Over the last couple weeks, I have been trying to finish up a couple of books that have piled up on my nightstand. Despite being in the middle of about three other books, about a week ago, I ran into a deal I could not refuse – Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, “Crush It!” for just $6. Actually, it was the Vook version of the book. I downloaded it and had it read in about three evenings.
(By the way, the Vook is a wonderful idea. I loved the integration of video clips along with text. It made reading the book that much more engaging, plus I had an opportunity to get a better feel of who Gary Vaynerchuk is. This book format has amazing potential. I can’t wait to try one out on an iPad.)
Essentially, Vaynerchuk’s book is about how to be a successful entrepreneur by leveraging digital media and social networks in order to gain an advantage over the competition. “Crush It!” definitely hits on several key points that every business person and entrepreneur should be thinking about each and every day.
I love that Gary starts with family. In chapter one of the book, he makes his position clear – nothing else is as important as your family and friends. Without family, all the hard work that goes into building your own business is worthless.
Gary is seething with passion. Not only does he succeed in sharing his passion about the wine business, his passion for success, hard work, and ingenuity is evident. This is another place where the Vook’s strengths shined. Having the chance to watch Gary talk about his passions was rewarding.
Hustle = hard work. For Gary, hard work was what differentiated many successful businesses from those that have failed. He is pretty clear about how this is done – long hours, a killer work ethic, and many more long hours. My guess is that Gary is only sleeping about 4-5 hours a night. How is this possible? Well, as Gary puts it, when you are living and working your passions, you don’t need breaks and it is super easy to stay motivated.
Gary’s Secret Marketing Plan
This was one of my favorite chapters in the book. It was short, simple, and spot on. And if you want to find out about it, read the book.
A good portion of the book focuses on how to use the vast array of social media tools that are available on the web to help you brand yourself and your business. There are tons of good books on this subject and, if you are resourceful and don’t mind reading a lot of copy from a computer screen, most of what you need to know to use YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger (or WordPress), and the many dozens of additional social tools is available free of charge on the Web.
Gary does a great job of providing an overview of the tools he has used in the past; however, the most important thing he talks about is probably one of the most overlooked issues when it comes to social media and entrepreneurship – the ability to change and adapt. The problem with social media is that it is constantly in flux. Once you think you have a hold on it, some new tool is launched. Just look at how quickly foursquare is making an impact.
Choose your tools wisely. Make sure they are ones your target audience is using. Work hard to keep them updated with lots of quality content. Be ready to shift directions or add new tools to your arsenal at a moments notice.
I loved Gary’s book and definitely would recommend it to anyone that is interested in building a successful personal brand and business. Though the book is targeted at entrepreneurs, I’d recommend it for almost anyone who is dealing with business development, sales and/or marketing. I’ve also been reading Mitch Joel’s “Six Pixels of Seperation.” Both books are great and cover virtually the same topics; however, Gary’s book nails all of the important points quickly, making it an easy and poignant read.