Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Small gifts go a long way

10 years ago, I worked at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. Being the largest music publisher in the world, I dealt with thousands of songwriters. Most of them I can't remember their names.

Three times, and only three times, I got a surprise gift from a songwriter.

James Mastro, a great songwriter from Hoboken, got me a cool little “Mother Mary” keychain when he was touring in Spain.

Gerry DeVeaux, a successful R&B / dance songwriter, got me some funky plastic fish with lights inside, like Christmas ornaments, when he went to the Bahamas.

And Jane Kelly Williams got me a red sweatshirt from the Gap, for helping her out with a demo session. I was thrilled.

Can you believe I remember these details 10 years later? Believe it!

A little gift you might give to someone, as you climb the ladder of success, may go a long long way, and mean a lot to someone down the road.

If any of the three people above called me today to ask a favor, you can be sure I'd stop what I was doing to help them out.

Be generous. It will be returned. As you stay in the music biz, you're going to see the same faces for years to come.

Small gifts go a long way