Charles Hayward, a cabinet maker and editor of The Woodworker magazine, offers some advice on how to succeed in woodworking (and in life):
"One thing is certain: that, even though the craft is a lifetime's study, the application of a few simple principles will assuredly bring success in woodworking. In the first place, never start a job until you know precisely how you are going to do it. Pass its construction step by step through your mind, so that you may hit upon the snags and mentally smooth them out.
Don't work hurriedly. Your very keenness may prompt you to rush, but to do so is fatal. Curb your desire to see the thing finished, and always concentrate intently upon the particular bit of the job you have in hand.
In all you do be accurate. No measurement, no cut, no squaring, should be "near enough." It must be right. For often one inaccuracy becomes the seed of others, and reproduces trouble as the work proceeds.
Finally, don't worry about an honest mistake. Ponder the reason for it and so learn from it. Progress at your own speed from simple job to something more difficult, but never force the pace. At the same time, be just as ambitious as your previous work warrants."
Source: The Woodworker