How Derek Sivers Built CD Baby & the Wonder that Followed


I think you just have to trust that. Standing out of what other people are doing usually beneficial. You have to try to find out but almost always it's going into work in your favor. I believe that the opposite of depression. It's not happiness its purpose. I believe that every single person has something unique to contribute to the world. And that's why I wanted to create a show called. Don't keep your day job. Don't keep your day. Job is about out figuring out what it is you work to do in this world that only you can do to make the world more whole more beautiful and to stop selling yourself short. Stop sitting getting it out to figure out how to take this thing. Love whether it's art or music or screenwriting dance of baking and how you leave this the Nikolov into a life that you you get contribute that you get to do it love full time because it's not just about business it's about contribution it's about meaning that is what we seek. That is what we truly want and Absolute we are here to serve the world and I want to help you figure out just how much value you have inside of you every single week. We're going to be talking to people who have have something to add to help you get out of the way to help you be more successful to help you be the truest expression of you. My name is Cathy Heller. I'm so glad that you're here. Let's dive in thanks to skill share for supporting. Don't keep your day job. Join the millions of students already learning Today with a special offer just for my listeners. Get two months of skill share for free the at skill show dot com slash dream job to. Hey guys it's Cathy Heller. Welcome back to another episode of. Don't keep your day job so I can't believe leave that the Christmas is almost here. The New Year's almost here I just can't believe how quickly this year has gone by and This past weekend a special for us because December twentieth is our ten year anniversary and it was really cool to just really stop up and take note of what's happened over ten years and I feel like Gosh I feel like it's one of the the biggest accomplishments arriving here you know like marriage is. It's the biggest work. It's the hardest work. That's where all of my stuff comes up and and if you're in a relationship you know what I'm talking about and I just feel you feel so grateful that my husband and I have always always been doing the work to try to figure out like what comes up and how to make it better and recently. I told you guys that I went on this week. Long Program Graham to really look at my stuff and try to heal and grieve and overcome and just have more of an ability a to be who I really am and be present and let go of whatever is not serving me and I went to this place called onsite outside of Nashville and my husband also went on that program but separately and it was just very very life changing lifesaving just incredibly deep deep work. You're basically in there for a week. In any case we had this beautiful anniversary gathering with just a very few friends sounds very intimate. Very sweet and My friend Carol was there and Caleb her boyfriend Caleb Campbell is just awesome as they were leaving he said. I just want honor both of you for doing the work on yourself and you know tonight you both talked a little about you. Know what you're working on and what you WanNa do going forward into the next ten years of your marriage but he said that work that you're doing to deal with your own in pain in your own passed and making yourself into the best version of you in dealing with whatever has been in the way he said that's really such a gift here children because because they're gonNA only be able to go as far emotionally as they see you go in. It's an incredible credible gift to give them to to set that example so that their work down the road they've been in. This path has been paved and And just feel so grateful that he said that and it was really just a beautiful evening and We had a little bit of a ceremony where we kind of renewed our vows and said some really beautiful things. We lit ten candles ten years married and we each said one thing that we felt the other person brought into our life and I said that my husband had brought worthiness to me. He was the first person who really made me feel worthy to be loved for exactly who I am. You didn't need me to be impressive. Impressive or entertaining or to make money or to have my hair blown out. He just gave me love and I didn't have to earn Senate and he shared that I helped him feel seen in that he thought I brought into his life sense of expansiveness celebration and on purpose and that was just so beautiful. And then I hire this beautiful woman who came over to teach us all dance class and we had like ten couples goals and we danced to Frank Sinatra and Michael boulay and Stevie wonder at Earth wind and fire. It was so great I had so much fun. So that was this past weekend. Thanks for indulging me Couple announcements I'm going to be in the northeast. I'm doing a book signing next Sunday. The Twenty Nineth in Montclair New Jersey. which is really close to New York City and it is such a cute town? If you've never been to Montclair it's adorable. Bobbi Brown makeup artist Bobby Round. She lives there. It is gorgeous and The book signing is out. watchung booksellers in Montclair. I will be there on Sunday. December twenty ninth at four. PM is a free event event. I will be there giving out hugs and sell fees and I will be doing a little speaking in lots of it's free but we do have limited space and we already. We have a lot of people coming. But there's a little space left so there's an event bright link in the show notes. I will also posted event. Bright Link