Crush It! Book review and synopsis

I just got done reading “Crush it! Why NOW is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk and while the book is a little old I really enjoyed it. It was published in 2009 which is ancient in terms of social media. The concepts however still exist, and it is a great viewpoint of emerging platforms coming into the scene which may help you catch the next big wave in the social media world. Without further delay let’s look at it!

Chapter 1: Passion Is Everything

In this chapter Gary Vaynerchuk describes his previous endeavors and what it took him to get there. He describes his three rules he lives by.

Love your family.

Work superhard.

Live your passion.

These are his guidelines which have proven effective and have made him happy in his life. “Since the only investment it takes to use these sites to grow a business is ridiculous amounts of time and hustle, these platforms are open to whoever has got the chops to get in the game.”

“Social Media = Business Period”

An important lesson to take away from this chapter is “No matter how successful you get, you can not slack off or the grass is going to grow, the paint is going to peel, and the roads will start to crumble. Stop hustling, and everything you learn here will be useless. Your success is entirely up to you.”

Chapter 2: Success Is in Your DNA

This chapter essentially can be summed up as stick to what you’re good at and “you gotta be you”. We also get a little perspective from GaryVee and his younger years of trading baseball cards and learning about the wine and liquor store business. “I knew from my experience with the baseball card business that people want to be told what’s good and valuable, and that they enjoy feeling like they’ve been turned on to something not everyone can appreciate.” This quote is then followed by, “storytelling is by far the most underrated skill in business.” I believe this to be very true, having good story telling skills, communication skills, being personable all helps in the world of business.

Chapter 3: Build Your Personal Brand

“Wine Library TV was neve about selling wine on the Internet. It was always about building brand equity.” In this chapter GaryVee talks about how to build your personal brand. While explaining why authenticity is key, how quality filters people out and the cream always rises, and how your personal brand is the same thing as a living, breathing resume.

“Developing your personal brand is key to monetizing your passion online. Whether you’re delivering your content by video, podcast or blog it’s the authentic you, the one thing that is guaranteed to differentiate you from everybody else, including those who share your niche or business model. The thing that most people don’t realize is that in today’s world your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same, whether you’re selling organic fish food or financial advice or jus your opinion.”

Chapter 4: A Whole New World

               In this chapter GaryVee talks about the evolving world and how being innovative and adaptable to the circumstances is going to allow many more opportunities than the old style of business. He describes how you need to plan your future. How you should start building your brand equity and work on things on the side, which we will get to in a minute.

Chapter 5: Create Great Content

               “To monetize your personal brand into a business using social marketing networks, two pillars need to be in place: product and content.” To do this you really need to know your stuff and be constantly absorbing information and content about your subject. GaryVee suggests that you need at least 50 blog topics that you’re amped to write about to get a feel for the situation of your blog. Then you need to tell a story about the topic. “Tell me your story, and if you’re good, I’ll come back for more.” “Communicate with me, because whoever is the best communicator will win.” In order to create great content, you can’t lie to yourself about your abilities to deliver quality information. “Am I good enough to be the best blogger about tech in the world?” is an example of a question that you must ask yourself and have a solid “Yes!” answer to. Choosing the correct medium is critical, if you’ve ever seen Gary Vaynerchuk his enthusiasm and loudness makes him a perfect fit for a video or vlog format. “Today, everybody else can make $40,000 to a million, so long as they can nail the correct combination of their medium and passion.” “Know yourself. Choose the right medium, choose the right topic, create awesome content, and you can make a lot of money being happy.”

Chapter 6: Choose Your Platform

               Your three options are video, audio, or written word, you must choose the platform that works best with your DNA. Although I personally use written word at the moment I think this Summer I will begin to move to video and venture out to YouTube and Vlog format. “Your website is for communicating logistics and facilitating sales; your blog is for communicating the essence of your brand.” In December 2008 GaryVee used social media and traditional advertising methods for his winelibrary.com to promote a free shipping code. The social media promotion which was free, outperformed the conventional advertising by a factor of 10. This is an example of platform is everything.

Mr. Vaynerchuk then talks about Tumblr and WordPress the two dominant blog platforms and both are still relevant even today. Tumblr’s ability to tumble posts is the word of mouth you want from your audience and other apps that have similar features are critical in expanding your brand. Call to action buttons are always important to continue the chain of communication with your audience, and eventually sell them your product. He then talks about Facebook and the importance of your own profile and then your fan page. “If you’ve been using a regular profile or created a group for your business, don’t take it down. Simply leave a link on your old profile or group page that feeds to your new fan page.” Twitter, one of GaryVee’s most powerful brand-building tools. “First, it has incredible endorsement power.” “Second, it’s a press release opportunity, allowing companies and businesses to have a closer relationship with their consumer.” “Third, Twitter is a research and development tool that allows you to crowdsource.” “Fourth it allows even your most mundane questions to become opportunities for conversation.” “Fifth, it’s a great vehicle through which to spread your commerce-driven intentions.” “The best use for Twitter, though, is to lure people to your blog.” GaryVee then shares the simple most powerful, best business tweet of all time. “What can I do for you?” Don’t forget you’re in business to serve your community.

“If your blog is your home, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are your vacation homes. You can’t do long form content on these sites (well, you can, but its not effective and I don’t recommend it)”.

He then talks about video content sites including the power player still today, YouTube. He very rarely uses analytics and trusts his instincts over numbers. Lastly you must differentiate yourself from your peers, and he will explain that in the upcoming chapters.

Chapter 7: Keep It Real…Very Real

               “Your DNA dictates your passion-whatever it is you were born to do; being authentic, and being perceived as such by your audience, relies on your ability to ensure that every decision you make when it comes to your business is rooted being true to yourself.” You should invest in the important stuff and that’s not cameras or microphones, no, that is your content, your passion, your knowledge. “If you want to dominate the social media game, all of your effort has to come from the heart”. Hustle and patience are the next two items of discussion, there’s plenty of other books and videos on hustle, I’ve already reviewed one, “The 10X Rule” and I will review another one soon “Rise and Grind”. Reference those books and articles as that is their main topic. Patience is self-explanatory, but we are often not patient. GaryVee says he gets people saying they haven’t seen any results and they’ve been working on their blog for 6 weeks. I can say from my own personal experience that I’ve been working on this blog for about 5 months and we are finally getting some traction, all things worth doing in life take time to get there.

