Tim interviews Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby.

(The BEST company for indie musicians EVER)

Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Official Bragging Bio

Originally a professional musician and circus clown, Derek Sivers created CD Baby in 1998.

CD Baby is an online CD store for independent musicians.  Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100M in sales for 150,000 musicians.

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22M, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education.

He is a frequent speaker at the TED Conference, with over 5 million views of his talks.

Since 2011 he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want” which shot to #1 on all of its Amazon categories.



The interview

Tim Charron:

The top advice you would

give Indie artists that have built a foundation/fanbase/career to attain more

“mainstream” success?

Derek Sivers:

 I prefer to ignore the music industry. Maybe that’s why you

don’t see me on the cover of Rolling Stone.

One of my only regrets about my

own band was that we toured and got great reviews, toured and got lots of

airplay, toured and booked some great-paying gigs. BUT… nobody was working the

inside of the music business.

Nobody was connecting with the “gatekeepers” to

bring us to the next level. We just kept doing the same gigs.

Maybe you’re

happy on the outside of the biz. (I know I am.)

But if you want to tour with

major-label artists, be on the cover of national magazines, be in good rotation

on the biggest radio stations in town, or get onto MTV, you’re going to have to

have someone working the inside of the biz.

Someone who loves it. Someone who

is loved by it. Someone persuasive who gets things done 10 times faster than you

ever could. Someone who’s excited enough about it, that they would never be


Like your love of making music. You wouldn’t just “stop” making

music because you didn’t get a record deal would you? Then you need to find

someone who’s equally passionate about the business side of music, and

particularly the business side of YOUR music.

It IS possible. There are lots

of people in this world. 


Tim Charron

Your opinion on living in a big city vs a small


Derek Sivers:

Move to the big city.  Whether that’s New

York, London, Hollywood, Bollywood, San Francisco or Shanghai, go where all of

your heroes are.  Not the third-biggest city.  The biggest city.  The center of

everything.  There are so many amazing opportunities that happen when you live

where everything is happening.  The people that are drawn there are the most

ambitious in the world.  Your role models will live down the road from you, and

are usually more accessible than you realize.  Things happen when you’re a local

that don’t happen when you just visit.

So move to the big city, then go meet

everyone, and jump on every opportunity, no matter how small.  You’d be

surprised how many small random connections turn into huge opportunities, so say

yes to everything.  Keep in touch with people, face-to-face, because most

opportunities happen when you’re at the forefront of someone’s mind.  Be

generous, and always focus on how you can help others.  Trust that you’ll help

yourself by this method.

Live cheap, share an apartment with many others,

don’t buy drinks at the bar, and invest every dollar back into your career or

savings, not blowing it on perishables.

Doing all this is exhausting,

especially for an introvert, but do it anyway.  Turn on your turbo boost for

even a couple hours a day, and the benefits make it all worth it.  Later, when

you’ve made it, you can move to a mountaintop or farm, but until then go where

your heroes are, and make their world your



Tim Charron:

The Top 3 life changing books you have read …

Derek Sivers:





Tim Charron:

The Top 3 places you

love to travel to in the world

Derek Sivers:




again. I love it that much.  🙂

Derek Sivers of CD Baby

Derek Sivers of CD Baby


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