Time for some disclosure. I don't drink wine, my knowledge of wine is very limited. I don't understand tasting at all. So, why am I reviewing a book by Gary Vaynerchuk who is better known for his very popular video podcast Wine Library TV. The answer is simple, because the book is not about wine tasting, drinking or anything to do with wine. What the book is about is Gary's philosophy of how to live your passion and make a career out of it. Just mentioning about his video blog, as he refers it, let's you know Gary is a man out there in web 2.0. His blog has got him interviewed on a number of mainstream shows, as well as internet shows. He took his career as a successful wine entrepreneur and brought it to the web, using the means of social media to expand his brand and also to demonstrate his enthusiasm for wine.
The book Crush It! is about his personal philosophy on how to live your life with passion as well as an instructional book on using the Internet and its tools to develop your own brand. I am going to assume the title is as much a play on wine making, crushing grapes, yes there's that much I know, as well as just getting out there and taking full advantage of life.
His philosophy can be summed up in three statements and he makes these early in the book
1) Love your family
2) Work very very hard and
3) Live your passion
I should say I listened to the audiobook, which I purchased through itunes, it is also available through Audible.com. The book is read by Gary and so you get to hear his passion for his philosophy and life, you also get his asides. He likes to break in to other thought not necessarily expressed in the book, which is part of the beauty. He presents the three points through personal experience and understanding how it worked in his life and how to transfer to your life. Ultimately, he wants us to enjoy life and to him its done through living your passion. He also is honest and reminds us to be true to our DNA. By this he means, not all of us can be Gary V, he states that if we're not comfortable making a video blog, perhaps a audio podcast is better, or maybe the written word is our strength, but stick with what we are.
Perhaps I'm jumping ahead here, what he tells us is to build our brand online. He tells us that the tools on the Internet makes this very possible and very inexpensive. If you wanted to start your own business based upon your passion and to Gary it is possible because if you are passionate about something, there's always someone who wantss to use that passion as a tie in to selling something. He states its important to build that brand and through the tools of social media it is possible. Twitter, Facebook and personal blogs with personalized addresses are just some of the tools that are inexpensive that will build that important web presence. He lays out the tools in a simple, straightforward manner that all of us can grasp and apply.
There are other great comments from Gary, such as Legacy is more valuable currency. It all goes back to passion and transparency. For the latter he shares about the time he appeared on Diggnation and some of the forum members thought he was very arrogant. He told that he spent time writing emails and comments of apology to those who were offended by his actions. This is apply that truth to his own life. He is living it and sharing that inspiration with us. He gives other advice, such as first knowing what your passion truly is and then shareing it with others. But again and again, he wants us to get out there and make it with our passion.
So the book, part discussion of the social media tools that exist today, part a book of inspiration. It is truly a fantastic book, in fact as I write this review I think of example and example he writes and more of his philosophy but I think I would rather you read, or listen to it and learn for yourself.
I understand it is a relatively thin book, only 160 pages or so. To listen will take a little over three hours, which makes it a good book to listen while working out at the gym or going for walks.
It is a book that will inspire you in so many ways. I want to conclude with the conclusion of another review, because he said it best:
“Crush It” is an excellent book offering personal stories that illustrate the importance of passion, patience, hustle and the value of doing what you need to do to be happy. Success takes hard work and this book does a great job of showing anyone the framework for making what really makes them passionate and turn it into an online business.
Available through Amazon, Chapter-Indigo and other fine booksellers.
One more thing, he's a big fan of the New York Jets, saying his plan is to purchase the team, that would not surprise me.