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Publisher's Summary

 

You can follow the beaten path and call yourself an entrepreneur or you can blaze your own trail and really be one.

When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn’t planning on building a major business. He was a successful independent musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online. When no one would help him do it, he set out on his own and built an online store from scratch.

He started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million.

Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with what you have, care about your customers more than yourself, and run your business like you don’t need the money.

©2011 Derek Sivers (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you'll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did." --Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek

"[I] burned through the book in about an hour. Wow. Really. Derek shares some of the principles (and anti-principles) he learned and applied during his time as an accidental entrepreneur and how to grow a business without losing your soul." --Todd Henry, author of Die Empty

"One of the best hours you’ll ever spend will be reading Derek Sivers’s new book…Anything You Want." --Forbes 

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What listeners say about Anything You Want

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Short and poignant

Authentic, straight shooting look at one guys success story. He makes a point of prefacing his life and business experience with "here's what worked for me". The message I pulled from the book is, there probably is no magic bullet that if followed will make you successful. It's probably a good idea NOT to search for someone else's success and duplicate it, but rather create your own story keeping in mind that it is about your passion and desire to create something....not built around the desire to be wealthy. That part will come, after you follow your dream. His candid look at how he failed as well as how he succeeded made the story realistic and believable. I enjoyed his narration and didn't stop listening until the end.

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

One of the best audiobooks I've listened to. Significant value in wisdom per minute.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring and enjoyable read!

Derek has a real knack for storytelling and a unique perspective. I've always enjoyed his blog, but spending an hour and a half with his writing gave me a much better feel for his approach and mojo and vibe. I really enjoyed it, particularly having it also be in his voice.

I particularly liked his take on trust. I've spent a lot of time thinking through issues like he bring up with his employees, although mostly I think about co-founders. But it's a similar thing. I really want to trust people as much as I can, I think it's empowering and leads to a great vibe. But you do also have to look out for yourself, because there are people out there who will just burn you.

5 people found this helpful

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Listened to it 3 times!

The headlines says it all, the book is too good and to the point that you will want to re-listen to it.

4 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and well presented! A great read!

I loved this book and how it was presented. There was some great information and Derek makes it very clear how things worked or didn't. His honest approach but also entertaining approach made me want to read it again. This is one of those authors who I would follow and by every book he comes out with. I put him up in the SETH GODIN level and think he has alot to offer. Again, a fantastic read, very clear and easy to listen to. And I had a great laugh as well. He's pretty funny.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful and refreshingly NEW advice...

... for entrepreneurs who are also creative artists. You can succeed without discarding your values!

3 people found this helpful

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Awsome, succinct - well worth it.

Heaps of takeaways, in an honest and humble performance.

A bit of an odd business success story, but a great listen nevertheless!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Not just for Entrepreneurs

The history of CD Baby is used to illustrate management points. Interesting history interspersed with management gems.

3 people found this helpful

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  • DS
  • 03-19-13

THE BEST GUIDE TO ENTREPRENEURS

This is the best guide to being an entrepreneur that I've ever read. Loaded with great tales of mistakes made and always in the context of the over-riding vision of serving the customer.... and remembering that you are doing whatever in order to be happy. Great, short book.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Conceited, but somewhat helpful

The internet is used to create a niche monopoly business based on exclusive content allowing the owner to disregard most “standard business practices.”
Although delivered in a gloating and conceited tone of “I can ignore all ‘rules’ because I lucked into a rare internet monopoly”, there are some helpful nuggets of information.
The chief concept is “do it for the customer”, one of a couple available entrepreneurial approaches. Nothing new there - Walmart does it. Others focus on employees, see Richard Branson. The helpful parts are found in applying a stringent simple model to that end (customer focus of a stringent simple model - as advocated by Jim Collins in Good to Great). Also that a business must serve some public need - in this case, inexpensive sales of indie artists’ music. See also Jim Collins, Built to Last.
BUT, like Google, which outworked its way into a monopoly, or like Microsoft, whose central platform/idea became a standard and thus a monopoly, there are dangers in assuming that the methods used by a company in a monopolistic vacuum are sound advice for any entrepreneur other than one operating in such a vacuum.
Advice such as - we don’t need to obey or heed human resource employment law, incorporate to protect owner assets, or bring in venture capital to expand is “all well and good” until a lawsuit is filed against you or you find you’re no longer in a monopolist vacuum.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elephant908
  • 09-08-11

Good for the stories and fun all round

Derek is an interesting guy, have always been a fan of his blogs etc. He writes some excellent stuff about the music industry, probably some of the best stuff around.

This book is a collection of different articles and blog postings with some hilarious moments and great story telling.

If you're a young but creative business person, I say yay, but nay if you're more creative than business, because this book is aimed towards new, radical, original type business minded people.

He breaks down what business is:

For an idea to be good it has to be useful.

