What does it mean to be a professional? Well according to Dictionary.com, it means “engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than a hobby or pastime.”
In other words, a non-amateur. If you take boxing lessons, train a few times per week, and swear Rocky IV is your favorite movie of all time, you are a boxer.
However, if someone pays you money to wear bedazzled shorts with tassels and punch other people in the face with gloves on, you are a PROFESSIONAL boxer.
But money and semantics aside, what does it really mean to be a professional?
It means that you work towards mastery of your craft.
It means you respect the process.
It means you honor your commitments.
It means you behave according to your core-beliefs, not your feelings.
It means you work to show up as your best self in everything you do.
It means you live by high standards of excellence.
It means you take your work seriously.
It means you value being of service and a ‘job well done.’
Amateurs do what they feel like.
Amateurs do what is convenient.
Amateurs do what they want.
Professionals do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, regardless of how they feel.
Are you a true professional?