Become a professional at something

6 steps to become a professional at something

So you want to be a professional at something really quickly, and you don’t know where to start or how to do it. This article is a quick and general list of the things that you need to do in order to become a professional at anything.

1 – Just Start

This is one of the best pieces of advice you can get. Just start. Whatever you’re planning to be an expert at, you need a starting point, and that starting point has to be right now, not tomorrow, not after tomorrow and so on.

How to become a professional at something quickly? Start working towards what you’re aiming for immediately, put in all the required effort, practice whatever you’re planning to learn every single day, and eventually you’ll get there.

Want to become a professional video games developer? Just start working on your first video game right now. Want to become a professional sand artist? Make it happen by creating your first piece of art right now.

2 – Learn from the best

If you want to become a professional in a certain field, you need to learn from other professionals in that field, or else you’ll have to re-invent the wheel and your learning experience will be much harder.

So the key here is to surround yourself with people that are professional in the field that you’re planning to be a part of. They will give you some excellent advice about what to do, what not to do, how to do things, how to approach things, how long it takes, and so on.

But how can you do that?

You can meet professionals in your field by joining events around you that are related to your profession.

How do you hear about these events? From local news, from social media, from friends, from events apps and so on.

What’s awesome here is that the first time you’re searching for an event that is related to your field of interest is challenging. 

However once you attend one of these events, you will meet people that will recommend other related events around you and finding useful events will be much easier for you.

The main purpose for you to attend events is to be able to chat with a lot of professionals in your field and get to hear their stories, their recommendations, their failures and so on.

3 – Stay consistent

You know that being an expert at something isn’t going to happen overnight right? Being consistent is the key to any professional life that you wish for.

Becoming an expert at something requires a lot of hard work and consistent effort. You can’t put in the effort today, and then rest for the next few weeks, that doesn’t work.

Bill Gates said himself that he did not take a single day off during his 20s when founding Microsoft. He doesn’t recommend his method because he said that not everybody will like it.

I am using a Windows operating system to write this article thanks to the consistency of Bill Gates in his 20s.

I am not saying that you should never take a day off. I am against that to be honest, but what I can suggest is that you put at least a very tiny effort everyday, which brings me to the next point.

4 – Practice every single day

I know this contradicts the possibility that you can take some days off, but hear me out.

Even if you decide to take a day or 2 off, make sure that you still practice the skill that you really want to master for at least a minute. Only one minute.

Are you hoping that you can one day become a professional guitar player? Just play guitar for 1 minute during your break days.

If you practice for only one minute, then you can still consider the day to be an official break right? I believe you can.

Whatever you do, make sure that you don’t break the rule of practicing everyday no matter how tiny the duration was.

But why? A minute isn’t going to do anything right? Well it can do a lot of things to be honest.

First of all, you will have a streak of “Practice everyday” that you will fight to maintain, and this streak will keep you motivated to put in the effort every single day.

Second, this minute might turn into an hour or two. The hardest part about achieving something is getting started, and that minute will help you get started. You may decide to practice more than just a minute once you get started and you might end up being more productive than you expected yourself to be at that moment.

5 – Seek constructive criticism

Whenever you’re working on improving yourself at something, the metrics that you use to evaluate your progress are never going to be objective. 

Those metrics will sometimes be insignificant due to the emotions that you go through when learning something new.

So how to check your progress and see how you’re doing? Seek constructive criticism.

Ask your friends, family and even random people around you to evaluate your work or your progress. You will get some positive words and some negative words.

The positive words will keep you motivated to keep going and work harder, and the negative words will push you to improve your skills and become a true expert.

However, you always need to make sure to discard any type of criticism that is only meant to hurt you instead of helping you grow and become better. Not everyone is willing to be helpful and you’ll need to live with that.

You are never going to be an expert at something if you don’t seek constructive criticism. Elon musk, one of the greatest business men alive today believes that constant criticism is key in the success of companies.

So make sure that you seek criticism from people and adapt accordingly.

6 – Believe that you can make it

This is extremely important. Whatever you want to become an expert at, it’s going to take time. BUT, if you approach it the right way, it’s only a matter of time before you become a professional at it.

I have once heard someone say what I consider to be some life changing words. They said: the people that are on the top aren’t the smartest and the most talented, but they are the ones that did not quit when things got hard.

And that’s absolutely true. It doesn’t matter how smart or talented you are, if you quit half way, you’re not going to make it. And the ones that aren’t as smart, but are putting their sweat and tears into what they believe in, then they’re the ones who are going to make it.

To sum things up

The key ingredient to becoming a true professional at something is to believe that you can make it, put in the effort, stay consistent, learn from professionals and always seek constant criticism.

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