Crush It! Book Review Rough Draft

In Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuck encourages his readers to cash in on their passion and transform your “real interests into real business.” He uses his personal experiences as a model and creates a “how-to” guide for creating a personal brand using the tools of social media. Vaynerchuck claims that if you’re passionate about something, you can monetize that passion if you have the drive.


Internet has completely changed how we do business:

– Ability to connect with consumers
– Publicize your passion and find others with the same passion
– Attract advertisers
– Advertisers and companies need to spend money to stay alive, why not spend it on you?
– Create a blog that will voice your passion. Build a following, then the big companies will find you and invest in you.
– Social media = business. Period.

Follow Your Passion

– Make sure you’re doing what you love more than anything in the world
– DNA = the path to your success
– Do not conform to what your family or society expects of you. Follow your DNA
– The internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100% true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand (17).
– Follow your bliss, but also you must work harder than you’ve ever worked before
– But if you’re following your passion, it shouldn’t be considered work. You should be looking forward to it.
– People want to be told what’s good and valuable, and that they enjoy feeling like they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate (24). How he started his wine company.
– Be sure your content is the best in its category.
– Someone with less passion and talent and poorer content can totally beat you if they’re willing to work longer and harder than you are. Hustle is it. Without it, you should just pack up your toys and go home. The only differentiator in the game is your passion and your hustle. Don’t ever look at someone else who has more capital or cred than you and think you shouldn’t bother to compete.
– Many are probably just sick of the killer hours and inflexible schedules and demanding bosses often found in the corporate world and think entrepreneurship will somehow be less taxing. Not true. If anything, more work.
– If you’re living your passion, you’re going to want to be consumed by your work.
– Patience: money won’t come overnight.
– Don’t indulge yourself in your successes right away. Your profits should funnel right back into your research, your content, and your staff should you have any. The sooner you start cashing in, the shorter window you have in which to cement your success.

Personal Branding

– Used Youtube and video blogs not to sell wine, but to build a whole new world for wine (26).
– Wine Library TV was never about selling wine on the internet. It was always about building brand equity (27).
– Your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same (28). People have built empires out of being who they are and never backing down from it (ie: Oprah, Howard Stern)


– Authenticity is key.
– Your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spread the word about your personal brand, service, or whatever you are offering.
– Doesn’t clean up office, Doesn’t do additional takes, Sometimes sound and lighting is bad. Doesn’t matter—as long as he’s getting his message across and coming across as authentic.
– Celebrity images used to be carefully constructed that it was difficult to get a sense of their real personalities.
– Now they make a great effort to connect with their fans.
–  If you live your passion and work the social networking tools to the max, opportunities to monetize will present themselves.

Use Social Media/Internet to Promote Personal Brand

– Create a community by leaving comments on other people’s blogs and forums and replying to comments to your own comments
– Use twitter to find as many people as possible talking about your topic and communicate with them
– Use to find more blogs that are relevant to your subject.
– When you feel your personal brand has gained sufficient attention and stickiness, start reaching out to advertisers and begin monetizing.


Social Network Profiles as Taste Performances – Hugo Liu

Prestige statements vs Authenticity statements:


  •  presenting a coherent sense of taste that shows your belong squarely in a certain place. (ex: I fit in mainstream culture or I fit in this subculture)
  • Put person in a “culture box” They are elite within their group. Strongly identify
  • Ex in book: wine connoisseurs using esoteric language. turns some people who aren’t experts off.


  • Trying to communicate that you are an authentic person. Everything you say is true about you.
  • Not perfectly crafted. (ex: list all indie bands as favorites but also throwing in some guilty pleasures)
  • Showing a little crack in the façade: self-deprecating.
  • Ex in book: shoot vlogs once, doesn’t clean up room. explains things in plain english.

Branding yourself

  • Personal brand and corporate brand. How you present yourself and the things you have in the video that contributes to your “brand”
  • Commodifying yourself

Community: Baym 

  • Types of community we’ve never seen before
  • Net isn’t just for information, it’s for linking people and connection
  • Shared resources and support: resources shared such as networking, advice, promotional, financial.
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