Sunday, November 27, 2016

How To Become a Pro

The Value of Professional Development
Carlos Fontana

If you knew the true value of professional development you would fully embrace becoming the journey to become one. We humans are all born with hundred of talents a abilities in us. Yet most will go to their graves with their potential undetected and undeveloped. At some point it can be too late for you to become what you were created to be. Being a true professional is becoming essential and necessary to succeed in the fast changing business environment all of us live in today. I must tell you right off the bat that being a pro is a lifetime assignment. Proper thinking is the hardest yet the most rewarding work a professional does. To me life is a daring adventure that must be embraced with the entire muster we have. If you are looking for a safe and secure professional life, then you must keep reading this to the end. Security is no longer where it used to be. Safe and secure jobs no longer exist. Security today is only found in high quality thinking, in high speed learning, and applying the right knowledge. We must leave the safe and secure for the amateurs! Have faith and become a pro at your craft. True pros don’t wait for their treasure to come to them; they go and get them, no matter what challenges, obstacles, and resistance they face.  

We live in such prosperous times, in a world full of opportunities, yet most people sit and wait for the world to bring them whatever they wish and desire. We cannot take our grubby old selves to a bright new future; positive personal and professional growth is required. While speaking to a high school psychology class recently, I raised one of the greatest books on my hand (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey).  Once I had the full class attention, I asked the students; who wants this great book? A few students raised their hands. I asked again and a few more hands went up. I asked again, who wants this great book for free. Asked and again and only after asking 7 times, one young man got up, came to me and grab the book from my hand. What does that tell you?
There are many advantages to becoming a true professional. Are you looking for the big material rewards, recognition and respect, finding your purpose and leaving a legacy for centuries to come? Pros make a lot of money because money follows excellence; it always did and always will. If you can be a pro in your chosen profession then why are you settling with being an amateur? If great is available never settle for good. Are you being an average amateur or are you striving to be a true pro? Becoming a pro requires practicing the right skills over and over, and then, over again, hundreds or even thousands of times. Practice does not make perfect; the right practice does!
The advantages of being a true professional are many and the disadvantages are few. There is great value in mastering your craft in every possible way. The key is to get the right information from the right sources, study the information, and turn it into applicable knowledge.  The best knowledge comes from experiences, not theories. The right knowledge is practical and applicable. The internet is full of misinformation. What can you learn from someone who wants to help you but doesn’t possess the results in life in the areas to help you with? That MBA professor may be a nice person, but how can you learn business from someone who has never built a successful business or is financially broke?  Follow those professionals that have achieved the success in the areas of business that you are looking for and learn from them. Then, and only then, follow their advice and do what they did.

Success, even in technical areas, depends mostly on the ability to deal with people, the so called soft or people skills.  Are you accepting full responsibility to be a top performing professional in your field or are you waiting for others to do it for you?

Yes, there is a great return in the investments you make in your professional development. Here is a list (not all inclusive) of many specific advantages:

1.      Taking full personal responsibility for your professional development
2.      Better working opportunities and higher compensation
3.      Learning how to be a visionary long term thinker
4.      Learning the power of compounding and creating momentum
5.      Learning how to achieve long term desired results
6.      Understanding the value and being part of creating the right work culture
7.      Understanding the value and being part of creating the right systems
8.      Performing more enjoyable work
9.      Learning how to set goals and achieving them
10.  Increasing emotional intelligence and learning how to deal with adversity

11.  Improving leadership ability (character, results, relationships)
12.  Improving attitude and focusing on what can be controlled
13.  Improving skills to work with others, especially difficult people
14.  Improving ability to build trust everywhere
15.  Learning how to work with others and lead teams
16.  Having faster, bigger, deeper, and better quality of thinking
17.  Higher ability of linking different people and their ideas
18.  Higher levels of creativity and innovation
19.  Better problem solving and conflict resolution skills
20.  Mastering the art and science of communication

21.  Expanding the network of business relationships
22.  Making better decisions and making the decisions right
23.  Improving ability to create lasting professional relationships
24.  Increasing self-awareness, self-confidence, competence, and credibility
25.  Higher sense of purpose via meaningful contributions
26.  Higher focus, energy, and effectiveness
27.  Higher motivation and inspiration
28.  Learning from mistakes and how to deal with failure
29.  Greater resilience and tenacity
30.  Increasing influence by helping others achieve their goals and dreams

And the list could continue… So why aren’t more people investing in their professional development? This shorter list sounds more like excuses than reasons.
1.      I don’t need it! Or I can get by without it! My job does not require it!
2.      I don’t have time! I am really busy now! I will do it later!
3.      I am too old! I am still young!
4.      I am not a good reader! Or I would rather watch sports
5.      It takes too much time, money, and effort!
We can make many excuses or we can have many reasons but we cannot have both and be successful; what is your choice?

Thank you for reading and reflecting on today’s nuggets.          

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana
Author of the book Priceless, Co-author of the book Follow to Lead

"The future belongs to those who can see and pursue opportunities before they are obvious."
"Those that take swift action will always leave those that don't breathing the dust."

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