Book Review: Crush It!

A friend of mine strongly suggested I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s CRUSH IT! awhile back. I finally picked up the copy I bought a few months ago and cranked through it on a flight to the West Coast.

I think it was worth the 2 hours to read if you are looking to start your own business, are curious about the evolving field of social networking and/or are trying to figure out how to develop your personal “brand” (I hate this term, but can’t think of a better one and everyone else talks this way.)

The book walks through a process of being honest with yourself about what you really like and then how to turn it into a personal platform, with an almost singular focus on on-line avenues to drive awareness.

“Are you Living, or just earning a living? You spend so much time at work, why waste it doing anything other than what you love most? Life is too short for that.” ( Page 3)

Major points of his that resonated with me, many of which I’ve hit on over time include: passion matters, it’s hard work to be successful and it takes time, networks matter for building scale etc. He does a nice job of walking through a logical process for building your platform and does it with a snarky tone I appreciate.

Here’s my critique: I think he overdoes the on-line bit. Perhaps, this isn’t necessarily a fair point, as he’s explicitly making his case for the on-line opportunities currently available to those with passion and acumen. But I see tremendous value in good old fashioned personal relationships. Knowing, trusted relationships are a part of a successful career/business. (I don’t think he would argue this point, I just think it is lost/missed in the book.)

Similarly, not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur or to run their own business. Many find fulfillment and happiness in larger organizations. I still think that his suggestions for building awareness for yourself and your passions is important advice. Just recognize that for many it may remain a hobby or passion or that the platform and intent may be different.

For example: If you are happy working for large organizations (because they have capital, have large teams, offer global opportunities, offer benefits…whatever), then his advice about building your personal brand still applies. But the purpose will be creating demand for your services, as opposed to demand for your e-tailing business. It will be less about tweets and more about a great linkedin profile, attending conferences etc. to build professional reputation.

I recommend taking as look at CRUSH IT! if you’re interested in cranking your career engine up.

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