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on 26 December 2004
"The world's best-selling book" (the tongue-in-cheek subtitle), is a great little collection of ideas, suggestions and practical advice from a man responsible for many successful British advertising campaigns over the last 25 years. Although there is a practical bias towards the business world of advertising and media, this book is likely to appeal to any individual who is interested in creativity and thinking for themselves. It is beautifully designed and very entertaining indeed!
In the first few pages, Paul Arden encourages you to set your goals high and aim beyond what you believe you are capable of. Then there are "The Fundamentals" such as "Do not seek praise. Seek criticism", "Give away everything you know, and more will come back to you", "Don't promise what you can't deliver". My favourite is "It's right to be wrong", where Arden points out how anything is possible when you're not trying to be right. The risk is greater, you are in the unknown, but "there's more chance of it being amazing".
A combination of "common sense", awareness, business advice, communication skills, positive thinking, a few presentation tricks and some quirky strokes of genius. Great stuff.
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on 8 December 2003
A fabulous little book. And I mean little. You can read this in an hour but the messages will stay with you for much longer. I would recommend it to anyone looking to rediscover their edge or seeking ways to inject new energy and meaning into their lives.
No bull, this is a great little read. You will not be disappointed.
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on 19 November 2004
I bought this book shortly before quitting my job.
I was lacking in focus and short of confidence, this is going to sound really cheesy, but this book changed my life.
It gave me the confidence and strength to go for a job in the media which I wouldn't have had the guts to go for before.
One of the quotes from the book is
'If you're in control, you're not going fast enough'
I put myself up there and rose to the occasion
I'm now working as picture editor on a major UK magazine.
This is from someone who's turned around their life in 4 months.
Paul Arden, you are the daddy!
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on 28 September 2003
The ultimate aim of this book is to inspire the reader to take his destiny in his own hands, rather than leaving it to others or to chance. For that to happen first of all the reader needs to have a clear idea of where he wants to be in the future. Then it's a question of getting there.
Paul Arden is, or has been, an advertising executive for decades. And although many of his examples are related to the advertising world the 'advice' is always general enough so that any reader from any background can make use of it. Also, it's no irony that you need a advertising executive's suggestions to advertise yourself.
Unlike many other books talking about success, this one is highly readable and interesting for many varied reasons.
For one, it makes the reader understand a totally unorthodox approach to life, work and many generally established ideas. Who says experience matters? If so, what conslation is that to a school leaver? And who says you should respect your cliente 100%?
Secondly, the presentation is very sparse, with only a page or two maximum to cover a subject. Also, there would really be only a handful of pages if the fonte were a little smaller, the sentences a little wider and the nearly empty pages were taken out. However, don't let that fool you, for this isn't a simple book, for the author crams as much possible information in the smallest number words.
Finally, this gives the reader a new kind of hope, one that simply makes sense and because it makes sense, it just has to work.
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on 15 August 2007
I found this book amazing seriously, at the beginning it took me time to grasp the meanings it had, the i realized its one of those books that you are not suppose to be reading it all at once, what i did was i read two or three things a day and grasp it very well and try to motivate my self on doing it and make sure imagining myself doing it so i could remember if i was in such situiation my reaction would fit. really you will understand once you get this book hope you will think of it the same way i did.
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on 23 July 2015
A truly execrable book. If you want to pay a fiver to read the kind of glib, superficial (and usually plagiarised) aphorisms that populate the advertising and branding 'industries', then this is the book for you. No more than 12 words per page, stating the bleedin' obvious with a breath-taking turgidity and yet manages a tone that is utterly narcissistic, and effortlessly self-regarding. A pointless, pompus puff of a book. In a word, meretricious (look it up).
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on 10 January 2009
I was drawn by the bold statement on the cover and being a graphic designer, also drawn to the great type treatment! This book is a wonderful companion to motivate anyone in going for it now! Arden's experience is mainly in advertising and his writings ring true for life and for opening yourself to endless possibilities. His advice is honest and brave.

It reminded me of the work of Ariel and Shya Kane and Instantaneous Transformation. By reading their 3 principles which you can find in the book Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life and by attending their Monday night seminars and workshops in New York City, I have experienced countless creative shifts. These shifts have supported me in generating original projects effortlessly at work and in my personal life. Well-being and satisfaction are a part of my day in and day out experience, regardless of the circumstances.

I recommend both Arden and the Kanes as a must on your bookshelf for creativity that translates into productivity and a richer life.
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on 7 April 2007
This is a very witty, imaginative and thought-provoking read! It will push you to go that extra-mile and to aim high. And as a bonus, you get some savvy business and career advice! Highly recommended!
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on 27 September 2008
This book was given to me when I started in the advertising industry and has inspired me to push myself creatively and to challenge everything. The book presents a high risk high gain strategy of managing your career by thinking out of the ordinary. I think as a direct result of reading this book I have used the presentation that my boss deemed 'too different' and questioned the norm on a daily basis, which has so far worked out well for me!!

Although this book is obviously been aimed at the creative industries, a couple of my friends read it when we were on holiday (a doctor and farmer) and they seemed to take away as much from it as I did. Takes about 20 minutes to read and leaves you feeling motivated and chomping on the bit to do better.

Ideal present for any career driven person.
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on 25 December 2006
I decided to get this book on a whim, after a recommendation from an Emerging Church theologian. I know that is probably an unusual approach to a marketing book but it intruiged me.

Having read it, it still interests me, even if it hasn't rocked my world to its foundations. I work for the Presbyterian Church some of the assumptions that Arden makes about the motivation for ambition need to be adapted and I will spend some time thinking about whether his ideas apply and if so how, to a setting that doesn't have profit or power as a driving force.

The book is short, pithy, witty, to the point and most importantly of all very thought provoking. I have always hated to hear people condemn marketing as an evil and Arden even has the time in these few short pages to put that myth to bed. It really is a book quite unlike anything I have ever read before. I guess it might bear some resembelance to the art of Jenny Holzer but that would be a conclusion I am unqualified to make. I know nothing about art. At least due to this book I know a little more about marketing.

More importantly, because of the way he has shared his wisdom, I know a lot more about the attitudes and approaches used by this legend of the advertising business to pursue success. I especially liked his passages on not waiting for the perfect opportunity and taking full responsibility for anything you touch.

I dare you to not be challenged, provoked and entertained by this cool little book!
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