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Can you turn your passion into your own personal brand? Yes...

  • Mar 9, 2010
Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those books I see coming up repeatedly on blogs I follow and with people I follow on Twitter. So, in order to find out why this book is so popular, I got a copy from our local library and gave it a quick read. And at only 142 pages, it *is* a quick read. But what Vaynerchuk has to say can, if taken to heart and practiced, make a significant difference in your life, career, and passion.

Passion Is Everything; Success Is In Your DNA; Build Your Personal Brand; A Whole New World; Create Great Content; Choose Your Platform; Keep It Real... Very Real; Create Community - Digging Your Internet Trench; The Best Marketing Strategy Ever; Make the World Listen; Start Monetizing; Roll With It; Legacy Is Greater Than Currency; Conclusion - The Time Is Now, The Message Is Forever

Vaynerchuk makes his case that due to the rise of social networking tools like blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and vidcasts/podcasts, anyone can take their passion and share it with others. You can establish and build a personal "brand" that is uniquely yours. Let's say that you are a cashier at a clothing store, but your real passion lies in photography. When you start talking to others about that topic, your eyes light up and you could go on for hours. If you are willing to take that passion and work very hard to share what you know with others, you can "crush it" in that area and draw an ever-increasing audience who are interested in the same thing. And once you get an audience and traffic, dollars in the way of advertising and sponsors can shortly follow. It's not a matter of just sticking a blog entry out every four or five days, though. Vaynerchuk uses his own examples with his Wine Library TV site to show how passion, branding, and honesty translate into a community that looks to him for truthful and entertaining information about the world of wine. While he does sell wine, the videos and writings are not all designed to sell his own merchandise or a particular brand. Instead, he's looking to share his passion for the subject, knowing that people who come to him *will* likely come back again when they *do* want to buy something.

From the technology side, Vaynerchuk does a good job in showing the power of the social media tools that are out there for you to use. It costs nothing to set up a blog, a Facebook account, or a Twitter account. The cost of entry to start this is nearly non-existent. To create podcasts or vidcasts is almost as cheap, as the tools you need to get started can run you less than $200. Once that's all in place, the only thing left is you. He's the first to admit that the type of passion he's talking about is something that keeps you up until the wee hours of the morning, but it's something that you are ready to jump back into as soon as you wake up. If you're willing to work that hard for something you love, you can turn your passion into your livelihood.

Is this all realistic? Yes, in my opinion it's all very possible. Will *everyone* who attempts this be able to quit their day job and become wealthy doing what they love? No, but Vaynerchuk would argue that true happiness and passion isn't measured by a six figure paycheck. Yeah, it'd be nice, and it does work that way for some. But if you're doing something you love to do, you *can* make a big difference in your life and the lives of others.

Crush It! is a bold statement, and Gary Vaynerchuk is a passionate, outspoken proponent for what you can do to turn your passion into your career. You may not agree with him fully, or you may begin to see the seeds of your own rise from a job to an avocation, a life centered around something you're passionate about. Either way, you'll have plenty to think about after reading his book.

Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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review by . December 06, 2009
The Basics of
I first learned of Gary by accident, around June of 2008. I was chatting with cute girls via my myspace account (yes I have a bad reputation lol), when I saw an interesting looking “friend” avatar on one of the girl’s pages. It was of a chap called Alejandro Reyes, from He teaches about marketing and Social Media through his website. I thought his Success Fool concept was pretty savvy, and read a little of what he had to say. Impressed, I found myself sending him …
review by . November 17, 2009
 I seem to have read a spate of books like this recently: a 2 page concept crammed into 142 pages. Beyond the extensive biography of the author and his enthusiasm for social media, the basic concept is a technological rehash of "do what you love" and doesn't really go much beyond that.       To say it's light on the 'how' is like calling a drowning victim 'wet'. If you're looking for a guide to using social media to improve your business or brand, instead …
review by . December 10, 2009
Build a business around the one asset where you have the most control - yourself.    Lots of practical tips, techniques and resources to use Social Media to boost your personal brand and build a business.    Required reading for the modern entrepreneur.
Quick Tip by . December 07, 2009
This looks like a good investment. Can't hurt and may help give that boost for $ independence! Give it a go
About the reviewer
Thomas Duff ()
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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The Story Behind Crush it!

Everything has changed. The social media revolution has irreversibly changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. There are billions of dollars in advertising moving online, waiting to be claimed by whoever can build the best content and communities. Despite this change, most people keep working at jobs that don’t make them happy and businesses continue to ignore the major marketing and public relations benefits that can be found online.

Myth #1: I’m not passionate about something sexy or popular like wine so these lessons don’t apply to me.

The internet has drastically decreased the costs of building communities around niche subjects, allowing for even the most obscure subjects to draw enough eyeballs to command advertising attention. Starting a video blog about tortilla chips may seem farfetched until Doritos gives you a call and offers 40,000 a year to sponsor and advertise on your blog.

Myth #2: My business already has a Twitter account and a Facebook page, we’re set in the social media department.

This is the equivalent of claiming twenty years ago that just because your business bought a TV spot and a few ads in the newspaper, you didn’t need to pay attention to your advertising department. Social media isn’t about joining in, it’s about being involved.

Myth #3: I’m happy at my job so this book is irrelevant to me.

First of all, congratulations on ...

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Author: Gary Vaynerchuck
Genre: Business, Entrepreneurship
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-06-191417-1
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