Rookies, Amateurs & Pros

A few thoughts on maturity, growth, and mental models for thinking BIGGER…

  • Rookies think it’s impossible.
  • Amateurs think it’s easy.
  • Pros know it will be difficult, but also worth it.

When you decide to achieve something, know that it will cost you. My life has extracted from me. And that is the point — the easiest way to burnout is to get bored.

  • Rookies wait until they feel ready
  • Amateurs wait until they have resources
  • Pros know the best time to move is now — resources show up during action

You will never “feel” ready and by the time you do, it’s way too late. If the goal is correct, you will feel like you’re lacking resources & time — that’s how you know. The humans who change the world don’t do things that feel possible, they chase the impossible. How do you do that? You start right now.

  • Rookies blame everyone else
  • Amateurs blame themselves
  • Pros don’t care about the blame, they are grateful for the lessons

You will try things and they won’t work out, so what? Sometimes you’ll take your shot and the ball won’t go in. Don’t get tied up in who did what and when — it won’t contribute to your future. Instead, think “what did I learn,” and “how can I adjust?” These questions are useful.

  • Rookies chase outcomes
  • Amateurs chase accolades
  • Pros chase advancement

Confidence is created through progress. When you acquire a new skill, you develop confidence. It is a trap to chase outcomes or accolades (status) because they are byproducts. Don’t chase the effect, chase the cause.

  • Rookies spend their time “complaining”
  • Amateurs spend their time “doing”
  • Pros spend their time “thinking”

The gurus say you have to just work harder. The gurus are stupid. If you want to change the world you have to think more and do less. If given the option, I will carve out 50% of my time thinking about and defining the problem, 25% developing and crafting a solution, and less than a quarter — remaining 25% — doing the work to implement.

  • Rookies play to “not lose”
  • Amateurs play “to win”
  • Pros play because they love playing and nothing will keep them from being their best

Winning and losing are mortal inventions. Coach John Wooden said, “Winning isn’t everything — but the WILL to win is.” It is in the mind. I want to win but I do not play because I win, I play because I love to play.

  • Rookies crave praise from others
  • Amateurs crave feedback from others
  • Pros get their best lessons from themselves and a small, guarded circle of trusted allies

One of Kobe Bryant’s best coaches? His own game tape. Tony Robbins used to transcribe every speech he gave, reading it word for word, marking it up with notes before bed (he could not sleep until he captured areas of improvement).

Whenever I speak, I do the same.

You can tell the caliber of a person’s calling by how seriously they take it.

For several years I relied on skill & talent. I got lazy — and slowly, declined. Not because I was not talented, but because I did not care enough to grow. Then it changed… and the rise began again.

Committing is easy.

Re-committing is more difficult but much more important.

More wealth is “re-captured” than captured — this means it is normal to lose. Pros are not afraid of losing, they are only committed to the lessons. The lessons equip you to go again and re-capture lost momentum.

Amateurs quickly become demoralized by setbacks and defeat, and quietly slink back to their comfort zones. Professional performers know that large-scale success is based on a series of comebacks.

Steve Siebold

Let’s get it.


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