in the INSTAGRAM. And on the don't keep facebook facebook group so go ahead and let us know. If you're going to be there I look forward to seeing you and signing your book giving you a hug and all the rest Also I'm doing a huge dude giveaway which ends tonight. I'm giving away a thousand dollar Gift Card to target all you have to do to enter. The giveaway is going over to my instagram and Dan you will see. There's a really cute image of a cat and it says I knocked down the Christmas tree anyway in the caption of that. INSTAGRAM post is all the the details but really all you have to do is leave us review for the podcast so if you already left her view great just let us know you left US review. Go leave us a review in send us a screen shot of your review review in my instagram in my DM's and then you get an extra entry if you buy a book for someone for the holidays if you buy one of my books for someone for the holidays you get two entries and and yeah. I'll be announcing the winner tonight. So December twenty third. I'll be announcing the winner and I'll be giving somebody thousand dollars every single one of you. Who sends me a DM? The screen shot will also get a personal. Thank you and Yeah it's easy to enter Review and if you like the shell leave us a review. It's a good time to do it. It's a great Hanukkah Christmas gift to give to me to go ahead and leave US review so I would love it if you did that annual enter the giveaway also also Thursday's episode is GonNa be a big celebration of all of you and all of the strides you've been making so many of you have already sent us your wins which is so cool and thank you. If as you're thinking wait I can send in a win. Then great were still taking it and we love to hear it coming straight from your voice so you can record voice memo on your phone or you could just email mel us. The story of what you've been up to hello at. Don't keep your day. Job Dot Com. Either email us at voice memo or just type it up and let us know what's been going on with you you can use is the subject line twenty nineteen win and you might just hear yourself on Thursday show today on this episode. We were released special conversation. I got to sit down with the incredible Derek. Sievers Diversity's a writer entrepreneur Ted Speaker and he's also been a musician producer and circus performer. He founded the company. CD Baby which some of you might know if you're in the music world it's the largest online distributor of independent music in the world and it actually plays a really key role in my own career. I'm going to go into some of those details when I talked to derrick but in many ways I don't think this podcast would have happened without it. Derek is such a student of life. He has so much wonderment for so much of what goes on in this planet being a human. If you WANNA take a look at what he's exploring you can check out his sight savers dot org or you can listen to his Derek sievers. podcast what I love about Derek. Is that. He's so present he's not here to talk about business in strategy because he knows that it's also much bigger than that. It's about finding what fulfils you. What brings you purpose? What what makes you feel like you're really making a deep lasting contribution and I just love that so I can't wait to hear what you guys think about this? We also recorded this on video so if if you want to check it out we have a link to that in the show notes without further ado. Please welcome the awesome Derek Derek you so much really. Thank you so much for making the time to be here today. Thanks Kathy I told you that it's because I'm not here to pitch anything. I'm only here because I really love what you're doing and and I got to tell you that the first thing that caught my attention was just the fact that you use the term day job because I was in my forties. The first time I met that somebody that didn't know the Term Day job. I said something about day job. And they said what's a day job and it made me realize the day job is a term that it does creative types thing. It's like there's the thing you're doing for money and there's the thing you really love but there are a lot of places in the world where that whole concept is. Just oh my gotTa love you just unpacked it like that. Because it's actually not about business it's about doing your life's work and feeling like you are seen so I I love that. You're you're the first person that really got that and thank you but I'm not surprised because everyone who knows you and if you know him you know he's just one of those very very genuine people and so I want people to hear your story because not everybody knows at. Can you tell us like the whole journey they evolution of Derrick Eric. Okay so when I was fourteen I decided I wanted to be a professional musician like seriously decided like I said this is it. This is is what I'm GONNA do. Yeah and so because of this I knew since I was fourteen like I'm never going to have a job. I'm never GONNA have insurance or a salary or a boss or pension or all these things that some people just take a given in life so I think I started preparing for the hustle. If you know what I mean when I was fourteen where do you think that comes from. That's pretty young to know who you are not like. It was a vivid in complete vision. It was always the doing it was like put a guitar in my hand. Found the distortion pedal. Oh yeah this is the soul so age seventeen. I went off to Berklee the College of music in Boston but starting from what has eighteen yet. That's when I got my first GIG with a circus so for the next eleven years I was a full time. MM professional musician. So at the age of twenty nine I was selling my CD on my Benz website but times were different than like there wasn't