Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers posts from

Transformative Principal
Oct 5 • 41 min
On education, parenting, and encouraging focus Go subscribe at
Sep 23 • 54 min
Why I don’t like holidays, How to Live, how constraints give you more freedom Go subscribe at
The Speaking Show
Aug 9 • 33 min
Making a shift in your life, goals, a specific plan to only do what makes you happy, being rich Go subscribe at
Long Distance Love Bombs
Aug 2 • 72 min
Big fun questions. Five types of thinking and how to improve them, achieving success and motivation, deliberate daydreaming. Go subscribe at
Jul 31 • 43 min
A guided pause, living life as a series of grand experiments, asking yourself questions, possible futures, and the Muppets Go subscribe at
Elevate Podcast
Jul 29 • 75 min
Success, radical honesty, doing the things that scare you, why I love changing my mind Go subscribe at
Vitamin Joy
Jul 27 • 36 min
How to say no, the importance of reflection, and joy. Go subscribe at
Cold Email Outreach
Jul 25 • 58 min
Tips on connecting with people through email. Go subscribe at
On the Map Music
Jul 23 • 50 min
Why music can’t speak for itself, never underestimate the power of imitating a great song, why I love the underrated, behind the scenes heroes in music. Go subscribe at
Knowledge Project
Jul 20 • 100 min
Directives, 2¢, reading, mental models, Tony Robbins, living a meaningful life and the biggest mistake I ever made Go subscribe at
Far Out
Jul 14 • 83 min
Local vs. global, why we travel, singing the counter melody, freedom, expired identities. Go subscribe at
Disruptive Entrepreneur
Jul 9 • 97 min
Fun questions. Ideas versus execution, why business is about being generous, amplifying your niche, my one wish for everyone on the Internet. Go subscribe at
Erno Hannink Show
Jun 28 • 80 min
Being prepared for the worst, why I like email, writing, being succinct Go subscribe at
Ali Abdaal
Jun 20 • 107 min
One of my favorite people. On friendship, writing, music, goals, and more. My last interview of the season. Notes at or subscribe to Ali at YouTube.
Inside Education
Jun 17 • 70 min
Education and learning. Why being smart is a choice, the qualities of a great teacher, how I learn, focus, tech independence, my future projects. Go subscribe at
You are techY
Jun 14 • 40 min
Women in tech, parenting + learning, procrastination, goals, and tech independence. Go subscribe at
What You Will Learn
Jun 11 • 58 min
Fun conversation. Reading, what makes a great book, the definition of a philosopher, how to get rich, being meta-considerate. Go subscribe at
Music Tech Fest
May 27 • 56 min
Music, CD Baby, my past, etc. Go subscribe at
Inspired Money
May 22 • 61 min
How to be wealthy at $500/month, focus time vs making time, and what’s enough. Go subscribe at
Yo! Podcast
May 18 • 40 min
Wonderful conversation with lots of music references. Why your favorite things are magic spells, Hendrix is like Darwin, and you should remove the marketing from your website. Go subscribe at
Yoga Talks
May 16 • 89 min
On balance, viewpoints, play, formative times, screen time, focus, curiosity, self-expansion Go subscribe at
Famous Failures
May 14 • 50 min
Dealing with criticism, how quantity leads to quality, separating decisions from the outcomes, why I don’t believe in failure. Go subscribe at
May 12 • 47 min
How to maintain flow and keep your momentum, How to Live, time and schedules Go subscribe at
Live Your Mission
May 10 • 54 min
Great interview with smart questions. How to make the difficult things fun, my thoughts on money, failure, finding your mission. Go subscribe at
Live Wild or Die
May 8 • 80 min
Fitness, consumerism, creative travel, how to live, school, hot-and-cold, discipline, and the importance of nature. Go subscribe at
Smart Brand Marketing
May 6 • 82 min
Centered around a topic I really care about: focus and distraction. Tips for eliminating distractions, monk mode, when playing hooky is a good thing, why we should commit to a problem but not the solution, building willpower and discipline, deliberate…
Balancing Dads
May 4 • 60 min
The most I’ve ever talked about parenting. Fun conversation. Go subscribe at
Renaissance Life
May 2 • 92 min
A travel alternative, being creative, making money, serving others, finding the opposite point of view Go subscribe at
The Darius Foroux Show
