Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk is a business book about how to be successful from Gary’s perspective. Gary Vaynerchuk has built one of the strongest personal brands on the internet with his successful Wine Library TV video show and a Twitter following of over 800,000 (@garyvee). If you haven’t heard Gary Vaynerchuk speak, prepare to be taken aback by his unmatched enthusiasm and passion. Primarily through social media he has been able to build the Wine Library brand from about a 5 million dollar business to a 50 million dollar business and is one of the truly amazing social media success stories.
Gary Vee’s 3 Secrets to Success
So what can marketers learn from reading Crush It? Well firstly, you will probably be motivated to work harder at achieving your goals in life. His “secrets” to success that he shares are to love your family, work super hard, and follow your passion. This seems to go against some of the thinking behind previous best seller The 4 Hour Work Week, because Gary suggests that you should find what your passion is and then work until “your eyes bleed”. While this may not work for everyone, he does make a good point that working super hard and following your passion complement each other because if you are doing what you love, it shouldn’t feel like work and you will be able to easily work 80 hours a week. However, this somewhat contradicts his first secret of loving your family first because it may be hard to spend time with them if you are spending 80 hours a week working. He also says that the number one business strategy is to care. He basically says that if you care, everything else will work out.
How to Build Community
Gary explains that building community is the most important part and takes a lot of work. Gary has built a tremendous community around Wine Library TV which has a Facebook fanpage with over 27,000 fans. He suggests that you should work really hard to have conversations with as many people as possible. He says that he answers every email and he seems to reply to most comments on Twitter (I know this to be true because he answered my email here). Could the CEO of a company like Ford or Microsoft do this? I’m not sure, but I think they should try. If you have a smaller business there is no reason that you shouldn’t be deeply engaged with people on Twitter or Facebook. Part of Gary’s success I think is also his character. He’s so energetic that I think people are drawn to him, although this type of energy is pretty hard to replicate. He also takes the approach of “What can I do for you?”. I think this is a great approach for building community because people will appreciate your willingness to give.
New Opportunities on the Web
When Gary Vee was on the This Week in Startups podcast with Jason Calicanis, he discussed the incredible opportunity that the web presents, saying that it’s not even the first inning of the game. In the book he describes the opportunities for people to cash in on their passion by creating a blog or podcast and building an audience around it. He suggests that in the future, advertisers will want to follow the audiences to these niche sites or podcasts that are focused on a specific vertical like gardening or poker. If you don’t like your current job, why not build a media business around something you love. A good piece of advice that I like is “It is never a bad time to start a business unless it is a mediocre business”.
I recommend reading Crush It! The audio version is even better because it is read by Gary V. and he adds additional side comments while reading it. (If you go to Audible.com/twit2 you can get 2 free audio books for free).