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Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 2012 Book Review: "Why Now is the Time to Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk
"Why Now is the Time to Crush It!: Cash in on Your Passion"
by Gary Vaynerchuk
Reviewed by Julie Gustafson

Gary Vaynerchuk's book "Why Now is the Time to CRUSH IT" was an easy, quick read about how he grew his dad's local liquor store from a four million to fifty million dollar business in less than eight years.

The importance of developing his personal brand through social media is a core theme of the book and a driving factor of his success. He blogged, used numerous social media tools, and developed flavorful videos on Youtube about wine tasting. He credits the success of his videos to being 100% authentically himself. His reviews were always honest and unfiltered, even if the truth risked not always pleasing his audience. He is confident that this honest, authentic approach to social media helped ignite the growth of his business.

Vaynerchuk also shares three rules that formed the underpinning of his business and life philosophy, and ultimately his success: "Love your family, work superhard, and live your passion". The majority of the book is focused on "living your passion". His first entrepreneurial endeavor, at a young age, was born out of his passion for baseball cards – a passion he cashed in on in a big way. Trust me, his childhood money making schemes went well beyond the proverbial lemonade stand! With his baseball cards banked and behind him, Vaynerchuk moved into the "big leagues", cashing in on his passion and love for wine to help grow his father's business. He emphasized that if you follow your passion, and love what you do, that you will not even need or think about vacations; you will be too busy enjoying yourself. He makes growing a business (with a little help from the internet) sound stunningly easy, and fun to boot!

Even though Vaynerchuk says that one of the rules for success is "working superhard", very little time is dedicated to this subject. Herein lies my concern with the book: it has the potential to lead a passionate individual down an unexpected path and gives the impression that little else is needed to achieve success. Having spent the past 15 years watching small businesses grow, it takes true grit. While passion is a very important element for growing a business, it's unlikely to grow a healthy one on its own. Vaynerchuk's book (and its readers) would have benefited from a more balanced representation of his three rules and how they coexist to create success.