It´s not how good you are, it´s how good you want to be

It´s not how good you are, it´s how good you want to be“It´s not how good you are, it´s how good you want to be” by Paul Arden was my recent read and my newest quick read recommendation. The book is separated in dozens of short 1-2 page chapters which are easy to read and point out their message. Give it 2-3 days and you are through with some new insights and ideas.

I´ve summarized nine quite interesting parts of the book for you, so that you will get a clue what this book is about.


Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have.


Do not seek praise, seek criticism.

It´s quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people or those we know that they say what we want to hear. Instead of seeking approval go for “What´s wrong with it? How can I make it better?” – with this question we probably will get criticism and may have the chance to get an improvement on our idea.

It´s all my fault.

Like the headline of one of Derek Siver´s articles also says: it´s most important that we accept responsibility. Don´t blame others, take responsibility for all what is happening. Read this article to get into this more deeply.

Don’t´look for the next opportunity.

The one you have in hand is the opportunity. Even you are working on a “boring” project or nothing spectacular. Make it spectacular. We should make every project which is on our table the best we possibly can. This may lead to some new opportunities or even an unexpected great success.

Do it your customers´ way and then do it your way.

A client often has a fair idea of what he wants. We shouldn´t show him what WE want, because this will make him deny. If we show him what HE wants first, he is then relaxed and is prepared to look at what we want to sell. It´s about building openness instead of putting him in a corner.

Don´t take “No” for an answer.  

You client denied your presentation and product? Don´t give up – ask what is wrong with it and how you can improve it to  match the customer´s need. And start again with more information as you had in your first attempt.

It´s wrong to be right and it´s right to be wrong.

Being right is often based upon knowledge and experience which is built from solutions to old situations and problems. Experience is the opposite of being creative. In new situations we are in the unknown. There is no way of knowing what can happen. Being wrong might be risky sometimes, but being right may be like walking backwards proving where you have been.

Don´t give a speech. Put on a show!

When we attend a lecture, we generally go to see the speaker not to hear what they have to say. We know what they have to say, that´s why we go to see them. Instead of words, we need to paint them pictures. We need to show and focus on “our show”.

Rough layouts sell the idea better than polished ones.

A customer never wants to get a polished draft/ layout presented. This means he gets to see “your work” – he doesn´t feel involved with it and will probably reject it. If we should him a scribble he gets involved. He can bring in his own ideas and feels involved. This is way more likely to make the client satisfied and accepting your final idea.

Do not try to win awards.

Awards create glamour and this creates income. But awards are won through being judge by the consensus of a committee. A committee which is focus and biased by “what is known” – so it´s harder for unique and disruptive ideas to come up again known structures.


All in all the book is worth reading because of the writing style. You won´t lay this book down and have a new perspective to view the world but you can catch some inspiring and illustrative insights.

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