Are You an Amateur or a Professional?

It’s easy to look at other people’s successes and wonder why they have all the luck.

Maybe your coworker got the promotion you wanted.

Maybe your friend is losing weight quicker than you.

Maybe your business hasn’t gotten a sale in forever but your rival just reached the 6-figure mark.

Why does it seem like some people magnetically attract good opportunities, happy situations, and abundance like they have a fairy godmother following them around?

Meanwhile, you’re stuck with your “woe is me” attitude watching the world pass you by.

Well, you’re not imagining things. There ARE wildly successful people everywhere. But there are just as many (probably more!) people who can’t seem to get it together.

Maybe that seems like your life sometimes?

Here’s the thing: The world is made up of amateurs and professionals.

An amateur doesn’t know what she’s doing, and everyone can tell. She half-asses her work, looks for shortcuts, and then wonders why it takes her so long to reach her goals…if she ever does.

A professional knows that anything worth having is worth working for. She goes above and beyond, looks for ways to show her expertise, and never thinks that the world owes her something. Reaching her goals is just the natural conclusion of doing her work.

It all comes down to this:

Professionals do the things amateurs are unwilling to do.

Back in my corporate days, I noticed that the hardest workers got promoted first. They were the folks who’d volunteer for new projects and make sure to get in front of the senior management team at every event or meeting.

Climbing the corporate ladder was important to me in my 20s, so I asked for extra assignments and made sure my work was just a little better than what was expected of me. As an extrovert, I had no problem introducing myself to board members or getting coffee for the managing editors.

I was a professional, and my coworkers treated me like an equal even if they had decades more experience than me. And it made me proud to get a nice big bonus every December even during the years when we were told no one would be getting bonuses.

If you have a 9-to-5 job, what can you do to position yourself as a professional? Do you take on extra projects (but be careful not to burnout)? Do you dress like you care about yourself and are happy to be there?

If you have your own business, what can you do to show your potential customers that they can trust you? Do you respond to emails quickly? Do you publish a blog post and send a newsletter at least once a week?

You may be thinking that being a professional sounds like a lot of work. And you’re right!

But there are so many rewards and opportunities if you make the effort to act like a professional. After a while, it won’t feel so hard anymore.

And then you’ll be one of those people who makes everyone else jealous.

This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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  1. Ashley urke on May 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Great thoughts to consider! While my work is part time I struggle walking between the two. But you have taught me to be confident in my professionalism! So much of that respect for our work comes from how we act. Such a great reminder!

    • Sage Grayson on May 19, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Thanks, Ashley! 🙂