'How badly do you want to crush it? Is it an all-consuming feeling?'
Gary's equation is 'passion + work = money + dreams'. This feels simplistic. There is a requirement here to be incapable of separating work and personal life if you want to succeed.
Is it money, or happiness? Is it work, or play? To Gary, they are all one; money = happiness and play = work. Circular and neverending.
'Skills are cheap, passion is priceless.' (Page 9)
Of course, there is an assumption that you do have some skills that you can be passionate about, no?
Gary argues for the commoditisation of each and every individual, building yourself into a valuable brand so you can ideally quit your job (regardless of what it might be):
Success is possible no matter what, even if there's a huge recession. If anything, to the person who has made themselves into a walking brand, it's an opportunity.
'I think economic downturns represent a huge opportunity for everyone to get their focus on and start to crush it. The person who can dominate during rough times is the person who can dominate, period. Yes, we've seen a lot of people close up shop in the past years, but if they had offered a relevant and differentiated product or service, had been adaptable, and most of all had known how to tell their story, they wouldn't have had to close.' (Page 7)
'...build it into not just a business but a powerful personal brand that makes you all the money and, more important, brings you all the happiness you could ever want.' (Page 4)
Gary saw the nascent social media landscape as an opportunity at an early stage and found growth that he perhaps would not have done today. (He also had the solid foundation of a multimillion dollar booze business underneath him, which perhaps suggests that while his family may have come from nothing, he did build his personal brand from nothing; there was already a lot there beforehand.)
'You can monetize any passion, but the level at which you can monetize will be affected by the size of your niche and whether you are able to differentiate yourself enough from the other players in it.' (Page 52)
Regardless, your passion can be turned into money if you know what to do. Only you can own and build it, and it will only become valuable to you.
Your goal should be to turn your brand into a career so you can quit the job that you (presumably) hate.
Create Great Content
Tell stories, write about what you know, choose the right medium for these stories that you know, distribute as much as possible.
Choose a Platform
Decide between video, audio and writing to get things going. Then decide what platform you will be building all of these on:
Make sure you have a home on the internet
Steps for getting set up:
Don't worry too much about the gear that you're working with, just get to making things. 'Hustling' is more effective than having a better camera for your purposes. Have patience, too.
Join other communities to talk about things and use this to spread your content around, but also your name and face so that people know who you are. Engage with other people's content as much as you can.
Make money however works best for you:
'Here's the deal: if you want it badly enough, the money is there, the success is there, and the fulfillment is there. All have you to do is take it. So quit whining, quit crying, quit with the excuses. If you already have a full-time job, you can get a lot done between 7:00 P.M. and 2:00 A.M. (9:00 P.M. to 3:00 A.M. if you've got kids), so learn to love working during those predawn hours.' (Page 13)
This is likely unworkable for most people. What if someone doesn't even have that time? What if they're already working 2, 3, 4 jobs?
'I couldn't care less what people think about me, but I do respect and pay attention to what they say. When viewers posted comments on a recent episode of Diggnation (one of the biggest video blogs on the Internet) saying that I was obnoxious in the forums of the show, I stayed up until 4:00A.M. apologizing to every one of them.' (Page 15)
It sounds, er, very much like he does care deeply about what people say about him. Feels like a good deal of cognitive dissonance at work here.
'The cool thing about hustle, though, is that it's one more thing that equalizes the playing field.' (Page 89)
It really doesn't, though, does it? There is zero correlation between hard work and how 'level' the playing field is. If anything, it's the inverse. If it were truly so, society would likely turn upside down overnight.
'And finally, this would not be the book it is without the thoughtful comments of Travis Kalanick' ...this hasn't aged well.