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Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur Hardcover – September 15, 2015
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"If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you'll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."
—TIM FERRISS, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
"[I] burned through the book in about an hour. Wow. Really. Derek shares some of the principles (and anti-principles) he learned and applied during his time as an accidental entrepreneur and how to grow a business without losing your soul."
—TODD HENRY, author of Die Empty
"One of the best hours you’ll ever spend will be reading Derek Sivers’s new book…Anything You Want."
About the Author
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Derek does an outstanding job simplifying the lessons through his life and business experience. Here's a couple key points that hit home:
1. It should NEVER be about the money. If you're in a business or pursuing a dream for the money chase, that chase will lead you down the wrong path.
2. It's always about the customer. Whenever making a business decision, Derek always asks what would the customer say about this decision I'm making. So many cool stories of the simple small things Derek did that his customers loved.
3. Business (or lifestyle) should be based around what you want. It should be your utopia, too many entrepreneurs try to please other people, investors, etc. and lose sight of what really matter to them. Derek explains this process through his incredible business journey.
Thank you Derek for bring this book to the world!!
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. Delegation is key in the business (especially when you grow), however, with delegation trust but verify. Furthermore delegation doesn't not mean abdication.
2. If you're not saying "Hell Yeah!" to an idea/approach etc. then say no!
3. Siver's Tao of Business: Care about your customers more than about yourself and you'll do well.
Derek Sivers writes about how he started a website in the late 1980's to sell his band's CDs. The business blossomed into something much bigger, CD Baby.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that Derek tells of his hands on experience of build his website from scratch with code, which he learned as he was creating the site, and forgoing a lot of the expenses of web designers (and not to mention the fun and learning experiences) of DIY.
Truly a renaissance man in the modern world of eCommerce this book is not to be missed. Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
This book takes us through Derek's journey of starting, growing and selling CD Baby, an early dot-com company (1998-2008), which helps independent musicians sell CD's online.
Derek sketched some simple metrics, learned code, built the site (with the "buy now" button that was pivotal), and the market rewarded him nicely.
This book may be considered a "memoir" but I don't know if that's technically correct. This book is a recounting of events learned from his life but it lacks specific dates. It captures a "moment in time" from his life, so I think I'm justified classifying it as a "memoir," in addition to other things. The beautiful thing about analyzing books is that we crystallize important distinctions in literary craft.
I gave the book a grade in my video. Check it out and let me know if you agree with it. Enjoy!
I agree that customers > everything but everything else is great for his character.
I am giving it 4 stars because I like Derek's blog and the work he has done for his customers and not really for the book.
Top international reviews
This book is not really going to tell you much about being an entrepreneur, but it is easy to read, with some though provoking sections. You get the idea that the author really has just done as he pleased and his success has come from a really laid back attitude, without regard for hard nosed business planning....so it was a bit of shock when he starts to talk about his 'business coach' at the back end of the book !
The author openly states he was .....right place, right time..... with his business proposition, with little thought of the gap in the market that he stumbled upon ! Its always difficult to buy into the entrepreneur flavour of the book after this....but I liked it and im sure you will too.
I wish I had this when I was in my mom's womb
In 1998 Derek Silvers created a website for independent musicians to sell their CDs called CD Baby. Throughout his time with CD Baby Sivers challenged big businesses and conventional business practises with his steadfast desire to help people (the musicians) and his desire to maintain a utopian vision, turning down big money at every opportunity from advertisement deals to buy out offers and purposefully making himself obsolete as a manager giving his employees power over everything - with differing levels of success.
Silvers decisions are guided by his philosophy of 'having enough', he didn't want to make millions, he already had money from being a musician, not a lot, but 'enough'. This is the reason fellow reviewers call this book life changing, I'd call it perspective changing (although a change in perspective can be life changing). Few people follow this type of philosophy and it's a refreshing approach to life.
He shares his triumphs and mistakes (mostly mistakes - that's a good thing, it's the point of the book, so others can learn). Including an unfortunate mistake where the combination of the fact he didn't read a contract with his father and some bad advice from a staff member at a bank lead to him having to buy 90% of the company back from his father for $3.3 million. Ouch.
Thought provoking, a must for any entrepreneur and anyone with an interested in business. Quick read too (took about an hour and a half to finish).
Quick note for Kindle users - the font is an easy to read serif typeface (sometimes books can have a thin hard to read font).
Many have had more and more varied experiences but few have managed to state their business values so succinctly.
Useful material but all from his personal experiences rather than a well thought-out concept.