even pay pal. Amazon was just a bookstore and so there was literally not a single business. That would sell your CD. If you're a musician trying to sell you see so. I built this little website to sell my CD and was it already called. CD Baby No. It was on my bands website. It was like a buy now button on my bands website. And so there was this Guy Marco the Saadi a Finnish Guy Musician I knew that said can you sell my cd through. Your band's is website. And I thought I'd never thought of that. But sure okay. I just did it as a favor to Marco but then I got a call from Rachel who's said Hey Marco said you could sell my CD on your side. Is it okay for you Rachel. And then I started getting calls from strangers friends friends so it wasn't until I had about like ten or twenty albums uh-huh on my bands website that I finally said I think I need to give this thing. Its own name. So that's when I call it. CD Baby So. I accidentally started this business us but it pretty quickly became the largest seller of independent music on the web. At the time I think a couple million customers summer is it eventually. I had eighty five employees giant warehouses and all that amazing. How long how long until it really took off? Was it like within months known for about four years very often I meet people who like start their dream idea and there are a few months into it. It's just not going well. It's been a few months. It's like come on like I was like three years into CD baby. It was still just like me and a guy in my house like it was really took off till our years. You gotta give things time time anyway. After ten years I felt that I had just personally had enough like I had surpassed all of my dreams and vision for. Yeah just kind of feeling personally done it felt like I had been painting this mural for ten years and I just felt like. That's it I've got nothing more to add so so it was time for me to leave so that was in two thousand eight. I sold the company and just kind of went exploring different ways of approaching life. That's so cool that you continue to explore more of yourself I feel like we are so multidimensional on sometimes we. We have the zone of excellence and people were like. That's it for you. That's amazing and it is amazing and it's genius but then there's even more right and you you giving yourself a gift to keep exploring that. So what did you find. We'll hold on. Let's let's use a musical example so ACDC maybe great but they did like exactly one thing for forty years it it basically you know the the first song they wrote sounds like the last song they're like it's almost like they made the same album every year for forty years and people loved them for it so some people really truly find what they love doing at some point and they say like this is it. I'm going to do this one thing until I die. Yeah and that's great. That's just that's a certain in personality type that does them. And then you have in the musical comparison somebody like Madonna. That wants to keep trying different things. Some artists like David Bowie and Paul. Simon like made a really deliberate change. So it's each album was almost as self contained personality. It's like now I am ziggy stardust. As to you know now I'm the thin White Duke. Now I am post-punk Paul. Simon did that I think. Is You know graceland album and then rhythm of the saints game so anyway so I think think I'm more like the ladder. I like to do things for a little while and then challenge myself to do something completely different. So that's just my personal take. I don't think that people I love it. Yeah and I I see you is like a spokesman for all the creatives and all the broken souls who wanna feel like they fit in i. I feel like you've found a place as like this hero of of all the misfits who the people who have all this yummy stuff and they did a tedtalk which true so awesome weird or just different. Oh and your book is the just like the simple truths about not getting caught up in the fear not getting caught up in needing to be the sky in a suit but like embracing these parts of you you know so. I feel like one of the biggest turtles like just in life in general is like a tremendous amount of self doubt and fear and the feeling of like. I'm not enough like who am I to start something. So so how do you help. People work through that. Well some of it. I think you shouldn't ignore your doubts. So some some of it should be heeded your emotions house some wisdom in them so if your emotions are telling you I'm not ready yet. Then you could choose to take that as a sign that you're not ready yet and you need to practice some more until you feel like hell. Yeah I got this like if if somebody's feeling like they're playing too small for example I think it it might just be a matter of the amount of time you're investing it it like you might just be spread too thin so think there might be people who think they want to do something. They've dabbled in it and they're feeling insecure about it. Of course you're feeling insecure. You haven't put in the time yet. Like imagine alternate scenario where you would wake up at six. Am every day and do this one thing from six am am to midnight that. What is that he hours eighteen? You do this one thing for eighteen hours a day seven days a week for six months at a time. There's no way at the end of that six months you would feel that you don't know what you're doing because it's just a matter of time like you have to put in the hours and put in the real work and yeah give yourself the Education Asian but also just give it the focus so I think this kind of laser focus can make all the difference in the world do you. Have you heard that metaphor of the sunlight on a log versus the magnifying glass. There's