2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle

YOUR WAY TO THE TOP
BY RAMIT SETHI

Psychology of Disproportionate Results Master Class with Derek Sivers Transcript

......................................................

SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
......................................................

2

2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle
$100 MILLION IN SALES
Ramit Sethi: Hi, everybody. This is Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich and Earn 1k. Today I’m thrilled to have my friend, Derek Sivers—a very illustrious guy. I’d like to tell you a little bit about him. Derek Sivers founded CD Baby, the largest seller of independent music on the Web, and drove it over $100 million in sales, and for selling it to focus on helping musicians. Esquire Magazine said: “Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold—a musician’s savior; one of the last music business folk heroes.” And I’m delighted to have him here on the call with us. Welcome, Derek.

Ramit Sethi: Exactly! No, I couldn’t resist, it was such a nice place. The other thing, by the way, that I noticed which I loved was, on your table you Derek Sivers: On the Internet no one can see you Psychology of Disproportionate much except you had old journal didn’t have too Results blush. issues of—I believe it was the Master Class with Derek Siverscorrect? Journal of Social Psychology—is that Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] Derek, I want to just talk Transcript about the first time we actually met, because I Derek Sivers: Yeah—I think it might be called Psythought it was pretty illustrative of just your perchological Science, but yes, something like at. sonality. We got introduced by somebody, I don’t even remember who it was, and I got your phone Ramit Sethi: And you told me that after you sold number and I was just texting you because IRAMIT SETHI BY had your company, which we will get to in a second. just gotten to New York, and I was saying; hey, That you just realized you loved the stuff and you why don’t we meet up and we can grab coffee, wanted to stay up-to-date, so you may be the only or something; and you actually said: hey, are you non-academic I know who actually subscribe to hungry? If so we can eat. Otherwise why don’t you that journal and got it delivered every month. just come up to my place and we can have tea. And so, for the first time I met you I actually went up to your apartment; and I thought it was a pretty intimate gesture, actually, because in this day and age, people don’t usually invite other people up to their apartments. So that was the first time I met you, and I thought it was just a very nice gesture that you made. Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] You know what—it was Derek Sivers: Yeah, I loved it, and it was damn expensive too, it was like $295, I think for a oneyear subscription, but it was like: uh, if I come up with even just a few great ideas from this it’s worth it, and it was—it was wonderful. Ramit Sethi: Yes, so you and I share a love of both understanding social psychology and also understanding human behavior, and we apply it in very different ways, but today I thought it would be

YOUR WAY TO THE TOP

actually very practical, both when I was living in L.A. and when I moved to New York—in both places I had a really nice place. Like I’m quite a minimalist, I don’t own a lot of stuff, but I really like to live in a place that makes me happy. So the funny thing is, I was living in a great place, and I would often meet people out at Starbucks or something. And then I thought: what am I doing. Like the reason you kind of splurge on a place that you love, is because you love it, so why not just have people over. I’ve got the best coffeehouse in the world, right here, at home. So cook, I’m glad you liked that. Now you’re living there, the same place I invited you to,; and that’s where you live now.

www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com

.. and get into the major labels distribution and that will get you on our website. again.500 copies of it just off the stage... Look.. I’ve already again. And I went: oh.... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT ....... And I thought: damn. can’t I just send you a box of CDs and you sell it and pay me? And they just said: sorry. Which. our website is thing... so what I did was just literally on my band’s website I www. It’s one of the most interesting stories of business anywhere online. the only online music stores at the time were CD Now.. can’t I just be my own distributor? How about I just makeup a company name and I’ll be a distributor that you sign up into your system? And they said: no.. and made me incorthough most people didn’t do this at that time. I guess so—sure.... set up a separate bank account. I would like to sell my CD with you..... Mu.. And I $1.Com and I loved the fact card merchant account and then I had to figure that they are all gone now. like I told some how do I get it selling with you? And they all said: of my friends around New York and most of my who is your distributor. it’s a credit card merchant account and a shopping cart—and damn it... how hard can it be? I mean... And I said: I don’t have a musician friends said the thing......... up each of those three companies and said: Hi.... it doesn’t work that way. I people around the world that want to buy it..com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP . And the first one that I wanted to ask you about is your CD Baby story.... and I decided at 14 years old that I want to be a musician and that was just all I wanted to do. So I wonder if you can walk us back to 1998 and tell us the story of what CD Baby was and what it became.. It was about three months of paperwork.. So even as I had a job for just two years from 1990 to 1992... So.... had enough musical income to quit my last job...... So Master Class with Derekto go get a credit card merchant acSivers I was making a fulltime living as a musician. They actually had to send was trying to get it up and selling online... I went Transcript and back then it was hard........ so I called book and copy down some CGI-BIN. so was so proud and it was so cool.. it’s like after three months of hard work. so I was already a fulltime musician.... it’s easier these days. And I said: well. I sold 1. porate.. and I So. about 1. Perl Scripts. So I thought fuck it. 3 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle fascinating to kind of go through four or five major areas.. BY big RAMIT SETHI Amazon was still just a bookstore..... Well a little context first. you know. that was just what musicians call a ‘day job’ it was a thing I had to do to pay the rent while I was really working on my music.... the only way to get into our website is basically to go get a record deal.But after three months of hard work I had a credit sic Boulevard and Tunes... [LAUGHS] out how to build a shopping cart. I know there are had it... and a lot of work to get a shopping cart work... it doesn’t work that way. and there was not a single business anywhere on the Internet that would sell your music if you were an independent musician And in 1992 I had savedPsychology of and up enough money Disproportionate Results without a record deal.. could you sell my CD through that kid.. and particularly of music.. It was like put out my own CD in 1996. I’ll do it myself. Derek Sivers: Sure. and 1997 I had sold count......500 copies on my own.... It was like: hey.... that last time I had a job was 1992..000 in set up fees..iwillteachyoutoberich... Amazon was just a bookstore.. [LAUGHS] So you’ve got to understand the context though—in 1997 when I was doing this PayPal didn’t exist yet.. even an inspector to my location.. distributor. So really just a front-end to the major distributors. yes. I had a Buy Now button on my website.. but back then you had to buy a So I wanted to get it selling online.