Apr 30 • 91 min
Caring about the things no one else cares about, solitude, why I enjoy changing my mind, knowing when to quit, why no one invites me to parties Go subscribe at
Indie Music Marketing
Apr 28 • 44 min
Timeless marketing strategies for artists: Launch before you’re ready, let people see you improve, keep in touch with hundreds of people, remember that marketing is the last extension of your art Go subscribe at
Gap Year for Grown-Ups
Apr 26 • 38 min
Why I respond to every email, ignoring the daily and looking at the big picture instead, why difficult times are great catalysts for personal reinvention. Go subscribe at
Modern Wisdom
Apr 24 • 76 min
Smart conversation. Why minimalism is considerate, how to make your website future-proof, how to stop procrastinating, achieving excellence, why truth isn’t succinct, why I’m self-publishing Go subscribe at
Making It
Apr 23 • 107 min
Fun conversation about music. Creative ways to pursue your music career, developing an alter ego, mastering distraction, how the only wrong choice is to do nothing, faking it as an introvert, mentors. Go subscribe at
Apr 22 • 33 min
48 rapid-fire questions about dating, Singapore, value, and life Go subscribe at
Productivity for Perfectionists
Apr 21 • 38 min
The difference between what you want now and what you want most, letting go of goals, getting things done, why I’m never busy, when to focus and when to explore
Future Thinkers
Apr 18 • 81 min
Really fun conversation. Lots of topics I rarely talk about. Building your values, learning and growth, How to Live and my directives, leaving a legacy through what you create, being a life explorer, minimalism Go subscribe at…
Asia Professional Speakers Singapore
Apr 17 • 62 min
Private call to an association of professional speakers. Tips for giving a good talk, building an audience, keeping people surprised, being social as an introvert, sharing one idea at a time, how inspiration meets us halfway Info at
Jordan Paris
Apr 13 • 84 min
Introversion, world travel, writing, learning & creating as ultimate values, and a new definition of retirement Go subscribe at
Erich Wenzel
Apr 12 • 104 min
Different approaches to curiosity, self-reliance, becoming a world citizen, seeing things from a different point of view Go subscribe at
Matt Ward
Apr 10 • 54 min
Our competitive advantage over AI, minimalism, why you should think like a geologist with technology, and more Go subscribe at
Mojo Radio
Apr 9 • 93 min
Beliefs expire. Add value to others. Understand what works for you. You don’t need more. Operating at a different pace, and more. Fun talk. Go subscribe at
Brian Funk
Apr 6 • 88 min
Making music and the creative process. Really fun conversation. Go subscribe at
Jovana Miljanovic
Apr 5 • 74 min
Changing identities, tea, thinking through things slowly, why you shouldn’t be attached to plans
Scott Perry
Apr 3 • 30 min
How goals shape our actions, accidental success, work as a public service, Sethlings, and listening to your audience. Go subscribe at
John Fitch
Mar 28 • 96 min
subtracting to add value, unlearning, play as work, shallow happy vs. deep happy, doing what you want most Go subscribe at
Jeremy Ryan Slate
Mar 13 • 36 min
Living abroad, Stoicism, why you should write your own autobiography Go subscribe at
Cathy Heller
Mar 6 • 52 min
Great conversation on letting go of goals, developing laser focus for the most impact, finding a different angle on perseverance, questioning your own answers Go subscribe at
Sam Matla
Feb 28 • 62 min
Music: creative process, motivation, originality, and smart career building. Go subscribe at
Amy Jo Martin
Feb 21 • 74 min
on slow thinking, how actions reveal your true values, goal-letting vs. goal-setting Go subscribe at
Ariel Hyatt
Feb 14 • 34 min
First interview in over three years. About being an introvert in the music industry, finding balance as a creative, the benefits of a stage name, and conferences. Go subscribe at
Time is personal. Your year changes when your life changes.
Dec 29, 2019 • 2 min
A new day begins when I wake up, not at midnight. Midnight means nothing to me. It’s not a turning point. Nothing changes at that moment. A new year begins when there’s a memorable change in my life. Not January 1st. Nothing changes on January 1st. I can…
That’s version infinity. First launch version 0.1.
