Crushing It!

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

In his 2009 international bestseller Crush It, Gary insisted that a vibrant personal brand was crucial to entrepreneurial success, In Crushing It!, Gary explains why that’s even more true today, offering his unique perspective on what has changed and what principles remain timeless. He also shares stories from other entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier—and not just financially—than they ever imagined possible by following Crush It principles. The secret to their success (and Gary’s) has everything to do with their understanding of the social media platforms, and their willingness to do whatever it took to make these tools work to their utmost potential. That’s what Crushing It! teaches readers to do.

In this lively, practical, and inspiring book, Gary dissects every current major social media platform so that anyone, from a plumber to a professional ice skater, will know exactly how to amplify his or her personal brand on each. He offers both theoretical and tactical advice on how to become the biggest thing on old standbys like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly. For those with more experience, Crushing It! illuminates some little-known nuances and provides innovative tips and clever tweaks proven to enhance more common tried-and-true strategies.

Crushing It! is a state-of-the-art guide to building your own path to professional and financial success, but it’s not about getting rich. It’s a blueprint to living life on your own terms.

I REALLY enjoyed this book! I haven’t read much this year so it’s maybe less significant when I say this is my favorite book I’ve read this year, but I’ll say it anyway: this is my favorite book I’ve read this year.

If you’re a business owner, content creator, influencer, or desire to be any of those things, I think Crushing It! is absolutely required reading for 2018.

I didn’t read Crush It! until September of 2016…basically seven years after it came out. While I liked Crush It!, it did feel dated at that point in time. I suspect how I feel reading Crushing It! now is how some people felt who read Crush It! soon after it came out.

The first half of Crushing It! reads like a motivational, personal development/business book. I highlighted so many great nuggets in this section. It’s like listening to one of Gary’s podcast episodes except that it’s laser focused because someone took an editing pen and applied a tight structure to it. The second half drills down into specific platforms and gives ideas on how you can use them and where those platforms are going. So if you want to know how to kill it on Instagram, Gary’s got advice for you. Want to be a podcaster? That’s in here, too.

Crushing It! also includes many case studies of people who were able to put into practice the things Gary wrote about in Crush It! and have been able to really dominate with their brands and companies. One of the things I think that’s really important in the personal development and business space, whether it’s a book, blog, video, or podcast, is to give examples of real people who are doing the things you’re teaching about. It’s easy to assume one person’s success is a fluke, but once you start giving examples of others who have had success, it’s hard to argue it away as, “Well, you’re Gary Vaynerchuk. That would never work for me”.

Aside from this book being pure Gary Vaynerchuk (meaning if you don’t like Gary, don’t read this book), the thing I found most significant about Crushing It! is that whenever I stopped reading, I felt really inspired and motivated. One of the things that most excites me about with my new business (Minute Marketing) is the chance to experiment and try new things to create better and more impactful content. And that’s true not only for Minute Marketing, but for my clients and even this blog! I had some great thoughts while reading this book about both of my brands and I’m looking forward to getting back to being creative and playing around with content.

I wanted to share one quote I really liked from the book with you:

“When you really own it, and you put yourself out there and be you, your vibe is going to attract your tribe, and you’re going to be able to make change in this world.”

So here’s my commitment to you: to be really authentic and unapologetically myself. To be less strategic and more focused on putting out the best of the best. To crushing it in all spaces and places.

New Adventures…

If you’re not connected with me on my personal social media, you missed my big announcement yesterday!!

A few weeks ago, I had my last day as an employee of Coastal Premier Properties. After 5.5 years, I’ve left my role as Head of Marketing to start something I’ve long felt called to do. Though I definitely resisted the call and tried many times to ignore it and move in different directions, it is true that when you are called, there is little to do, but answer. I’m sharing this for anyone who feels called to do something or be somewhere, but has been ignoring that voice whether out of fear, practicality, or something else. Truly amazing things happen when you accept and lean into your fate, your destiny, your life’s work. I’ve seen it firsthand – the things that have happened since I stop resisting are nothing short of extraordinary.

I loved so much of the work I did at Coastal Premier. But what I loved most of all was working with the people, teaching and helping agents achieve success even if that success was something as small as doing their first Instagram story. There’s a magic to working person to person and seeing someone have a breakthrough or a triumph because of something you did or helped them achieve.

