Crush It! Straight From The Heart

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk is marketing on steroids, written by an intense individual driven to succeed. In Crush It! Vaynerchuk outlines a step-by-step method that anyone with a passion for a hobby, special interest or business can harness to create a personal brand and develop a successful income stream using a blog tied to your business DNA. All for free.

Crush It! Straight From The Heart
Vaynerchuk writes from the heart. Passion and hard work are what stokes his entrepreneurial fires, as it can for anyone. Social media isn’t an easy ride and definitely not for those unwilling to work. This ain’t no get rich scheme, but a success blueprint based on Vaynerchuk’s formula: Social Media = Business, Period

Vaynerchuk has street cred
Born in Russia, his family immigrated to the US in 1978. His parents started with nothing and eventually through hard work and frugality, saved enough to purchase a small liquor store. Vaynerchuk inherited their hard work and family ethic that can create the American dream.

Always the entrepreneur
Now 35, Vaynerchuk has always been an entrepreneur. At eight, he created income from several sub-contracted lemonade stands, riding his Big Wheelto collect money.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

Caring little for school, he frequently read baseball card price guides hidden behind textbooks, recognizing their market potential. He began selling them at local mall shows, borrowing $1,000 from his dad to finance his first sales booth at 13. It was a gamble that succeeded.

Within four months he repaid his father and was earning $1,000 every weekend at local shows. At 15 his father recruited him to help in the family liquor store, Shopper’s Discount Liquor, a considerable earnings step down to $2 hourly.

Be Alert For Opportunity
But Vaynerchuk, antennae always alert for opportunity, found one in customers that preferred wine, but had little use for the “45 cent” words that snooty wine connoisseurs used to describe vintages.

Vaynerchuk thought that if something tasted like an old sweat sock, buyers should be told. Too young to imbibe, he read everything he could find on the topic and attended wine events, rubbing elbows with recognized experts. He became an expert, using everyday words to advise customers on wines purchases.

The internet beckoned in 1997
When the internet called,’s launch quickly followed. Graduating college in 1998, Vaynerchuk grew his parent’s business from $4M to $10M in just a year. By 2001 store sales had increased to $20M, but the success journey for, his parents renamed store, cost millions in print adverting. There had to be a better way.

The Game-changing power of the internet
In 2005 Vaynerchuk’s life changed when viewing internet video. What potential! Wine library TV launched in 2006. In every show, Vaynerchuk amps up the volume and cavorts loudly about,  proclaiming good wine

Doing wine library

Doing wine library

choices and disparaging the bad and ugly. The result? A fan following for his shows and TV appearances on Nightline, Ellen, Conan O’Brien, Fox business, The Today Show, CNN, and features in the Wall Street Journal, GQ and Time.

Traditional marketing is a dinosaur
Vaynerchuk has proved his point. Marketing using dinosaur exposure is expensive, while building a personal brand using social media platforms tied to a blog costs nothing but sweat and hard work. But you need a burning desire.

With social media you live your passion, not work a draining 9 to 5 job. It’s the ultimate freedom. But few will succeed because they expect something for nothing. Just the opposite is true, social media can bring you fulfillment and success far beyond what you can conceive living your passion can provide.

The key success principles Vaynerchuk emphasizes is hustle and going the extra mile.

“No matter how successful you get, you cannot slack off…stop hustling and everything you learn here will be useless.”

Even in today’s ailing economy, injecting hustle with passion can create a successful personal brand. All you need do is decide what your passion is and then work your butt off, reading and absorbing every resource, including books, blogs, trade journals, newsletters and attending conferences.

Don’t get a job, live your passion
For Vaynerchuk, jobs and personal fulfillment are mutually exclusive.

“My feeling is that no matter how much you like your job, you should aim to leave it and grow your own brand and business, or partner with someone to do so, because as long as you’re working for someone else you will never be living entirely true to yourself and your passion.”

Living your passion can yield $40k to $1m a year, providing you zero in on the correct combination of medium, passion and content, dictated by your individual DNA.

Mediums include writing a blog, speaking in an audio podcast, cavorting on video, or any combination. It’s all about hustle and invested time.

There’s no room for idle dreamers here. Social media demands constant attention. Hustle is the equalizing force overcoming a lack of capital and street cred. Twitter is the ultimate brand-building tool. FaceBook runs a close second.

Authenticity is key
At social media’s core is authenticity  the be-yourself passion inspiring folks to visit your blog and spread the word about your personal brand, service or offering.

Without passion and hustle, you’ll never invest the hours required to make it happen. But you must know in your heart that you can. If you think you can’t compete, you won’t. If you think you can, you’ll win. Anyone can beat Goliath.

But it doesn’t happen overnight. Vaynerchuk advises patience. If you enter the field to follow dollars, you’ll burn out long before success arrives.

Vaynerchuk ends with a step-by-step marketing checklist you can tailored to your DNA. Crush It! is more than a great book. It is the distilled essence of Gary Vaynerchuk’s DNA exposed for all to see. By using his techniques, you can discover the success hidden in yours.

Highly recommended.