There are two types of people in every field, even in the creative industry – the amateurs and the professionals. The amateurs are described as those who lack skills and experience. The professionals, on the other hand, are those who are considered masters of their craft. Still and so, professionals are once amateurs too. At some point in time, they have also struggled and has been forced to accept a lot of failures long before they get to be where they are today. But what is the real difference between amateurs and professionals and how can anyone easily shift from one identity to another?
The difference between the two is entirely based on their habits and mindset:
Amateurs only work when they feel motivated. Professionals stick with a schedule.
Amateurs only work when they feel motivated. They wait for that certain spark of inspiration to come to them instead of making it come from them. Professionals stick with a schedule. They spend time practicing and developing their skills by including it on their daily or weekly routine. They don’t let their moods and their feelings affect their actions on a specific day so they always work and stick with their schedules. But it doesn’t mean that they commit themselves fully and force themselves to work uninterrupted for 8 hours every single day, especially if there are other things that needs to be done within the day. Their schedule is something that they know would work for them. It could be 2-3 hours on weekdays, 5 hours on weekends, 3 days a week, or Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending upon their preferred time of the day.
Amateurs practice as much as they want. Professionals never stop.
Amateurs only practice for as much as they feel like doing so, while professionals practice continuously. Even after having a big break, they never stop on trying to improve what has already been considered best. They understand that achievement is simply an indication of their hard work and continuous development.
Amateurs are subjective. Professionals are objective.
Amateurs gets easily influenced by their personal feelings, emotions, and interpretations. Their decisions are entirely based on what they believe is right. Professionals live based on objectivity. They never look at things with a single perspective and avoid making decisions out of personal bias.
Amateurs fear failures. Professionals grow through failures.
Amateurs try to avoid failures. They fear criticisms and wants instant success. They easily give up when faced with tough challenges, not being able to bounce back and start moving forward immediately. Professionals understand that failure is essential to growth. They use criticisms to become better at what they do. And unlike the amateurs, they quickly get themselves back on track.
Amateurs focus on goals. Professionals focus on the process to achieve their goals.
Amateurs focus on their goals. They are always obsessed with the outcome. They want to get the results as quickly as possible and they tend to look at other people’s achievements rather than pay attention to the things that they have done to get it. They want to instantly have a big break and get noticed. Professionals focus on their habits that could help them improve and naturally achieve their goals. They take time to work a little towards their craft to get a long term success. Because professionals doesn’t just want to be noticed, they want to be remembered.
Turning into a professional is easy, but only if you would start thinking and acting like one as early as today. It is never about the mastery, perfection, and big breaks that will make your career. It’s the daily practice and good habits that you do along the way. No one is ever born a professional. As to Hemmingway, “We are all apprentices in a craft no one masters.”
Create a schedule, Trust yourself, focus on the process, and have the courage to face your failures. Not that it’s easy to accept them, but the more that you encounter and overcome tough challenges, the easier you could move forward and get past through it. Besides, the only way to become better at what you do is to spend time working on it.