Dec 1, 2019 • 2 min
I hear lots of business plans. Most of them are trying to do a ton of things. For example: “It’s a social networking e-commerce portal for live music, where everyone creates a profile to enter all their dates, if they’re a musician or venue, or their…
Is there such a thing as too much freedom?
Nov 27, 2019 • 3 min
I’ve always used freedom as the compass to guide my decisions. We moved a lot when I was a kid. I lived in five states and countries by the time I was 5. I left home at 17 and went off to college as far away as I could. I joined a circus for 10 years.…
Nov 23, 2019 • 3 min
Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s great TED talk called “Your elusive creative genius”. Absolutely amazing speech. Emotional, universal, insightful, educational, and funny. She comes across so nonchalant, light, and conversational. Effortless. I was there at the…
How to take a compliment
Nov 21, 2019 • 1 min
You would think this would be a basic life skill, but it seems almost nobody knows it, so please spread the word. When someone gives you a compliment, what should you do? Do you say, “What? No! Not at all. That’s ridiculous.” Do you give details of why…
And if only 1% of those people…
Nov 17, 2019 • 1 min
A musician had manufactured 10,000 copies of his CD in anticipation of 10,000 orders that were sure to come through that week. He had bought a quarter-page advertisement in the back of a magazine with a circulation of one million people. He kept saying,…
How I became Ryuichi Sakamoto’s guitarist
Nov 16, 2019 • 4 min
In 1991 I was 22 years old, and had moved to New York City to be a professional musician. I had a little home studio, and was doing some random gigs around town. My roommate, Hoover Li, was an assistant engineer at a huge recording studio in midtown.…
Sammy Cahn said thank you
Nov 14, 2019 • 6 min
In 1990, at the age of 20, I moved to New York City and got a job as the tape room guy for Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. It was a small office, about 12 people, but the door to one room was always closed. I assumed it was unused. One day, after a few…
Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage
Nov 13, 2019 • 4 min
The listening algorithm A year after I started CD Baby, when it was still just me in my bedroom, the CEO and VP of a hugely-funded Silicon Valley online music company contacted me, saying they wanted to fly out to New York to meet me. I said OK, and we…
Experiments in music and life
Nov 6, 2019 • 3 min
One approach to music is to do whatever you want. Absolutely anything goes. But to me, that’s too free. It’s anti-inspiring because having infinite options is overwhelming. Another approach to music is to follow tradition. You stay within the guidelines…
Cross the world four times
Nov 5, 2019 • 1 min
Cross the world four times. First, in your teens or 20s, to take it all in. See it all, do it all, and learn. Get involved. Stay up all night talking with strangers, everywhere. Kiss and fall and promise to them all. Make lots of mistakes. Cross the world…
My old clothes don’t fit
Nov 2, 2019 • 2 min
I was uncomfortable, unhappy, and restless. I didn’t want to meet new people, because I felt I was giving the wrong impression. Something wasn’t right. It took me months to figure out the real problem: My clothes don’t fit anymore! Once I realized this, I…
The art of selfishness
Nov 1, 2019 • 2 min
David grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, with five brothers and sisters. When he was 18, he got accepted to a very prestigious art school in Vienna. Vienna! This was his dream come true! He had wanted this so badly, but never thought he’d actually get…
Doors and windows and what’s real
Oct 31, 2019 • 1 min
Like everyone, I live in a little house with many doors and windows. One door goes out to my neighborhood. The local kids come to play with my dog. The elderly neighbors take so long to tell me their stories. I slow down my inner clock to listen. One…
Benefits of a daily diary and topic journals
Oct 30, 2019 • 7 min
You know those people whose lives are transformed by meditation or yoga or something like that? For me, it’s writing in my diary and journals. It’s made all the difference in the world for my learning, reflecting, and peace of mind. After 20+ years of…
How I got rich on the other hand
Oct 29, 2019 • 2 min
I don’t usually talk about money, but a friend asked me what it was like to get rich, and he wanted to know specifics, so I told him my story. I had a day job in midtown Manhattan paying $20K per year — about minimum wage. On weekends I would earn $150…
When in doubt, try the difference
Oct 27, 2019 • 2 min
If you’re in doubt about something that’s not in your life, try it. Things are so different in practice versus in theory. The only way to know is to experience it yourself. Try it examples: Pursuing a new interest? Moving somewhere very different?…
Why experts are annoying
Oct 26, 2019 • 1 min
When someone becomes an expert at something, you know what else they become? Annoying. At a restaurant, your designer friend complains about the font on the menu, your musician friend complains about the background music, and your manager friend complains…
