Anything You Want - By Derek Sivers 10/10
Over the past year or so, Derek Sivers has been a very influential person in my life. Ever since listening to him speak on the Tim Ferriss podcast I’ve ingested many of his works. This book being the most recent. It ties in beautifully with Derek’s essentialism way of life. Concentrating on what makes him most happy first. He has summed up over 10 years of business experience into an hours read. He has done just as he states on page 46, “Carefully eliminate everything unnecessary.” I had this book sitting on my shelf for two weeks before I started to read it. I offered it to my friend to read it whilst I finished another book. He read it that day and urged me to read it immediately so we could talk about it. I’m glad I did. I will take the lessons I’ve learnt from this and apply them to my everyday life. Especially the “Hell yeah!” or “no.” principle on page 13.
Book Depository: Anything You Want
Derek's website: sivers.org
This ain't no revolution - Page 10
If you think your life’s purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you’ll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you. If you think revolution needs to feel like war, you’ll overlook the importance of simply serving people better.
When you’re onto something great, it won’t feel like a revolution. It will feel like uncommon sense.
If it’s not a hit, switch - Page 11
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working.
No “yes”. Either “Hell yeah!” or “no.” - Page 13
If you’re not saying, “Hell yeah!” about something, say no.
Just like that, my plan completely changed - Page 14
“No business plan survives first contact with customers.” - Steve Blank
The advantage of no funding - Page 16
No effort was spent on anything but my customers.
Necessity is a great teacher.
Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers. Make every decision— even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone — according to what’s best for your customers.
Ask your customers, “How can I best help you now?”
Start now. No funding needed. - Page 18
When someone tells you they want to do something, but can’t until they raise some money. It usually means the person is more in love with the idea of being big-big-big than with actually doing something useful.
Next time a flight is cancelled, tell everyone at the gate that you’ll rent a small plane and everyone can split the costs. (This is how Richard Branson started Virgin Atlantic)
Ideas are just a multiplier of execution - Page 20
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless they are executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
Awful idea = -1
Weak idea = 1
So-so idea = 5
Good idea = 10
Great idea = 15
Brilliant idea = 20
No execution = $1
Weak execution = $1,000
So-so execution = $10,000
Good execution = $100,000
Great execution = $1,000,000
Brilliant execution = $10,000,000
Proudly exclude people - Page 26
Have the confidence to know that when your target 1 percent hears you excluding the other 99 percent, the people in that 1 percent will come to you because you’ve shown how much you value them.
Why no advertising? - Page 28
Because that’s like putting a Coke machine in a monastery.
You don’t need a plan or a vision - Page 32
On CD Baby: “What’s your long-term goal for CD Baby?"
“I don’t have one. I surpassed my goals long ago. I’m just trying to help musicians with whatever they need today.”
“I miss the mob.” - Page 34
Never forget why you’re really doing what you’re doing. Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn’t that enough?
Care about your customers more than about yourself - Page 38
That’s the Tao of business: Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.
Act like you don’t need the money - Page 40
Set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way.
Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake - Page 41
It’s important to resist that simplistic, angry, reactionary urge to punish everyone, and step back to look at the big picture.
A real person, a lot like you - Page 43
It’s too overwhelming to remember that at the end of every computer is a real person, a lot like you, whose birthday was last week, who has three best friends but nobody to spoon at night, and who is personally affected by what you say.
Even if you remember it right now, will you remember it next time you’re overwhelmed, or perhaps never forget it again?
You should feel pain when you’re unclear - Page 46
When writing an email to everyone, if I wasn’t perfectly clear, there would be twenty thousand confused replies. A lot of pain for being unclear.
Carefully eliminate everything necessary, rephrase every sentence to make sure it could not be misunderstood.
The most successful e-mail I ever wrote - Page 48
It’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you.
Little things make all the difference - Page 51
Over the ten years of CD baby, it seemed like every time someone raved about how much they loved the service, it was because of one of these little human touches.
It’s OK to be casual - Page 52
Don’t try to impress an invisible jury of MBA professors. It’s OK to be casual.
It’s about being, not having - Page 56
On being a good singer:
It’s not that I wanted to get it done and have good vocals. It’s that I wanted to be a great singer.
On being a programmer:
I went to the bookstore and got a book on PHP and MySQL programming. (To teach himself)
They said we were losing millions of dollars in business because we didn’t have certain features. But that was OK with me. I loved the process, I was happy.
On being, not having:
When you want to learn how to do something yourself, most people won’t understand. They often forget the joy of learning and doing. It may take longer and be inefficient. But the whole point of doing anything is because it makes you happy!
To be something is the real point.
The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote - Page 60
“We want the iTunes Music Store to have every piece of music ever recorded. Even if it’s discontinued or not selling much, we want it all.”
Delegate or die: The self—employment trap - Page 68
- Gather everybody around.
- Answer the question and explain the philosophy.
- Make sure everyone understands the thought process.
- Ask one person to write it in the manual.
- Let everybody know they can decide this without me next time.
To be a true business owner, make it so that you could leave for a year, and when you come back, your business would be doing better than when you left.
Trust, but verify - Page 74
Trust, but verify. Remember it when delegating. You have to do both.
Delegate, but don’t abdicate - Page 76
To abdicate means to surrender or relinquish power or responsibility; this word is usually used when a king abdicates the throne or crown. Lesson learned too late: Delegate, but don’t abdicate.
How I knew I was done - Page 78
I realised that the bigger learning and growing challenge for me was letting go, not staying on.
“How do you know when it’s time to sell?”
Why I gave my company to charity - Page 81
The less I own, the happier I am.
I’m sacrificing nothing. I’ve just learned what makes me happy. And doing it this way made me the happiest.
I get the constant priceless reminder that I have enough.
You make your perfect world - Page 83
No matter which goal you choose, there will be lots of people telling you you’re wrong.
Pay close attention to when you’re being the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.
If it makes you happy, that’s OK.