Derek Sivers

Interviews → The Creative Entrepreneur

Talking with Bob Baker about what to do early in your career, fame, fortune, failure, marketing, and the international life.

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Link: http://www.diycareermanifesto.com/2014/02/derek-sivers-interview.html


Bob:

Hello there and welcome to episode 20 of The Creative Entrepreneur. There this is going to be another stellar one, a great guest. I just know you're going to love this interview with Derek Sivers. He's definitely a creative entrepreneur. The guy has done so many things: for one he founded CD Baby in 1998. CD Baby became the world's largest online seller of independence music. So if you know much about my history you know it's something that's close to my heart. In more recent years Derek has become widely known for some of this TED talks. One in particular called How to start a movement, which featured this dancing guy, if you haven't seen it it's pretty cool. And it's had close to three and a half million views on the TED site alone. That also is the author of Anything You Want and most recently he started the company that's called Wood Egg, which basically are books are moving to, and starting a business in 16 different countries in Asia. So, a guy with a pretty wide and varied background. In this interview you find a lot of the advice that he dishes out, his sort of philosophy on business and life, is not to the typical thing. Some of them actually surprised me, even though I've known Derek for a long time. So I know you're really going to be intrigued by this great interview.

Hey, it's Bob Baker. Welcome to The Creative Entrepreneur interview series. And this is going to be a real fun one because I am really thrilled today to be talking to an old friend of mine, Derek Sivers. How are you Derek?

Derek:

Good, yeah great to finally be talking with you again.

Bob:

Yeah, I know. Our paths have crossed many times. In fact, dude, we go way back. In fact, about a year and a half ago, I'm coming here from my home office in St. Louis, and I was sorting through some old boxes a year and a half ago and I actually came across these order forms. Like people that had ordered my books, and actually you had ordered one of the original versions of the Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook from me, and I'm thinking it was either 96 or 97, probably 96-ish, and at some point after that we actually had a couple of phone calls, back in the 90s when you were a musician.

Derek:

Yeah, and I sent you my demo. And I think I bought a little ad space in your thing.

Bob:

I had this publication that was sent out to record labels and radio stations and all that stuff, I put out like three issues of it. And you ran an ad in there. In fact I remember you were debating between two or three different headlines, and one of them was: the Beatles meet James Brown, or something.

Derek:

Yeah, you still remember. Yeah, that was how I ended up describing my music for many years after that.

Bob:

Yeah, like that's the winner. In a couple of years, that's going to be like 20 years ago. That's scary. So let me just give people a broad overview. A lot of people know who you are, and actually these days for different reasons. I also remember a conversation I had with you around 97-ish where you said "I got this idea to create this little CD store, for my musician friends, you'd think this would be a viable thing?" I when "yeah, it sounds good." Anyway, you founded CD Baby in 1998, correct? And ran it for 10 years, eventually sold it. I know you're also sort of well-known for this TED Talk that you did about Dancing Guy. But for people who say "Derek, who are you? What do you do?" How would you answer that question?

Derek:

How would I answer that? It's funny, I think I'm accidentally becoming one of those people that has a broad backgrounds, you know? Like "well, I was a farmer for 20 years, then commercial airline pilot and then I was a stockbroker." So yeah, I was a, really, a full-time musician and during my musician years one of the ways I made a living, for 10 years I was the ringleader MC of a circus up In New England. So I was a circus entertainer for 10 years doing children's music, I ran a recording studio, I ran a booking agency.

Then I started CD Baby and that, of all things, took off. And that got huge. But then after doing that for 10 years I felt like it got too big. It was bigger than I ever wanted it to be. I really like things to be small, and it kind of got out of control. So I sold the company. And then spent the last few years up and around the world, trying to reinstall my operating system, if you know what I mean. Trying to just change the way I do things. And then I started this book publishing company because I wanted to understand Asia better and they saved the best way to learn something is to teach it. So I started publishing books about 16 countries every year to try to understand the cultures of the world better.

