In December  I went up to Toronto to hear Gary Vaynerchuk speak. He said something that’s really stuck with me.

Gary was knee deep into his keynote; maybe it was more like a rant. Gary’s extremely passionate, and he doesn’t hold back when giving a talk.

Gary’s Crush It pitch in a nutshell: Follow your passion. Life is too short not to follow your passion. If you crush it – you can make a living from your passion.

Then Gary addressed some questions:

“But Gary, I work from 9-5 to support my wife and kids. I don’t get home until 6:30, and by that time I’m exhausted. How on earth would I have time to create a business around bass fishing?”

Gary’s response was stark and to the point. “Turn off the next 20 episodes of Mad Men – stop voting on American Idol – put your head down, get to work and shut the &^%$ up.”

He explained:

“Yes, you’re going to be tired if the only hours to work on you are between 9pm and 2am.

Yes, it’s going to suck.

Yes, it’s going to require patience.

But you know what, if you want it badly enough, you can find the time.”

However, it’s all about where we put your time and energy. TMZ and Perez Hilton may need to wait. The Biggest Loser will always have severely overweight people to help.

I understand that Gary was making a generalization that TV may be the main culprit for most people’s lack of time, but I think that’s exactly what it was, a generalization. We can all find a bit of extra time to do things that matter to us.

I found it interesting to see the same concept show up recently in  “Rework.”  (another must buy, book  if you haven’t read it already, is – my review here)

Jason and David write:

“The most common excuse people give: “There’s not enough time.” They claim they’d love to start a company, learn an instrument, market an invention, write a book…but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Come on. There’s always enough time if you spend it right, instead of watching TV or playing World of Warcraft. Work on your idea…The truth is, most people don’t want it badly enough. Then they protect their ego with the excuse of no time. It’s entirely your responsibility to make your dreams come true.

I’ve used the excuse before, but have now realized that I was just making excuses.

For example, I used to say, “I didn’t have time to read”, but in December I flicked off my TV, and now I’ve read over 35 books in four months.

No time for that, are you sure?