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

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

by Derek Sivers

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
Want a NOOK ? Explore Now


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

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698409026
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/15/2015
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 88
Sales rank: 365,899
File size: 655 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby to focus on new ventures to help musicians. Since then he’s been sharing everything he’s learned as an in-demand writer and speaker at conferences, including four TED talks. Join the Anything You Want conversation and learn more about Derek’s current projects at

From the Hardcover edition.

Read an Excerpt

Title Page



Ten years of experience in one hour

What’s your compass?

Just selling my CD

Make a dream come true

A business model with only two numbers

This ain’t no revolution

If it’s not a hit, switch

No “yes.” Either “Hell yeah!” or “no.”

Just like that, my plan completely changed

The advantage of no funding

Start now. No funding needed.

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution

Formalities play on fear. Bravely refuse.

The strength of many little customers

Proudly exclude people

Why no advertising?

This is just one of many options

You don’t need a plan or a vision

“I miss the mob.”

How do you grade yourself?

Care about your customers more than about yourself

Act like you don’t need the money

Don’t punish everyone for one person’s mistake

A real person, a lot like you

You should feel pain when you’re unclear

The most successful e-mail I ever wrote

Little things make all the difference

It’s OK to be casual

Naive quitting

Prepare to double

It’s about being, not having

The day Steve Jobs dissed me in a keynote

My $3.3 million mistake

Delegate or die: The self-employment trap

Make it anything you want

Trust, but verify

Delegate, but don’t abdicate

How I knew I was done

Why I gave my company to charity

You make your perfect world

Contact me anytime


Dedicated entirely to Seth Godin.
This book only exists because of his encouragement.

Visit for a larger version of this graph.

Ten years of experience in one hour

From 1998 to 2008, I had this wild experience of starting a little hobby, accidentally growing it into a big business, and then selling it for $22 million. So now people want to hear my thoughts.

People ask me about that experience, so I tell stories about how it went for me. Many of them are about all the things I did wrong. I made some horrible mistakes.

People ask my advice on how to approach situations in their lives or businesses, so I explain how I approach things. But my approach is just one way, and I could argue against it as well.

I’m not really suggesting that anyone should be like me. I’m pretty unusual, so what works for me might not work for others. But enough people thought that my stories and the philosophies I developed from this experience were worth sharing, so here we are.

This is most of what I learned in ten years, compacted into something you can read in an hour.

I hope you find these ideas useful for your own life or business. I also hope you disagree with some of them. Then I hope you e-mail me to tell me about your different point of view, because that’s my favorite part of all. (I’m a student, not a guru.)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews