Crush It! (Book Summary)

What’s it about?

CRUSH IT! is a motivational text, blueprint, and guide for those who want to translate their passion into a business. Using the author’s life as an example, this book details how everyone can “crush it,” i.e., realize the possibility of living their passion, determining their livelihood, and making a living off of what they love to do.

About the author

Gary Vaynerchuk is a best-selling author of titles such as Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and The Thank You Economy, as well as an entrepreneur and founder of Wine Library TV, an online video blogging site that offers information and advice on everything wine-related.

Only by following your passion and working hard can you build a great business:

Have you ever wished to make a living doing something you enjoy but believed it was impossible in reality? If so, you’re not alone: many of us believe that turning a pastime into a career is a pipe dream. Fortunately, we can all “smash it,” that is, make money doing what we enjoy—knowing how is the key.

Crushing it entails several tasks, the first of which is identifying your passion or whatever it is that makes you unique. This might be anything in the world, from playing board games to building model railroads, gardening, to cooking.

It’s time to put your passion into action once you’ve discovered it. Turning your interest into a key aspect of your life: your work is what living your passion entails. To put it another way, you shouldn’t just “earn a livelihood”; you should benefit from doing what you enjoy.

Oprah Winfrey, the world’s most famous talk show host, or Martha Stewart, the world’s most famous chef. Both of these incredible women found their hobbies (chatting and cooking, respectively) and dedicated their lives and careers to them.

You must also balance your enthusiasm with your love for your family. You’ll have a support system if you love your family, and they’ll help you make your dreams a reality.

Finally, it would help if you worked extremely hard. This is more than just attempting; it also entails focusing all of your efforts toward your passion, which is critical to your success.

If producing beer, for example, is your passion, you can consider turning it into a career. However, you will only be able to do so if you devote every second of your time to it. This entails thoroughly immersing yourself in the world of beer brewing, such as learning from other brewers, keeping up with new beers, and viewing brewing method videos.

It’s time to start crushing it when you’ve completed these three stages.

Turning yourself into a brand is the only way to make money from your passion:

What’s the next step on the road to success when you’ve recognized your passion and are working hard to live it?

You are finding ways to show the rest of the world how enthusiastic you are about your field.

You may do this by building a brand: an image that reflects your personality and shows others what you’re enthusiastic about.

The author, for example, turned his passion for wine into a brand by talking about wine on his YouTube channel Wine Library TV in plain English. Instead of trying to change his persona to correspond to people’s expectations about wine experts, he spoke about wine in a way that mirrored his interests and loud, abrasive demeanor, often provoking controversy, during his shows.

His genuineness set him apart from other wine experts, although some find his personality off-putting. Indeed, the success of Wine Library TV is due to the synergy of his hard work, passion, and the way the brand transmits his devotion to the audience.

However, simply having a brand is insufficient: because your brand is the lens through which your audience sees your passion, you must ensure that it is free of “smudges.” You can ensure that your brand is well-liked and respected by providing exceptional customer service. Listen to your supporters and consumers and keep the lines of communication open.

When the author first established his brand, he would spend hours responding to inquiries, comments, and criticism from his followers and blog readers. They trusted him because he invested time in them, and as a result, they returned to his site and spread the word about his brand.

Fans, customers, and businesses will flock to your brand if you use social networking websites:

After you’ve found your passion and sculpted your brand, the next step is to reach out to potential consumers, followers, and people who share your enthusiasm. Using social media is the most effective way to accomplish this.

Social media has forever changed how people discover followers and do business. Indeed, social media technologies like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr enable you to reach audiences interested in your passion at a speed and ease that was previously unthinkable.

We can observe how social media helped the author attract fans for his business, Wine Library TV, by looking at the author as an example.

He used his Facebook fan page and Twitter account, for example, to communicate with his followers and supporters. In addition, he created YouTube videos about his company that viewers could comment on and ask questions about.