Bob:

And that's kind of like your newest company, I think you recently officially launched, what is it called, Wood Egg? Is that right? Woodegg.com. You have a physical representation of it right there. And yeah, that's one thing that you've done a lot, like I know you actually live in Singapore. I think you're actually visiting New Zealand now and that's where you're Skyping from. So you have got this international kind of flair about you. I'm gonna give you the official list of questions here, but I'm curious, because you spend most of your CD Baby days living in the US, right? You're actually born not far from me, like somewhere in Illinois right?

Derek:

Yeah, and I'm a total Chicago boy. Honestly, I didn't have any interest in anywhere else in the world, even just like seven years ago. I was living in LA at the time and I remember my girlfriend wanted to travel, and I was just like "why would we go anywhere else? We live in LA, this is like the end of the rainbow. This is the best place in the world. What are we going to do, go to a different beach?" But I think it was somewhere around that time, I think it was when I was selling CD Baby, I think all of us have a time in our lives where you need to make a major change, right? Like, whether it's a divorce or a graduation or a problem with alcohol or whatever, we all hit of these different times in our lives where it's like "I need to make a major change. Now I can't just keep doing things the same way I've been doing them."

So when I sold CD Baby it was kind of like that to me. It was like: I could just keep doing this some more but I feel I need to make a big change. So yeah, for the next few years it was just like, everything I'm used to doing I'm going to stop doing, and everything I used to hate doing I'm going to start doing. And I'm just going to say yes where I used to say no and no where I used to say yes and just see what happens. And yeah, it's just sent me all over the world and sent off to Iceland and India and then moving to Singapore and getting married and all this crazy stuff. So yeah, it's been a crazy five years, kind of intentionally because I kind of wanted to change my operating system.

Bob:

Yeah, and I think there is like the videos of you, like riding through Vietnam on a bike or a motorcycle. And you were in Amsterdam, I think, for a while too. I mean, that's crazy. Yeah, but a lot of people sort off may be dream about that but you actually sort of did it. So what is the value of getting outside of your comfort zone? Now that you've done those things, do you say "oh boy, I'm glad that I did and what a rich life I've led as a result"?

Derek:

Yeah, I kind of have this motto that life is all about memories, right? Imagine that you are the healthiest person, you brush your teeth and you exercise and you eat all of your vegetables and you lift to be a hundred but if you couldn't remember any of it, did you really live? Do you know what I mean? Said to me, making big changes in your life are kind of like little hooks to hang your memories on. You remember that time you want here, your remember that time you did that crazy thing, you remember that time that you, whatever, dressed up as a clown or whatever. If you just keep doing the same thing all the time and you go into the same job for years on end and nothing changes, those are those years that you really can't remember very well. You know? It's like one day is the same as the next. So it was kind of this idea of intentional scrambling that up and making a bunch of unique memories to hook my memories onto. And I'm glad I did it. On the other hand, it can be a little overrated.

Bob:

Overwhelming, may be too?

Derek:

No, I'd say overrated, you know you still bring yourself with you wherever you go in every place is not so different than the rest. I mean you still just kind of wake up in a bed and do your thing, whatever it may be. But I advise anybody if you're thinking about making a big change in your life you should pretty much always do it.

Bob:

That's cool, that's cool. I love that. And let me just ask you real quickly for the background: tell me the origin of the dancing guy TED video, because I think that's something you've become known for in recent years. Almost as much as, maybe even more than, in some minds, as your years with CD Baby. What was the inspiration for that, just a quick story about how that came about and what its attention has brought you as a result?

