The Book in Three Sentences
Too many people spend their life pursuing things that don't actually make them happy. When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you create all the laws. Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.
Anything You Want summary
This is my book summary of Anything You Want by Derek Sivers. My notes are informal and often contain quotes from the book as well as my own thoughts. This summary also includes key lessons and important passages from the book.
- Sivers sold his business, which he spent 10 years growing, for $22 million.
- Too many people spend their life pursuing things that don't actually make them happy.
- Never do anything just for the money. Instead, just answer calls for help.
- You don't really know what you want until you start doing it.
- Sivers was a professional musician before he started his business. It all started because he wanted to sell his own CD on his website. Pretty soon he was selling CDs for lots of musicians and CD Baby was born.
- When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you create all the laws.
- When you're onto something great it won't feel like something great. It will feel like uncommon sense.
- If it's not a hit, switch. Success comes from consistently improving and inventing. Don't waste years pursing anything other than a hit.
- Hell yeah or no. If it's not a hell yes, then decline. Say yes to less.
- “No plan survives first contact with customers.” -Steve Blank
- Only please customers, not investors. Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.
- The way to grow your business is to just focus entirely on your current customers. Just thrill them and they will tell everyone else.
- Ideas are just a multiplier of execution. The most brilliant idea is worthless with no execution.
- There is a huge advantage in having many tiny customers. You can fire any individual client as long as you keep your customers happy in general.
- Your first idea is just one of an infinite number of options. Make plans for many different scenarios. There is no one path to success.
- How do you grade yourself? You should know what matters most to you.
- Care about your customers more than yourself. Your company should be willing to go out of business if it's best for your customers.
- Be incredibly clear in your writing. Leave no room for confusion.
- Even if you want to be big, you don't have to act like a big boring business.
- Learn things yourself. It will take longer, but it is nice to be self sufficient. There is joy in learning and doing.
- You don't sign up for a marathon and hire a taxi to drive you to the finish line. The real point is what you want to be, not have.
- There is a big difference between being self employed and being a business owner. When you're self employed everything crumbles if you don't show up. You're not a business owner until you can leave for a year and your business is doing even better when you come back.
- Never forget that you can make your role anything you want. You can hire for everything else.
- You might be much happier as a million dollar business than as a billion dollar business.
- Always trust, but verify whenever you delegate a role.
- A business is a reflection of the creator.
- Pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you.
- Whatever you make, it's your creation. Make it your dream come true.