The Last Splurge

If you follow Grant Cardone at all he preaches increasing income above all else. The 2nd step in the process is to reduce taxes. I have done a relatively good job of that thus far, my internship allowed me to dictate how much income I make because it was a 100% commission job. I have tracked all receipts and have started researching how to minimize my tax bill this upcoming spring as well. The third step in his cycle is to save specifically “save it all”. This requires you to live your daily life without increasing your cost of living while you increase your income.

We see people violating this rule every day, some guy gets a promotion at work makes an extra $10k a year and goes out and celebrates by purchasing a new BMW. That promotion and pay increase did not make any difference since he increased his cost of living. He probably would have been better off getting a $5k pay increase and not blowing the money on material things.

I never was into blowing my money, here and there I would “treat yo self” but nothing drastic. Last summer at the end of my internship which paid me quite well and was a decent increase from the previous year ($150 more a week) I bought my only watch and a piece of wall art. That was my form of treating myself which came out to be about $250.

This summer by the time it is over and with bonuses included as well as any lingering payments I should avg a pay increase of about $350 more a week (no living stipend though) than last summer. I should be able to reduce my tax bill because of my 1099 status this year substantially. (I received about $1300 back last year, but I also had taxes taken out every paycheck and I am not taxed under my current pay system yet.) So, check box 1 and 2 for Mr. Cardone. I should also note I didn’t upgrade my standard of living during this time. I currently live in the cheapest apartment my roommate and I could find that would be able to accommodate a 3-month lease. It is cockroach infested and is pretty hood for a $400 a person month rent ($450 for 3-month lease). I drive the same car, I wear the same clothes, I buy the same food, I buy the same beer, and spend the same amount at the bars.

Onto box #3 spending: Looking over my expenses which I track to the penny, we’re looking pretty good. I went over them in a blog post about halfway through the summer and you can check them out here. I spent some extracurricular on/with my girlfriend for the vacation and everything like that. I also spent some money at the bars and on booze and other non-constructive habits and vices, but that was minimal. Overall, I didn’t blow any of my money. That is until this upcoming weekend.

I plan to spend a bunch of money when I return to home and go shopping with the girlfriend Saturday. I WANT new clothes, new shoes, a new suit, and some other Knick knacks. I say want and not need because that’s just what they are. The clothes I wear are fine but perhaps a bit dated. Some of my shorts and shirts I often wear I purchased 3-4 years ago and some are not in the best condition. I’d still wear them though, so it isn’t necessary I purchase new ones. Essentially this shopping trip is to purchase my “adult clothes” things that I will need in the future after I graduate college. That is why I call it the last splurge. This theoretically should get me the next two years or so of my life in terms of clothing and what not and would be considered the “treat yo self” portion of my saving.

Some of these purchases have been a long time coming for example the suit I currently wear I’ve owned for about 5 years, and I received a gift card for the purchase of a new suit last Christmas. The watch I purchased previously was intended to go with this new suit I plan to purchase. With upcoming interviews for full time jobs and the networking, events and other occasions I plan to attend you could consider this an investment in my dated wardrobe.

So, what do you all think? A waste of time and money or a much-needed update to prepare myself for what comes in my future.

 

 

Dividend Update 8-5-18

Dividends have been an important goal of mine all summer, for those of you who don’t know I am a student so for the next several months (August-May) I will produce very little income because I do not work during the school year. I may however pick up a side hustle in the Spring as I will have lots of free time due to a low-class load and less rugby responsibilities. For me to fund my investment accounts and keep things fluid more or less, I need to either A) sell my positions for profit and reinvest the earnings or B) produce dividend income to fund new positions.

