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Kid CEO Book Club #1

Everything you need to know to be "Crushing it" in the 21st century

In "Crushing It!", Gary Vaynercuck explains how today's entrepreneurs can utilize social media to become successful.

Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuck Book Summary for Kids

“Crushing It” is the first part of the Kid CEO Book Club Series, an audio, video, and textual experience for young entrepreneurs, recapping the greatest books on business and wellness. Read the “Crushing It” book summary below, listen to the audio version on the Kid CEO Podcast, or check out @officialbenjaminwong on Instagram for even more exclusive content.

In Crushing It!, Gary Vaynerchuck makes his case for why now is the best and easiest time to be successful, due to the impact of social media. He explains what a 21st-century entrepreneur is made of, and his best tips and strategies for the 8 major social media networks.

#1 of the Kid CEO Book Club: Gary Vee’s Crushing It. Here we go.

Gary Vee begins his writing with an anecdote about how today’s route to success has become broader than ever. Especially in this digital age, anyone can become a celebrity or internet millionaire through digital media. But, he begins with which factors from his 2009 book, Crush It, are the same. These include intent, authenticity, passion, purpose, patience, work, and attention. Let’s dive right in.

intent

This section starts and focuses on the simple question of “Why do you want to become an entrepreneur”. Gary narrows down all the potential reasons to; a commitment to service, a desire to provide value, and a love of teaching. He then goes on to explain how “[…] [he] do[esn’t] believe that most of these people give so much away because they’re so […] selfless.” All entrepreneurs are humans, and all humans often have the same selfish desires. Yet, there is a percentage of the population who fall into the “51 percent, meaning 51% selfless vs 49% selfish. “In every decision I make, I consider the balance I’m willing to strike between selfishness and selflessness, with my selfish side often getting short shrift in the short term.”

Authenticity

“You will be 1000 times more successful if you wake up eager to share and create something because you believe the world will enjoy it rather than because you have calculated that this is what you need to do to become an Instagram celebrity.” This section prompted me back to Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Authenticity is a consequence of having a consistent message that aligns with why you do what you do. As Vaynerchuck explains, you can try and act a certain way on social media, but “[e]ventually, you’ll be shown for who you are.” Very simply: be consistently genuine.

passion

“You will be 1000 times more successful if you wake up eager to share and create something because you believe the world will enjoy it rather than because you have calculated that this is what you need to do to become an Instagram celebrity.” This section prompted me back to Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Authenticity is a consequence of having a consistent message that aligns with why you do what you do. As Vaynerchuck explains, you can try and act a certain way on social media, but “[e]ventually, you’ll be shown for who you are.” Very simply: be consistently genuine.

Patience

“You’re only crushing it if you’re living entirely on your terms” Most people and amateur entrepreneurs will mistake occasional sudden success for ‘making it’, which eventually prompts them into irresponsible spending, or as Gary calls “20-year old things” like Cars or fancy homes. The biggest takeaway here is to remember that, until you can confidently say that you live life entirely on your terms, you must keep patient and continue working your heart out.

work

“When you first start out, there is no time for leisure” It takes an unbelievable amount of time, energy, and hard work to create and be successful in the game of business. Yet, as the law of thermodynamics states “How much energy you put into something is how much energy will come out”. Hard work is undeniable when wanting unimaginative success.

Attention

Vaynerchuck explains how in this 21st century, it’s all about attention. Your success is pre-determined by how much attention to are given on social media and the press, and how much attention you are giving to current tech trends.

