Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee has quickly become a household name (at least in the homes of entrepreneurs) and his brand has evolved dramatically since Wine Library TV. I have been following him for over 5 years now and have watched a ton of his video content from The #AskGaryVee Show, The DailyVee, and now even behind the scenes on Snapchat. However, it wasn’t until this year that I realized I had never read his book CRUSH IT.
After watching his Entrepreneurship Keynote at USC I was inspired and immediately bought CRUSH IT (and all of his other books).
Published in 2009, his book lays out the mindset, strategies and tactics for creating a personal brand and more importantly leaving a legacy. Although some of the technologies and mediums have changed over the past 7 years I believe his teachings in this book are timeless and are even more relevant today.
Here are 5 simple ways you can “crush it” and make 2016 your best year ever:
1) LIVE BY THESE 3 RULES
“Love Your Family. Work Super Hard. Live Your Passion.” (in that order)
Business is 80% psychology and only 20% skills. If you do not have the right mindset and priorities in your personal and business life you will fail (or even worse, succeed at the wrong thing). Gary Vee attributes his ultimate success to living by these three simple rules. He defines “success” not by the size of his business or wallet but by how happy he is. By living these rules he says he is “100% happy”.
2) KEEP IT REAL..VERY REAL
“Being authentic, and being perceived as such by your audience, relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to your business is rooted in being true to yourself.”
As a general rule 25% of people will love your content, 25% will kind of like it, 25% will be indifferent and the last 25% will absolutely hate it. Gary says he loses about 12% of his viewers right off the bat because he opens his shows “screaming like a maniac”. But he says he has no other choice, he is just being himself. If he was calm and “professional” his audience would see right through him (and he’d probably go crazy).
It’s actually a good thing to have haters because that means that someone is actually paying attention. There will always be a percentage of these haters out there no matter what you say or do, so why not be hated for your most authentic and true self.
3 ) INVEST IN THE IMPORTANT STUFF
“Your content has nothing to do with the mic, the camera, the lighting or the set…No matter how big or small you want to go, your authenticity will be at the root of your appeal and is what will keep people coming to your site and spreading the word about your personal brand, service, or whatever you are offering.”
Some people get so caught up in the details that they never get started. Believe me I know because I am one of those people. When fear is present, like when doing something for the first time, our minds tend to go to the minute details. Although this is great for life-threatening situations (like when our ancestors were hunted by saber-toothed tigers and saw something moving in the bushes) it is not so great when trying to stay focused on our most important priorities.
The best cure for fear is one thing, massive action. Through action you liberate yourself from the “tyranny of how” and are able to zero in on what really matters, serving and adding value to your audience.
4 ) HUSTLE
“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.”
Hustle. Gary Vee practically owns the word, and if you’ve watched or read his content it is probably beaten into your brain by now. However, that word is repeated and drilled on by ‘treps and motivational gurus for a reason, it is the great equalizer in business and in life. You’re probably also familiar with Eric Thomas’ YouTube video where he says, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”.
There is definitely a “dark side” to entrepreneurship that can result from taking statements like these to the extreme. Deteriorated health, broken relationships and unfortunately sometimes even suicide are not uncommon realities for entrepreneurs chasing “the dream”.
For myself it wasn’t until recently that I realized that “being successful” and “hustling” doesn’t mean the abandonment of what’s most important in your life, like your health and relationships with loved ones. The problem is that most people are not living their passion and so work and life are separate. When work and life are separate you will feel drained and want to use your spare time “unwinding” and “decompressing”.
There is nothing wrong with taking time to rejuvenate yourself, the problem is when you’re doing it to “escape reality”. Gary says that once you’re living your passion, you’re going to want to be consumed by your work:
“There’s no room for relaxation in the flop-on-the-couch-with-popcorn-and-watch-TV kind of way, but you won’t need it. You’re not going to be stressed or tired. You’re going to be relaxed and invigorated. The passion and love for what you do will enable you to work the hours necessary to succeed.”
5 ) BE PATIENT
“If you contact me within a year of starting your business to complain that you haven’t made the money you thought you would, you’re not listening. I said that you could make a ton of money being happy; I didn’t say you could do it overnight.”
There is definitely a strong media bias when it comes to entrepreneurship. Overnight success and rags-to-riches stories are abundant in publications for a reason, they drive views and subscribers and in turn advertising dollars. The reality is that most “overnight successes” were at least ten years in the making. In Gary’s case his “rise to fame” was seen as only taking 18 months, from the time he launched Winelibrarytv.com to getting booked on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien.
However, he says that his rise to fame actually started when he was 16 years old working the floor at Shopper’s Discount Liquors selling wine to customers. It was in these early years that he started appreciating wine, developing his palate and his sales skills. So don’t get discouraged if you’re not a millionaire after your first few months, business success, just like a fine wine takes time:
“You have to think about building your brand in terms of a marathon, not a sprint. It will take longer to see results, but in seven or nine or fifteen years you won’t crack, you’ll still love what you’re doing.”
February is almost over so get out there and use these words of wisdom from Gary Vee himself to make 2016 your best year ever!