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Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion Hardcover – October 13, 2009
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The Story Behind Crush it!
Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.
Myth #1: I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.
The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers 40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.
Myth #2: My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.
This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.
Myth #3: I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.
First of all, congratulations on finding work that makes you happy! However, the lessons in this book are valuable to anyone, regardless of their employment status. Crush It will show you how to utilize high level and platform specific social media and marketing strategies that will improve your work. It will also show you how to build a personal brand so that even if you’re forced to leave your job, a situation that’s especially relevant today, you’ll be able to easily find employment elsewhere in a field you’re passionate about.
Myth #4: I need to quit my job to take advantage of this book’s entrepreneurial lessons.
While the entrepreneurial strategies in this book do take time, it’s completely reasonable to start the effort as an after-work project to build up until you’re able to replace your current income with the income from your online presence. While you may have to fall behind on the current season of Lost or let your Madden 2010 game suffer, because you’ll be doing something you love you won’t mind putting in the extra effort.
In Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk shows how anyone can build a career around what they’re passionate about. He also delivers both high-level and platform specific strategy and analysis, allowing you to take advantage of the current business environment while preparing you to succeed as it changes and evolves.
This book isn’t interested in making unrealistic promises while glossing over the work involved. Making a living by building content around your passion isn’t simple and it doesn’t happen overnight. What it is, however, is fulfilling and in most cases just as profitable, if not more so, than your previous job.
Furthermore, a business can’t just pay lip service to social media and expect it to return results. The transparency and accountability inherent in its structure necessitates a comprehensive and dedicated strategy in order to reap its tremendous benefits.
By combining practical analysis and strategy with the same passion and humor that’s made Gary one of the most in demand keynote speakers in the U.S. as well as network television’s go to wine expert, Crush It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand and harness the future of business and work.
Learn: Why social media has evened the playing field, destroying the “gate-keepers” who had previously dictated the distribution of content.
Learn: How to beat unemployment and create wealth-building opportunities by building and maintaining a personal brand.
Learn: Why storytelling is the most important business concept in the current marketplace.
Learn: How you can build an online business around your passion without quitting your day job.
Learn: Why Twitter and Facebook are just tools and not a social media strategy.
Learn: How to take advantage of the half-billion dollars in advertising that are moving to the internet.
Learn: Why transparency and being true to yourself are now winning marketing formulas.
Learn: How to build and maintain an online community around your passion and brand.
Learn: Strategies for turning attention into money.
Learn: Why the legacy element of the internet era is so underrated.
From Publishers Weekly
Yet another rallying cry to the banner of turning your passion into a career, from braggadocio-ridden entrepreneur Vaynerchuk. After taking over his father's local liquor store, Shopper's Discount Liquors, and building it from a $4 million business to a $50 million one, he created the wine-tasting blog Wine Library TV and discovered the power of the Internet for driving sales. This book shares his experience and step-by-step advice for using Twitter, Facebook, etc., and suggestions for monetizing an online persona, reiterating that the Internet makes it possible for anyone to make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. His enthusiasm is admirable and his advice solid, but there's nothing new here, and his unappealing swagger—repeated stories of how he crushed it and dominated grate particularly—gives his story more the tone of adolescent peacocking than of worthwhile and sober business advice. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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So far the only thing I have got out of the book is the author has a very high opinion of himself or at least wants you to think this, it is said so many times that I wonder if he is not suffering with an inferiority complex and trying to cover it up with over boasting of his greatness?
Either way, no matter to me, the guy may know something, but is not a good teacher or writer or what not, because I've put the book down and really have no idea when I may pick it back up.
I like him as a person. Here's one of the first things he says in the book, "Well, my secret is that I live by three pretty simple rules: Love your family. Work superhard. Live your passion." (location 38). It's difficult for me to take advice from someone I don't respect. Gary Vaynerchuk, I can respect.
I love what he has to say about being yourself: "Embrace your DNA, be yourself, put out awesome content, and people will be interested in what you have to say. Believe me, if you're that good, people are going to find you, and they're going to follow you, and they're going to talk. And getting people to talk is the point." (location 384).
Social media is a great interest of mine. I like being connected with people. I like it all: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. So maybe Gary Vaynerchuk was preaching to the choir here a little bit because I really agree with everything he talks about. It's free. It's easy. It's easy to get your name/brand/passion out there. He says in his conclusion that "social media is an important part of it for now, but maybe it won't always be. These concepts, however, are forever, no matter what the next business platform or social phenomenon turns out to be." (location 1264).
If you are a brand or a business or an entrepreneur or want-to-be, do yourself a favor, read this!
Gary immigrated to America with his parents from Belarus when he was three. From an early age, he began selling. He sold baseball cards, building a small empire at his school before branching out to trade shows and the mall. His success was cut short when he turned fifteen and started working in the family wine shop. Even though he couldn't drink the wares, he studied the wine guides and magazines to learn the lingo and be able to convince shoppers who came in for a bottle to take home a case. Then, during college, Gary discover YouTube.
Embracing the videos and convincing his father to let him, he started an Internet TV show dedicated to wine. Gary, who wasn't happy being stuffy and pretentious like other wine critics. He used his personality and "earthy" ways to describe wine (including a NY Jets spit bucket) in a video blog. In a few short months, sales increased over 500%.
Vaynerchuk is convinced everyone can accomplish the same exciting feat of building and online brand and attracting a large following. From there, dreams come true (his dream is to buy the Jets and I believe he will somehow pull it off someday). Through out the book, as he discusses his beliefs on building an online business with the devotion most reserve for sports teams. His energy is infectious.
While light on detail, Gary lays out some of the methods for creating an audience. He discusses the importance of building a brand, creating great content and being available on every platform. What's is most valuable, I believe, is his energy on the subject. He literally jumps off the page to motivate and make a believer out of the reader. The first time I read Crush It!, I was put off by the enthusiasm. This time through, however, it infected me and motivated me to start thinking about where my passion lies and how to leverage it.
My only complaint is the lack of detail on how to get started. I was hoping for a little more concrete detail. This book doesn't have it, instead containing general concepts and discussions about some venues to be aware of while building an online empire. I had to go searching in other places to find the detail and mentorship I wanted. Still, Vaynerchuk is a pretty good cheerleader.
Kind of want to create a blog - and buy some wine, too! Love watching Gary on YouTube now.