com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP . sometimes I think tantly.. it’s never fair those who can’t afford it. Like was living the musician’s I tell you that is Results dream.. So what am going to do? And it really wasn’t until like four years into it that I thought—okay.. I wasn’t trying to make a lot of people these days.... dream—right? doing this in my spare time.... and I’d better start charging some money to do this.. And then below it... it said: Or.. I think I’ve accidentally So that was like my very utopian idealistic idea of started a little business.. and honestly... and I don’t think it will work out really well. because I hated in those situations where like..... And I was doing this as a favor to friends— right... 4 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle had a little section which was like a big: Click here to buy my CD.. and then after a whole year I hired in SETHI Ramit Sethi: Mm-hmm.... my friend. I started getting calls from strangers saying: hey. control. of course. the big boys with the deep pockets get to. Ramit Sethi: Nice.. really slowly. and you will see that this will..you know.. buy up all the front page space and those of us without. kind of musician’s dream come true scenario. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . and number four—there would never be any paid placement.. and they are upset if it isn’t going gangbusters play later into the story..... I made touring and producing people’s records the end. But you’ve got to night when I realized that—okay. I started it with 500 bucks.. I was living the musician’s dream.. that’s ness anyway..... and playing on people’s records. beand 30 and 50 and then it just kind of ran out of cause I don’t think that will make a lot of money.... Like. like. sure— here’s my address.. said you could sell my CD. And still the whole time I was just doing www... just are contacting me every day wanting me to sell did everything myself.. but at least it will make me happy. I was living in Woodstock.. and for the first was for some business to distract me from that year it was me in my living room in Woodstock. they start a company money... but there was just one key by month-three or something.... that IPsychology of Disproportionate because I’m really proud... so the last thing I wanted So anyway—I started this thing. like I was just doing it for two years... send it on in and I’ll take care of it. and after a whole other year I hired a second person................ it didn’t cost any money..... Derek Sivers: And it had a little picture feature there..... I bought a house with the money eled the entire company and stayed all the way to Transcript like stayed through to its original mission. So what is my musician’s dream-come-true scenario? It’s like: number one-as a musician I would want to be paid every week...... some of my friends’.. I really want to make it like a utopian when I had about eight employees and then 20. so it was growing Derek Sivers: So all of this was done really relucreally... I mean.. the reason stand this context.. one person to help me.....Class with Derek Sivers those same [few 08:44] musicians really just fuMaster New York at the time. It was like a hobby.iwillteachyoutoberich.. man. their CD... And I’m like: Yeah. You know. Dave. well if this is going to be a busiit really started taking off around 2002....... like it or not I’ve understand. Then I was doing it BY RAMIT my fulltime. people had no investors.... Number three— you’d never kick me out of the system for not selling enough.. and pretty soon. Number two—I wanted to know the full name and address of everybody who buys our music.. So after a few months I realized that this was starting to take over my life. In fact.. But you have to underwhat I was doing here. I accidentally started a business.

.... there’s a story I’ve got to tell you.. we became a digital distributor. I bet the place of the formality of Doug’s and Bob’s Tackle Shop has changed a lot since then. and now every square foot to explain to friends—is this weird. uh? And he said: in Key West.. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . yeah—and I miss mob.. they haven’t—so I’m really wasn’t focused on the money.. www... that I try 20 cents for ketchup........ Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] Derek Sivers: I said: what! He said. I was just focusing on CD Baby... And is aid: wow.. Ramit Sethi: Yes.000 musicians using the system....... let’s get to the meat. In fact... and took a taxi to my hotel. 5 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle what I originally set out to do... and I was just Derek Sivers: And then people would me like: chatting with the cab driver.... where is your legalize on the Ramit Sethi: Wow! website... kind of in the last few years out of that. it was selling the albums of independent musicians... I miss the mob.. Tell us what happened...... when you’re running your busiit. everybody is happy.... why? And he said: you know when the mob was around this town........ like just trying to figure ness you can try to absolutely maximize every bit out how to make the store better.. And they’re like: what if somebody sues Derek Sivers: But what was interesting is like.. And I don’t know—do you want me to the end of my CD Baby story? Ramit Sethi: Yes. are so constantly working on it.. well everything profitability of every square foot of floor space.. That I didn’t set out toDisproportionate Resultsout of this town.. more effective. BY RAMIT SETHI And by this time we had like 200... just think along those terms.... building the system......... I you some day? I’m like: well. was just cruising along and a lot of your readers and now the hot dog stand charges me an extra are money focused. it was fun..... after the ITunes Music Store launched.. Like... this place has all here since 1976. He said: now. so what’s interesting... Ten years ago I was in Las Vegas for a conference. how what’s your official policy on this. And he said: I’ve been telling my employees like: look.. It sucked all the fun that. kind of relax a bit and remember like what’s the real point that you’re doing this.. and as long as more was coming in than going out.. and I said: so.. He said: there were only two numbers that mattered—how much money is coming in and how much is going out.iwillteachyoutoberich.. and I said: okay.. here— fine.. of profitability out of your business.com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP ... say: where is your terms of conditions.. but I was really just doingMaster Class with Derek Sivers what I loved... kind of distributing music to Apple. iTunes and the rest..... surreal situaof floor space in this entire city is maximized for Psychology of do tion of becoming rich.. I loved helping musicians. I absolutely loved doing And I really took his point to heart. profit.. the goddamn multinational corporations come in and they try to maximize the Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] Okay. And I started long have you been here. And I’m like: I don’t have it and I don’t want it. where is your privacy policy... and then selling [to industries 9:52] but really just stayed true to its original mission.. because there Transcript many ways...... or you can just how to call more attention to my friends’ music. and two million customers buySo often people would come to us and kind of ing music..

....... I would just look at the bank every now and then.000 and then it hit one million. like—take a hint. It really kind of felt like the way amount.. that weekend I kind of stopped to think. feeling I had enough money in the bank.... And so for ten years I had like I bought something that I didn’t want before been telling them no.Ramit Sethi: And you sold it for a pretty good ized I was done.. And then one day it had $200. yes.. Ramit Sethi: So what did you do? like I really didn’t pay that attention to the money....... around. and it was just Master Class with Derek decided to about the time when IcoinSo like even if all of my customers went away cidental actually—like was Transcript done... and I really meant rather—like the company’s bank account. one of my proudest accomplishDerek Sivers: I think this is what’s called a seller’s ments to date. so I Sivers sell it.... and you step back and you go—Yeah. Like I really had this— like the taxi driver said.. I had no future vision about it anymore.... Then buy it in one week... and I should just take a hint and go for I did in 2007.... just so surreal..... YOUR WAY TO THE TOP www. ground up... The company bank account was realizing. that’s it! I’m done—that’s everything I ever wanted to do. if I’m done.. So I sold it. and I had to do a lot of soul searching to realeverything I had ever learned about programming ize like: am I really.000 I’m actually doing a disservice to my customers then I noticed it had $300. like... you know—why want it now.. although I had vowed that I I noticed that my bank account—or I should say would never sell the company..... three people are willing to So anyway. then that means had $100.. and it really didn’t change anything about my life.. let’s just now go to the end. was so proud of it. and so this one week where BY RAMITgot three calls in one week I told them all no.... I had just recently rewritten a software from the Ramit Sethi: Yeah...after I had been doing it for ten years.. I just had this mentality. But because there was a good reason I didn’t want it I SETHI before.... So anyway. and then at the beginning of 2008 I just real.. I’m feeling done. I would actually rather it be was like $1.. well.. I got a little comfortable sense of So I decided I was doing clients a disservice knowing that I’d be fine Psychology of Disproportionate Results careers to grow not no matter what. with that said—as I was just doing this and doing what I love.. truly done with this—and the and marketing and site design.iwillteachyoutoberich...... honestly.. when you’ve finished an artwork and you have the final brushstroke and you look at it... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . 6 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle Like things don’t need to be hyper-efficient and maximized. And one day Derek Sivers: So.....5 million then it hit $2 million—it was smaller not bigger... It was perfect and I answer is. But other than Baby. It’s not all along for ten years. I don’t know how comfortable you are that a—I don’t know—a painter or a sculptor feels revealing whatever the ballpark was..000 and then it hit by staying at the helm because I’m anti-ambitious $500. because they wanted their shrink........ It was kind of the culmination of it......... that I would be from three different companies offering to buy CD okay and wouldn’t be desperate.... Like a rewritten version of CD Baby market.... and it worked. but I it for the ten years that I said it...com .. and I’m not trying to get rich..... and then it about it at this point.. but I had actually been receiving these calls that it didn’t change anything in my life.000. but the numbers just kept going up. I got three phone calls in one week tomorrow for the rest of my life I knew that... We had a great Christmas season... all of a sudden I was the sole owner.. and it was beautiful—it was.

