He writes, “Training = Turning Pro. Amateurs have amateur habits. Pros have professional habits. How does the pro acquire professional habits? By training. (The amateur by contrast either trains like an amateur or doesn’t train at all.)”
First, I think, “Of course” and then I say, “A-Ha!”
Reading great authors who are thinkers and leaders in my career path, I bolster my knowledge of advertising, sales, and writing. Several Wizard of Ads (WOA) partners are authors. Many are teachers. All are students. Evolving in their orbit, I find the concept of Training = Turning Pro is fundamental.
My surprise “A-ha” moment is the realization that after voicing ads for several years (as one part of my profession), I didn’t begin studying voiceover in a semi-professional way until 10 years ago. Then two years ago, WOA partner Johnny Molson (a fine fellow and an expert in many disciplines), shared the name of his exceptional voiceover instructor. With a country singer lament, I crooned: “Why didn’t I find her 30 years ago?” BECAUSE (A-ha moment solidified, codified, and horrified) I wasn’t seeking to become a professional 30 years ago. Ahhh… I was an amateur. I guess I thought turning pro just happened. HA! I’m still a work in progress.
You follow a professional trajectory. But are you overlooking something?
Taking something for granted? If you own/operate a business, you know you can’t be THE Professional in every aspect. That’s why you seek A Professional to handle the professional things you don’t have the desire or the time to develop. When I need a professional, I turn to WOA Partners. That’s my professional advice… of course.
Here’s to the epiphany that Turning Pro doesn’t just happen. You must make the choice. Thanks, Steven.
*Steven Pressfield has written several books including Gates of Fire, The War of Art, The Virtues of War, and The Legend of Bagger Vance.