Cash in on your passion

Idea 064: Read “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk

A couple of years ago, I picked up an interesting-looking book at a second-hand store entitled, “Why Now is the Time to Crush It.” It’s written by an entrepreneur named Gary Vaynerchuk. I brought it home and added it to the stack of books on my shelf I planned to read as soon as I have the chance.

Fast forward a few years and I had the privilege of shaking hands and chatting briefly with Gary “Vee” (as he calls himself). Having met him, I can tell you that the guy is genuine. He’s the real deal. Gary truly cares about people as he sacrificed some of his time to give me a few pointers and bits of advice. Me, a complete stranger he had just me. He wasn’t peddling books or selling anything. I’m sure he had a thousand places he needed to be at but instead he was giving me the most valuable commodity in the world: his time.

Weeks later, I was getting ready for a quick business trip and I needed something to read in the airplane (I hate wasting time). Noticing the book, I remembered Gary’s conversation and threw it in my carry-on bag.

I had devoured “Crush It” before the four-hour flight landed. Very quick and easy to read, it kept my attention. Now, I’m neither a fast reader nor am I good at focusing my attention in one place for an extended period of time. Both things I’m trying improve. So, I love it when a book allows me to do both.

You might be wondering why this is an “idea” on my blog. Actually, it’s five.

In the back of “Crush it,” Gary writes out five business ideas he won’t get to. He gives them to his readers. To anyone who wants them. He even writes out a few quick notes about a few marketing ideas to launch them. I found them very enlightening, even though I will most likely not run with any of them. Reading about ideas has an interesting tendency to spark new ideas in my mind. It also feeds me energy to pursue my own.

Gary is an idea guy, like me. And, like me, he has more ideas than he has time to pursue. So, I’m going to pass them along to you, in case one of them strikes a chord and ignites a flame for you. I’m hoping Gary won’t mind. But first a disclaimer: this book was printed years ago and I don’t know if any of these ideas has been pursued or not. But remember, an idea doesn’t have to be original to be successful. You can do what’s been done a little different or a little better. Either way, do your due diligence first.

1. The QVC of the internet. Take the QVC idea and do that on the internet. Simple, right? Get a host and bring on different guests and talk about whatever you find interesting. Then make affiliate links to their products.

2. A tea blog. Maybe there is one, but you can do it better. There are blogs for beer, wine and coffee. But tea gets overlooked…and what a HUGE market.

3. The sports center of the web. In to sports? Launch your own sportscasting platform and bring on college-aged sports junkies to help debate and pontificate. Monetize with sponsorships.

4. Online book reviews. Do you own or work at an independent book store? What are you doing with all your free time. Get reviewing books. Make it fun. Inject some personality and start podcasting, vlogging and/or blogging about it.

5. This one confused me a little, but Gary describes it as a destination URL that a major corporation could build to ignite their brand. Make it a third party site full of interesting information, reviews and samples. Integrate the power of Facebook and other social media platforms to encourage interaction and engagement.

If you haven’t yet, you must read this book. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll eat it up like I did. If you’re not, you will learn tons about today’s marketplace and how online entrepreneurs are killing it (Crushing it). At the very least, it will ignite a spark that may lead to some new ideas of your own.

Kudos to the Gary’s of the world who devote their lives to sharing their passion, expertise and ideas with the rest of us. There certainly are enough of them to go around. The world is just waiting for someone like you to take one of them by the horns.

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