Happy New Year – Mindset – Which Rules Your World, Amateur or Professional?

Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny. Gandhi

Let me start this blog by asking you this question. “Do you understand the difference between being an amateur or being a professional?” Amateurs believe that the world should work the way they want it to on their terms and that luck plays a great part in being successful. Professionals realize that they have to work with the world as they find it.  Also, amateurs tend to be scared of being vulnerable, open and honest with themselves about their talent and ability to create a career. They often want or expect someone else to make it happen for them. Professionals might feel a bit afraid of failure and new ideas as well, but they also know they are capable of handling almost anything and that it is up to them to constantly be taking that next step forward.

I’m going to ask some pertinent questions here that might rattle your cage a bit, but are well worth pondering. Maybe there is something here that will allow you to move forward in a new and more result provoking way. If not, it’s OK too.

Do you stop moving forward on your career path when you feel you have finally achieved something? Or do you understand that this particular achievement is just the beginning of the journey and start planning for the next step.

Do you focus on the short term only or do you focus on the long term with this being just a step along the way.

Do you have goals (overview) only or do you have a process (details) to get from A to B, etc. You have to have a clear idea of what improves your odds of achieving good outcomes if you want to become a professional.

Often times one might show up to practice to have fun. It’s important to realize that that how you practice is how you perform and how you perform is how you practice. It’s a great way to live your personal brand.

It’s hard to accept responsibility when things go wrong. So make decisions as an individual and accept responsibility for the outcome. If you don’t like it, know failure is simply our human way of actually learning things.  It creates an opportunity to make changes in how we do what we do. There is nothing absolute, only possibilities.

Being professional is not about being right; it’s learning to focus on getting the best outcome.

And it’s not about reaching the goal faster, it about being able to go further consciously with each step every day.

So, Luck aside, which approach do you think is going to yield better result specifically for you. Ask yourself, in what circumstances do I find myself behaving like an amateur instead of a professional? What’s holding YOU back? Are you hanging around people who are amateurs when you should be hanging around professionals? Avanti!! It’s a New Year, it’s a new day. Step up and really take a swing at the ball…. Get it done.  Now that you know what I think, I want to hear what you think!  Carol

Carol Kirkpatrick

For as long as she can remember, singing and performing have always been in Carol Kirkpatrick’s blood. From her beginnings in a small farming town in southeastern Arizona, through her early first-place triumph at the prestigious San Francisco Opera Auditions, and subsequent career on international stages, Ms. Kirkpatrick has thrilled audiences and critics alike. “A major voice, one worth the whole evening.” (The New York Times) Since retiring from the stage, she continues to be in demand as a voice teacher, clinician, and adjudicator of competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Combining her knowledge of performance, business, and interpersonal skills, she has written the second edition of her highly regarded book, Aria Ready: The Business of Singing, a step-by-step career guide for singers and teachers of singing.  Aria Ready has been used by universities, music conservatories and summer and apprentice programs throughout the world as a curriculum for teaching Ms. Kirkpatrick’s process of career development, making her “the” expert in this area.  She lives in Denver, Colorado.   YouTube.com/kirkpatrickariaready