Obviously, I do intend to profit from my investments however we don’t always know what lays ahead in the stock market and what opportunities may present themselves, so dividend income is safer bet. Below is where we left off from the 6-3-18 dividend update:


Ticker cost avg percent yield   share # year equivalent
CEFL $17.72 14.73%   11 $28.71
OHI $27.12 9.73%   5 $13.20
AAPL $157.51 1.85%   1 $2.92
PG $74.40 3.86%   2 $5.74
F $11.30 5.31%   60 $36.00
STAG $25.85 5.49%   20 $28.40
O $55.78 4.71%   27 $71.01
CBL $4.56 17.54%   5 $4.00
TTS $6.73 2.97%   15 $3.00
        a year in dividends $192.98
        percent of total 2.41%

 

Forward projection of dividends was $192.98 yielding 2.41% with 66% of that comprised of monthly paying dividend stocks. Respectable but nonetheless I wanted to improve my monthly income as well as my overall dividend income.

As of 8-5-18 here are the current stats:

Ticker cost avg percent yield dividend/share share # year equivalent
CEFL $16.92 14.36% $2.43 16 $38.88
LB $32.36 7.42% $2.40 10 $24.00
T $31.89 6.27% $2.00 10 $20.00
STAG $25.85 5.49% $1.42 20 $28.40
F $11.19 5.36% $0.60 80 $48.00
O $55.78 4.73% $2.64 27 $71.28
PG $74.40 3.86% $2.87 2 $5.74
AAPL $157.51 1.85% $2.92 1 $2.92
        $239.22
        2.81%

 

Forward projection of dividends at $239.22 (increase of 24% in 2 months), yielding 2.81% on the entire portfolio. Approximately 58% of dividend payouts comprised of monthly paying dividends. I should also note that I also improved my dividend outlook on the investing app “Stash” I never crunched the numbers on that, but I added 2 positions that had dividend yields and I have another position I plan to add here shortly.

Overall, I am very pleased with the increase on all fronts, the snowball has essentially started to roll, and we should see significant payoffs in the future. I would eventually like to yield 3%+ on my Robinhood portfolio however my 2 largest positions currently do not pay a dividend.

If you follow my Instagram you may have seen the table that compares 2017 to 2018 dividends per month. (If you don’t follow my Instagram it is @bsquared.website) I started tracking dividends in June 2017 and comparing June and July of ’17 vs. ’18 you can see I have doubled the dividend income in both months and August also posts a double (soon to be triple) return as well.

As you can see we have quite a bit of momentum built up and I am looking to continue that trend. I do believe we will have a tough time achieving the goal of $500 dividend income in 2018. (Currently at $171.49) The progress has been great thus far and I will be adding approximately $1250 to the Robinhood portfolio in the coming weeks and pending the opportunities I see should increase dividends even further.

As always let me know what you think! This is not a strictly dividend portfolio, I try to have some growth and value plays in there as well. As you can tell by my situation however the cash flow and fluidity help my situation tremendously. Feel free to drop a comment of reach out to me on IG or twitter @bsquaredweb10

Thanks!

B^2

Premier Roofing Update 7/31/18

Hey I’m back and its only been 8 days but lots of good things have happened so let’s jump right into it. The previous update from 7/23/18 had the following stats below, followed by the new stats:

Presented Roofs: 86                97

Signed Roofs: 25                    43

PFYNR’s: 9                            18

Built: 5                                    8

Massive massive improvement thanks to an 11-roof investment property lead and success in the new neighborhood. I still have lots of potential customers to follow up with and PFYNR’s to close. This next week and a half is going to require 100% effort to achieve the results I want but it is entirely possible. My new goal is to make $17,000 from this internship and while I am quite a ways out according to my current stats ($6,600 made) I have a $3000 check coming Friday, I am currently at $1200 dollars made this week with 2 more days to go. I have $2200 riding on the PFYNR’s for the rental properties, as well as a bonus of $2000+ I will surely hit by the end of this week and will be received after I have completed the internship. With all that factoring in it is not unreasonable for me to hit that figure above! Again, an all-out effort is going to be required and I’m grinding it out every day knocking doors, following up with customers doing my best to crush it and keep pushing for the top of the leaderboard. Speaking of which I am about 5th in the company currently which is much better than about 25th which was the case in the previous update. I am gunning for the top spot and I believe that if my pipeline comes through and I continue to be successful in this new neighborhood that I will have a strong chance of achieving that. The #1 spot is held by a fellow intern at the KC branch I work at with 53 sales. I believe this is his last week working which provides a terrific opportunity to make up the ground next week!