a metaphor that sunlight on a log. Doesn't make log catch on fire but if you hold up a magnifying glass to concentrate the Sun's light into a single point on the log. You can make the log catch on fire with magnifying glass. Yeah the metaphor being bit if your energy is dissipated across a lot of things things get. Nothing's going to catch fire. But if you concentrate all of your energy on a single point on a single thing something's going to catch so I think people are usually spread too thin doing too much. It's such a good point. You're not on the mastery path. Yep You're trying to see everything but it's such it's a simple clear direction. And one thing I wanna ask you. In terms of finding your own sense of fulfillment. Because does you did pivot and started to do that. You did started to focus your time on building. CD Baby and you had said early on. I WanNa be a rock star. And then you built a multimillion dollar company. So how did you do that without feeling like I sold my soul I gave up. Yep well the time when I did that thing where I was selling my CD in friends asked. Can you sell mine and this thing started happening by that point. In my life I had been touring non stop for like twelve years twelve and I was starting to get a little sick of it like I. It was starting to think. Thank mold game for the same amount of money. It's not like I was going up so I had achieved a certain amount of success by measure. I think that this helped to that as a professional professional musician like I bought my house in Woodstock New York with the money. I made touring as a musician. is like that's kind of like I was pretty happy. Bought a house. Yeah yeah so I was already feeling pretty good with what I had done and I was starting to feel kind of bored with what I was doing so when this new thing came up at first I was belittling it. I I said okay this this little. CD Baby this is my hobby. Like I'm really pursuing doing music. But then I found that's like as I was learning about databases and learning html. And all that it was fascinating. It's like how how intellectually stimulating is it to get in the van and drive six hours to do another GIG versus that same. You know fifteen hours round trip spending learning sql and learning programs like my brain was sparking more than it had in years. I was like this is so exciting. So I think I welcomed it intellectually early but I mean I did have a lot of coming to terms with letting go God. That's a whole subject. We could get on letting go. Oh of goals. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I just a few weeks ago. gave away all of my musical equipment. It fell fat but no this is this is good. This wasn't a sad thing. It was actually pause sentence. The word decide died. The Latin root of the word side means to cut off on pause resume so up until a few weeks ago I had had felt conflicted like every. I'm sitting here answering emails working on my book doing something techy and I'm like and I'm loving what I'm doing doing but every day I kind of look over at my piano or over it might guitars and I'm thinking I'm not balanced. I really want to spend more time doing doing music but it was. I have a concept that says that your actions reveal your values better than your words so no matter what you say you want to do your actions show what your values really are. You can say all you want. But if you're not doing it I. I think you don't really want to do it that much so I had been saying for the longest time I want to spend more time making music. I want to spend more time working on songs. I think think I did one of those like right. I'm going to get serious about this. I'M GONNA start budgeting time. I'm going to turn off my computer every night at this time and spend this hour to this hour only doing music and as soon as I thought that way the first thought that came into my head was all but that's time I could be spending doing something better. Whoa what did I just think like doing doing something better? I think music has fallen down in my hierarchy without me realizing it and so I just kind of have this well I I've thought about it for a second. I was like what if I just gave keyboard into guitars to my friend. It's a professional musician would feel great so yeah a few weeks ago. I gave it it to my friend. WHO's a full time professional musician here in Oxford England and he was thrilled and he was so thrilled? That was a nice studio monitors too. He Goes Oh my God yes I just gave him everything and he uses it every single day. And I'm like okay all is right in the world. It felt liberal. God you literally like Are you just brought me to tears because I used to be a musician and then I started like you because of the CD baby podcast. Other artists aren't asking asking me if I could help them license music. That was what I started doing and They would thank you so much for being this. Like empathetic I land in the storm. You know I loved it so much so I just poured myself into helping these artists and host a big event once a year for few hundred artists. Now and it's just grown this beautiful thing and then I started a podcast helping all kinds of creative and wrote a book and there's been a part of me that's like all did you sell l.. Your soul like. Aren't you supposed to be playing music. And when you just spoke such truth to me it reminded me you remember that movie. Field of dreams with Catalina Awesome. Yeah remember they do the game again and this guy who had to give up baseball to become a doctor there like you're going to get to play with the Maggio and like Lou Gehrig and this is your chance you were supposed to be in the in the major leagues and you got pulled back home and you became a doctor. so He's like awesome. I'M