What you learn by travelling
Oct 25, 2019 • 1 min
I wanted to learn about the world, so I went travelling. People in the east are so graceful, I felt like an inconsiderate pig. People up north are so serious, I felt like a lightweight clown. People down south are so laid-back, I had to escape north…
PostgreSQL example of self-contained stored procedures
Oct 24, 2019 • 1 min
First, see my previous article about PostgreSQL functions at That article gave tiny examples, but no finished working code. This week, I wrote a shopping cart to sell my books directly from my own site. So I took a couple extra hours today to…
Mastery school
Oct 23, 2019 • 2 min
Here’s an idea: Create a little school somewhere remote. School of what? School of mastery. A place for anyone who wants go focus on a skill of their choice, surrounded by other people doing the same, and a few coaches — experts on the craft of mastery —…
Monthly self-expansion project
Oct 22, 2019 • 2 min
Here’s an idea: Every month, pick something you hate or know nothing about, and get to know it well. Spend a few hours per week, for an entire month, just learning about that subject. Why? The idea is inspired by a very successful friend of mine who is…
Living according to your hierarchy of values
Oct 21, 2019 • 1 min
My “daily” blog was silent the last four days, because I took my kid on a spontaneous trip to another country. No phone. No computer. I gave him my full attention every day from when he woke me in the morning to when we fell asleep together at night. It…
How to ask your mentors for help
Oct 16, 2019 • 1 min
I have three mentors. When I’m stuck on a problem and need their help, I take the time to write a good description of my dilemma, before reaching out to them. I summarize the context, the problem, my options, and thoughts on each. I make it as succinct as…
When you win the game, you stop playing
Oct 15, 2019 • 0 min
Someone asked me today why I don’t charge money for the things I do. Why don’t I have ads on my site? Why don’t I exploit my assets and pursue some profitable things? I already did that. I made more than I’ll ever be able to spend. What do you do when you…
Digital pollution
Oct 14, 2019 • 2 min
You couldn’t just roll down the street leaving huge piles of garbage everywhere you go, making life slower for everyone as they climb over your mountains of junk, just to get on with their life. You’d feel bad about it, right? That’s how I feel about the…
Cut out everything that’s not surprising
Oct 13, 2019 • 1 min
This is my advice to anyone writing something for the public — especially a talk on stage. People listen to a talk, or read an article, because they want to learn something new. They want a little “oh wow” moment. “I never thought of it that way before.”…
Heed your fears
Oct 12, 2019 • 1 min
People often ask me how they can get over their fears. For example, they are scared to quit their job and start a business. I think they want me to say something to make their fears go away. So my advice is pretty disappointing. We should pay attention to…
Daydreaming is my favorite pastime
Oct 11, 2019 • 1 min
Somewhere in our past, we were told it’s bad to daydream, because it meant doing nothing — staring out the window — instead of doing what we’re supposed to be doing. To admit we’re daydreaming felt like it needed an apology. But now I’ve finally embraced…
Oct 10, 2019 • 1 min
I don’t know why I have this rebellious nature. I tend to want to be the opposite of my surroundings. At serious formal events, I can’t stop laughing inside. At crazy festivals, I want to hide and read a book. My ambitious friends bring out the slacker in…
Where we do and don’t want automation
Oct 9, 2019 • 2 min
I used to use Gmail. But one day, as I typed my mother’s email address into the “To:” field, Google popped up a prompt asking if I also wanted to CC my uncle. That was so invasive and creepy that I deleted the account immediately and never used it again.…
Human nature to focus on the one bad thing
Oct 8, 2019 • 1 min
Today my bus was delayed, and I was really annoyed. Also, I got a really nasty email, which put me in a worse mood. No, wait, I should give the full story. It takes two busses to get from the airport back to my house. The first bus leaves once per hour.…
Back and forth between super-hot and super-cold
Oct 7, 2019 • 2 min
The most relaxed feeling I know is after going back and forth between a super-hot pool and super cold pool. Stay in the super-hot pool until you can’t stand it. Then go in a super-cold pool until you can’t stand it. Repeat that a few times, and you’ve…
Err on the side of action, to test theories
Oct 6, 2019 • 1 min
I spend a lot time thinking of alternate ways to approach life. I re-consider my hierarchy of values. When values change, the plan of action needs to change, too. For example, if I decide that personal growth is top priority, then I plan a life pushing…
Blowing off work to play
Oct 5, 2019 • 2 min
What do you call it when you skip school or work for a day, to do whatever you want instead? In America, we call it playing hooky. In England, we call it skiving. (Got another word for it?) Some of my best, most productive, and enjoyable days have been…
What happens when we ignore plans?