Derek:

It was just one of those little videos that was bouncing around YouTube that somebody said "oh, check this out, this guy's dancing at a concert and then a bunch of people joined in" and the first time I watched it I thought "ah, that's funny." And then the second time… Or more after I watched it the first time I thought "that's actually a good metaphor for all this stuff I've been learning about leadership and how to make a movement and the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell or these books on leadership by Seth Godin. I thought "that little three-minute video was actually an awesome metaphor for what I've been learning." So then I watched it again and I thought "yeah, look: one person kind of starts it, but that isn't the movements. You know? It isn't until all these other people join in." So if you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

But then at the TED conference, the famous TED conference, they asked me to give that little talk on stage. And I was terrified! I mean, I said yes, but like literally minutes before I was set to go on I was backstage and I couldn't remember any of the lines. And it's not like a PowerPoint thing where I have like, you know, slides to cue me. It's just a video of a guy dancing and I have to spout all this insight over the top of it. And I couldn't remember any of my lines, I was terrified. And I went out there and they said "ladies and gentlemen, Derek Sivers!" And talk about an intimidating audience, you go out there and there is Bill Gates, there is Al Gore, there is like all these world leaders and movers and shakers. There is a guy that invented UNIX, there is a Larry Page the CEO of Google, these are the people in the audience. And they started up, and I did it, and I nailed it and they gave me a standing ovation and I went outside and I had a heart attack.

But like the one of the highlights of my life is, about an hour after that, I'm outside and Peter Gabriel is is standing with a couple of people having a conversation and then he sees me and he says to his friends "excuse me for a minute." And then he comes up to me really excited, shakes my hand, he's like "brilliant talk! Really, just one of the most profound and funny things I've… Really, this is my favorite talk of the whole conference! Thank you, that was wonderful!" I was like "thank you, sir."

Bob:

I assume you're a fan of his. You know, an iconic music figure.

Derek:

Yeah. God! That was one of the highlights of my life.

Bob:

That's awesome, this gets millions of views and I'm sure you've gotten a lot of notoriety or feedback as a result of that.

Derek:

Yeah. It's my hit single.

Bob:

Your viral video. Alright, awesome! Alright Derek, we could spend a lot more time talking about your background, because you have such an illustrious rich life to talk about. But let's go ahead on the official list of questions, I'm sure will touch on some other key elements there. But I always like to ask people: if you had to look back on your success, whether it was with CD Baby or the things you have done since then, and you have to identify it may be three key things that were responsible for your current situation, what would those be?

Derek:

Okay, number one I think has to be being in the big city.

When I look back it's surprising how many of the great opportunities I had were just because I was in the big city where everything was happening. I lived in New York City for 10 years and LA for six years, and in both of those some huge opportunities came up just because I was there. So that's number one. Being in a big city.

But find a way to keep your costs down, you know? Share a room, whatever, don't splurge on anything, don't go out to restaurants.

But while you're there, meet everyone and go to everything. Keep in touch with everyone you meet. The people you meet are the ones that are going to the lift you up to success. Sometimes we think that success is all of our own doing, but usually the way it happens is that, metaphorically speaking somebody lifts you up. Do you know what I mean? Somebody pulls you up to the next level in your career. So go to everything, keep in touch with everyone. But number one: be in a big city.

Number two, I'd say learn to do lots of things.

What that means, let's say musically, that means playing not just guitar, but say guitar and bass and some keyboard and able to do some percussion and able to write well and play electric and acoustic and different styles… And actually that also means having a little home studio, even if it's just this big, and knowing the very basics of recording and engineering and producing. The more you know how to do, the more you can say yes to every opportunity that may come your way. So I think so many things happened for me that, I was just in the middle of the big city in the middle of everything.

Number three, then, I would just say yes to everything.

I would just pursue every opportunity. You go through all that kind of little craigslist classifieds and everybody looking for something, you contact all of them and you say yes I'll do it and all audition. Take every gig, you say yes to everything. One time somebody asked "hey, we're looking for a jazz piano player for this art opening, do you know of a jazz piano player?" And I would say "well, what does it pay?" They say 300 bucks and I'm like "yeah, I'm a jazz piano player." And I got the gig and I said "okay, I gotta learn how to play jazz piano!" And I quickly went and practiced...

