It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be

The title of this post is ripped directly from the title of a short must-read book, written by Saatchi & Saatchi Creative Director legend, Paul Arden.

Here’s three pieces of advice from this book:

1. Do not seek praise, seek criticism.
“It is quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or those who are likely to to say what we want to hear. The likelihood is that they will say nice things rather than be too critical. Also, we tend to edit out the bad so that we hear only what we want to hear. So if you have produced a pleasantly acceptable piece of work, you will have proved to yourself that it’s good simply because others have said so. It’s probably ok. But then it’s probably not great either. If, instead of seeking approval, you ask, ‘What’s wrong with it? How can I make it better?’, you are more likely to get a truthful, critical answer. You may even get an improvement on your idea. And you are still in a position to reject criticism if you think it is wrong. Can you find fault with that?”

2. Energy. “It’s 75% of the job. If you haven’t got it, be nice.”

Number 3 plus a link to buy this sucker after the jump [click continue reading link below].

3. Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will come back to you. “You will remember from school other students preventing you from seeing their answers by placing their arm around their exercise book or exam paper. It is the same at work, people are secretive with ideas. ‘Don’t tell them that, they’ll take credit for it.’ The problem with hoarding is that you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. If you give away everything you have, you’re left with nothing. This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish. Somehow, the more you give away, the more comes back to you. Ideas are open knowledge. Don’t claim ownership. They’re not your ideas anyway, they’re someone else’s. They are out there floating in the ether. You just have to put yourself in a frame of mind to pick them up.

Nine bucks here at

If you’re a creative person, you should own this book, even if you just read it on the toilet.

Thanks David Airey for a reminder about Paul’s books…

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