As always, I will keep you posted and show you how it all turns out this summer. Stay tuned!

 

 

Personal Finance Overview 7/17/18

Personal finances overview for this summer:

Have you ever taken a hard look at your personal finances? I mean a hard look, like track every transaction, every paycheck, every bill you pay? Two years ago, I started tracking my personal finances during my co-op and internships. It has really opened my eyes to what I spend money on every day and gives me a better idea of where I am at with my finances. Let’s look at how I’ve been doing this summer!

finances

Above is a snip of my master spreadsheet for this summer. It contains all my expenses, paychecks, investments, some of my goals etc. Let’s go over this briefly to get a sense of what is going on. In color coded column is a category, from left to right: food, gas, fun, gym, girlfriend, bullshit. Sorry you’ve got your own column Nikki, but you cost some money and I’m not going to put you down at the bullshit level.

Anyways let’s analyze each column starting with food. Obviously, this is critical as you need food to survive and it’s a very basic need, I have included any eating out (fast food, restaurants etc.) as well as coffee and energy drinks and things of that nature. I work from my car and my job is pretty demanding out in the heat and having considerable amounts of energy is vital to my success so while I could opt for cheaper energy substitutions (majority of my coffee is from Starbucks) it is a necessary evil for me to preform well. Considering all of that, I average just under $300 a month over a 2-month span for my food consumption and it will hopefully taper down to $250 when I near the end of the summer.

Next up is gas, again a very necessary portion of my job is I must drive a lot and I also travel back home and back to school on occasion (200+ mile trips one way). At just under $200 a month on gas, I do go back to STL this upcoming weekend but that should be my last trip home besides actually going home for the summer, hopefully we can reduce that expenditure a tad and I can drive more efficiently.

Fun money! This is the column I try to minimize the most, as you can see I have some of paid subscription services but in my defense, I pay for the Netflix for my whole family and my brother and I use Spotify and I pay for it all. But besides that, you see alcohol and tobacco costs taking up the bulk of this column, I will have a substantial increase here as I will be paying for copious amounts of alcohol this weekend. Its gonna be litty titty.  This column will make its way up to $200 a month without a doubt here shortly.

Gym: If you didn’t already know my health and fitness is very important to me as I am a rugby player and have been lifting all my teenage years. The gym membership was a large upfront cost and I should have enough supplements to get me through the rest of the summer, hopefully this column ends at about $60-75 a month in costs.

Girlfriend: Sorry not sorry but you cost me some money this summer babe. Mainly in plane tickets to vacation but also lots of food and nice little gifts. Again, I wasn’t going to put it in the bullshit column so it gets its own column. There probably won’t be any additions to this column for the remainder of the summer so hopefully ending around $200 a month on this one.

Bullshit: this one is a toughie. To preface, this isn’t all bullshit like obviously I need to pay rent and to live somewhere but that’s what I called the column even when I wasn’t paying rent, so I stuck with the title. As you can see we have a deposit and lots of rent, I am paying 2 rents right now, one for Rolla (college town) and one for here in KC this summer. That started in July and my KC august rent will be low and the Rolla rent will increase slightly so it’ll lighten the load overall, but July rent sucked up a lot of my money. We have electric and internet bills, they both had start up fees, so they have since flatlined and we’ll only need to pay another month of two of those. Some of my supplies for work cost me a decent chunk of change including ladders, shoes, clothes, but those can be tax write offs as well. I also got my first ever speeding ticket this year which cost me $220 to get it moved to a non-moving violation. Anyways this is the largest chunk of my costs but hopefully with august being a short month it will taper down, and I can get my deposit back and we can wash our hands of this.

As of today July 17, 2018, my monthly costs of living is $2,134.50, I’m not sure if that is a lot or a little compared to most of the people reading this. I don’t have kids, I live in a cockroach invested shit hole of an apartment, I am partially paying for two rents, I eat cheap, etc. My assumption would be yes this is very cheap cost of living. I would like to reduce it further though. As I’ve stated above for some of the columns they should not increase anymore and as father time keeps ticking my avg cost per month will reduce. I had the goal of $1500 a month this summer however that was way underestimated and simply won’t be possible, I would like to have a cost of living under $2,000 though I think that would be very reasonable considering the circumstances.

