There are few guys as big, or as polarizing, as @GaryVee in the world of Social Media Marketing.

If you have no idea who Gary Vaynerchuk is, chances are, you aren’t in the social media space. And if you are in the social media space, you probably either love him or hate him.

He’s brash. He speaks his mind. He doesn’t pull punches or f-bombs. And I think that’s the reason people don’t like him. People that do like him, like him because he has become really successful, a great example of someone who boot-strapped their way from being an early social media adopter to running a successful digital agency. Many people also like him for the same reasons other people hate him: his no-bullshit way of expressing himself.

Gary Vee’s earlier books were all runaway successes. His last book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, is one I recommend to all of my classes to read.#askgaryvee

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness is something different. Gary Vee is not a writer, per se. He’s not an academic. His strengths lie elsewhere. Like in riffing in front of a camera, which is exactly what #AskGaryVee is, a daily video podcast, where essentially he answers questions he gets asked via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.

This book is a compilation of many of those questions, which he answers. So, the format is different than his past books, and the subject matter is different as well. In the past, he mostly stuck to social media, marketing, business. This book, though is more holistic. He ventures into personal territory, and also tackles topics like HR, leadership, and life-work balance.

Here are some key takeaways:

Clouds and dirt: Gary’s philosophy is focused on his values (clouds) and the every day execution of his business (dirt). The middle stuff, he lets go. The clouds give you focus around values and goals, and the dirt is the every day tasks you do to get you there.

Values: speaking of his values, they are family and football, but they also include:

  • Patience: “there is no immediate gratificaton when it comes to business. You can do amazing things, and get nothing back for a good long while.
  • Word is Bond: something he was taught by his dad, when he makes a commitment to something, he sticks to it. A good thing for us all in business.
  • Empathy: he talks a lot in the book about supporting his employees, but empathy also extends to his social media presence. Listening on social media is something that it seems like we’ve lost in later days, especially on Twitter. I miss those days, and honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m part of the problem. Listen. Empathize. People will come to you.
  • Gratitude: For someone who comes off as pretty brash, Gary Vee is a pretty humble guy. And that comes from an attitude of gratitude. I think this is important for us all–the moment we forget where we came from and what we had–that’s the moment we transition from being of service (which is a huge part of his philosophy) to being all about ourselves. And we all know people out there who are doing that.

All in all, an insightful snapshot into the mind of a very successful entrepreneur, but I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I liked his last few books. You see, I’m here to learn stuff–to get valuable tips and tricks. And the book has those–but it also has some other stuff in there that I don’t really care about all that much. Like the Jets. While I respect his passion for the Jets, it’s just not my jam.

Should you buy this book? Yup, absolutely. I think Gary Vee’s work should be recommended reading for anyone in the social media space. My copy has lots of underlines and dog ears–there certainly was a lot I got out of this book. But it’s not as focused as some of his past books, so if you’re looking for something more prescriptive, just know going in that this might not be it.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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