2008 blast from the past: me, Mike Wallin, and Derek Sivers, the subject of this post. (Photo: A3maven)
[Total read time: 3-5 minutes.]
Derek Sivers is one of my favorite people. He is a programmer who lost his stage fright by doing more than 1,000 gigs as a circus ring leader (!!!).
He’s also a musician who founded CD Baby in 1998. As of December 2009, CD Baby had the following stats as the world’s largest online distributor of independent music:
- 300,000 artists
- 5,339,025 CDs sold online to customers
- $200,000,000+ paid directly to the artists
Derek sold the company in 2008, and he did so in a most unusual fashion (bolding mine):
Sivers sold CD Baby to Disc Makers in 2008 for what Sivers has reported to be $22 million, bequeathing, upon Sivers’ death, the principal to a charitable trust for music education.; while alive, according to Sivers, it “pays out 5% of its value per year to me.” Wikipedia
I know this to be true.
Stranger still, at its largest, Derek spent roughly four hours on CD Baby every six months! He had systematized everything to run without him. Derek is both more successful and more fulfilled because he never hesitates to challenge the status quo, to test assumptions. The below guest post from him illustrates this beautifully.
Without further ado, the most successful e-mail he ever wrote… Read More
The following article is a guest post by Chris Guillibeau, who’s traveled to 150+ countries and studied more micro-businesses than anyone I know. I hope you love this piece as much as I did. Enjoy!
Over the past several years, I’ve been on a quest to study micro-businesses—small operations (typically one person) that make $50,000 a year or more (often a lot more). The quest took me all over the world, at first to a large group of 1,500 “unexpected entrepreneurs” who volunteered to share their stories in detail.
I wanted to hear from all kinds of businesses–both offline and online–to decipher what made them so successful. How did they get started? What helped them grow into significant, reliable sources of income? How can you increase odds of success?
After much effort, a small team and I narrowed down the case studies to a subset of 70 that I focused on for final analysis. All 70 people had created freedom for themselves: new income and a completely new way of life. There are formulas.
Here is a highly-condensed list of 17 lessons learned… Read More
While doing research for The 4-Hour Body back in 2009, I resorted to Twitter in search of elite athletes who performed well on a vegan diet. I was repeatedly referred to Rich Roll, whom Men’s Fitness Magazine dubbed one of the “25 Fittest Men in the World.” (Sidenote: if you missed the bonus vegetarian/vegan athlete interviews from 4HB, here they are.)
Among his accomplishments:
- Two top finishes at the double Ironman-distance Ultraman World Championships
- Completing 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 separate Hawaiian Islands in less than a week, a feat no one had ever even attempted.
Here’s the kicker: he did both in his mid-40′s.
But most remarkable of all, just a few short years before exploding onto the scene, Rich was a middle-aged couch potato, depressed and 50 pounds overweight. His 40th birthday present to himself was attempting to reverse course. He overhauled his diet (now 100% plant-based), used The 4-Hour Workweek as a primer to reconfigure his life, and made fitness his Mount Everest.
This original content covers the top 10 obscure superfoods Rich used to cultivate this elite performance. Even I hadn’t heard of a few… Read More
This will be a short post as, sometimes, brevity counts. I want to let Neil Gaiman speak in this instance. Neil is one of my favorite authors, and I first became fascinated by his imagination with The Sandman comics in the 90′s. So much so, in fact, that I imported The Sandman from different countries to help me learn languages.
The Sandman from Brazil. Wonderful for studying Portuguese, as I have identical English editions.
The above commencement speech, mandatory listening for anyone who hopes to be creatively successful, is right up there with Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech, which I’ve embedded below. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments on either, as well as links to any favorite speeches of your own.