Derek Sivers, who I first met in Singapore in 2011, is a fascinating person who I really look up to — a hugely successful writer, entrepreneur, programmer, and ex-musician who founded CD Baby, and in 2008 sold it for $22 million.
Derek is hugely passionate about learning and teaching, he’s a frequent TED speaker, and writes extensively at Sivers.org. He’s also the author of Anything You Want and the Wood Egg startup guide series.
Below is my 2014 mentor call with him just for members, perhaps the best guest we’ve ever had! Watch to learn how Derek transitioned from overworked running a huge multimillion dollar business with 85 employees to resetting his operating system, how he then sold his $22 million dollar enterprise without paying anything in taxes, and his philosophies on how to have FUN doing business:
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In this call, Derek joins us from his home in New Zealand and we discuss:
- Living a different life before 1998 – as a musician and ringleader of a circus troop!
- How he uniquely structured his charitable trust so that all his earnings will go to a music education charity and not to taxes
- How to provide amazing customer service, with an example of the “packing specialist from Japan”
- Why it’s okay to “borrow” ideas in business and in art, and all about his straightforward and easy “co-op business model” (which earned him millions of dollars)
- Why you should say “Fuck Yeah!” to things… or how to decide what offers to accept and projects to work on
- Choice overload, working on too man projects at once, and why you shouldn’t be a donkey!
- What life is like in quiet New Zealand
- A few insider tips on second passports and shortcuts to citizenship abroad
- Mentioned: see Simon Black at Sovereign Man
- Lessons learned from compiling extensive business startup guides on 16 countries across Asia
- Mentioned: Codeschool.com
- The next project he’s working on…
- About his book Anything You Want which follows 10 years of business lessons learned from CDBaby and other projects
- It’s not about the money at all… it’s about making dreams come true for your customers and yourself.
- How a business is your own world where you control the rules, etc.
- Mentioned: Seth Godin, Philip Kaplan, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (free PDF download for members here), How to Win Friends and Influence People, Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within, Power Talk, and Personal Power II
- Check out Derek’s fantastic book reviews (160+ of them!)