Derek Sivers – Anything You Want – Summary Part 1 [Starting a Business]

I bought Derek Sivers‘ book “Anything You Want” in 2011 after reading a post of his entitled “Hell yeah or no”. I loved it. And now I’ve been invited on to a new talk show to reflect on the teachings in Sivers’ book.

In view of that, I thought it might be useful to write a single sentence premise for each of the 40 chapters. So here’s the the first ten (chapter title first, followed by the premise):

1. Ten years of experience in one hour: In one hour you can learn from the experience of someone who built a $22m business from scratch over 10 years.

2. What’s your compass? Do only what makes you happy.

3. Just selling my CD: You don’t know if what you do has any value until you do it (and if it has, it can go ballistic – like Sivers’ company CD Baby).

4. Make a dream come true: Write a mission statement using your highest utopian values and spread the message at every opportunity (then everyone wins).

5. A business model with only two numbers: Know the cost (base it on what similar businesses are doing) and figure out a profit margin and you’re all set (it’s the only business plan you need).

6. This ain’t no revolution: If you think revolution is a war, you’re overthinking it.

7. If it’s not a hit, switch: Stop what doesn’t work and try something else until it does. Rinse and repeat.

8. No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.”: If you can’t say “HELL YEAH!” say no.

9. Just like that, my plan completely changed: No business plan survives first contact with the customer (you think it’s this, but it turns out to be that).

10. The advantage of no funding: Bootstrap your business yourself and your focus will stay where it should be – on the customer.

PS. That’s it for the first ten. Let me know in the comments if any of these resonate with you (or you hated any of them). Check out the next ten here.


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derek sivers, sivers


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