Just finished Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro, and it left me with a thought about professionalism and people.
Years ago, I used to think that becoming a pro happened the minute you started taking money for your work. But plenty of past experience as a well-paid amateur has taught me better.
So what makes a pro? From my experience, it’s no longer being able to tolerate existence as an amateur. This includes the culture, habits, and mindsets of amateur life. This also includes the people.
When you examine most professional’s daily lives, their interaction with the amateur crowd (those that remain “professionally amateur”) is rare, if happening at all. The only time I’ve seen the pros interacting with amateurs on a regular basis is when the pro is teaching them how to end their long streak as an amateur.
Leaving certain people behind to remain happy amateurs is natural.
This may sound like snobbery, but real professionals don’t have time for a “better than you” existence.
They’re too busy putting in the time where it’s needed most – doing the real work that enables them to continue life as a professional.