Tag Archives: Mindset

Friday Book Review with Chuks | Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield

Going through Steven Pressfield’s book is making me think deeper. He resounds the principle of work again and again and also… emmm…

I think you just need to go through the content yourself so I don’t spoil your taste.

(How’s the new year? That’s a view from the back of the office, towards a farmland… There have been serious weather fluctuation. Suddenly, we woke up and it’s the harmattan breeze again 😔… I’m in Enugu, Nigeria. What about you?)

So, how do I Turn Pro?

The Points!
  • When we are afraid to pursue our true calling, we pursue a shadow calling instead.
  • The shadow way of living is the way an amateur lives.
  • The more time we spend living this shadow life, the farther we go from the real thing and it gets more difficult to get back to it. (I feel this happens to most young folks. We hide under school, work and degrees. We deceive ourselves whereas we know what we are capable of doing. Yet, for fear and perhaps, to make some persons happy – which might not be bad – we opt for a lower life).
  • Habit is what differentiates the amateur from the professional.
  • Turning PRO starts with a single decision but must be sustained with consistent action.

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Turning Pro is not for everyone. It’s free but requires sacrifice.

When you Turn Pro, your life becomes easier not without challenges (you enjoy the bullets because you know you’re meant for the war).

There’s an unconscious voice that we hear that tells us what our Pro is. Yet, most people ignore it.

The fear of the amateur is the fear of success… the fear of living up to what is meant for him or her.

The amateurs get their identity from others. They are scared of standing out, as being unique.

The Quotes…

“Practise before you need it so that when you do you will have it.”

“Turning Pro is free but it is not easy. You don’t have to take a course or buy a product. All you have to do is change your mind.”

“Sometimes when we are terrified of embracing our true calling, we’ll pursue a shadow calling instead. That shadow career is a metaphor for our real career.”

“The amateur life is our youth. It’s our hero’s journey. No one is born a Pro. You’ve got to fall before you hit bottom, and sometimes that fall can be a hell of a ride.”

“Resistance hates two qualities above all others: concentration and depth. Why? Because when we work with focus and we work deep, we succeed.”

The amateur prizes shallowness and shuns depth…

“Professionals don’t wait for inspiration, they acts in anticipation of it.” (I pimped this one).

“The Pro will share the wisdom with other professionals – or with amateurs who are committed to becoming professionals.”

“Our intention as artists is to get better to go deeper, to work closer and closer to the bone.”


I need to be Michael Jackson now or William McDowell who both sang songs describing how I feel now:

Speechless and I’m at a loss for words respectively.

Going through the book is just an experience. But let’s see…

Are you a Pro? (And this has nothing to so with whether you’re working with Access Bank or Glo or you have your startup).

Remember he said, it’s not for everyone. Someone will read this and just open a new tab. No problem! But if you’re a Pro, you’ll know.

To close this, think about these few questions:

  • What is making you scared of living that life that’s so visible in your mind?
  • Are you scared of even listening to that voice? (I know that it speaks to everyone. Yes, it does.)
  • Who will live that life if you don’t?

What is the First and Most Important Tool for Personal Branding?

The importance of self perception in building a personal brand.
Self perception and personal branding

You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.

Frank McCourt

What’s personal branding? What do I do to begin my personal brand? At what point do I know I have a personal brand? These and many more are questions asked about personal branding.

I love the movie, Hannah Montana (I think season 1) because it paints a perfect picture of where personal branding begins. Thanks to Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) who displayed what happens not just to teens but to adults.

Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) had such a life that was centered on her celebrity personality. For a while, she enjoyed it with the glory and attention attached to it until her dad changed altered it by faulting her plan to go for a show.

Why? Grand ma was having her birthday. Yet, Hannah Montana thought Grandma’s birthday celebration was less important to her than her show. But for her dad, he wouldn’t take that. Never!

Finally, she got tricked to fly a private plane and instead of landing at her supposed airport for her show, she found herself in her country home. What?! The teen superstar was so furious.

She finally spent about two weeks there but in what I’d called self perception crisis – fighting between being Hannah Montana (her stage personality) and Miley Cyrus (the real girl). Her self perception was colored because of the attention she got from the public.

So the question for her and her dad was: Who is Hannah Montana? Who is Miley Cyrus? Can she live without the external attention of the public or does she need it to be who she is?

And this is where personal branding starts. The words of King Solomon expresses it this way:

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he…

When some folks hear personal branding they think of colors, business name, products, logo, Instagram page, Facebook page… While all of these are important, the first and most important thing is: What do you think about you? What’s your Self perception? 

Virginia Bautista, a LinkedIn trainer, speaker and consultant says it this way:

Our journey to creating a strong personal brand requires a shift in our mindset. Unless we take that shift, we can’t truly build an authentic and powerful brand.

Your self perception, not your phone, is the first and most important tool for personal branding. Laura Montgomery, a contributor on the Economist wrote a most and titled it Personal brand is more than your digital presence. So, it starts from you, your thoughts of you. Whatsoever you think of you is your true personal brand.

If you think you’re not unique, then you can’t express a unique brand. Take note: I didn’t say create a unique brand. Why? You’re a brand already. There’s a thought pattern you already have about yourself. If you like it, build it. If you don’t, change it.

On a final note, what do you believe about you? What are your thoughts about you? Do you think you can become a global figure in your field? Do you think you are too small to be the brand you see for yourself?

What you think about you will control who and what you become. Your self perception – this is the first and most important tool for personal branding.