"CRUSH IT!" by Gary Vaynerchuk - Highly Recommended Reading. Period.
Recently, I bought a handful of social media books via Amazon. Since I have been doing some consulting and teaching on the side, I thought this would be a worthy investment. I intend to review each of them here on my blog. First up is "Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk. If you're not familiar with Gary, he started WineLibrary.tv, which is his video blog wherein he gives his (very) honest opinion about various wines. This may sound boring to you, but I would urge you to check it out. You can feel Gary's enthusiasm coming off of the screen.
Using this tool, Gary took his family-owned liquor store from $4 million to over $60 million per year in sales. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. He is @garyvee on Twitter, where he has amassed a simply huge entourage, with over 850,000 followers as of this writing.
Why? Well, there are a number of reasons:
- Frankly, people want to know how to make a lot of money like he did
- He has an engaging personality
- He actually makes an attempt to respond to others on Twitter, unlike most "celebrities"
His passion for wine has taken him to a number of appearances on national television, including one very notable segment with Conan O'Brien where he managed to get Conan to eat a cigar and dirt while explaining wine flavors.
When I received "Crush It!" via UPS on my front porch, I was a little dismayed that it wasn't thicker (i.e. more pages). My concern was soon allayed as I waded in and started reading.
Much like watching Gary speak, this book has an energetic tone that you don't find in most business-related books. In fact, I'm not sure if I would categorize this strictly as business. It's a morale builder.
In essence, the thesis of Gary's book is this: It takes a LOT of hard work to make a LOT of money. With that in mind, why not work doing something you really are passionate about?
Gary also emphasizes the importance of loving your family above the work, which I certainly appreciate as a father of four and husband of nearly 17 years.
Upon finishing, I was happy to conclude/realize that in many ways I have already been on the right track with my social media efforts over the past couple of years, although reading this book and a few others has led me to start working on a couple of outside projects/sites, too. My guess is that this book will have a tremendous impact on people who are languishing in jobs they hate.
The book is a relatively quick read, and you will find the story to be a compelling one. Raised in New York in a Russian immigrant family, Gary's tale is a modern, web-based version of the American Dream.
Thanks for channeling your passion into this book, Gary. I hope to crush it myself starting....now.