The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals . . . Most of the Time

The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals . . . Most of the Time

What is the difference between being an amateur and a professional? Here are a few things that can make a difference… Most of the time.

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Hi, this is Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter and you’re listening to “The No BS Coaching Advice Podcast.” I’m sorry, been out for a couple of days; just too busy coaching. So, my apologies. I’m playing catch-up today.

I’ll start by saying that I StumbledUpon and, yes, I use (now re-named to find this article from that talks about the difference between an amateur and a professional. Now, I want to start by saying, this is not absolute. For me. I look at many of these things, I think,Amateurs most of the time, not all of the time, most of the time. Here are a few of the things that they point out.

Amateurs stop when they achieve something. Professionals understand that the initial achievement is a beginning. Amateurs have a goal. Professionals have a process. Amateurs think they are good at everything but professionals understand the circles of competence. Amateurs see feedback and coaching as criticism of them. Professionals understand they have a weak spot or weak spots and seek out helpful criticism.

Amateurs value an individual performance like a wide receiver who catches a ball once on a difficult catch. Professionals want to be consistent. So they’re going to do the catch 95 times out of 100. Amateurs give up at the first sign of trouble and assume that they’re failures and screw-ups. Professionals see failures as part of the process to growth and mastery.

Amateurs don’t have any idea of what improves their odds whereas professionals do. Amateurs show up to practice to have fun while professionals realize that what happens in practice happens in games. Amateurs focus on identifying their weaknesses and improving them. Professionals focus on their strengths and are providing people who are strong, where they are weak, or find people who are strong when they are weak. Amateurs, technologists, and power professionals pass on wisdom and advice.

You see the difference here between being a pro and an amateur. Where do you have the wrong thinking. Where can you adapt your thoughts to be more effective and become more of a professional?

I think most of us settle for being “good amateurs.” We forget how to be a successful professional. I remember when I sang with a band when I was in college (which feels like it was 100 years ago) and I would come out on stage and we had rehearsed and I had a great time performing. I would take time critiquing my performance . . . sometimes. Most of the time is just about the pleasure and getting through the night. Clearly, I was an amateur.

Now in the coaching work that I do, I’m out there trying to get better all the time. I get coached, I give coaching, I help people perform at a higher level.

So I want to encourage you, if you’re an amateur and it matters to you (and only if it matters to you), see where you can adapt your thinking from the amateur’s behavior to the professional’s behavior.

If it doesn’t matter to you, don’t worry about it at all. Just keep enjoying yourself and doing well.

I hope you found this helpful. I’ll be back soon with more. In the meantime, have a great day. Take care

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, and YouTube (on the account) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30-minute show.




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