Whether your company stays small all its life or you’re merely passing through on your way to greatness, everyone starts from the same place, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making things work because there is no one else, but you. I know that struggle well after years of working with people in all stages of business. And what I’ve found is that there are not enough people offering digital marketing services to the little guys and those who are just starting out.

My vision for Minute Marketing is to not only offer paid digital marketing services, but also free resources to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Even if you’re not a business owner or aren’t in a place where you can afford to hire out for short or long-term needs, I hope you’ll visit my site often, read that blog, and subscribe to my channel on Youtube because one of the things that is important to me in creating my company is to give value and provide the resources people need to get their business to the next level. If you’re stuck and you can’t find the answer to something, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I want to know what you’re struggling with and if I can answer a question for you, there’s probably at least one other person who has the same challenge.

My site is now live at www.MinMarketing.com. I encourage you to subscribe to my emails not because anyone really needs to join another mailing list, but because I hope to make this the most value email subscription in your inbox. If you’re interested in learning more about my paid services, you can visit the services tab. If you don’t see what you’re looking for and wonder if I offer that service, please email me about what you need.

…Oh, and if you’re wondering if I’m writing a goodbye to this blog right now….NOPE, NOPE, AND MORE NOPE! That’s another thing I’ve discovered about this crazy ride we call life – sometimes you get really, really lucky and get called to walk two paths. My blog is now back in action and I’ll also be sharing more details about my journey as a business owner and a writer here.  I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for awhile now, which is why I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. But I’m excited to start reading again (you guys, I have SOOOO many new books it’s insane) and I am stoked (yes, stoked!!!) to dive back into edits (stoked to do EDITS!) on my Tesla book and get that ready to send out to agents. I missed my blog, I missed reading, and I missed writing. Obviously, it will be a challenge to maintain multiple time-consuming pursuits, but along with my horses and friends and family, that’s what makes life worth living for me. And without all those things, my soul feels incomplete.

So cheers to living a crazy complete life full of passions and chasing dreams and gratitude and synchronicity and making shit happen.  I’m so looking forward to this new adventure and can’t wait to see what the future holds! And if you’ve read this far, I hope you will enjoy turning the page to a new chapter with me.

-Shannon

 

 

 

 

 

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

In today’s fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, each of us is searching for effective tools that can help us to manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of the pack.

By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:

1) Self-Awareness
2) Self-Management
3) Social Awareness
4) Relationship Management

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a book with a single purpose—increasing your EQ.

Emotional Intelligence is one of those concepts that is often thrown about in the entrepreneur space. Gary Vaynerchuk in particular often talks about EQ and self-awareness. Emotional Intelligence is a key skill for any entrepreneur, leader, or anyone aspiring to rise high in their career to have. If you’re not sure what Emotional Intelligence is or are looking for a primer on the subject, this book is a fabulous introduction.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 covers four core competency areas with strategies you can use for individual improvement. This is one book you will probably want to purchase if you intend to read it because it gives you a passcode to take their Emotional Intelligence assessment. You can see your benchmark EQ score and then you’ll have the opportunity to take it again later to see your improvement after you’ve had the chance to work on some of the skills.

The four EQ skills covered in this book are Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. Two skills that are more focused on the self and two that are more focused on your interactions with other people. Each skill then has 15-17 short strategies for you to use to increase your skill level.

The book doesn’t go particularly deep in any one area, but is a great place to start from if you’re working on improving your EQ. It’s a slim book that will be an essential part of your entrepreneur library as you can easily pick it up at any time to check in on how you’re doing with your EQ skills.

The Storyteller’s Secret

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo

How did a Venice Beach T-shirt vendor become television’s most successful producer? How did an entrepreneur who started in a garage create the most iconic product launches in business history? How did a timid pastor’s son overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking to captivate sold-out crowds at Yankee Stadium, twice? How did a human rights attorney earn TED’s longest standing ovation, and how did a Facebook executive launch a movement to encourage millions of women to “lean in”?

They told brilliant stories.

