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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be.

I first read this book five years ago and keep it handy on the shelf. The book is created by Paul Arden (former Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi). I say created because the book is not much a narrative non-fiction as it is an array of Paul's distilled wisdom presented in a series of advertising articles; a lesson in visual style, effective layout and cut through copy.

As much a lesson in simple, arresting layout as it is a metaphor for smart business practice using the creative processes of good advertising.

While the book is more than merely a bunch of quotes strung together, Paul Arden's ideas are backed by  original quotes such as:

'If you can't solve a problem, it's because you're playing by the rules.'

'Don't give a speech. Put on a show.' Useful for all of us who speak in front of audiences, large or small. 

'Don't be afraid to work with the best.'

And one he borrows from playwright Samuel Beckett, 'Fail. Fail again. Fail better.'

A concise guide to making the most of yourself, I was amazed to see the pocket 'bible' for the talented and timid was sold in General Pants a couple of years ago, stacked between pairs of jeans. Goes to show someone in their sixties can still reach a younger audience.

Logical. Original. Great reading.


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