As more people found their way to his site via social media, he was able to turn his hobby into a business. As word spread among enthusiastic viewers, his fan base grew, assisting him in attracting the attention of traditional wine businesses, i.e., the wine world, who wanted a piece of the action by appearing and advertising on his show.

With his growing popularity, he expanded his business opportunities through book deals and media appearances.

However, social media gives you more than just access to a wide audience: it gives you ultimate control over your brand.

To promote potential customers in the past, businesses had to hire advertising agencies. What is the issue? The agencies were in charge of the brand.

Today, you can reach out to your customers directly through social media, giving you complete control over what you say about yourself and providing immediate feedback tailored to their individual needs.

One of the author’s secrets to success is that he used social media to construct an image that his fans adored rather than advertising.

Match your brand to your product’s content and the web platform you’re using:

It’s time to select how you want to communicate your passion to your audience now that you have your brand and share it with the globe through social media.

The easiest approach is to tell stories that will help your audience understand and appreciate your point of view. Will you use a video blog on YouTube, a standard blog on Tumblr, or photos with captions on Flickr to tell stories?

In a nutshell, what excellent material are you going to create to tell your story?

Howard Stern, the radio personality and “shock jock,” can serve as an example of a great storyteller. He shares various hilarious and disturbing stories about his life and passions with his audience. And, thanks to his charisma, he was able to transform his passion for stories into a rich company by using radio.

Now is the moment to plan out how you’ll communicate your enthusiasm to your audience. To do so, you must first determine which medium best represents your personality.

If you have a personality that attracts people’s attention, for example, you should use a video or audio blog to capitalize on this.

The weekly radio show Automotive Talk, which addresses viewers’ inquiries regarding car difficulties, illustrates this idea in action. On the other hand, the hosts are so personable, humorous, and knowledgeable about vehicles that they even manage to draw in listeners who aren’t interested in cars!

If you’re hesitant in front of a camera or microphone, though, you should seek alternative forms of media. If you’re a sports lover who despises being on camera, for example, you can put your passion on paper by writing about sports on a blog or Twitter.

Whatever you choose, your brand will flourish if the content and platform you choose reflect your interests.

Being genuine and authentic is the key to building a successful brand:

How can you ensure that you stand out from the crowd once you’ve turned your passion into a brand and found the platform to match it? The answer is straightforward: be genuine.

Authenticity implies always being genuine to yourself. You can’t be everyone’s best friend, so you must persevere even though your personality and habits may send some people away.

For example, the author has considered modifying his wine review videos’ loud and abrasive openings to avoid alienating viewers. He has, however, resisted the temptation and decided to maintain them because they are a reflection of himself and his outgoing attitude.

Even if the aggressive intros cost him some views, he’s surely won more admirers who appreciate that he’s staying true to himself. If he’s not genuine, his audience may believe he’s just putting on a show and isn’t passionate about wines.

On the other hand, authenticity takes time, effort, and energy to cultivate. Genuine people are prepared to put in long hours and have the patience to generate the momentum to transform their dreams into reality.

If you believe you can save time by cutting corners, you risk losing authenticity because you are unwilling to give yourself fully to your brand. You can only assure that your brand accurately reflects your personality if you devote 100% of your attention to it.

Even though his aggressive intros cost him some views, he’s gained a slew of new fans who respect his commitment to keeping true to himself. His audience may assume he’s just putting on a show and isn’t truly passionate about wines if he’s not being sincere.

On the other side, cultivating authenticity takes time, work, and energy. Genuine people are willing to work long hours and have the patience to build the momentum to make their aspirations come true.

If you assume that cutting corners would save you time, you risk losing authenticity by refusing to commit to your brand completely. Only if you give your brand your undivided attention can you ensure that it correctly reflects your personality.

You and your business must win the support of a community to prosper:

You’ve established your real brand and know how to tell others about it, but there’s still work to be done! It’s time to figure out how to discover the folks who will eventually become your fans and customers and help you “mash it.”

