Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

by Gary Vaynerchuk

This is a step-by-step guide to creating a business based on your passion by building a personal brand. Today, thanks to social media, any passion can be turned into a profitable business. Here, Gary Vaynerchuk shares strategies that have been used successfully by thousands of people around the world. 

Summary Notes

Passion Is Everything

“If you want it badly enough, the money is there, the success is there, and the fulfillment is there. All you have to do is take it.”

If you know Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) from social media, you probably have the feeling that Gary Vee was his goal. Not really. Gary Vee has rules:

  • Love your family.
  • Work super hard.
  • Live your passion.

As you can see, his rules don’t say anything about social media, promoting yourself, and so on. All those things are derivative of his passion and hard work. Gary’s main goal is to be happy by living his passion.

Living your passion means that everything you do and talk about should be extremely interesting. You can work long hours because it doesn’t feel like work. You earn money, but you would do your job for free simply because you love doing it.

You might assume that you cannot live your passion because you have a mortgage to pay or because it’s impossible to even find this level of passion. Whatever your excuse, it’s just an excuse. Many people crushed it despite the odds, so you can crush it, too.

You might think that you are not a business person. That it’s “not your thing.” Well, how about social media? Because nowadays, social media = business. If you learn how to use social media to build your personal brand, you have a business.

Actions to take

Success Is in Your DNA

Whatever you decide to do with your life, it’s very important that you are always yourself. Who we are depends mostly on our DNA. And everyone is different in a different way. This means that you shouldn’t follow what your parents, your teachers, or society want from you. You should follow your DNA. You might feel that you should upload a lot of videos on YouTube because everyone else is doing that. However, if uploading videos to YouTube means you won’t be your authentic self, don’t do it!

One of the skills that is truly worth learning is storytelling. It is the most underrated skill in business. People want to be told what’s good and valuable. And they like the feeling that they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate.

Actions to take

Build Your Personal Brand

“No matter how you shape and color your personal brand, honesty has got to be at your core...”

Gary Vee did not create a Youtube channel called Wine Library TV just to boost his sales. He did it because he loves talking about wine. It’s his passion, so he created it. He was building his brand.

However, Gary is a business person, so naturally, he was talking about his father’s wine shop.

Building a personal brand is the key to monetizing your passion. You can achieve this through many channels such as videos, blog posts, podcasts, and so on. Whatever you do, it must be authentic. It is this authenticity that will differentiate you from everybody else. Don’t try to imitate anyone; it won’t work. People are very good at recognizing if someone is authentic or not.

There is a lot of content on the internet already. How can you be better? Tell the truth. The first thing people want to know is if you are an honest person. Truth should be your core.

Actions to take

A Whole New World

Whatever job you have, it’s probably better if you eventually quit and begin building your own business. This doesn’t mean that you should quit your job right now! However, you can plan to quit and start working towards that goal by, for example, starting to build your personal brand.

Your talent is wasted if you don’t build a personal brand. Some companies might be fine with you building this during your normal work hours, and that’s good for you. But, in the long term, think about how you could quit your job anyway.

Actions to take

Create Great Content

To monetize your personal brand, you need a product and content. Your product is the result of your passion. It must be great, and you can learn how to discover your product from many internet sources.

Your content is what will drive the traffic to your product. To create great content, you must be an expert in what you do. You must know more than anyone else and talk about it with passion. So, do your homework, and educate yourself to become an expert in your field.

Actions to take

Choose Your Platform

There are many platforms that you can share your content on. Bear in mind that the most effective medium is video, so if it’s something that’s in your DNA, you should seriously consider doing it. If video is not for you, maybe audio or writing is.

Your blog should be like your home. It is a place where everyone can find you. You will share everything you create. It’s a place you can talk loudly and for as long as you want. The most popular way to create a blog is WordPress or Medium.com. Creating a blog is fast and easy, so you have no excuse not to do it. Make sure that your blog has buttons to encourage your visitors to follow you. For example, “Subscribe to email” or “Follow me”.

To keep people visiting your “home”, you must constantly interact with them in other places. The most popular places to engage in this interaction are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and, recently, TikTok. Each of these places has its purpose, and the content you share there should be prepared specifically for that place.

