1-Sentence-Summary: Crush It is the blueprint you need to turn your passion into your profession and will give you the tools to turn yourself into a brand, leverage social media, produce great content and reap the financial benefits of it.
Read in: 4 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
It’s hard not to love Gary Vaynerchuk. The guy wants to build an empire on being the nicest guy in town, and he’s well on his way to do so. Right now he runs VaynerMedia, a massive digital & social marketing agency in NYC, has a very popular Youtube show called #AskGaryVee and speaks regularly at social media conferences.
Gary is no stranger here on Four Minute Books – remember Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook? But before he turned into a social media maverick, Gary ran his family’s wine business, WineLibrary, in New Jersey.
Crush It was written in 2009, the year he also founded VaynerMedia, and is based on the lessons he learned growing that business, primarily through an incredibly early and eventually very popular wine show on Youtube.
He realized that thanks to the web and social media, anyone can now turn their passion into their profession. Here are 3 lessons to help you do just that:
- In order to profit from your passion, you have to turn yourself into a brand.
- Pick a medium that fits you to tell stories people want to hear.
- Always be authentic in your content.
Ready to turn hobby into profession? Let’s go and get it!
Lesson 1: In order to profit from your passion, you have to turn yourself into a brand.
It was true in 2009 and it’s even more true in 2016. You can make money by being yourself. Thanks to the internet and social media, the cost of entry has been lowered in almost any industry.
You can publish your own books, create your own TV show and become a radio talkshow host (aka podcaster) for next to nothing and make it all available for the world to see.
If you’re not doing it yet, but want to eventually turn your passion into your paycheck, you have to start today.
Gary turned himself into a brand when he started talking about wine in everyday terms on Youtube. 1,000 episodes of sticking to his authentic self later, he’d established himself as “the nice, obnoxious guy who talks about wine”.
A brand is a public image, which shows the world what you’re passionate about and reflects who you are.
Without a brand you won’t be able to profit from your passion financially, but luckily, creating one has become simple. Not easy, but simple.
Lesson 2: Choose a medium that fits your personality to tell stories people want to hear.
You should start by looking at a bunch of different social media and online platforms. It’s important that the platform matches who you are.
For example, if you’re super long-winded, like me, then Twitter might not be a good fit for you, because you can never quite fit what you want to say into 140 characters.
But you might do great with a blog on Medium or long Facebook posts. Maybe you’re an extrovert, in that case video and audio are great media for you. Each platform has its own unique context and it’s important to honor that.
Once you’ve picked a platform, it’s time to start telling stories. Give your stories everything you’ve got. Make them interesting, fun to read, watch and listen to, and make sure they help your audience understand who you are.
Telling stories is one thing, but telling stories people actually want to hear requires you to research what your audience wants and put your own spin on it. That’s how you create great content.
Lesson 3: Even if it takes a while: always be authentic in your content.
One thing you should never do though, is try to fake it. Gary is loud and drops the f-bomb all the time. But what good would it be for him to try and tone that down every time he’s in public?
People would notice, he’d just come across as phony, so he just keeps being himself.
Being authentic always means you turn some people off, but you’ll do that either way, authentic or not. Wouldn’t you rather lose the people who don’t agree with you anyway, as opposed to someone who might actually like you, but resents your fake poser pics on Instagram (especially when you have so many great real things to show)?
It might take some time, energy, and a lot of effort, but once you’ve found your voice and the confidence to always use it, no matter what, you’ll start to build a base of loyal fans who’ll love to connect with you.
My personal take-aways
The summary of this book on Blinkist is okay, if you just want the technical details, but compared to watching a Gary Vaynerchuk video it feels utterly lifeless. That’s probably because video is just his medium. Gary’s very extroverted and most charming and convincing when he yells directly at you, not from a piece of (digital) paper.
The book on the other hand feels like one long episode of the #AskGaryVee show, which is great to read. I’d still recommend just going on a binge watch of Gary’s videos though.
What else can you learn from the blinks?
- The three values Gary lives every single day of his life
- Why social media are great and who they allow you to reach
- How introducing yourself to your digital neighbors helps your brand
- Two tactics to monetize your brand once you’re rolling
- How to make sure your brand is not just a one-hit wonder and stays around
Who would I recommend the Crush It summary to?
The 17 year old who keeps trying to crack jokes on Twitter, when she’s really a great dancer and needs to be seen on video, the 59 year old who thinks he’s already missed the train, and anyone who just consumes content on social media so far, and doesn’t create any.