My monthly conversion for what I am paid comes out to $3,033 a month. To me this is extremely low and pisses me off, (salary equivalent = $36,400) because I made $50k salary + living stipend last summer, and I am working significantly harder than I did last summer. My numbers should bump up soon and I will get a bonus as well at the end of the summer which will help. My goal was to make an equivalent of $60,000 salary from this job and I am very very far behind that goal.

As always let me know what you think!

Do you keep track of your personal finances? Do you keep track like this?

Could you benefit from tracking like this?

How do your expenses compare with your income?

Thanks, B^2

 

 

Premier Roofing Week 2 and 3

Sorry to keep you guys waiting on the update for my internship. I was out of town for the holiday weekend so my week 2 and 3 were discontinuous so I decided to group them together as best as I could. Overall week 2 went alright, I was out on my own going door to door and managed to make 2 sales that week while still putting a lot of time and effort into my training. I was still without WI-FI so that was rough, but my roommate also arrived in town so at least I wasn’t alone anymore. Week 3 is where I hit a stroke of luck. I managed to get 2 more sales and I sold a group of 6 rental properties bring my total up to 8 for that week! I was awarded the “Ace of the Week” for premier roofing and earned my rookie stripes (10 total sales). In addition to 8 sales I also had a PFYNR (prepare for your new roof meeting) where the customer and I discuss the two estimates and pick shingle colors etc. That earned me a little bit more for that pay period! That impressive performance and a little bit of luck that week earned me $1000 and some cool Knick knacks from the company.

As I am coming to the end of this week’s pay period (Thursday at midnight) I am not really looking at a big week like I had before. I have several potential sales in the pipeline and a PFYNR scheduled for Thursday afternoon. As of now it looks like I’ll be under my draw ($500) this week unfortunately. This may work in my best benefit however because this next pay period is looking quite juicy, several PFYNR’s, several sales in the pipeline, a sale already scheduled for Monday etc. I may be trading a poor week for a stellar week. Unfortunately, I still have plenty of ground to make up, as of this paycheck on Friday I will be $1500 short of what I was making last summer, granted that is to be expected in your first couple weeks as you aren’t making nearly the sales or the higher commission portions of the process in your first 2 weeks. I would like to see this next pay periods paycheck north of $2,000 though as I have investments to make, money to save, bills to pay, and necessities to buy. If you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram posts you can see I have some ambitious goals to tackle this June and I am trying to fire at all cylinders always to achieve that. To name a few, $25k net worth, $1000 savings, 30 sales and 200 notes for lending club. We’ll see what I can do to achieve that, I believe that since this is my last week of time consuming training for work that I will be able to better invest my time into passive income efforts, this blog and making wise investment choices.

As always feel free to leave a comment below!

B^2

Dividend Update 6/3/18

Hope everyone is doing well. As you may know I do a decent bit of investing centered around income and dividend growth. The appeal of constant cash flow, passive income, and free money has always intrigued me. As we closed out May I just wanted to share where I am at with my dividend situation. I have been focusing less on dividends than I did before, I obviously need some growth and value stocks since I am very young and have time to weather any storms. Shown below is a table containing my monthly dividend income, months in green are closed out and my June 2018 isn’t filled in either.

Dividend tracking 2017 2018
January $0.00 $12.86
February $0.00 $28.19
March $0.00 $33.18
April $0.00 $15.35
May $0.00 $17.71
June $12.54 $10.62
July $6.39
August $5.55
September $20.68
October $17.86
November $23.12
December $28.13
$114.27 $117.91
Goal: $125 $500

 

As you can see I narrowly fell short of my 2017 goal and I set my 2018 goal when I was very ambitious and into dividend stocks. Considering I have no active income during the school year building up a strong dividend portfolio is very important to me but perhaps not $500 in a year important. The graph below depicts the table above and we are finally at the point where we can start to see some overlap and how my dividends have improved and grown since I started tracking them in June of 2017.