Chapter 8: Create Community: Digging Your Internet Trench

               Creating community is much more important than the design of your blog. This is done by starting conversation with your audience. “To create an audience for your personal brand you’re going to get out there, shake hands, and join every single online conversation already in play around the world about your topic, Every. Single. One. “At a certain point, your business will start gaining eyeballs and your community focus will change. Whereas at this point you’re initiating contact with anyone who might have an interest in your passion, later you will spend these late-night hours responding to the people who have responded to you. Building and sustaining community is a never-ending part of doing business.” You do this by using all of your tools and platforms and seeking out every mention of your topic and commenting on every single tweet, blog post, forum post etc. that you can find and then do it again and again and again. I can say from experience the little I have done this for blogs and Instagram it has worked. It just takes lots of time and hustle to pull it off in the large scale. You must then capture your audience and I have struggle to do this with my own blog and would love to hear any advice from my viewers. “The day you see that one person is reading or watching or listening to you is a day to celebrate.”

Chapter 9: The Best Marketing Strategy Ever

               Care.

Chapter 10: Make the World Listen

               Here is the step by step guide for the rest of your life to achieve what is described in this book.

  1. Go to GoDaddy.com and try to buy your name in both .com and .tv
  2. Start a WordPress or Tumblr account to host the domain you just bought.
  3. Hire a web designer for your website.
  4. IF you’re filming a video blog, buy the $150 flip cam, something small, light and hopefully HD to film anywhere at any time.
  5. Create a Facebook Fan page
  6. Open a twitter account with your domain name
  7. Open a Tube Mogul if you are doing video. Open a Ping.fm if you are doing a written blog.
  8. Start pumping out content.
  9. Tweet or post your content to distribute to your platforms.
  10. Go to Search. Twitter and start searching terms relevant to your topic, and start following them.
  11. Go to blogsearch.google.com and start leaving comments on topics relevant to your content.
  12. Join as many active Facebook groups relevant to your topic as possible.
  13. Rinse and Repeat.

Do steps 5-8 and 12 over and over as long as your brand exists. “Anything is better than zero” but also “the longer you hold out to monetize your blog, the better.”

Chapter 11: Start Monetizing

               “Here’s a better idea: #1—classy banner ads, which appear at the top or bottom of your site (don’t overdo it!). #2—Go to google.com, search your subject matter, and check every blog and website to see which companies pay for Google AdSense ads to be posted. Cold-call every relevant company that is buying space on Google AdSense—they’re already spending the ad money on the Web, why not spend it on you? You can find a video on this topic on GaryVaynerchuk.com:” Speaking engagements, Affiliate Programs, Retail, Articles, Seminars, Books and TV, Consulting, Advertising redux, are all examples on monetizing your brand and there have been significant improvements and all of these fields, so I would recommend newer information than what is provided here.

Chapter 12: Roll with It

               Be prepared to continue repeating what makes you successful but be ready to adapt to the changing environment considering the great speed at which social media changes nowadays. Put out fires and situations quickly through the use and ability to reach out using social media is very important in retaining your brand equity. Spot latest trends as they begin and hop on the train early to give yourself a big advantage over the slower moving businesses in your sector.

Chapter 13: Legacy is Greater Than Currency

               We are all in the public eye now, we are constantly adding to our footprint on the internet. If things go wrong, there will be no where to hide as your whole brand is available to see. Thinking long term and knowing what you do and say today can affect your future is an important thing to remember in your early years of building your brand. “Legacy is the mortar of successful, lasting brands.

Conclusion: The Time is Now, the Message is Forever

               “true success—financial, personal, and professional—lies above all in loving your family, working hard, and living your passion.”

As always thank you for reading this article, I hope you gained some value information from this review and synopsis of “Crush It”. This book has provoked me to take a hard look at my blog and my personal brand and what I want it to be in the future and I look forward to shaping my brand from what I’ve learned in this book and what I intend to learn from “Crushing It”.

As always let me know what you think!

B^2

Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

The Next Level

Many want to take their life, finances, current situation to the next level. Some have a vision of what that is, even fewer have a game plan to get themselves there. I will share with you today my vision and how I intend to get there.

So, as we speak I am 22 years old pursuing a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering and engineering management. I have a net worth around $18,000 through mainly my co-op and internship salaries. I will graduate college in May of 2019 and take on the real world.

Vision:

This is always a hard question to articulate and put into words which is why few people get this far. Think about it, when was the last time you sat down and figured out where you want to go in life. Some may have small goals like I want to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini but what about the BIG goal.

I would like to first buy my parent’s the lake house of their dreams on table rock lake. My mom and dad have provided for me all their life it is my obligation to give back to them. My dad would like the top of the line jet ski and a nice boat, my mom would be happy with a home that looked like it came out of better homes and gardens, a nice greenhouse and an abundance of grandchildren. My mom is going to have to wait on the later, but my brother may be able to help me out with that one. That is my first and foremost goal.

Second, I would like to give back to the people and organizations that made me who I am today, my wrestling program in high school, my rugby program in both high school and college, and my fraternity to name a few.

Third, is an obvious one but I think it should be said, to provide for those around me. I am going to assume at this stage in my life I have others to take care of other than myself, maybe a girlfriend, or a fiancé or a wife maybe kids the timeline of this one is foggy. My dad made it a goal to give my brother and I everything he ever wanted when he was a kid and to provide more than his parents could for him and I would also like to do the same to my loved ones. My dad did set the bar high on this one so I look forward to the challenge.

Fourth, financial freedom. There is an unbelievable amount of people in the United States that live paycheck to paycheck and I remember my parent’s doing the same at times. I don’t ever want to live a life like that.

Fifth, to help those less fortunate than me, I already practiced this when I was younger and currenly. I am aware I’ve had experiences that many have not or will not be able to have in their lives and I would like to the share that with all those that I can.

