How you’re perceived can often make the difference between success and failure. Let me start by asking you a question. In sport, apart from the obvious answer around payment, what is the difference between a professional and an amateur?
I’m sure just by giving it a little thought you can come up with some differences. Interestingly, in business, there is a huge difference between say, an amateur and professional salesman, an amateur or professional business owner, or an amateur or professional manager.
Let’s get started and educate ourselves on how an amateur acts as opposed to a professional.
Professionals Work Hardest on Themselves
Professionals are constantly looking to be the best. They are prepared to invest in themselves knowing it will pay them back. They work hard to seek relevant knowledge through reading, training, videos, etc. They take time to reflect and review what they have learned so that they can truly understand and apply the knowledge in order to reap the benefits. Conversely, amateurs believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. They get to a level and stick. They are not prepared to look at new ideas but just try to work harder at what they have always done.
Professionals have the Ability to Consistently Replicate Excellence
Professionals take time to truly understand what they do. By harnessing this understanding they can leverage (multiply the impact) their experience. They consistently replicate excellent performance no matter what the state of the market or trading conditions. On the other hand, amateurs rely on their past experiences. They do not understand their experience and so as conditions change they are unable to adapt to the new circumstances and their performance suffers. Their performance can be inconsistent, sometimes excellent and at other times average or poor.
Professionals are Happy to Pass on their Understanding
Professionals are happy to mentor others to pass on their understanding. They are quite open in their communication and eager to see others grow and to consistently replicate their excellence. Amateurs withhold information and appear to be closed. Actually, they fear that if they open up too much then others will find them out.
Professionals Seek to Work with the Best
A professional surround themselves with the best internal and external professional team so they can be stretched, learn from others and reach their goals faster. They do not fear other’s expertise but rather welcome the chance to grow themselves and their business. Amateurs only want to surround themselves with mediocre players so that they can shine.
Professionals are Open to Change
Professionals understand that what got them here won’t necessarily get them to where they want to go. They are happy to push their comfort zone, to question their beliefs. They continually work to develop themselves both personally and professionally. An amateur finds it is very easy to believe they don’t need to change, that the attitude, mindset, and activity to date will get them where they want to go. They stop growing and accept the status quo.
Being a business owner, entrepreneur or leader is a fun yet challenging journey to make. In nature, if something is not growing or cannot adapt to changes in the environment, it gradually starts to decay and eventually dies. This process also applies to the business world. The difference is that whereas in nature the seed sprouts a fledgeling shoot and continues to grow steadily until it peaks by flowering, in business the path of growth is never a smooth straight line to the top. Know and accept this fact and your journey will be far easier. Most of all ensure you enjoy it!
Do you recognize any of these traits in yourself or those that you work with? What is the impact on you and your business? Let us know in the comments below.