Monday, July 6, 2009

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

 As part of my new commitment to professional development, I have been trying to read at least one book every month that will help develop my business or interpersonal skills. I picked up this little gem in Anthropologie at West Edmonton Mall. It bills itself as "The World's Best-Selling Book", which is exceedingly clever for reasons you come to understand as you get further into the book.

The author, Paul Arden is a veteran of the advertising industry and approaches the subject of personal growth from a client relations point-of-view. His overall philosophy is that  personal excellence must come from a deep desire to be far better, more creative and even famous than even you think is possible. It sounds like common sense, doesn't it? But he has some uncommon tidbits of advice that make this more than just your average "AND SO CAN YOU!" type book.

For example, the chapters "Put on a show", "It's who you know", "Do not try to win awards", "Compose your ad from the weakest point" and "Why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required?", all include stories from his personal experience that show that once you think you are doing a good job, you have already lost the race. Complacency and self-satisfaction are the enemy. Continue to think you suck, seek mentorship from people you believe to be truly talented and don't be afraid to create your own hype. Basically, don't become a self-satisfied pussy. 

The end of the book includes a section full of quotes that have inspired him in his professional journey. One that I found particularly intriguing is " Pink is the navy blue of India" another was" It's better to fail in originality, than succeed in imitation."

124 tiny pages make for a quick read. I think it took me a couple of hours to get through, but it was time well spent. Check it out, at the very least, it will jog your creative juices.

Rating: 4/5


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