Club Reviews: ANYTHING YOU WANT by Derek Sivers

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers.

Anything You Want by Derek Sivers is a refreshing, delightful, inspiring read. With his positive attitude
and creative innovative approaches to hiring, marketing, and running a business it is no wonder that he has attained happiness which is his whole point of doing anything!
According to Derek, business is more about making dreams come true than money. He shares his experiences both good and bad, profitable and not so much. His philosophy of the joy of learning and doing while resisting the urge to punish everyone for one person's  mistake is remarkable. We would all profit if we remember his words of wisdom - remember people  are affected by what you say or don't say (neglecting to reply] and a personal approach taken toward others make them feel important. The whole point of doing anything should be that it makes you happy. What a great world this would be if more people latched on to his philosophy!!!! Margot Byrnes, Miami

Anything you want, by Derek Sivers, is a great short book, to the point, with lots of relatable stories.  Any entrepreneur, business owner or artist, or I should say, someone taking responsibility for their lives and the outcomes would enjoy and get out of it just what they need at this time in their lives.
My special moments, or what I needed to hear to reinforce my journey are, “in the end, it’s about what you want to be, not what you want to have”.  It is up to us to make our perfect world, many people will tell you are wrong, but “just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you.”
Of course Derek has enough income to cover his living expense without having to think about it again, and this gives him the freedom to create without the worry of paying the bills.  So for those of us who haven’t arrived at that point, we can be satisfied knowing and believing. Tom Hinz, Blue Lake, CA

"Anything you Want" was like the current movie out now "The Descendants" — funny at times but a sad story.  Derrick had a simple plan and tried to keep his business fun and focused on the customer.  We all need to follow that advice.  His approach to his customers was brilliant and got them excited about doing business with his company, however it became sad when he allowed his business to be run by his employees.   Small businesses become big businesses if your lucky or you want to be and with that comes employee challenges that structure needs to address.  Derrick tried to ignore that and in the end loss control of his "baby".  We all need to know where to draw the line and Derrick missed it.  Paul Bartoletti

Derek Sivers in his new small book, explains how he started a company and in doing this he can be called an entrepreneur.  In this book Derek offers advise on what to do with a startup company and how to grow it.  The most important issue is that you have to enjoy what you are doing and make sure the customer is enjoying his experience.  When you stop enjoying what you are doing this is when you make a handoff and change direction so you are sure that you are enjoying what you are doing.  The most important criteria in being an entrepreneur is not to make money but to enjoy what you are doing and have a customer that also enjoys what you are doing for him or her.  Money will come when you have a customer that enjoys working with you.  My personal criteria in running a business was to ask what our business was doing.  The answer was satisfying and making the customer happy.  A measurement of how our company was doing this was in how much profit we were able to make. Gordon E. Ettie

Sivers’ tales of entrepreneurship are quite valuable. His openness about his experience is an example to all who aspire to start a business. There’s a great deal to be learned from each other as we develop our own businesses. One of the more important take aways from the book is that acting fearlessly is quite the ticket. Fearlessness is what allows people to be open in their efforts to launch a business. Keeping your eyes open all the time and filtering and re-filtering information is an important lesson to be drawn from the book. This results in success all along the way. I was glad that Sivers’ gave a couple of examples of the value of fully open eyes( for example, the $3 million cost to buy back the business). Kudos to Seth and Sivers. Quick reads with lots to act upon. Bob Preziosi, Davie Florida

This heavily autobiographical take on entrepreneurship for our era has some provocative ideas. Amid all the anecdotes highlighting Sivers’s highly successful saga, what unifies them is a sense not of aggressive ambition so much as the power of serendipity and inner wisdom, as long as you are paying attention. A theme that continually emerges is the necessity to balance even seemingly well-considered or pragmatic reactions to what is going on in your enterprise and the environment in which it is operating with what your heart tells you that you should really do next.
Sivers’s faith in his own compass is inspiring, yet it doesn’t always translate into clear advice for those aspiring to follow in his footsteps. But perhaps that is as it should be. This is a rather Buddhist little book that is ultimately about following your nose, trusting your gut, and finding the tricky balance between respecting and collaborating with your colleagues while listening most attentively to your own inner voice.
Although the directives Sivers offers are not necessarily easy to follow, you gotta love the guy’s great story and impressive ability to always stay true to his values. Barbara Pierce

In a nutshell, the success story of Derek Sivers tells how he went from unknown musician to millionaire.  He began by selling a CD of his own music and expanded his online only sales center to include other independent ("indie") artists.
His M.O. was the same as Pierre Omiydar; started by himself, working out of his living room and expanded as needed. He taught himself website design to build the site. He refused to accept advertisement on the site. He would not sell music from musicians already represented on major labels.
He was true to his own beliefs, low key & inspiration.  Overall, an interesting story and a good quick read. Ann Nagy

 I must admit, I enjoyed this book more.  Probably because I'm a sucker when it comes to books about how entrrepreneur's succeed despite going against the established norm.  It was an easy read and yet filled with a lot of "meat and potato" nuggets to make you think.  A MUST read for anyone and everyone whos ever thought about openining a business.  The author dishes out practical wisdom such as "Business is not about money.  It's about making dreams come tru for others and for yourself".  Talk about going against the grain.  This quote reminds me of Zig Zigler who once said: "Help enough people get what they want and you'll end up getting what you want".  Two other quotes that I also enjoyed where "Never do anything just for money" and The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy".  These are two points that most people who are in business today too easily forget.  The author's explaination of Ideas as just multipliers of execution also resonated within my thought process. I had never thought about it quite like that.  Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of ideas have fallen on the way side due to lack of execution.  I, myself have fallen victim to such an end.  In conclusion, reach to make your dreams come true but only as long as it truly makes your happy.  When it stops, drop it like a bad habit. Alex R. Camacho, Miami

Most aspiring entrepreneurs fail to experience Silver’s fortuitous timing in bringing a novel idea like online indie music to market.  But any business person will benefit from his hard learned personal lessons, such as the importance of an unrelenting commitment to meeting customers’ needs and expectations.    Beyond just the juicy details of how his CD Baby incubated into a million dollar venture, in spite of Steve Jobs, Silver offers highlight worthy tips on managing through growth and pursuing personal dreams.  Had this been a tome, his choppy writing style with frequent series of one sentence paragraphs would wear thin.  But easily digestible on a flight between Washington and Chicago, the read was worth the investment of time. Ann Davison

Derek Sivers ten year experience in one hour just reiterates what we hear from very successful people.
Follow your dreams, don't ever let anyone tell you no, you can't do that. He has a wealth of information for anyone in business or about to start.  Again, today's Internet is allowing people who could never go into business do it now.  Great writing and experiences a must read for everyone!  Should be mandatory reading in school curriculum!
Thank you for this opportunity and introducing me to The Domino Project.  I am now a major fan!
Sharon Wilson

I really enjoyed reading this book, as it really made me think and reflect on ways I could handle some of the growing pains that I am experiencing with my business. This book reminds me to be very clear about why I do what I do and what about what I do makes me happy. Much of the author’s philosophy about business resonates with my way of thinking and is definitely not the norm. His experience of being extremely successful from serving others without foreseeing it or planning it (even trying to keep the business small) is refreshing to learn about! Elena Suarez, Miami


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