Book Review: Crush It – By Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s no secret that the Internet is getting bigger and bigger everyday, and it seems like almost weekly that I read about somebody who has started a blog or a podcast or a video channel on youtube and has run away with the bank in what seems like no time at all. Everyone is of course envious of these people who are able to make a ridiculous living on what seems like little to no effort on their part. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard friends and family say things like, “Man, I wish I was interested in something that was worth any money.” It is from this perspective that Gary Vaynerchuk approaches his new book, Why Now is the Time To Crush It!

Crush It! is a book about following your passions. It takes the stance that everyone has something that they are deeply passionate about. Whether it is the rise of social media on the Internet or tortilla chips, everyone has a deep passion for something, and chances are that 99.99% of people with a passion are not employed doing anything related to that passion. The recent college graduate who loves nothing more than knitting might be slaving for a huge corporation in a job they aren’t really super thrilled about (or even hate utterly), or maybe heading to law school because they think that’s what they should be doing. Vaynerchuk asserts that you should be doing something you love, not something you hate because you feel like you need to. Maybe that college grad should start a blog about knitting and build a community around him. Maybe he’ll get sponsored by a yarn company and be able to do it full time before too long, who knows?

This book will teach you not only to follow your passion, but also how to make yourself a marketable brand. Using the extraordinary social platforms available on the Internet, like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, and Tumblr, you’ll be able to create an incredible personal brand and develop a loyal following, not around your product or your skills, but around you as a person. The upshot? You are instantly more marketable than every other person out there who is just a set of good skills and experiences on a resume. You are accomplished and somebody people have heard of. Who do you think is going to win out here?

Overall I found this book to be an extremely interesting and compelling read. I finished it in two reading sessions, though had I had time to get through the whole thing the first day, I would have without a doubt. Gary takes you through the decisions and actions that have made him so successful and show you how you can apply them to your own circumstances. This isn’t a book where the author says, “Look how great I am,” all the time, either. The stories provided are anecdotal and never to do more than prove a point. He is the first to admit that the specific actions he has taken may not work for you, but using similar philosophies, you can find the way that does.

Problems with this book? It’s too short! I found myself wanting more of Gary than I got in these 130 pages. That said, his personal e-mail is plastered all over this book and he urges you to send him any questions you may have about anything. I know from personal experience that this is not lip-service, and that he actually responds to these in a timely and thorough manner.

Anyone who wants to make something out of their passions and turn themselves into a successful personal brand should pick up this book immediately. Anyone who doesn’t want to work hard (probably harder than they ever have before), should stay at home.

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