In The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don’t, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and communication expert Carmine Gallo reveals the keys to telling powerful stories that inspire, motivate, educate, build brands, launch movements, and change lives. The New York Times has called a well-told story “a strategic tool with irresistible power” – the proof lies in the success stories of 50 icons, leaders, and legends featured in The Storyteller’s Secret: entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Sara Blakely, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Sheryl Sandberg; spellbinding speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, and Malala Yousafzai; and business leaders behind famous brands such as Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Wynn Resorts, Whole Foods, and Pixar. Whether your goal is to educate, fundraise, inspire teams, build an award-winning culture, or to deliver memorable presentations, a story is your most valuable asset and your competitive advantage.

In The Storyteller’s Secret, Gallo explains why the brain is hardwired to love stories – especially rags-to-riches stories – and how the latest science can help you craft a persuasive narrative that wins hearts and minds. “The art of storytelling can be used to drive change,” says billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. And since the next decade will see the most change our civilization has ever known, your story will radically transform your business, your life, and the lives of those you touch. Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story. Your story can change the world. Isn’t it time you shared yours?

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I’ve always believed that stories are powerful. That’s why I became a writer and later got interested in marketing. I believe marketing and writing have a lot in common – they both deal with the art of telling a good story and communicating ideas to other people. I did a talk on marketing last year and I mentioned how when I hire marketing people, one of the things I look for is writing skill. Because if you’ve made it through 13 years of compulsory education plus however many years you spent in college and you still can’t write well, I’m not going to be able to fix that. I can teach you to Facebook and to Instagram and to design email blasts. But if all the teachers who came before me couldn’t turn you into a writer, why do I think I’ll be any more successful?

Anyway.

When I saw The Storyteller’s Secret on display in an airport window, I knew I had to buy it and read it. I didn’t even look up any reviews, I just snapped a picture of it and when I next went to buy something on Amazon, I added it to my cart and started reading the book the same day it showed up at my house.

What makes this book interesting is not that it’s particularly ground-breaking or earth-shattering. I’ve read enough self-improvement and business books over the last 2.5 years to realize that a lot of the same stories end up in the pages of different books. But the repetition doesn’t make them any less powerful. And it doesn’t make me feel any less motivated because I’ve heard that story before. So in that way, even though the The Storyteller’s Secret features the stories of people like Steve Jobs and John Lasseter (read Jobs’ biography last year), Malala (been following her story since the news first broke), and Martin Luther King Jr., an inspiring story is still an inspiring story. And The Storyteller’s Secret contains over 37 of them, succinctly summarized, categorized, and broken down to include a key “takeaway” at the end of each chapter. Plus, the storyteller’s toolkit at the end of the book is an invaluable resource that can help you get back on track if you’re struggling to tell a story that really and truly connects with your audience.

If you don’t yet understand the power of story in marketing and selling your brand, pick up The Storyteller’s Secret. This will be a book you keep on the shelf for years to come, to pick up when you need a moment’s inspiration.

Remember: Anyone who tells you words don’t have power and words don’t matter is a fool. Words can start movements or change the tide of war. And if words can do those things, just imagine what they can do for your brand…

Captivate

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People by Vanessa Van Edwards

As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone–and a completely new approach to building connections.

Just like knowing the formulas to use in a chemistry lab, or the right programming language to build an app, Captivate provides simple ways to solve people problems. You’ll learn, for example…

– How to work a room: Every party, networking event, and social situation has a predictable map. Discover the sweet spot for making the most connections.
– How to read faces: It’s easier than you think to speed-read facial expressions and use them to predict people’s emotions.
– How to talk to anyone: Every conversation can be memorable–once you learn how certain words generate the pleasure hormone dopamine in listeners.

When you understand the laws of human behavior, your influence, impact, and income will increase significantly. What’s more, you will improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation–negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches. You’ll never interact the same way again.

I first came across Vanessa Van Edwards via a Self-Made Man podcast interview she did with Mike Dillard. If you’re curious, you can listen to that podcast here. I was immediately taken both by Vanessa’s easy storytelling style and the captivating information she was relaying. I purchased Captivate the moment I finished the podcast.

I was not disappointed in reading this book. Captivate is an engaging and interactive read. Not only does Vanessa relate what she’s learned in an easy-to-digest (and apply!) way, she also encourages you to take quizzes and other actions to enrich your reading experience.