Note: To learn more about what type of content you should share and how to interact with your audience, check out Gary Vee’s other book: Crashing It!

Beware of analytic tools. The data they show is not necessarily useful. A low number of readers on your blog does not mean there is something wrong with it. Analytics can lower your motivation and cause you to decide to stop building your brand. Instead, trust your intuition. It might take time to build your audience, and your intuition is far more important than analytics.

Actions to take

Authenticity

When starting your video/audio blog, forget about getting fancy with hardware. It’s not the camera or microphone that really matters. It’s you. People see you, and you should focus on what’s truly important—delivering great content in the most authentic way possible.

Make it natural. Gary never has scripts, his office is often a mess, and he only gets one take. While he records, people are coming in and out, and he continues like nothing unusual is happening. That’s the authenticity level you should aim for.

Your content must be great. There are no exceptions. If there are people that work harder than you and can deliver better content, they will beat you. Make sure that you work really, really hard to deliver the best content you can. Here is the thing, you can outcompete people with higher marketing budgets if you work a lot harder than them. Working hard means that there will be no time for video games, book clubs, and other time killers. It will be hard work with late hours.

Building a personal brand may take time. You might not see your desired results within one year; it could take much longer. But trust your gut, and be patient. If you create great content, you will start monetizing your blog sooner or later.

Actions to take

Create a Community

Creating the content for your blog is the easy part. Creating a community is where you will spend most of your time because your success depends on it. Creating a community is about starting and joining conversations that are already out there on the internet. If possible, you should join every single conversation about your topic.

You have to put yourself out there. You have to listen to what people are saying, and respond to them. And then respond to their responses. You should spend most of your day doing this. In fact, you should spend more time promoting your content than creating it.

Actions to take

The Best Marketing Strategy Ever

Care.

Actions to take

Make the World Listen

Here is how to get started. You will need an original domain for your blog, preferably with .com and .tv extensions. Then connect your new domain with WordPress (or another) blog service.

One thing that is really worth spending money on is graphic design. There are many terrible-looking pages on the internet. Make sure that yours is very well designed.

If you want to record videos, don’t get any fancy devices. Your mobile camera might be enough to start with. Make sure that you have good light because that’s usually more important than the camera itself.

Register accounts on all social media platforms that are relevant to your topic (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on), and start pumping out content.

Actions to take

Start Monetizing

Once you build an audience, it means that many people are following you, and you can start monetizing them. The easiest method is advertisement. Many magazines make a profit from ads. Nowadays, online ads are much more effective than any kind of offline ads. That’s why companies throw millions of dollars into ads. These are millions of dollars that companies have to promote their products. They have to spend their money somewhere, and it could be on your blog. When choosing ads, choose something that looks good. You don’t want to clutter your blog with cheap-looking ads, for example, those provided by Google.

Another way of monetization is to become a speaker. At first, you could speak for free to build credibility, and then, when you are an expert, start charging for it.

Another, better, way of monetization is through affiliate programs. Whatever you do, you can find programs that are related. Affiliate partners earn a certain percentage from the sales of the product. For example, you can earn 10-20% of the value of the product. You can advertise this product on your blog, or better, you can talk about it.

Actions to take

Roll with it

“Being reactionary means that you’re always thinking about the meaning behind cultural change.”

The world is not perfect and nothing goes exactly the way you want it to. Don’t expect your business to be successful simply by following your original plan. To succeed, you will need to constantly adapt to the current situation.

That means that you should adapt based on what people say about you, what is currently happening in the industry, and also take into account current world events.

Now, thanks to social media, you can shape your story. You don’t have to sit back and watch what people are saying about you and your brand. Instead, you can participate in the conversation. You can see any bad things that people say and fix your mistakes. You can see all the good things and show your appreciation. Now you can adapt quickly and shape your story.

Actions to take

Legacy Is Greater than Currency

“Set the tone, and build a legacy.”

Whatever you publish on the internet, stays there for eternity. That’s why it should never be just about making money. If you have the audience, you will earn money eventually. You can share only valuable content and still earn money. So, whatever you share, whatever you say publicly, always be proud of it. And always keep in mind that your children and grandchildren will see it as well.

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