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There’s a compass in your gut that points two directions: EXCITING and DRAINING.

No matter what advice anyone gives you, you need to let this compass override your other decisions.

Whatever excites you, go do it.

Whatever drains you, stop doing it.

You have to pay close attention to that compass, even in little day-to-day decisions.

You get offered a gig – they’re on the phone waiting for an answer – is it exciting you or draining you? To make a new website is going to take about 10 hours of work. Does that excite you or drain you?

If it doesn’t excite you, don’t do it.

There’s almost nothing that you MUST do. Someone somewhere is excited to do the things that drain you. Find them and let them do it.

Work towards this ideal, and soon you’ll be doing only what excites you the most, all day. Then you’ll find that doors open for you, opportunities come your way, life seems to go easier, because you’re doing what you’re meant to do.

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Derek Sivers is best known as the founder of CD Baby. A professional musician (and circus clown) since 1987, Derek started CD Baby by accident in 1998 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby was the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients. After he won the 2003 World Technology Award, Esquire Magazine's annual "Best and Brightest" cover story said, "Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold... one of the last music-business folk heroes."

In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians, including his new company MuckWork where teams of efficient assistants help musicians do their "uncreative dirty work".

His current projects and writings are all at 

For more information, please visit

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