AMATEURS

Have tons of ideas, are excited about all of them and see none to fruition.

PROFESSIONALS

Have tons of ideas, pick one and do their best to make it happen.

AMATEURS

Think they can do everything.

PROFESSIONALS

Know it’s almost impossible to achieve one thing.

AMATEURS

Think they know everything.

PROFESSIONALS

Are always learning.

AMATEURS

Start with no preparation.

PROFESSIONALS

Do research, they want to know where the bodies are buried, what the landscape holds. Better to take all these factors into account before you start, because trying to adjust on the fly is so much more difficult, it wastes time and energy and it’s hard to put a fourth wheel on a car you designed with three.

AMATEURS

Don’t finish.

PROFESSIONALS

Are all about execution. Sure, they occasionally abandon a project when they see further effort is fruitless, but the mark of a pro is someone who begins and ends. If you notice someone can’t complete a task, run from them!

AMATEURS

Are worried about image.

PROFESSIONALS

Let their work do the talking.

AMATEURS

Demonstrate insecurity.

PROFESSIONALS

Are extremely confident.

AMATEURS

Can only see what’s in front of them.

PROFESSIONALS

Are all about the big picture.

AMATEURS

Hold those above them in contempt.

PROFESSIONALS

Hold no one in contempt, but they haven’t got much time for losers. If you’re an amateur trying to graduate to professional status and you have the good fortune to encounter a pro, DON’T WASTE THEIR TIME! Give just one or two compliments and ask your question. But most amateurs are so busy being sycophants the professional tunes out, or goes on at such length that the professional excuses himself.

AMATEURS

Have no idea what dues are.

PROFESSIONALS

Have paid their dues, and are still paying them.

AMATEURS

Believe in instant success.

PROFESSIONALS

Know anything worth accomplishing takes a long time, and what might look like overnight success is rarely such.

AMATEURS

Boast.

PROFESSIONALS

Never slap their own backs, and are oftentimes uncomfortable with others slapping their backs.

AMATEURS

Get nervous.

PROFESSIONALS

May be anxious, but they’ve performed the task so many times they let instinct take over, they go on their experience, nervousness never comes into the equation.

AMATEURS

Are looking for their one big break.

PROFESSIONALS

Know that life is about a series of breaks.

AMATEURS

Are afraid to fail.

PROFESSIONALS

Don’t like to fail, but when they do they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get back in the game.

AMATEURS

Interrupt.

PROFESSIONALS

Listen.

AMATEURS

Demonstrate their bile, they get frustrated or angry and it’s easy to see.

PROFESSIONALS

Are cool, calm and collected. You may read about the crazy owner/operator/entrepreneur, but if they’re truly nuts, they don’t last, their board replaces them, and the truth is most are not that nuts, it just makes a better story in the press to portray them as such.

AMATEURS

Bristle.

PROFESSIONALS

Show empathy.

AMATEURS

Are always telling you how busy they are and how hard they’re working.

PROFESSIONALS

Show up and stay as long as it’s interesting and profitable, bitching gains them nothing, so they don’t.

AMATEURS

Believe what people say.

PROFESSIONALS

Believe what people do.

~~~


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Category: Psychology, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

13 Responses to “Amateurs versus Professionals”

  1. pielou says:

    Funny, i am an amateur. You should link this to the article http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/12/a-closer-look-at-hedge-fund-under-performance/
    Amateur should it seems loose by a big margin but reading blog is there any numbers using knowledge as a reference? Based on knowledge they should not fail as much as the amateur.
    Pierre

  2. [...] On the difference between amateurs and professionals.  (Bob Lefsetz) [...]

  3. RW says:

    A better title would have been Adults versus Juveniles

  4. Yofish says:

    What a narrow meaning you give the word amateur. When I read something like this I blurt out (to my wife and sleeping dog) “Up yours, Bucko!”

    As an amateur myself, I’m pleased to report that my two children would reply the same.

  5. zero529 says:

    I would quibble only with the notion that amateurs display insecurity and professional are extremely confident. There are a lot of overconfident amateurs and judiciously insecure professionals out there.

  6. Malachi says:

    I love this and agree with much of it. Don’t get caught up in the semantics of the word amateur and professional although those words are fine for me. Substitute with your own version of the words – the essence of what he says is terrific.

  7. couragesd says:

    Having some connection to the performing arts, I love that this came from the music business because it can be so easily applied to so many aspects of life and work.
    I like it.

  8. [...] ran across an excellent article on an economics blog I follow called “Amateurs versus Professionals.” It very much applies to what I’ve observed about writing, and I imagine it holds true for many [...]

  9. [...] On the difference between amateurs and professionals.  (Bob Lefsetz) [...]

  10. [...] week I wrote about this gem of an article on differences between amateurs and professionals. But I left my favorite item on Bob Lefsetz’s [...]

  11. [...] ran across an excellent article on an economics blog I follow called “Amateurs versus Professionals.” It very much applies to what I’ve observed about writing, and I imagine it holds true for many [...]

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