I yes. YOUR WAY TO THE TOP www. especially when I’m talking to the media and they go—are you rich? Like very antagonistically.. but then what? million it doesn’t make any difference.. where it’s like I’m not But it’s not really about some number.. and almost step backwards.. 20 after a couple hundred thousand.. so I just decided to.. How have things changed after $22 at age 28 versus 58? It’s very different... and then he went and [blogged/blabbed 16:14] about it... the number. It’s really.... tiability. Andjourneylove..... well that will last a decade. well. Ramit Sethi: Wow! Ramit Sethi: You know it’s funny.. so. It’s not a broke anymore. I guess that’s the only difference. you know..... and I was the sole own. he has been kind of living Ramit Sethi: Yeah. and then one friend asked me once a few years ago and I answered him and I thought it was confidential..... And what happened was they would actually sold it for $22 million U.if you don’t cure insaWhat feels rich to me at 28.000 and $200.. and at twenty million.. that’s not that Derek Sivers: So I never fell into that trap of insa.. and you’re right.. And that pictures a life where life costs one to two million was.... you can do that. high for 20 years... so I’m still just..... because I love testing everything. Derek Sivers: Not at all.. rich is not. Like you’ve got to...... I got out... it’s what Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] makes me happy. but Derek Sivers: So it’s public.. living in a nice place.for example.. And so I tested: well. so still just living the same life but it’s just—it’s just nice to know there’s a safety Derek Sivers: Because in his life—it’s like he net..... don’t make yourself want things that you didn’t BY RAMIT SETHI want before just because you can want them now.I think once I also about if you Transcript said. yeah.... So I started going: out now... Derek Sivers: That is so well put... you know—that safety net....just a number.be startled. maybe it really was like this change as you around 100.S... Ramit Sethi: Terrific! Now you told us how your For example....oh.. I would say: notice how that conversation just kind of ended... you will never be happy..000 it in Kansas as it is in Manhattan? Or is it the same wasn’t much....much money....... and then er and it was an all-cash deal so...... in this little one bedroom apartment with no stuff in it....... and so when I mentioned the number to him he said: honestly. so anybody can find their eyes kind of glaze over. Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] Ramit Sethi: And so of course I would test responses. I can afford what I want to do. my lawyer who is actually more of a friend than a lawyer at this point. kind of. because rich isn’t really just a number. is having a million dollars the same life changed after $100.... hit that point. so I think Psychology of Disproportionate Results million? we both have come to understand that rich is not about someSivers And in fact... [LAUGHS] tiability.... Ramit Sethi: I love that. but finality of the number—that’s what I’ve found at then you really have to get philosophical like— least....iwillteachyoutoberich... is Master Class with Derekwhat are your values.. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .... 7 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] Well I’ll tell you—you know I was never ever going to tell anybody. it might...com .... so yes. I was feeling that dollars a year—that’s his life....000 bucks. I get this question a lot.... and so for him..

. and then it’s infinite because I’m living on less than the interest is generating.. I just live off the interest for life now.. You know. 100 or something.. at least conversationally.. We are used to living within certain restrictions. Ramit Sethi: Mm-hmm. and you live there long enough until it where I didn’t have to be at the office.. it’s to.... I can do this now and I’m going to do it.. I make a life that costs $100. Derek Sivers: And I could be anywhere and I don’t have to be anywhere. But anyway—so around that time I just decided like: I Ramit Sethi: I love that.... mindset.. and ever since I got out of high school.. it’s a big world out there. that was something Mandarin..... and I really started to Psychology of Disproportionate Results grow up in China.you know..... like living with like. After you had this success was born in California. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .... it’s because everything you own is one little weight that’s restricting your freedom. and you surround yourself with all your more freedom? So that’s why I don’t own many friends who are from Brazil....... completely free.. Ramit Sethi: Yeah! Derek Sivers: You know. 8 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle Derek Sivers: So to me.. it’s like I just have this vision of life that when I’m 90 years old............ Yeah.with freedom as the compass.. So that’s my general rule with the money... and I don’t to I know you wanted to do—now you’ve basically just go visit and snap a picture and come back to taken upon and you started traveling the world..S. What’s funny is around 2007 or so...... Like my business didn’t even need me anymore. I guess. they didn’t even know where I was living—they didn’t even know what country I was in.iwillteachyoutoberich... and grow up in Brazil.. and really which I thought was a really cool thing to do.. totally.... I’ve understand what it’s like to always been making every decision withClass with Derek Sivers point where I get Master the com. and made feels really comfortable... like www. and it YOUR WAY TO THE TOP Transcript Ramit Sethi: Hmm? And then once that happens.. California..000 a year. Derek Sivers: And then you move to Berlin and you do it again... and you learn PortuDerek Sivers: It’s which decision would give me guese.... which the U.......... where my circle of friends were funny... Ramit Sethi: Yeah. It’s almost too much freedom.... and it feels like home. Just immerse myself and understand... Then you go to Brazil. and it feels comfortable.com ... is like I just don’t touch the principal. then go somewhere else. I want to live in that world....live there long enough—to the feels like home..... and you understand that And so I made this kind of laptop life for myself... that we are not used to like that much of a blank slate every day of your life. I’ve lived my whole life in and after you lived in New York for a while.. sure that my business was set up in such a way that I could be anywhere and all this kind of stuff. I want to be looking at the globe and there will be no part of it that feels too foreign.. it pass.. I hit this point where I was absolutely... and I realized like every morning I would wake up with this feeling of like: wow—today I could do anything and I don’t have to do anything.... and really get I’ve been wanting to do anyway. so yeah. all along in this kind of 20-year journey and all born and raised there. and you really start BYkind of to SETHI what it’s like to be born and raised RAMIT understand things. this grand plan of understanding the world—like I want to know what it is to live in China and speak Derek Sivers: Thanks.......

.........like I’ve seen....iwillteachyoutoberich. actually in a different part of your site... practicing and I’d it may be. it’s actually quite the contrary..... 9 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle it all feels...... open enough to find a great partner. in a positive sense ofMaster Class with Derek Sivers the word.....m. and maybe they get a a. because you and I both have a love for working harder than anyone else.I found what I loved. it’s But Kimo Williams. I of Disproportionate Results hustling. Ramit Sethi: Mm-hmm! So let’s talk about how you do that. all day and I’d write and I’d be in the practice rooms.. knowing that you want to be a musician is—understanding your life is going to be hard. Like I still kind of thought that maybe I’d spend Derek Sivers: Sure.. There’s a funny thing.I have four major things I want to ask you about.. who had set my expectations high enough.... Every dollar for the rest of my life.. really.... where you think about School of Music. You know. but working That was just my outlook on life at 14. and I would go running and I would practice terrific score.. or whatever and I’d be up until 2:00 a. kind of. are the people who have never left. or even working hard to find.. So at 14 when I decided I wanted to be a musician for life. and anti-patriotic. I’m never going to have a job. I went to Berklee just give you an example... Which gets you very. I would wake up at 6:00 put in hundreds of hours.. that the ones who shout: my country is number one—the loudest... you know.. so I just on the right things to get disproportionate results. I would dash through—slap together a residuals from really crushing that test and getpeanut butter sandwich and head straight to the ting into the best schools or whatever it may be... antiterritorial.....com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP beginning of this call... Like www... So..would like hang out in the cafeteria for a couple RAMIT SETHI Five years later they look back....m..... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT ..... I’m never going to have a steady income.. became... That was my college experience. because nobody ever saw me sleep their GMATs or whatever.. sleep for four hours and do it again.. Derek Sivers: Okay. I’m going to have to fight hard for. some people or drink or relax or party.. and my nickname in school was Transcript anyone who really studied hard for their SATs or The Robot...being And everybody would head to bed at midnight. the guy that you mentioned. Ramit Sethi: So we’ve got... and even at meal times..like I know people from every corner....... and the first one is not about tricks on how to do it.. The same thing is true of working hard to get into a great job. . they don’t ber how hard they studied but they’re still getting hours. I want to ask you about a story I read of yours about Kimo Williams and you have this line.. is because I knew we were going to talk about these things.. and I’m fighting for a dream that a million people want and only a few get. practice rooms.. where you was a real turning point in my life because I have say: you don’t get extreme results without exthis passion already but I didn’t have a role model treme work.. that I kind of took longer than usual to kind of tell you some background context things about me... so I’m going to have to work as hard as an Olympic athlete works to win a gold medal........ Part of the reason at the my life being a music teacher or something......... yes.. But I’ll So in college.. yes.. I Will Teach You to Be Rich readers. for example... deciding you want to be a musician means: I’m never going to have insurance. I wonder if you could talk about that.... like I had found my Psychology call this calling and I just threw myself into it completely. I mean. everybody else BYremem....

