Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

You can follow the beaten path and call yourself an entrepreneur or you can blaze your own trail and really be one.

When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn’t planning on building a major business. 

He was a successful independent musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online. When no one would help him do it, he set out on his own and built an online store from scratch.

He started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million.

Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with what you have, care about your customers more than yourself, and run your business like you don’t need the money.

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers (born 1969) is an American writer, musician, programmer, and entrepreneur, best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians. 

A professional musician since 1987, Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

In 2008, Sivers sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians. His current projects and writings are at

In June 2013, Sivers launched his new company, Wood Egg, which published annual guides on how to build companies in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In 2015, Sivers appeared in a documentary called "Your Own Way Out" presenting the highs and lows of the digital nomad movement. 

Sivers has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss' book Tools of Titans.

Sivers resides in New Zealand.

“Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.”

“Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.”

“If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

Tools of Titans
Atomic Habits
Anything You Want
The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle - Inner Picture Stories
Mastery - Inner Picture Stories


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