tenacity in business. Even though he initially had zero viewers and a poorly performing email newsletter, he persevered and stayed committed to the process of building his business. This level of tenacity is essential for anyone looking to achieve success. It allows you to push through difficult times and stay focused on your goals.
Idea 8 – Curiosity
Curiosity is the eighth emotional intelligence. It’s a trait that most people lack and it’s about having the childlike curiosity to keep learning. Curiosity is potent when used with empathy, and it helped GaryVee make $90 million from NFTs. Genuine curiosity helps drive ambition and make people wonder how far they can go. By using curiosity to research, empathy to understand the market, and executing quickly, one can enjoy massive gains.
Idea 9 – Patience
Patience is the ability to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset. Ambition and patience go hand in hand because patience allows you to focus on bigger, longer-term goals and enjoy the journey. Impatience often leads to chasing quick wins and making careless mistakes, ultimately lengthening the journey to success. Patience is an essential ingredient that helps maintain tenacity. It allows you to persevere through the challenges that come with building a successful business.
Idea 10 – Conviction
Conviction is the strong belief in something that keeps you on track and prevents you from being influenced by others’ opinions. Having conviction allows you to navigate through the inevitable obstacles you will encounter in your journey. It also means you won’t be easily swayed by others’ opinions, but only by empirical data that can convince you otherwise.
Gary Vee emphasizes the importance of having conviction and believing in oneself. It gives you the power to choose to die on your own sword instead of someone else’s. By having conviction, you are well-grounded and well-informed about market behavior, allowing you to make well-informed decisions. In conclusion, conviction is one of the essential ingredients that’ll protect you from doubt and help you keep going.
Idea 11: Humility
According to GaryVee, humility is not a low view of oneself, but rather having a grounded view of oneself. It allows you to recognize that you don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It is the highest form of confidence, granting the invincibility of not caring about what others think of you. Humility allows you to move fast, take action, and change your mind when the data proves you wrong.
Humility creates a feeling of mental safety, providing the security to downsize, refocus, and start over again without taking a hit to your ego. Deploying humility amplifies the efficacy of all the other ingredients. It prevents small mistakes from turning into big mistakes because of stubbornness. By embracing humility, you can move quickly, take risks, and stay grounded. Ultimately, it helps achieving your goals without getting derailed by ego or external factors.
Idea 12: Ambition
Ambition is the strong desire to achieve something, but it should not be driven by insecurity or the need to prove oneself. Instead, ambition should be fueled by curiosity and self-awareness. This allows for long-term, sustainable success and the ultimate freedom from being held hostage to the opinions of others.
Having ambition means setting goals and working towards achieving them. It is a necessary ingredient for success in any endeavor, but it should be balanced with patience and humility. By focusing on the bigger, longer-term goals, and not getting distracted by short-term gains or the opinions of others, one can maintain the drive and tenacity needed to achieve success.