In this post I want to share with you the book Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. This book is a very quick read, you can get through it in two hours and written in casual down to earth language. But don’t let the language give you the wrong impression because it is packed with insightful advice for all entrepreneurs. Back in 1998 Derek started a hobby of selling CDs on the internet and over the space of 8 years he grew that into a multi-million dollar company and exited for $22 million. In this book he shares his learnings in a way that is straight to the point and brutally honest – exactly what I like.
Quotes I resonated with:
📚 “I’m a student, not a guru”.
I think this is so important to remember, whatever stage of life of business you are in, you are always a student and claiming to be an expert or guru on anything isn’t going to help you. Always be willing to learn.
📚 “success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working”
📚 “once you’ve got a hit, suddenly all the locked doors open wide”.
📚 “for an idea to get big – big – big, it has to be useful, and being useful doesn’t need funding.”
This is so important and something that I think a lot of people, including myself forget. Money is simply an exchange of value and if your product or service doesn’t provide value then don’t expect to make money off it. The focus should be on providing value first rather than chasing funding.
📚 “that’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas. I’m not interested until I see their execution”
Whist pursuing my current side hustles I spend a lot of time on YouTube learning from self proclaimed “gurus” about the business. When I watch their highly edited and polished videos it can be easy to forget that these gurus haven’t shown me any proof in terms of profit, everything is couched in terms of revenue so the margin is unknown. I admit, I was sucked in by one of these “gurus” and bought their online course only to cancel it an hour later and request a refund because the course was riddled with mistakes and huge sections were missing… Lesson learnt. Pay attention to execution and results, not to ideas and pitches.
Who should read this book?
Anyone and everyone. I think the lessons in this book are applicable regardless of your position and goals in life. The lessons are all focused around build a life you enjoy and I think we can all learn a thing or two from this book.