Derek Sivers created CDBaby.com because he needed a way to sell his music online. Soon other musicians asked him to help them sell their music. A few years later, he found himself helping over 100,000 artists sell their music. He recently sold his company for $22 million and is comfortable in life.
Watch these videos and interviews with Derek Sivers on how you to can create a successful company from your passion and hobbies.
How A Musician Built CD Baby Into A $22 Million Dollar Business From His Home – Derek Sivers – by Andrew Warner
Derek Sivers – Founder Of CD Baby – Finding Your Inner Passion & Turning It Into Success
Why Derek Sivers Was Successful
Derek Sivers wasn’t afraid to start crappy
Derek laughs when wannabe entrepreneurs tell him about all the features they plan to include when they launch their companies. When he launched CD Baby the site’s design was pretty dorky. And instead of building a fully automated site, he did much of the order processing by hand. Quit aiming for perfection, just launch.
Derek Sivers knew what feedback to accept
Start crappy and build the business by listening and integrating user feedback. But be careful not to let user feedback take you too far off course. Derek says people kept telling him that he should launch a radio station. But he kept refusing because he didn’t think it was a good fit for his business.
Derek Sivers was patient
9 months after launching, his site was only bringing in $15 a week. Others might have have assumed that the site was a failure, but Derek was patient. He gave it room to grow.
Derek Sivers knew how to get financial security
I asked Derek if earning that first million gave him a sense of financial security. He said it didn’t. He said he got a greater sense of security by managing his own desires. Knowing that he wasn’t a wasteful spender gave him his sense of security.
Derek Sivers worked 2 hours a week
When Tim Ferriss published his book, The Four Hour Work Week, most people doubted it was possible to work that little. Not Derek. He worked 2 hours a week. He said it was because of the way he taught his staff. When anyone in the company asked him a question, he told the answer to everyone in the company. Within 6 months, everyone knew what Derek knew. “He made himself unnecessary”.
Derek Sivers Summary by Andrew Warner from Mixergy
13 Quotes By Derek Sivers
1. “Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.” – Derek Sivers
2. “Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself.” – Derek Sivers
3. Utopia. “When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.” – Derek Sivers
4. What matters. “Don’t pursue business just for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help.” – Derek Sivers
5. Success. “Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working.” – Derek Sivers
6. Your plans. “Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.” – Derek Sivers
7. The power of exclusion. “You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people.” – Derek Sivers
8. Revolution. “Five years after I started CD Baby, when it was a big success, the media said I had revolutionized the music business. 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
9. “If it’s not a hit, switch.” Don’t spend years pushing ideas that people don’t seem into. “Whenever you’re not getting a massive frothing-at-the-mouth “I want to pay you now” response, just don’t do it. Let it go and try something else.” – Derek Sivers
10. Hell Yeah! “If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”. – Derek Sivers
11. You don’t know ’till you’ve opened in New Haven. “Anytime you think you know what your new business will be doing, remember this quote from Steve Blank: ‘No plan survives first contact with customers’.” – Derek Sivers
12. The wisest decision criteria. “Make every decision—even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone—according to what’s best for your customers.” – Derek Sivers
13. The silence of the web. When he mass emailed CD Baby customers (in the millions), he learned to be so careful in what he wrote. Even a tiny mistake or lack of clarity could generate thousands of emails from readers that took days to respond to. He learned to write succinctly, lucidly, carefully, with the reader always in mind.