Derek Sivers

from the book “Anything You Want”:

Proudly exclude people

2011-07-12

You know you can’t please everyone, right?

But notice that most businesses are trying to be everything to everybody. And they wonder why they can’t get people’s attention!

You need to confidently exclude people, and proudly say what you’re not. By doing so, you will win the hearts of the people you want.

When CD Baby got popular, I’d get calls from record labels wanting to feature their newest, hottest acts on our site.

I’d say, “Nope. They’re not allowed here.”

The record label guys would say, “Huh? What do you mean not allowed? You’re a record store! We’re a record label.”

I’d say, “You can sell anywhere else. This is a place for independents only: musicians who chose not to sign their rights over to a corporation. To make sure these musicians get the maximum exposure they deserve, no major-label acts are allowed.”

It’s a big world. You can loudly leave out 99% of it.

Have the confidence to know that when your target 1% hears you excluding the other 99%, the people in that 1% will come to you because you’ve shown how much you value them.