#AskGaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk
Sit Down and Read
One Line Summary
Q&A with the king of Hustle
Yes, this is the third book by Gary Vaynerchuk I’m reviewing on my blog. What can I say, I like the guy. He knows his shit.
I wanted to put out this review since I just reviewed John Carlton the other dau, who philosophically most people would consider very different than Gary Vee. Yet both are incredible marketers.
I’m not here to resolve this paradox. I’m here to present both sides and let you decide for yourself.
#AskGaryVee is a collection of Q&As from Gary’s YouTube show, #AskGaryVee. Topics include everything from the latest trends in social networks to Gary Vee’s kids. You get a full picture of the mind of one of today’s most charismatic and innovative entrepreneur’s.
Why it’s Awesome
Unlike Crush It! which was written in 2011 and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook which was written in 2013, #AskGaryVee was published in 2016. So if you’re only going to buy one book from Gary Vee, this is his most recent book. And that matters in a modern world where the entire business landscape can change very quickly.
One of my favorite topics that he covers in this book is a philosophy called Clouds and Dirt. Clouds represent your broad view of the world. It might include how you view people and your purpose for being in business. It’s the big picture.
Dirt is your everyday stuff, which might be something like sending out emails to customers. For Gary Vee, success means having both down.
I really like this paradigm. When I think of Aurum Reviews, I have general principles that guide me. One is trying to provide you guys with so much value that I force you to like me and share my stuff. Another is patience.
But then there’s the day to day, which might mean I need to figure out why my video editing software won’t export certain file extensions I want (*SNEAK PEEK* videos are coming soon for Aurum Reviews, stay tuned).
As Gary Vee points out, people are usually hung up on either the Clouds or the Dirt, not recognizing the need for both. They’re either too short sighted or lost in principles. When you find that nice middle ground, that’s a deadly combination.
Another thing I love about this book is the commentary on different social media platforms and their use for businesses. Let me give an over simplified rundown.
Gary is Bullish on: Facebook, Facebook Ads, Facebook Live, Periscope, SnapChat, Instagram, Blogging, YouTube, Reddit, Pintrest, Medium and Mobile
Gary is Bearish on: Twitter, Tumblr and Google+
Now, there’s a ton of nuance here that you’ll have to read the book to really get. Just because he is bearish on Twitter doesn’t mean you should automatically just abandon Twitter. They’re only general trends to consider.
Twitter still has amazing features about it like Twitter Search that can allow you to crush. Facebook Ads are great…right now. It may be by the time you read this the arbitrage opportunity created by the low demand has self-corrected. Reddit is tremendous, but if you just try and spam Reddit with advertisements you will incite the mob. I’ve never seen a platform with such a culture against advertising.
SnapChat is exploding among young people with the shift to mobile becoming more relevant. I absolutely love it because it saves me so much time by being able to blast a ton of people with what I’m doing at that moment. If SnapChat messages didn’t disappear, I may never text again and would instead just Snap people.
By the way, follow me on SnapChat! Username is: kourakin
Facebook is a monster and just continues to dominate by buying everything in sight. It’s a brilliant move for now as Gary describes, but with size and integration leaves you open for Black Swans. It will be interested to see the future of this platform.
Instagram is a big winner because its user growth has been huge. It’s become far more mainstream, which means advertising opportunities are likely not far away.
Personally, Instagram, Reddit, SnapChat and Facebook have all worked amazing for me at different times. Twitter as well, although I have less faith in it than I used to. YouTube is coming soon, and Pintrest I just have no interest in.
In the end though, Gary points out that it really comes down to YOU. What medium is right for your message is all going to depend on…your message.
It just makes sense. If you’re a fantastic writer, what are you doing on YouTube and SnapChat? If you love the camera and have a very visual product, why are you sitting and blogging on Medium?
Another thing I love about this book and Gary Vee in general is that he continues to defy the stereotype that salesman and marketers not only have to be scumbags, but that’s how you make the REAL money. After all, it couldn’t be that someone who was just honest and provided value to people caused people to want to do business with them. No, it must be TRICKERY and secret marketing techniques that win the day.
I’m obviously be sarcastic now, and I’m painting the opposite picture of the John Carlton’s of the world. Actually, John Carlton himself understood this but I’m just using him as a stereotype of a “sleezy marketer”.
Where’s the truth? As Gary likes to say, it plays somewhere in the Gray area. Of course you want to be honest in your business deals and provide value to people, but even that is not the full story. People’s attention is very limited these days, and if you’re not able to cut through that than you’re going to have problems.
A couple of questions are dedicated to Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in this book because many people had follow up questions. You’ll get the main thesis of that book by reading #AskGaryVee, although Jab is really more like a textbook than just something you read once.
Finally, Gary speaks on leadership. He confirms many of my own theories on leadership, one which is that a leader has to be willing to put his followers ahead of himself. A leader who doesn’t do that will either not be a leader for very long or not be a very effective influencer.
Why Does It Suck
Same problem with reading any book on social media…any information in the book may already be irrelevant by the time you read it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of timeless information in here. But I’m writing this as of 10/22/16. If you’re reading this a year from now, social media will probably have already shifted tremendously.
If you’re a serious entrepreneur, your job therefore has to be not to just read one book and think you know it, but to constantly keep your ear to the ground. If this bothers you, I’d ask yourself why you’re so badly seeking “completion”. Maybe you just really don’t want to be an entrepreneur. And that’s the harsh truth.
This is going to be a critique a Gary Vee in general. As much as I love his philosophy on marketing, the guy is such a natural salesmen that OF COURSE he is going to say things like “just care man! And it will all work out.”
It’s like the guy who is really good with girls who tells the guy who sucks with girls to “just be himself”. That’s a fantastic strategy for him…not so much for the angry dude who lives in a basement and has no social skills.
If you’re not a naturally smooth-talking salesman like Gary Vee, you SHOULD read some John Carlton. You’ve got to develop that instinct for what people respond to and what makes them tune out. And just because you have a great business idea or love blogging about frogs doesn’t mean you have that gut level understanding of selling.
In general, Gary Vee is too dismissive of personal development. I understand his perspective: the personal development industry is full of people who make money by telling you that you need to fix things. And certainly much of life just playing to your natural strengths and minimizing your weakness.
But personal development goes so deep than “fix something you don’t like about yourself”. It’s an entire map on how to live the richest life possible. Gary is likely biased because of his tremendous upbringing, but there are still many gaps in his knowledge web.
The Wrap Up
Gary Vee continues to impress me and I learn every time I listen to the guy. #AskGaryVee is no exception. Entrepreneur’s in the modern era, make this one your bible to keep coming back to when you have questions you need answers to. Chances are, you might just find the solution in this book.