The incomparable Derek Sivers talks everything from being wealthy while making just $500 per month to giving away $22 million to charity.

Guest Biography

Derek Sivers is an American writer, musician, programmer and entrepreneur best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby. More than anything, he wants to make lots of stuff. Derek enjoys working alone for 12 hours a day/6 days a week in his pursuit of making articles, books, websites, music, companies, systems, apps, and especially new ideas.

He is known for saying no to almost everything so he can have lots of time for making. At the age of 14, Derek decided to be a successful musician. He was single-focused obsessed on this from the age of 14 to 29, waking up early to practice, staying up late to write, saying no to all distractions, and reading whatever he could to improve. At age 29, Derek “accidentally” started the company CD Baby that helped his musician friends sell CDs online which eventually became the largest seller of independent music on the Internet. In 2008, he sold the company; and as 100 percent owner, he utilized a strategy to donate the proceeds of $22 million to charity.

Derek continues to learn lots of stuff, especially different approaches to thinking and living. He finds inspiration in reading non-fiction, living in many places around the world, and cutting out most things that most normal people do — like hanging out, watching TV, and partying.

His writing, thoughts, and book notes can be found at

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The difference between living a highly focused life vs making time to ponder and think.
  • Interesting thoughts on money, wealth, and defining what's enough.
  • Great book recommendations on the topic of money.

Show notes:

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Special thanks to Jim Kimo West for the music.