Crush It

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

- Crush It!, page 2

The Big Idea

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.

Insight #1

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.

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Insight #2

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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Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is a “New York Times” bestselling author and American businessman who was born in Belarus and immigrated to the United States as a young child. Gary’s entrepreneurial instincts took over at a young age, when he owned a franchise of neighbourhood lemonade stands and made $1,000 a weekend selling baseball cards. Much to his dismay, his father Sasha pulled Gary into the family business, a local liquor store called Shopper’s Discount Liquors. Before long, Gary recognized that consumers collected rare wines just like people collected baseball cards, and he was off to the races. Gary transformed himself into a wine expert, rebranded the store as Wine Library, launched a retail website in 1997, and by 2008 he had raised annual revenue from $4 million to $60 million. In 2006 Gary achieved one of his life-long goals when he was caricatured on the front page of the “Wall Street Journal” in an article about online wine sales.

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