So Mr. B^2, how on earth do you plan to do all of this?

That’s a good question isn’t it, when it’s all laid out like that its hard to fathom that kind of success.

First step would be to graduate obviously, I have spent years in education and lots of money has been spent on me to get to where I am so obviously finishing what I started is a good place to begin. I would like to graduate with a 3.25 GPA currently at a 3.16 as of this semester.

Second, I would like to walk out of this university making $80,000 which I believe is a lofty but possible goal and with my skill sets, education and past experience I believe this is within my reach.

Third, using that money, and the money from my investments, and what not buy investment properties and other passive income sources. How many and of what kind I am not sure, but an investment property in my college town would be a good start I feel and from there only grow and expand my horizon as I move and travel. This could also be a side business that I develop to generate more revenue to acquire these properties and make more investments.

Fourth, rinse and repeat over and over and over again.  That in combination with my strong work ethic and developed leadership skills should put me in a position to move up the corporate ladder or start my own business or something of that sort. Not sure where I’m going but I’m going for it all.

With all of that said I would like to attain a net worth north of $3 million before I am 30 years old. I understand that is going to be extremely difficult but nothing of such high aspirations comes easy and I believe what I am doing now is laying a solid foundation for what I plan to do in the future and the fact that I already have the vision and the majority of the game plan is evident that I am already on my way.

As always let me know what you think, even if you think I am blowing smoke up my own ass I’d like to know what you think!

B^2

 

Summer Plans

In my spare time today, I did a little bit of thinking about what I wanted to do this summer as far as my finances are concerned.

  1. I am going to absolutely crush this internship/sales position. I mean crush it! This is the first time in my life that I will get paid on commission meaning every minute I am not working or trying to sell is a wasted minute. That goes beyond the job as well, I also have this blog and an Instagram, and I will continue to expand my social media presence and further build my personal brand.
  2. I want to move away from the umbrella of financial security of my parents. They have done a fantastic job providing for me all my life and I feel obligated to lighten their load. I am making it a goal of mine to work harder than ever before to obtain scholarships and other means to provide for my schooling. My parents have also paid for my housing during college and pending the results of my friend meeting with his landlord tomorrow I should be moving out the fraternity house and plan to pay my rent and all necessary living expenses. I also came up with my method to do so. I have talked about Lending Club before on this blog but for those of you who haven’t read about it yet you can reference this post about it “Lending Club Review”.

 

My favorite part about Lending Club is how liquid it is while you are making money. I get funds transferred to my portfolio nearly everyday as I have 110 active notes currently. This pays me about $100 a month in both interest and principal payments. If I own about 400ish notes I will receive about $350 in payments per month which is coincidentally my rent for this next school year again assuming the conversation with the landlord goes as planned tomorrow. That is all while making about a 7% gain as of this moment. This whole school year I have been pulling out my interest and principal payments to cover my expenses (its not enough however I spend more than $100 a month typically). If I can purchase that many notes however that should cover my rent payment which would be a passive income source for me. As of now that is my game plan for this next academic year. My typical food expenses as I have learned from diligently tracking them through my internship and co-op is about $60 a week or $240 a month. I plan to use my savings and any side money to cover that aspect of my expenses.

  1. I have also began looking at investment properties in my college town, with the hopeful influx of money I make this summer this may finally become a reality and I have also explained some of those plans in a previous post linked *here*.
  2. This will also be the first summer where I will be relatively free while I have been this interested in improving my life for the years to come. On my co-op I did not start investing until very late and then I returned to school and was again very busy with my other obligations. While on my internship I was taking 9 credit hours of summer class which took a very large toll on my time and extracurricular efforts. I lived an endless cycle of work, working out, and then studying and doing homework during the 5-day work week and then my Sunday’s were typically consumed in school work as well. This is another very exciting aspect of this summer that I can hopefully take advantage of.
  3. I intend to learn more than I ever have this summer as well. I have an ambitious reading goal this summer of 10 books which is crazy to think about since I have not read for leisure in years but the value that it has been bring to my life is incredible and I have learned so much already and I can’t wait to learn more. If you have any suggestions I am open to them all but I will most likely need to focus in on something related to what I would like to pursue later in my life, namely entrepreneurship, business, investment property and real estate, and investing.
  4. I would like to make a strong effort to help my fraternities recruitment efforts this summer. Due to the new structure of our recruitment and pledgeship process this summer will be the ultimate factor to our future success and I would like to give my time, effort and talent to this endeavor. Not that I haven’t helped in the past, but I see the high importance of this task, but it will also give a chance to develop my new skills.
  5. I believe this summer will also allow me to network more than I have in the past and I have given up some of those opportunities for my other obligations in the past. Again, with all that I have learned this school year I believe this will be a key aspect in my ultimate success later in life and the more I can network and connect with the others the more opportunities will present themselves.

I’m sure there are other aspects I am forgetting to include but these are just some highlights. I will do my best to update all my readers on what I am up to this summer. Hopefully this last 2 weeks of school won’t drain me to bad, I had the problem occur on my co-op.

As always, I would love to hear all your comments!

B^2

Philanthropy Overview

As some of you may know if you follow my Instagram account (bsquared.website) I am heavily involved in my fraternity and was the head philanthropy chair this academic school year. Fortunately, I survived the hectic week and came out the other side with ideas and suggestions to improve our philanthropy efforts for the years to come.

I was elected head philanthropy chair a year ago with two assistants at my side, several things happened that caused my assistants to drop the position or get pulled out of the position, but I ended with Dalton and Drew at my side by the end of it. We decided our goal was to raise $10,000 for Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Sigma Chi’s official philanthropy. This was an extremely ambitious goal considering our previous best was about $5,300 raised. We also had to revamp the whole Derby Days week to make it more competitive between the participating sororities and women’s organizations and try to incorporate new events into the week. Our first step in the revamp was to collect information from the previous year, we needed to know what everyone liked, disliked, what they were not allowed to do due to national’s rules etc. While there was some effort in the past to gather feedback about the previous years events we took it to a new level and made sure everyone’s voice was heard and tailored the week-long competition to allow everyone to compete on a level playing field.

