CRUSHING IT: How I Cashed in on My Passion and Built a Business Online!

Gary Vaynerchuk
Oct 10, 2017 · 5 min read

My wife almost died in my arms during the winter of 2009. The feeding tube that doctors had put in earlier that day was installed wrong causing the contents to leak and fill up her body, driving her towards infection and death.

I rushed her to the hospital in Everett, WA where she was stabilized and then we were transferred to a better equipped medical center in Seattle, WA.

She pulled through and spent the next week recovering in the hospital and I stayed with her during that time.

During that week, I bought a copy of Success magazine and the feature interview in that issue was GaryVee — who I’d never heard of — but I put the CD in my laptop and listened.

It was an electric interview of Gary talking about how to “cash in on your passion” from his new book CRUSH IT!

The next day I walked from the hospital into the downtown Seattle Barnes & Noble and bought CRUSH IT! and read it immediately.

It was such a crazy time battling fear, worry and reflecting on how short and fragile life really is.

As I read CRUSH IT! something clicked and I knew I had to take action on the life-changing opportunities Gary was describing for my family and I. I committed to apply CRUSH IT 100% from then on.

The great news is that after that week my wife made a full recovery, and we headed home together.

It’s amazing how good things can come out of life’s hardest times.

We settled back into life, and I went back to my day job, but from then on I gave up the majority of my leisure time to work on YouTube.

I then started THiNK Media TV and grew my account from 0 to 330K+ Subscribers.

I experimented for a few years learning a lot (and failing a lot) but I didn’t quit.

A few years later I was able to leave my day job in order to become a full time “YouTuber” around my passion for video and tech.

Today, we are experiencing massive growth! I have a team and our business is doing multiple 6 figures a year.

It’s like every day is Christmas being able to make a living doing what I love. And having the flexibility and freedom to focus on my family and run our business together!

The Top Things I learned From Crush It and GaryVee

1. Cash in on Your Passion

Crush It! Was the original catalyst for building the brand and business I have today as full-time YouTuber and online video strategist. I started my YouTube channel Think Media in 2010, just a few months after reading Crush It! In the book he mentioned affiliate marketing, something I had never heard of before then, and that became the vehicle which allowed me to turn my passion for video into profit. I started reviewing and doing tutorials on YouTube about the video gear I used for the production company I was running at the time and posting affiliate links to those products in the descriptions. That grew into a side, part-time and eventually a full-time income for my family and I.

2. Create a Community

Another lesson I learned from Gary back in 2009 when I read Crush It! was the importance of engaging with people in the comments, forums, and communities in your niche. He emphasized not being pushy or spamming people, but adding legitimate value without the expectation of anything in return. I would hear Gary emphasize replying to people in Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. He also recommended using Twitter Search and connecting with and adding value to people who were posting relevant tweets and questions based on your niche. Since that time he also recommended doing the same thing on Twitter but with video because it creates an even deeper and more personal connection with the person on the other side. I’ve implemented all of the above in my business, brand and lifestyle and it has helped grow my audience and has created a thriving and engaged community!

3. Create Native Content | Watch Then DO!

Some of my biggest takeaways from Gary are from watching what he does, and not just listening to what he says. His book JJJRH taught me the importance of creating native content for different social media platforms. Since then I’ve continued to watch, study and model Gary and his team’s execution of content on individual platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat and I consistently get ideas and nuances that I implement in my business.

How “Crush It” Helped Me Build My Business Online

I started THiNK Media and successfully grew it into a thriving, multiple 6 figure business. Here are the things that helped me grow.

1. Re-Invest The Profits Into People

Reading Crush It! encouraged me to start building my brand online but Gary’s content since then has helped me scale my business. One of the biggest pieces of advice that has shaped that growth was about, “not buying dumb s**t and focusing on legacy and the long-game as your business is growing.” Gary’s advice is that once you start seeing success financially, invest those dollars in people and growth. I’ve been trying to live that advice out and today we have a business that will do multiple-six-figures in revenue this year and I’ve on-boarded a small team to help. Furthermore, I’m using a lot of Gary and Team Gary’s execution on social media as our blueprint for our own stuff. I basically say, “Look at what Gary is doing on social and model that for our content and our niche because it works.” And sure enough, it works.

2. Use Social Media to Network and Connect

Additionally, I consistently get practical tactics from Gary’s content. After he emphasized the opportunity of reaching people with Instagram DM’s, I took action, and it resulted in multiple connections with influencers, brands, collabs and podcast interviews. I watched the real-world-hacking of the Instagram algorithm when he launched the 60 second club. And I’ve also been encouraged to test and experiment with ideas and not to dwell if they don’t work.

3. Watch DailyVee For Actionable Advice 😉

Finally, I love watching DailyVee for the continuous lessons about relationships, teamwork, emotional intelligence, leadership and how to operate and scale a business.



It’s hard to fully express how much you, and CRUSH IT and your content means to me.

With gratitude and appreciation!

A Grateful Member of #VaynerNation

Here’s my latest video where I catch up with Gary in Boise, Idaho 👇 at his epic Click Funnels Keynote.

Here’s the full keynote from Gary’s event.

“Crushing It” releases, January 30, 2018 ❤ If you want to submit CLICK HERE!

This publication is powered by Gary Vaynerchuk ;)

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Sharing stories of personal and professional success inspired by @garyvee

Gary Vaynerchuk

Written by

Family first! But after that, businessman. CEO of @vaynermedia. Host of #DailyVee & The #AskGaryVee Show. A dude who loves The Hustle @Winelibrary & the @NYJets


Sharing stories of personal and professional success inspired by @garyvee

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