Book notes: Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk book summary review and key ideas.

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk

Executive Summary:

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“Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand.

By the end of this book, listeners will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver’s manual for modern business.” -Audible

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Opening thoughts:

I listened to this book 4 years ago because of a recommendation. At the time, I had never heard of Gary Vee, but little do I know I’d be a huge fan in the coming years. I’m pretty excited to revisit this book that was written 10 years ago to not only take myself back to square one, but also to see how much information here is still relevant.

Key notes:

Chapter 1: Passion is Everything

  • The secret to his success is he lives by 3 simples rules:
    1. Love your family
    2. Work super hard
    3. Live your passion
  • You spend so much time at work, why waste it doing anything other than what you love most
  • It is never a bad time to start a business unless you are starting a mediocre business
  • Think of yourself as a brand
  • Skills are cheap, passion is priceless

Chapter 2: Success is in Your DNA

Reader’s note: Ask yourself “what is my passion?” For me, I know I have several different interests and possibly passions, but I think if I had to choose one that really embraces my DNA, it would be learning and teaching. Hence, this blog, my passion for teaching dance, and wanting to start a podcast to learn from more people and share those insights with others.

  • Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business

Chapter 3: Build Your Personal Brand

  • Honesty has to be at your core
  • Don’t sit on information as it could become obsolete

Chapter 4: A Whole New World

  • Money follows the eyeballs
  • Build your personal brand and get ready for the changes
  • Plan your future now
    • If you don’t plan ahead and decide where you want to go, you’re in big trouble
  • As long as you work for someone else, you’ll never be entirely true to yourself and live your passion if you don’t plan to build your personal brand
    • Without the freedom to develop a personal brand, you will find yourself at a strong disadvantage to the competition who will have been pumping out the content and making a name for themselves

Chapter 5: Create Great Content

  • Ask yourself: can you think of at least 50 blog topics that you’re amped to write about?
    • That’s the minimum number of posts that will allow you to get a feel for it
    • However, if something is your true passion, you can find 500 things
  • Tell stories!
  • Work content in two ways:
    1. As a lure – create content, post it, and allow people to come to you as they discover it
    2. As a lasso – use it as comments on other people’s content

Chapter 6: Choose Your Platform

  • You blog will be your main home, your central location where anyone can find you
  • The best business tweet of all time: “what can I do for you?
  • Suggestion: search on Twitter what people’s problems are in your field
  • Don’t get bogged down by stats and analytics
    • Always trust your gut and the quality of your interactions and engagement

Chapter 7: Keep It Real…Very Real

  • DNA and authenticity are closely related but they’re not the same
    • Your DNA will dictation your passion, what you were born to do
    • Being authentic and being perceived as such by your audience relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to business is rooted in being true to yourself
  • Hustle and hard work is necessary, but patience is the key that many people overlook

Chapter 8: Create Community – Digging Your Internet Trench

  • Creating content should be your least time-consuming element of your whole endeavor
    • What you do after you produce your content is the whole game
    • Creating community is where the bulk of your hustle should go and where the bulk of your success will come from
      • Creating community is all about starting conversations
        • Building and sustaining community is a never-ending part of doing this business
    • Your long-term goal is to get sticky and create more and more opportunities to communicate

Chapter 9: The Best Marketing Strategy Ever

  • The greatest marketing strategy ever: Care
    • If you care about your audience, you will never ever lose
    • Actual, real caring, like going the extra 40 miles and having a real relationship with your audience
    • This is 1,000% the game

Chapter 10: Make the World Listen

  • Buy your own domain name and hire a web designer to make sure links and pages work
  • Pump out quality content that others would charge for
  • Go search popular blogs on that topic, read them, and add relevant, quality comments to the conversation
  • Add all social media onto your email signature
  • The longer you hold out to monetize your blog, the better

Chapter 11: Start Monetizing

  • Speaking engagements and conferences
  • Affiliate programs
  • Retail – develop your own products and even swag for your brand
  • Reach out and contribute to other magazines and papers
    • Blogs and vlogs can lead to publishing deals and TV deals
  • Eventually start charging for your consulting for others
  • Go for big, call big corporate ad agencies, ask them to invest with you
  • Start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart
    • The money will be there, and more important, so will the opportunities

Chapter 12: Roll With It

  • Entrepreneurs also have to be willing to practice what he calls reactionary business
    • At its heart, it is being willing and able to adapt to change
    • Social media allows companies to be reactionary and faster

Chapter 13: Legacy is Greater Than Currency

  • Build your legacy
    • Happiness comes with pursuing your passion
  • When making business decisions, ask yourself not only if it will make you money, but if you’ll be proud of how you made that money
  • It’s about culture and DNA, never about the individual moment

Conclusion: The Time is Now, The Message is Forever

  • True success (financial, personal, and professional) lies above all in:
    1. Loving your family
    2. Working ridiculously hard
    3. Living your passion
  • In telling your story, it’s authenticity, hustle, and patience
  • Care seriously about the big and small stuff
  • Value legacy over currency
Checklist to Build Your Personal Brand
  1. Identify your passion
  2. Make sure you can think of about 50 awesome blog topics to ensure stickiness
  3. Answer the following questions:
    • Am I sure my passion is what I think it is?
    • Can I talk about it better than anyone else (or at least the top 10)?
  4. Name your personal brand
  5. Buy your username/domain
  6. Choose your medium (video, audio, written)
  7. Start a website/blog
  8. Hire a designer
  9. Include connect, call-to-action, and share buttons/functions
  10. Create a FB fan page
  11. Sign up for or similar service to distribute your content to various platforms
  12. Post your content
  13. Start creating community by engaging on other blogs, forums, as well as your own
  14. Use twitter search to find as many people as possible talking about your topic and communicate with them
  15. Use google search to find blogs that are relevant to your subject matter
  16. Join as many active FB fan pages and groups relating to your topic
  17. Repeat steps 12-16 over and over again
  18. Do it again
  19. And again
  20. When you feel your personal brand has gained sufficient attention and stickiness, start reaching out to advertisers and begin monetizing
  21. Enjoy the ride – the process is greater than the result

Closing thoughts:

I’m so glad I re-read this book. As expected, the wisdom in this book is timeless when it comes to building your personal. He explains why it’s so important to do so and how to do it.

Like many of my favorite books, this combines narrative (his own story), motivation (engaging ideas and language), and application (action steps to take). It’s no wonder why Gary is so good at what he does and has reached his level of success.

For anyone not familiar with his content, I especially love how consistent he is with his messaging. He is notorious for experimenting and trying new strategies, but his principles and values haven’t changed in the however many years he’s been in business development. Also, you can tell that this guy really does care.

It’s like that saying, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Overall, HIGHLY recommend this book, especially if you’re looking to build something that can sustain you and help you achieve whatever level of happiness you desire.

One Takeaway / Putting into practice:

So many great takeaways in this book, especially for someone like myself actively building my personal brand and working on different projects to do so (YBC, Podcast, YT channel). But as Gary says, my focus should/will be:

  • Creating community is the bulk of your hustle, which is all about starting conversations. Your long-term goal is to get sticky and create more and more opportunities to communicate

While I’m continuing the process of creating content, I’m going to put in more effort towards creating community and engaging in those online “fishing holes” in order to create opportunities to communicate and add value. For me, this will be around books, self-improvement, dancing, and teaching.


Gary explains the keys to success and happiness, as well as a step-by-step path to building your personal brand.

Similar books:


Rating: 5 out of 5.


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