We added an event in the Fall semester of 2017, known as Brats ‘n tots. Just as the name suggests it was a food fundraiser hosted at the fraternity house featuring premium brats and unlimited tater tots. This turned out to be our most profitable food fundraiser to date and raised over $500 in profit. Mind you that at that point we had never done a food fundraiser let alone hosted one. This was an incredible success but of course there were hiccups and ways to improve for the next year, as with anything the first time is always difficult, and we will get to a failure at a first-time event here soon.

DSC_5891

Brats ‘n tots serving crew

Next event we added to the line up was what we are going to coin as Dead Week Wendy’s, again as the name suggests it’s a food fundraiser at Wendy’s during dead week which is commonly known as the week prior to finals at my university. Unfortunately, we register the event early enough and it was pushed back to the Wednesday of finals week which wasn’t the most optimal timing. Despite that issue we still managed to raise $113 from the event mainly due to the high % of proceeds donated (30% of revenue for that night with the flyer we promoted).

Next new event on the calendar was a similar food fundraiser just at Buffalo Wild Wings which we also did in conjunction with a recruitment dinner at BWW. In the past we would always take some potential new members to BWW for dinner during the recruiting process and we decided to piggy back that event with a food fundraiser. A two birds one stone situation which you will see come up again in this overview. With this event we raised $212 or so, we were better able to promote this event having learned from our mistakes with the Wendy’s fundraiser, it also helped that BWW has a higher average ticket price than Wendy’s despite a lower % donated but still a solid 20% excluding sales in alcohol or gift cards.

At this point my committee and I were feeling like we were doing well at just shy of $1,000 raised before getting to the philanthropy week. We had the strongest start of any Derby Days committee to date, but our success wouldn’t last long. Our spring semester is quite busy with our huge St. Pat’s celebration, Spring break, spring career fair, Greek sing and various other events happening. In addition to being bogged down in other school and fraternity related activities we were also running into bad luck with our women’s organizations. Two organizations of our smaller women’s organizations declined to participate in our week-long competition due to the time commitment, even after offering to combine the two to give them more people to work with. We also had a large sorority that has failed to participate fully in the past three years decline us again despite our massive effort to accommodate and inform them. In hindsight we could have done more to inform them and attempt to get them more involved but again our schedules were packed. Those were some large blows to our committees moral since in addition to our monetary goal we also wanted to maximize participation across the board.

Despite the setbacks we continued to push forward and do what we could to redeem ourselves, but the bad luck and poor execution continued to disrupt our previous successes. I had assigned an assistant to obtaining t-shirt sponsors, thinking he was the best man for the job. Well about 2 days before spring break at our weekly meeting I realized that we had maybe 2 of the 9 t-shirt sponsors we were going for with no contact established with other potential clients. The t-shirt design was due the Monday we returned to school and seeing as we were running out of time and options for obtaining sponsors I took it upon myself to execute the task. I spent the better part of my Friday and Saturday going into the Spring break talking to local businesses to obtain sponsors. I then came back to town for 2 days to further confirm sponsors and attempt to obtain more. Luckily, we ended with our goal number of sponsors but the way we had to reach that goal was far from optimal. The opportunity cost of my time and travel expenses to finish the job took quite a toll on me mentally and to my external efforts to succeed such as this blog and my investments. Anyhow that small crisis was adverted or was it?

derby days 2

Cheesin through it

That’s right! When it rains it pours and oh did it pour. We were having issues with liaisons knowing what to do and getting their organization to participate, we got the t-shirt order in late, we over ordered the koozies and then they had a printing error that forced us to have them reprinted and took more time than we anticipated. We got the wrong shirts printed, we did not get the number of orders we anticipated. Issue after issue kept coming up and this was before we even got the philanthropy week underway, this was just the prep work!

We had another new event to kick off the week, it was a gala at a local event/banquet center. Not only did we not get our first or second choice for venue, but we also were lied to on price, overestimated our attendance, therefore over estimating the needed food, and the event turned it into a very dismal sight. All in all, we lost about $400 on that event and rattled us all. It was under advertised, overestimated, not well defined, and did not serve a strong purpose or give a strong reason for people to be there. The idea should have probably been scraped but we decided to follow through with it anyhow. Perhaps next year they can bring it back and turn it into a successful event but until then despite what my peers said and how successful they thought it was I’ll chalk that one up as an L.

derby-days.png

Pie-a-Sigma Chi featuring my temporary mohawk

Moving onto the actual week of Derby Days it went relatively well. Events ran smooth, the new point distribution kept the competition tight until the final event, it did take some extra effort on my part. My two assistants did not live in the fraternity house, so they would leave and go home after the last event of the day or stick around for a little bit to help, but I would be up till midnight-4am to ensure everything was taken care of and ready for the next day of events. It wasn’t always necessary for me to stay up that late and what not, but I felt the extra effort I put in made the week go a little smoother, so it was worth it even if I am bitching about it now. We had several new events including, Amazing race, cooler design, sell-a-Sig, and a drag show. They all went well for the most part and little kinks and issues will get worked out next year.

We finished the week with Delta Omicron Lambda winning for the 4th year in a row. Congratulations to them however I think moving forward it may discourage other teams from trying to participate to take down the reigning champs. At the current moment we raised $3800 including all expenses, not including the 20% payout to the winning organization. This is far far far below what we wanted to raise. We diligently tracked our expenses and revenue for every event and hopefully we can analyze those results to determine what actions are necessary to increase what we raise. We still do have one event to go.

Alex’s pizza is a pizza parlor in town, we always go there after initiation and treat the alumni (I should really say the alumni treat us) to some pizza and adult beverages. As I mentioned in the sneak preview before, I am all about hitting two birds with one stone and making the most effective and efficient events possible, and that is exactly what we intend to do. Since we go to Alex’s pizza once a semester, after initiation then why not host a food fundraiser there while the alumni are paying the bill for it all. So, with that in mind we will get a nice 20% cut of the revenue for that day most of which will consist of our 50-person group’s order, but I am sure we will also get some friends to and other students to come celebrate our new initiates with us.

