Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield is for anyone that needs a good kick in the pants – which, let's face it, is something that we all need from time to time.
I just re-read this book and I know it will be dog-eared and tattered by the time I am through with it.
As entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small business owners – we are all, in our own way, artists.
We are creating the life that we want by designing our businesses and our blogs.
And, like any artist, most of us suffer from the same demons:
- not feeling good enough,
- following others blindly – looking for a leader,
- wondering why others achieve success and we don't.
Come on, I know you've been there.
The Demons are Internal
If you noticed, all of the demons that I mentioned above are internal. They are our own creation.
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In Turning Pro, Pressfield has an uncanny way of pulling each one out and putting it in the spotlight.
He forces us to focus on our own weaknesses and understand that some of the things that we do daily are purely self-sabotage.
- Do you check Facebook constantly? Self-sabotage.
- Easily distracted? Again, self-sabotage.
- Allow other pursuits, however noble, get in the way of achieving your true goals? Hello, self-sabotage.
Amateurs vs. Professionals
When we allow ourselves to use our time to do things that get in the way of our goals we are acting as amateurs.
Pressfield states that Turning Pro is a noticeable turning point in our lives.
Usually, it's a low point when we are so disgusted with our failures that the only choice is to buckle down and make something of ourselves.
On paragraph that particularly sticks with me is this:
When we turn pro, everything becomes simple. Our aim centers on the ordering of our days in such a way that we overcome the fears that have paralyzed us in the past. We now structure our hours not to flee from fear, but to confront it and overcome it. We plan our activities in order to accomplish an aim. And we bring our will to bear so that we stick to this resolution.
Amateurs give into distraction.
They worry about what people think of them. They chase the greener grass. All at the expense of doing their work to achieve their desired goal.
Seriously, all of Steven Pressfield's should be required reading for entrepreneurs
Defining Shadow Careers and Addiction
In Turning Pro, Steven Pressfield also talks about shadow careers and addiction.
Without realizing it, we are getting in our own way by allowing ourselves other pursuits and justifying the use of that time.
Maybe we are making good money in a career that we don't love.
Or maybe we are focusing on family and friends instead of doing the work to make our goals a reality.
Granted, there are always going to be obligations that we have to ourselves and to others. Unless you are a hermit, living in a cave somewhere – you do need to fulfill the other roles in your life.
But if you use those roles an excuse to keep you from doing your real calling, then you acting as an amateur. Sometimes, you just have to say no.
Addictions work the same way. You can be addicted to things that aren't considered “bad” but that can get in the way of your success.
Watch too much Netflix? Spend your days knitting? It's all the same.
Your Blogging Success
Your success in blogging depends on your ability to “turn pro”.
Waiting for approval is the kiss of death. You are working for yourself, creating your own work of art.
What works for other bloggers may not work for you and vice versa.
Your aim should actually be to FAIL as many times as possible (I know, it sounds convoluted).
But each time you do, you will learn what works and what doesn't – and every no could just as easily have been a yes.
Work your social profiles so that they further your business mission.
But don't stew on what you see and what others are doing. So, much of the success you see on social is either inflated or not in the right context.
Get your work done and Turn Pro – oh yeah, and read the book!
Have You Read Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield?
Tell us what you think in the comments below.
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