So I think that's the kind of hustler mentality, right? You've gotta say yes to everything, pursue every opportunity and actively go and find every opportunity. Don't just kind of sit at home, thinking: here is my path, I'm just going to get a record deal and be a rockstar. You have to do everything around it and meet everybody.

Yeah, for me those were the three things, looking back, I think were the cause of my success.

Bob:

That's cool, that first one, I've never heard anyone, now that I have done 20 of these interviews, I noticed some patterns in people and so there are some that kind of come up and I'm glad that they do because they're important ones. But the big city one I never heard anyone say. So let me just ask you this, because you hear a lot of advice, and I've probably given it myself, I will say: with the Internet, you don't have to live in New York to do this or that, you can reach people throughout the world from no matter where you are, as long as you have a good Internet connection. But the what I am hearing you say though is that nothing can beat, I guess, the face-to-face interaction with people. How do you balance those two things, using the Internet to connect to versus having to be there and live there?

Derek:

Yeah, I think it's not just the face-to-face contact, it's real friendships. You know, not just transactional. It's like my real friends, the people that sleep over at my house and talk into the night, whatever, are people who are record label owners or Broadway musical writers or famous authors or whatever. Just because I was living in a big city, you know? These are my neighbors.

I put something on my website about Jac Holzman, he is the founder of Elektra Records, he's in his late 70s now. He founded Elektra Records in 1949. And we're good friends now because somebody mutually introduced us, but mostly because he lived a mile down the road from me in LA. And so we just take hikes together, you know like "hey, I'm going to walk up the canyon, you want to come?" I'm like "sure!" And Jac and I would walk off into the canyon for hours, because I live the mile down the road, you know? And there is really something to that.

I mean, now that I'm living in places like Singapore and New Zealand, I meet people that are just as bright, just as talented and all that, but because they're not build the major media centers where the things are happening, they're not as successful. And they go like "wow, you are friends with, whatever, Tim Ferriss? How did you do that?" And I'm like "well, I lived there." I really think it's kind of underrated now rah rah Internet era.

Bob:

Well that's a great point, maybe a lot of people are going to make their plans to move now after watching this. And then learn lots of things. So that's another thing that people debate about, the being the jack of all trades versus having a specialty or a niche, you know, that you're the best saxophone player. But you're saying actually have a wide array of talents. And I guess also, and this also ties into the thing about saying yes to everything, does it matter where you are in your career? Like my advice has always been if you're early in your career say yes to everything, do everything, but as you go along, you're getting more established then you be more picky about it.

Derek:

Exactly! Yeah. I could not have said it better myself, that's exactly it. And since you are talking about what was responsible for my growth then yeah, it was saying yes to everything. But yeah, there is definitely a time where you have to change your approach. But you'll know when you hit that point, when you're totally overwhelmed, everybody wants you, everybody is inviting you to do everything and you have multiple bookings on a single day, that's when you have to start to say no to some things. But until then say yes to everything.

Bob:

Right. Expand your experience and all that good stuff. Awesome! Let's go ahead and continue into the next question I like to ask. And that's, you know, in addition to success every entrepreneur, creative person, they have to deal with hurdles and challenges, and I'm sure in your years you've experienced some as well. So if you have to identify at least one, what would that be, and what did you learn from it?

Derek:

You know, I'm glad you sent over the questions in advance so I had a few minutes to think about them, but this one totally stumped me. I sat here for a long time going "what was a major challenge I had? What is a business or creative challenge? What was a big hurdle?"

And then I remembered actually that somebody asked me this at a conference once too, it was like a Q&A session and I was taking questions from the audience. And I really enjoyed that and no matter what you asked me I'll tell you the honest, raw, unfiltered truth. And then somebody asked me that question too, like what was your biggest challenge, what was your biggest hurdle. And I remember it stumped me at the time too.

The guy came up to me afterwards. Like when the event was done. He came up to me literally out on the sidewalk and said "you know? I think is the most interesting answer is that you couldn't think of a challenge. I'll bet that you've got a kind of mindset where you don't really see anything as a challenge." And he was right.

