Turning Pro

“As Steve Pressfield points out, the act of turning pro is a conscious decision to do emotional labor. If you were a pro at this, how would you do it differently?”

Seth Godin, Ship It

Steven Pressfield is just about to publish a book bearing the above title.

But what does it mean?

Showing up?

Making a mark?

Being consistent?



All of these


having an attitude of mind that assumes success, burns bridges and commits?

i think pros ardently desire something (quietly), meaning so badly that nothing else matters

Amateurs, on the other hand, build a margin of appreciation that is so wide, it doesn’t matter if they fail. Indeed, some people spend so much time looking for an escape route they might as well not bother!

There is, undoubtedly, more of a science these days to turning pro – and deep pockets or big sponsors make a huge difference – but no amount of scientific input can make up for the grit, determination and desire that comes from wanting to make it to the top.

How many defeats have you suffered before you quit?

Right now I am trying to learn several new crafts. I have managed to assimilate knowledge, learn a few hacks and changed the way I speak (I haven’t used propinquity in a while!) but I don’t feel like I have committed enough. I don’t mean in the sense of time – if anyone knows me, they know I don’t lack for graft – but I mean one thing to the exclusion of everything else, with total self-belief.

Every time you think you are doing your best work, or need to achieve something, ask yourself the question:

Have I turned pro?

Emotional labour is hard, harder in many ways than the physical challenge.

But if you want something bad enough nothing can stand in your way.

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