07 February 2010

Letter from Lhasa, number 163. (Vaynerchuk 2009): Crush it!

Letter from Lhasa, number 163. (Vaynerchuk 2009): Crush it!

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Vaynerchuk, G., Crush it! Why Now Is the Time to Crash In on Your Passion, HarperCollins e-books, 2009.

(Vaynerchuk 2009).

Gary Vaynerchuk

To seem or to live?

“Too many people ignore their DNA, however, to conform to what their families or society expects of them.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 12)

A new era is arisen!

“The Internet makes it possible for anyone to be 100 percent true to themselves and make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 13)

It is the c.v. or résumé epoch. There is an authentic hyperinflation of c.v.s/résumés and of c.v.s’/résumés’ requests with relative cover letters. “If you want to apply for this job, send us, or personally deliver, your c.v./résumé.” Do you want to know what they do of it and of them? ...It is just a fashion... ...Imitation’s spirit... ...Vain conformism.

“Maybe you think that you have no need to create a personal brand because you like your job or you work for a corporation. What, you think you’re invincible? Even if the economy were soaring, I would be telling you to start using social media tools to share your ideas with the world and make yourself a recognizable brand. What if you’re a trader at an investment firm and suddenly you’re out of work and all you have to show is a bull-crap résumé? Hold it, you might want to reassure me, my résumé is awesome. Tell me this: Is it a pdf of a tidy list of where you’ve worked and for how long, with a couple of strategic bullet points highlighting what you did in each job? Yeah? You’re toast. Keep your pdf so that the HR department has something for their files, but otherwise traditional résumés are going to be irrelevant and soon. Even if they are not yet, that résumé you’re so proud of looks exactly like the ones being waved around by the other three hundred analysts in your city currently hunting for jobs.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 23)

“It’s a fact that hiring decisions are made every day because of personal connections.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 24)

“Any company that clamps down on its best talent and doesn’t allow them to talk to the public is holding that talent back from where the business world is going, and you don’t want to be left behind. Without the freedom to develop a personal brand, you’ll find yourself at a strong disadvantage to the competition that will have been pumping out that content and making a name for themselves.” (Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 27).

If work as a dishwasher, you have not that kind of restrictions... If you work as a part-time dishwasher, you have also a lot of time for working at your talents.

The previous is just a free comment. It is not a critique to the author who is wise and genial. In fact he pertinently continues:

“If you are not happy in your job but you can still build brand equity at work or at home by blogging or creating podcast about what you love, I still want you to plan to leave and launch your own business because life is too short to spend it working in a job you don’t love. I’m not as worried about you, though, as I am about someone who’s happy but not allowed to talk to the public, because as long as you’re creating content and building your brand you’re building future opportunity.

“But if you are not happy at work, and faceless, and have been forbidden to talk about your passion to the world, get the hell out as soon as you can. You’ve got no chance otherwise of creating a personal brand, and without one, you’re professionally dead in the water.

“Look, financial security is important, but if you love sneakers and you know more about them and are more passionate about them than anyone else on the earth, you can make money talking about them. I believe that with every ounce of my soul.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 27-28)

“To monetize your personal brand into a business using social marketing networks, two pillars need to be in place: product and content.


“Great content is what you’re going to pump into your social media networks to draw eyeballs to your blog. It exists as a result of passion plus expertise, so make sure you can talk about your product like no one else. Do your homework. You should be reading and absorbing every single resource you can find – books, trade journals, newsletters, websites, as well as taking classes and attending lectures and conferences (you’re also going to visit and interact with other people’s blogs on the same subject, but there’s a method to that, which we’ll get to later). You can even make the learning process part of your content.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 29)

“You can monetize your passion, but the level at which you can monetize will be affected by the size of your niche and whether you are able to differentiate yourself enough from the other players in it. There are a lot of pockets out there today, however, that can sustain a nice forty-to-seventy-five-thousand-dollar-a-year-business.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 30-31)

“Today, everybody else can make $40,000 to a million, so long as they can nail the correct combination of their medium and passion. In most of the country, earning midlife figures means you’re living pretty well, often exactly as well as you would were you schlepping into someone else’s office every day. Now though, you’re earning the same money talking about something you are crazy about. It’s a good deal. Take it.

“Know yourself. Choose the right medium, choose the right topic, create awesome content, and you can make a lot of money being happy.

“You’re going to work your content in two ways. The first is as a lure, creating it, posting it, allowing people to come to you as they discover it. The second is to use it as a lasso through comments on other people’s content that relates to yours, inserting yourself into existing conversations and actively creating reasons for your audience to come to you. Of course, you have to give people a place to find your killer content, so let’s go there next.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 31-32)

“So you’ve got a killer product or service and content, now you’re going to deliver your message via a blog. In the online world, you’ve got three formats to choose from, though some people might do a combination: video, audio, or written word.


“This step in building your business is once again all about working with your DNA. To my mind the most effective content medium is video, and that’s the one I prefer to focus on. It’s just easier to grab people’s attention and draw them in, especially a public who reads less and less. ”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 33)

“(...) Wordpress and Tumblr are the best and most popular blogging platforms currently available. There are others of course – Blogger and Six Apart products are good (and there is smoke at Six Apart, so by the time this book comes out they may be in the game) – but these are two that I have used and liked.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 35)

The book goes on with other information and suggestions. The basic message is always the same. It is not at all banal and easy. You must be or become the best. Authentic and the best.

“If you want to dominate the social media game, all of your effort has to come from the heart; and it can’t come from the heart in the passionate, irrational, wholehearted way it needs to if you’re trying to be anyone but yourself. Authenticity is what will make it possible for you to put in the kind of hustle necessary to crush it.


“I’ve said over and over that if you live your passion and work the social networking tools to the max, opportunities to monetize will present themselves. I’ve also said that in order to crush it you have to be sure your content is the best in its category. You can still make plenty of good money if you are the best in a category, or ninth nest, but if you really want to dominate the competition and make big bucks, you’ve got to the best. Do that, be that, and none will be able to touch you.

“With one exception. 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.

“Now, I’m betting that most people who pick up this book consider themselves hard workers. 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. I hate to disappoint, but if you’re looking for an easier time here, you’re barking up the wrong tree. There might be a little more flexibility to your day should you be at liberty to devote yourself full-time to building your personal brand, but otherwise, assuming you’re doing this right, you’ll be bleeding out of your eyeballs at your computer. You might have thought your old boss was bad, but if you want your business to go anywhere, your new boss had better be a slave driver.

“Too many people don’t want to swallow the pill of working every day, every chance they get. If you’re making money through social media, you don’t get to work for three hours and then play Nintendo for the rest of the evening. That’s lip service to hard work. No one makes a million dollars with minimal effort unless they win the lottery.”

(Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 49)

According to the author, to build your personal brand needs time. Consequently, you need patience (Vaynerchuk 2009, p. 50). Naturally, the author founds its evaluations on his experience in the wine sector.

One has to create a community. What may be a complex, not an impossible anyway, matter.

Be adaptive!

If you jump to, or just you reach, page 72, you’ll find “a checklist of all steps you want to take as you build your personal brand.”

Vaynerchuk, G., Crush it! Why Now Is the Time to Crash In on Your Passion, Mc Graw Hill, 2009.