.. that’s the exam.. this and that—so play for me in Cmajor scale. and then he told me: for all those relike for the lowest common denominator. how is built..... that’s the standard pace like 12 classes already. whatever it is you’re later.. you can do this! He Transcriptyou can do this... Come on.... whenevDerek Sivers: And then in two more 3-hour leser you hear somebody telling you this is how long sons... You don’t pace that you’re given. eh. what’s that called? Come on. You don’t have to accept the standard pace.. if you’re bright. He said: the standard pace is for chumps. like you are—you can ters of harmony. he just kind of set a new model for me. but I didn’t. like what you call the said: buy the books... And he gave me this intensive music harmony lesson. Kimo taught me four semesare.. Ramit Sethi: Right... like most colleges. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .... Like I basically just passed they’re telling you. just take the final exam..... Okay..... I think I can show you a few things........... you can do this—go! Derek Sivers: So I went to his studio and he said: look.. sit down at the piano. this is how long it takes to So by the time I went to Berklee only two months be an accredited counselor. he said: okay. I took the entrance exams and I tested out of setting out to do in life. You can—just by not accepting the standard department and take the final exam.... here’s the deal— Berkelee School of Music..I knew I wanted to be in music..... you build a triad starting on the E. you can go for it. good... He said: I used t teach at Berklee.... open up his book.... he taught me four semesters of arranging. And what he did. He was a music teacher in Chicago that I met just a couple months before I left to go to Berklee School of Music. do all the homework yourself hustle. it moves at the pace of the And it was like that kind of pace. BY RAMIT SETHI graduate college in two years.. And in fact he said Ramit Sethi: Wow! another line that really stuck with me. Let me explain what happened... Ramit Sethi: Ah—interesting! So that was my music harmony lesson. and that’s for chumps. just go to the head of the department—he If you know what you want. if you build a triad—do you know what a triad is? Okay........ what’s his name—Morpheus so therefore they go at the pace of the slowest with fight in that assimilated karate thing... faster.. 10 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle I though that. it takes to get a degree.... and in only Derek Sivers: He said... come on.... That’s like. you know.com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP .. you can find a way to do it have to attend the class.. He said: well—why don’t you come by my studio. and when I told him I was going he said: Berklee School of Music... what’s that called? If you built it off the B what’s that called... They have to make a little bit like that scene in The Matrix where— Psychology of Disproportionate Results is showing Neo how sure that every student in the class understands. quired classes that you’re not to [psyched 28:32]. what’s a major scale. like you two 3-hour lessons. telling me: I think you can graduate college in two years and here is how. and not even by cheatin your spare time and then go to the head of the ing. this. He was like—okay...iwillteachyoutoberich... Okay.... Master Class to Derek Siverssaid: let go of those limitastudent. and if you’re driven.. he said... it was lowest common denominator....I don’t know. now if you were to place this note with that note......... now if you build a scale.. tions. So here I am at 17 years old and this guy is www......

sometimes by law....... Showing people: look. Ramit Sethi: And I’m like—what! You could do that....... And she would just say: Hey..... and it’s showing people that they can—it’s crucial.. Derek Sivers: Yes.. they don’t play any good music... it’s bullshit...000 worth of work done for one plate of saag paneer.... you can Derek sort of leapfrog others. the way the ballots are made. my sister. who talked about a negotiator... I love what—in your book—what you new way.. But I guess my question here. and she needed some work done on the back porch.... just call your credit card I’ll just keep using this musician example because and say this. man... And they will just like sit Ramit Sethi: Yes.. can you guys come over.. radio stations suck...... So.. for example........ I graduated college in two years plus one summer semester... and it cater to the lowest common denominator..iwillteachyoutoberich.... Master Class with Derek Sivers you said just makes a lot of sense—right.... Derek Sivers: Exactly! Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] Derek Sivers: Yeah... I mean... not doing anything... or they have sidestepped.. And she got like $1. would you be interested in helping out a little bit and I can bake you some Indian food. And they hang up the phone going: it’s what I know best—who kind of like bitch about oh.. I might not have BY RAMIT SETHI Example of this—that once you’re if I hadn’t have run into Kimo...... or they’ve been Psychology of Disproportionate Resultsmakes us realize our nies they—or organizations like schools—they do taught by someone.. So what own self-imposed limitations. She is www. musician just kind of going like: whoosh. and the next door neighbor they bought some guys in to build a porch. is—why don’t more people do that? Ramit Sethi: Yeah... I mean. It takes somebody to show you that you in that mindset. But then once you YOUR WAY TO THE TOP one of the top negotiators I’ve ever met. do.. things have to be accessible to everyone. sometimes we don’t even know around and bitch about it. And they’re just sitting there bitching about it. They’re like: man. like. or the way that when you go into the DMV. I wouldn’t have Derek Sivers: known...she would see these guys who were. let’s just throw in one other.. And sometimes it’s seeing someone who is just taking it to the next Ramit Sethi: But then when you go into compalevel. I just imagine the typical the boxes that we live in.... So I bought all the books for all the classes that I was not signed up for. you know.. did all the homework and just went there and took the final exam and passed. the system..... So I went there and did it... Like there are musicians.. trust me... I didn’t even know that.... And I remember.. I mean.. When you think about.. and she would be like. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . building porches and stuff...... Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] Ramit Sethi: Until we see someone who’s stepped outside it. and you can see this everywhere.. I did it.. 11 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle So I said: really? He said: yeah. it’s all controlled by the corporations. smart and you’re motivated and driven...if you don’t mind.. whoosh. Ramit Sethi: I loved that you highlighted the fact that most organizations are built for the lowest common denominator.. or make you some Indian food... Derek Sivers: I think..... you look at the world in a whole can...com . my god.. I can’t believe I just did that.... man—that’s fuck man. for example.. If you’re Transcript Sivers: Yeah.. yes.

