Anything You Want, by Derek Sivers

This book was published through the Domino Project, Seth Godin’s new publishing group partnered with Amazon. I have it on Kindle and finished reading it about a month ago. It’s a really great book about tuning the world around you out and focusing on what you actually want.

Background on Derek Sivers

This is Derek’s first book; he’s much better-known as the founder of CD Baby, an online store that sells albums of independent artists. He recently sold the company, has since gotten married, and is now living abroad in Singapore. He’s now working on books about doing business in different Asian countries.

He’s also a really cool guy. In the back of the book, he invites the reader to contact him, so I wrote him an e-mail thanking him for writing the book… and he replied personally! Needless to say, I was pretty wowed by that. I’ve heard Seth Godin replies personally to e-mail too, but I haven’t e-mailed him yet, so I don’t know for sure.

The story of CD Baby

Basically, the book is about Derek’s life approaching, building, running, and eventually selling CD Baby. The format of the book is a collection of stories that chronicle different times in his life, along with lessons learned from those stories.

Decision making

Another great point he makes is that when we make choices, we should either say, “hell yeah!” or no. Great lesson I need to apply. Too many reluctant yes answers can very easily and quickly dilute our true selves with what others ask of us.

Corporate’s no fun

The policies at CD Baby made things fun for everyone involved. Instead of going with the flow, they came up with creative ways to achieve their goals and keep business running without alienating people or becoming a doormat.

Focusing on the important

One of the things I appreciated most about Derek’s stories was that he always kept in mind what he was really after. So when people started giving him advice on how to grow his business further, he disregarded a lot of that advice.

At the end of the day, he wasn’t about the money, and at our core, many of us aren’t. It helps to keep focused on what it is we’re after so that we can ignore the noise the can be all too distracting.

Buy, borrow, or bypass?

This one is a definite buy. It’s pretty short (as are all the Domino publications), but it’s got a lot of great stuff in it, so great to refer back to from time to time. I have it for Kindle, but I’m sure hardcover is great as well.

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