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IG#29: On Turning Pro

What separates the pro from the amateur, plus a really cool graphic on how to stay calm

Dominik Nitsch
4 min read
IG#29: On Turning Pro

Hey there & happy Sunday!

A warm welcome to the 5 new subscribers who joined since the last issue - glad to have you!

Today, we’ll take a look at what it means to “turn pro”. This newsletter is a bit different from the usual ones, and you’ll be able to tell I figured out the topic as I wrote.

Writing is one of the hardest things you can do.

Staring at a blank page.
Alone with your thoughts.
Resisting the urge to procrastinate.

To do anything else … but the work.

Starting to write this, I felt the urge to reach for a book. To procrastinate. To keep myself from writing.

This is the book:

Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.

I vaguely remember its contents.

Something along the lines of …

You have 2 lives.

The life of the amateur.
And the life of the professional.

Most of us dabble in the realm of the amateur.
Until one day, we turn pro.

What does it mean to “turn pro”?

It means to show up, and do the work.

Anything else is procrastination.

Right now, I have two personal goals: to become a better writer, and to become the best Lacrosse player I can be.

In order to work towards these - highly vaguely formulated - goals, there are exactly two things I should be doing:

  1. Writing a lot.
  2. Training a lot.

Anything else is procrastination:

  • Reading is procrastination.
  • Learning is procrastination.
  • Planning your work is procrastination.
  • Cleaning your house is procrastination.
  • Working to earn money is procrastination.
  • Taking care of your health is procrastination.
  • Sleeping for one more hour is procrastination.

All these activities have a time and a place.

And that time and place is after the work has been done.

After I’ve written.
After I’ve trained.

Not before.

You might be dreaming about building a business.
But you don’t feel ready.

Kind of like this: “I’ll just do this and do that, and then I’ll be ready.”

I hate to break it to you, but: there are bad times to found a business, and really bad times to found a business.

The “right time” simply doesn’t exist.
We’re never “ready”.

So one day, you have to make a choice.

The choice actually do the thing you want to achieve.

  • Want to be an entrepreneur? Go build a business.
  • Want to be a content creator? Go create content.
  • Want to be a better athlete? Go train.

You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

The only thing that matters is to get started, and do the work.

And that’s the moment when you turn pro.

I’m not sure where I am on this spectrum.

If I’ve turned pro yet.

But I know one thing: if I don’t write, and I don’t train, I sure as hell won’t achieve my personal goals.

So might as well do these things, and do them a lot.
Maybe even track the time spent doing them to hold myself accountable.

I did that in the past week, and it’s ridiculous how little time we spend on activities that move the needle.

I spent approximately 03:30h writing, and 05:45h training.

Next week, I aspire to beat that number.
And the week after, to beat next week’s number.

Doing the work, even when it sucks, is what separates the pro from the amateur.

So today, identify which one activity it is that you need to do to work towards your goals.

Tomorrow, start your day by doing that very thing.

Track your time over the week (here’s how to).

Improve weekly.

Okay, enough. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. Feels weird to write like this … but also oddly fun.

To ensure you’re getting some value out of this newsletter even if you didn’t enjoy the TED talk, here are a few more links that I’ve found highly useful:

Es wurde kein Alt-Text für dieses Bild angegeben.

Thanks for reading.
Let’s turn pro together.



PS: A special shout-out to Jody & Axel, who constantly encourage me to keep writing. It means a lot to me. Thank you!

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how else I can help you:

One ask from my side

Building an audience is hard. And it’s even harder if you don’t ask for favours. So let me ask you for one:

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Helps everyone:

  • Your friend gets a bi-weekly dose of systems and philosophies to unlock their potential
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If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Click the button below, or simply forward them this email. 👇


Dominik Nitsch

Proud generalist: Entrepreneur, Athlete, & Writer.

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