Book summary of Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

Sometimes you read a book that’s like fly tape. The ideas are so sticky that you can't shake them off, and you can recall them with ease. One such book is Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers. Here is what stuck with me.


Business is not about money, as much as it seems that way.

It’s about making dreams come true for others, and yourself. Starting and growing a business is a great way to improve the world. It’s also a great way to improve yourself. There is a tonne of stuff you need to learn, vocationally and emotionally, to succeed.


If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.

You have a choice (unless there’s a gun to your head). All the money in the world isn't worth feeling crap about what you're doing. Don't wind up doing something that is making you miserable.

“The real point of anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy”.


Delegate or die

The difference between self-employment and owning a business, is that the latter can leave and return after a year and the business has grown. The former would have nothing to return to - because they are the business. To achieve this, you must delegate, automate or eliminate

To delegate effectively, explain the philosophy underlying a decision. Make sure everyone understands the thought process. Write it down, then let everyone know they can decide this without you next time.


Enjoy the journey, because it’s all you have.

Doing something to get it done isn’t why we do it. The whole point of doing anything is because it makes you happy.

When you sign up to a marathon, you don’t want a taxi to take you to the finish line.


People remember the little things

Doing something remarkable is the best marketing strategy. And it only takes something small. At music conferences, Derek would overhear his customers exclaiming how CD Baby were the only company that pick up the phone - within two rings!

Think back to an experience you've had. It's always the little things that stick in your mind. I once went on a cruise down the Nile and saw wonderous things. But what I remember most was how the cabin crew would create animal sculptures out of fresh towels on my bed. Every day, it was something different. i can see them vivdly in my head. The temples, less so!


Ideas are next to worthless. Execution is everything.

It’s only worth paying attention to an idea if it’s been executed. It's hard to gauge the value of hot air. You can think of ideas as a multipler for execution.

“The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20. The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.”

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