I finally got around to reading Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk. If you are not familiar with Gary, he is a 30-something old entrepreneur who grew his family wine business from $4 million to $60 million in five years. Gary was an early social media adopter who used tools such as Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog. I first heard about Gary Vee (as he’s popularly known) last October when he came to the East Valley to do a pair of speaking engagements and book signing. The first was a special presentation in Mesa, hosted by Doug Sutton with Keller Williams Realty East Valley (a video of that presentation is here). The second was a book signing at Tempe’s great independent bookstore, Changing Hands.
As I posted back in October, I was skeptical when I first head of Gary and his brand, but seeing him speak in front of two different audiences on the same night made me a believer. Though his message was largely the same, he carefully tailored it to the different audiences, keeping it fresh and interesting (if anything I though the second time was better suited to me personally, even with the lack of his trademark ‘colorful language’). Gary is somebody who gets it. Not just business, or social media, or family, or community, but ALL of it. I found myself nodding when Gary’s described how the Internet and social media have created amazing new opportunities for entrepreneurs with the know-how to fully use it. I also agreed with his call for relentless and disciplined branding in every way that this new media offers.
A few weeks ago, I finally got around to reading his book and I must say that I was under whelmed. The passion and authenticity that Gary radiated in person did not translate well in to the written form. Perhaps it is because his exuberance was filtered through a ghost writer, or he toned down his colorful language to appeal to a broader audience, or, as Gary admits in the book, simply that he dislikes writing. Regardless of the cause, the result is that the book comes of as an after thought of Gary’s, and a pale shadow of his speeches and video-casts. Worse yet, he doesn’t offer anything unique in his book that he doesn’t cover in his presentations; in fact the book glosses over some of the more interesting anecdotes he shared in person.
I understand that the audio book version narrated by Gary himself is much better as it contains the personality and authenticity lacking in the text version, so if you haven’t had the opportunity to hear Gary speak in person, and aren’t interested enough in wine to listen to Wine Library TV, I suggest to listen to the audio book.
This is day 7 in my 28 Day Blogging Challenge. 21 more to go.
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