GONNA get to do my dream. I'M GONNA get to be on the field and he goes is out for the game and while they're in this beautiful fake baseball game with the greatest legends of all time from baseball. This little kid falls from the stands and needs a a doctor and just before he gets to get up to bat. They're like is anyone a doctor and he runs back and he doesn't play. I forgot about that. Wow l. nice comparison Kevin Costner goes. Aren't you devastated. And he goes no he goes. I wouldn't have been able to be Dr all these years. You know. I've gotten to a doctor and it's like this. What you just said especially coming from you is so important to me because I think so many artists we we don't know like? Are we supposed to give this our entire life and if we don't if that means we're not going to get seen or not going to be true to ourselves and then you had this opportunity for tuning that just kind of was so organic or other souls. Could you help me and you go. I guess I could and then another one I guess I could and then you go. Wow how I'm helping all these people right and I really like it and does that make me less of a self and that is just such an important thing thing. I think the greatest human need keep saying it but I feel like the greatest human need is people wanna feel seen really when it comes down to what I've also noticed that the opposite opposite of depression isn't happiness its purpose and so somehow when we help other people feel seen and we give to other people that's like the greatest feeling and then you do feel l. seeing right yeah you're also more directly helping I'm going to tell one side tail and then connected to my tail again okay. Berkeley College of Music. My roommate was trumpet player. WHO dropped out? After one year to go to engineering school. We lost touch and then like eight years later. I'd the ran into him in a parking lot. I was like man and he goes Derek. Sotoudeh what's going on doing and we hadn't talked in eight years and he said well. I was an engineer for five years. I made a lot of money and it felt pointless. He said so. I quit it and I went and got a degree in nursing. I've been a registered nurse for the last year in like dude. It is the most rewarding thing I've ever done instead of making less money. Any pre said every single day. People say thank you like. I'm helping people's lives in like a concrete way and people like grabbed me by the hand and say thank you so much. He said this means way more to me than like income from engineering. He said I'm like never been happier. This is amazing so I felt the same thing with going from being an artist. kind of pushing my own. Styling being an artist. WHO's kind of a weird thing? Isn't it like it's all very like me. I'm I'm here. They like me me me me. It's very one sided. It's all like rip it out. Push it out rip out push it out so then to suddenly be helping. Other musicians felt to me like my friend going into nursing like every day people like thank you thank you so much. It's like nobody had said thank you before four for me cueing myself into the world so yeah it was. It wasn't that conflicted felt a little weird at first but I could just feel a a energy. That's amazing so let me ask you this. Because there's so many makers so many artists that are still going down that path Autho wake I will just WanNa make living just people paying me for my music. How can they get some of this? How can they leave some of this radical empathy into their life? What would that look like? I feel like artists feel like either. I'm going to get paid to just write what I write or just forget it. I guess I'll have to get a day job. What what I would advise to musicians wanting to make this kind of leap is to not think you need to be Cathy? Heller not thinking need to be derrick favors or anybody else but just pay close attention to your past actions like notice what you naturally naturally gravitate towards doing and not saying you want to do but actually doing you in fact I think you need to actively I forget your past words like be disloyal to your past proclamations just because you announced something to the world. Good once doesn't mean you need to stick with it for the rest of your life so no matter what not so good no matter what you say. You're interested in doing no matter what you you have said you will do. Look at what you actually tend to do when you're at your best then. You just have to wholeheartedly embrace that like this says later. This is what I like doing. Yeah Well Yeah I realized that for me all my music was really about like just this prayer that people would feel like they matter and and I realized that's really what I wanna do is get that across. It doesn't have to be their music even though I was told as a child. That's the thing that makes you unique is that you can write. I just song But there was so much more that I wanted to do. I love this conversation but before we go on. Let's just take a quick break. Something that amazes me about Derek is how much he strives to learn and keep growing. And I think that's ultimately what has made him so fulfilled in so successful. That's why I love. Having skill share skills online learning community for the Creator and all of us providing adding thousands of amazing classes covering dozens of creative and entrepreneurial skills like designed productivity and more for busy person like me. It's really convenient because classes are on on demand so you can learn at your own pace so get inspired. Join a class and create something. You'RE GONNA love one class that I found really helpful called productivity today managing attention in the digital age I can get super distracted with hundreds of notifications on my phone and in the New Year. I'd love