During the course of the book, you will learn 14 powerful ways to hack human behavior. The book is divided into three sections, meaning that no matter what your profession or personal social challenge, you’re sure to get something of value from the book. Whether you’re the type of person who has to meet a lot of new people or someone who’s trying to enrich their existing relationships, Captivate is a must read.

I can already see that this is a book that will stay on my shelf and that I’ll revisit time and again. There’s so much good stuff, it would be impossible to really get everything out of the book on a first read. I think an appropriate way to start applying the knowledge of Captivate in your own life is to pick one behavior hack at a time to focus on learning and internalizing. Each chapter features a “Challenges” section with ideas for putting each behavior hack into action. I am looking forward to trying these in my own life!

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.
 
Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.
 
An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees—how they approach worker safety—and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.
 
What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.
 
They succeeded by transforming habits.
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
 
Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.
 
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
 
Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

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I really love books like these, where the authors have managed to dig up a series of fascinating stories that they utilize to illustrate their points. It really elevates what could be a dull read into something captivating.

The Power of Habit is divided into three parts: The Habits of Individuals, The Habits of Organizations, and The Habits of Society. But it really feels like the book is divided into two parts. The first four chapters illustrate how habits work in the brain and how they can be changed or altered (or not). The last five chapters are really a further study of habits with a focus on practical applications.

The most powerful section of the book though is the appendix. It’s in the appendix that the author takes times to illustrate the how of changing or creating habits – in eleven pages. Luckily The Power of Habit isn’t very long or I suspect many a reader would be frustrated that they picked up a book to figure out how to transform their habits and had to wade all the way through to the end to get an answer.

But The Power of Habit is more than an instructive book. It’s a persuasive book that argues that though we may be “creature of habit” we alone have the power to change our habits and our destinies. Which brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from East of Eden:

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.

And that, truly, is the core of what The Power of Habit is about. When you understand your habits, you have the freedom to control them.

The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents

The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents by Hal Elrod, Michael J. Maher, Michael Reese, Jay Kinder, and Honoree Corder

All real estate agents share one thing in common: we’re all striving to get to the NEXT LEVEL of personal and professional success. We want to take our lives, our businesses, and our selves to the next level. What if you could get there, faster than you ever thought possible, by simply changing how you start your day?

The original Miracle Morning book took the Real Estate industry by storm, transforming the lives and businesses of tens of thousand of agents. Now, The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents will do exactly that for you, by taking you on a journey into the lives of top-producing agent, Rick Masters and his wife, top-producing lender, Michelle Masters.

First introduced to you in the best-selling book, The 7 Levels of Communication, real estate professionals Rick and Michelle are now married and expecting their first child, but the demands of their industry have left them overworked, overweight, stressed out and unfulfilled. Something’s got to change. They attend a seminar and meet other agents who have transformed their lives—both personally and professionally—using a simple 30-day Challenge.

Although Michelle is optimistic, Rick is skeptical. But with nothing to lose and a lot to gain, Rick agrees to sign up. Little does he know that you really can transform any—or EVERY—area of your life, in just 30 days. You’re about to discover how.

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I have to review this book on a few different levels.

First, the bad: The way they wrote this book really didn’t do it for me. Not even close. Normally, I am a fan of these parable type books. I really enjoyed Who Moved My Cheese and The Go-Giver. But I just did not like the story they used to explain the concepts in this book. It was horribly cheesy. And I did not like the focus they put on Rick to take care of the family just because Michelle is pregnant. That was like Rick’s whole motivation. Hell, if Michelle wants to kick ass and take care of the family, having a baby in her belly isn’t going to set her back at all. It’s not up to Rick to save her. #feminism

Also the language was just cheesy and atrocious. You would think between five authors they could have come up with something better than this. Yeesh.

And the eight million testimonials from top real estate agents made me want to bang my head against the wall.

Now, the good: The concepts were laid out very simply. I do think I’ll be giving them a try. It’s nothing earth-shattering that I haven’t read in other books, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least try this for 30 days.

Overall, I’m pretty disappointed because I had such high hopes for this. I had heard great things about The Miracle Morning.

Has anyone read the original The Miracle Morning AND this version? I’m wondering if this version is like sixty-billion times worse than the original…