I consider Derek Sivers an inspiration. He’s an entrepreneur, writer, traveler, publisher, and speaker among other things. I reached out to him to find out a bit more about his adventures and life.
You have had very diverse business endeavors, but for now you are “retired”. How did you set up your life so you can do that?
I live cheap. I always have. But a few years ago I sold my company, so that is paying me a good amount every year for the rest of my life. See http://sivers.org/trust for details.
How does one get to a point to be able to treat work as play?
Learn some basic business skills! If you read a few good books on marketing and sales, and do what they say, then no matter what you are interested in, you can find a way to make money doing it.
According to your site, you live between New Zealand, Singapore, and Belgium. Where would you consider settling in, if at all?
I don’t own a house. I own very little. (Two pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes, five shirts, a laptop, and not much else.) So really there’s no reason to settle.
I love the idea of never settling. To me, it represents feeling finished, no more change. I hope to always keep changing, growing, and redefining myself. You don’t have to move countries to keep growing, but since we can, why not? This whole world is our world, not just one neighborhood or country. To stay in just one country is like living in a huge house but never leaving the bedroom.
What’s the value you get out of helping people?
It makes me feel useful. It is too easy to feel I am of no use to anyone except my immediate family and friends. So I try to do things that are useful to many people. It makes me feel important and valuable.
How would you describe the role Art can have in someone’s life?
It changes the way you think, ideally for the better.
What can we expect from the new book you’re writing?
Please expect nothing at all. It is a funny thing about being successful. When nobody knows who you are, you have a big inspiration to become well-known. But once you are well-known, it is hard to ignore everyone’s expectations for your future work.
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