. we are just a coffee shop.... 12 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle start to look at the world in this way...... but really don’t have to be a genius to change the way that not doing anything except croissants during the you interact with the world.. Gary kind of was walking around HolDerek Sivers: lywood and just took a very determined stroll you? through all the streets in the county. And why isn’tClass with the stick in any deal.. ... those scripts..... and he found this Ramit Sethi: You and I have such a similarity in one little coffee shop called Hotel Café.... you don’t have to do anything. And they had a wonderful little area by the small.iwillteachyoutoberich.. just let me use your space.. And now Hotel Café is like the hottest club in L...you know Psychology of Disproportionate Results given a shitty end are like seensters. they are all people realize. then it was seven nights a week. and this saying: when you’ve been it’s all about how you look.. And so they said—okay. I’ll provide the sound system.. there was music there and he was taking care of everything.... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . you know all these Like if you start to feel powerful in this world. tentatively... that anything just playing just to actually listen to the music any that you’re dissatisfied about... Nobody is do what everybody else is doing.A.. even when I look back at what I did with CD Baby.. I’ll book my friends. I mean. I wasn’t really looking at it through that lens at the time... trying to get a record deal. why don’t you on around you and you don’t even know that it’s let me run like a singer. As Steve Blank said.... they It’s almost like—there’s this idea of the.A. and it our blogs and in our whole outlook... simple tweaks you can take... so I started a new distributor. you can Master there a of Derek Sivers If somebody is saying like: venue where people can play music that people flip the stick around. banks want to hear and people who want to hear music man all go there to just listen to music? Why doesn’t that suck... song-writer acoustic night being played.. and those first window that would make a great stage... the most desirable place to play and all that. And there are people who..My friend. in my book. you places you can play in L...... I’ll promote it. and then they started doing it like every Tuesday and Thursday.. you don’t have to just stand in line and just posturing..... In fact.......... the world is actually way different than you think. which is—you was just kind there in a prime location.. make a radio station. And so he did it on Tuesday nights and it got more and more popular. Gary Jules—check out this story—he was a musician in L... and they tweaks really are just designed to show you that were closed at night.... somebody did... for example.com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP He said: look.... and I just love that mentality....... And I find that if you can get like here on Tuesday nights? And they said.. no. those are no—that’s not our thing. there’s a whole game going So he went to them and said: look . Transcript these banks are ripping me off man......... who was dissatisfied with the venues.. well—then let’s make a radio station. more. And he made that venue exist. make your own distribution... you can change it. So while the rest of his friends were just bitching BY RAMIT SETHI Why not. you think. Well.A. So I just figure.. but basically I was dissatisfied with the state of distributions. no. start a bank you know...central neighborhoods of Hollywood.. All his friends were just bitching: man. because what happens is people pick up www... exist? Ramit Sethi: Yeah.. If you don’t like the distribution out there. Or if you don’t like the radio stations.. why not about it... carefully designed to be in the first chapter of my book.. And all the people that come to clubs.. there are some day.... they just want to be seen.

a musician.. we tell people..and I’m sure this has been the people 10 years older than you. and I crowd. we go to it....... fitting in. I look at people.. 13 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle the book.. that we are highly individualistic.. But more importantly after doing all these things. there are a lot of cultures where the big ambition in life is to get a job at a multinational corporation.. so just look at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite... Ramit Sethi: And it doesn’t take you being genius.. and not fired.. and then they realize like: thing I call the 10-year savings strategy..I have this when people do that for the first time it’s scary Ramit and nerve wracking. Now.. you know... and say. 70 or mostly formed by me deciding I wanted to be hours a week... And they use it...... then yeah........ I Will Teach You to Be Rich sounds like—who is this dude? And then if they. and that is: look at and most people.. if still kind of think this mindset was partially formed... Like that’s the goal of a lot of people going to engineering school.. we are going to have kids.. You see..... whatever you’re doing... have agency—but the truth is. I just learned so much form this guy also just a 10-year strategy. I’ve got to admit that I ahead of you—they’re ten years older than you.. we are going to have a house.....what is everybody else who wants what you Psychology take Teach You to Be Rich.... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .. Warren Buffet talks about that from an investor point of view. is to just get some job.. the name of the game is to stand out... And so if you look at it just takes you off into taking some initiative. I mean. cially in America—we love to believe that we are because it’s really about standing out from the different.. we live in a system.. Ramit Sethi: Hmm! Derek Sivers: But you’ve got this kind of mindset of being a mover and a shaker. It already looks like a scam.. so that’s kind of my own selfish purpose...... if they kind of read through the first few pages. but from a career point of view or In some of the stuff that we’ve done on I Will just. but it’s wait a minute. they say like—wait a minute—I can actually have a totally different relationship with the companies that I deal with..com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP .... I’ve never seen a script like this... justof Disproportionate Results to do the opposite in a want doing? So find a way somebody interesting out to coffee...... someone in your field or who is doing what you’re doing...... do I like case with you—with me as well—most people are who they are and what they’re doing. Sivers Master Class with Derek it’s the best 20 bucks you’ll ever spend. number one—maybe I’ll take this guy’s advice and read the rest of his book. Ramit Sethi: And the funny thing about us—espeSo your whole story... They love doing it because it makes them feel good and they’ve been given Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] advice too.. they say: hey.. and whatever. And TranscriptSethi: Yeah.. the one you just told I love.. and all of a sudden they say—whoa. We have a job. because now it works for them.. and it works....... and odds are that we are like everyone Derek Sivers: Yes. it’s a lawyer and that lawyer is working say 60.. with my friends... I don’t have to just take this bank that’s been gouging me for the last four years... we are creatures of habit.... let me try this script. and you see what they’re doing ten years Derek Sivers: You know. is what they’ve been told will get them hired. Or even whatever. BY RAMIT SETHI happy to give advice.. better way. It’s 20 bucks..iwillteachyoutoberich....... And with that mindset then maybe like. else...... or 80 hours a week as a partner— www.

...... If you don’t.... and I don’t want to bring the book with me everywhere I travel and then reread...sivers... it’s not just look at the ‘what’ Ramit Sethi: Right. two of them are lawyers. Do you like that? If so. Incidentally.......... speaking and one doctor is a doctor because their mother Transcript died of leukemia and they want to make sure that of books.. So just make sure that when you’re looking at that the doctors have more in common and the these people that are ten years ahead of you that lawyers have more in common with each other you’ve found people that match not just the ‘what’ Psychology of Disproportionate Results than they do with the other doctor lawyer......iwillteachyoutoberich. Chances they are going to be the same. just keeping it on my hard drive only.. So in way it’s like doctor-1 and lawyer-4. what makes somebody not stop when they hit $20 million or $100 million but be driven to make $1 billion then $10 billion then $500 billion and still be driven that person wants something different out of life than those who might just hit a certain point where you’re cool... and then when I’m done with the book. you read a lot of books and then you no one dies of leukemia ever again.. is a role model to me in some ways... don’t have to do it.... that was amazing.....let me add one thing to that though.. Derek Sivers: Yeah. What I mean is.. that was wonderful.. although..... so if I look at somebody like Richard Branson.. for example... Ramit Sethi: Right! Derek Sivers: So make sure. Derek Sivers: You want a different thing out of If you’re just looking at the what..... with Derek Sivers Master Class Ramit Sethi: I love that. 14 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle chances are that you are going to be doing just that... I don’t want to bring my books with me everywhere. And then the other lawyer is a lawyer because his dad was wrongly jailed and he is like passionate this and wants to make sure that nobody ever has to have that injustice again.. their family drove that into them that they need to be a lawyer to support their family...com .. two of them are doctors.....org.. as I’m reading a book I’m underlying and circling my favorite bits.. and one lawyer says. great. traveling guy. now you know what to work towards. but the ‘why’....... imagine four people. It’s about money go for it.. that was brilliant.... actually I’ve been doing it for years just privately. get to talk to them and you ask about the why. And that’s not my case. for example.... BY RAMIT SETHI And then you meet the other lawyer. Why do you do that? You family....... the reason a lot of people are starting their own business.. and then I write down those bits and I open up a blank text file and I type up those www. But you that you want but also the ‘why’ you want it. And the other turn around and write up some of the best book doctor just had kind driven it into them that you reviews that I’ve read anywhere on line non your need to be a doctor so that you can support your blog www.. have more in common than.... are entrepreneurs or Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] Well. you would think life.. so instead.. and then focus on reading books or something—you know...... if you ask why that person is a lawyer..... what I started doing is. so very often I would read a book and go: God.. so use that information to inform your decisions today... how can you change to do something a little different? I think that’s very important for people to look and realize they’re not that different than others. And then I’d have this fear that I’m going to forget everything I learned three years form now.. but his kind of insatiable appetite for like.... The idea was that being a minimalist type of nomadic.. why do you do it? YOUR WAY TO THE TOP whatever is because they want money. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT ....so I’ve found that.

