Gary Vaynerchuk is a guy who knows what it means to hustle, and I really look up to him as an entrepreneur. Since starting Connect for a Cause, I knew I wanted him as an advisor but that it was probably a long shot. Sometimes, the problem with reaching people who can really be game-changers for you is that everybody else knows that they influential too.

I’d tried a few different times to get a meeting, but traditional networking methods don’t necessarily work on a guy that has hundreds of people reaching out to him on a daily basis. I was going to have to be creative.

A few weeks ago, I heard that Gary was collecting GI Joes for one of his many ventures. Suddenly, a light went off. I ran to my attic and found this…
















Which I turned into this…

Which led to this…

Six weeks after tweeting a picture and offering to trade my Joes for a chat over a cup of coffee, I was sitting in a New York City espresso shop pitching Connect for a Cause to Gary Vaynerchuk! I told him the story of how I’d “scratched my own itch” in building Connect for a Cause, and that I really wanted him as an advisor. He loved the GI Joes and the concept, and offered some great advice on building the company. Hopefully you’ll see him offer some meetings on Connect for a Cause in the very near future!

Never stop hustling.

Jason Nicosia

Original article and pics from