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I was on a long coast-to-coast flight yesterday. As soon as I reached 10,000 ft., I got my Nook out. I wanted to read a few dozen books I had download to my Nook.

While I had purchased a couple of these books for 99c each, most of them were snapped up for free.

I am currently writing a book, so I wanted to see if I could borrow some best practices when my book is ready to publish.

What followed were  four hours of instructive insights into what should not be done.

Most of the books were crappy. Shoddy content wrapped inside shabby covers. They didn’t deliver any message or follow a theme. They did not have a direction.

Personally for me, there were no takeaways from reading the books themselves.

A lot of them were poorly formatted. Reading them was hard work.

I can’t imagine an author making a good living by writing and publishing such books.

The message to me was loud and clear as I get ready to publish my own book. But there’s also a lesson to be learnt for everyone, very consistent with what I learnt.

Your work should make you proud. It doesn’t matter if the piece of work is a book or a presentation.

If what you finish with doesn’t make you proud, you just didn’t do it right. You should go back and redo it.

Being deliberate in giving everything your best shot is an immensely satisfying feeling. It’s impossible not to feel proud about something you’ve worked with your heart and soul.

A few ripe ideas that you have given everything to are way more valuable than a hundred poorly implemented ones.

Don’t cut corners. Don’t leave with a job shabbily done.

Be precise. Be deliberate. Be passionate.

Will your work make your kid proud at school? Will your work make you proud?

Image credit: Ogilvy Group UK, http://www.ogilvy.co.uk