.. Ramit Sethi: And I’m like this 20-year-old kid.. other and high value activities. or investing.... no. or glue... The second step is turning around and making that useful to other people. Number one—is to build a be. to take it down thing is giving to others. Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] . I’m going to show you.. meaning just reviews. BY RAMIT SETHI do that just for me...... and this like when I’m some 20-year-old cocky kid. Ramit Sethi: So if you’re a musician you can learn Ramit Sethi: To me the reason you do that emit all. Otherwise what’s the Ramit Sethi: Yeah. but tors—and he taught me this in college.... and I can reread my notes and remind myself of my favorite bits... or whatever it is.. little Amazon affiliate sales and I’ve generated a ting something is—that’s just a Transcript lot of book sales for people.. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT ... So I put them up online. And by the way can you these with people... I guess maybe I should share And I’m like—go for it. what you were thinking as you developed that project.. or whatever it might for people to know... yeah... and then I realized... so that I just have this directory on my hard drive just called books with the text file notes of every book I’ve read for the last. and that was one of the reasons that I was the only weirdo student in my school... I look at mywith Derek Sivers about and getMaster Class thinkgood atwhen it comes to expertise first step.. 15 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle bits into a text file named with the name of the book.. But then you play.. that used to take my essays I wrote for class and post them on my website........... like some day a building a portfolio is so important—and the other publisher might tell me.. But on the other hand..... I think.. I’m fly me out there too? And then the other thing of always... Build a portfolio. and I learned this from one of my menally encourages more people to come to you.. So a couple more questions for you.. I forgot about this book. he said: more importantly they get good and I think in this build a portfolio and the first thing I though was world we are looking for people who can guide like: Hey. Psychology of Disproportionate Results one of the things I you know..... okay... Derek. So I’m struck by your story..... because that actuportfolio.. Wow... like anytime I’m like: what was that book that mentioned that Italian word ‘sprezzatura’ what was that? Then I can just grab sprezzatura—there it is—oh.. I don’t know— five years at this point.. And he said: no... that I know of. that are just powerful building a blog...... you are just going to plop down this portfolio and say—look. they’re million times and a lot of people just love talking www... And or something.. point? Derek Sivers: So maybe it’s all good. I’m not like an artist.. I don’t have a portus along.. you give that away too.iwillteachyoutoberich.. like the projects that it’s just book reviews—it’s not really just book you work in class. kind of.com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP going to tell how good they are..... wincing a little bit.. even though folio.. sketch. Like I did one about Stockholm syndrome.. And then when I’m just researching. This question I get a people are going to walk in there and talk.. but I mostly Derek Sivers: Yes... and if you are good at bodies two things. one is passion.... And then we will talk about low value Why? Because when you go to get a job....... And all of a sudden I get someone from Scotland saying: we are doing a law enforcement conference and we would like to use your research in our conference.... So I’ve been doing that for a few years anyway.

... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . So it’s like. storytelling books.. oh—no way—I can’t do that.. and I realized that the problem is that with Derek Sivers Master Class Ramit Sethi: Hmm! people who say that are expecting it to be like this Transcript Sivers: Even if you’re just feeling that kind massive thunderbolt flash of lightening like—yes! Derek I’m going to cure malaria—ta-dah.. but I haven’t found my thing yet. I don’t know who those geniuses are that write those things...... 16 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle about their passion... if you find yourself—say you’re dabbling with something online. and needs to feel like that. I haven’t found my passion.... instead.. then just go for it.... sionate..... Ramit Sethi: Yes. I get similar emails. maybe that’s actually your new calling. and it’s burning—and you must die—otherwise if it’s anything short of that it was not true love. So if there’s something that you notice that every time you think about it...... Maybe you actually would love to be a Hollywood screenwriter.... and it’s just maybe people like you and me who just share it a little louder than others.. what’s my passion? This is such a large area.........com .... They did this. BY RAMIT SETHIthe right track and that is your passion think it has to be this big. it’s seems you have a unique perspective on some of this... but it’s not me...... magic thing.. pasSaturday afternoon.... Derek Sivers: But if you read too many love stories or watch too many movies. we must get the same people email us.. like you get kind of butterflies in your stomach thinking about it.. YOUR WAY TO THE TOP Psychology of Disproportionate Results Derek Sivers: And so I thought about this for a long time... and I think the media..iwillteachyoutoberich. Ramit Sethi: Yes...... yes—oh... giant.. I don’t know—I love how you’re just so passionate... And Ramit Sethi: You know.. or go.. small moment-to-moment level...... I get a lot of people who ask that: like.And they’re go. or whatever they kind of build it up so we whatever interests you and whatever scares you. my god.. But.. oh. Any thoughts.it’s funny. that’s your passion.. look like it’s some big.. That it has to be this anguished.. when nobody is around. movies.. What would you suggest? Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] I also.. like if you just you’re just sitting in your apartment. but just me saying that makes me go like: oh.. it feels kind of terrifying...... and it’s intense Derek Sivers: Mm-hmm.. And I like the idea of what scares you too... burning passion... it makes it Ramit Sethi: Yes.. or whatever— Ramit Sethi: I like that. But really it’s just following whatever interests you. Any time you just do whatever—it excites you. My friend Ben Casnocha you’d think that love needs to look like Romeo says: Think about doing more of what you do on a and Juliet. Nobody is forcing you www..... like you play with PhotoShop and you will play with PhotoShop for hours into the night... I think people kind of expect that their passion when you’re reading that book on fashion.. I think you just life.of nervous terrified feeling that means it’s probing to get this giant passion and purpose in their ably a worthy endeavor for you. Derek Sivers: I don’t know what my.... Like actually write major blockbuster movies... maybe that’s notice what excites you and what scares you on a a route that you could take...... driven—the moment they saw each other they couldn’t stop..... And then I you are on realized it’s a lot like Romeo and Juliet.