But I think way way early on, like when I was 19 or something, I read this Tony Robbins book that kind of taught made that any time something bad happens just immediately find a way did turn it into something good. So there is this really common question, whenever anything bad happens you ask yourself "well, what's great about this?" And of course your first instinct is to go "nothing is great about this! This sucks!" But if you think about it some more you go " well, actually what's great about this is... luckily I burn that bridge, now I can go this way" or whatever it may be. So I think that even in hindsight my mind doesn't even remember any of these challenges as challenges because I always found the way to immediately spin them into something good.

So yeah, I sat here for a long time thinking and couldn't even think of a single one.

Bob:

Wow! And and that was actually before you revealed what these guys said to you after that conference, I was thinking the same thing. So why is that? Either you haven't had any challenges or you just process it differently. And that seems to be it. I was a Tony Robbins fan too, and I still am, but I think he said: no matter what, you always get a result. And again this is sort of like positive thinking, you know, euphemisms or whatever. But instead of referring to it as a failure, say: well, I got a result, it may not be the result I wanted. But it's something you can learn from, I guess it's that kind of philosophy there.

Derek:

Absolutely! I mean, everything is just an experiment. Let's see what happens if this happens.

And you know what's funny? Now that I'm thinking, on my blog somewhere I put this blog post that said 2007 for me was like the year that everything went wrong and I got divorced and almost kicked out of CD Baby and all this drama and stuff like that. And even that, I looked back and I'm like glad it happened. Because it let everything is great that's happened in the next five years, was because things got so shaken up then. I guess it's not that I've just had an easy life, but it's all your perception, right? It's all about your reaction to everything. Things can happen to you and our reaction to it is what makes it horrible or great.

Bob:

Did you think that having that attitude was something that came naturally to you or did you have to develop that? Because I think that a lot of people will naturally go to the negative or whatever. But to me it's something I have to work on.

Derek:

I read a lot of good books. Starting when I was about 19, I so desperately wanted to be successful, I wanted to be a famous musician. And I knew that that was wanting to be an Olympic gymnast, you know? Like a million people want this thing and only one out of a million is going to get it. I want to get it! And so I would just read every book I could about success and successful mindsets and all that kind of stuff. And it changed my life, everything else in life became easier because I had a good mindset.

Bob:

Awesome, awesome. I totally concur. So Derek, this has been great so far, let's just continue through the list questions here to tap into your wisdom. What I always want to ask to is: if you could go back and have a conversation with your younger self and you can pick the age, maybe the circus era, or the musician era or whatever, and give yourself three pieces of advice, what would they be? And here they are: what would you do exactly the same? You know, looking back in hindsight now, from your perspective now. What would you avoid completely? Things may be that didn't work. And then what would you have done earlier? Because you didn't have the wisdom at the time and you know that this is something that you should have done. So will start with the first one: what would you do exactly the same?

Derek:

Actually if you don't mind I'm gonna put all of those into one answer. There seems to be a common theme when I think about…

While I'm glad I did was the DIY approach, the learning to do everything myself instead of just delegating it all away. I meet a lot of helpless musicians that have somebody else who takes care of this and takes care of that, and they left not knowing how to do anything for themselves right? So I'm glad that I learned to do everything myself. It gives a big sense of security and empowerment and even it's fun and interesting.

But on the flipside of that then is if I had to do it all over again I wouldn't have done everything myself. I think I should have had somebody focusing more on the inside of the industry. Like the music industry. Because I see you later watching careers, by being at CD Baby I'd see musician's careers, how much they benefited even if they're just a young 21-year-old kids that got ripped off earlier in their career. Just the fact that they did something on the inside of the music industry and they had even one album on A&M Records or whatever, got them certain connections and clout and open certain doors that then they could capitalize on for the rest of their life.

