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Anything You Want

40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

By Derek Sivers
12-minute read
Audio available
Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

Anything You Want (2011) is a guide to realizing your dream business, which is easier than you might think. These blinks will teach you why the conventional ideas of amassing tons of money, consultants and technology are all wrong, and that the real key to success is you and your stellar ideas.

  • All entrepreneurs
  • Anybody with a great idea they don’t know how to realize

Derek Sivers began a career as a musician who endeavored to sell his music online. This simple idea became the basis of CD Baby, a company that was the biggest seller of independent music on the web when he sold it in 2008 for $22 million.

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Anything You Want

40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

By Derek Sivers
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers
Synopsis

Anything You Want (2011) is a guide to realizing your dream business, which is easier than you might think. These blinks will teach you why the conventional ideas of amassing tons of money, consultants and technology are all wrong, and that the real key to success is you and your stellar ideas.

Key idea 1 of 7

Starting a successful business means striving to improve your ideas while keeping it simple.

When the author set out in the world of business he never intended to found CD Baby, an online independent music store. In fact, he’d previously attempted several other businesses only to end up unsuccessful.

So, what made this one work?

A key step was realizing that the more you improve your ideas, the higher the chances are that you’ll come up with one that’s truly successful. The point is that if you’ve been promoting your “perfect” idea for years and it’s still going nowhere, it might be time for a change. That means, if you’re not getting positive feedback – and a lot of it – it’s probably best to let go of your idea.

Instead, you should try out new options and work to improve your ideas. Because if you’re always improving, you’re bound to hit on an idea that people will love. For instance, the author was totally surprised when one of his ideas suddenly caught fire among his musician friends. His hard work had paid off, and he created something that would help both himself and others.

But coming up with the right idea is just the beginning. The next step is to come up with some simple numbers and build the principles of a business plan. This doesn’t have to be a complex, 100-page document with financial projections for the next two decades, but a simple document that lays out how your company will work and how much money it’ll take to make it happen.

The key here is to keep it logical and easy to understand. That’s because the more precisely you write, the better people will comprehend and believe in your idea. It’s really not necessary to throw around complicated figures. You just need to explain how you’ll make money and if it will cover your costs.

For instance, when the author first set up CD Baby, he only used two numbers: how much it would cost musicians to list their CD on the site and how much they would make on each sale. These simple, fixed numbers were enough to calculate his projected success.

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