My committee and I are currently writing up an official transfer document, so the next committee can learn from our mistakes, this is also something new we are trying. Overall I can say that while we did not reach our target we did a lot of new things and took some risks and some paid off and others did not, but the group after us will have all the tools and knowledge at their disposal to reach our $10,000 goal and shed a new light on our philanthropy, social and brotherhood aspects of the fraternity.

To those who are involved in philanthropy or want to be involved in philanthropy and have questions please let me know. I have learned a lot from this position and would love to help anyone who wants to make a difference just like I wanted to make a difference when taking the committee position.

As always please let me know what you think!

-B^2

 

Who I follow on YouTube

YouTube, the video –sharing site that is owned by the titan Google, has stood the test of time as far as far as modern social media is concerned. YouTube is a wonderful place to have a few laughs on, learn new things and watch step by step tutorials for your everyday problems, or listen to your favorite artist and see their newest music video. I will primarily go over the learning/education side of the YouTube.

A few weeks ago, I made an Instagram post about whether you use YouTube for entertainment or education and if that ratio is more to the entertainment side you should reconsider the use of your time. The amount of information I have learned from watching YouTube videos is astounding and here are some channels you should check out that I personally follow.

youtube

For all things entrepreneurship and business related I turn to Patrick Bet-David on the Valuetainment channel. As the name suggests his goal is to provide value to the viewer drawing from his own personal success in entrepreneurship and business. They recently took a break from YouTube for a bit and revamped the objective and mission of the channel and the information he brings to the viewers is incredible. If you are at all interested in entrepreneurship or business I highly recommend checking him out. He provides great content and worksheets to the viewer to aid in self-improvement.

The next channel two channels I follow talk about the stock market mainly. Nate O’Brien is a young investor that brings ambition and passion to his channel as he talks about investments and relates well to my generation and age group. The other channel I follow for stock market education is the Financial Education channel. Jeremy from the Financial Education channel has written two books that I have read and has several programs that educate its users on the stock market, passive income, and options trading among other things. I would highly recommend these two channels if you are interested in stock investments, budgeting, passive income etc.

The last two channels revolve around real estate, motivation, and entrepreneurship. Grant Cardone is a world renown sales expert and has developed a real estate company with over $750 million in assets currently. Meet Kevin is about Kevin a real estate agent in California that provides value to the viewer by revealing the tips and tricks of real estate and exposes lies and clears confusion said by other “experts” in finance and real estate, these include Grant Cardone, Dave Ramsey and several others. These two channels help educate me on real estate and motivate me for any side hustle endeavors I have.

I primarily watch these YouTube videos in binges or if I am seeking information on a subject. Rather than watching tv or Netflix or YouTube for entertainment purposes I watch these education-based channels and learn more to further develop myself. Only problem is there are never enough hours in a day as you can see from the subscription box up above. I’m sure I am missing some great education-based YouTube channels out there so if you have any suggestions on who to follow please let me know!

Internship update

Hope everyone’s spring is going well. This past week I accepted a position at Premier Roofing in Kansas City as a salesman. This is very odd position in comparison to my previous internship/co-op as I worked in engineering disciplines for Caterpillar and Samtec. I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead. I believe this internship will allow me to continue to expand this blog and any side endeavors I soon pursue. This internship will also set me up for a technical sales position that are popular in my field. The commission-based pay will also cater to my work ethic and determination and I hope I can make the most of the opportunity given to me. I also gained experience as head philanthropy chair when I talked to t-shirt sponsors which I believe will benefit me for this position. I will keep you all updated as things progress my hope is to walk out of this summer with a strong sales position experience and I have enabled my free time to the best of my ability to create another source of income or success. I also hope to invest my earnings to further diversify my portfolio and to set myself up for success during the coming school year and post-graduation.

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions!

Status Update 3/12/2018

Hey how’s it going everyone hope you all are well.  I just wanted to give a quick update on what is going on with my life right now. If you’ve been keeping up with the biweekly goal analysis you know it’s been a crazy couple week and I’ve been super busy.  I can say nothing has changed on that front, I am in the middle of our big St. Pat’s party week right now, followed by a hard week of school with tests and then spring break. From then on, it’s still going to be a wild ride to the end of the semester. Because of this I’ve been putting the blog and Instagram on the back burner for a little bit. I was consistently working 16-18 hours a day between school, fraternity, philanthropy, rugby, and my personal endeavors and it was slowly killing me. Soon I plan to refocus my Instagram efforts and get the blog some better tools retain my audience (mailing list, email newsletters, more Facebook ads etc.) but I simply do not have the time to make that commitment all the way. On a positive note I have an internship more or less locked down for this upcoming summer its actually a sales position which is very different from what I am use to or expected to do, but the experience and income should be very beneficial. I think the unique schedule I will be working will also help with this blog, and my other endeavors so hopefully that leads to some explosive growth this summer. I was also considering changing the focus of the blog entirely, as it sits now its me sharing my financial journey, but I guess it’s boring right now to be frank. I’m not making many moves right now since I haven’t had any income since August. I am reading books and learning about successful people and how to be successful and am reading a lot of motivational content so maybe that may be a temporary route I go. As I said above its been busy and we are in a holding pattern right now so hold tight while I get my life together.

If you have any suggestions, ideas, content to talk about, or products to aid in some of my problems stated above let me know!

B^2

Blog analysis January- February

As you may know I am extremely data driven. I love numbers and finding trends and all that kind of stuff, that probably why I ended up studying engineering.  Anyway after 2 solid months of putting my heart and soul into this blog or as much of both as I could I wanted to look at what I had and see if I couldn’t find any trends or anything special with it. Hopefully by the end of this I can give other bloggers out there some tips and advice or if you have any please share it with me!

Below is the stats board for January 2018.

