Everyone talks about going pro. The dream is to go pro because your skills are so exceptional that you have to get paid the big bucks for your skills. The problem is that there is a big gap between the amateur and the pro. Many people have no people how to get started in bridging that gap. 

Definition of Amateur = a person who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity.

Being an amateur has nothing to do with how bad you want to be great. It has everything to do with the work that you're willing to put in and how consistent you're willing to be. If you can master this, you will be able to go pro in any area that you decide. 

The ability to show up everyday, stick to the schedule, and do the work — especially when you don't feel like it — is so valuable that it is literally all you need to become better 99% of the time. - James Clear

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How an Amateur Improves

The amateur is incompetent at a skill, but they desire to be much better at it. The amateur works to improve when the amateur wants to or feels like it.

For example, amateur musicians will pick up their instruments when they feel like doing so. If they don't feel like or they are not sure they have time for it, they don't do it.


They will have an amazing session one day, and that will motivate them to practice more. The next day, they will have a bad day, killing all their motivation.
They will feel discouraged every time they face challenges like this, and it will cause them to step away from the craft for days, weeks, or even months at a time.


The amateur wants to be the best, but their actions are more similar to a hobbyist than a professional. The hobbyist only shows up when it's convenient. They will not work on their craft unless all of the stars align perfectly to do so.

Why Professionals Beat Amateurs  

Amateurs get destroyed by professionals, but it has little to do with the desire to be good. It has everything to do with the actions taken from those desires. 

Professionals take their craft seriously. 

They take their craft so seriously that NOTHING gets in the way of practice. The pro is down to put in the work no matter what the circumstances. They rely not on talent or desire but instead, their foundation is consistency. 

The professional musician will practice every single day. They practice when they are tired. They practice after getting bored off stage or frustrated because no one showed up to their last show.

The practice, no matter how many excuses they could come up with to not. They find a way to put in the work no matter what. But they don't just do this for a week or a few months. Most people can show up for a month or two.

The pro is willing to do this for years without seeing the result that they want to see. They understand that consistency is like interest, and it compounds if you're willing to give it enough time. 

Why Its Hard to Let Go of Your Amateur Ways 

The struggle with moving from amateur to pro is that it's simply hard. Success if glamorized in movies and on social media. You see the end result: 

  • Fame
  • Money
  • Attraction 
  • Cars
  • Houses
  • Travel

What you don't see is the truth. These things are simply the result of going pro for a long enough period of time. The behind the scenes is quite boring. It's going to practice and work on the same skill repeatedly for hours a day, for a few years. 

The truth about leaving your amateur ways behind is that you no longer can have excuses not to show up. Do you think Kobe Bryant would miss practice? Not a chance; he was ready and willing to put his shots in every day. When he broke bones, it didn't matter, and he still was at practice working on other areas. 

The second truth about going pro that makes it hard is that you have to work on hard things that you're not good at. Watch any amateur practice, and they will be working on skills that they are already good at. They constantly stay in the comfort zone. The pro wants to work on areas of weaknesses to get them up to par. Being uncomfortable is an everyday occurrence for the pro. 

The final truth is that the pro no long seeks praise. Amateurs are looking to have fun, and they need other people to praise them for they are good at. Too much criticism, and they will quit. The pro, on the other hand, only seeks negative feedback from respected people. 

How to Go Pro and Back It Up

You can go pro at any moment that you decide. It requires a huge shift in mindset and an understanding that chasing greatness is not easy. 

1. Stack

Decide what you want to be good at. If you want to improve your jump shot, improve your fitness, and write better, start with those points. Once you know what you want to improve, you need to come up with daily actions to support your stack.

For example, you can take a certain amount of jump shots with excellent form, do a certain amount of runs each day, and then write a certain amount of words. Your focus is not on results but on the process that produces results.

2. Start

The best time to get a lot of this done is in the morning. Decide on waking up an hour or so earlier to begin working on your craft. Doing this is so important because you need space for these new actions, and there is no time like the morning. 

Start your day with the most important tasks. Its also when you have the highest will power, and its easiest to remember what you need to get done. It's not mandatory that you do this to be successful, but you put yourself in the best spot to turn this into a habit. 

3. Schedule 

You need to take your new habits as seriously as you would a meeting or an appointment. No, how long it takes you to finish your new habits each day.

For example, if the target action is 100 made shots each day with excellent form. You may find that it takes about 40 minutes to accomplish. 

Take each of your habits and figure out how much time you need and build them into your schedule because these are can't miss appointments. 

4. Show Up

The hardest part is not creating the game plan. The hardest part is following it and showing up when you're supposed to. There are no tricks or tips here. You have everything you need to get this done. You have to show up and do it each and every day. 


Amateur Power of Habit

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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