Your Music and People, Hell Yeah or No, and Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

October 28, 2020
Read by your friendly algorithm (Subscribe: Apple, Google, Spotify, RSS)

When Derek Sivers talks people listen. This year he’s releasing two new books and they are generating a lot of buzz already. Chances are you have already heard him on Tim Ferris Show (part I, II) or The Knowledge Project.

Sivers’ style is minimalistic with words. The messages are to the point and packed with wisdom. They look so simple that it’s easy to speed through them, and the books are quick reads indeed.

But make no mistake, Sivers has taken his time to think about them or he has personally experienced the events and now passes the wisdom to the rest of us.

Your Music and People is one of the best marketing books you can read. It addresses musicians but it applies to any marketing really. What better use case than the music industry where the entry barrier is low and it has had been through the digital disruption already?

Sivers talks in a language that is easy to understand. You don’t find business jargon and it’s easy to follow his advice and take action, immediately. You could even consider his book a practical step-by-step guide for setting up your marketing strategy and even the tactics. There are also tons of stories and entertaining moments as in any of his other books, too.

Hell Yeah or No picks up the story after Sivers sold his company CDBaby.com, and was facing existential questions what to do next.

He was in a situation where you don’t need money or attention. What is worth doing and why?

He digs deep and discovers the fundamental aspects of life. Your actions reveal your true priorities and values even though you may not admit them to yourself. He evaluates the opportunity costs of doing something locally or globally.

We all have the same amount of time every day. No money can buy you more. You can buy other people’s time and compress your timelines that way by delegating and letting other people help you.

He discovers his utter uselessness and the joy of living for oneself. Life is a continuous balance between the present with instant gratification and the long-term plans that often imply restrains and investing in the current moment.

Sivers has been ahead of the curve for many years. He calls himself a solitary socialite and he’s also famous for answering every email you send his way (within reason).

If you’re still new to Sivers’s story there’s a similar format easy-to-read book about his entrepreneurial career called Anything you want. What Your Music and People is for marketing Anything you Want is for entrepreneurship.

He illustrates with vivid stories and turns of events his life from a teenager into a full-time musician, and a business owner whose hobby turns into a serious venture with a successful exit.

I could have filled this with quotes from the book but instead, I urge you to go and check them out yourself. Sivers shares everything online and you can choose the medium that suits you the best. He even read his books as audio versions so there’s no excuse not to tune in and get some refreshing perspectives.