Marketing Planet

"It’s Not How Good You Are..." by Paul Arden

A pretentious book?

The full title of Paul Arden’s book: «It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be» is quite long and creates many expectations. The book is that little and very different from what is generally seen in business books that one decides that it cannot be good or, the contrary, it interpells.

Official synopsis

The official synopsis starts with: "It’s not how good you are ... is a concise guide to making the most of yourself - a pocket "bible" for the talented and timid to make the unthinkable and the impossible possible." a bit further one reads: "He gives original and logical answers to everyday questions. Much of it appears obvious when you read it, but aren’t all questions easy when you know the answer?"

So what is it about?

The little book proposes indeed in an original way, to think about what one wants, and how one should act to obtain it. The book is not written in an intellectual style. The combination of wits, creativity and exemples takes us nevertheless to some essential points of management in marketing and advertisement. But it can be viewed from beyond these limits and activities. Perception and behaviour are important elements in all types of businesses. Some exemples:

  • So how good do you want to be?
  • Do not covent your ideas
  • Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative
  • Don’t promise what you can’t deliver
  • Know your client’s aims
  • Don’t be afraid of silly ideas

His advertising background is shown in the part "And now for a commercial break". For those who are not in this type of business it can nevertheless bring you a better comprehension on the influence of images and the way you propose it. See also the article about presentations on this website.

Art of War, The Prince.... Paul Arden?

The book positions itself as the book that "uses the creative process of good advertising as a metaphor for business practice", just like "Art of War and The Prince have derived and are now references in business literature.
The book reflects the American way of business with assertiveness and positive thinking. This way of management has had good results and will still have. The key element of it alltogether is that one reads it very quickly but should not forget its lessons.
There a very good points made in this little book but being written in an original way, one may think them less serious. Keep at least one of the chapters in mind: «So how good do you want to be?» You will then see, it all depends on yourself to stick to it.