The Fundamentals


It’s 75% of the job.

If you haven’t got it, be nice.



It is quite easy to get approval if we ask enough people, or if we ask those who are likely to tell us what we want to hear.

The likelihood is that they will say nice things rather than be too critical. Also, we tend to edit out the bad so that we hear only what we want to hear.

So if you have produced a pleasantly acceptable piece of work, you will have proved to yourself that it’s good simply because others have said so.

It is probably ok. But then it’s probably not great either.

If, instead of seeking approval, you ask, ‘What’s wrong with it? How can I make it better?’, you are more likely to get a truthful, critical answer.

You may even get an improvement on your idea.

And you are still in a position to reject the criticism if you think it is wrong.

Can you find fault with this?

Have you noticed how the cleverest people at school are not those who make it in life?

What you learn at school are facts, known facts.

Your job at school is to accumulate and remember facts. The more you can remember the better you do.

Those who fail at school are not interested in facts; or maybe the facts are not put to them in a way they find interesting.

Some people simply don’t have a great faculty for memory.

It doesn’t mean they are stupid. It means their imagination hasn’t been fired up by academic tuition.

People who are conventionally clever get jobs on their qualifications (the past), not on their desire to succeed (the future).

Very simply. They get overtaken by those who continually strive to be better than they are.

As long as the goal is there, there is no limit to anyone’s achievement.


‘I want to be as famous as Persil Automatic.’ – Victoria Beckham


As a teenager, Victoria Beckham’s ambition was not just to be better than her mates or even be famous singer but to become a world brand.

She not only dreamed about it, but wanted it enough to go about getting it. That in itself makes her different from most of us.

It’s not how good she was that mattered, it’s how good she wanted to be.

What is interesting in her quote is that she didn’t compare herself with George Michael or Mariah Carey, rather she saw the fame of Persil Automatic as her yardstick.

Laugh at it as you may, it’s this highly original imagination that got her where she is today.

You can achieve the unachivable.

Firstly you need to aim beyond what you are capable of.

You must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end.

Try to do the things that you’re incapable of.

If you think you’re unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim.

If you think you’re incapable of running a company, make that your aim.

If you think you’re unable to be on the cover of Times magazine, make it your business to be there.

Make your vision of where you want to be a reality.

Nothing is impossible.


So how GOOD do you want to be?


All of us want to be good at our jobs, but how good do we really want to be?

Quite good.


Very good.

The best in our field.

Or the best in the world?

Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition.

Everybody wants to be good, but not many are prepared to make the sacrifices it takes to be great.

To many people, being nice in order to be liked is more important. There’s equal merit in that, but you must not confuse being good with being liked.

Most people are looking for a solution, a way to become good.

There is no instant solution, the only way to learn is through experience and mistakes.

You will become whoever you want to be.



















Why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required?

There is little demand in the commercial world for excellence. There is a much, much bigger demand for mediocrity.

The truth is, I’m glad it’s this way.

Imagine a world where all clients were wonderful, where we could produce whatever we felt like with no restrictions, with everybody having freedom to produce all their fantasies unfettered by tedious clients.

What would we do?

We would react against it, saying, ‘Isn’t this boring. How can we be dull? Let’s do it badly, let’s make it ugly, and let’s make it really cheaply.’

That’s the nature if the creative person. All creative people need something to rebel against, it’s what gives their lives excitement, and it’s creative people who make the clients’ lives exciting.

I do it for me.