Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up; he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what. – Stephen Pressfield

I have spoken to many orthodontists and lab owners who experience the same things. They fear they are going to get run out by the competition, screw up a Tx plan, afraid to increase their fees, and wonder if they have what it takes to lead their business. I fall into the same traps, often. It never ends well. Usually ends in discouragement accompanied by its partner in crime, anxiety. However, it is the professional that gets up, sticks to the commitments they made and does it all over again. It is the amateur that gives into the fear and never dives (or dives back) into the unknown.

It is not one big event that sets us apart from our competition. It is maintaining a grueling consistency with the things that work and taking it to the finish line. That is the difference between the professional and the amateur. Easier said than done. Personally, I say to friends and colleagues that I work as a sprint runner. I come up with an idea and start to hammer away at until it becomes a reality. I become enamored with it. Once that idea becomes a reality though, I want to move on to the next thing without taking the time to maintain.

The professional is in it for the long haul and continues the journey even when they want to quit. They are disciplined to exercise motivation to push through the monotony. The professional can drive through the resistance of wanting to quit knowing the rest of the world will fall prey to the temptation. That is where we can all find our competitive advantage, by living every day like a pro.