I like Gary Vaynerchuk and give the guy a ton of credit. He’s full of energy, very passionate and good at inspiring people to get off their ass and do something. But (and a BIG but) I have to be critical because what he preaches is seldom reality for most people and usually just doesn’t work.
His story is something like this: 1) Follow your passion 2) Build a business around it 3) Cash in. To this, he adds stuff like “look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself ‘what do I want to do every day for the rest of my life?’… do that. I promise you can monetize that shit” Well, guess what? That shit doesn’t usually work.
I completely support the notion of following your passion (in anything you do in life). But building a business around it and, more importantly, trying to cash in is not realistic for 99.9% of people out there. Nor will it bring more happiness. In fact, it will probably bring you more stress and leave you cash strapped compared to your cushy corporate job.
The reality is this: sure, you can start a blog on Alf if you are passionate about Alf. You might even get some decent traffic, but after the initial excitement of creating something new wears off, you’ll be busting your ass for a project that you can barely monetize to help cover your bills.
The funny thing is that most people think entrepreneurs are happier than “normal” employees that are working for companies because they live an autonomous life and control their own destiny. Bullshit. The majority of entreprenuers have taken the entrepreneurial route and are where they are because they are misfits, have ADD and don’t fit into the corporate structure.
Of course, what the general public sees is the 0.1% success cases, including Gary, that have made it and hit the proverbial “home run”. I’m not saying it’s impossible nor do I want to hate on anyone’s dreams of trying to pursue an entrepreneurial venture. But there is a hard dose of reality missing from Gary’s presentations that seem to undermine what it really takes to run a successful business (awesome team + great product/service + the right market conditions, etc.) and the many risks associated with taking the plunge to follow your passion.
But at the end I guess telling people to crush it and cash in on your passion is more easily packaged and sold than actually done. I would too if I was as good as Gary.