It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be – Paul Arden

My notes from a book It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The world’s best selling book by Paul Arden, which I rated 4/5 on my Shelfari account.

This was a very short book from which, I guess, the Creatives will get the most out of. Us, more Engineeringly minded types, may just stand and look in wow 🙂

Anyways, a good book, and here are my notes from it, with few of the bookshots.

All creative people need something to rebel against , it’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the clients’ lives exciting.

Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you.

People who are conventionally clever get jobs on their qualifications (the past) not on their desire to succeed (the future).

There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over again and expect the results to be different. ~ Einstein

True, people do look for something new, but sometimes it’s something new to copy. To be original, seek your inspiration from unexpected sources.

Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition.

It’s not what you know – it’s who you know.

Blame no one but yourself. If you accept responsibility, you are in position to do something about it.

How you percieve yourelf is how others will see you.

When we attend a lecture, we generally go to see the speaker not to hear what they have to say.

If you show a client a highly polished computer layout, he will probably reject it because he doesn’t feel involved.

The way to get unblocked is to lose our inhibition and stop worrying about being right.

Decide you are going to make the company great; at least decide you are going to make a difference.

Relize that companies’ reputations are also built on one or two people. Aim to be that person or one of them.

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

Lines (slogans) win business. If you can find a way of summing up what the client wants to feel about his company but cannot express himself, you’ve got him.


I haven’t failed. I’ve had 10000 ideas that didn’t work. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Of the 200 light bulbs that didn’t work, every failure told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt.

If we don’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.

All of them understand that failures and false starts are a precondition of success.


Experience is opposite of being creative.

Give me the same as we had for the last 20 years but not quite. Only one client in 10k will actually mean ‘give me something I haven’t seen before’.

It’s better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. ~ Herman Melville

Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. ~Winston Churchill

The first thing to decide before you walk into any negotiation is what to do if the other fellow says no. ~ Ernest Bevin

There are no short cuts to any place worth going. Beverly Sills

Those who lack courage will always find a philosopy to justify it. ~Albert Camus

Some people take no mental exercise apart from jumping to conclusions. ~Harold Acton

What the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve. ~Clement Stone

Of everything seems under control you’re no going fast enough. ~ Mario Andretti

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than going to a garage makes you a mechanic. ~Laurence Peter

A Technique for Getting Ideas by James Wood Young


Written by Nikola Brežnjak