Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, entrepreneur, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Get personal

Some people, out of the thousands I know, actually contact me on a regular basis.

Some of those always stick with a strict business script when they call: “Hi I'm calling to check in to see how sales are doing, if you need more inventory, how things are going.”

But others seem to have the gift of smalltalk. I don't know how they do it, but soon we're talking about my girlfriend, their dogs, peanut butter, high school, Japan, and something that happened on the way to work today.

Now - when an opportunity comes up to help someone — say for example a film/TV person asks me “who's good in that standard rock genre?” — guess who comes to mind first?

The person who hasn't departed from the standard business call, or the person who went beyond?

Be a real person. Be a friend.

Don't always be selling yourself. You'll be like that annoying uncle who shows up at the family reunion to try to sell everyone on life insurance.

Have the confidence to know that being a cool person, being a friend, will sell you more than being a pushy salesperson.

People do business with people they like. With their friends, whenever possible.

Get personal