Anything you want

I’ve been meaning to write about this wonderful book by Derek Sivers for a long time. Better late than never, I suppose.

This book hit a very important chord for me for one simple reason: while I’ve been increasingly interested in becoming more business oriented, I’m constantly intimidated (and frankly, bored) by the idea of becoming a “business man” as defined by some specific people I know. I felt (and still feel) I do not want to become *them*.

However, Derek reminded me that I can be a business owner, product creator, or team leader, in my own way.

I can be a business person and still be myself!

Trust me, this realization was a big deal to me.

I can be more business-y, and still keep much of who I am: technically-minded, caring, informal, trusting, generous.

Some ideas I really like from this book:

  • Business is not about money. It's about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.
  • Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what's not working.
  • If you're not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”.
  • Start now. No funding needed.
  • If you find even the smallest way to make people smile, they'll remember you more for that smile than for all your other fancy business-model stuff.
  • Don't try to impress an invisible jury of MBA professors. It's OK to be casual.
  • In the end, it's about what you want to be, not what you want to have.
  • When you sign up for a marathon, you don't want a taxi to take you to the finish line.
  • Never forget that you can make your role anything you want it to be.
  • (On why he gave his company away to charity) I get the pride of knowing I did something irreversibly smart before I could change my mind. Most of all, I get the constant, priceless reminder that I have enough.

(Some of the above are quotes, some my own paraphrasing - sorry I didn’t keep track of which is which).

In short - if you’re attracted by business but don’t feel like a business person yourself, you may enjoy this book.

I must certainly did.

PS: The audiobook version is narrated by Derek himself, and it’s a wonderful experience.