.iwillteachyoutoberich.. some day 20 years from now isn’t what I had announced to all my friends and I might want to look at that. I think where I would some people say—get into music.. bass and they join a band. for example.. investigate..... and the reason I Psychology of Disproportionate Results on any given area... that’s good.. things in my life.... you know what. First. like saying.. Think about what is it that excites you.. there are all kinds of different writing and screenwriting and things in Hollywood... talk to people. if I’m honest with myself I’m not 10 to 15 hours you can become really. Then I just kind of family. I really should sort that pile of papers that’s been sitting on my table for nine months. or just because it’s what you announced..com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP . when I’m at my parents’ house.. And of course. the minimalist thing was kind they are just standing on the stage thumbing the of... you just need to admit it to yourself. So if you say.... I’m holding onto this because I told myself that I might need it some Like.. and you will be a lot smarter within just two say—yeah.. So if you talk about screenwriting.that’s one stage I think of like what you’re E-string again. is to understand the whole universe of options when it comes to what excites you and what makes you scared. So either hire someone to do it........ Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] The second point I was going to make is—search.... and I would take it home..... Like. with Derek Siverswould take this pile of pahouse. I really say pile of papers.. and I’d like to deconstruct it.. Don’t stick with something just because it’s what you set out to do. I’m going to have a lot of free time weeks. and they learn to play ing to get done.. BY RAMIT SETHI go back and never sort those pathis idea.. 17 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle to read it...... Start pers that I Transcript bag.. In about Ramit Sethi: Well. go deeper. for example. I haven’t looked at that in www.. And it happened to me like ten times. really smart going to sort that pile of papers. Ramit Sethi: Hmm! Derek Sivers: I think I’m actually more interested in this side than that. They’ll say: I want to create my own fashion magazine.. Do searches... I had to admit to myself this is not gobecause they love music. like don’t be afraid to change... I’ll say things like: yeah.. Or.......... or maybe you just want to be a fashion photographer. do this cleansing thing of looking at it and going: you know what—fuck it... that’s actually booking the gigs.. talk to people... or fashion magazines. and Have you had that experience? as time goes on they notice that they actually are more passionate about booking the gigs than Derek Sivers: Yeah. And I would searching. sometimes people will jump to a very tactical conclusion.. for example... Finally.... One is—if you’re reading a fashion magazine. or maybe you might want to be a fashion reviewer.. go to a couple of meet plastic ups.. in general.... Ramit Sethi: Do you find that being honest with yourself is difficult? I find it increasingly difficult........ I like that. is that every time I go home to love fashion. very difficult sometimes. And then there’s I sleep... what do I do during my free time there? I eat and Derek Sivers: Nice... And I find that pattern of being ing around the country. and now they’re touror just throw it out......... Like keep true to your current interests. And so when you hit a situation like talking about where I started looking at so many that.. Well maybe. So I think two things.... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . I Master Class my parentsneeded to sort and I would stick it in a That’s not sufficient though.. but they are often the one honest with myself very.. pers.. actually even though this day just in case...

But the real one to me.. I could talk about the of admit those things.. I’m not going to look at it in ten years. that’s what I love... I was like: hey.. I’m ticles everywhere.. dude.. my old love letters....com YOUR WAY TO THE TOP . Okay—like I’m on this website like—ugh.. a few months ago. I talk a lot about cost versus past year.... I don’t want to be contacted. I mean.. this guy.. I mean. Ramit Sethi: You are a guy that gets a lot of stuff.... Meet with your friends.. too much. I want to just talk to you Ramit But it’s funny like even. It’s my nightmare. So it’s hard to kind Derek Sivers: Yeah.. And maybe talk about what’s worth working on? I’m like: no..... value. check in let I’ve sent you a few emails because I see your aryour friends know where you are at all times.. my god.. value is there.......... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT ......000 or it makes you happy. She. Okay.. here is the thing... for real. that’s yourself.. I don’t need it—I don’t need any of this stuff.. everything is more and more sois a nice article that you’ve put together—actually. or whatever it is.. and I think sometimes people overly focus I think you are even less social than you admit to on the cost of something... for me.. Or I think she might have said—you’re course costs more antisocial than you admit yourself.. but that’s interesting—okay. I just sent you an email a and especially now for those of us who live oncouple days ago by the way.. time in total silence just Psychology of Disproportionate Results thinking. I canting alone....... I threw out my old diaries. It’s doesn’t cost that much.. writing. reading.... Can we talk about low value versus high value activities? Derek Sivers: Yeah. creating. 18 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle one year. I’m reading that blog and it’s reach me. Ramit Sethi: Yeah. I don’t want people to and it’s linked to you.. and also can you cial.... But the truth is. I like sitting alone for 5 to 12 hours at a not escape Derek Sivers.. Like I just realized... this line so much. my old everything.. writing. Like. my old photos..... meet up with everybody. So I just threw it all in a big dumpster and I gave everything away I couldn’t throw away.. first of all it alone pretty much all the time... I think this world is getting more and more social. oh.. learning... and I’m like—dude.. and really the value.. that’s been harder to admit—it is what an introvert I am. Ramit Sethi: Sometimes it’s just so close to you to force you to look at them. And so I just throw out everything. and second of all the just a very unpopular opinion to have.. I got married this past year about how you think about what’s worth workand so we’ve spent every hour together for the ing on? And. be connected........ cial. I just like to be alone—thinking... I’m like—yeah.. stuff that I think has already been covered enough www.I like sitlinked to you. It’s not always bad... said: you know. that BY RAMIT SETHI 500 bucks... So how do you think about cost versus value? It’s Derek Sivers: Everybody expects you to be soobviously not just dollar related.. if that course makes you $2.... And meeting up with friends— with Derek Sivers Master Class Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] yeah... maybe a couple hours a week [LAUGHS]— TranscriptSethi: And so. People love it and it makes them happy in the morning........ reading. like Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] lattes is a classic example where every personal finance expert in the world says: don’t spend Derek Sivers: She goes: you really just want to be money on lattes.iwillteachyoutoberich.. it’s not always good...

19 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle by you and even people like Tim Ferriss.....I self-employed....I’ll tell you what the biggest company. the most in life based on what gives me more freedom..So I moved to L.. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . and everybody I met with—I day operations of my company.. I won’t have haven’t taken a vacation in 12 years man..make sure you understand that mindset first.. and when they would two days ago called: Delegate or Die. I will be my own boss.. I work an asshole boss. Meaning like...I wouldn’t Psychology somebody else can do the other stuff....... And I always make decisions latte. So that’s one way of looking at it. Every question doing the stuff that brings in $1. like if you can just imagine some horrible that happens in your life like you get hit by a car and break a bunch of bones or something....... oh finally. Like it was hard was meeting some really successful people—I work.. man I could never do.... I’ve built a system that works... and I think that’s the thing you’re talking mean......... If you’ve been an employee. and they would say: who is running it then? Derek Sivers: And it was just my tale of how I realized that it’s kind of the self-employed trap..... So let’s say that that’s the. business so that I was not required for the day-to.A... then you become self-employed. You think. and I moved down to L.... Ramit Sethi: Yeah.A... really just one was—it’s like when I finally kind of set up my because my girlfriend was down there at the time.. your income is going to dry up completely.. if you’re not—if you’re But then what’s interesting is you have to get kind two hands are not on the project... So anyway after about a year of doing this I had BY are RAMIT SETHI unnecessary to the running of my Derek Sivers: They are a lot of people that made myself trapped and bitter...have to ask me this kind of question anymore. Made sure that it was clear to everybody—they could do it themselves. because I’ve met a lot of miserable million. of Disproportionate question I would make sure evjust answer the Results erybody heard my answer Master Class with Derek Sivers it. so I optimized life I could live may not have lattes in had to kind of go through the hard work of teachit................. And that’s not of philosophical.. then what the hell are you doing.. really successful business owners and mulabout—it was an article I just wrote on my site just timillionaires or whatever... and somebody is paying you to do it. this idea that.. aires.... And that’s great at first until you realize that you’re kind of trapped.com . would tell them. Like you said a little bit about the real freedom to me..... and they asked me I made sure that every. what makes me happy? Like truth. if you want to take a few months off... And sometimes people are really YOUR WAY TO THE TOP www....look at what you’re working on and think: can somebody else be doing this? And if you can pay somebody else $15 an hour to do this and you consider your time to be worth than that..iwillteachyoutoberich........ I’d say—well. see that I’m in L... and that’s an important point to get first.A.. just let somebody else do it. and understood the But you do have to ask yourself: what do I love thought process behind so that they wouldn’t Transcript doing........ And so my ass off. I am....how are you able to be here while your company is running? And I Ramit Sethi: Yes..... And the most money optimized life I could live ing everybody else at my little small business would be me spending all my time just selling and how to do everything I was doing.. you dream of being And they’d say—oh... and they will.. where you’re earning money by stuff that you’re doing with your own two hands..000-an-hour....

