It’s been a while since I’ve put up a book review, but I just finished Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It! Why NOW Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion, and I really want to pass it on.  I first heard of Gary after he spoke at the Westchester Digital Summit that I attended last month. (His presentation at this conference is embedded below.) I was captivated by the energy that he has when he speaks and I immediately bought his book.  One caveat though, I didn’t actually read the book; instead I bought the audio version so that I could listen to it while commuting.  While I don’t usually recommend the audio version of a book, in this case I do since he is able to break off from what is written and provide additional insight and thoughts. I found this feature to be very beneficial, as it allows Vaynerchuk to provide updates to the content from when the book was originally written.

Crush It! is about what it takes to create your personal brand and how you can take advantage of the opportunities that the online world provides for those looking to stand out from everyone else.  The idea that you should consider creating a blog is something that I’ve written about here on the site before, but he presents the benefits of blogging from a different perspective, and in a much more coherent way. This is not a book based on unproven fact or theory either.  He talks about the specific steps that he took to build his brand around his company, The Wine Library, and how he has since used those lessons to build his current company, Vaynor Media.

What I personally found most interesting and most rewarding in his book was how he actually built a community of followers that came back to his site over and over again.  I would say that Vaynerchuk’s advice provides a shortcut to building a successful personal brand, but that really isn’t an accurate description. I say this because he is brutally honest about the work that it takes to build your brand using his already successful techniques.  It doesn’t cost a great deal of money, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of hustle, and great deal of commitment.

I recommend that you follow Vaynerchuk on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever platform is your social network of choice.  You will find that you are always getting the truth from him and an unfiltered opinion that is backed up by his real life experiences. Even though you might disagree with him from time to time, his blatant honesty and the reasoning behind his opinions provides the opportunity for a debate on ideas that can help you reevaluate or reaffirm your own business and your own ideas.

Since I first posted about the need to create a blog, there have been a few readers who have reached out with their newly created websites.  I couldn’t be more excited that people are putting in the work to build their following, overcome their frustrations and expand on their successes, in order to take control over their careers.  The ideas and concepts that Gary talks about when creating your personal brand are so valuable because in today’s world, you don’t have to get permission from others in order to succeed anymore, you can reach out and take it.   Crush It stands out to me as a solid resource that I recommend you pick up.

Here is his presentation from the Westchester Digital Summit:

Want to see other books that we have read and recommend? Take a look at our complete reading list for our other suggestions.