to be able to stay more focused on finishing the task at hand. If you're already a pretty great productivity tiffany and you want to add a different tool to your kit you can check out classes in music production entrepreneurship marketing. There's so much good stuff to choose from join the millions of students already learning unskilled sharing get two months free when you sign up at skill share dot com slash dream job to. That's two months. Unlimited access to thousands of classes for free good skill share dot com slash dream job to to sign up that skill share dot com slash dream job to. I also WANNA give a shout out to our friends at self helpless. PODCAST if you enjoy. Don't keep your day the job. We think you're really going to enjoy the south helpless podcast three Taipei Comedians. Taylor Tomlinson Kelsey Cook and Delaney Fisher candidly dive into all things self-improvement they cover everything from anxiety sanctuary too bad breakup. It's completely uncensored and they often have special guests and health experts on the show to drop some knowledge. Find Self Helpless US wherever you listen to podcasts. And you can visit self helpless podcasts Dot Com for all other information. I was so delighted to be guests on their show about a year ago. I had so much fun with them. They are so genuine and so funny and they made me feel such a rock star when I went there because they're like we love your show. We're totally fan girling. And it was just so cool to hang out the also had them come to the dream Topi event last year. Because they're just so awesome so go ahead and check it out and let me know what you think. When people are are persevering and and looking for their path and the doors not opening how do you know when you have to just keep persevering and how do you know when it's this door is not your door? It's not going to open yet go. Oh finding different door. I think we mistake persevering for doing the exact same thing over and over which is kind of like you've got the wrong key to the lock and you just keep you gotta just keep at it. No no no you need to find a different sprint way. Like you need to persistently keep trying different things until you get what you're after. So here's a great example My friend Maria hitter. I met her when she was an artist on CD baby. She had a day job at the Music Connection magazine for a number of years doing ad sales wall while full heartedly pursuing her solo artist. Career So after a number of years she came to this conclusion that she has given it her. All music is and what she really loves doing is just plain to crowds. She likes being on stage singing the crowds. She realized it didn't didn't even need to be her music and so she realized that she was so happy being on stage singing journey and whatever other like eighty eight and yeah she just made this decision. She likes shutdown her artist career as a solo artist. And she's now her band. Dan has been gigging every single Friday or Saturday night for years old. Yeah Yeah I'll tell you really quick thing that I think that you'll find interesting so I was signed to interscope for five minutes. I was there for a few months. And I was with Ron Fair. And he says I want to tell you a story he says years ago I was trying get my legs as a songwriter and I had a meeting with Bill Conti. Who for those of you listening? Who Don't know he wrote the music to rocky and all these other iconic movies and he goes? I'm sitting with him. I play my music. And he says Snee- Ron. You're a good songwriter. He says thanks he goes. But you're an excellent producer. Just think about that because you're really a good producer. And he said to me. In that moment I felt like I was punched in the Gut because I wanted him to think I was like an amazing songwriter and I was going to be a rock star and he gave me an incredible gift because he was kind. He wasn't nice he was kind and he said you're an excellent producer and he said I made a decision and the word. I made a decision. I was going to double down and six x down and ten x down on being a producer and I am so glad I did and I was like. Can you know so I love what you're saying. Let's talk about your podcast. What made you want to start a podcast? So I write articles articles from my side. I'm called essays articles or blog posts. Head thank you. But they're very succinct but I know there are a lot of people who have long drives drives and or walk their dog hour a day and they really just prefer to listen not read so I've been meaning to do this for years yet. And that's this audience. Let's talk about the substance of what inspires you to write these essays and and really. What sort of the is there a theme? Is there something that you really want people to walk. Walk Away with which is why you show up and do those often will. I found out that the word essay comes from the French word the French verb essay which means like to search or to discover to explore and so usually I privately I sit down to write like that like hours a day so at worst on a bad day I write for three hours a day on a good day I write for like fifteen hours and I spent hours and hours a day exploring thing my thoughts on a subject. Sometimes I'm reading a book on something and I think that the author has come up with a brilliant point. But I'm not satisfied to just echo that that point of ingested and take it in and see what I think of it myself or I just haven't experienced in life try to find the the common threads of something that just just happened to be to kind of explain it to myself. I'll just spend hours in my diary asking myself questions and then answering those questions and then most importantly certainly questioning my answers. So that's my favorite step is going beyond my