One of my heroes, Steven Pressfield, from one of the three most important books in my life:
The moment an artist turns pro is as epochal as the birth of his first child. With one stroke, everything changes. I can state absolutely that the term of my life can be divided into two parts: before turning pro, and after.
To be clear: When I say professional, I don’t mean doctors and lawyers, those of “the professions.” I mean the Professional as an ideal. The professional in contrast to the amateur. Consider the differences.
The amateur plays for fun. The professional plays for keeps.
To the amateur, the game is his avocation. To the pro it’s his vocation.
The amateur plays part-time, the professional full-time.
The amateur is a weekend warrior. The professional is there seven days a week.
The word amateur comes from the Latin root meaning “to love.” The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while the pro does it for money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his “real” vocation.
The professional loves it so much he dedicates his life to it. He commits full-time.
That’s what I mean when I say turning pro.
Pressfield, Steven (2002-06-01). THE WAR OF ART (pp. 62-63). Rugged Land. Kindle Edition.
Are you ready to turn pro, too?
Best I can tell, there are a few other things professionals require:
Professionals listen more than they talk.
Even then, professionals often let their actions do the talking.
Professionals are almost boring in their consistency and dependability.
Professionals know they can’t do it alone – they need lawyers, bankers, accountants, designers, printers, rodeo clowns and other professionals.
Professionals act exactly the same when no one’s looking.
Professionals get clarity up front.
Professionals finish. They deliver. They follow-through … and they do all these things even when they’re not feeling up to it … especially then.
What else defines a professional? Can you think of anything?
Do yourself a favor. Get the book.
Tomorrow – and on future Saturdays – I’ll be sharing nine links to stuff I liked during the week.
Have a great day, Pro.