This is an amazing book; it is hard to believe that a simple, smart-mouthed, 30-something guy could have achieved so much – with a daily video show on wine? Well, Gary Vaynerchuk has endeared himself to millions through his Wine Library TV, his keynote speeches, and his best-selling business book, “Crush It!” In it, he shares the secrets of his success, including:
1. Find your passion. Find the one thing you adore above all else and go for it with all your heart. If you look for the “money” niche, you’ll burn out and give up before you succeed. Or you’ll succeed and hate what you’re doing.
2. Be willing to hustle. Vaynerchuk credits his willingness to do whatever it took to get ahead – including hosting his show five days a week, without fail, for over a year. Don’t just do something once – do it over and over and over again until people start to notice.
3. Be who you are. Not everyone warms to Vaynerchuk’s in-your-face style, but those who do adore him. He recommends not even trying to please everyone, and instead doing what you do best.
4. Build the audience and the money will find you. Vaynerchuk swears that he didn’t try to monetize his rabid and ever-growing audience. Instead, the offers came to him. He thinks anyone can do the same. This is really important no matter the niche you are working with. And if you are an author, it is doubly important.
In sum, “Crush It!” recommends finding a niche you love, working your rear off, introducing folks to the real you, and working hard until your audience grows to the point where they just can’t get enough of you. This book is a perfect read if you’re looking for inspiration to begin – or continue – your journey.
If you are an online businessperson and you have not yet been introduced to Seth Godin run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and get a copy of “Tribes” (then download a free copy of the companion ebook from Seth’s blog here). This book has served as part manifesto, part bible, to a generation of internet-based entrepreneurs.
Godin’s thesis in “Tribes,” like most of his work, is extremely simple: There are people out there looking for leaders. If you can become a leader with vision and passion, you can find a tribe of people to lead.
While this may seem commonsensical, Godin goes beyond the obvious. Not only does he explain how to find and lead your tribe, he also tells readers they have an almost moral obligation to lead if they are called to do so. If you have an idea and a passion, you need to find the tribe that’s looking for you because they’re lost without you.
Godin’s words would have seemed absurd only a decade or two ago. How would someone, for example, with a passion for making clothes for potbellied pigs ever find enough of an audience to make a go of a business? But with the reach of the internet, the lack of barriers to entry for online businesses, and the wealth of free and low-cost tools at your disposal, you don’t need millions, or even hundreds of thousands, of people to create a successful online business. Instead, a loyal tribe of just a few thousand can keep you in sequins and tulle until the end of your days – if you can find them and inspire them.
He uses the example of the Grateful Dead, Starbucks, and CrossFit as strong tribes. And he presents tons of ideas for finding and leading your tribe, from being an example, sharing stories, creating a common goal, and more.
If you just want to sell “me too” products to a faceless crowd, skip “Tribes.” But if you have dreams of changing the world, “Tribes” is for you.
Seth Godin is the main inspiration for this blog; his core message – to do things differently from everyone else – has been my driving force for so long.
I’ll stop here for now and will share more books you should be reading if you are serious about moving your online business to the next level.