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Turning Pro Summary – July 2022

Author: Steven Pressfield

Short Summary
Turning Pro (2012) is not a book about how to master your craft. This is a book about how to transition out of amateur work (work you can do because you love it) and into professional work (work you do because you have to earn a living). The vast majority of people who make any kind of art don’t make a living from it. It’s only after they make that transition from amateur to professional that their work reaches its full potential.
turning pro
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

Are you ready to harness your potential and turn your passion into a profitable business? “Turning Pro” will show you how to transform your hobby into a business, develop the mindset of a business owner, and grow your side-hustle into a full-time job.

This book is structured around the idea that being creative is a practice, and that our mindset both on and off the page can keep us stuck. Throughout the book, the author shares his own stories and experiences as a writer, teacher, and entrepreneur. Furthermore, he shows data and research on how others have overcome their fears.

When you complete Turning Pro, you will be able to:

  • Figure out your mission by identifying what’s at stake for you.
  • Develop a writing habit to transform your relationship with writing from struggle to celebration.
  • Overcome anxiety and negativity around your creative goals so that you can become a creator instead of just a consumer.
  • Improve your self-talk about your career to stay committed to the long-term work it takes to become proficient in your field.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others so you don’t make them yourself.

Turning Pro Key Points

Amateurs get fearful to be a real self which can create problems

Amateur is in the word itself. It comes from the Latin word for love. We start by loving whatever we do until we become good at it and stop doing it. This is the amateur’s dilemma. The defining trait of the amateur is the fear of being who she is and getting rejected for it. Once you start doing what you love, you realize that the only way to grow is by being rejected by others.

The amateur starts with the fear of not being good enough. And the professional ends when he overcomes it. According to Steve, “None of us are born as pros. We all start as amateurs, addicted to shadow careers which we pursue in lack of the guts to chase our real calling.”

The defining trait of the amateur is the fear of being who she is and getting rejected for it. Why else do we do all we can to hide behind a job title, a name tag, or an academic degree, except to protect ourselves from rejection?

The amateur’s goal is to get past a certain point and stop failing for once. You take pride in succeeding now and again if no one sees how much you have failed. You compare yourself to others, thinking what they have accomplished is out of your reach and that you have no chance to succeed at all of your real dreams.

Astour tour pleases your gurus and famous personalities

In your 20s you’re following someone, in your 30s you’re aware of them, and in your 40s you’re just annoyed by them. I’ve done all three in some form or another, and all three were a distraction from what was most important—doing my work. The central obstacle for the amateur is the persistence of a relationship with an authority figure. It could be a musician waiting for a record deal, or an actor waiting to be discovered. No matter what they do or how hard they work, they hold themselves back. They are waiting for someone else to permit them.

Here’s a popular piece of self-help advice that gets thrown around a lot: “Don’t follow your passion.” You might have heard about it, but it probably puzzled you. After all, isn’t passion, like, the whole point? The thing that makes it all worth it? The problem, according to Steven Pressfield, is that following your passion is chasing a guru. It’s putting someone else’s desires over your own — and it doesn’t make for a very productive life.

It starts with passion being inherently unfocused. How am I supposed to feel excited about any particular thing? What happens when I don’t feel passionate about anything?

Here’s the thing: Steven sees value in following your passion, but only as a way to better find focus in your goals. Passion is something that comes after you’ve done the hard work to put together the puzzle pieces of your interests and skills into something useful and productive.

Practicing is only a way of being pro at something

Steve defines it as “a rigorous, prescribed regimen to elevate the mind and the spirit to a higher level.” When I asked the smartest people I know how they work, one of the most consistent answers was, “I do XYZ because it’s good for me.”

We’ve all been raised in a capitalist society where we equate our value and our worth with our productivity. And that’s a good thing. If you aren’t working hard, you aren’t earning your keep, right? However, there is a fine line between working hard and true mastery. Mastering a craft is not measured by your output. It is measured by your ability to hone your craft and make the work better because it was created by you. Doing your work for its own sake, as a practice, is what being a pro is really about.

It’s not that being a professional progresses linearly: you might learn a ton, but plateau or even fall back now and then before you make your next breakthrough. Rather, it’s that the process of becoming a pro is cyclical: for every period of self-reflection which leads to growth and self-improvement, there will be a phase of slow decay. The only satisfying solution to this is to be able to go at it again with renewed vigor as though you were doing it for the very first time.

Turning Pro Quotes

“Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and the reason for our existence.” –Steven Pressfield

“Many artists are addicts and vice versa. Many are artists in one breath and addicts in another. What’s the difference? The addict is the amateur; the artist is the professional.” –Steven Pressfield

Turning Pro Review

This book is helpful for people who have great ambitions but he fears and doesn’t have the confidence to jump into getting their goals. If you want to go deep into how you can turn your passion into a profession by practicing. Recommended.

To whom I would recommend Turning Pro Summary?

  • A new writer struggling to be native.
  • Anyone who follows famous personalities in his career path.
  • Anyone who wants to share his story but doesn’t have enough courage to.

Link: https://amzn.to/3vuZsrx