I just finished reading Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuck. The full title of the book is actually Why NOW is the Time To Crush It! Cash In On Your Passion. I kept hearing about this Gary Vaynerchuck guy all over the place and hearing about this book (Inc. listed it as one of the top books for business owners in 2009). I would also hear people talk about how they “crush” this or that. I figured if I can get a copy at the library then I’ll give it a read. Glad I did. Awesome read!
This book is a primer on how to build your own personal brand and why you have to. It’s a quick and inspiring read that is well worth you time, whether you aren’t happy with the work you are doing or you are looking for ways to really grow what you are about.
Who is this Gary Vaynerchuck?
Gary’s background comes from working at his father’s wine store. He worked diligently to learn everything he could about the business and about wine from the ground up, eventually building up the company to $10 million in annual sales. That might make for a nice story right there but that’s just the beginning.
Gary V then built up the immensely popular Wine Library TV using his know-how, his passion, and today’s social media tools that are available such as Twitter, Facebook, and video blogging.. He then leveraged that success into VaynerMedia, with his brother, AJ, which led to book deals, keynote speeches, and consulting jobs.
Oh, his goal is to buy the NY Jets too.
What does this book say?
The main message throughout the book is to live your passion. When you are doing something you love, it’s no longer work. You don’t mind putting in the crazy hours to grow your business and you brand because it’s more than just a job – it’s part of who you are.
The book is parts inspirational, parts biographical, and parts how-to. Gary really makes you think you can, and SHOULD, go out make your own brand, following your passion so you too can “crush it!”
According to Gary V, building up your brand is something every person should do these days, no matter what your current job. Get started using social media and talk about that which you love, really love. It can be accounting, law, comic books, or brushing cats – if it’s your passion then leverage what the internet has to offer and make a name for yourself.
About the internet. He talks about how the internet has changed media for all time. The traditional outlets — radio, TV, print — are fading away and are too difficult to get into anyway. The internet is this child media that has unknown potential for growth and can make anyone an expert in their field.
At first I thought the book was going to be all inspiration, telling me to go out and do my best and everything will follow. That all sounds good but without substance it doesn’t really do anything.
Fortunately he goes deeper than that.
Gary goes on about what drove him to build up his father’s company and then his brands. He talks of the hard work and patience he put in to get where he is. But he also shows you what you can do to get started yourself.
Besides passion and hard work, Gary show you the steps you should take to build your online presence. He goes into finding the medium that works best for you and how important it is to create awesome content. He also tells you steps to go out on the internet and build up a community. I won’t go into details here (that’s what the book is for) but I can tell you it makes a lot of sense and I’ve already been doing some of what he talks about so I can see where he’s coming from and the power of what he is saying.
You must engage your readers, viewers, listeners with your story. When your expertise is infused with your passion people will be interested.
Of course, the hardest part is figuring out that which is really your passion in life. That he can’t tell you. But once you figure it out then you can find a market out there that will listen to you. And even if you guessed wrong you may just stumble onto what it is that makes you, you and follow that.
I have a few ideas already of things I want to do and incorporate, both with freefrombroke.com and outside.
Here are a few passages and quotes from Crush It! that got my attention:
“Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you are pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing — working, playing, and relaxing are one and the same. You don’t even pay attention to how many hours you’re working because to you, it’s not really work. You’re making money, but you’d do whatever it is you’re doing for free.”
“Are you living, or just earning a living?” This was certainly me not that long ago. I did my job well but it wasn’t my life. I think that’s a major reason why I didn’t excel more — I just didn’t have the desire to keep doing what I was doing. Thank goodness I was able to start Free From Broke and do something for myself!
“Your latest tweet and comment on Facebook and most recent blog post? That’s your resumé now.”
“My feeling is that no matter how much you like your job, you should aim to leave it and grow you own brand and business or partner with someone to do so, because as long as you’re working for someone else you will never be living entirely true to yourself and your passion.”
“Anything insane has a price. If you’re serious about building your personal brand, there will be no time for Wii.” Man, how many hours upon hours of my life and potential were eaten up with video games and TV? I can honestly say I SO prefer working on Free From Broke over sitting and watching TV.
Do I recommend Crush It!
Hell yes! Like I said, it’s a quick read but a powerful read. The only thing holding you back from success is you. I’m seeing this book’s words in play all over the internet. Maybe not exactly like Gary lays it out, but there are so many out there that are living their passion and you can see it and that’s why they have the following they have (I’m talking about you Adam Baker and Jeff Rose – truly inspiring).
I’m thinking of buying a couple of copies of the book to give to friends and family who I KNOW it will help them build their businesses up (I got mine from the library but I might need to have one on hand at all times).
Ask yourself this – “Am I happy doing what I do?” If the answer is remotely no then grab this book.
If you want to see more you can check out Crush It! on Amazon.