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89db8a0d — Derek Sivers formatting 4 months ago
                                                                                
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<!DOCTYPE html>
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<title>This is just one of many options | Derek Sivers</title>
<meta name="description" content="I used to take voice lessons from a great teacher named Warren Senders.">
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<h1><a href="/" title="Derek Sivers">Derek Sivers</a></h1>
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<header>
<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/a">Anything You Want</a>”:</div>
<h1>This is just one of many options</h1>
<small>2008-10-23</small>
</header>

<p>
	I used to take voice lessons from a great teacher named <a href="http://www.warrensenders.com/">Warren Senders</a>.
</p><p>
	For each lesson, I’d bring in one song I was trying to improve.
</p><p>
	First, I’d sing it for him as written.
</p><p>
	Then he’d say, “OK — <strong>now do it up an octave</strong>.”
</p><p>
	“Uh... up an octave? But I can’t sing that high!”
</p><p>
	“I don’t care! Do it anyway! Go! 1.. 2.. 3.. 4..”
</p><p>
	I’d sing the whole song again, in screeching squeaking falsetto, sounding like a choking mouse.
	But by the second half of the song, it was almost charming.
</p><p>
	Then he’d say, “OK — <strong>now do it down an octave</strong>.”
</p><p>
	“Down an octave?  But I don’t think I can!”
</p><p>
	“Doesn’t matter! Go! 1.. 2.. 3.. 4..”
</p><p>
	I sounded like a garbage disposal or lawn mower, but he made me sing the whole song that way.
</p><p>
	Then he’d make me sing it twice as fast.
	Then twice as slow.
	Then like Bob Dylan.
	Then like Tom Waits.
	Then he’d tell me to sing it like it’s 4 a.m. and a friend woke me up.
	Then he’d give me many other scenarios.
</p><p>
	After all of this, he’d say, “Now… how did that song go again?”
</p><p>
	It was the clearest proof that what I thought was “the” way the song went was really just one of an infinite number of options.
</p>
<hr/>
<p>
	I’m taking an entrepreneurship class now.
	I’ve never studied business before.
</p><p>
	We analyzed a business plan for a mail-order pantyhose company.
	Like all business plans, it proposed only one plan.
</p><p>
	After reading the whole thing, I felt like saying things my old voice teacher would have said:
</p><ul>
<li>
	“OK — <strong>make a plan that only requires $1000.</strong> Go!”
</li><li>
	“Now <strong>make a plan for 10-times as many customers</strong>. Go!”
</li><li>
	“Now <strong>do it without a website</strong>. Go!”
</li><li>
	“Now <strong>make all your initial assumptions wrong, and have it work anyway</strong>. Go!”
</li><li>
	“Now <strong>show how you would franchise it</strong>. Go!”
</li></ul>
<p>
	You can’t pretend there’s only one way to do it.
	Your first idea is just one of many options.
	No business goes as planned, so make ten radically different plans.
</p><p>
	Realizing <strong>the initial choice you made was just one of many</strong> brings all kinds of weathered wisdom and insight into your business.
</p>
<hr/>
<p>
	Same thing with your current path in life:
</p>
<ul><li>
	Now you’re living in New York City, obsessed with success. Go!
</li><li>
	Now you’re a free spirit, backpacking around Thailand. Go!
</li><li>
	Now you’re a confident extrovert and everyone loves you. Go!
</li><li>
	Now you’re married and your kids are your life. Go!
</li><li>
	Now you spend a few years in relative seclusion, reading and walking. Go!
</li></ul>
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