Ep. 159 - Derek Sivers: The Zen Master of Entrepreneurship - Altucher Confidential

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  1. Ep. 159 - Derek Sivers: The Zen Master of Entrepreneurship - Altucher Confidential

    The most powerful currency in the world is not what you think.

    Not anymore.

    We’re turning to a new economy with two new, powerful currencies.

    And you have an opportunity, right now, to build a more fulfilling and rewarding life.

    I’m going to tell you what these two currencies are and how to leverage them successfully. 

    But before I do, I want to introduce you to Derek Sivers. He’s an influential thinker, speaker, entrepreneur and the zen master of entrepreneurship writing.

    If you’re starting a business, you have to read his book, Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur. It’s in my top three.

    Derek built his business, CD Baby, around doing people favors. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.

    Derek later sold CD Baby for $22 million and gave the proceeds to charity.

    “If you focus entirely on others the world seems to reward you the most,” he says.

    That’s one of the two most powerful currencies today: favors.

    But there are limits.

    “You have to serve others within the limits of what you’re able to sustainably do. You can’t do something that makes you absolutely miserable,” he says.

    That’s choosing yourself.

    I got a lot of ideas from interviewing Derek, which is the other currency: ideas. But you already knew that.

    Derek moved to New Zealand. He takes 3-day hikes, spends 30 hours a week with his family, and answers thousands of personal emails asking for his advice.

    He wrote a list of his priorities and said “I don’t want to do anything else right now. (No more interviews or speaking at conferences until further notice.)” This is his last interview for awhile.

    I’m grateful he chose me. Chose us.

    And chose himself.

    I encourage you to write him.

    And listen to this interview. Share what you learned.  I wrote a list — 7 ways to a “make a killing” and master the new economy.

    Derek quoted Kevin Kelly, futurist and founder of Wired. He said, “We should focus on making a living, not on making something huge.”

    Derek changed it to “It’s about making a living, not making a killing.”

    To me, that’s success in the new economy.

    7 ways to a “make a killing” and master the new economy:

    A) Leave in the cracks

    Derek was listening to Sheryl Crow. But he didn’t know it was her. Her voice cracked. And she got his attention. “That little fault is what made me like her,” Derek said.

    B) Admit your faults

    I know I’m bad at a lot of things. Derek gave an example. When I interviewed Ramit Sethi, I admitted I forgot to read something. And I wasn’t totally prepared.

    “To me it kind of seems like a brilliant way of asking the world to love you,” Derek said.

    And maybe it is.

    Everyone wants love. How sad is it that we, as humans, contemplate hiding ourselves?

    We have two choices: be yourself or fear being yourself.

    C) You can always disappear from your problems

    But do you want to? Did Kurt Cobain kill himself because he was too famous? Or because he got everything he wanted? And didn’t know what to do with it.

    We always want things. Happiness, love, appreciation.

    But then do we ask for the right things? Raises, promotions, more responsibility, less freedom?

    You can choose f-ck you money and f-ck you problems. Or you can focus on happiness. That’s what Derek did.

    He had a company, CD Baby. It’s basically the original iTunes. People said he’d get a lot of money with an IPO. But he didn’t do it.

    “What’s the point of making money?” Derek said, “ It’s to be happy.”

    “And if it would make me unhappy to have so much responsibility then I’d rather not make more money. I’d rather just focus on the happiness.”

    D) Do more favors

    Anyone can do this.

    Derek started by selling old CD’s online.

    He made money right away. So people asked for favors. Can you sell my old CDs?

    He said yes. And it spread. Friends of friends asked. Then strangers and soon he had a profitable business.

    But do it for yourself first. Learn the skill. Then, do it as a favor for someone else. See if more people ask. And then you have a business that cost you no money to create.

    E) Answer asks

    Derek didn’t offer to sell his friend’s CDs. They asked him.

    “By doing favors for people it implies that people are asking you to do those favors and to me the key is the asking,” he says. “Bluntly put, you shouldn’t start a business unless people are asking you to.”

    F) Passion is poison

    Only search for passion if searching for passion is your passion.

    We’re brainwashed to believe we’re not alive. That we need a purpose. But you’re alive.

    Passion or no passion, you are alive.

    Derek says, “Instead, just follow the little things that interest you. Just notice on a day-to-day basis what you’re drawn towards.”

    G) Only have good goals

    That’s how Derek became “a writer, speaker, thinker kind of guy.”

    The idea came to him. And suddenly he was inspired. “I put so much work into this and then within nine months I was speaking at TED in front of Bill Gates, Larry Page and all these intimidating people.”

    He says, “A good goal is one that actually changes your actions in the moment. Goals are not about the future,” he says. “Goals are about changing the present moment, changing your present actions.”

    Listen now to my podcast with Derek Sivers. And let us know what you think.

    derek@sivers.org

    @jaltucher

    Resources and Links:

    Email Derek – derek@sivers.org

    Read his list of priorities. And get inspiration to write your own.

