Creator Science
Creator Science
Oct 4, 2022
#120: Derek Sivers – How to Live as a Creator and Why You Should Focus Like a Monomaniac
Play • 53 min


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Derek Sivers is a musician, producer, circus performer, entrepreneur, TED speaker, and book publisher. He's written four books including How To Live, Hell Yeah Or No, Your Music And People, and Anything You Want.

He's also the founder of CD Baby – the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians. In 2007, Derek sold that business for $22 million – almost all of which Derek donated to a charitable trust for music education.

In this episode, we talk about how Derek keeps himself focused on ONE project at a time, how to navigate conflicting philosophies, what we can learn from professional musicians, and how creators can pursue balance in our lives.

Full transcript and show notes

Visit Derek Sivers website

See Derek Sivers book recommendations

Follow Derek Sivers on Twitter / YouTube


00:00 - Who is Derek Sivers?

00:27 - Derek is a Monomaniac

01:19 - Derek’s Inspiration for “How To Live”

01:58 - What We Learn Today

02:45 - Derek Has a Singular Focus

04:14 - Is Being a Monomaniac Innate or Learned?

04:57- Don’t Be a Donkey! (Buridan’s Donkey Paradox)

06:54 - Why It’s Important to Prioritize and Sequence in Your Life

07:46 - How to Use Journaling to Prioritize Your Life

09:19 - Life is NOT a Problem to be Solved

12:33 - How Do You Decide What Gets Priority?

17:10 - How to Navigate Conflicting Philosophies

20:10 - Derek’s Process of writing “How To Live”

21:30 - Your Values Change Over Time

23:13 - Breaking Away From Tribalism

24:21 - How to find Balance in Your life

27:49 - STOP Relying on Your Job to Fulfill EVERY Need

30:23 - Derek’s Life as a Musician

31:34 - Momentum is SO Important

34:39 - What Creators Can Learn From Musicians

35:57 - The History of Starbucks (And What You Can Learn From It)

38:22 - Intrinsic VS Extrinsic Motivation

43:10 - Even Rock Stars Have a Boss

44:54 - What Will Derek Do Next?



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