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Book:  Crushing It!

Author:  Gary Vaynerchuk

Purchase:  Print | eBook | Audiobook

Citation: Vaynerchuk, G. (2018). Crushing it! : how great entrepreneurs build their business and influence--and how you can, too. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three Big Takeaways:
  1. You're going to go through a time where you're not going to make any money. It's not going to be a week, it's not going to be a month, it's not going to be one year. It's going to be years. And during that time, if you don't love what you do, it's going to be very hard to stick out. if you don't enjoy what you're doing, you're going to be that much more likely to quit when it's hard. (pg. 47)

  2. I've worked with a lot of people over the years who seem to be doing everything right yet they expressed frustration that they weren't meeting their business goals. When I looked closer, I'd see that they were still playing golf or tweeting about the previous night's Walking Dead episode. Let me make this as clear as I can: when you first start out, there is no time for leisure. There is no time for YouTube videos or no time for an hour and a half lunch. That is, of course, why entrepreneurship is often seen as a young person's game. It takes a lot of stamina to get a personal brand off the ground. It is a lot easier to devote all your time to a new business endeavor when you're still 25 and single with no one to answer to but yourself. Ideally you'll be building your business around the thing you love to do for fun and relaxation, so it won't feel like losing your leisure time. If you're serious about crushing it, every minute should be spent producing content, distributing content, engaging with your community, or engaging in business development. (pg. 65)

  3. Don't worry about seeming vain. Embrace it. Everybody else who is crushing it did. Remember, smart entrepreneurs don't care what other people think. You look like a jerk for a while if you walk around with a camera constantly pointed at your face, but everyone looks like a jerk when trying something new. Reality TV was once a joke, remember? Now you can't turn around without seeing a reality star on a magazine cover, a makeup counter, some exercise equipment, or a frozen food package. (pg. 112)


Other Key Ideas:

Even if you absorb every lesson and follow every piece of advice in these pages, most of you reading this book will not become millionaires. Do not stop reading! None of the people interviewed for this book knew they'd become rich; they became rich because they were incredibly, ridiculously good at what they do and worked so hard, no one else could keep up. (pg. 5)

We need to give our children as much rfeedom as possible to gravitate toward what they love doing. Because in their world, nothing will be off limits when it comes to how you can make a good living and build a stellar career. When it comes to professional opportunities, this is the best time to be alive in the history of humankind. (pg. 8)

You can't be lazy. It's going to take all your mental capacity, your time, and your leisure. But I promise you, the sacrifices will be worthwhile. I will also promise you that once you develop a robust personal brand, you will be able to enjoy as much or as little leisure as you want - because you will be entirely in control of your own life. (pg. 21)

The most exciting thing about the business world we live in is that it is still in its infancy. There is so much room to succeed here. Unbelievably, a lot of people still balk at experimenting with new up-and-coming platforms. You don't want to waste your time if it turns out to just be another fast fading trend, but then you wonder why influencers  are succeeding so much better than you are. That disconnect is what gives entrepreneurs like you such an early advantage. (pg. 22)

This book features entrepreneurs at all levels of financial success and all stages of influence, but those currently at the pinnacle of both share three characteristics:  a commitment to service, a desire to provide value, and the love of teaching. A number of people were inspired to create their product after unsuccessfully searching for those products themselves. When creating their content, they've vowed to take the completely opposite approach by offering solid content and real value. By their own admission, most didn't start out as the most knowledgeable in their fields, and they certainly weren't the most polished. But what they lacked and experience they made up for in earnestness, honesty, and humor. Everyday their podcasts, videos, and blog posts improved, drawing their audiences back and back again. (pg. 30)

I do publish books, but other than an occasional personal anecdote, there's no information in them that I have not discussed in a public, free forum somewhere else. For anyone with the time and inclination to do the online digging, the information is there for the taking, albeit sometimes in a less expensive, less detailed format. These books exist to save people time and to provide a portable resource people can easily refer to. (pg. 33)​

You need to constantly be in do mode. I see you out there overthinking your content and agonizing over your decisions, taking forever to make up your mind. Your confidence is low, and you're worried people will call you a loser if you make the wrong call. Get over that quick. I love losing because I learn so much from it. Being unafraid of making mistakes makes everything easy for me. Not worrying about what people think frees you to do things, and doing things allows you to win or learn from your loss - which means you and either way. Hear me now: you are better off being wrong 10 times and being right three then you are if you try only three times and always get it right. (pg. 60)

Little by little, people started to engage with his content. If someone liked a picture, Timothy sent you a thank-you message. If someone emailed you for an estimate and he was able to get an address, that person got you a thank-you note and small gifts around the holidays. (pg. 64)

It's exciting to watch someone thoughtfully, strategically, and intelligently come into their professional own. Embrace your newness; in many ways it could give you an advantage. You will likely have a fresh energy and enthusiasm that many more seasoned professionals have lost. That's attractive. Admitting that you're still learning will give people a reason to check in on your progress. It will also make it that much more exciting when you can finally say, “I told you so.” It will feel even better if you've documented your journey up to that point, so that people can see how hard you work to make it happen. Put your stuff out in public so you have to live up to it. As long as it's valuable and you know it's true, don't judge it. The market shows you whether you're good or not. (pg. 85)

If you're seeking to build your audience, go where the audience goes, wherever that may lead. Consume the platform’s content for a couple of weeks to get a feel for what's appealing to users, then strategize how you can create content that will successfully penetrate that market, download every new social platform, taste it, and understand it. Drop it if it doesn't work for you or you can't get comfortable, but never reject anything without educating yourself about it first. (pg. 146)

You might be thinking, I already make YouTube videos. I'll just put them on Facebook. Two birds, one stone, done. Not so fast. Facebook's algorithm will always give  preferential treatment to Native Facebook content. You'll get far better reach by creating an original video for Facebook than buy recycling something from another platform. Video is still something of a novelty on Facebook, which means it has the potential to be noticed faster and get greater engagement than whatever you might post on YouTube. (pg. 211)

When people start commenting on your page or your content, you should answer every single one, every single time. When you've got no audience, you should be taking every opportunity to engage with people who are taking an interest in you. To do otherwise is absolutely bonkers. The fact that this needs to be said speaks to so many people's audacity and laziness. (pg. 217)

Only a tiny fraction of the people you reach out to for a request will respond. That's all you need. With every successful contact, you increase your ability to prove yourself worthy of any  attention at all, and you increase your visibility. Do this enough times, and the effect will snowball until suddenly you'll be the brand that people and businesses start reaching out to. (pg. 226)

Podcasts sell time, which is why everyone, including people who rock on camera, should try to create one. In this hyperspeed world, multitasking is everything, and it's a lot easier to listen to a podcast while you check your emails and pay your bills than to watch a video. A lot of commute time is spent in cars where drivers can listen to podcasts. In the information age, podcasts allow us to efficiently and effectively maximize our knowledge. (pg 235)

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