Book review: #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, & Self Awareness

I've talked about Gary Vaynerchuck before in my previous posts and to me, he is the motivational speaker of our time. Gary is near the game of Tim Robbins without the spiritual aspect. He's raw, energetic, and confident with his thoughts and ideas. The guy has invested in so many high end things such as Uber, Snapchat, and has multiple companies such as his media company and now a sports agency. This guy talks the talk and can also walk the walk.  

First off, let's point out that Gary basically gave this book out for free. I believe I paid $4.00 for this book on my Amazon Kindle App. It's very different in that it doesn't really follow any real structure of traditional books. It's more like his YouTube Q&A shows which is neat (you may be able to extract the same info from watching his videos). His sections are concise and down to the point. I felt that he didn't fluff up any answers and was blunt as possible. 

There is also very important sections in this book that talks about Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook and how useful the marketing functions are. The idea that Facebook is dying is a myth and he touches on how Facebook is still perhaps the most important marketing tool and Instagram comes in a close second. The new functions such as videos and stories but more so the analytics to see how many people you're reaching is so valuable for any brand or even blogger.

There were a lot of quotes in his book that I want to share cause I think they have value for me and hopefully for you as well.

"Vagueness sucks. Lack of drive sucks. Half-assing things sucks. And so does the middle" - Page 5

I've experience all of the above for myself and I could relate at how they suck. I believe that lack of drive is the source of the other two. With a narrow focus and a goal, half-assing becomes harder to do because you want to improve yourself, you want to show that you care about your content. I've sometimes look at my post before hitting the publish button and ask myself, does this look half-ass? How can I make it better? Is it too vague? Does it need more detail, emotion, honesty?

"Ideas are shit. Execution is the name of the game. Just. Make. It. Happen." Page 29

Gary talks a lot about "Clouds and dirt", cloud being brainstorming ideas but when the execution is missing, then ideas are nothing but shit. I've been guilty of this before during my lunches with my mentor/friend, we would sit down and just brainstorm the hell out of business ideas. We've covered things like opening up a restaurant, cell phone accessories store, juicery, pot accessory subscription box, and even an idea for men at malls to hang out in. These brainstorming sessions are similar to two buddies in prison trying to plan as escape and into the world of entrepreneurship freedom (or another form of prison). As much as it did create motivation, the reality is that we couldn't execute on the ideas. There was always a risk that stalled the thought process and sometimes it comes down to if you're willing to take the risk to seek the rewards.

"Expressing gratitude helps you build lifetime value" Page 210

You may have noticed a skip in the pages, there was a lot of content in this book that didn't relate to me such as parenting, college, how to deal with a specific situation, and I kind of skimmed through until there was something that was important to me. But this quote resonated to me as I feel it's important in what I value in building meaningful connections. I believe in building the foundation of relationships on two factors, honesty and loyalty. Without the two, whatever relationship you have will never evolve into much. Without honesty, then everything you may say is superficial and loyalty can never be obtained if you can't speak the truth. There are so many things we can take for granted and I try to make sure the other party knows how grateful I am to them whenever I get a chance. Try it yourself, be honest and real about it when you do express your gratitude.

"I know my team is watching me. I can't tell them to go the extra mile if I'm not willing to do it myself." Page 212

This is an important point in which I find myself struggling depending on how busy I am. I feel that this is also mood dependent but I've noticed a lack of motivation in my team. Perhaps I'm radiating it from my energy levels but I've also gone the extra mile. Another perspective is that, it has nothing to do with me but more so the individuals. Some people are just givers in the sense that they'll give you the best customer service experience without you asking for it. In the call centre world, they call this the concierge service where a person takes ownership over the problem without a caller having to talk to another representative. I've done that in the past in my other role and I believe this is something that can be taught. 

"You need to be the best human being you can be to earn their trust and respect." Page 221

This quote sort of relates to the previous quote but being the best human possible is something that I'm actively working on. The things that you say do have impacts on people's moods and the overall environment that you work in. Yelling at someone is never fun for the person yelling or the recipient and in the end, nothing is really resolved. The situation is actually worse and I've been there as the person who has raised my voice. To think back at it, it's really hard to build respect when you're not giving the same level of respect that you expect. 

"Any Failure from which you can recover is a learning opportunity that will only make you stronger." Page 226

I believe there are failure can be look at in many ways. For example, some people fail and fail again but never learn and why is that? Is it because they are not motivated? Is it because they didn't listen to you the first time after you explained the cause of the failure? Did they just don't care? In the above instances, one must look at two things, 1. the person and 2. the approach. If you've done the mentor training approach time and time again and it doesn't work, then what are you doing wrong? Is there an alternative training method? Eliminate all the points in which you have control before looking at the person. In the end, if you've done everything possible as a mentor/leader, it may come down to the person's drive/values. In that case, it's something that you cannot control and you may just need to relook at a person's strengths and weaknesses.

"Some people don't delegate because they're positive no one can do as good a job as they can. That may be true, but not every job needs your level of perfection anyway. You've got to know when good enough is enough." Page 252

If you've read this far, I would like to thank you for staying with me. For the last highlight I had for this book, it touches on control and delegation of work. Some people delegate because they have too much on their plate and it's just part of their leadership. Perhaps what Gary is trying to say is the scene near the end of the movie Babe, "That'll do pig, that'll do." 

This was a rather long blog post and different than my previous book reviews. Let me know what you think of this format, hopefully it wasn't too preachy. It wasn't my intent but this post also gave you a more personal look in my working life.  Also please check out Gary Vaynerchuck's book on Amazon in the link here -->