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It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; 1st edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780714843377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714843377
  • ASIN: 0714843377
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Talented but timid? This noted ad‐man is here to tell you that ambition, not just mere ability, is the key to success in his world ... Arden is punchy and memorable about ’failing better next time’." – i-D

"Saatchi & Saatchi creative legend‐turned‐director Paul Arden has committed his considerable wit and creative thinking to paper in a handy‐sized book on how to succeed. Not just in advertising but in business generally. Far from being one of those excruciating self‐help guides favored by buttoned‐down businessmen, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be is a startlingly refreshing, unputdownable collection of thought‐provoking pearls of wisdom." – Shots

"Chapters such as It’s Right to be Wrong, Have you Noticed How the Cleverest People at School Are Not Those Who Make It In Life? and Do Not Seek Praise, Seek Criticism are accompanied by an entertaining collection of photos and illustrations. Get it and you’ll never think the same way again." – Shots

"The former creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi teaches readers how to smash down life’s impossible barriers using a fresh combination of wit, smart thinking, and horiffic mistakes. Outrageously genius." – The Good Book Guide

". . .A wonderful book by one of the most brilliant men I have ever met. . . I met him when he worked as creative director at Saatchi and Saatchi and he was simply inspirational – as is this practical, unpretentious little book." – Amanda Platell

"...Deliciously rich paperback..." – Chicago Sun‐Times

"British adman Paul Arden’s semi‐parodic study in self‐help is as funny as it is provocative..." – Radar

"Who is this guy Arden anyway? Please forgive my enthusiasm this month for quoting Paul Arden extensively, but his wisdom has recently inspired me. Arden was the creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi from 1977–1992, and his tiny new book out in May, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be (Phaidon , $7.95), packs a big punch. This magnificent little manifesto is for true creative types to read, savor and carry in their pocket. It should remind us all that nothing is impossible." – PAPER magazine

About the Author

Paul Arden (1940‐2008) spent a stormy 18 years in advertising and then found his Alma Mater in Saatchi & Saatchi in 1977, where he worked for 15 years. During his tenure as Executive Creative Director he was responsible for some of Britain’s most successful advertising campaigns – including British Airways, Silk Cut, Intercity and Fuji – and famous slogans, such as "The Car in front is a Toyota" and "The Independent – It is. Are you?". In 1993 Arden set up the film production company Arden Sutherland‐Dodd and began a successful second career as a writer with a weekly column in The Independent and several publications including Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite (2006) and God Explained In A Taxi Ride (2007).


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Customer Reviews

I bought this book, read it and then passed it on.
L. Simmonds
There's a lot of very good advice in this book, presented in a very easy to digest format.
richard winchell
I'm sad to say I found very few if any of these things in the book.
designer.eb

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By richard winchell on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
Before you get confused by the "World's best selling book" tagline, read the title of the book again. "It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be." Obviously, Arden aspires to have this be the world's best selling book.

All of the advice in this book comes out of Arden's experience in the advertising industry, but it has value for everyone doing work in creative fields. (And as many have said, business as a whole is a creative pursuit.) Even the advice that seems to be advertising-centric has wider relevance, if you open your mind a bit.

There's a lot of very good advice in this book, presented in a very easy to digest format. I come back to this book again and again whenever I need a pep talk, and every time it works. How are being unafraid of failure, having ambition, and being open to new ideas not relevant to your life?
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By designer.eb on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The title of this book had me very excited to read its content. I thought for sure I'd find some insightful commentary about building and exuding confidence in yourself and your work. Perhaps there would be some helpful tips on re-shaping your thinking and setting goals and ways to achieve aspirations you weren't entirely sure you could reach. Maybe there'd even be some creative tidbits to appeal to my designer self. I'm sad to say I found very few if any of these things in the book.

I've read some reviews of people complaining that the cover is mis-leading to those not within the advertising industry and I can certainly understand their point. Many of Arden's thoughts are framed from the perspective of an ad exec or creative director. This didn't deter me personally as I have a background in advertising though I've since moved into consulting and user experience design. What did bother me, however, was the old-school mentality of his advice. The advice perpetuates what many now consider to be harmful practices to the industry such as spec work and exaggerating in ways that seem smarmy-leading to consumers' mistrust in the ad industry. I even found some suggestions in this book to be downright offensive. For example, he suggests creating business cards for yourself which twist your title or company in very mis-leading ways. He suggests a "Pump Attendant" create cards for himself that tout "Petroleum Executive" and that a first-year student of architecture print cards which lead the recipient to believe they OWN an architectural firm. I suppose I can see his point if it's that we should not feel hindered by our current title but be willing to explain, with confidence, our true value or future value.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on December 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I knew I had to buy the book when I looked through it at the store. It's pretty and designed well. It's dimensions are pleasing, and the size perfect for one sitting. Since Arden has experience in the advertising industry, he knows how to keep my attention. And that means it's not some how-to book with lots of text. The book is meant to stimulate you, not cram you full of advice. So, it's not "fluff."

Though my copy was taken from me, I still remember many parts of the book and plan to buy another. This book is indeed for everyone, not just those in advertising. Arden merely uses his own experience in his field to make a universal point.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By April on April 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are lessons within this book that you may have learnt. But with that busy life of yours that once the idea had popped into your head, it popped right out. This just acts out as a little guide book, a reminder perhaps to get you through to remembering what you really want and how to get it. Though it draws on advertising mainly, it can be presented in many levels. There are great examples, pictures... Nothing too boring that would make you set it aside and never touch the damn thing again. Something easy to pick up when you've lost all hope and motivation. Its language and simplistic manner is set out so that there is no "drag time." There are books that span pages to get a point across, making it hard to pinpoint their exact meaning. Others too open to analogical readings. This is not one of them. Easy to reference, inspirational quotes, a great read really. An enjoyable one too.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Alan Black on July 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a highly creative book about becoming more creative. It is filled with provoking thoughts and exercises. I recommend this book very much to anyone seeking to expand, enrich, widen their personal creativity. It could easily be a supplementary textbook for many courses in high school and college.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Hizon on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is packed with wisdom and insights on how to succeed in any creative based business. It will inspire you and push you to heights you never knew you can reach However, the way it is written/presented makes it one of tthe greatest rip-offs of the year. It is basically a collection of one liners and phrases. Not that what's written are rubbish (it is very helpful) but some are obvious common sense. It is a very quick read, I managed to read the WHOLE book in a bookstore while standing. This where I balk at recommending this book for purchase. Borrow it from someone or wait when for it in the bargain bin or used books section because spending for the cover price is not worth the content.
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