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Anything You Want [Hardcover]

Derek Sivers
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 29 2011
Best known for creating CD Baby, the most popular music site for independent artists, founder Derek Sivers chronicles his “accidental” success and failures into this concise and inspiring book on how to create a multi-million dollar company by following your passion. In Anything You Want, Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating CD Baby and building a business close to his heart. “[Sivers is] one of the last music-business folk heroes,” says Esquire magazine. His less-scripted approach to business is refreshing and will educate readers to feel empowered to follow their own dreams. Aspiring entrepreneurs and others trying to make their own way will be particularly comforted by Sivers straight talk and transparency--a reminder that anything you want is within your reach.

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Anything You Want + Self-Reliance + Do the Work
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From Amazon

Tim Ferriss Reviews Anything You Want

Tim Ferriss is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Workweek. He has a diverse background of experience, including working as an actor, speaking seven foreign languages, holding a world record in tango, and being a national Chinese kickboxing champion. He has written for Maxim and the Philadelphia Inquirer, has appeared on MTV and CBS radio, and has been interviewed or featured in such major publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and more. Read his review of Derek Sivers's Anything You Want:

I love this book!

Derek is the entrepreneur's entrepreneur. Just as important, perhaps more so--he is a phenomenal teacher. Whether detailing the fascinating rise of CDBaby, explaining catastrophic (but common) founder mistakes, or teaching me about relational databases in two minutes using analogies, he makes the complex simple. Moreover, he makes it all actionable.

If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you'll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. --Tim Ferriss

About the Author

After making a living as a professional musician, Derek Sivers went looking for ways to sell his own CD online and ended up creating CD Baby, once the largest seller of independent music on the web with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients. Since 2008, Derek has traveled the world and stayed busy creating and nurturing creative endeavors, like Muckwork, his newest company where teams of efficient assistants help musicians do their “uncreative dirty work.” Derek writes regularly on creativity, entrepreneurship, and music on his blog:

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this May 9 2014
Loved this book!

Our book club author Parin Patel wrote:
When Derek Sivers started CD Baby in 1998, he simply wanted a way to sell his own CD.

Derek’s journey from a musician, to business owner, to entrepreneur, has been filled with many life and business lessons which he shares in Anything You Want. And perhaps the most powerful lesson is just that: you can have anything you want.

Actionable Books summarized this through their book club, to check out the rest of Parin's summary, go to [...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great role model March 23 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fair and honest man builds store with bare hands. Store grows in size while owner remains hardworking and committed to his suppliers. A balance of customer satisfaction and profit is realized and one day, sensing his usefulness at the store has passed, wisely sells store and uses 95% of proceeds to fund a charity of great importance to the man. A modest lifestyle is sustained with the balance and the fruits of a life well-lived are his gift to the universe. Amen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An easy 1-2 hour read that will inspire those who may be "stuck". His website/blog/animated videos are also great ([...]).

The book is an excerpt of how Sivers was rejected by the big record labels and then decided to post his own music on the web for sale. This was several years before PayPal was even invented and iTunes was still many years away. In building this hobby into a business, it was always about the "artists" and sharing their music. After "maximizing" his company and the "joy" of running it had lost its luster, he sold it for a cool $22MM... and largely gave it all charity and reinvested into supporting independent music distribution.

Some of the key quotes that caught my attention:

- If it's not a hit, switch
- I Miss the Mob
- Obvious to You. Amazing to Others
- If you think life's purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you'll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you; if you think revolution meeds to feel like war, you'll overlook the importance of simply serving people better.
- Ideas are just a multiplier of execution
- Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what's not working.
- Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.

Sivers reminded me to "pay close attention to when you're being the real you and when you're trying to impress the invisible jury" (similar to Marcus Buckingham Go Put Your Strengths to Work). His words struck at my own motivations and pressure/stress that I self-inflict.

He also encourages through his book to innovate, and ignore how many others may have already executed the same idea... build upon the idea/service/product. Don't wait for the perfect idea. Experiment and start building with incremental improvements along the way.

Thanks to Sivers for an inspirational, quick but meaningful read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Sivers' "Anything You Want" Aug. 14 2011
A very good read, with good stories of Sivers' years as owner/operator of his own business. He presents his own errors and successes in a witty, readable style. The whole book has many good life-lessons for both entrepreneurs and people who want to improve themselves. You should be able to read this book cover-to-cover in an afternoon, allowing even busy people to enjoy this great book.
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I knew nothing about the author, Derek Sivers, before reading this book. Read it with an open mind as if you understand the true essence of his character, and think about how his philosophies apply to you and your world, this book will offer personal development opportunities for you. It's well worth the read!
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