Your Music and People

Your Music and People by Derek Sivers

Author: Derek Sivers

Rating: 9/10

“A philosophy of getting your work to the world by being creative, considerate, resourceful, and connected.”

Just like all other Derek’s books, this a very short, highly digestible, and immediately actionable read.

Even though it’s written with musicians in mind, the advice and lessons are highly relevant and applicable for pretty much anyone.

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Highlights

“Don’t confuse the word “marketing” with advertising, announcing, spamming, or giving away branded crap. Really, “marketing” just means being considerate. Marketing means making it easy for people to notice you, relate to you, remember you, and tell their friends about you.”

“Thinking of everything from the other person’s point of view is one of the best things you can do in life. Be what they want. And maybe they’ll be what you want, too.”

“Being able to say “I” (instead of a corporate “we”) in your communication with fans is a great competitive advantage.”

“With non-real-time communication, like email, assume you’ve only got ten seconds. Edit your emails down to a few sentences. But always give a link to more information, so they can check it out if they have time.”

“Life is like high school. It’s all about how you come across, how social you are, what scene you’re in, being likable, and being cool.”

“People want someone to look up to. Someone who’s not of their normal boring world. Someone who’s being who they wish they could be, if they had the courage.”

“When someone says they’re looking for something, remember it, and help them find it. Introduce people to each other. There’s always a favor you can do. Give give give, and sometimes you will receive.”

“Beware of putting people on a pedestal. It can prevent real friendship.”

“You have to make your own success first before you ask the industry for help. Show that you’re going to be successful without their help. Show that you have momentum. If they want to accelerate or amplify your success, they will have to pay to ride your train.”

“Being resourceful means being creative, rebellious, determined, and unstoppable. It means asking for help, but not waiting for help.”

“When you assume nobody is going to help, you have to use all of your strength and resources. You can’t wait, because there’s nobody to wait for. It keeps your focus on the things in your control – not outside circumstances. It’s a productive pessimism.”

“Extreme talent requires extreme practice – training like an Olympic athlete. Extreme success requires extreme focus – saying no to distractions and leisure. Extreme fame requires extreme ambition – taking the spotlight and its pressure.”

“You can’t do what everyone else does. You can’t watch 63 hours of everyone’s favorite TV show. You can’t get two dogs that need you to be home. That’s for normal people who want a normal life. That’s not for you.”

“If you’re not happy with the way things are, don’t just complain. Go make things how they should be.”

“The more people do something, the less valuable it is. Everyone else is multi-tasking. So it’s more valuable to single-task. Everyone else is hyper-connected. So it’s more valuable to disconnect.”

“Look at what your competitors are doing, then vow not to do that. Don’t try to beat them at their game. Play a completely different game. Be radically opposite. Don’t be associated with them in any way. Be so different that people don’t even think to compare you.”

“You want the passionate fans of your niche, not the casual fans of the mainstream.”

“The way to be interesting to others is to be interested in them.”

“A mosquito enters a room of people only to suck something out of them. Relationships are reciprocal. You need to give to receive. Don’t be a mosquito.”

“Money is nothing more than a neutral exchange of value. If people give you money, it’s proof that you’re giving them something valuable in return.”

“Business is creative. You can do things any way you want. There’s no need to adhere to norms. Norms are for businesses without personality.”

“You’re going to hear a lot of advice. Listen to it all, but pay close attention to what it does to your energy and focus. If it makes you jump into action, it’s good advice. If it makes you feel drained, sad, or lost, then it’s not for you.”

“If it doesn’t excite you, don’t do it. There’s almost nothing that you must do. Whatever you hate doing, someone out there loves doing it. So if it’s necessary, find them and let them do it. Work toward this ideal, and soon you’ll be doing only what excites you the most.”

“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. You have to decide.”

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