Derek SiversCD Baby founder Derek Sivers unpacks his entrepreneurial mindset in this amazing series of videos. From his almost “accidental” beginnings in developing an online music store to the sale of the company at $22 million, Sivers’ “uncommon sense” will tweak your preconceived ideas about entrepreneurship.

If you have 50 minutes to spare, follow this link to watch these videos. I definitely recommended watching these videos all the way through, uninterrupted.

Here are some of the most important takeaways from this talk:

  • Entrepreneurs don’t look for a steady income, a pension plan, or job security. They desire to be rewarded on their performance.
  • Entrepreneurs need to remain teachable. You never know it all.
  • You have to start with the ‘why’, because most people don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. They merely try to follow someone else’s dream.
  • You shouldn’t spend your life pursuing what someone else convinced you to do; you should find what works for you.
  • Somebody will always tell you that you should be doing what you’re doing for other reasons. Be honest about your intentions and don’t let others tell you what your motivation should be.
  • Know what you want, focus on it, and don’t diffuse your energies trying to be everything to everyone. Optimize your activities based on what is important to you.
  • Your business plan doesn’t matter because you don’t know what the future of your industry is going to look like. If you admit that you don’t know, you can plan accordingly.
  • Ask more questions instead of trying to answer them. Learn more instead of preaching.
  • If you focus on doing one thing well, it’s easier for people to refer you.
  • The term ‘revolution’ is not used to describe you unless you are successful. Until you reach that point, you are just quirky and weird.
  • When you do something that people love, you will know it by their reaction. It feels effortless. If people act lukewarm and polite, they’re not interested.
  • Let go of what people aren’t interested in, and try something else. Don’t get stuck on any one idea.
  • Do what you can do now with your idea, and make incremental improvements to it as you go.
  • You don’t need a massive enterprise to start testing your idea; you can start at a smaller level. Start now.
  • Ideas are worth nothing without the execution.
  • Treat your customers the way you treat your friends.
  • Humanize your business.
  • People will remember you more for the ways you make them smile than the business principles you abide by.
  • When you are remarkable, people will tell their friends about you.

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David Andrew Wiebe

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