Nordic Track Book Club Review: Crush It!

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion is a short book at 142 pages, but a book I think you’ll enjoy. I read it over the course of three 60 minute Nordic Track Ski sessions. I would best categorize this book as infectious. Vaynerchuk uses his own experience with Wine Library TV and other ventures to inspire you to keep doing what you love and believe in, while using Social Media to eventually prove that you were right all along. 4 out of 5 [NordicTrack] Ski Stars.

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p.5 Live your passion. What does that mean, anyway? It means that when you get up for work every morning, every single morning, you’re pumped because you get to talk about or work with or do the thing that interests you the most in the world. You don’t live for vacations because you don’t need a break from what you’re doing. Working, playing and relaxing are one and the same.

p.9 What if you just don’t have a hard business instinct. Don’t worry. Skills are cheap, passion is priceless. If you’re passionate about your content and you know it and do it better than anyone else, even with a few formal business skills you have the potential to create a million dollar business.

p.13 Ultimately this book is not about making a million dollars, although it 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 are broken.

p.24 I knew from my experience with the baseball card business that 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.

Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.

p.27 Wine Library TV was never about selling wine on the Internet. It was always about building brand equity.

p.28 In today’s world your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same.

p.39 You cannot afford to be one-dimensional. Everything you say that you think is irrelevant is now relevant. If a manager is hiring and has the choice between two equally qualified candidates, she’s going to chose the one with whom she’s experienced some kind of bond, whether its a mutual belief in revamping the toothpaste industry or shared love for ice hockey.

p.45 And can you think of any business that isn’t in some way dependent on human interaction? I can’t. The changes that will be wrought by the Internet are as fundamentally transformative to content and commerce as the printing press. It’s a whole new world. Build your personal brand and get ready for it.

p.58 If you’re an accountant you can still put out a video. I sure as hell don’t want to read accounting materials, but I’d watch a video if you were good enough to make something like balance sheets or operating profit interesting and you infused your show with personality and everything that makes you unique.  Do that and your audience will find you. I guarantee it.

p.63 Call to action buttons. These incredibly important buttons are all about capture. Subscribe to Email. Friend Me Up. Follow Me. All of these are ways to suggest that your users prolong their interaction with your brand.

p.77 There’s no way to overstate the importance of Ustream, one of the biggest brand-building products that I’ve used. It’s a platform that allows you to launch live video, but the cool part is that it also has a chat function that allows you to interact with your audience in real-time. Much like a radio call-in show.

p.81 We’re going to see a lot more of Facebook Connect in the future.

p.93 How did someone like me who is so obviously not a patient guy cool my heels for so long? Because I was 100% happy, I loved what I was doing. I knew down to my core that my business was going to explode. But even if I had fallen flat on my face, I would have had no regrets, because I was doing exactly what I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it.

p.95 What you do after you tape a show, write, or record, is the whole game. Creating community—that’s where the bulk of your hustle is going to go, and where the bulk of your success is going to be determined.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.