When I’m surrounded by people asking me how they should grow their company, I don’t call Derek just to get more options.
I call Derek because he’s the type of person who will ask, “Why do you want to grow your company in the first place?”
In addition to asking the right questions (more on that later), Derek is also brilliant at simplifying and breaking things down.
Often, people feel dispensable if what they do is simple and we feel a compulsion to complicate things in order to validate ourselves. We complicate to profit.
This isn’t the case with Derek.
Originally, a professional musician and circus clown, Derek (@sivers on Twitter, Derek Sivers here on Medium) created CD Baby in 1998 and became the largest seller of independent music online, totaling over $100 million in sales for over 150,000 musicians.
In 2008, he sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He has spoken multiple times on the TED Talks circuit with over 5 million views of his talks.
Since 2011, he has published 24 books, including Anything You Want. While business books are mostly terrible reads, Anything You Want is one of the few business books that I’ve read multiple times and listened to — most recently in Sweden a month and a half ago.
Derek and I first met in 2007–2008 and most often when I call Derek, it’s because I need a sanity check.
Read More from Brendan ==>
Small enterprises are often overlooked in the world of business books. There are millions of words dissecting in great detail how great companies began and how they operate. There are business models, case studies, autobiographies, and critiques.
With small to medium size businesses, not so much.
It was Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger who first came up with the concept of an “intelligent fanatic” - although, it sounds a lot more like Charlie to me than Warren.
In any case, the mold was set by Tom Peters years ago (In Search of Excellence) and Jim Collins (Good to Great) and in many ways, Intelligent Fanatics looks to do the same for a relatively unknown group of companies.
Even so, it would be nice to see someone embrace the gritty, day-to-day, hand-over-mouth struggle most small businesses muddle through just to stay afloat.
Here’s the link to the first book (they did write more than one), if you want more ==>
*Feature post photo by rawpixel on Unsplash