Crush It 

By: Gary Vaynerchuk



This isn’t a book about conventional wisdom. This is the book that was written for the lawyer who was really born to be a designer, but didn’t follow their passion because it didn’t make sense.

This is the book that was written for the head of the emergency IT department who was really born to be a poet.

This is a book written who are just about to join the work force to show you that you don’t have to play by the rules that your parents played by.

This is the book written for every entrepreneur on the planet, and anybody who wants to be one someday. This is the story of Gary Vaynerchuck.

He turned thirty that day and things were going pretty well his journey in the family business started when he was sixteen years old when he began working the floor of the liquor business selling wine. Because he was too young to drink the wine and develop his pallet, he did the next big thing. He tasted cigars, dirt and sweaty socks.

Among other things so he knew all the other flavours the wine critics said they tasted in the wines. From his first taste of sweat socks to the age of thirty, he had grown the family business from four million dollars a year to over fifty million dollars a year. You could forgive him if he felt he had made it.

But he wasn’t completely happy. And he knew that if he didn’t do something to change his career trajectory. He would never achieve his goal of buying the New York Jets. Here are the principles that transformed Gary Vaynerchuk, wine retailer, into Vay-ner-chuk, Social media sommelier and world beater.

He thinks this can be your story too. Here’s a quote from the first page of the book.


Step number one, live your passion.

You probably sick of hearing how the internet represents one of the biggest cultural shifts since the printing press. But what Gary will tell you that not many other people will, is that it also represents the biggest shift in history and how we do business.

Here’s why.

Advertisers go where the eye balls go. They used to spend it on traditional media, Radio, television, newspaper and magazines. These platforms are losing eyeballs to the online world, never to return. So where’s all that money going? To people who are setting up websites and creating content about the things they are passionate about.

The opportunities are just endless. So what does live your passion mean? It means, as Gary points out, getting up every single morning being pumped because you get to do the thing that interests you more than anything in the world.

You don’t live for vacations because, who needs a vacation from something that they love? Really, that’s an honest question. I truly believe that people who talk about work life balance are the ones who have no idea to what it’s like to love your work.

Step number two, creating a personal brand.

If you’re an entrepreneur from this day forward, building equity in your personal brand will be as important as building equity in your company’s brand. This isn’t new, as Gary points out.

Oprah, Howard Stern and scores of others have realised the power of this for a long time. One of the keys to build your personal brand online is that you have to be true to yourself.

Gary used to attend a thousand dollar wine tastings and rub elbows of the experienced wine connoisseurs that would spout out expensive sounding words like “that bouquet was rose petals,” or “that finish was silk.”

The only thing Gary could think of was, “man this really tastes like Big League Chew, or if this isn’t a Whatchamacallit bar, I don’t know what is.”

So when he launched his video blog in 2005 he stayed true to himself and didn’t conform to what a wine store should sound like, look like and act like. In the old days it wasn’t possible for Gary to stay true to himself and reach the level of success that he has.

But now he has legions of followers who tune in for exactly that. To demystify the wine world. This brings us to the next step.

Step number three, creating great content.

So here’s where we start bringing things down to the street level with practical advice. If you’re going to monetise your personal brain into a business using social marketing network you need great content. Now a lot of this will be taken care of by the fact that you’re in love with what you do.

But if there’s one thing that you’ll need to study and learn is how to become a great story teller. If you expect people to keep coming back to watch your video’s, read your blog, or listen to your podcast. You need to be a great communicator.

You also need to pick the medium that best suits your style. Here’s the question I’ve come up with to get to the answer. Would you communicate best on TV, radio, or newspaper? If TV, do a video blog. If radio, do a podcast. So on and so on.

Step number four, working your face off.

You found something you love and you promise that you’ll remain true to yourself. Which is fantastic. Because that’s the only way you’re going to be willing to put in the time necessary to get this of the ground. And what does Gary mean by hard work? He means working your job from nine to five going home to hug your spouse and kiss their baby and working again from nine till two in the morning.

As he so eloquently puts it, you’ll be bleeding out of your eye balls at your computer. There will be no time for the Wi, scrabble, book club, poker or hanging out on the couch eating popcorn.

Quite simply there will be no time for the old stress relievers of your previous life. But as Gary reminds us, we won’t need them. We’ll be relaxed and invigorated because we will be doing something that we love.

So what will you be spending your time doing? Gary has a simple formula. About 10% of you time you’ll be creating the content that you’ll get out to the community. The other 90% will be spent interacting with other people online.

At first, for the 90% you’ll be seeking out other people talking about your passion online, and leaving comments on their blogs and their websites. Every time you leave such a comment you will be leaving a trail right back to your site through a link.

You’ll literally read hundreds of blog posts and comment on every single one. As time progresses and you begin to have more success, you’ll be spending more than 90%, responding to comments and request on your own site.

And that’s about as complicated as your life is going to get. What you’ll be doing all this time is what Gary would call DIGGING YOUR INTERNET TRENCH.

Step number five, choosing your platform.

But those who doubt that social media platforms can bring you business, here’s a proof point. Gary spent 7500 dollars on adds for a billboard, direct mail, and radio. In total these channels produced 710 orders for wine. At the same time he tweeted out the same offer and received 1700 orders.

That certainly lets you know what’s possible if you do this stuff the right way.

Step number six, making money.

This is where again the world has changed. The important stuff is not production values. So, you don’t need the most expensive camera or the best microphone to create killer content. What you need most are the things we’ve already talked about.

What you should invest in however, is what you want people to do once they hit your site. All of your hard work is paid off and now people are paying attention. Gary says that when somebody walked into a store looking for a bottle of wine he’d sent them home with two cases. You need to have the same mind set here. Monetise the hell out of every interaction.

To do that you’ll want invest some time into website interface design and ensure that you have some call it action buttons on your site.

Now, there are many different ways you can make money out of your site. It can be add revenue, affiliated links to other sites, you can sell a product directly, you can book speaking arrangements and even get a book deal.

However the main thing to realise is this. Although the foundation of this isn’t money, it's passion, the end game is to make money. Spend a lot of time and money if necessary to make this happen.

Step number seven, keeping it real.

Okay, we know that you’re excited to get started but a couple of words of caution first.

Number one, you need to be patient with this. Six weeks, or even six months isn’t enough to move mountains. If your slowly but surely gaining subscribers over your first half year, you’re doing well.

Second, you need to care about the people who sign up as part of your community. If you’re always looking for that next subscriber and don’t realise how damn lucky you are to have even one person spend part of their life with you, then you’re going to lose.

Caring about your first subscriber and your second and your third as much as 10,000th is the only way to win.

Chase the money and you won’t find it, chase your passion and you’ll be richer than you ever thought possible.