    Read his book Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur

    Follow Derek on Facebook & Twitter

    Watch his TED talks: Weird or Just Different?, How to start a movement, Keep your goals to your self.

    Also mentioned:

    Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

    Blue Microphones Yeti

    Sponsor

    Freshbooks – the #1 invoicing software for small businesses. I know and work with people who use Freshbook. It’s a really easy service. If you’re a freelancer or have your own business, I recommend Freshbooks for you. Go to www.freshbooks.com/james and let them know I sent you. Thanks.

    http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2016/03/ep-159-derek-sivers-zen-master-entrepreneurship/

    —Huffduffed by ryninja

  2. Derek Sivers – Dorm Room Tycoon

    In this interview, Derek Sivers founder of WoodEgg, explains the importance of building a business around your needs, focus and becoming a developer.

    http://drt.fm/derek-sivers/

    —Huffduffed by chasereeves

  3. Derek Sivers INTERVIEW: James Altucher

    Derek Sivers: My last interview for a long time. About faults, disappearing, money, favors, passion, goals, and much more.

    https://sivers.org/2016-03-altucher

    download

    Tagged with derek sivers

    —Huffduffed by mmoser

  4. Immersed in Virtual Reality - Derek Belch (STRIVR Labs)

    Derek Belch, co-founder and CEO of Strivr Labs, a startup that uses virtual reality to train athletes, describes the passion necessary for entrepreneurship and the features that give his business a competitive edge in a rising-tide industry. The former Stanford football player is candid about the personal sacrifices entailed in putting your all into your venture.

    —Huffduffed by ykgoon

  5. Derek Sivers - Philosophy of Customer Service

    Business of Software Europe 2014, Derek Sivers, CD Baby Recorded at BoS2014, Business of Software Conference Europe, Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, discusses how valuable customer service is in business and talks about the values that drive great service. Derek’s always been fascinated with the usable psychology of self-improvement, communication, business, philosophy and has used it to build a successful life as an entrepreneur, musician, student and programmer. Understand how and why customer service, at the heart of CD Baby’s success, an be built into the culture of an organisation.

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    Original video: https://vimeo.com/100896387
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/

    download

    Tagged with derek sivers

    —Huffduffed by jrsinclair

  6. Derek Sivers | How To Start A Business With Heart |The New Man Podcast with Tripp Lanier

    Subscribe on iTunes: http://apple.co/21rcPC4 ‘How-to’ lessons on Mindset, Relationships, Sex and Money: http://thenewmanlife.com

    Are you one of those guys who seems to get paralyzed in the process of starting something new?

    Do you think you need a bunch of training or preparation before you can take action?

    And what is the one single practice that will change how you experience everything in your life?

    This week, we’ve got Derek Sivers on the show to talk about The Tao of Business and how any situation in your life can become a positive one.

    In this day and age of corrupt capitalists, CDBaby founder Derek Sivers shows us how you can build a multimillion dollar company just by focusing on helping others. In this episode, Derek reveals the Tao of Business and how just trying to make money usually delivers the opposite.

    In this show:

    •What is the Tao of Business and how can it help you even if you don’t own a business? •Do you need an MBA or a bunch of training to run a business? •How can learning too much be harmful? How does personal development influence how you earn a living? •What is the practice Derek uses to turn everything into a positive experience? •If you’re prone to take things seriously, how can you learn to be more playful and creative with your life? •What’s the simplest way to build a solid business in a very short period of time? •How did th…

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    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAid72u6_Ms
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/

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    Tagged with derek sivers

    —Huffduffed by jrsinclair

  7. Derek Sivers INTERVIEW: Escape from Cubicle Nation

    Derek Sivers: Do whatever the hell makes you happy! A 30-minute audio interview about business plans, freedom and happiness.

    https://sivers.org/2011-06-slim

    —Huffduffed by GaryCarpenter

  8. Derek Sivers INTERVIEW: Boomers Rock

    Derek Sivers: Why passion is overrated, plasticity, career capital, culture, and more.

    https://sivers.org/2015-10-boomers

    —Huffduffed by GaryCarpenter

  9. 030: Derek Loranger: Influencing People To Get Outdoors

    What can the Nature Effect do for you? Join us on Derek’s journey as he shares his experience with the outdoors and how it has an impact in his business and life today. Derek is a happy father and husband. He’s a typical guy, not an athlete or someone with an extensive amount of time […]

    http://www.smoreoutdoor.com/?p=982

    —Huffduffed by stsmith324

  10. Derek Sivers INTERVIEW: Meet Innovators

    Derek Sivers: business talk about automating then selling my company, and what to do afterwards

    https://sivers.org/2009-12-bye

    download

    Tagged with derek sivers

    —Huffduffed by GaryCarpenter