5.0 out of 5 stars
Get ready to work your face off
Reviewed in the United States on November 16, 2009
I have rarely felt the need to review a book or even comment on it after a read. I don't believe I've ever left a review here, which will likely be obvious.
In short, I loved the book. I bought a copy locally the week it came out, then ordered another through Amazon to pass along to someone else. It is a very brief read. It could be read anytime a spare hour or two is found.
If you aren't familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, this book does cover his background pretty well. I had heard of Gary about a year ago through a blog or online mention (Tim Ferriss, I believe). I saw a few minutes of his show but wasn't very interested because I don't drink wine, so I didn't care about the topic of wine (like he VERY obviously did). He seemed kind of funny, but I was too busy to watch a show about wine, and didn't think much more about it.
A month or so prior to this book being released, I began to hear this "wine guy" pop up among people I associated with online and in meatspace. I watched a short keynote speech he gave at an event about Web 2.0. In the video, he gave a passionate, cussword-laden speech about the nature of business and changing times. Everything he said was very spot-on.
"Crush It!" is an expansion of his business keynotes, filling in a bit more detail about the how and why of the changing business world.
Being in business used to be a lot more difficult when the gatekeepers of the big media outlets were the only game in town (radio, tv and print). The little guy could perhaps compete on a very local level, but it took huge dollars to get seen by the masses in years past. With the largely free tools available to anyone with access to the internet, you can get your brand seen by more and more people every day.
This is in no way a "Get-Rich-Quick" book. The 3 major tenets in the first chapter of the "Crush It" methodology are:
"Love your family.
Live your passion."
Hardly a get-rich-quick strategy unless you skip all the parts where he talks about working until your eyeballs bleed instead of playing video games or watching tv.
Several times throughout the book, he talks about the realities of how hard you will have to work to make even a decent living like you may make at your current job. As he says, if you are even 1% unhappy with your job, you should work to change it. He does NOT suggest quitting your job to become a blogger. But if you want to change and do something you love, work your ass off after work until you can get to that place.
Hard work and hustle is the theme of the book that he never lets the reader forget. He goes into more detail about starting out for the person who may be completely new to the "social media" scene. It is not a detailed "one size fits all" approach to what specifically every person should do for a living. There are several examples of possibilities people could follow that can open eyes, and more than enough to get them started. It's not about selling chachkies and passing that off as a living. It's about working hard, becoming known as an expert in your field and doing something your grandkids will be proud of.
Everyone has something they are passionate about. Something we would be doing if we didn't have to be working (that job that makes you unhappy. If you're 100% happy this doesn't apply). There are ways to do what you are passionate about, and make a decent living doing so. You may not get filthy rich doing it, but there are so many ways to make a living, it only makes sense to use the tools we have nowadays. They have made it far simpler to get started than in the past.
I've been involved with the tech world since well before there were computers in every household and mobile phones existed only in the movies. The tools that now exist and the eyeballs that are on these platforms Gary discusses are changing the way business is done.
It's still a big deal for Gary to get on the Today Show and do a little sniffy-sniff with Matt Lauer, but advertisers are spending more and more money on internet platforms. The numbers of people watching each is changing daily. The little guys without the big dollars the mainstream media channels have available are able to be competitive in this rapidly-changing world. Money follows the attention. More attention is on these internet tools every day.
Work your face off, and you can build a business that thrives, doing something you love to do. This book is a good starting place to start getting the ideas flowing.
I don't work for Gary, have never met him, and am not being paid to say any of this. I still don't drink wine, but when it comes to business, I agree with him. As busy as he is, he answers emails and twitter comments. If there is anything you find unclear about the book, he tries to answer any questions.
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