On Amateurs

wasted movement
Yes, you are moving, but are you going anywhere?

One of the purest pleasures I have as a dad is watching my pre-teen kids experience something new. Whether it’s a new sport or jumping into a new fad going around their friend circles, they have that child-like purity in discovery. Watching them figure out how a game is played or what is required is uncomfortable and disorienting at first. But, if they stick with it, they get more tuned in and feel settled.

They learn a lot by looking around and watching those that are pros. Pros are relaxed and move more comfortably. They are efficient because they have a lot of reps under them and they know what works or doesn’t work.

The amateurs are the ones that are moving awkwardly, have inferior or even too much gear. They don’t know what is essential and what doesn’t matter.

In the beginning we are all amateurs at some point when we try new things. Then we get acclimated and settle in if we stick with something long enough. It’s not a bad thing. It’s natural. But the trap can come in when we keep things around that don’t matter.

In business, the amateurs can become enamored by every new tool or app they see. They are the ones that cobble together a bunch of technology, meetings, activities that can appear like progress. But, they may be wasting energy, resources and attention by putting things in play that have the appearance of substance but lack any impact.

Watch the pros. They don’t waste energy, movement or resources. They test and know what works and what doesn’t. Yes, there are many choices, and it’s important to keep aware of what is new.

But it doesn’t mean everything matters and moves you forward. There’s a big difference between adding more because it’s shiny, new and enhanced versus continually pruning and shaping a process to get it highly efficient and profitable.

What is still amateur about the way you do things? 

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