January stats

Unfortunately, I didn’t think I could fit everything well in one screen snip, but I had 152 views and 97 visitors. Fairly respectable for a full first month’s effort. At this time, I was experimenting with Facebook advertising as you can see 55 of my views all of which were driven by the Modern Long Term Stock Market investing book drove many of my visitors and views. Instagram contributed 27 visitors and search engines managed 7 visitors. If you turn those all into percentages it would read 56.7% Facebook, 27.8% Instagram, 7.2% search engine. All should be noted that many of the views came within the United States and the runner up was UK with approximately 10% of the total views. About $29 was spent on advertising in January.

Next up we have February 2018. While not completely over we are pretty darn close so we will call it as we see it.

February stats

February boosts 260 views and 177 visitors, a sizeable margin over January. Now with 2 front runners for article views, both Freedom Funnel and Millionaire Booklet were advertised heavily. The runner up 10X Rule didn’t do bad either. Facebook comprised 125 out of 177 referrals, Instagram 35, search engines 7 it looks like. In percentages we have Facebook 70.6%, Instagram 19.8%, and Search engines at 4%. Lets also look at viewership. Majority United States again comprising of 64% of the demographic, and UK in second with 16.5% of the demographic. Advertising costs for January were about $43 maybe slightly less than that.

Digging further into the data we find that both January and February had 8 new blog posts each so that remains a consistent factor. I also cut down the Facebook advertising after mid-February, I was at 150+ visitors around that time as well. The lack of effort in the second half of February killed the growth of this blog. I have mentioned in earlier posts my extra effort required at school around that time prevented some of that growth.

After looking at the above data, I can deduct that advertising has a direct correlation to viewership however I still have not made any income from the blog in terms of referrals to apps, amazon affiliate sales, or any other revenue of that manner. Until I can increase my income organically I will be taking it easy on the advertising costs. I have been putting more emphasis in my Instagram account and hope that will drive future growth. I believe more posts and the catalog of old posts will also increase visitors and viewership. I am currently working on setting up a mailing list to further hit on returning visitors and keep the blog growth steady.

Hopefully this gave you all some insight on what’s going on behind the scenes here at B^2, please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Until next time,

B^2

Sell or be sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life – Grant Cardone

What better way to start off a book review than a quote from the author, Grant Cardone, “I believe Sell to Survive to be the most important book written on selling in the last fifty years and vital to every person who is interested in making their dreams a reality. We have taken that book and reworked it, added material, updated it, and retitled it: Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life.”

So, let’s get this straight, you take the best book written in its genre in 50 years, make it better and add more to it, and you can read it. Wow. I will do my best to keep this informative and brief, I believe the chapter titles are self-explanatory for the most part, but I will try to clear up any ambiguity and include some important quotes from the text.

Chapter 1: Selling—A Way of Life

In this chapter Mr. Cardone explains how selling is part of our everyday lives from negotiating to getting others to like you, work with you, anything having to do with convincing, persuading or getting your way in life. Regarding people saying they could never work as a salesman and work on commission his answer is “Your entire life is a commission. There’s no salary guaranteed in life. The whole world is on commission and the whole world is required to sell!”

Chapter 2: Salespeople Make the World Go Round

“Selling is the last great truly free-enterprise opportunity available today; in sales, an individual can work for himself, be accountable to himself, and make his dreams come true.” If that doesn’t get your heart fluttering I don’t know what will! We all have dreams of some sort of freedom maybe its not being tied down to that 9-5 dead end job, maybe its becoming and entrepreneur, starting your own business etc. this opportunity rings toward that goal. It is solely up to you to work and make your money with no cap on your financial compensation, the more you sell the more you make! The economy relies on getting products in consumers hands, salespeople are responsible for this, which drives the behind the scenes action such as shipping, handling, production, storage, retailing etc.

Chapter 3: Professional or Amateur?

“I you want to get rich, learn how to sell.” This reverts to the first chapter regarding how everything in life is selling, this includes but is not limited to getting that promotion, girlfriend, job, negotiation, contract, opportunity etc. you will have to sell yourself to get all those things and you can become rich in whatever manner you want to define it. There are two mental barriers you must overcome to become a professional at selling. “1.) Selling is critical to your survival regardless of your career, and 2.) you must decide to become a professional and give up any idea that its something for others and not for you.” “The difference between mediocrity and greatness lies in being committed to the profession and being consumed by the desire to be great and the dedication to learn the trade.”

Chapter 4: The Greats

If you are familiar with Grant Cardone his books are not always directly about the subject at hand like sales for instance, he often incorporates life and career advice that is broad enough to encompass all professions. In this chapter he describes how to become one of the greats in your profession and the first step is to commit all the way. “Committing is when you make a firm decision, you quit wondering, and then you follow through on your commitment with actions.” “A burn the ship kind of mentality is what it takes to get you to a place where you’ll doo things that will ensure results.” So, you commit and put in 10X amounts of action and thought. How do you know when you become a professional or one of the Greats? Grant Cardone says that “the ability to predict is the first thing that happens when you become a professional,” this happens when you have experience nearly all the scenarios that arise and observe them objectively without emotion and assume responsibility for the faults and acting to correct them. Mr. Cardone did this by recording his phone calls and sales pitches, making note of his body language, and gestures, tone of voice and how he responded to objections.

Chapter 5: The Most Important Sale

Chapter 5 goes into the mental state required to be an excellent salesperson. Grant Cardone states that “In order to become a great salesperson, you have to sell yourself on what you’re selling.” and “the conviction that you have regarding your product is more important than the conviction that others have about their facts and figures.” This whole idea on becoming sold on your product or solution is what keeps you motivated and driven as well, this also requires a go all in attitude.

Chapter 6: The Price Myth

               This chapter proofs that price is not the ultimate deciding factor like most think it is. “Getting the sale isn’t about money; its ultimately about the buyer having confidence that the product is the right one.” Price also represents value in your product, if the price is too low the product is perceived to lose value or is not useful. “The buyer would rather pay more and make the right decision than pay less and make a mistake.” This emphasizes the move up not down paragraph explain that a price issue is often resolved with a more expensive product. The customer often may think that there is not enough value in a cheaper product and the reason price is the issue is because the option is too expensive for the results it will give. Also “salespeople, not the prospect, are the ultimate barriers to every sale”.

