The most awe inspiring book I read in 2011 was Derek Sivers' Anything you Want: 40 lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur (The Domino Project). An entrepreneur is an anti-perfectionist. In a world where it is so easy to pander to everybody else's ego except your own, Sivers only reminds you, that a life worth living begins with knowing exactly what makes you happy, and what's worth doing.
A professional musician, perpetually low on cash (but never broke), Sivers began by selling his own music online, and helping a few friends of his sell their music online too, until he found himself accidentally caught up in the business of selling CDs! Quickly he scribbled his dream template for www.CDbaby.com, a start up mission that would power independent musicians by distributing their work online. The year was 2003, a watershed moment in the American music industry when Apple iTunes opened out to independent musicians and others like Yahoo! Rhapsody, MSN and Napsters followed suit. And then the punch in the gut, as Sivers narrates how he, the 40$ (per song) distributor of independent record labels, got dissed by Mr. Steve Jobs, followed by Apple's quick volte-face to allow for all CDbaby's music to be uploaded onto iTunes! Since the episode, Sivers decided to make digital distribution of music a free service. However, his continuing anecdotes only ride up a climax along a learning curve as he goes on to talk about near bankruptcy (on account of omission in bureaucratic detail), and spiraling to better times and worse until he has had what only Joseph Heller might dub "Enough," enough for him to send off his baby to a reputable Music education trust, a loving family of fresh blood, to retire into solitude, a life of more programming, writing, planning and inventing!
|Published by Seth Godin's The Domino Project|
A few pointers that Derek Sivers elucidates in this scintillating, lucid one-hour read include:
- Business is not about money, but about making dreams come true for others and yourself
- Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself
- Design your Perfect World
- Never do anything just for money
- Answer the calls for help
- Improve, Invent
- You don't know what people really want until you start doing it
- No money is an advantage
- You can't please everyone
- Make yourself unnecessary to the running of your business
- Be happy
"If you think true love looks like Romeo and Juliet, you'll overlook a great relationship that grows slowly. If you think your life's purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you'll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you."
It's good to live in a world without maybes. But it's also incredibly difficult, and for that a flying kudos to Mr. Sivers, for sharing the love of his life in these entrepreneur diaries. A palatable end of the year, must read, and must do!
This should not be in the footnote, but a very Happy New Year to you all! YES i know we're already gloating in the better half of January, way past a sluggish beginning, a big round of Cheers to all readers, from my mug of hot steaming chocolate in the neighbourhood pub :-) aka living room.