Book Review: Anything You Want
The best part of Derek Sivers’ book is, well, Derek Sivers.
That and this book is a crazy fast read. You can read it in about an hour.
In Anything You Want, Derek shares stories and principles he learned from creating, growing, and ultimately deciding to sell CDBaby.
There are four sections that I’d like to highlight that may have some relevance to your world.
1. It’s about being, not having
In Anything You Want, Derek discusses prioritizing a passion for learning to become something. In other words, he talks about wanting to be something vs. wanting to have something. For example, Derek wanted to be a great producer, so he dedicated himself to learning everything about being a producer. Not because he wanted to say he was a producer but because he genuinely enjoyed learning to be a producer.
For me, the opposite of that would be getting an MBA. I like the idea of having an MBA, but nothing about the process of getting an MBA excites me.
So – Derek’s post is a good one – if you enjoy something and are passionate about it, you’ll enjoy the process of “being” it. Going a step further, if you are wondering about a decision that might level up your career or your general well-being – here’s a helpful question: Are you doing it to get it done, or are you doing it yourself?
2. The Doubling Principle
Derek utilized the doubling principle to combat the “more of the same” approach. If you grow to double, be prepared to handle double that. In his book, Derek would continuously buy double the space he needed for his warehouse, allowing him to grow without being constantly overrun.
It’s a great principle as it forces you to stop and make a conscious decision to prepare for more when you are in a growth pattern. Not doing that will create the I Love Lucy chocolate factory scenario. So – Stop, and think about a new way to handle additional growth – don’t just assume that your old methods will work. Just doubled your staff? Great – prepare and plan for double that number. Just doubled your projects? Great – stop, anticipate, and plan for double that.
Note: In Derek’s scenario, the doubling principle worked because he was in a constant state of growth. I would advocate for planning on double if you are in the opposite growth pattern.
3. Delegate, Don’t Abdicate
One way to get through a constant scale-up process is to delegate. And Delegate. However, there is a point where you will empower too much. To abdicate is when you delegate too often and remove yourself from having any say. It was a valuable lesson that we could learn from Derek. There is such a thing as too much delegation.
4. Little Things Make all the Difference
There are a few great stories throughout the book that set CDBaby apart. One fundamental principle that should be obsessed over by anyone in the Services industry is: Little Things Make all the Difference. CDBaby knew this and continually worked towards making that little extra effort for every customer.
Although many examples are sprinkled throughout the book, here’s one case involving a Squid.
Overall, a worthwhile read, but you’ll find yourself cyber-stalking Derek Sivers once you complete it because you’ll want more.
Go to this page to continue down the Derek Sivers rabbit hole.
Have a Nice Day by Stereophonics
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana and Joan Jett
Note: Originally posted December 11, 2017
One thought on “Book Review: Anything You Want”