Review of “Crush It!” and Free Book Giveaway!
If you remember from my May 2010 reading list, I put Crush It (by Gary Vaynerchuk) as #1 on my list of books to read. I recently finished it, and now feel compelled to write a review about it (be sure to look at the end of the post where I’m giving away my copy of the book!).
Crush It was a fairly quick and easy read, but that doesn’t really take away from the book’s powerful message. In short, Vaynerchuk explains that now is the time to turn your passion into money. More importantly, he gives some pretty clear (yet somewhat general) steps to actually taking your interest/love/obsession and turning it into a business.
Overall, I definitely think it’s a book every aspiring (or even currently successful) entrepreneur should read, but let’s dig into some of the details…
Building Your Personal Brand
“Developing your personal brand is key to monetizing your passion online.” (Vaynerchuck, pg. 28)”
For me, this was one of the most powerful messages of this book, and definitely something I will begin to apply to My 4-Hour Workweek as well as other muses and ventures I undertake. It’s clear that your product may not need to stand out for your business to be successful – however, you must stand out.
There seems to be something about a personal brand that can empower a business to go beyond selling a product or providing a service. Vaynerchuk points to some “personal brand geniuses” such as Oprah, Howard Stern, and Emeril. These are people who could slap their names on any ordinary product and make it successful because people value the brand.
Vaynerchuk of course goes into more detail and provides more examples, but I think this chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
Social networking is another area that Vaynerchuk hits hard, as a platform for giving your product, service, or content a voice in the online world. He talks about Facebook, Twitter, and flickr, along with other social networking sites and tools.
I’ve always known these to be important and that they’re becoming more a part of our culture (especially online), but I took for granted the impact it can have on a person’s brand and business. Once again, Vaynerchuk isn’t going to tell you something you don’t already know (unless you’ve never heard of Facebook), but he presents his message in a way that really gets you thinking about what you can do to improve your approach to your business.
A Look at All Chapters
I think it helps to know the subject of each chapter to give you an idea of the other content this book contains that I haven’t already discussed above:
1) Passion is Everything
2) Success Is in Your DNA
3) Build Your Personal Brand
4) A Whole New World
5) Create Great Content
6) Choose Your Platform
7) Keep It Real…Very Real
8 ) Create Community: Digging Your Internet Trench
9) The Best Marketing Strategy Ever
10) Make the World Listen
11) Start Monetizing
12) Roll with It
13) Legacy Is Greater Than Currency
If you look at the book on Amazon, you’ll see that it allows you to read the first page of each chapter if you “look inside.” This should give you a taste Vaynerchuk’s writing style and how he presents information.
My Only Criticism
I wouldn’t say this is a bad thing necessarily, but I felt like this book was a bit too brief in some areas. Excluding the appendix, this book is only 134 pages and covers several topics. Vaynerchuk does an excellent job of touching on a topic, getting right to the point, and conveying his smart and powerful messages.
And that’s where the real value is in reading this book – understanding its messages and internalizing them so that you can apply them to your own business. While I think people who loved The 4-Hour Workweek would also love this book (which I do), they’re very different.
In Tim Ferriss’ book, you almost feel like you’re reading a reference or road map. There are parts of The 4-Hour Workweek that you’ll likely want to go back to and reread depending on what step you’re at in your muse creation, in my opinion.
Crush It is a bit different in that, once you read it and understand its messages, you’re probably done with it and ready to move on. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s something I noticed. And that’s why…
I’m Giving Away My Copy to You
Here’s the deal – I want you to leave a comment answering this question: “Are you currently trying to cash in on your passion? If so, how’s it going? If not, what’s holding you back?” Feel free to add as much detail as you’d like.
Alternatively, you may simply comment about your views on the book, if you’ve read it.
After there have been 20 comments (not including comment replies from me and multiple comments from the same person), or 48 hours have passed (whichever comes first), I’ll randomly pick a commenter and send you my copy of the book, completely free of charge. Once I pick a winner, I’ll update this post to announce the winner, and e-mail that person (at the e-mail address you leave with your comment) to request with their name and shipping information. If I can’t reach you via the e-mail address you use, you’ll need to contact me. [If I don’t hear from you within a couple days of announcing you as the winner, I reserve the right to give the book to another commenter.]
Your chances of winning are 1 in 20, or better!
UPDATE: The winner of “Crush It!” from the comments is Lauren Nelson! Lauren, I’ll be e-mailing you shortly with the e-mail address you provided with your comment, to get your shipping information for the book. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!