div graph.png

The table below shows the various dividend stocks I own, their percent yield per my cost average, number of shares, year total payout, and my total payout and percentage compared to my total invested amount. As you can see if I want to reach that $500 in dividend income in 2018 there’s some serious catching up to do! Overall, I am yielding 2.41% compared to the SPY yield of 1.60% which isn’t bad. Like I said there isn’t as much focus on dividends as I’ve had in the past. My next purchases I would like to make would be some CBL unfortunately it shot up in price recently but a $100 investment in it would produce quite a bit of extra cash to work with every quarter. Maybe some more PG while its still cheap and O is currently my 3rd largest position in my portfolio and I try to add to it whenever I can when its down and those monthly dividends help tremendously when you have no income for 9 months of the year.

Ticker cost avg percent yield   share # year equivalent  
CEFL $17.72 14.73%   11 $28.71  
OHI $27.12 9.73%   5 $13.20  
AAPL $157.51 1.85%   1 $2.92  
PG $74.40 3.86%   2 $5.74  
F $11.30 5.31%   60 $36.00  
STAG $25.85 5.49%   20 $28.40  
O $55.78 4.71%   27 $71.01  
CBL $4.56 17.54%   5 $4.00  
TTS $6.73 2.97%   15 $3.00  
        a year in dividends $192.98  
        percent of total 2.41%  

 

So, let me know what you think! Any dividend stocks on your radar? Any you think I should sell or buy?

As always let me know in the comments!

B^2

End of May Goal Review

Long time no see guys. I apologize for all of that. On the bright side I think I finally made it over the hump as far as training for work, however as I am doing better I am now becoming busier with various meetings and trying longer and harder to sell to keep the money rolling in. So as far as future goals we’ll see how those go, I may go back to month to month-based goals as that enables me to look at the big picture perspective.

Unfortunately, I never took a before picture, but here is where I ended.

IMG_1328

As you can see starting from the top I came short on the blog and the social media aspects. I could’ve tried harder and put more work into it, but with the not getting WIFI at my apartment for 2 weeks and all the issues I had to deal with at the complex and learning everything for work it was probably a good thing to but that on the back burner. Same goes to click through rate and blog posts as they are tied together. I do have 3 referrals for Bespoke Post however I don’t think anyone has bought anything yet because I haven’t received any instore credit. I did finish the book “Rise and Grind” by Daymond John and I loved it. It had some of the other big names I’ve been reading like Gary Vee and Grant Cardone and some smaller ones that I like, for example the 2 guys that created the MVMT watches which I own. Side money came in low but oh well, I need to focus less on that and more on sustainable passive income and work on making more active income will I have the opportunity this summer to grow my income more than ever before. I had an incredibly ambitious goal of 20 sales for Premier Roofing by the end of the month, I only was able to really work 2.5 weeks for that and I had 12 and the best guy in the office had 16 with 3 weeks so I wasn’t far behind the leader.

I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated with what I am doing?

Also, yay or nay on the selfie video style format on Instagram? Let me know.

Internship: Week 1

If you haven’t heard yet, I am interning at Premier Roofing Company in Kansas City as one of their sales reps this summer. This is far different from my previous co-op (Samtec, various engineering positions) and my internship (Caterpillar, manufacturing engineer). So far, it’s going well, I have learned the sales script and I am currently assigned to 3 blocks of a street which is about 92 houses. I was training with my supervisor from Tuesday to Thursday out on the streets going door to door and inspecting roofs. We made a sale on Tuesday and Wednesday but had no luck Thursday. Today (Friday May 18, 2018) was my first day out on my own for my current territory. I hit the streets at 2pm and went through any remaining houses that we have not spoken to the owners yet out of the 92 on my list, I made it through the first round of door knocks by 3:30 and I had time to kill and I went down the street to the local Starbucks and got to use the Wi-Fi. You quickly realize how much you take Wi-Fi for granted when you don’t have it and neither does your place of work (the streets that is, the office has Wi-Fi). I was back out on the streets at 4:30ish and did another lap through my territory and I was able to inspect 2 roofs, 1 had appropriate damage and 1 was essentially brand new, a 1-year old roof. Couldn’t close the damaged roof and we will follow up with that customer in the coming weeks. I did have 3 major downfalls today, 1.) a potential sale said that her and her husband wanted to wait on filing the claim, 2.) I tried to get my yard sign in the yard of one of the roof’s we inspected with a woman waiting to file a claim and she did not let me put the sign up, 3.) a house that we got approved by the adjuster to replace, her neighbor that shares the garage with her didn’t even want an inspection so that will cause some headaches in the future.

