For those of you who don't know Gary Vaynerchuk, meet @GaryVee. I reviewed his last book two years late, but it is still worth a read. He is releasing his new book, #AskGaryVee tomorrow, and if you own your own business or want to work for yourself, you really don't want to miss it.
I read this book with a pack of highlighters next to me. I wanted to absorb everything he was saying. Sometimes, his comments were so action-worthy that I would abandon reading for a little while just to get up and go work at my computer.
For example, I started a Medium account because of this book. I'm cranking out so much content here, but there are huge groups of people that I'm not reaching, that I don't have the capability to reach.
At first I was intimidated by Medium because I didn't know what I would write about (today's post: Does Coming From an Entrepreneurial Family Matter?) But then I realized that I'm a young business owner, making mistakes and learning lessons in real time. I might not have 30 years of sage business advice, but I'm constantly working to make better photos, write more compelling content, and finding ways to be market and get creative with revenue streams. How many more of "me" are there out there? Enough that I'm going to start writing to them.
My two big takeaways. One overarching, the other specific:
1. You should be grateful to everyone. Everyone. But you should only make big business decisions based on those who really matter to you.
2. I need to sell. Much, much harder. (And so do you if you're in my industry.) Photographers are extremely romantic and more than idealistic about getting clients.
They really understand my work. I will attract clients based on the beauty I'm creating.
But I just have to stop thinking that way. There are a million people that can photograph as well as I do. I'm an idiot if I don't think that. But there are zero other people with my perspective and my story. Selling is what makes businesses work. I can work as hard as I want, but if I'm not willing to pitch myself, that work is just going to continue to sit here on this very pretty, but also very average, blog.
Last thing ... because I so thoroughly enjoyed this book, I bought three copies to give away. Go check out my Instagram (@greenchairstories) for details about how you can get your hands on a copy!
Who is this book for?
CEOs: Duh. Yes. Do it.
People who LOVE their desk job: Nope, not even one page of it.
One-man shows: There was maybe one question in the whole book directed specifically at freelancers. So if you're looking for a business plan in that world, this might not be that book. Regardless, there are so many principles that translate to running your own company by yourself. Still absolutely worth a read.
Photographers: Yep. I think that photographers, as a group, are pretty terrible and uncreative at diversifying (seriously, STOP with the workshops and mentoring when you've only been doing this for five years). This book motivated me to find new ways to stand out in a very saturated industry.
What does this book say?
There's room for everyone at your level. Become bigger than you are.
If fear is holding you back, think about whose opinion matters the most to you, and then sit down with that person or those people face-to-face.
I don't try to convert anyone. No one! None of the content, none of the things I do ... are done in hope they will convert a single person. I speak only to the converted, and you should do the same.
Expressing gratitude helps you build lifetime value. When you're small and still climbing the mountain, sometimes it's practically all you've got.