Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur
by Derek Sivers
I think Derek Sivers is my spirit animal. Everything he writes or publishes resonates with me in ways that I don’t get from most other authors, speakers, artists, or entrepreneurs.
This book is hard to summarize because it’s so darn short. You can read it in about an hour. You can also get most of the lessons from this great talk, or these cool cartoon videos.
Sivers shares his experiences building and selling CD Baby to impart some counterintuitive nuggets of wisdom for both life and business. Here are a few of them:
- A business plan should never take more than a few hours of work. The best plans are simple ones.
- Being persistent in improving and innovating, not in doing the same thing over and over.
- By not having money to waste, you never waste money.
- Every business decision should be based on whether it helps your customers.
- Focus on being useful & helpful, not on being big.
- Most common formalities of business are not necessary. Focus on what you need, not what you think you should have.
- By excluding people who aren’t right for you, you tell your target crowd that you value them.
- Whatever your plan is, it’s only one of many options. There is no one way to do it.
- Focus on what’s actually important to you, not what others think is important.
- Any company that’s selling a cure, will never focus on prevention.
- Your company should be willing to die for your customers.
- There are consequences to unclear communication. Make clarity a priority
- Small details can make more of a difference than big plans.
- Be self sufficient. It may seem faster to get others to do things for you, but if it makes you happy (or if you can’t afford it) learn to do it yourself.
- Anything you hate doing, someone else loves. Find that person and let him do it. As owner, your job can be whatever you want it to be.
- No matter what goals you choose, there will be people telling you that you are wrong.