Picture Books Are Back


Written by: Cullen Kobayashi

A handful of my coworkers and I had the opportunity to sit down with our boss, Scott Meyer, to have a discussion over pizza. The discussion, unbeknownst to us, was on a book of his choosing titled It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be. Right off the bat we all noticed this was not an ordinary book at all. There was a plethora of pictures, quotes and infographics. In fact, there was not much text to digest whatsoever. This made the discussion ignite immediately.

Written by Paul Arden, a world renowned advertising guru, this book serves the purpose of “making the most out of yourself.” In a nutshell this book offers insights on how to make yourself successful for what you are. In particular, this book is helpful to those looking for careers in the strat comm fields (like myself). Topics range from “why getting fired is good” to becoming a more creative thinker. There are far too many great quotes to be mentioned so let me just discuss a few.

When it Can’t Be Done, Do it. If You Don’t Do it, it Doesn’t Exist

“A new idea can be either unfamiliar, or silly, or both.” New ideas are going to feel odd in concept. Think about it… If an idea is truly BRAND NEW then what do we have to judge it against? Arden is saying that this feeling of uneasiness in your stomach as bring this idea into fruition is perfectly normal. Actually, it means that you you have truly found something unique. So don’t stray from your thought. Pursue it. Scratch that. Pursue it passionately!

Do Not Seek Praise. Seek Criticism.

What good does praise really do for you? The quick release of endorphins to the brain may stimulate happiness briefly but that’s about it. Arden discusses how you should never be satisfied with your work. It may be a good piece of work, but it could be great. By asking for criticism you can get ideas for improvements. Instead of asking for a compliment, ask for an insult. Not every picture deserves to be hung on the fridge much like not every idea you have will be revered for its ingenuity. Some ideas suck. They can get better. Remember the truth isn’t so ugly if you take it for what it is.

Fail, Fail Again. Fail Better.

It’s right to be wrong. Wait what? Being wrong is taking a risk. It’s coming up with something that no one has said yet. Could it be stupid? Absolutely, but by taking this chance you are showing that you are not rooted in the ideas of others. Bravery and stupidity are often intertwined. That is because the brave person isn’t afraid of looking stupid to others.

“Some risks have a future, and some people call them wrong. But being right may be like walking backwards proving where you’ve been.”