Books I've read

Your Music and People by Derek Sivers

Date read: 2023-06-16. How strongly I recommend it: 10/10

Go to the Derek Sivers' book store page for details and reviews.

This book is not only for musicians but for all kinds of creators! The book consists of short stories but is full of actionable insights, guiding you through various situations you will face as a creator, particularly the indie/solo one. Although the book can be finished in a day, I suggest limiting your reading to 4-5 stories daily, reading comments on Derek's website, and reflecting on your past experiences.

My Notes

#book #marketing #people #creator [[Derek Sivers]]

Everything usually feels so serious — like if you make one mistake, it’ll all end in disaster. But really, everything you do is just a test: an experiment to see what happens.

Whenever you're feeling stuck/unmotivated, use creative restrictions to set you free.

Ask extreme questions to trigger new ideas. What if a car has no wheels? Make a music video using only stock footage, etc.

Once people start wondering, they can’t stand not knowing.

People want someone to look up to. Someone who’s not of their normal boring world. Someone who’s being who they wish they could be, if they had the courage.

When we weren’t getting the results we wanted, so we thought if we shouted louder, more people would hear. Be smarter, not louder.

People send business to people they like. Start professional, get personal.

Have someone work the inside of the industry.

Show that you’re going to be successful without their help. If they want to accelerate your success, they will have to pay to ride your train.

Get rejected, get filtered. Don't fear rejection. Approach it like rejection therapy.

Get specific on your goal and research what you don't know. You can’t act on a vague desire.

We know where we want to be, but we don't know how to get there. Just contact someone who’s there, and ask how to get there.

Don't wait for permission. It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission. (Related: Permissionless Innovation)

"Someone with a steady 9-5 job asked me how I (as a full-time indie musician) could handle the lack of security. Lack of security? Living this way is like learning wilderness survival skills. Being able to fend for yourself is real security."

You don’t get extreme results without extreme actions.

When your music can’t speak for itself. The words that describe your music have to do the hard work. Come up with a creative description that hooks your audience.

Make up a curious answer to the most common questions (e.g., How are you, What do you do?).

Describe your music like a non-musician. Use their language.

Proudly exclude most people. It signals who you are. Reject 99%, When someone in your target 1% hears you proudly, excluding the rest, they'll be drawn to you.

It’s more interesting for the audience if you’re the opposite of normal. So be an extreme character. The spotlight is the excuse. You can get away with anything in the name of entertainment.

Sell the benefits, not the features.

You aren’t pulled to success by destiny. You’re lifted there by those around you. So acknowledge their contribution, and bring them along for the ride.

Relationships are reciprocal. You need to give to receive.

Money is nothing more than a neutral exchange of value. If people give you money, it’s proof that you’re giving them something valuable in return.

"We don't make movies to make money; we make money to make more movies."

Whatever you’re selling, emphasize the meaning of it, not the price.

The higher the price, the more they value it.

Are your fans telling friends? If not, don't promote. (Related: 10 of love customers > 1,000 that just like)

Never promote something until people can take action, or you might waste the one moment you had their attention.

Don't let preconceived notions blind you from other ideas. "There’s a fable of a man stuck in a flood. Convinced that God is going to save him, he says no to a passing canoe, boat, and helicopter that offer to help. He dies, and in heaven, asks God why He didn’t save him. God says, “I sent you a canoe, a boat, and a helicopter!”"

Ignore advice that drains you.

Trends come and goes, so focus on things that doesn't change.

Whatever excites you, go do it. Whatever drains you, stop doing it. Nothing is worth losing your enthusiasm. Nothing!