Wednesday, 28 November 2012

"Anything you want" by Derek Sivers

This book really stood out among the books on my reading list this summer: "Anything You Want – 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur" by Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby. CD Baby today is the largest distributor of independent music on the web with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

"Anything you Want" is full of great advice, slim, very readable, and written in a laid-back style. Its lessons for entrepreneurs are applicable to businesses of any size – no matter whether you run a small one-man (woman) business or head a multi-billion-pound corporation.

You’re lucky to own your own business. Life is good

The blurb says this: Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.

Here’s a small selection of pithy, memorable quotes from the book for you to savour:

When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.

You’re lucky to own your own business. Life is good.

Proudly exclude people. It’s a big world. You can loudly leave out 99 percent of it.

Little things make all the difference.

When one customer wrongs you, remember the hundred thousand who did not.

Anything you hate to do, someone else loves. So find that person and let him do it.

Some people want to be billionaires with thousands of employees. Some people want to work alone.

It’s about being, not having.

The following also struck a chord with me. My work load always is huge, and I receive a lot of enquiries. If, like me, you’re also trying to work less, read on. Derek’s answer to the baffled question "But you’re a business, don’t you want to expand?" would be this: "No. I want my business to be smaller, not bigger." It may sound counterintuitive, but for the business logic behind this and much more, read "Anything You Want". I warmly recommend it.

The quotes above have been published with kind permission by Derek Sivers. I contacted Derek Sivers ahead of this post last Sunday – and was thrilled to find a really positive, encouraging email from him in my inbox first thing on Monday morning! Check out his blog too, which you’ll find here.