Amateur Or Professional?

We will be moving our office in the next few months and I am trying to co-ordinate some of the logistics. It is time consuming and fussy.  The operative rule is two moves equals a fire in terms of disruption. Must be a big fire.

To help solve my time problem, I present an excellent insight to a common problem. People who don’t understand that their personal limitations hold them back.

This article is copied from Farnham Street Blog. You can find it here. and you should. It publishes weekly and is well worth the trouble to read. This article can be found here.

The hyperlinks below lead to other articles. on similar subjects.

The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals

Why is it that some people seem to be hugely successful and do so much, while the vast majority of us struggle to tread water?  The answer is complicated and likely multifaceted.

One aspect is mindset—specifically, the difference between amateurs and professionals. Most of us are just amateurs.

What’s the difference? Actually, there are many differences:

  1. Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is just the beginning.
  2. Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process.
  3. Amateurs think they are good at everything. Professionals understand their circles of competence.
  4. Amateurs see feedback and coaching as someone criticizing them as a person. Professionals know they have weak spots and seek out thoughtful criticism.
  5. Amateurs value isolated performance. Think about the receiver who catches the ball once on a difficult throw. Professionals value consistency. Can I catch the ball in the same situation 9 times out of 10?
  6. Amateurs give up at the first sign of trouble and assume they’re failures. Professionals see failure as part of the path to growth and mastery.
  7. Amateurs don’t have any idea what improves the odds of achieving good outcomes. Professionals do.
  8. Amateurs show up to practice to have fun. Professionals realize that what happens in practice happens in games.
  9. Amateurs focus on identifying their weaknesses and improving them. Professionals focus on their strengths and on finding people who are strong where they are weak.
  10. Amateurs think knowledge is power. Professionals pass on wisdom and advice.
  11. Amateurs focus on being right. Professionals focus on getting the best outcome.
  12. Amateurs focus on first-level thinking. Professionals focus on second-level thinking.
  13. Amateurs think good outcomes are the result of their brilliance. Professionals understand when outcomes are the result of luck.
  14. Amateurs focus on the short term. Professionals focus on the long term.
  15. Amateurs focus on tearing other people down. Professionals focus on making everyone better.
  16. Amateurs make decisions in committees so there is no one person responsible if things go wrong. Professionals make decisions as individuals and accept responsibility.
  17. Amateurs blame others. Professionals accept responsibility.
  18. Amateurs show up inconsistently. Professionals show up every day.

There are a host of other differences, but they can effectively be boiled down to two things: fear and reality.

Amateurs believe that the world should work the way they want it to. Professionals realize that they have to work with the world as they find it. Amateurs are scared — scared to be vulnerable and honest with themselves. Professionals feel like they are capable of handling almost anything.

Luck aside, which approach do you think is going to yield better results?

Food for Thought:

  • In what circumstances do you find yourself behaving like an amateur instead of as a professional?

  • What’s holding you back? Are you hanging around people who are amateurs when you should be hanging around professionals?

Most people are better once they realize there are alternate behaviours.  If you ever want to have a useful discussions with your young people, your employees and even yourself, the thoughts found here will make a fine template.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. 

In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

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