Derek Sivers Is Smart, But You’ve Got To Figure It Out For Yourself


Derek Sivers’ book, Anything You Want, has taken the world by storm much like his business did in the early 00’s. He started the business in 1997 after trying to make it as a musician. In 2008 he sold the company for a reported $22 million, but the arrangement was quite unique. Reportedly, Sivers made sure the purchase price went to a charitable trust to promote music education. The financial arrangements have been reported in various financial publications, but it’s commonly reported that Sivers arranged to earn his personal pay out at a rate of about $1 million annually for the rest of his life.

In late June his book was published. Since then he’s been appearing in various blogs and podcasts to promote the book, and his message. I confess that my first exposure to Sivers was his short TED presentation posted in April, 2010.

The man is clearly perceptive, intelligent, creative and wise. Personally, I’m quite fond of how he handled the transaction of selling his company, CD Baby. The insight and wisdom displayed in that transaction reveal quite a lot about him. There’s much to admire.

That’s why I bought the book to read it for myself. I was going to do a video review of the book, but decided to let Derek’s work speak for itself. The book is part of Seth Godin’s Domino Project, which is powered by Amazon. In Anything You Want: 40 Lessons For A New Kind Of Entrepreneur he says he started a company (CD Baby) and accidentally grew it into a big business. Well, I hardly think it was an accident, but I agree with him that it’s his story and what worked for him may not work for the rest of us. See, I told you he was wise. One sentence will tell you this is a book worth buying and reading.

“I’m a student, not a guru.” By the way, he put that sentence in parenthesis. You just have to like a guy like that, don’t you? I do.

Buy his book. Read it. Learn the lessons, but make sure you carve out your own path. Figure it out. Morph. Adapt. Change. Experiment. And keep after it until you find what you’re looking for.

You can also keep up with him by visiting his website.

P.S. Here’s an interview Andrew Warner of Mixergy did with Derek Sivers.


Scroll to Top