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Crush It! By Gary Vaynerchuk

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  • Crush It! By Gary Vaynerchuk

    In 1978, Sasha and Tamara Vaynerchuk, and their three-year old son, Gennady emigrated from Belarus, in the former Soviet Union, to Queens, New York. They moved to the United States to realize the American dream. Gennady was renamed Gary; and today, is acclaimed for his Internet marketing and profits in the wine industry. In 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk began using social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to maximize his brand equity. Vaynerchuk chronicles his achievements; and defines how anyone, with enough passion, persistence and patience can realize their own dreams in Crush It! Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion (Harper Collins, 2009).

    The Internet (a virtually nonexistent medium a scant 14 years ago, notes Vaynerchuck) is a game changer in the 21st century marketplace. Vaynerchuk believes most people still haven't harnessed its true power. Now, education levels, number of connections and wealth no longer determine an individual's propensity for success.

    Personal branding is key to monetizing your passion online, says Vaynerchuk. Even if you're happily employed, it's essential, given the volatility of the new world economy. He presciently describes the death of resumes, as we know them today. "Developing your personal brand is the same thing as living and breathing your resume every second that you're working. Your latest tweet and comment on Facebook and most recent blog post? That's your resume now."

    Vaynerchuk inherited his father's entrepreneurial DNA, quick to capitalize on business opportunities in youth; including selling baseball cards at the mall, and doing neighborhood chores. He honors DNA; noting that it's what makes each one of us unique and interesting. "I firmly believe that the path to your business success literally lies in the twists and turns of your own double helix," he says.

    Vaynerchuk details today's social media juggernauts Facebook and Twitter and how to maximize them for brand development. He describes other sites too, mentioning that they're worth joining due to the extreme competition on the heavy hitters. He also emphasizes that social media tools "are only as powerful as the person who uses them." The foundation of all social media is having good content, including storytelling. He advocates delivering your message with an audio, video, or written word blog. Once you've built a community, and your brand becomes sticky you can begin to monetize your expertise. Dive into revenue ponds, including articles, seminars, and speaking engagements, to name a few.

    Entrepreneurs benefit by adopting reactionary business practices, says Vaynerchuk; being able to adapt and change. Social media platforms improve your ability to be reactionary, enabling you to guide your brand and put out fires when necessary. Trendspotting is another reactionary business move.

    Crush It! reads at a succinct 142 pages. One caveat however. Vaynerchuk has become so famous, that his prompts to email him will take months for a reply. He admits he's at a crossroads with his Inbox volume and ability to respond individually; and is exploring other communication options.

    Think of Crush It! as Internet rock star Gary Vaynerchuk's MTV Unplugged performance. Forget his Web fame. Disregard his multi-million dollar profits from monetizing his brand online. Omit his A-list endorsements.

    Vaynerchuk's raw message is clear: Ultimately, family comes first, followed by a passionate, hard work ethic. Today, it's imperative that everyone develops their own personal brand; realizing that personal and professional brand equity are inseparable. Professionally, individuals mired in a 20th century employee mentality will languish in an entrepreneurially minded new world economy.

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