Well, which are you? A professional shows up every day and does the necessary work. An amateur does not. Even your hobbies can be approached in a professional manner. However, being a pro doesn’t have to mean that you’re obsessed and spend every possible moment and thought on your objective.
Being professional means that you take it seriously, spend your time and energy appropriately, do what needs to be done, and avoid allowing less important things to interfere.
A high school student can be a pro or an amateur at school. A pro would attend class regularly, have their homework done on time, start studying for tests early, and spend some time studying each night.
An amateur student would daydream, study at the last minute, and only complete some of the homework. A pro student wouldn’t go out the night before a big test. An amateur would.
Are you treating your career and relationship like a pro or like an amateur?
Pros outperform amateurs over time, every time:
1. A professional sticks to a schedule. An amateur works when he feels “inspired.” If you only work when you feel like it, you’ll never be successful. Whether you’re writing a book, training for a marathon, or starting a business, it’s important to do what needs to be done and do it each day. A professional does this. An amateur does not.
2. Professionals have priorities. Amateurs have priorities, but they have a different set of priorities. Professionals make their work a priority. Amateurs make comfort a priority. The high school quarterback that spends each evening looking at game film has a different priority than the quarterback that would rather play video games.
3. Professionals expect, and deal with, discomfort effectively. Pros know that most of what they have to do doesn’t involve sunshine and unicorns. But they do it anyway. Amateurs want to have fun and lose their motivation quickly if the task is unenjoyable.
Are you acting like a professional, or dooming yourself to mediocrity as an amateur?
Anyone can become a pro. And you can become a pro at anything you choose. You can be a pro at being a dog owner or caring for your lawn. There isn’t time to be a pro at everything, so choose wisely.
Become a pro and leave the amateur world behind:
1. Identify the most important tasks. What you’re trying to master will determine the most relevant behaviors. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, your list might look like this:
- Market myself by ranking my website – write industry-related articles and acquire backlinks from real estate authority sites.
- Acquire new clients – cold call expired listings and knock on doors.
2. Make a schedule. When will you perform these tasks? How many times will you repeat them each day? Determine when and how often. Make a schedule that uses your time wisely and effectively. One cold-call each week won’t accomplish much. Making a cold-call in the middle of the night won’t gain you any fans, either.
3. Stick to it. This is the real difference between a pro and an amateur. Whether you feel like doing the work or not, you’ll do it if you’re a pro. A pro just does what needs to be done.
4. Evaluate other decisions by how they affect your area of concentration. Making a fool out of yourself in public won’t do much for your political career or your climb up the corporate ladder. An all-night party won’t help your attempts to secure a tennis scholarship. A pro considers how any decision impacts his area of expertise and his goals.
It’s time to take yourself seriously and go pro. Real success requires commitment to do the things that others aren’t willing to do consistently. Choose to handle your important business like a pro. You’ll never have to worry about competing with the amateurs.