Oct 4, 2019 • 2 min
I took my 7-year-old to London today. I made two plans: if it rains, we go to a museum, if not, we go to the zoo. But when the train arrived in London, he said he didn’t really want to do either one. So we just walked with no plans. We immediately ran…
Tour -isms
Oct 3, 2019 • 1 min
Since I’m living in Europe now, I thought it would be good to tour everywhere in Europe, and get to know it better. I’m not into seeing the sights. I don’t take photos. What I want is to get to know the mindset, the world-view of each place. The…
Oct 2, 2019 • 2 min
My friend has a huge crush on someone. He showers her with attention and appreciation. He remembers her preferences, and constantly gives her thoughtful gifts. He thinks he’s being considerate, but he’s actually being inconsiderate. Meta-inconsiderate. By…
Daydreaming the downside, for once
Oct 1, 2019 • 2 min
A few years ago, I thought it would be fun to get into camping. I live in New Zealand! How can I not? I daydreamed about it, picturing how much fun it could be. I read a book about it. I carefully picked out then bought some highly-recommended gear: a…
Where to find the hours to make it happen
Sep 30, 2019 • 1 min
When you experience someone else’s genius work, a little part of you feels, “That’s what I could have, would have, and should have done!” Someone else did it. You didn’t. They fought the resistance. You gave in to distractions. They made it top priority.…
Your heroes show which way you’re facing
Sep 29, 2019 • 1 min
People with many interests often ask my advice on which industry or career path they should follow. Years ago, I felt I was just a programmer and entrepreneur. Yes sometimes I write a tiny blog post sharing what I’ve learned, but that’s just something on…
Don’t quote. Make it yours and say it yourself.
Sep 28, 2019 • 2 min
Which sounds better to you? “In his best-selling book on behavioral science, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman said, ‘Nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it.’.” … or just…
Have a private email account
Sep 27, 2019 • 1 min
I used to like the internet. I thought it was cool, creative, wild, untamed, expressive, decentralized, and educational. I guess it was, back then, but now? I kinda hate most of what’s out there. I don’t like social media, either. Staged photos, and…
Future posthumous autobiography
Sep 26, 2019 • 1 min
I’ve started writing my autobiography. I’ll keep writing it for the rest of my life. It’s private now, but will be released the week I die. I’ve written the last chapter, which is more of an afterword. (“Now I’m dead.”) So now I will just keep writing the…
What I did belies why
Sep 25, 2019 • 3 min
Imagine you host a dinner party with two doctors and two accountants. You introduce the doctors to each other and the accountants to each other, assuming they’d have the most in common. But actually one doctor got into it because her mother died…
Would you make your art if you were the last person on earth?
Sep 24, 2019 • 1 min
Musicians, photographers, writers, and artists of all sorts: Would you make your art if you were the last person on earth? For me, it’s an immediate YES — of course! In fact, it might make the experience even better. A musician friend asked me this…
Travel without social praise
Sep 23, 2019 • 1 min
I met a couple who were thinking of quitting their jobs and travelling the world for a year. They asked my thoughts. I suggested they should only do it if they don’t bring a camera, and don’t tell anyone but their family and few dear friends. No sharing…
Travel without a phone
Sep 22, 2019 • 2 min
The first time, it was an accident. I’d always wanted to go to Korea. I was so excited. I set out to explore and forgot my phone in the hotel. I walked around Seoul for twelve hours that day and experienced so many wonderful things. I remember them all…
Sep 21, 2019 • 0 min
I’m starting a podcast today. Subscribe to