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Book:  Crush It

Author:  Gary Vaynerchuck

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Vaynerchuk, G. (2009). Crush it! : why now is the time to cash in on your passion. New York: HarperStudio.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. You could build a business that creates wealth and the most happiness you've ever known with nothing more than passion and a willingness to work your face off. The opportunities are endless and my story is about to become a lot less unusual. If you want it badly enough, it can become your story, and a lot less time and for a lot less money. You may not have connections, or an education, or wealth, but with enough passion and sweat, you can make anything happen. (pg. 1)

  2. Developing your personal brand is the same thing as living and breathing your resume every second that you're working. Your latest tweet and comment on Facebook and most recent blog post? That's your resume now. That's how you are going to announce to the world your ideas and opinions, the very things that make you unique and reveal why a district would be dumb not to hire you. Through your content you're making sure that people can get to know you personally and professionally. If you've built your brand right, other districts will come calling. (pg. 38)

  3. No matter how big you get, every email, every customer, every friend, every single person with whom you come into contact matters and deserve respect and attention. Not because you never know who's going to be a good contact or resource later on, but just because. If someone takes the time to reach out to you, it's your obligation to reciprocate. (pg. 129)


Other Key Ideas:​

Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, you are pumped because you get to 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 about work. (pg. 3)

It drives me crazy to know that there are still people out there who haven't figured out that they don't have to settle. There is no excuse for anyone living in the United States or anywhere else right now to slog through his or her entire life working at the job they hate, or even jobs they simply don't love. The internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100% true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do. (pg. 17)

Any company that clamps down on its best talent and doesn't allow them to talk to the public is holding that talent back down from where the business world is going, and you don't want to be left behind. Without the freedom to develop a personal brand, you will find yourself at a strong disadvantage to the competition that will happen by pumping out that content and making a name for themselves. (pg. 46)

I use analytics very rarely and I urge you not to rely too much on them either, especially if you've got good business instincts. People who see they've only gotten 50 viewers in a few weeks and decide they suck and they stopped trying as hard. Or their video catches on and gets watched a thousand times and they think they've made it, and they stopped trying as hard. Metrics can be useful, but the effect of your online interactions and the excitement building toward your brand isn't accurately reflected by the numbers you have. It's not about how many viewers you have, it's about how passionate they are. (pg. 80)

No matter how big or small you want to go, your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spreading the word about your personal brand. If you want to dominate the social media game, all of your effort has to come from the heart. Authenticity is what will make it possible for you to put in the kind of hustle necessary to crush it. (pg. 87)

You can still make plenty of good money if you're 4th best in a category, or 9th best. But if you really want to dominate the competition and make big bucks, you've got to be the best. However, know that someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they're willing to work longer and harder than you are. Without hustle, you should just pack up your toys and go home. The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle. Don't ever look at someone else who has more capital or cred than you and thank you shouldn't bother to compete. If you can outwork your competition, you will win over time. (pg. 88)

A lot of people get wrapped up in designing their blogs and writing or taping their content. But creating your content is the easy part. Of course your products should be as good as it can be, but it should also be the least time-consuming element of your whole endeavor. What you do after you tape a show or write a post is the whole game. Creating community - that's where the bulk of your hustle is going to go and where the bulk of your success will be determined. (pg. 95)

Start taking steps to get on the lecture circuit. Have you any idea how many conferences and shows go on every week in this country? Come up with an original theme or topic, call the show's coordinators, and offer to give a talk for free. What does that get you? The same social equity as you get with your fantastic online content. It gives you a chance to talk about what you love, build credit, and do it in front of an interested audience. After seeing you talk, someone else might be compelled to have you speak at their venue. It may take five or six times, but if you're any good at what you do, your audience will be happy to pay you. (pg. 111)

Every employee of every company should have a Facebook account where they can talk about their work and the company. Let people gripe, let them air their frustrations. Don't wait for exit interviews to find out what your staff really thinks; tap into the pulse of the company and start making changes right away. Empowering your employees to communicate is a great thing. If you suppress their urge to talk, you're only weakening your brand from within by limiting your access to information. (pg. 123)

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