Passion, Hard Work, Authenticity & Your Brand!

A Business Book I Can Get Behind!

Crush It!I pre-ordered this book back in July, so I was pretty excited when the postman showed up yesterday with my copy of the new book by Gary Vaynerchuck (just released on Tuesday,) Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion.

You may remember my mention of Gary in the post Ditching your 9to5 to be Freelance & Fancy Free or my interview with Niki Brown where she notes Gary as her “internet celebrity crush.” He’s a charismatic guy, who loves what he does and therefor does it well!

Crush it! is a business book unlike any I have every read —it’s a quick read, too! Having just finished it last night, I am excited to share my thoughts on it and personally recommend that each and everyone of you pick up a copy today! As I write this, it is down to $11.99 on Amazon, 8 bucks under the cover price!

There are a few things I don’t like about most business books, that I bet you don’t like either!

Mo’ Money

First, I really can’t stand the “get rich quick” angle, also closely related is the “make billions working just a few hours a day” idea. These sound too good to be true, because for 99.999% of us, it’s not true. Gary doesn’t offer any overnight success or leisure wealth, he offers a simple formula — do what you love the most, do it better and work harder at it than anyone else and you will win.

if that sounds tedious or repetitive, just close this book and go do your best to enjoy the life you’ve got because you’re not cut out for this. (page 107)


I have a hard time getting into many business books, because they seem so focused on the dollars that I can’t relate. Sure, money is nice, everyone needs it. But money is not the reason I went into business for myself! In all honestly, If I had stayed at the design firm I was at before breaking out on my own 1.5 years ago, I would probably be making a larger income there than I am taking from CMD+Shift Design right now. It’s not about that. I was working 60, 70, 80 hour work-weeks and realizing that I could do the same thing for myself and have a better investment in my future! Instead of building up someone else’s brand, I could build my own and I could do it on my own terms! Crush It acknowledges that success is not only about dollars and cents, long term success has to be fueled by passion!

If you enter a niche because you’re following the dollars, you won’t keep it up. It’s too much work, and you will get tired and frustrated and you will eventually fold. (page 93)

Authenticity & Legacy

I came of-age very actively involved in my local independent music scene, from the ages of about 16 to 20, there wasn’t one weekend that I was not out at the local shows supporting small bands and the “do-it-yourself” culture that surrounded that. It was being a part of that culture that made me shy away from design in the first place, associating it with sleazy advertising agencies and the “evil-corporate-machine, blah blah blah.” This same anti-establishment attitude is what of course also makes me chuckle to myself when I tell people I am  a business owner. Of course, I’ve grown up a lot since then, but I still have a strong appreciation for business who are really doing it RIGHT, who are honest and who don’t let big bucks turn them into heartless machines. It’s refreshing to read a business book that acknowledges money is important, but also that the legacy you leave is what really holds weight with the people who matter!

How you build your business is much more important than how much you make while doing it. (page 128)

Now Go Crush it!

I’m not in ka-hoots with Gary Vaynerchuk or anything, I just think he has some great things to say about business, and a lot of his attitudes line-up with mine. I know a lot of you who read this are working hard at building your personal brands, I know many of you are passionate people who are looking for some guidance or maybe a little kick-start to get you moving! Well, then you will appreciate this book!

Have you already read this book? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and tell me your point of view.


  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve seen a few interviews/presentations by Gary, and he doesn’t really appeal to me all that much, but I’ll probably end up reading this at some point. Same goes for Tim Ferriss, although I read his book first. I’m hoping my library picks it up (I read a lot, but I’m not big on buying books).

    Would be interested in reading about other books you’ve read and liked (or even not liked), though.

  2. @Kyle: Maybe I’ll make this a more regular feature. Thanks for the feedback!

    I can see where he can turn some people off, my boyfriend can’t stand him – and this book is most definitely *his* voice and language. If you want to get a better feel for his business ideas, you can also check out all the videos he has on Viddler, I swear these are where the bulk of the books content came from!

  3. Thank you Liz! Gary is practical and kick-butt at the same time! LOL! I, too, wish to follow my passion and it is NOT at all about the money, but rather something that I will enjoy doing for the rest of my life and it will benefit SO many others at the same time! I am thinking that Gary is just what the doctor would order up for me during this “lull” I’ve been in the past few months! :D

    Putting “Crush It” on my NEED to read list and I am thankful that Brian (bkmacdaddy) featured you in his “Behind The Avatar” series this week for me to peruse! WOOT!

    Have an INCREDIBLE week and I look forward to reading more from you!

  4. Linda,

    You’ll have to follow up with me on Twitter once you’re done with the book and let me know what you think! @cmdshiftdesign

  5. Such an empowering quick read! His energy translates really well through the book and his emphasis on hustle is what I really took and ran with from Crush It.

    I definitely suggest folks catching a video or two of Gary before reading — it helps understand his tone so much more!

    Great review, btw!

    1. agreed about the videos! You know he recorded an audio version of crush it? I haven’t heard it – but i bet it would be a fun listen! :)

Comments are closed.