Anything You Want

Derek Sivers

Anything You Want



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In Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur , Derek Sivers talks about his experience of becoming an "accidental entrepreneur". In 1998, Sivers - a professional musician at the time - created CD Baby to sell his CDs online, and within ten years, made it into a million-dollar company, and the largest independent digital music retailer in the world. His book is a real manifesto for new entrepreneurs, and tells of how Sivers achieved extraordinary results without having a real business plan, and without asking for funding from venture capitalists – he simply followed his passion and put the customer first.

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Analysis and key concepts


You don't need money to start helping people: focus on making a dream come true for yourself and others


The way to grow your business is to focus on your customers: always put them first


Success comes from constant improvement, not persistence in doing what doesn't work: carefully select the ideas to pursue and the people to serve


Make yourself superfluous in running your business: learn the art of delegation, but without abdicating your power


The real purpose of any business is to be happy, so only do what makes you happy, and create your own little corporate utopia




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Stop making excuses for not starting your own company.
  • Understand how to create a company that is built around the customer.
  • Choose which business ideas are worth pursuoing.
  • Create a business that follows your rules, not those of others.
  • Learn to delegate, and go from being self-employed to an entrepreneur.

Derek Sivers is a musician, music producer, and entrepreneur. In 1998, he created the CD Baby website almost by accident, and it quickly grew to become the largest independent music retailer on the web, with over $100 million in sales and more than 150,000 musician customers. In 2008, Sivers sold CD Baby for $22 million, and began travelling the world while continuing to create and cultivate creative businesses. He regularly writes about creativity, entrepreneurship, and music on his blog

Publishing house:

Penguin UK