Anything You Want (Derek Sivers)

You need to know your personal philosophy of what makes you happy and what’s worth doing.

Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself.

Don’t pursue business just for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help.

Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working.

Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people.

You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people.

But if you think true love looks like Romeo and Juliet, you’ll overlook a great relationship that grows slowly.

If you think your life’s purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you’ll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you.

If you think revolution needs to feel like war, you’ll overlook the importance of simply serving people better.

Present each new idea or improvement to the world. If multiple people are saying, “Wow! Yes! I need this!Read more at location.

I’d be happy to pay you to do this!” then you should probably do it. But if the response is anything less, don’t pursue it.

  • If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no.”
  • When you say “no” to most things, you leave room in your life to throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say “HELL YEAH!”
  • Every event you get invited to. Every request to start a new project. If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about it, say “no.”

Any time you think you know what your new business will be doing, remember this quote from Steve Blank: No plan survives first contact with customers.

By not having any money to waste, you never waste money.

Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.

Make every decision—even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone—according to what’s best for your customers.

It’s counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers. Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.

Starting small puts 100 percent of your energy on actually solving real problems for real people.

You don’t need to change what you do to please one client; you need to please only the majority (or yourself).

You need to confidently exclude people, and proudly say what you’re not. By doing so, you will win the hearts of the people you want.

Hotel Café, a folk- and rock-music venue in Los Angeles, is a no-talking club. Big signs say, “No talking during performances!” Performers are encouraged to stop the show if someone is talking, and let the person know that he can go to any other club in town to talk over the music.

This is the one place in LA where you can sit and really listen to the music; this, of course, makes it the most popular music venue in town.

It’s a big world. You can loudly leave out 99 percent of it.

So please don’t think you need a huge vision. Just stay focused on helping people today.

Never forget why you’re really doing what you’re doing.

That’s the Tao of business: Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.

When someone’s doing something for the money, people can sense it, like a desperate lover. It’s a turnoff.

When someone’s doing something for love, being generous instead of stingy, trusting instead of fearful, it triggers this law: We want to give to those who give.

It’s another Tao of business: Set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way.

Never be the typical tragic small business that gets frazzled and freaked out when business is doing well. It sends a repulsive “I can’t handle this!” message to everyone.

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

To be a true business owner, make sure you could leave for a year, and when you came back, your business would be doing better than when you left.

Anything you hate to do, someone else loves. So find that person and let him do it.

Trust, but verify.

Remember it when delegating. You have to do both.

I learned an important word: abdicate. To abdicate means to surrender or relinquish power or responsibility; this word is usually used when a king abdicates the throne or crown.

Lesson learned too late: Delegate, but don’t abdicate.

I live simply. I don’t own a house, a car, or even a TV. The less I own, the happier I am. The lack of stuff gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime.

No matter which goal you choose, there will be lots of people telling you you’re wrong.

Just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay

close attention to when you’re being the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.

Whatever you make, it’s your creation, so make it your personal dream come true.

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