That’s what they all tell you, those who made it before you. The successful; the experts. The professionals.
But there are a lot of people out there. And don’t kid yourself—there are a lot of people trying to do the exact same thing you’re trying to do.
Bloggers, writers, designers, entrepreneurs, all trying to do something great. Something worth remembering. Something that will give them guru (i.e. professional) status.
So how do you separate yourself from the pack? Show that you’re a professional—not an amateur—even when you feel far from it?
Here are a few tips on how to appear professional, even if you’re just starting out:
A professional shows up.
Rain or shine, hungover, bad mood, writer’s block, it doesn’t matter. A professional shows up.
Work when you feel like crap, when you think you should be doing something else, when your work is the last thing in the world you want to be doing.
Professional athletes practice even when they’re injured. Novelist Steven King writes every day—even on his birthday.
So show up.
The consistency will pay off and immediately set you apart from the rest.
A professional doesn’t treat work like a hobby.
Sure, you may have a 9 to 5 job and a family to feed, but if you’re serious about being a [insert-dream-job-here], you can’t treat it like it’s a hobby (i.e. an option).
Have to leave for work at 8? Get up before everyone else and put in an hour or two of work. Shut the door and tell your housemates not to bother you unless it’s a true emergency (broken limbs, a fire, etc.). Or work after your family goes to bed. Even an hour a day keeps you moving forward. [Read more...]