Anything You Want: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Anything You Want containing key details about the book.

What is Anything You Want About?

Anything You Want is an inspiring look into professional musician turned entrepreneur, Derek Sivers, success as he shares an insightful look at how he grew his passion and curiosity, into CD Baby, a multi-million dollar company. The book explores Derek’s biggest mistakes, the key to his success, and everything in between.

Who is the author of Anything You Want?

Derek Sivers is an American writer and programmer. A former entrepreneur and musician, he is best known for starting CD Baby. Sivers grew up in Hillsdale, Illinois. Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 after requests from other independent musicians for him to sell their CDs on his website

How long is Anything You Want?

  • Print length: 90 pages

What genre is Anything You Want?

Business, Nonfiction, Entrepreneurship

What are the main summary points of Anything You Want?
  • Takeaway 1: The more you optimize and adjust your ideas, the higher the odds are that you'll end up with one that people love.
  • Takeaway 2: If you’re not getting a lot of positive feedback for a specific idea, then it’s best to adjust it. If your "perfect" idea goes nowhere after a period of time, then it’s probably wise to let go of it.
  • Takeaway 3: A business plan does not have to be complex. You don't need a 100-page document but instead, a simple and easy to understand plan that explains how you’ll make a profit and when.
  • Takeaway 4: Define your main target audiences and tailor your products and services to their needs. You can’t expect to please everyone so make sure you only fulfill the major needs.
  • Takeaway 5: You don’t need big pockets to realize a big idea. In fact, having a small amount of money can be an advantage as it boosts creativity and simpler solutions.
  • Takeaway 6: A business's main focus should be to create value and become extremely useful to its customers.
  • Takeaway 7: Your customer needs can grow and develop. Listen carefully and always follow your customers’ needs.
  • Takeaway 8: Failing to delegate can lead to burning out. Make sure you dedicate time to hiring, training, and delegating ongoing tasks. Also, don’t ask your employees or freelancers what they’re good at, but what they enjoy and love to do. The same applies to you. Focus on important work that you enjoy, delegate the rest.
  • Takeaway 9: Over-delegating can also be an issue. Trust, but verify. Make sure you cultivate a trusting relationship with your freelancers or employees and that you put in place some simple control mechanisms.
  • Takeaway 10: Pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you.
  • What are good quotes from Anything You Want?

    “Don't be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams... In the end, it's about what you want to be, not what you want to have.”

    “Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers. Make every decision—even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone—according to what's best for your customers.”

    “If you think your life's purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you'll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you.”

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

    “Just pay close attention to what excites you and what drains you. Pay close attention to when you're being the real you and when you're trying to impress an invisible jury.”

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

    “Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won’t make them happy.”

    “Trust, but verify. Remember it when delegating. You have to do both.”

    “When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.”

    “Make sure you know what makes you happy, and don’t forget it.”

    ― Derek Sivers, Anything You Want
     

    What are the chapters in Anything You Want?

    Chapter 1: Ten Years of Experience in One Hour
    Chapter 2: What's Your Compass?
    Chapter 3: Just selling my CD
    Chapter 4: Make a dream come true
    Chapter 5: A Business Model with only Two Numbers
    Chapter 6: This ain't no revolution
    Chapter 7: It's not a hit, switch
    Chapter 8: No "yes". Either "Hell yeah!" or "no."
    Chapter 9: Just like that, my plan completely changed
    Chapter 10: The advantage of no funding
    Chapter 11: Start now. No funding needed
    Chapter 12: Ideas are just a multiplier of execution
    Chapter 13: Formalities play on fear. Bravely refuse.
    Chapter 14: The strength of many little customers
    Chapter 15: Proudly exclude people
    Chapter 16: Why No Advertising?
    Chapter 17: This is Just One of Many Options
    Chapter 18: You Don't Need a Plan or a Vision
    Chapter 19: "I miss the mob."
    Chapter 20: How do you grade yourself?
    Chapter 21: Act Like You Don't Need the Money
    Chapter 22: Don't Punish Everyone For One Person's Mistake
    Chapter 23: A real Person a Lot Like You
    Chapter 24: You Should Feel Pain When You're Unclear
    Chapter 25: The Most Successful E-mail I ever Wrote
    Chapter 26: Little Things Makes All the Difference
    Chapter 27: It's Ok To Be Casual
    Chapter 28: Naive Quitting
    Chapter 29: Prepare to Double
    Chapter 30: It's about Being, Not Having
    Chapter 31: The Day Steve Jobs Dissed Me in a Keynote
    Chapter 32: My $3.3 Million Mistake
    Chapter 33: Delegate or Die: The Self- Employment Trap
    Chapter 34: Make it Anything You Want
    Chapter 35: Trust, but Verify
    Chapter 36: Delegate, but don't abdicate
    Chapter 37: How I know I was Done
    Chapter 38: Why I Gave My Company to Charity
    Chapter 39: You Make Your Perfect World

    Is Anything You Want worth reading?

    The majority of customer reviews on leading review sites are positive. Here's what some reviewers had to say about the book:

    "This is not a how-to business book. It is much more a manifesto on keeping things clear, simple and taking a common sense approach to work. Sivers, founded and sold CDBaby.com. This book is a summation of the lessons he learned with the stories that taught him....This book seems to speak to the entrepreneurial spirits out there. But I also think that it serves as a fun quick “gut check” for those looking to tweak their existing business set-ups. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars."

    * Key sources: LibraryThing, Amazon, Wikipedia

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    Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

     

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    Founder

    Tal Gur is a location independent entrepreneur, author, and impact investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His most recent book and bestseller, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has set the stage for his new mission: elevating society to its abundance potential.

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