To identify and communicate with these potential fans, you must be a member of a community, a collection of individuals who share a common interest in your passion and who meet to talk, debate, and share their perspectives on the subject.

Find areas where your target community exchanges ideas and join in such communities yourself to get their attention.

For example, when the author set out to pursue his passion for wine, he recognized that the only way to succeed was to pique the attention of others who shared his enthusiasm. So, after creating his website and Facebook page, he researched everything that other wine enthusiasts were talking about.

He would spend up to eight hours a day scouring wine blogs, videos, journals, and other sources for more information about the wines people were talking about, buying, and recommending.

He also worked with individual members of the community on a one-on-one basis. He would present himself to his wine community by making comments and participating in online discussions, similar to how you may introduce yourself to your neighbors when you move to a new neighborhood.

Because of this, individuals of the community recognized who he was. Even more crucial: he figured out what they were looking for.

Once the author had become part of the community, he maintained its support by treating people well: by responding to their questions and respecting opinions contrary to his own.

Once you’ve established a popular brand, reach out to investors and advertising to get your name out there:

It’s all well and good to follow your dreams, but it’s not a viable venture if you can’t put food on the table. You’ll be asking how to transform your brand’s popularity into income after it has gained traction.

Once you’ve established a popular online brand with a strong following, investors and companies searching for advertising space will typically take notice of you.

However, it never hurts to assist in this process.

Participating in conferences in your field is one method to do this. Because of the huge concentration of people who are already engaged in exactly what you’re passionate about, conferences are excellent venues to locate investors and advertising.

Even better, you could make an impact by giving a presentation at a conference: What better method to promote your brand and your enthusiasm than to demonstrate it on stage?

Another option is to spend time actively investigating which businesses invest in or advertise in your neighborhood. You should try to contact such a company after you’ve found one.

For example, if you operate a sports blog, you may look into sportswear businesses that advertise in magazines or newspapers. Explain to these companies how advertising on your blog may provide them with a higher return on investment because they would be able to reach your enormous fan following for a fraction of the cost of print media.

Given the popularity of internet advertising, you could find this suggestion particularly valuable if your company is focused on its online presence.

Finally, if you build a large enough following, your brand might act as a stepping stone to possible book agreements and TV appearances!

Quickly and effectively respond to changes in your business environment:

So now you’re ready to start profiting from online advertising and investors. Great! However, there’s one more thing to consider: how can you ensure that your business thrives in the future?

Instead of attempting to build your plans on inherently false predictions, the greatest way to secure the future success of your brand is to adopt the habit of being a reactive business, i.e., reacting swiftly and efficiently to change.

Instead of attempting to build your plans on inherently false predictions, the greatest way to secure the future success of your brand is to adopt the habit of being a reactive business, i.e., reacting swiftly and efficiently to change.

Reactionary businesses pay close attention to the business environment to spot new developments and react fast.

When the author launched Wine Library TV on Youtube in 2006, he exhibited his reactionary business talents.

YouTube was still in its infancy at the time, and few people recognized it had the potential to become such a valuable business tool.

On the other hand, the author was one of the few who saw its huge potential and acted promptly, starting his YouTube channel early on.

This reactive business plan not only allows you to embrace new changes, but it also helps you avoid losses: if you fail to respond to change, your business will suffer, and you will lose your fan base, and thus potential clients.

These changes don’t have to be directly related to the business climate; you also need to adjust to shifts in how different communities view your brand.

Cristal champagne, for example, became highly popular among hip-hop artists in the late 1990s. On the other hand, Cristal refused to embrace its new fan group, instead choosing to separate itself from it by claiming that it was not interested in them as customers because they were “too lowbrow.”

Cristal paid the price for failing to respond to this new community: hip-hop artists, most notably Jay-Z, publicly boycotted the brand, costing the corporation to lose potential customers and ruining its reputation.

Finally, the only way to create a strong brand is to adapt fast to the constant changes in our ever-changing world.

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