Chapter 7: Your Buyer’s Money

               The first section of this chapter explains how there is no shortage of money on this earth. The problem is your way of thinking of money and “If others have a difficult time getting money from you, you’ll never find it easy to get money from others.” On the note of repeat sales Mr. Cardone says, “second money is easier to get than first money”, once that trust gets established you will find it much easier to make repeat sales.

Chapter 8: You are in the People Business

               Salespeople must remember that they are selling products to customers, “that’s why its vital that salespeople know about people first and products second.” Grant Cardone says selling is 80% people and 20% product, so what do you think you should allocate your time to? Learning about the product or learning about the customers? The answer is clear, “learn to think like customers think” put on their shoes and your sales will increase. “True communication requires finding out what is important to people so you can identify what they actually want and then deliver it.”

Chapter 9: The Magic of Agreement

               “Always agree with the customer” even if they are wrong, even if they are full of shit, “agree as you write the deal; don’t disagree and fight the deal!” This is the number one rule and it is also the most violated by salespeople, you’re leaving sales on the table by not agreeing with the customer. “Agreement is senior to closing the deal”, Grant Cardone says this and to him the close is sacred!

Chapter 10: Establishing Trust

               First paragraph of this chapter explains the show don’t tell phenomenon, people believe what they see not what they hear, show them the facts and figures or how well the product works don’t just talk their ear off about it. Grant mentions how he used to keep an evidence manual with him to show his facts of what other customers had said about him because of doing business with him. This helps build trust with your buyer which is crucial in making the sale.

Chapter 11: Give, Give, Give

               It was mentioned in an earlier chapter that you are selling to people, not just selling your product to people. Part of the human experience with sales is the customer service and this chapter covers all that you need to know to service your customer. “Give all of you to your prospect, not just a part of you. Give all of your attention, all of your energy, all of your suggestions, all of your information, and then find some more of you to give! Exceed expectations and go all the way with him and then a bit further.” “Human beings are much more valuable than money. Treat them like that and you’ll be rewarded” Problems are also opportunities for future sales, service your customer when they have complaints or problems and you’ll probably be able to sell them later just with your customer service you showed them.

Chapter 12:  Hard Sell

               This chapter can be summed up with this one paragraph, “if you don’t truly believe that your product will somehow bring the buyer more enjoyment, benefit, or security than the numbers he has in the bank, then you’ll never be a great salesperson and you’ll never fully understand the concept of ‘hard sell.’ If you really believe and learn how to close, you’ll know someday what it means to hard sell. This is an art form!”

Chapter 13: Massive Action

               Refer to Mr. Cardone’s book, The 10X Rule, Link to the review can be found here: http://bsquared.website/2018/02/08/the-10x-rule-the-only-difference-between-success-and-failure/

Chapter 14: The Power Base

               This chapter is an obvious but overlooked solution to first starting off in sales. The power base refers to the people around you that you are familiar with, your friends, family, etc. and with those people in mind “the easiest sale you’ll ever make in your life is the one to those people who already know you, trust you, and want to help you.” Again obvious but overlooked, but you need to put in work to build your power base and rekindle those connections, face to face is the best way to get back in contact. Work hard on your power base and they will work hard for you and it has the ability to naturally grow wide and strong.

Chapter 15: Time

               The critical take away from this chapter is the lunch out. A mentor of Mr. Cardone when he was just starting out asked him why he went to lunch with his co-worker every day.  Grant answered they were friends and just naturally thought that was something normal to do. His mentor told him “he will never buy anything from you. Never!” from that moment on Mr. Cardone realized that he had to use that precious lunch break hour to make sales. Go out, be seen, know where your buyers go to lunch, today Mr. Cardone invests breakfast, lunch, and dinner to buyers and prospects and even long shots. Use every possible moment to sell.

Chapter 16: Attitude

               “People will pay more for an agreeable, positive and enjoyable experience than they will for a great product.” This chapter goes right in line with the Give, Give, Give chapter as well as the people business chapter. Mr. Cardone ends the chapter with seven tips for having a great attitude.

Chapter 17: The Biggest Sale of My Life

               As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Cardone includes life lessons as well as real life examples in his books, this chapter describes using the previously mentioned lessons and tactics how he made the biggest sale of his life, his wife, Elena.

Chapter 18: The Perfect Sales Process

               “The best salespeople I know are straight shooters. They don’t play games, they tell it like it is, and they know how to get the hob done without manipulations and tricks.”

  1. Greet
  2. Determine Wants and Needs
  3. Select Product and Present/Build Value
  4. Make Proposal
  5. Close the Transaction or Buyer Exits

Chapter 19: Success in Selling

               In order to demand consistent sales success, you have to:

  1. Decide you are ultimately responsible for the sale.
  2. Make it your duty, obligation, and responsibility to make the sale.
  3. Take massive amounts of action, followed by more action until the sale is made!
  4. Accept no excuses, reasons, or logic, and figure out how to make it work!
  5. Prepare yourself daily to handle all obstacles, stalls, reasons and barriers you will encounter with a client.

Chapter 20: Sales-Training Tips

               How sales training is supposed to be laid out and what creates a good sales training program.

Chapter 21: Create a Social Media Presence

               This book was written in 2012 and this chapter was in it. I think we can all see the power of social media today and its everyday presence in our lives. Now more than ever it is vital to have a social media presence, perhaps on multiple platforms to reach out to potential customers and other influencers.

Chapter 22: Quick Tips to Conquer the Biggest Challenges in Selling

               Lots of tips regarding the challenges you’ll face selling. Pretty self-explanatory check out the book for details.

There you have it, Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone! As always, the link to the book can be found below, I highly recommend reading it to anyone trying to increase their ability to sell or persuade in life. I think this can apply across all industries and careers. This book has had me consider taking a more sales-oriented internship this summer rather than an engineering-oriented internship as my major would suggest. We’ll see though and let you all know how it goes!

http://amzn.to/2HT9qs6

Until next time,

B^2

 

10 Ways to make Passive Income – Financial Education YouTube Channel

I recently read Jeremy’s book 10 Ways to Make Passive Income. For those of you who don’t know, Jeremy runs the Financial Education YouTube Channel and I’ve watched his videos for awhile now and I’ve read his other book Modern Long Term Stock Market Investing Secrets!

