I’ve read inspiring books – many of them. But none has been so powerful that it has made me cry. I’ve cried at the end of novels or in biographies but never before in business. But I did cry when I read this line, and I’m admitting to it.
I’m on an airplane back home and reading Crush It on my Kindle (see my first review of Crush It here). Here’s the part that made me cry:
“Making connections, creating and continuing meaningful interaction with other people, whether in person or in the digital domain, is the only reason we’re here.”
Did you get that?? Does it feel as true to you as it does to me? That is a bold and a spiritual statement because it honors each person we share this planet with as having worth. Not because we earned it, but just because we are.
Why is this so powerful? It’s a rare and radical concept. I see people declare war on their inbox [on Twitter]. Generally speaking, the bigger someone gets the less accessible they are. It’s moving to me, that this is not Gary’s intention because his values dictate his business. No wonder people are willing to go out of their way to help him sell books. This transcends marketing.
His message gives a sense of accountability to everything you do because in essence he’s saying that the Internet captures you forever. That is, there is a record of you that is permanent (whatever that means) and searchable and that people will be able to see who you are longer than you are alive. Once we’re in this conversation, we’re each writing our biographies in scattered pieces around the web.
“No matter how big you get, every email, every customer, every friend, every single person whom you come into contact matters and deserves respect and attention. “
Gary tells the story about how he heard that his company had lost an order for a case of wine days before Christmas. It was too late to ship it so it would arrive in time, so at the busiest time of year, he got in his car and drove 6 hours round trip to deliver the wine to his customer personally. And she was an old lady with no particular influence in society or online. He did it because of his belief in the value of each person. Would I think of doing that? Hell no. Would I now after reading this book? Yes!
This inspires me and though I try to argue with myself I admit that I concur. And I remember that when I spoke at the American Muslim Consumer Conference, I asked the audience to connect with me. I listed my Facebook, Twitter and email accounts. They saw my slide that showed I had 200+ unread messages on Facebook. And that diluted my message. Because what I was really saying is that I might connect with you if I find you relevant to me. And that’s not quite authentic.
Want to know what is? Look at my comments…I’m sure that one day there will be one from Gary. I want you to look for it. I’m going to be.
You know how movies capture our attention by having something unexpected at the end – clips of actors goofing off or a joke? I love how Gary does this in his book. After the credits have rolled (and Harper Collins is very tersely forbidding sharing ANY of the content of this book which is about people letting their people openly talk about their own brand) there is an unexpected closing remark that just makes the book.
Another favorite quote from “Crush It!”
The internet is only 14 yrs old or so. It hasn’t even had sex. It has already Crushed It & it’s not done yet.
People still underestimate the reach of this thing [speaking about the internet]. So if you want some inspiration mixed with some practical formulas for crushing it online, this is your book. Maybe it will inspire you too.