This is a guest post by William Grigsby who is a HR manager at assignmentmasters.org. He’s fascinated about how each person’s unique traits and skills are their most efficient tools for reaching success. For three years already, through his writing, he has helped people understand and leverage their full potential. In this article he talks about the 10 differences between amateaurs and professionals. Enjoy.
Being successful and being professional are not the same. An unprofessional person can be successful…it is just more difficult. Professional people are more likely to be successful because they have the right attitude, skills and knowledge.
1 – Professionals Have Been Through The Mill
Some people grow a professional attitude, but most have to visit the school of hard knocks before they become professional. Professionals need to know and experience the pain of defeat and the horror of error; they need to know what “could” happen if they do not become more professional.
2 – Amateurs Dress For The Part
Nobody is saying that professional lawyers turn up in sheep shearing smocks, but amateurs think that the clothes make the man; it just isn’t true. Find the best programmer you can find, and he is either overweight with a stained shirt, or he has a beard and looks like somebody dragged him through a barn. Look at Bill Gate’s haircut, Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie, or Steve Job’s jeans.
3 – Professionals Do Not Chase Their Dreams
Dreams are great, but if you concentrate solely on your dreams, then you miss something more powerful, you miss opportunities. Think of all the actresses that win an award and say, “Hey girls, follow your dreams and you will win.” What about all the other hundreds of actresses who were following their dreams and didn’t win the award?
4 – Amateurs Stop Practicing When They Get Good Enough
Getting better and better (semi-perpetually) is the mark of a professional. Stopping when you are good enough is not acceptable if you wish to be a professional. Fighters don’t stop training after they win their first fight, and artists don’t stop sculpting after their first good statue.
5 – Professionals Know When To Bow Out Of A Challenge
Being the underdog, and having it “Me against the world” is alluring and maybe even romantic, but it is not what a professional does. The world’s best lawyers do not take every case, the best surgeons don’t take every patient, and the best businesspeople do not compete with every competitor.
6 – Amateures Try To Go It Alone
Professionals rely on others and they are not shy about it. While in court, Henry Ford couldn’t answer a series of simple questions on American history, geography, and math. The opposing council said that Ford’s inability to answer these simple questions was proof that he was dumb. Ford said, “I have three buttons on my desk. If I have a question about anything, I press a button and there are teams waiting to tell me the answer.”
7 – Professionals Are Good At Identifying Weakness
Identifying weakness in themselves and in others is key to being a professional. A professional needs to know what he/she can and cannot do, so that he/she may rely on others to cover his/her weaknesses.
8 – Amateurs Still Make Mistakes
A professional doesn’t make mistakes because for every eventuality that can go wrong, a professional has a backup plan.
9 – Professionals Show Up On Time
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it. A professional appreciates the value of time, which is why professionals do not turn up late. You may claim that even professionals get stuck in traffic, but professionals set off earlier just in case there is traffic.
10 – Amateurs “Act” Professionally
A true professional has a keen sense of what is right/correct and what is wrong/incorrect. That is why people are often surprised when professional’s let loose a little and act a little childishly. Professionals are not “Acting” professional—they are professional. Yet, professionals act unprofessionally behind closed doors.
Do you honestly think that Judge Judy hasn’t once hooked a rolled up piece of people into paper basket and done a little dance to celebrate. You cannot tell me that Donald Trump has never heard the rocky theme tune and gone for a punchy jog? Do you really think Thomas Edison didn’t at any point throw a bit of crud onto his light bulb just to see it burn? Amateurs “Act” professional, whereas professionals “Are” professional because professionals have a keen sense of right/wrong, correct and incorrect. That doesn’t mean that professionals don’t have a fun and childish side; you just have to be in the right place at the right time to see it.