Crush It

“My secret is that I live by three pretty simple rules: Love your family. Work super hard. Live your passion.”

- Crush It!, page 2
If there was ever an example of pure passion and sweat equity transforming into success and a viable business, Gary Vaynerchuk is it.  With his inaugural book Crush It (first of a ten book deal with HarperCollins), “Gary Vee” comes into his own as an authority on taking what you love and developing it into something remarkable.
Vaynerchuk has a simple manifesto for success. Being passionate about what you do is important, but it needs to be combined with extraordinary effort in order to achieve the results you’re seeking. That effort though, can’t be at the expense of relationships, particularly with your family. It sounds like he is prescribing the ultimate in an impossible combination of work/life balance, but the message of his book shows that working with discipline and intention allows you to achieve the mix you need. He wants you to conquer the world – or “crush it” in Gary’s language – but not at the expense of creating a meaningful life. His advice helps us achieve both.

The Golden Egg

Golden Egg: The biggest takeaway from the book

The Importance of Combining Passion with Productivity

"Ultimately this book is not about making a million dollars, although it just might help you do that. It’s about ensuring your own happiness by enabling you to live every day passionately and productively. Business is not just about making money, and if you think it is, you’re broken."
- Crush It!, page 13
We all have those amazing ideas in the shower or when we least expect it. Ideas for a new product, service or business that might just change the world. A smaller percentage of us might take that idea and start to think more about it, but never take it beyond the idea stage. But thinking won’t bring it to life, and as much as we may have passion for our ideas, a very small percentage of people will combine ideas with lots and lots of hard work, and are ultimately the ones who might have a chance of bringing those ideas into fruition.
The passion side of the equation is important to think about too. When you are excited about your work, whether as an employee or business owner, your enthusiasm must extend beyond your excitement for profits. What excites you most, to the point that you’re willing to consume every waking hour working on it? What are you looking to create? What relationships are you building? How are you making the most out of every day? These are questions you need to contemplate and revisit on a regular basis.
Passion and productivity are just the starting point. Vaynerchuk’s recipe for success has additional elements as well.

Gem #1

An actionable way to implement the BIG takeaway (Golden Egg) into your life

Authenticity, the Key Ingredient

"Watch me for two seconds and you know exactly who I am and what I stand for. Authenticity is key."
- Crush It!, page 31
Arguably the single most beautiful element of the online world is that it allows you to connect with millions of people who share your same passions and interests.  Everyone can connect with everyone, making the world a much smaller place.  This is a double-edged sword of course – it’s great in the sense that you’re now able to find companies (both potential employers and clients) that have a passion for what you do more easily than ever before.  It also means that the competition can find them more easily too.  So how do you differentiate yourself from the masses?  Do something unique.  Do something uniquely you.
There are a lot of unauthentic people out there – people doing what they “think” they should be doing, and saying what they think you want to hear.  Genuine authenticity is refreshing.  It stands out.  More than finding someone with the right skill sets or experience, people really just want to connect with other passionate, genuine human beings.  It’s amazing how far you can get by being genuine about who you are.
Take a chance this week – let down your walls and speak openly, honestly.  Be raw and imperfect.  People will respond to it.  Just watch.

Gem #2

An actionable way to implement the BIG takeaway (Golden Egg) into your life

Meaningful relationships will become your legacy

"Making connections, creating and continuing meaningful interaction with other people, whether in person or in the digital domain, is the only reason we’re here.  Remember that, set the tone, build legacy."
- Crush It!, page 131
For all your efforts, endless hours and really hard work, Vaynerchuk’s cautions us not to forget about relationships. It is so easy to bury ourselves in work and justify that we are in business building mode, but connecting to others in our community is really what the core of our business should be. Think about your business on a 20-year time horizon. It won’t be about your product sales in year five that your remember most; you’ll likely remember the people you met and connected with along the way. Maya Angelou, the great American poet, tells us that people won’t remember what you did, they’ll remember how you made them feel.

Work your guts out.  Crush It is not just a book, it’s an attitude. It’s an invincible, “try and stop me”, taking on the world with a raw passion sort of mentality. You have to know your stuff. But at the end of the day, it’s all about who works the hardest. If you want to make a name for yourself, if you want to get ahead (and stay ahead) of the massive competition base, you need to be willing to (in Gary’s words) “work ‘till your eyeballs bleed.” But don’t do it at the expense of relationships. Creating meaningful relationships, especially with those you love, will make the journey much more profound.

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Alyssa Burkus

ABOUT Alyssa Burkus

As a consultant, I work with entrepreneurs and senior leaders through periods of significant change in their organizations, by delivering strategies, new programs, and coaching to build the workplace foundation they need to shift their company to new levels...
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