Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuck is “meant” to discuss different strategies and secrets to turn your “real interests into real businesses.” But in all actuality, this novel is more in the realm of motivational self-help books.
Gary Vaynerchuck transformed his family’s small wine store into a national industry. He talks about how from a young age he was a businessman through buying and selling baseball cards to make a profit. He has now built his own brand through developing a video blog called Wine Library TV. Taking off from this small childhood pastime, Gary realized the steps he needed to take to make a name for himself in the business world…and that was through social media. He states that the three rules to live by when creating your own business are to “love your family”, “work superhard”, and “live your passion”. He measures his success by how happy he is, which in essence everyone should do.
There is no real format or structure to this book. Ninety percent of this book is discussing how you need to be passionate if you want to be successful. Besides this, Gary goes into the various social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and WordPress, among others. He discusses the different affordances of each network and how to decide which one is right for you to create your business. Next, Gary goes into the importance of developing your personal brand. Through building you brand, Gary discusses how authenticity is paramount. It is important to be yourself and voice your opinions. He says “You’ll crush it as long as you concentrate on being yourself” (Vaynerchuck, 34). He feels that your brand will be unique because you are unique. This relates to our own class reading and discussion about how Liu identifies four different taste statements, authenticity being one of them. In Liu’s reading we learn that authenticity is when the user is trying to communicate who they really are, everything that is said is true. I tend to agree with Gary, especially if you are trying to start your own business (personally I feel this was the best piece of advice he gave). If I were the consumer, I would want to purchase something from a person who is telling me the truth. It is important to trust the business; otherwise the company would be reaping the benefits while you are left unsatisfied. Through word of mouth, your business receives the reputation of being dishonest, therefore making people not want to buy whatever service or good you are offering.
Throughout the semester, we have talked about how community is formed through the various social media networks. Baym discusses in her book the difference qualities of communities in social media: sense of space, shared practice, shared resources and support, shared identities, and interpersonal relationships. Gary talks about how to form a community in order for your business to benefit. He says “Creating community—that’s where the bulk of your hustle is going to go and where the bulk of your success will be determined” (Vaynerchuck, 96). In order to do this, he stresses the need to communicate with others through social media. According to Gary, you need to read hundreds of blog posts, leave many comments, tweet, email, share links, post your own blog posts, record videos, and much more. By doing this, you are creating awareness amongst the community of social media, which will create publicity for your business.
He takes a very social constructionist approach when writing this book. I do feel Gary does give some insights as to how to communicate and build your brand. However, he does not provide as much information on how to actually monetize your business. Yes, he does talk about building awareness, which leads to attracting advertisers…but he doesn’t going into that much detail of how to get in contact with these advertisers or what normal protocol is. Gary gives very broad generalizations of how to build your own business, and how to be passionate (PASSION, PASSION, PASSION), but there are no solid technical instructions of how to market your brand on social media.