5 Differences Between Amateurs and Professionals in Business

5 Differences Between Amateurs and Professionals in Business

Being seen as a credible professional in the workplace is a key goal for anyone wanting to establish their career or starting a business..

How you're perceived can often make the difference between success and failure. Let me start by asking you a question. In sport, apart from the obvious answer around payment, what is the difference between a professional and an amateur? I’m sure just by giving it a little thought you can come up with some differences. Interestingly, in business there is a huge difference between say, an amateur and professional salesman, an amateur or professional business owner, or an amateur or professional manager.

Make Your Mark

I love watching people and learning from their behaviours and over the years I've noted the traits of successful people. Here are five key characteristics that differentiate professionals from amateurs in business.

  • 1. Their ability to consistently replicate excellence.
  • 2. They work hardest on themselves.
  • 3. They are open to change.
  • 4. They are happy to pass on their understanding.
  • 5. They seek to work with the best.

1. Professionals have the ability to consistently replicate excellence

Professionals take time to truly understand what they do. By harnessing this understanding they can leverage (multiply the impact) their experience. They consistently replicate excellent performance no matter what the state of the market or trading conditions. On the other hand amateurs rely on their past experience. They do not understand their experience and so as conditions change they are unable to adapt to the new circumstances and their performance suffers. Their performance can be inconsistent, sometimes excellent and at other times average or poor.

2. Professionals work hardest on themselves

Professionals are constantly looking to be the best. They are prepared to invest in themselves knowing it will pay them back. They work hard to seek relevant knowledge through reading, training, videos etc. They take time to reflect and review what they have learned so that they can truly understand and apply the knowledge in order to reap the benefits. Conversely, amateurs believe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. They get to a level and stick. They are not prepared to look at new ideas but just try to work harder at what they have always done.

3. Professionals are open to change

Professionals understand that what got them here won’t necessarily get them to where they want to go. They are happy to push their comfort zone, to question their beliefs. They continually work to develop themselves both personally and professionally. An amateur finds it is very easy to believe they don’t need to change, that the attitude, mindset and activity to date will get them where they want to go. They stop growing and accept the status quo.

4. Professionals are happy to pass on their understanding

Professionals are happy to mentor others to pass on their understanding. They are quite open in their communication and eager to see others grow and to consistently replicate their excellence. Amateurs withhold information and appear to be closed. Actually, they fear that if they open up too much then others will find them out.

5. Professionals seek to work with the best

Professionals surround themselves with the best internal and external professional team so they can be stretched, learn from others and reach their goals faster. They do not fear others expertise but rather welcome the chance to grow themselves and their business. Amateurs only want to surround themselves with mediocre players so that they can shine.

Do you recognise any of these traits in yourself or those that you work with? What is the impact on you and your business? let us know on Twitter.

Being a business owner, entrepreneur or leader is a fun yet challenging journey. In nature if something is not growing or cannot adapt to changes in the environment, it gradually starts to decay and eventually dies. This process also applies in business. The difference is that whereas in nature the seed sprouts a fledgling shoot and continues to grow steadily until it peaks by flowering, in business the path of growth is never a smooth straight line to the top. Know and accept this fact and your journey will be far easier. Most of all ensure you enjoy it!

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Millennial Moderator Author

Ray Moore

Ray Moore, Founder of Fluid Business Coaching and author of three inspirational business books A passion for business excellence has led him to create The Levels Framework® and a series of online courses to help business owners grow with confidence & create a life they love.