The difference between a hobby and a profession.
Most of us have hobbies we love.
Most of us have jobs we are not entirely in love with.
Some of us think, that it would be nice to turn hobby into a profession, a business. At least sometimes.
Some of us leap and turn hobbies into professions.
Very often just to realize having a hobby and making money out of what we love is not exactly the same thing.
Writing sometimes, when we feel like it, occasionally, when an inspiration hits is not exactly the same as writing day in and day out, because you have a deadline and need to come up with work, whether you have the inspiration or not.
Surfing on the weekends and teaching surfing every day, or being a pro surfer/competing athlete is not the same experience.
When you become a pro doing something — it’s not all sunshine and fun and smelling the roses.
No matter how much you love what you do.
Very often it’s hard work — even more with things we truly love and put our heart into.
Hard work day in and day out, routines, dedication and doing things outside our comfort zone, challenging ourselves, doing what we are not good at publicly, exposing our most vulnerable selves to have a chance to finish something good one day, something we are proud of — that’s what being a Pro means.
Hobby, love made into a profession, is not pretty 99% of the time.
It will feel like walking through your personal idea of hell, hell that will burn you to mold into a masterpiece, if you dare to take that walk.
My favorite quotes.
Want to do your best work? Challenge status quo and become a PRO?
Read it. Use it. Do the Work.
Don’t die with your best work in you.
When craft, dedication, and professionalism come together, the result can be astonishing. Sometimes the work even achieves immortality.
[Turning Pro is for] artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes whose ambition is not to stand on the sidelines, waiting for permission from others, but to take their destiny in their own fists — to pursue their heart’s calling and make it work.
…what ails you and me has nothing to do with being sick or being wrong. What ails us is that we are living our lives as amateurs.
Turning pro is free, but it’s not without a cost.
Turning pro is free, but it demands sacrifice.
Turning pro is not for everyone. We have to be a little crazy to do it, or even to want to. In many ways the passage chooses us; we don’t choose it. We simply have no alternative.
Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence.
Those first stirrings of ambition saved me and put me on the path to becoming an artist and a professional.
Sometimes, when we’re terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career. Its shape is similar, its contours feel tantalizingly the same. But a shadow career entails no real risk. If we fail at a shadow career, the consequences are meaningless to us.
I wasn’t writing books. I wasn’t facing my demons. I was spectating at life through the movie screen of a cab-over windshield, while every mile I traveled only carried me farther away from where I needed to go and from who I needed to become.
The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits.
You and I, who are artists and entrepreneurs, live a life that’s closer to natural, if you ask me.
We migrate, too. We follow the Muse instead of the sun. When one crop is picked, we hit the road and move on to the next.
It’s a not a bad life.
It’s lonely. It’s tough. It ain’t for everyone. But, like the life of a migrant on the road, it has its compensations.
Who am I? Why am I? What do I want?
Resistance [internal enemy that prevents us from doing the work that matters] hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed.
What you and I are really seeking is our own voice, our own truth, our own authenticity.
That year made me a pro. It gave me, for the first time in my life, an uninterrupted stretch of month after month that was mine alone, that nobody knew about but me, when I was truly productive, truly facing my demons and truly working my shit.
That year has stuck with me.
…we’re all angels imprisoned in vessels of flesh.
…the real fight of our lives, which is to become who we are and to realize our destiny and our calling.
…the amateur remains inauthentic. He remains someone other than who he really is.
The payoff of living in the past or the future is you never have to do your work in the present.
Exile, failure, and banishment can be good things sometimes, because they force us to act from our own center and not from someone else’s.
When we truly understand that the tribe doesn’t give a damn, we’re free. There is no tribe, and there never was.
Our lives are entirely up to us.
When we turn pro, we stop running from our fears. We turn around and face them.
When we were amateurs, our life was about drama, about denial, and about distraction. Our days were simultaneously full to the bursting point and achingly, heartbreakingly empty.
But we are not amateurs any more. We are different, and everyone in our lives sees it.
The professional shows up every day
The professional stays on the job all day
The professional is committed over the long haul
For the professional, the stakes are high and real
The professional is patient
The professional seeks order
The professional demystifies
The professional acts in the face of fear
The professional accepts no excuses
The professional plays it as it lays
The professional is prepared
The professional does not show off
The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique
The professional does not hesitate to ask for help
The professional does not take failure or success personally
The professional does not identify with his or her instrument
The professional endures adversity
The professional self-validates
The professional reinvents herself
The professional is recognized by other professionals
The professional is courageous
The professional will not be distracted
The professional is ruthless with himself
The professional has compassion for herself — Never train your horse to exhaustion. Leave him wanting more.
The professional lives in the present
The professional defers gratification
The professional does not wait for inspiration
The professional does not give his power away to others
The professional helps others
When we do the work for itself alone, our pursuit of a career turns into something else, something loftier and nobler, which we may never even have thought about or aspired to at the beginning.
It turns into a practice.
To “have a practice” in yoga, say, or tai chi, or calligraphy, is to follow a rigorous, prescribed regimen with the intention of elevating the mind and the spirit to a higher level.
Our intention as artists is to get better, to go deeper, to work closer and closer to the bone.
As an artist, I seek to access unseen powers. Evil forces are out there — Resistance, self-doubt, self-sabotage. How many other malign entities are hovering each morning over me and my huevos rancheros?
Then there are the good forces. Inspiration, enthusiasm, courage. New ideas, brilliant breakthroughs, insights, intuitions. Where do these come from? I don’t know. How can I access them? I have no clue.
Yet this is my business. This is my life.
The hero wanders. The hero suffers. The hero returns.
You are that hero.
Read it! Use it! Do the work!
Don’t die with your best work in you.