I recently heard a great definition of a professional:
Someone who (in their area of expertise) knows more and cares more about you than you do.
A pro plumber knows and cares more about your pipes than you do.
A pro nutritionist knows and cares more about your dietary intake than you do.
A pro estate lawyer knows and cares about wills and health care directives more than you do.
In these instances, all three offer services: Better water flow. Better nutrition. Better estate planning.
But the pro knows that you’re not buying their service: you’re buying benefits to you: peace of mind when you turn on the sink, feeling better in your body, sleeping better at night with plans for your future.
The primary interest of a a pro isn’t making a buck; they want to make sure that you wind up improved. It’s giving you value.
On the flip side, there’s the unprofessional. These people can be in one of two camps:
1) The Novice (think green, rookie, amateur). Untried and unable.
2) The Incapable (think inept, incompetent, hack). Tried and unable.
From our end user’s perspective, both The Novice and The Incapable lead to frustration and disappointment. For example:
Last Thursday evening, I attended an organized dinner/talk at a local banquet facility. The catering alone could have been called Unprofessional on Display. Three specifics:
- There were bottles of San Pellegrino water on the tables. No bottle openers anywhere in sight.
- On the buffet line, I asked one of the catering staff what kind of dressing was in the small bowl in front of me. Their reply: Salad Dressing. (They weren’t trying to be funny.)
- The dessert table had a large brown sheet cake, which said “Happy Birthday Richard” on it. There was no Richard, no birthday at our function. The cake must have been some discount factory second–brought in to serve as the sugary end to our meal.
What do these three examples have in common? A lack of attention to detail.
If you’re looking for the quickest route from hack to pro: Learn and apply the appropriate details. Not just the “how” to do it–but the “why” you do it, too.
The little things become the big things. So take care of those little things. It’s the professional’s “Secret Sauce”.
Which details will you attend to today?