I have been reading the book Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield, and it has changed the way I have been thinking about my work and it has changed my mindset.
I like things to be simple and easy to understand. And that’s why I keep using analogies when I tell stories. To me, marketing and business is not complex, like most things, I see it as something we need to work hard at to master. And that’s why I keep reading, writing and connecting with people every single day. I love my job. And the thing is, because I love my job, I have successfully managed to blend work and life. According to Turning Pro, I have become a professional with a professional mindset.
Turning Pro during a walk to the restroom
It all started a day at work at the University. I had been working at the University for more than 8 years. I was happy. It was a day like all the other days at work, and I had no idea that walking to the restroom would be the start of me turning pro.
I was walking to the restroom, and while I was walking I looked inside all the offices. I looked right. I looked left. I watched people working, and to me, the environment looked identical. The people started to look identical. And I started to think about how much work I had done that day. I was far from turning pro, I hadn’t done much work at all. I started thinking about the past year. And, I tried to figure out if I had done anything important. I attended several meetings every day. I was checking my email every 15 minutes. I was writing, but nothing important. I was doing my best to get my work done, and even though I was happy, I hadn’t realized that I didn’t get much done and what I was doing didn’t make any difference to anyone – me included. I was turning pro that very minute.
I told myself that I had to change. I decided to write a novel. I really wanted to accomplish something that would make me proud. It all started with the novel. I was focused, for the first time in my life. I managed to keep doing what I needed to do in order to finish it. What I discovered during the process is that writing a novel turned me into a more focused and a more productive person. I was turning pro without even thinking about it.
Turning Pro – the book and the mindset
I decided that I wanted to tap my inner powers and create my life’s work, and it all started with writing the novel. During the process of writing, and being a person who loves to make things simple, I discovered that there are two types of people; the amateur and the professional.
When I started writing the novel, I was an amateur, and I didn’t realize it. I was too busy thinking about… just stuff. I had so many things on my mind, from tiny details, to thinking about how people behave. I didn’t realize that nothing that was on my mind mattered. I was about to start my business as a solo entrepreneur, and the most important thing on my mind was my competition, and if I could ever be as good as them.
But, it all changed. I have a completely different mindset today. And, part of the reason for the change is the book Turning Pro:
The amateur sees himself as the hero, not only of his own movie, but of the movies of others. He insists (in his mind, if nowhere else) that others share this view. The amateur competes with others and believes that he cannot rise unless a competitor falls. If he had the power, the amateur would eat the world – even knowing that to do so would mean his own extinction.
I don’t think about my competition. I think about my work, and what I love about my job. I think about getting things done. And I keep hustling. I want to make a difference to the world. I really do.
- The professional shows up every day
- The professional stays on the job all day
- The professional is committed over the long haul
- For the professional, the stakes are high and real
After I finished writing my first novel, and after I completed a lot more work, and some really awesome projects, I am reading Turning Pro again, just so I won’t forget how it was like being an amateur. Looking back, I realize that it wasn’t that hard to become a professional. All I did was change my mind. I was extremely comfortable with the life I was living, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Are you changing your mindset and turning pro?
I’d love to discuss Turning Pro with you. If you haven’t read it, what’s your opinion on being a professional vs an amateur?