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Turning Pro Summary

Here’s the Turning Pro summary. Learn how to think and act like a pro by changing your mind. You don’t need a new product or course to start becoming a pro.


Turning Pro author Steven Pressfield explains the ways and mindset on how to become a pro. He also discusses overcoming Resistance and eliminating distractions.

The journey from being an amateur to professional is free. But it’s never easy. It demands sacrifice. Like in anything, there’s a price to be paid. It’s a journey full of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual costs.

About the Author

Steven Pressfield is an American author. He specializes in writing historical fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. Some of his popular fiction works are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tides of War.

He also wrote nonfiction books that became bestsellers. Some of these are The War of Art and Do the Work. You can learn more about him through his website.

Main takeaways: Turning Pro Summary

Let’s discuss the key takeaways from his book:

  1. The pro shows up every day.
  2. The pro doesn’t wait for inspiration.
  3. Face the calling and don’t run away.

The pro shows up every day

The pro is consistent. If we want to be pros, we must show up every day no matter what. That’s the only way the work will get done.

An amateur will fabricate excuses. He will say he has a day job. That he lacks money. That he’s busy with his family and work. That he’s out of energy whenever he goes back home.

The truth is they’re all excuses. Yes people are always busy. But they’re busy with Facebook, Twitter, and reality shows. Instead of doing the work, the amateur lets himself get distracted. At the end of the day he has nothing to show for it.

But the pro shows up every day. He knows that there’s work to be done. He sets aside the time. He sets up a routine. He knows that it’s the only way to finish his work.

Right after his day job, he sits down and gets to work. He eliminates the distractions. He is certain that his work is what he needs to be doing every day.

In his day job (whether he loves it or not), he needs to show up. He approaches his art the same way. He does the work. He does something and he persists on it.

The pro doesn’t wait for inspiration

This is related to the statements above. Inspiration may come and go. But if we always wait for it, we won’t get the work done.

Inspiration is not reliable. Your effort is. You can do something each time. But inspiration might come next year or while you’re working at your day job.

Inspiration might come at the wrong place at the wrong time. So how are you going to get something done? You know you don’t need to get inspired to do something. You always have the energy. You always have the time. But inspiration doesn’t come always.

You just take the action. Your “inspired” emotion will come after you do the motion. You sit. Do the routine. And inspiration might come as you work. But if it doesn’t come, at least you get something done.

Inspiration is for amateurs. That’s why they don’t improve much. That’s one of the reasons they can’t produce something. Pros act no matter how they feel. They don’t depend on something as unreliable as inspiration.

Face the calling and don’t run away

Writing a novel or any other book is intimidating. Doing art is intimidating. We always try to avoid it. We don’t face the calling.

One morning we might feel inspired to do something. We feel the compulsion. But after a few hours, we just do what’s safe. We ignore the calling. We ignore ourselves.

It’s intimidating. It’s something new. And when you put your art out there, people might judge you. Those are the reasons you ignore your calling.

But each day you feel the compulsion getting stronger. And yet you still don’t face it. What happens? We let ourselves get distracted. This goes on for years and decades. Until the time comes we’ll regret it all.

Face the calling. Don’t run away. No matter what we do, time will pass anyway. Why not use that time to do something that we call art? Why not use the time to let ourselves out?

You’ll also learn the following from Turning Pro:

  • The professional is committed over the long haul
  • Our habits make us pros
  • Why you should strive to feeling ordinary
  • The professional endures adversities
  • The key differences between amateurs and pros

My personal takeaways

It inspired me to just sit down and work. There’s no other way. It’s the only solution to achieve some results.

I realized that doing art or producing anything is just like having a day job. I should show up every day. I couldn’t afford to wait for the inspiration for me to start working. I just do the motion and I get something done in the process.

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