Next, Vaynkerchuck covers the big 8 social platforms, explains both what the platform specializes in, and some of his favorite practices and tips. I’ve created a coin collector named Jack to help describe some of his advice.

snapchat

Snapchat is best at “cross-pollinating” content and followers. Yet, what Snapchat lacks in discoverability features, it makes up for with ease of content creation. Vee’s #1 tip for Snapchat domination is to collaborate, collaborate, and collaborate. He even describes a case study of two Snapchat artists who ran a mini competition where followers would send in a drawing of the word “kapow!” and see who gets “punched” more. This promo got both of them a couple thousand more followers! For our fictional character Jack, he might want to run a collaboration with fellow coin collectors and even open a virtual museum to showcase their collections.

twitter

While Gary Vee’s general sentiment regarding social media is to constantly release content, he takes a completely different approach with Twitter. In this case, Vaynerchuck recommends entrepreneurs listen first. Find similar accounts and constantly reply, retweet, and engage in conversations. Additionally, Twitter is one of the best ways to reach influencers, due to its instant messaging being consistently over shined by Instagram DM’s. On Twitter, Jack the coin collector may want to find Tweets about coin collecting controversies to spark some interesting dialogue with fellow collectors.

Youtube

Youtube over the years has arguably created the most amount of internet celebrities and millionaires. Yet, the growth is nowhere near coming to an end. On this platform, Gary’s advice is simple: TRY MAKING A VIDEO. There are so many different opportunities on Youtube that may stem from an interesting hobby, ultra-specific niche, or even funny stories from your job! Jack the coin collector may want to create a YouTube channel where he showcases his knowledge of coins by sharing to viewers what to look for in a collectible and how to get started in collecting. In terms of best practices, Vaynerchuck offers this advice for channel optimization:

 

Titles-short, emotionally-driven, and keyword optimized

Descriptions-Include many links to other accounts, videos, and subscribe buttons. Make sure all these links are trackable.

Tags-At least 10 in the description

Thumbnails-Does the thumbnail 100% describe the content?

Facebook

Though Vaynerchuck made his living through Youtube, one could make the argument that Facebook is his favorite platform today, given his enthusiasm and over-flowing recommendation to the platform. It all comes down to how flexible Facebook is for creators. One could post videos, photos, essays, and more! Because Facebook is so broad, there’s no specific suggestion Vaynerchuk offers, just to always utilize the newest features, which at the time of writing, was Facebook Live.

instagram

My favorite section so far, Gary offers a specific framework for using Instagram to speed up your success. He calls it “7 Steps to Biz Bev”:

 

  1. Make sure your Instagram is full of the best and most relevant content.
  2. Search for relevant keywords to your niche. If you’re a video game designer, search “coding”.
  3. Click on the first hashtag that shows up.
  4. Click on every picture with that hashtag.
  5. Investigate every account and any linked websites to confirm they are relevant in your field.
  6. Send a direct message, but avoid copy-and-paste.
  7. In writing your message, explain what drew you to them(ie. “I love your work”, “I’ve always admired you”), why they should continue reading your message, and what value you can offer them.

 

For example, here’s our Jack the Coin Collector writing a message to fellow enthusiast Ryan the Quarter Guy:

 

“Hey Ryan! My name is Jack, a fellow coin collector! I love your 2018 Abraham Lincoln coin! I have a Lincoln coin as well, and was drawn to another collector as enthusiastic as me! Also, I love how you’ve transitioned your success to a Youtube Channel spreading the love of collecting! I’m also trying to spread the collecting love, and would be happy to send you a couple of my rarest finds to share on your channel!

podcasts

According to Gary Vee, podcasts are a “godsend”, because of how they allow people to present without being in front of a camera. While podcasting is so new, Gary explains how podcasters should always create solely EXCLUSIVE content to avoid being passed off as “inauthentic”. 

voice-first

The newest platform, Vaynerchuck cites the massive increase in voice-searches and home assistants. Something he does himself, Gary recommends creating an Alexa Skill, a brief message orpiece of information that can be played using the Alexa home assistant. Most importantly, keep this content brief and native. 

 

There we have it: everything you need to know about Crushing It, by Gary Vaynerchuck. While this, nor any other summary can fully replicate the experience of reading the original text, I hope you’ve gained some basic understanding of the “VaynerMindset”. Listen to the audio version of the summary above and I’ll see you next week!