10 lessons I learned from Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
1. Clarity in communication is key
Especially as you scale or if you're communicating with a lot of employees or customers. Any miscommunication or misunderstanding causes a lot of back and forth so it pays to be clear, concise and understandable up front.
2. The little things for customers are the big things
Derek Sivers wrote this funny customer service email (google it to find the whole email) that his customers talked about and shared on their website. It's a small thing but how many organisations do you purchase something from have a funny and memorable email thanking you for your order?
3. Share what you already have
Love this way of starting a business. Derek built CD Baby because he was scratching his own itch and his friends started asking him to sell their CDs too. He was also already doing hosting on CD Baby so then when customers asked for web hosting, he just charged them a fee for something he was already doing. There are many examples but find out what you already know / can easily do and then charge others for access (whether it's a service fee, an online course, an ebook)
4. Stay small
CD Baby was for independent musicians who weren't or couldn't get signed by a label. When CD Baby started getting popular, labels wanted to get their artists into CD Baby. Derek said no. He said it's for independents only. Did he give up money because of this? Yes. But did it matter in the end? No.
5. Ignore everybody
You can't please everybody so proudly exclude almost everyone and devote all your time and attention to the 1% of the people you are serving.
6. Your business is your utopia
You can do whatever you want. Hate working on Fridays? Have the whole company off on Fridays. Dislike company policies and bureaucracy? Have guidelines and a flat structure instead.
7. Hell yeah or no
If it doesn't excite you, say no. This works for work, businesses, friends, partners, dates and more.
8. Customer service is everything
Your customers are everything so make sure customer service is top notch.
9. Don't add your two cents
When you're the boss or you have a certain positional authority over someone and give your opinion, it's not your opinion, it becomes a command. Derek's suggestion? If it's something small and insignificant and you're the boss giving your 'two cents', don't.
10. Good ideas aren't worth anything
Well they're worth something but they aren't worth a lot without execution