first reaction and questioning my first answer like what am I doing here. I'm making music. Why am I making music? Because that's really important to me. Is it really important to me. You know you you have to do that. Then you have to question in your own answers. You have to put a question mark on the end of your statements or on the end of your previous statements so that you start to doubt them and question them that way you you get to explore it a little deeper. That's when you get on the the more interesting like second and third level stuff. So you're not just skimming the surface like now you go underwater. Yeah you're looking at the corals else so most of my writing is just my personal explorations like that but then so I spend hours being verbose in my own. Dari and so when I come across something I think is really interesting and worth sharing. Then I edit the hell out of it until it's it twenty sentences I think capture the essence of this thing in one minute part of the reason I keep my writing eating and podcast so short as I do read a lot of books and I often feel bad when the author has a brilliant idea. It's like on page two hundred seventy Andy. Three of a four hundred page book and I know like come on how many people on Earth they're going to notice. Hey brilliant idea so I have a theory that says that each idea deserves its own spotlight and so that's why I really like writing articles as it's one idea the at a time like if I have to ideas on something I'll save that second idea for another article like each idea gets its own little spotlight. I love it I was GONNA and ask you like if you had to sort of boil down like I'm Derek simmers and this is what I want people to know like. What would that thing be? I I got a disagree with the the one thing with the I'd refuse if I caught myself feeling like I had one thing to share with the world then I I think I would stop and do something else like. That's just my nature. I like being an explorer. I'd I think so. I'm going to start publishing books next year just about one year ago. I had a moment where I kind of. I think I'm a writer Yeah I would say up until a year ago I really felt like. I'm an entrepreneur and programmer. That every now. Wow and then if I find something worth sharing I might write it up on my blog and it was about a year ago. I did an interesting thought experiment where I asked myself. Who who are my heroes and this is just me privately my diarrhea? I wrote for an hour about this. After I was done I looked at this list of thirteen. Eighteen people as well every single one of them is an author like these are my heroes and I said well. I think this is an indication indication of which direction I'm facing if this is the direction I'm looking up. I think this is the direction on facing such a cool exercise. Wow I never thought to do that. Now that I've just recently realized that I'm an author now I'm taking it more more seriously and my goal is that every time I have a book out. I don't want people to be able to predict what it's going going to say. So that's what I meant. It's like if I felt like I have one message to the world. I think okay well. Then it's time for the next one and okay so let me ask you the question in different way in this moment in the season when you're thinking and working on this next big project the book right what what's really leave feeling like it's weighing on your heart like this one of the big messages. I want to get out. There are so many ways to look at things from different angles. I I think of it. As like a gem with many facets I and I think there's a different way to look at almost anything in life and they're all true. It's not that one is correct. It's just a matter of which one is. You have to you right now. So if it's useful for you to believe that you're going to die tomorrow because that's what it it takes to get you to do something you need to do. Then the fact that you're probably not going to die tomorrow and you could sable that's not true. It doesn't matter if that belief is useful to you right now. I think it's so much more interesting thinking about what's useful not what's true that's current fascinating and what I'm currently fascinated just being in your presence is how present you are. It's really unique. Take to be that way. Let me just tell you and you are such a true original. You feel like you are unapologetically. You and I feel like you doing that. One one thing that I would say is your one of your big messages just by being you is that that gives other people permission to be unapologetically them and you being you is a big gift. So when someone's feeling like Oh gosh you know I'm not perfect and it's GonNa be messy if I'm not prepared I gotta I gotTa gotTa know what I'm going to do in the moment. What's your advice for people to sort of generate more of that self that presence of like not needing to predict it not into be formal not needing to have it all together? I think that that's I think perfectionism and planning and I think so. Many people get so stuck on this formality and on on the preciousness of the per- The perfect plans. What's your advice on that? This isn't advice but just an observation. Okay God that I think that when you're thinking like a music artist wanting to put yourself out into the world you constantly think about what differentiates you. You don't want want to be like other people it's almost like your mission not do what others are doing even marketing wise. There's a cute story in it's on my my site search for captain t on Sievers Dot Org on my site and you'll hear the story about when I was helping a friend market his album to college radio back in the day I had gone and visited some college radio stations and I saw all