Instead of saying "hey, we're indie only man, and I'm indie, I'm DIY, I do everything myself", it's like one semi-hit song can do more for your career than 20 years of gigging at clubs, you know? So it's worth a lot of effort to try to work the inside of the music industry, to aim for just getting even one semi-hit song or one semi-deal or one song put into some movie somewhere. That's worth the effort. I think trying to do everything yourself and being totally indie hurts more than helps.

Bob:

And that applies to writers and authors and visual artists, I mean people of all different careers too, it's okay to team up with a corporate entity if there is some long-term benefits.

Derek:

Yeah, especially if you're thinking of your career in the long-term arc. Like, I'm going to do this now when I'm young, at the beginning of my career I'm going to go get the deal on… You know what? Who even cares about the money let them rip you off, who cares? Doesn't matter, because what you're doing is building of this foundation of fame that you can build on for the rest of your career. So think of it the long-term, don't worry about the rights of one single song that somebody might take or whatever. I mean, don't be completely stupid, but don't worry about it too much. I'd say words the inside of the industry, especially earlier in your career.

Bob:

Cool, cool. So does that take care of the three things? The advice to your younger self.

Derek:

Yeah.

Bob:

Embrace DIY, just don't overdo it and don't be afraid to partner with a bigger company. And that kind of goes back to the big city thing too, about to move to the big city, meet people, and if they want to help you go ahead and use their influence to your advantage. Why not?

Derek:

Yeah.

Bob:

You already mentioned that you are an avid reader, read a lot of books in the early days. But if you had to just point out to one book that changed your life, what would that be?

Derek:

I think it was How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. It's got one of the worst, slimiest titles ever. The title is really a shame, don't let the title of the book turn you off.

I think it's a really should've been called How to Be Considerate. They get because it really is the best book I've ever seen about how to think of things from the other person's point of view. That is what the whole book is about. And it's a written way back in the 1930s, it's a classic.

And I think that that's really the underlying thing behind all of the best marketing, is it's thinking of things from the other person's point of view, its thinking how to be considerate. Somebody wants to find some new music, what are they thinking when they're looking for new music? Are they thinking about your introspective lyrics or your great drum fills? What are they thinking about having some shockingly unique sounds that doesn't sound like what they've heard before. Learning to think of things from the other person's point of view. I think How to Win Friends and Influence People, that book, is my top recommendation.

Bob:

Cool. And I think that's one of the reasons that we connected early on, when we just had those phone conversations back in the 90s, it's because we had a similar mindset about, not only do DIY thing, but about how to approach this. Yeah, when you talk about marketing, publicity, dealing with fans, it's all about… Everybody wants to talk about themselves. You know "and here is my album and my book and my paintings, you know these are my paintings on the wall behind me", but it's really about what's in it for them. And making that switch, it's amazing how difficult that is for a lot of people. But if you can make it it makes all the difference, right?

Derek:

Yeah, exactly.

Bob:

Cool, cool. And then, this is kind of a deep philosophical question, but what is the real reason that you do what you do, Derek? I guess that may be evolved over the years. That's what motivates you to do all these things that you've done over the years? Is it for fame? Is it to make a difference? Is it for money? There are so many possibilities, but for you, what's your big why?

Derek:

Before I answer that I have to say something that's not just me but for everyone. I think we all have different reasons for why we do things, right? I was recently driving around New York City, like the greater New York City area, and all these buildings that say "Trump" on them. The Trump Tower, the Trump Plaza, the Trump this, the Trump that. Even, my wife and I were driving upstate New York and we were like an hour outside of New York City, off into the rural green upstate New York, and then you see something like the Trump something park. And I'm like "God, he puts his name on everything! Even out here, where there aren't a bunch of Manhattanites to look at it." I was like "what's his deal? Why does he want to put his name on everything?"

And then I realized that we all have different reasons why we're doing what we're doing, right? For him apparently, for Donald Trump, seems to really want to leave this legacy of putting his name on things. That matters to him. Because he could actually make more money if he'll let other people put their name on things. If he was the owner but it got to be called the Panasonic building or whatever, he could make that money that way. But he actually chooses to make less money but have his name on it.