quiet voice in your gut.Com both front-end.. so much before that. in a good way.. unfortunately... So yeah—I outsourced everything else. I was the only programmer. I just did the whole thing myself...... that’s what I love the best... and that you have on your blog. I’m the business owner. IMaster Class with Derek Sivers hate doing this. there’s somebody that automate and delegate or die story you made somewhere that it excites them..... kind of.. You see that they’re kind of successful but miserable. Ramit Sethi: I just want to make a point about all Everything that bores you.. and everything you saw on CDBaby..... make sure you’re doing more it so successfully...... it didn’t start in 1998. Transcript find a way to stop doing that. Like you just noticed that every timeDisproportionate Results the firing.. I mean. Derek Sivers: So you realize that there is a lot of. Not all of us have comdo those things. Ramit Sethi: Yeah..... got themselves tied up doing the stuff that they don’t really love...... Internet. I’m like—yeah. instead. the hiring. I found the stuff that I didn’t like doing which was going to conferences and schmoozing and talking to other businesses and doing business deals.... outside. You Derek. but I don’t care if that’s what most people do. And.....com .. So I think it’s important to always notice that very.... it may be unconventional. I can afford but this is what makes me happy.... but the whole point of everything you’ve said. energy. again. and you talk about how you became a guitarist when nobody else could do the job that you got.... I did it for a couple of years. I mean......... Or what is the thing that’s keepey. all that was do this. it’s about starting out small... and whatever you notice excites panies with 85 people. but done by others so I could just sit there—alone— I have to do this—and just stop immediately. Like what excites you and what drains you.. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT . inside—it was all me. And I said: Why am I doing this? Because I think that I’m supposed to..... so at CD Baby I had 85 employees. 20 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle proud of telling you. and still keep making monyou—like you said—what are you doing on Satourselves out urday afternoon.... Derek Sivers: How many years it’s been since they had a vacation..iwillteachyoutoberich.... ing you up until in the morning. So...... I like sitting there alone on my little UNIX Terminal. no. And I was like. kind of... backend.. why don’t you outsource that? What are you—nuts? Like come on you can When you talk about your mindset when you went to Kimo Williams..... Ramit Sethi: [LAUGHS] afford it.... and just every time I would leave feeling exhausted and drained. And all these great stories you’ve told us about tonight.. I hated all that stuff.. Just and programming.. I outSo if you’re doing something that’s draining your sourced the running of the company—even the Psychology of you business dealing. it started of that... you just feel like—uh. I’m like—it sounds like hell to me. but I was the only tech person....... Because that’s what I loved and so everybody that would look at the company would say... there’s probably some- YOUR WAY TO THE TOP www.. so just let them for the people listening. That’s what makes happy. Not all of us can automate BY aRAMIT SETHI of a job. So for those of you listening who don’t have 85-person companies.. really successful people but.. programming.. is you start small. I hate it. today. the way can’t sleep because you’re so excited about this that you were able to build that business and sell thing you’re doing.. I should be the one doing the big deals..

.since selling CD Baby. Derek Sivers: But I’m actually not trying to sell anything..com .. I’ve been going to the Ted Conferences.. doing a lot of writing. not jut www......I think.iwillteachyoutoberich.. I this amazing PDF that you have... all the classic things. Ramit Sethi: Okay. So you put together this beautiful PDF and www..... are you trying to sell. It’s just like.. nose to the grindstone. and I spoke Ramit Sethi: Actually.... and so the most people to sort of change... There are so many ways.. so it’s like for 20 years of my life I was absolutely Derek.. Ramit Sethi: Okay.. gether for musicians on how to market themselves. what am I doing? tonight.. even though you’re a musiat my Sivers... through different phases in your life to distinguishing between...... that one—and I Transcript is ever going to change and improve. when you unlock the fact that you are in control. so everyone should go and download that. really quickly.. and anything else people should know about? Derek Sivers: No. It’s one of Ramit Sethi: Hmm! BYread. like you are probably the poster child and so everything. I’m enjoying just sharing YOUR WAY TO THE TOP Ramit Sethi: You know what I mean.. just comto your site.. then the whole world starts changing and you then say: hey... I’ve just been kind of very much like head up. yeah—well said.... beautiful.. I If my life But Derek has this PDF on his site which is at need to actually make a change in my life... and I also want to tell people about pletely focused on my work. Baby I actually Results You didn’t even know I was going to mention thiswith Derek Siversnose to the grindstone to do my Master Class immediately putsaid: hold on..Org website and they kind of wonder cian you can do marketing and it’s not evil to like: what’s the motive..sivers.. what’s the catch. like what make money... and that......You know what... for the last two years. Ramit Sethi: Yeah.....org/PDF. you could ask your boss... and it’s a PDF you put tokeep doing the same thing.. I mean.. you go Derek Sivers: Hell.. 21 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle thing at your job today... I’m glad you’re a musician at Ted three times—oh... even in the smallest way.. like looking around at the Derek Sivers: [LAUGHS] world... that’s it....sivers......I think sometimes people look for. Derek...... SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .. I can also be in control of this. right now I’m in this.. Derek Sivers: Right.. when you crack that code.... and when I sold CD Psychology of Disproportionateincorporated my next company........ I think four times now— because. Maybe you could figure out a way to negotiate to work from home on Fridays... your head down and head up.. Anything else. and this—and that is how opportunities unfold over the long term it’s free.. and I think the whole point of what Derek and I are talking about tonight is.. your blog: www..org/blog is that correct? Derek Sivers: Yes.. RAMIT SETHI the best pieces of marketing that I’ve ever and particularly with musicians who are some of Derek Sivers: So I forced myself to stop....... a lot of reading. like...... and how to market their music. that we should cover? I want to give a link just head down.. that you don’t like and you could find a way to have somebody else do.

....... Derek Sivers: See you. It’s always a pleasure and not just in a professional sense..com ... YOUR WAY TO THE TOP Transcript Derek Sivers: Oh. but since we’ve become friends over the Psychology of Disproportionate Results last couple years........... Thank you... so feel free to contact me—I’m glad to help... man.... thanks. it’s been a great learning opportunity for me... I’m in control of my life... Ramit Sethi: Thank you.. It’s one of the lovely side effect of being head up right now. I’m like—no.... so I’m not busy....... 22 2011: HUSTLE year of the hustle and the people that I’ve met through doing this are amazing. and I don’t do anything I don’t want to do.... of course...... You too. so thanks a lot.. is people often start an email to me by saying: I know you’re incredibly busy................. BY RAMIT SETHI www.iwillteachyoutoberich............ please just feel free to click the email-me link and drop me a hello-email..... I love our conversations........ Derek. I’m happy to talk to people.... and every time we talk I learn someMaster Class with Derek Sivers thing ten times newer than I ever expected to.. So if I’d just encourage if anybody. Ramit Sethi: It’s a motto we can all live by—I’m in control of my life..if you actually listened to this whole hour conversation. I’ll talk to you soon.............. SIVERS INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT .. I’m not busy...