Derek Sivers

Small gifts go a long way

Years ago, I worked at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. Since it’s 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.

Can you believe I remember these details 20 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. You’re going to see the same faces for years to come.