And it makes me think about being in the music business. Or let's say even kind of being in Hollywood, where you see that the richest people in Hollywood are the ones that you've never heard of. They're the movie producers that live in that mansion on the hill, but the movie stars are often not the richest. They're the ones that take the red carpets and the flashing lights and the glamour and all that, but they make less money because they want the glamour. You can actually make more money if you didn't want the fame. But you know, what they want is the fame. So they choose fame. And the guy on the hill you've never heard of chooses the money but no fame.

Donald Trump chooses to put his name on things. Some people choose giving, is what they love to do most.

So the real point is, no matter what drives you, someone is going to tell you that you are wrong. They're going to tell you that you shouldn't be like that.

"You shouldn't pursue fame man, you could make more money this way"

And then say if you're somebody who is pursuing money, somebody's going to tell you "you're all about the money man, it's gotta be about the art."

The point is to just be honest about whatever drives you. You just gotta notice that it's about yourself, right? Like what interests you the most. Go for it and admit it.

And if you're interested in fame and you want to be famous and that's awesome. It's a totally worthy pursuit. And so is being rich, so is giving or whatever.

All of these things, don't worry that somebody's going to tell you that you're wrong, no matter what is your main drive. And just know that in advance.

So mine is, I am driven by experimentation. Two things, and it's safe to have two things to because sometimes it really is the equal, you can't choose one or the other, is the combination, that project wise I'm driven by experimentation. Almost everything I've ever done starts with the sentence like "let's see what happens if…" And I just want to experiment, I want to try things.

But then I'm also, lifestyle wise, I'm totally driven by freedom. Meaning like, I will choose to have less money, less fame if it means I get more freedom to go bop around the world and live in Singapore and New Zealand. So that's mine.

Bob:

That's cool, that's cool. Wow. Refreshing answers I don't get from every guest. What's next on the horizon, is it Wood Egg? Or you have something beyond that even? Is that the main thing you're kind of focusing on now?

Derek:

Wood Egg was one project. I think my main future plan, like the big goal I'm shooting for is: I really like the idea of having like a dozen little businesses where I can be the owner, kind of more like the chairman/founder kind of guy that made it. And then they can be my little experimental sandbox businesses that I can play with, but then I still get the freedom go bop around the world as I do. That's my big goal, it's to have a bunch of little businesses that are useful to people.

Bob:

Are you a fan of Richard Branson? It sounds like he kind of does that bit.

Derek:

Yeah, except I wouldn't want to be a billionaire like that, I really don't. He's a funny example, I'm a fan of Richard Branson, but I read his autobiography and I think it's interesting that he'll have like a billion dollars and feel that it's not enough, he wants more. So I can't relate to that.

Bob:

You can relate to his starting a bunch of little things. And he seems to have a sense of experimentation and play too.

Derek:

Exactly.

Bob:

And then real quickly, before I let you go here, where can people find about you and what you're up to online?

Derek:

Oh yes, sivers.org is my website. I put everything there. I'm on Facebook and all that, but I don't really use it as much. So anybody who made it this far through the interview. Feel free to email me, honestly. I put my email address in big letters on the bottom of my website, so feel free to just send me an email and ask me anything, I'll always give you the honest answer or just say hi.

Bob:

That's awesome. Derek this has been a thrill! Thank you so much for taking time from halfway around the world. You're actually in my future, where recording this on a Monday in St. Louis and you're already in Tuesday in New Zealand. So it's great to reconnect with you my friend. I hope you continue to do this for many years to come. So I wish you success.

Derek:

Thanks Bob!

Bob:

And thanks a lot for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for watching, whether you're watching on YouTube or listening on iTunes or wherever, this has been an awesome one and continue to do so. And I'll be back real soon with another interview in this series. So long for now. Bye.