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What separates a professional from the flock?

Yesterday I wrote to clients and their friends about what to look for in a trainer. Today, I’m writing to you about what makes a trainer “worth it” to keep clients happy for ten years.

The signs of a professional reach far beyond their training style and background, the small things will be apparent as well. Professionals keep appointments, show up early and ready to go, and greet you with a smile. They know how important this is to you, and if they’re anything like us, they pride themselves in delivering an experience that’s not only effective but enjoyable. 

Let’s start with the hallmarks of a Pro.

Professionals show up and do the work.

Writer’s block isn’t a real thing. Real writers write. Plumbers don’t get “plumber’s block”. Orthopedic surgeons don’t say, “I’m just not feeling it today.”

Professionals aren’t too good for the basics.

Greg Glassman said: “Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew – again with the basics – this time paying closer attention.”

If a coach receives his Level 4 certificate, he should go back to filming himself greeting people as they walk in the door. Does he geet everyone? by name? with a smile?

Professionals have coaches.

Tom Brady has a throwing coach. After every season, he starts from scratch with his coach: learning the forward pass, just like he did as a six-year-old.

I used to think that being a “pro” meant showing up every day and trying really hard. But I don’t think that anymore. As I’m surrounded by more and more of the tip of the spear, a few things stand out. The willingness to revisit the basics, no matter how successful; the wisdom to seek a coach; and the humility to consider that their way–while good–might not be optimal.

Professionals behave like professionals when they don’t have to.

Guys like Gary Vaynerchuk have made entrepreneurship cool.

This new breed wears snapbacks onstage. They wear designer jeans and have cameras following them around, just in case they say something extra special.

But they’re never unclean. They don’t yawn on camera. Pros never complain, criticize or condemn.

They get away with some stuff–using f-bombs, for example–BECAUSE they have a solid foundation of professionalism. One bad habit is the exception to their rule; it’s not the rule.

A podcast doesn’t mean someone’s a success. A real pro lays their personal style on top of their expertise, not the other way around. The standards of a pro don’t dip to meet the amateurs or copycats. Being a pro means you can’t turn it off.

No one turns pro quickly.

No one turns pro easily.

No one turns pro without sacrificing the habits of amateurs.