these colors. Radio stations were getting like Manila envelopes with with CDs arriving at the station. So I said okay. We need to not do that like what everybody else is doing. Let's do the opposite so we took this hilarious. Larry thing where we felt like these jet black and blue rub them dirt and wrote like a ransom note inside. And you know that's what we used and got a ton of attention and still to this date my friend. Who who is the artist captain? t-that still come up to him and go to your Captain T. I worked at a college radio station twenty years ago. And that was the coolest CD we ever got. That's odd the different and so I think we can do that with ourselves too so I think I have a natural rebellion that if everybody's being this kind stiff know it all trying to do this puffery to make themselves look like a brilliant pundit then just naturally I'm going to you Republicans that and do the opposite. I think you just have to trust that. Standing out from the crowd and doing the opposite of what other people are doing is usually beneficial. Yeah you have to try it to find out but almost always it's going to work in your favor. Everything is so good. I'm so excited for you and the books and the things and and and the WHO knows because that's the way you are and you guys are so much more of him out for you to soak up from Ted talks to all the essays and you can listen to those on the podcasts. If you don't feel like reading and you WANNA listen but Derek. Thank you so much for all of this time and all of you. I got so much personally out of your courage your courage bridge and that story about how you recently made this decision see. That's what's so cool. Is that fear. People always say like Oh you know. Fear is something contagious and spreads but courage is also contagious and see your self realization winds up being something that then lights the way for other people people. Oh thank you for doing that. Deep Work because you just gave me gift today thanks Kathy. It's amazing I'm so excited about it really like wow. Oh Wow. I didn't know I was coming to get that. Tell us where we can find you. Oh just go to civilized dot org. It's all there I'm kind of. I don't know if you call call it old school or again if it's just rebellious that I just keep all of my stuff on my own site. I've even just decided to self publish my next few books looks kind of feeling kind of diy rebellious right now. Like I'm kind of thinking I won't even sell through Amazon. I think I'm just GONNA kick direct So anyway go to CVs dot org the era. That and I really would love to just follow up with you and maybe oh comeback. When that book comes out I would love to chat with anytime I I love? I love your such jam. Thank you so much for today. Thanksgiving I love talking to Derrick. He so great to hear the takeaways. The number one let each new creation have its own personality number two if your energy is dissipated among too many things it can't catch fire but when you are focused something will catch that. Laser focus can make all the difference in the world number three. Your actions reveal your values better than your words number. Four perseverance is not doing the same thing over and Over again it's trying different things until you get what you're after number five. Go Beyond Your First Reaction Question Your own answers number six. Each idea deserves serves its own spotlight number. Seven life is a never ending exploration. There are so many ways to look at things from different angles and number eight chest that standing out from the crowd and doing the opposite can work in your favor. Chai it and find out. Thank you guys so much for listening. I know that there's so much to be doing from last minute holiday shopping and there's always still work and stuff with the House and kids and so much just so much so I just want you to know. I'm such a big fan of all of you. You and I don't take for granted that you spend your time here remember. We're going to be doing a fun celebration of all of your winds on Thursday's episode. So if you want a chance to be a part part of that you can record a voice memo email at toss at hello. Don't keep your day job dot com. Then we can play your actual voice right on the gas which would be pretty fun to hear yourself on the podcast and to make sure that you get to hear all the cool episodes that are coming your way. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen. If you WANNA give us a holiday gift the best thing you can do is share the show with a friend it. It doesn't cost you a thing in. It helps so much honestly. I think that introducing this podcast and the possibilities that we talk about here to someone else that could really change the way they see the world in it. It really might be the best gift you can give them to bring them home to themselves and to help them start to do more of them in this next year next decade for those who on the northeast come see me in Montclair Doc. Their New Jersey. Four o'clock next Sunday December twenty ninth. There'll be a link in the show notes for you to RSVP the tickets obviously free and If you want to enter that giveaway all you have to do is leave us a review by tonight and DM me that a screen out of the review on instagram. At Kathy Dot Heller. I'll be giving away a thousand dollar Gift Card to target a movie be announcing that winner tonight. I love you guys. Leave you with a song and I'll talk to Thursday. The podcast is a production of authentic for more INFO on advertising in this show visit. Authentic shows dot com through waiting on the sidelines through so K.. Story lifetime say to say Yeah from under dance with the story of a stronger than you. You DIG EH. Yeah On appeal sure. My heart has Yeah

Coming up next