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Conclusion

I’m often asked what I’ve learned in the years since I published Crush It! The answer is this: I was right. Social media does equal business. Innovation makes people uncomfortable. We should care desperately about everything, yet not care at all what anyone else thinks. Someone will always be trying to tear you down. Talent has little value without patience and persistence. Success takes a shitload of work, and the people who ultimately break through and crush it are those who get all that and go for their dreams anyway.

I want you to find your courage and go for it. Somewhere out there is a middle-aged engineer, a single-parent exterminator, or a department store sales clerk trying to get through school who is reading this book and thinking, Man, I fucking hate this job. But I love pizza. I’m going to start a YouTube channel and become the next Mario Batali. People will think it’s a ridiculous idea, just as people thought I was ridiculous when I wrote Crush It! But it’s not ridiculous. It’s not even sweetly optimistic. The proof is in the pudding. When I wrote Crush It!, I was basically just telling the world what I had done to grow a wine store in New Jersey. Now as I write, I’m a judge on Apple’s first original show.

I hope this book has inspired you to change your life for the better. People often tell me they want to be like me. I’d rather you be like you, but if you really want to be like me, quit being a student of entrepreneurship and start doing the goddamn work. If you do, this will be the last business book you’ll need to read. Success will happen faster for some people than for others, but if you’re loving life and doing what you feel you were born to do, you’ll be going in the right direction. Stay the course. It pays to be brave. If it helps, think of me as the shield between you and all the negativity out there. Believe me, I’ve heard every criticism and weathered every insult. I’ve had to defend my position thousands of times, and I’ve faced disappointments. I’ve taken all the punches, and I’m not only still standing, but I’m stronger than ever. There is nothing anyone can throw at you that they haven’t already thrown at me. If I can stomach it, so can you—if you want to crush it badly enough.

Remember, you’re not trading in your day job for an easier life—there’s nothing easy about becoming an entrepreneur and influencer. You’re trading it in for a different life, one with more flexibility and fun. Chad Collins (Twitter: @chadcollins) credits Crush It! with helping him create his seven-figure companies and two Guinness World Record–breaking fan festivals, LEGO Brick Fest Live and Minefaire, out of a YouTube channel he created with his seven-year-old daughter. Collins actively tried to avoid the entrepreneurial life, because he knew how hard it could be. “I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, and when it was going well, awesome. When it was bad, it was really bad. I made a choice to work for The Man on purpose.” But he wasn’t happy being an “intrapreneur,” and when he saw a chance to create the life of his dreams, he jumped. He believes the experience has primed his daughter for success, too, no matter what path she pursues. “Jordyn was interviewed by Time for Kids, which featured her on the site’s home page. Since she turned nine, she has run the LEGO trivia presentation at the events. She owns it. She creates her own PowerPoint presentation. Seeing how it got started, she knows she will be able to accomplish anything she wants to. She and my son have seen it all play out. She’ll succeed as long as she keeps the confidence that she has and applies it to whatever she does.” Yes, she will. And so will anyone willing to take a risk and take the principles of this book to heart. Please, please, just try, if not for yourself, then for the people you love who are watching you and who want you to be happy.

You know where we are in this game? We haven’t even heard the national anthem. We haven’t even gotten to the parking lot. I cannot wait to see what platforms we’re talking about in nine more years. I’m never afraid of the future. It’s practically a national sport to reminisce about how much easier and slower life was in the past. People wonder if we’re sacrificing something irreplaceable, perhaps even changing the human condition, as we become increasingly obsessed with speed and productivity. I don’t worry about it because we are simply doing what we’ve always done, what we were probably born to do. We wax nostalgic, but our actions betray us. How many people above the age of thirteen in America do not have a cell phone? Practically no one. As long as we exist, humans will continue to embrace whatever inventions and innovations offer us the most speed and convenience. You’re not going to lose your soul if you do this. In fact, if you’re truly an entrepreneur, you’re going to get it back.

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