Anything You Want | Derek Sivers | Notes

Here are my notes I’ve taken. These are the points that resonated with me and definitely doesn’t bring out the entire essence of the book which you will get only if you read it (or listen to it, Haha.) But, I do hope this helps you to get an idea of what the book is about or atleast take back some learnings from the book if you wish to go through the summary or are unable to read the book or could use some instant tips to help you through until you get to read the book!

Title: Anything You Want
Author: Derek Sivers
Pages: 90
Links:Goodreads | Amazon
Image Credits: Goodreads

So, here I go!

  • A business is something that can make a dream into reality; both yours and your customers. Profit is a by-product of it. A business is not about money at all! It is about making those dreams come true.
  • When you build a business from scratch, you have all the power to do anything with it. It is your utopia. You control all the laws of your business. It is a universe where dreams come true for you.
  • The best plans are simple. Let common sense do the job of seeing if numbers make sense.

But “revolution” is a term that people use only when you’re successful. Before that, you’re just a quirky person who does things differently.

Derek Sivers, anything you want
  • People misunderstand the words, “Persistence pays.” Persistence in doing things the same way will bring the same results. To change results, one must persist to continuous improvements and inventing new ideas.
  • Do something only when you feel a “Hell, Yeah!” Anything less than a hell yeah, it is better to treat it as a no. When you say no to most things you give space to yourself to focus on the things that excite you most and those that mean most to you.
  • No plan survives first contact with customers. When opening the business, the feedback from customers provides valuable information to chart out the future course of the business.
  • Having no funding or low funding is an advantage as well. By not having any money, you cannot waste money. You will be forced to make better and efficient decisions. Based on Siver’s experience, for an idea to be big, it needs to be useful and being useful does not need funding.
  • Many a time you will face situations where you must prioritise. Ask your, customers, how best you can help them and work on satisfying those requests.
  • Do not expand to gain more customers, rather focus on the customers you serve. Expand when you customers increase more than your current capacity.
  • David is not a fan of advertising on his site. You could ask yourself if your website would be covered with advertising in a perfect world. And also, if you ask your customers for suggestions, would they ever ask you to increase the number of advertisements?
  • When you believe your way is the right way, it is just one of the ways to get things done. Different scenarios bring different solutions to the same problem. Be robust. Look at the problem by giving yourself multiple constraints and scenarios.

Never forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. Are you helping people? Are they happy? Are you happy? Are you profitable? Isn’t that enough?

Derek Sivers, anything you want
  • Many businesses fall in a trap to survive in the market to stay afloat. The business was set up to solve a problem. The business would no longer be needed if the problem is solved. Hence, businesses unconsciously keep the problem around to keep solving it for profits. But, what is the point at the end of the day if you do not solve the problem you started to solve?
  • On hiring, he hired people trusting instincts of his employees as it is almost impossible to assess how anyone is going to be on the job unless you see them on the job. He’d hire lightly and fire lightly (which was rare.)
  • Always be ready with a plan to handle the twice the existing loads. The same model wouldn’t work when the volume increases. This also exudes confidence and indicates a warm gesture of acceptance of more customers.
  • If you like doing something by yourself, do it, even if it is inefficient and growth is slow instead of hiring someone to do it. By not doing it yourself you deprive the joy of learning and doing what you love because in the end, it is all about what you want to be instead of what you have. Here is a quote from the book that perfectly summarises this concept.

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

Derek sivers, anything you want
  • Hire someone when you believe they would do a job that you aren’t necessarily interested in.
  • Never promise your customer what is beyond your full control.
  • Make yourself unnecessary for the business to run. Delegate. A business owner is successful when his/her business grows even in their absence for a long duration.
  • Delegate, but don’t abdicate works to people in a way that you can focus on what you love the most- Solving problems, making your customers’ wishes come true and make your dream come true.
  • Trust, but verify before delegating. Always keep an eye on the happenings of the business even when you actively do not participate in the daily chores.

I believe this is what I could eke out of the book! You could also check out the review I have written for Anything You Want.

Also, I hope you can listen to some music before you go!

You can listen to it on Spotify and Apple

You can check out the notes I’ve written on Who Moved My Cheese |Spencer Johnson |Notes.

Please do let me know if this post helped you. If you were to start a business, what would it be about?

More Power to you!

3 thoughts on “Anything You Want | Derek Sivers | Notes

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