“To me, ‘busy’ implies that the person is out of control of their life.” – Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers(@sivers) is one of my favorite humans, and I call him often for advice. Think of him as a philosopher-king programmer, master teacher, and merry prankster.
Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek created CD Baby in 1998. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.
In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with more than 5 million views of his talks. Since 2011, he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want,” which I’ve personally read 10+ times.
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Want to hear another podcast from a tech entrepreneur who built and sold a multi-million dollar company? — Listen to my conversation with Bryan Johnson. In this episode, we discuss his path to building a business worth $800 million (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: In this episode, Derek discusses how he deconstructs the ideas from books into useful “do this” style directives. If you were to write a directive based on lessons from this podcast, what would it be? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
- HELL YEAH! Or No. by Derek Sivers
- Learn more about Now Now Now
- The Most Successful E-mail I Ever Wrote
- Watch Vanilla Sky, the movie that inspired Derek to automate CD Baby
- Get Derek Sivers’s book notes
- Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert – (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules by Michael Pollan
- Learn more about Derek Sivers’s directives project
- Check out Weird or Just Different, Derek Sivers 3-minute TED Talk
- A Guide to the Good Life by William Irvine (Derek Sivers’s notes)
- Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach
- A Geek in Japan by Hector Garcia
- Au Contraire by Gilles Asselin and Ruth Mastron
- Check out Chris Rock’s Top Five
- What if You Didn’t Need Money or Attention?
- Relax For The Same Result
- Saying No To Everything Else
- Want more from Derek? Check out his Twitter responses to your questions
- Derek Sivers, the leader of the circus [8:56]
- A framework for developing confidence [15:41]
- How Derek Sivers graduated from the Berklee School of Music in two years [19:26]
- Lessons learned from the Santa Monica bike path [28:31]
- How CD Baby came to be [34:51]
- The co-op business model [38:36]
- How one e-mail helped make CD Baby a remarkable company [41:36]
- How Derek Sivers responded to those seeking to invest in CD Baby during the dot-com bubble [46:01]
- On his relationship with money and saying “no” to millions [49:06]
- The origins of the HELL YEAH! Or No. [57:06]
- Discussing the Now Now Now project [1:01:21]
- What inspired the automation of CD Baby [1:03:41]
- Derek Sivers’s book consumption habits and creating directives [1:12:36]
- Most gifted books [1:46:36]
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively affected your life? [1:49:16]
- What Derek Sivers listens to when working out [1:51:11]
- If you could have one billboard anywhere, what would it say and why? [1:52:46]
- Advice for your thirty-year-old self [1:54:36]