So, I’ve been on a bit of a business and social media marketing book kick lately. I usually try to mix them in between the other fiction and non-fiction books that I read. I love a good scifi novel but recently I’ve just been recommended a bunch of social media books and I’m trying to get through them all.

I just finished “Crush It” by Gary Varnerchuk. Gary (@garyvee) has become a bit of an icon online with his video blog for wine – wine library tv. Gary grew his own family business from a local wine shop to a hugely successful online business through his use of online media. People follow him, watch him because he is entertaining, knowledgeable about wine and just so passionate about what he is doing. His book explains how he launched his personal brand and why you should too.

He insists that this is the perfect time to start talking about what you’re passionate about whether it’s your job or not. He urges people to “Crush it” – his expression for being truly passionate about what you are into and leveraging it into a business. He cites examples of people who managed to do so (Tara Swiger of and made it their full-time gig and others still who are doing so to further extend their brand – even baseball players are using social media to extend their reach.

Of people in employment he asks the following 3 questions:

  1. Are you happy with your present job?
  2. Do you work for a company that allows you to have a public persona about your job or your passion?
  3. If not at work can you develop a public persona during your personal time?

If you answer no to 2 or 3 then Gary’s advice is to get out of your job, it’s not the place for you. You’ll suffocate because you need to be able to build your personal brand. If you are not happy in your job but allowed to build your personal brand then he sees that eventually you can build your brand while continuing to pay the bills and ultimately you can make that your full-time gig.

Whether or not you agree with Gary’s approach it’s hard to argue with the passion that he brings and the success he has had in his own business. For employed or job seekers the message that I get from the book is clear that you should always be developing your brand and that you should follow your passion because life is just too short – and I couldn’t agree more with that statement!

The next book I’m reading is about leadership and how to communicate effectively – more of a management book but it’s really interesting as I try to figure out how best to communicate within our small company and externally about what we are doing.

Can you recommend any other books on social media?