I’m a little late to the party because this book is a bit old, but I just finished reading Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It: Why Now Is The Time To Cash In On Your Passion.
You guys, if you’re a blogger or any kind of entrepreneur, you need to read this book. Heck! Even if you’re just flirting with the idea of starting some kind of business of your own, go grab a copy and read it.
He’s actually got a follow up book to this one called Crushing It that’s just been released. That’ll be the next one on my list for sure.
But anyway, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips for entrepreneurs that I gathered from his book because even after six years of blogging, I felt so motivated after reading what he had to say.
1. Don’t let the idea of over saturation stop you
To everyone who is freaking out because they fear the noise and distraction of all the additional content on the Internet, you can relax. Quality is a tremendous filter. Cream always rises, my friends, no matter how many cups of coffee you pour.
A lot of people tell me all the time that they want to start a blog but that they think the market’s way too oversaturated. Too many people are blogging, so there’s no way they can be successful. Well, like Gary says, quality is a huge filter. Are there a ton of blogs out there? Sure. But are there a ton of GREAT blogs out there? I’d say that number’s a lot smaller.
Regardless of whether it’s a blog you’re thinking about starting or a business of some kind, know that it’s never too late to go after your dream. You’ll always have competitors, but if you work hard and do things better than everyone else, it won’t matter.
Related Reading: How To Start A Blog: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Screenshots)
2. Don’t ignore the power of social media
Since the first six handfuls of grain were handed over in exchange for a new ox, business owners have always known that what their customers and their friends, family, or colleagues think about their restaurant or car or vacation spot or cleaning service or design firm has always mattered more than any billboard or radio ad they could buy. But there have always been a finite number of people their customers and friends , family, or colleagues could talk to about their experience with their products or services. Now, though, the Internet and social networks – and the instant access to online communities they provide – have pumped word of mouth up like it was on steroids.
Before I became a mom, I was a social media manager at an advertising agency. And whenever I’d tell people what I did, a lot of people just thought that I played around on the internet all day. AKA, they didn’t take social media management seriously. (If you want to know what a social media manager actually does, check out my video here and I’ll tell ya.)
Anyway, I think that’s still the case with a lot of business owners. They think social media isn’t important. But if you’re trying to build a brand for yourself, then yes, social media is crucial because like Gary says, it’s basically how word of mouth happens these days. We can be sitting in a room with our family and not say a word, but are we sharing photos on Instagram? Are we sharing our experiences on Facebook? We sure are. And the amount of potential that exists on those platforms is not something you want to ignore.
3. Take baby steps
My feeling is that no matter how much you like your job, you should aim to leave it and grow your own brand and business or parter with someone to do so, because as long as you’re working for someone else you will never be living entirely true to yourself and your passion.
As much as Gary V talks about following your passion, he also says, very wisely, that he’d never recommend that someone just quits their job – especially if they have a family to support. I feel the same way. If you’ve got bills to pay, you can’t just get up and say “peace out yo” – unless you’re in a toxic work environment in which case, yes. Get the hell out right now.
Point is, over the course of your career, you should take baby steps that’ll eventually help you reach your end goal. I’m talking about hustling after work hours, hustling on the weekends, doing whatever you can to eventually put yourself in the position to leave your job and get out their on your own.
If you can’t afford to have your own business yet, be strategic about your career choices. Take jobs that help you hone in on the skills you’ll need for that business idea of yours and learn as much as you can from your peers. Once you start making money off of your side hustle, maybe think about switching to a part-time job that allows you more time to focus on it. Take things one step at a time instead of just saying BOOM! I’m an entrepreneur! And then finding that you can’t pay the bills.
Related Reading: Why I’m Taking A Pay Cut + Changing Careers
4. Be ridiculously patient
You don’t build a business in six weeks, or two months, or six months. I said that you could make a ton of money being happy; I didn’t say you could do it overnight.
You guys, it’s so freaking cliche, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s one of the biggest reasons why most bloggers and business owners fail. We want to be entrepreneurs and want to be making a ton of money after a few weeks of work. We want to be able to quit our day jobs, travel the world, and watch our bank accounts grow in a matter of months. But you guys, it doesn’t work that way.
I’ve been blogging for over six years – that’s a long time. And it wasn’t really until maybe two years ago that I started making consistent income from my blog.
It would have been really easy to quit. I actually did quit about a year and half into it, but then thankfully, I got right back to it after a six-month break. Thing is, get-rich-quick schemes are just that – schemes. They hardly ever work out.
So if you’re passionate about starting a business or a side-hustle of some kind, accept that it’ll take time and a ton of effort. And if you’re not okay with that, then you should probably just focus on finding a 9-5 day job that you don’t totally hate.
Related Reading: How To Be Successful – The Real Answer
5. The end goal? Living an authentic life
If there’s any message I want you to take away, it’s that true success – financial, personal, and professional – lies above all in loving your family, working hard, and living your passion. In telling your story. In authenticity, hustle, and patience. In caring fiercely about the big and the small stuff. In valuing legacy over currency.
I guess if there’s one piece of advice I’d give to entrepreneurs or to anyone who’s thinking about starting a business it’s this: keep going.
When I started my blog, I didn’t do it because I thought I’d make money. I actually had zero idea that making money blogging was even a thing. I started my blog because I wanted to share my story. I was going through a lot as a young professional at work and I was experiencing things that I wanted to share with other young people.
I remember walking up to my mom and telling her that there was a slight chance I might get fired from my day job for doing this whole blog thing, but that I didn’t care. That’s how important it was to me. Six years later, I’m happy to say that having this platform is what’s allowed me to live an authentic life. It’s who I am, and there’s not a single thing I’d rather be doing for a living.
So find that thing that gets you excited. Find that thing that you could spend hours doing. And then spend the rest of your life chasing after it. Learning, improving, and hustling hard.
I promise, the journey alone will be worth it.
Want more career advice?
Order my book, Corporate Survival Guide For Your Twenties
And if you’re looking to start a profitable side hustle, check out my step-by-step guide (with screenshots) on how to start a blog! I’ve been blogging for six years and I’d love to walk you through the process!