Gary Vee Mentorship Experience

Sorcerer Scholarship

On July 20th 2021 Gary Vee shared a post to his Instagram stories stating that it was the last day to apply for his Sorcerer Scholarship NFT tokens.I had never heard about NFTs. I knew nothing about Gary’s VeeFriends project. But when I saw this post I knew I had to apply for a chance to be mentored by Gary. Here’s why…

My Introduction to Gary Vee

The Thank You Economy Book Cover

My first encounter with Gary Vaynerchuk’s work was in 2011. At that time I was a student at the University of Trinidad and Tobago learning about branding and marketing as part of my Bachelors Degree in Fashion. We had a project about notable entrepreneurs and upon Googling “entrepreneurs” a fast talking Gary Vee popped up promoting his new book, The Thank You Economy. I quickly spiraled down the rabbit hole- reading and watching everything I could find. 

Gary’s work made me understand how important social media would be for business success. His inspirational content gave me the courage to create a portfolio about the new possibilities in online marketing. After sending my portfolio to my professional network, a friend at Caribbean New Media Group (now TTT) told me I should submit my portfolio there. I ended up getting a part-time job in this new field of social media marketing. And I never would have had the inkling or the courage to do this if it wasn’t for Gary Vee. 

The Application Process

On the night of July 21st I quickly wrote my application essay for the Sorcerer Scholarship. The email was sent at 10:31pm, a mere 2 hours before the application deadline. I didn’t know it at the time but I later found out that the Sorcerer Scholarship token was unique. As Gary said in the video below, the 5 scholarship tokens were the only ones out of 10,255 that were not available for sale, they had to be earned. This made it coveted by Gary Vee fans so the number of applications for this mentorship experience was well into the thousands. 

During the next few months, VeeFriends shared social media posts updating us that their team was still reviewing the applications. Eventually, shortlisted applicants were asked to do a one minute video sharing what they would do with money from the sale of this rare Sorcerer Scholarship NFT. It was a very busy time in my life so I sent a very basic video which you can see here. By now I had learned more about the VeeFriends NFT collection so I started paying attention to the NFT related posts on Twitter. Members of the VeeFriends community shared their creative and heartfelt application videos. And while I appreciated their efforts, a huge part of me knew that my off-the-cuff, barely edited video was severely lacking. I accepted the fact that other people were more deserving of this mentorship experience and tried to move on with my life. 

Having put the Sorcerer Scholarship out of my mind, I didn’t really pay attention to any emails from VeeFriends. One November morning I was doing a routine cleaning of my inbox. That was when I noticed several unopened emails from the VeeFriends team. One email told me that I made it to the next round of the application process. Several other emails asked me to reply to let them know when would be convenient for the interview. The problem was that the interview process started since the previous week. The Monday I was reading the email was last day of interviews and all the dedicated interview slots for that day had been taken. A very compassionate assistant to the president of VeeFriends let me know that he was willing to interview me later that evening. 

The Interview

I will be the first to say that I lucked out on interviewers. May Niu and Andy Krainak were kind, gracious and humble. Although I was nervous at the start, I never felt as though I was being interviewed. It felt like an unguarded conversation where we were just getting to know each other. They showed genuine interest in my work and seemed to want to get an idea of how the Sorcerer Scholarship mentorship would serve my social impact mission. They didn’t seem to care that I didn’t know about NFTs or wasn’t the most dedicated Gary Vee fan. It was all about the impact that might be created with the help of this opportunity. It was also the first time throughout this process that I actually felt as though I could possibly be one of the five recipients. 

Getting the Sorcerer Scholarship and Meeting the Other Recipients

The month of November felt like the longest month ever. Not only was I impatiently waiting for an update after the interview, I also had some challenging business news that made me feel like a complete failure. On November 30th 2021 I was distracting myself by scrolling on Instagram when I saw a post from VeeFriends announcing that the five successful Sorcerer Scholarship recipients were contacted. I quickly checked my inbox and saw an email from Adam Ripps with this video from Gary. While this was incredible news in itself, it had an even greater impact because I was ready to throw in the towel with my business. The gratitude I felt for this news and the relief I felt that I wasn’t a complete failure made that day one filled with ugly crying and happy tears. 

At the end of December the five sorcerer scholars had an introductory call with the VeeFriends team. It was the first time we met each other. I remember feeling incredibly intimidated by these amazing humans who were already doing so much to serve their communities. From the very first day until today these four individuals have been a source of support and inspiration for the work I’m trying to do in the world.

Our Mentorship Sessions

Our first mentor session was in January of 2022. It was our first meeting with Gary. The meeting was at the end of a day booked from morning until evening with unrelenting anxiety. My mind couldn’t wrap itself around the fact that not only did someone I’ve admired for over a decade know who I was, I was actually going to speak with him and get mentored by him over the next year. 

While I can’t comment on every single mentor session, I can share as much as I can with you. Some of these sessions were incredibly personal, with mentors and mentees sharing things they’ve never spoken about in public. Out of respect to their privacy I will not be sharing all thirty five sessions. 

But you can watch the first video with Gary below. At then end of this post, I’ll share a playlist with clips from the other mentor sessions.

Day One Fellowship

I’m not sure who at VeeFriends was responsible for the Sorcerers (as we call ourselves) joining Day One but I can kiss that person! The Day One fellowship is a cohort based program to support entrepreneurs as they navigate the turbulent waters of growing a business. It came at a fortuitous time in my journey.

I had previously been struggling with how to merge my social media consultancy with the social impact work at was doing. At this point I had been working non-profits who support marginalized entrepreneurs. After serving over 150 of these business owners, I started noticing that their challenges were similar. I had a vague idea for some sort of entrepreneurial non-profit but I wasn’t sure how to pivot.

By the end of the Day One fellowship I had fully fleshed out my idea and was ready to pitch to potential donors. It was unbelievable how much clarity I gained in four short weeks. I’m excited to keep building my Leverage TT ed-tech platform to better support entrepreneurs. 

Thoughts After the 2 Year Mentorship Experience

The five sorcerer scholarship recipients with Gary Vee

The Sorcerer Scholarship experience was meant to be a one year mentorship with 35 mentor sessions. It ended up being a 2 year experience during which the five of us experienced an unbelievable amount of growth in both our personal and professional lives. While it was incredible to be mentored by Gary and his network, the highlight of the experience for me was the relationship with the four other sorcerers. Their lives, their work and the integrity with which they show up in the world will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. 

Videos of Mentor Sessions

I’ve created a playlist with clips of the mentor sessions here. I will be updating it as fast as I can edit it. Please bear with me on this.