And this book is pretty useful, so yes, I recommend it to anyone associated with business particularly the programming, new internet based businesses, music industry types and record label people.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 11-03-11

Enjoyable from start to finish

I've listened to numerous business audiobooks and rate this as one of my favourites. Derek really spills the beans on his entrepreneurial experiences, his business ideals and ethics are missing in many modern companies and what a shame that is.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve K
  • 01-10-12

Worth a listen

Too many people give out 4 and 5 star ratings for my liking. For me 5 stars has got to be mind blowing and / or life changing (Zig Ziglar and Anthony Robbins fall into this category for me).

The author of this book seems sincere and doesn't promise to change your life just share his story of his success, and in fairness that what this book does. This is just a book about his success and the principles that worked for him and may not be applicable to your businesss.

As I said in the title worth a listen

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin
  • 10-28-11

An excellent, informative and enjoyable listen

This is possibly one of the best audiobooks I've heard. The author narrates in an engaging, light manner and openly explains how his business grew to be worth millions in spite of the fact that he didn't want it to.

His points on decision-making and changing tack are very well made, and his ongoing experience with staff and suppliers fresh and entertaining. I must've listened to this book 3-4 times back-to-back, it is just that good.

For me a huge plus was discovering the web site the book is based upon, and after only 1 week I've already sold my first music CD in the USA!

Highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • greg
  • 06-04-13

listened to it three times already

I've listened to some great books on audible so far, but I think this one was the most engaging for me.It's an open and frank discussion of the highs and lows of online business. But also a story of starting small and learning on the Job.Despite his eccentric business practices and lack of formal business training he made a great success with cdbaby,eventually selling for 22 million I think.A very entertaining and useful listen, really enjoyed it.Enough to listen to it three times in a row.:)

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • anonymous
  • 10-20-11

fun factor

Interesting fun narration. like author being honest about his mistakes. you may be able to pick few ideas which would suit your business life

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christophe
  • 01-13-13

On top of my playlist

This audiobook is pure enjoyment for 1,5 hours. I listened to it at least 10 times and I'm still not tired of it, I even bought the printed book after knowing the audio-version by heart !

It's a fantastic story, and Derek does a great job telling it like he does. I love the humor in this book, but no mistake : the information in "Anything you want" is very valuable.

I recommend this book to everyone !

2 people found this helpful

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  • maker-23
  • 01-23-16

Listen to this if you're a maker or entrepreneur

Really like Derek's take on things. As an introvert, I relate to his point of view as a maker and musician.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cristina Schek
  • 07-25-15

Hard not to love!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Most certainly! Because the book starts with: “This is most of what I learned in ten years, compacted into something you can read in an hour” - and delivers it! I learned more from this hour than from anything else so far.

What did you like best about this story?

Reading this book makes you feel good because it’s not really about anything you want: it’s about anything you CHOOSE to do and MAKE in the world for others: a far more powerful goal than merely doing things for yourself. This is actually a book about 'life', but the reading experience itself feels v. concrete.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

“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.”

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

I keep re-listening & each time reveals new facets, like a new friend who's a great teacher. That's what I want from a book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jumhed
  • 08-15-21

Good stuff

Fun story well told. The 'accidental business owner', basically. Derek became by chance what most people spend their lives trying to attain.

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  • Rosie
  • 05-31-18

Exactly what I needed

Really glad that Derek read this himself - it wouldn’t have been the same any other way.
Recommended to anyone who is stuck, who has a million ideas, who feels like they “should” be further along than they are, for anyone who needs permission or for anyone who feels like they are pulled back on a massive slingshot but can’t get it to release.
I hope that the world produce more people who create businesses in this way. I intend to be one of them.

1 person found this helpful

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  • alison harley
  • 12-18-15

quick and direct loved it!

This is a great book to listen to over and over to reinforce the things you are learning and you are doing.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • dennishosking
  • 07-27-21

Short and very sweet

Provided this business owner with the words he needed to hear at this time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-18-20

One of my favorites!

I've been reading/listeing a lot latly. For me this book really encouranges me. it's a good story, good voice. I feel i connect with the author. Thnaks for a really good piece of work!

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  • Sammy McDiarmid
  • 04-28-20

Unexpected success, but done well.

Amazing success from a good idea, done for the right reasons. There is so much to learn from this short book. It has helped me on my path. Many thanks to you Derek.

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  • John
  • 12-23-19

insightful

easy listen and made me think outside my normal patterns of thinking, which created mini breakthroughs in my understanding of what I want too do with my time.

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  • jake harris
  • 10-07-19

to the point, endearing and considered

this is one man's view and it's presented as such. it's an easy and uplifting listen and gave me a lot to think about. listening again immediately. good buy for $3

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  • Daniel Stojanovski
  • 09-28-19

Love it! Thanks Derek.

I am going to keep re-listening to this as I build my business. So real. Thanks Derek.

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  • Edurne Bengoetxea
  • 04-07-19

Great book.

This book is going to be one of
my best reference in life. There is so much to learn from it.

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