Crushing It! How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence by Gary Vaynerchuk
Readers of CRUSH IT!, published in 2009, will want to know what is different about CRUSHING IT! Here's the difference: In this new book, author Gary Vaynerchuk includes lots of case studies of folks successfully using the Crush It! principles. So this book is less of a “lecture,” and more like a "workshop" of practical suggestions. In contrast to his earlier book, Gary isn’t the only one talking:
“I want to introduce you to other entrepreneurs who have met with unbelievable success by following Crush It! principles.”
In most chapters, a great deal of space is devoted to these stories. The idea is to see how others implemented the concepts.
For readers not familiar with Gary's earlier book, in this book the author includes a summary of the Crush It principles right at the beginning of the book. I found this section to be important since I had never read the first book.
The author boils down the Crush It! principles to a pretty short list:
“What really matters is a pretty short list: intent, authenticity, passion, patience, speed, work, and attention.”
Reading this book, it soon became clear to me that CRUSHING IT! will require a TON of really hard work and sacrifice, continued for a really long time. The author has a tremendous work ethic, and encourages others to follow his example of tireless focus on developing his brand. This means little time for vacations and long coffee breaks—and hardly anything else, for that matter. I'm pretty sure I would not be able to persevere as long as Gary did.
The stories provided in this book all illustrate the passion and exertion of really successful entrepreneurs. Gary makes it clear, however, that this book is not some magic template of success, like just following 3 magic steps:
“Don’t look for a nine-step program to success here, though. I can’t give you one. The principles are universal; the path is all yours.”
I most liked Gary’s discussion of “Authenticity.” This chapter really rang true to me. When I think of people who have done well in digital marketing, they always stand out as genuine. Gary makes a funny (but true) assertion about selfishness and business. He doesn’t insist your entire outlook should be focused on other people—but just enough, since everybody else is ENTIRELY self-centered:
“If your nature is at least 51 percent altruistic and only 49 percent selfish, you have a real shot at breaking out, because the vast majority of people are 70 to 99 percent selfish. . . In a world where the standard is pretty much nothing, you have to be just altruistic enough.“
There is a lot to consider in this new book, and lots of interesting stories to read. I could relate to some of the stories better than the others. I suspect many readers will focus on those stories most relevant to their personal situation.
So all in all, I found CRUSHING IT! to be a fun, inspiring read. If you are already familiar with the first book, you can probably just skim over the earlier sections of the book, since they are a recap of the original principles. It was interesting to see all the examples of successful entrepreneurs.