Let’s get to it shall we. Passive income has been the latest rant and rave the last couple years it seems like. If you look up hashtags on Instagram it has tons of posts, there are hundreds of YouTube videos and books talking about it and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to make money every second of everyday without putting in any active work. Some may say “No way! That’s too good to be true, make money every second of everyday without any work?!” Hold your horses there, it’s either going to take some sort of initial work or initial capital so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Jeremey says, “Passive income is when you create a product, service, or business in the past and you are able to make money from that for years to come with little or no ongoing effort.”

What are 10 Ways to make Passive Income?

  1. Real Estate- This is Jeremy’s least favorite, because it’s not passive until you get to a very large scale. I am a huge fan still and plan to get into real estate in the next year or two. Passive income from real estate involves owning property and renting it out, like houses, apartment buildings, land etc. The reason this isn’t passive is because on a small scale you would have to find tenants, fix anything broken, keep in contact with tenants and make sure they pay on time, don’t break anything etc. This becomes passive on a large scale when you own entire apartment buildings and can outsource everything and make enough money to pay for that extra help and still make a profit.

 

  1. YouTube- Jeremey follows up his least favorite passive income method with his favorite. He obviously runs a very successful YouTube channel (126,000+ subscribers at time of writing). He tries to make a good balance of evergreen and regular content. “Evergreen content is when you make videos around subjects that people will still be searching for months/years/decades from now.” Regular content is more short term relevant videos at the time of production but may not have that long-term aspect. Building an audience and your subscription base is critical to building passive income from YouTube and requires making a video almost every day for a year or two to build a large following unless you luck out with a viral video.

 

 

  1. Dividend Investing- Another one of my personal favorites would be investing in dividend paying companies. To do this effectively you would want to invest in 10-15 companies to diversify your portfolio and invest in companies with a competitive “moat” as well as 2+% dividend yields with consistent growth and dividend increases. A competitive moat means the company is in no danger of competition taking significant portions of its market share and it’s a stable industry.

 

  1. Podcasting – Similar to YouTube podcasting requires lots of demanding work and dedication to create a following. Once you have a strong following you can advertise and cross promote your podcast to different social media sites. Podcasters sometimes make most of their income from listeners donating money to them via Patreon, a donation site specifically for podcasting.

 

 

  1. Ebook Author- Jeremey has had a lot of success with his investing book and can speak from personal experience on the benefits of being an ebook author. Nowadays with Amazon Kindle and ebooks becoming so popular its never been easier to become an ebook author! He suggests that you write books and funnel your social media platforms to buy your book, if you don’t have a large social media following he suggests selling your book for free the first week and get lots of reviews and reads under your belt before you start charging for it. Another strategy he talks about is if you plan on writing a series to alternate free and paid books. For example, if you are writing a 5-book series perhaps make book 1, 3, and 5 free and charge for 2, 4.

 

  1. Affiliate Marketing- If you are familiar with the Financial Education channel then you have seen the affiliate marketing Jeremy does. For those of you who are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing basically you link ads from sites like amazon and when someone clicks on your link and buys something from the site within 24 hours you earn a commission on whatever was sold. Now this is like 3-6% but on big items like laptops, cameras, etc. that’s an easy $20 bucks or so. The key to affiliate marketing is its just a numbers game and you need a lot of link clicks. Say for instance if we are talking about the Financial Education YouTube channel he estimates that 1 out of 100 people who view his videos click on the link. Of those 1% he estimates 10% will buy something. If you do the math on that you need approximately 1000 views to get 1 affiliate sale. This is extremely passive though, once the link is there it is there and if you have something that people will view, read, or site people visit often then its there forever more or less and can keep bring in passive income for years to come if the linked item is still relevant and for sale. I participate in affiliate marketing and while I haven’t converted any sales I am still at the very low end of the numbers game, for example at the time of writing this post, I’ve had 16 link clicks so if the rule of numbers is the same as the Financial Education channel then around 100 clicks I should ideally have a conversion.

 

  1. Website- This essentially piggy backs off affiliate marketing. The idea is to create a website with stellar SEO, and lots of views and use that to generate affiliate sales via amazon or other retailers.

 

 

  1. Selling Stock Photos/Music- Making music and taking pictures are popular hobbies nowadays. If you have a talent in this area you can sell photos and music on sites like Alamy, Istock photo, Shutterstock, and AudioJungle. Generally, the site you choose will take a cut of your profits but again a nice passive income source because once your photo or music is on there its on there forever.

 

  1. Create an Online Course- This is probably the fastest growing segment of passive income. In recent courses on Udemy and Teachable have exploded. Jeremey has recently started doing this he currently offers an options course and a stock market training course and has made substantial passive income from it. He recommends using a platform like YouTube to offer free content and then offer premium content on a course website and charge for that.

 

 

  1. Sell on Amazon and have Amazon Manage Inventory- is also a popular fast-growing segment of the passive income world. Essentially create a product and send the product to amazon and let them sell it, stock it and delivery it. Of course, this takes a cut out of your profits by allowing Amazon to do the work instead of you but that is the point of passive income its not suppose to be active work everyday shipping product managing your inventory etc.

 

He finishes with an outro encouraging his readers to implement his advice to build multiple streams of income passively. This would ultimately lead to financial freedom and not be tied down to the old 9-5 job.

 

This book is short, took about 30-45 minutes to read and I’ve covered the material fairly well, because of this I would not recommend buying this book for several reasons. I have presented all the ideas of this book. The information can be found on his YouTube page @ Financial Education and there are plenty of other YouTubers covering the same material and perhaps going more in depth than the book.

 

With that I’ll leave you a question. What are you doing to build several streams of income passively?

I can say personally I am looking into getting in Real Estate soon. I currently invest rather heavily in dividend paying stocks, and peer to peer lending which produces passive income on the order of about $500 a year. This blog and the affiliate marketing I do on it clearly lends itself to passive income. I may dabble in some of the above-mentioned areas in the future but for now those listed above are my top priorities.