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b2f50afe — Derek Sivers ArtistData is gone 4 months ago
                                                                                
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<title>Why I gave my company to charity | Derek Sivers</title>
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<h1><a href="/" title="Derek Sivers">Derek Sivers</a></h1>
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<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/a">Anything You Want</a>”:</div>
<h1>Why I gave my company to charity</h1>
<small>2009-12-04</small>
</header>

<p>
	Two friends were at a party at a billionaire’s extravagant estate.
	One said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!”
	The other said, “Yes, but <strong>I have something he’ll never have: enough.</strong>”
</p><p>
	When I <a href="/done">decided to sell my company</a>, I already had enough.
</p><p>
	I live simply.
	I don’t own a house, a car, or even a TV.
	The less I own, the happier I am.
	The lack of stuff gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime.
</p><p>
<strong>
	So I didn’t need or even want the money from the sale of the company.
</strong>
	I just wanted to make sure I had enough for a simple comfortable life.
	<strong>The rest should go to music education</strong>, since that’s what made <a href="/kimo">such a difference</a> in my life.
</p><p>
	I created a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charitable_remainder_unitrust">charitable trust</a> called the Independent Musicians Charitable Remainder Unitrust.
	When I die, <strong>all of its assets will go to music education</strong>.
	But while I’m alive, it pays out 5% of its value per year to me.
</p><p>
	A few months before the sale, <strong>I transferred the ownership of CD Baby and HostBaby, all the intellectual property like trademarks and software, into the trust</strong>.
</p><p>
	It was irreversibly and irrevocably gone.
	It was no longer mine.
	It all belonged to the charitable trust.
</p><p>
	Then, <strong>when <a href="/bye-bye-baby">Disc Makers bought it</a>, they bought it not from me but from the trust, turning it into $22 million cash to benefit music education</strong>.
</p><p>
	So instead of me selling the company — (getting taxed on the income, and giving what’s left to charity) — that move of giving away the company to charity then having the charity sell it saved about $5 million in taxes.
	(That means $5 million more going to music education.)
</p><p>
	Also, the move of giving it away into a trust now — instead of holding on to it until I die — means its investments get to grow and compound tax-free for life, which again means more goes to musicians in the end.
</p><p>
	I’m only writing this article because many people have asked why I gave it away, so I thought I’d write my long explanation once and for all.
</p><p>
	It’s not that I’m altruistic.
	I’m sacrificing nothing.
	I’ve just learned what makes me happy.
	And doing it this way made me the happiest.
</p><p>
	I get the <strong>deeper happiness</strong> of knowing the lucky streak I’ve had in my life will benefit tons of people — not just me.
</p><p>
	I get the <strong>pride</strong> of knowing I did something irreversibly smart before I could change my mind.
</p><p>
	I get the <strong>safety</strong> of knowing I won’t be the target of a frivolous lawsuit, since I have very little net worth.
</p><p>
	I get the unburdened <strong>freedom</strong> of having it out of my hands so I can’t do something stupid.
</p><p>
	But most of all, I get the constant priceless reminder that I have <strong>enough</strong>.
</p>
<img src="/images/bestthings.jpg" alt="best things in life aren’t things">

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© 2009 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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