Anyway, looking ahead, I have this weekend with my 3 blocks still, we are approaching the 80% saturation rate we are looking to accomplish. I believe I counted 32/44 house saturation on my first section of the neighborhood. This comes out to 73% saturation and I am at 6 door knocks for most of my houses, so we’ll see what this weekend brings. They are calling for scattered thunderstorms for Saturday and Sunday which could cause some issues. Hopefully I can close some deals and start boosting up this next upcoming paycheck. My first paycheck comes in Friday which includes my training flat rate and my 2 sales with my supervisor. My next paycheck currently only includes the training flat rate.

With the end of the month soon approaching my credit card bill is due as well as June rent, on the Brightside my roommate gets here Sunday afternoon, so I will have someone to talk to and do things with.

Continue to look for updates about my internship, the stock market, and what I am reading/reviewing. I am pushing and shoving this summer and I finally got settled into my job and the apartment and everything so it’s going to be full speed ahead from now on.

If you have any tips on getting off work on a sales job of this sort, please let me know! I have tons of other commitments this summer, however, everything is on the weekends and that is my prime selling time. I know I won’t be able to go to everything and see everyone but there are critical times that I need to go attend to other business and my hope is to outperform all my peers in this job and that would give me some leeway with my schedule.

As always, thanks for reading and leave a comment below!

B^2

End of April- Mid May goal review

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted in awhile life has been hectic per usual and currently trying to adjust to my new schedule, job, location, current living conditions etc. all at the same time. I’ll get into that at the end of this article but first let’s dive into what brought you here today.

My previous goal review post left you all with this update

IMG-0402

I made some progress in the last portion of April despite initiation, classes, tests etc. and I ended here.

IMG_0440

Main differences are a small bump in visitor s and IG posts however both fell short of their mark. Side money dropped significantly because I included my losses from options trading. I pumped out another 3 blog posts and 2 more clicks on amazon affiliates which was amazing to see.

All things considering, I would call that a strong finish to April considering what all was going on. Now let’s get to May and how crazy this month has already been. Here were the goals I set out to reach.

IMG_0441

All of these were like what I have been striving to do this entire year nothing out of the ordinary, but wow did the train get derailed or what. First, I had dead week and finals coming up in early May both of which are incredibly strenuous and busy with schoolwork, tests, projects all coming down on the final two weeks of class along with all the social events of initiation, 21st birthdays, senior wills etc. etc. Then there was moving to Kansas City and my internship. Both of which have been huge adjustments. For one I have had all sorts of problems with moving into my apartment (had to do that a day late and ran errands all Monday to get that sorted out.) I still do not have Wi-Fi in my apartment, so I am writing and posting this article at a McDonald’s booth. My new job is very different from anything I have ever done in my life. Door to Door sales is in a world of its own and after completing my first actual day on the streets I can say without a doubt that I need to practice more before tomorrow’s door knocking. This has required lots of training outside of my working hours which cuts into Bsquared time. After all of that considered here’s where I’m at.

IMG_0582.png

This was updated as of tonight and reflects the two weeks I have put into these goals. Unfortunately I did not make it as far as I wanted. I also don’t know how much I can progress this summer, I am hoping that once I get the internship down and I have less memorizing and practicing and some Wi-Fi in nmy apartment I will be more effective in my blogging world. I also plan to bring what I have gained and learned from this internship to my viewers and try to bring some value to your experience here on this site.

Thanks,

B^2

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!

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