It's not how good you are

date Aug 16, 2010
authors Paul Arden
reading time 2 mins
  • Book Title: It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be
  • Author: Paul Arden
  • Year written/published: 2003
  • Book Source: Amazon
  • Some extracts:


Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have.


Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.

Creative person

That’s the nature of the creative person. All creative people need something to rebel against, it’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the client’s lives exciting.


Firstly you need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You must develop a complete disregard of where you abilities end. Try to do the things that you’re incapable of. … Make your vision of where you want to be a reality. Nothing is impossible.

Do not covet your ideas…

Give away everything you know and more will come back to you. You will remember from school other students presenting you from seeing their answers by placing their arms around their exercise book or exam paper. It is the same at work, people are secretive with ideas. “Don’t tell them that, they will take the credit for it.” … The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you will become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish. .. Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership.

High creativity…

The comedian John Cleese puts it rather more eloquently, “High creativity is responding to situations without critical thought” (playfulness)

If you are in deadlock here are a couple of tricks you might try:

  1. Do the opposite of what the solution requires
  2. Look out of the window and whatever catches your eye, a bird, a television aerial, an old man on crutches or whatever, make that the solution to your problem.

Rough layouts sell the idea better than polished ones…

Because you haven’t shown the exact way it’s going to be, there scope to interpret it and develop and change it as you progress… With with him (Client) rather than confronting him with your idea.

Get out of advertising…

You will see the same books in every agency. Certainly, a knowledge of the techniques of and the tricks of advertising can be very useful, possibly essential. True, people do look for some-thing new, but sometimes it’s something new to copy. TO be original, seek your inspiration from unexpected sources.

Present creative work first…

Try opening with the creative work. If he likes it he’ll listen with interest to whatever else is said. If he doesn’t, you’re dead anyway, and it will shorten the meeting.