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  • Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV. The place to be to create a business

  • and life you love.

  • Got a question for you today. Have you ever felt like you have a ton of potential inside,

  • but youre not able to fully actualize it out into the world?  My next guest says that

  • the key to really unleashing your power, your voice, and your self respect lies in one simple

  • decision that you can make right now.

  • We are about to talk with one of my favorite authors of all time, Mr. Steven Pressfield,

  • about his new book called Turning Pro. I absolutely love it, I think that every human being on

  • the planet should read it, and let’s talk to him right now and learn why...

  • Alright everyone, welcome. I am here with, as I told you, the amazing author of Turning

  • Pro, Mr. Steven Pressfield. And as youll notice, my book cover is like all cranked

  • out. Steven, I’ve had this book at the beach, I can’t even tell you how many people have

  • stole it from me, there’s like highlights, there’s sand in this book.

  • Ah, great.

  • I absolutely love it. So I’ve built up this book which, again, no hype, everyone on the

  • planet should read this. Let’s talk about what turning pro really means. What does turning

  • pro mean to you?

  • The... there are a lot of us out there, including me in the past, who are amateurs, who are

  • living their lives as amateurs. And it’s somebody that wants to be a writer but only

  • dabbles once in awhile and, you know, puts a few words down. Somebody who wants to shoot

  • a film, somebody who wants to be a painter, somebody who wants to be an entrepreneur,

  • and doesn’t really get it going. And my... I think a lot of times when we try to ask

  • ourselves, “Well, what’s... what’s wrong? What’s happening that I... won’t let me

  • do this?” We can blame ourselves, you know, we think that there’s something wrong with

  • us or were sick or we have neurotic tendencies or whatever. My instinct about the whole thing

  • is to forget all that stuff and just look at it from the prism of are we a pro or are

  • we an amateur? And if were a professional, then we don't accept any excuses from ourselves.

  • You know? And when the day comes and when we wake up in the morning and we don't feel

  • like doing whatever it is we know we need to do, a professional gets up and does it.

  • You know, Kobe Bryant goes to the gym, Lebron James goes to the gym every... a pro does

  • what he has to do. Whereas an amateur will crap out along the way, you know, theyre

  • a weekend warrior, blah, blah, blah. So the whole point of the book, Turning Pro, is to

  • try to make... to encourage people to make that switch in their mind. It doesn't cost

  • any money, you don't have to buy any product, you don't have to take any course, nobody

  • gets rich off you or anything like that, you know?

  • Right, right.

  • You just change your mind from being... from being a pro to being an amateur. I’ll tell

  • you a little story that we haven’t even talked about, Marie. I had a woman friend

  • a few years ago who took up golf. And, you know, people get bitten by the golf bug and

  • they just go crazy. Right?

  • Yeah.

  • And she had been playing for about a month and she was absolutely terrible of course

  • as anybody would be. So she invited me to come out and play golf with her, and when

  • I showed up at the golf course she was decked out from head to toe. She had the beautiful

  • shoes, she had the beautiful visor, and she was terrible. It was terrible. And I said,

  • What’s the story Kathy?” You know? And she said, “You know what Steve? I’ve

  • decided to think of myself as a pro.” She said, “I know I stink. I know I suck. I

  • know it’s gonna take me years. But I am gonna take this seriously. I’m gonna have

  • the right gear,” and she had got herself on a program of lessons, a program of practice,

  • you know, where she put in X number of hours a day, and she was practicing the way a pro

  • practices. In other words, not just doing the fun things, the glamorous things...

  • Right.

  • ...but the boring stuff. You know? The 3 foot putts and things like that. And, of course,

  • within 9 months she was a good golfer. Now she’s a terrific golfer. But I remember

  • when she... when I first heard that from her I thought, “Wow, that is really a wild idea.”

  • And so that’s an example of just somebody who just put the mindset in and, “I’m

  • not gonna be a dingle at times. I’m not gonna be a dabbler. I may be no good, but

  • I’m gonna commit to this full time,” and she did. And that... so that’s what turning

  • pro is.

  • I love this idea, and I have to tell you, you know, you know I’m a huge fan of The

  • War of Art, I’m a huge fan of Do the Work as well. And weve done interviews in the

  • past, which well put links below for all of you guys if this is your first time hearing

  • Steven and I talk together, and I remember being struck in The War of Art by the idea

  • of turning pro. And actually, I’ve taught and talked about it, always crediting you

  • of course and like pimping out your book right and left, because that... the singular concept

  • of turning pro, it’s magical. It really is magical and it informs everything that

  • you do. One of the things...

  • Let me interrupt you, Marie. I know we were talking about this before.

  • Yeah.

  • Did you have a moment of turning pro? And if so, what was it?

  • You know, I feel like much like you, which when you read the book you guys will know

  • this, there was probably several moments and then there was a period where I was like,

  • “I gotta do this.” You know? And it was like a training ground. And I think when I

  • first started out and I knew that coaching and personal development and business growth,

  • they were passions of mine and I knew I had a message to share but I wasn’t quite sure

  • how it was all gonna fit together. You know, I was bartending a lot, that’s how I earned

  • enough money to get my business going during the day. And I was writing my newsletters

  • but I thought they were crap, which I'm sure they probably were, but I was just putting

  • them out there and I feel like I was almost like... I was like a baby pro where I would

  • do the minimum work that I needed to do, but then I had so much fear and self doubt and,

  • you know, I was in my early 20s. And I would at the end of the night of bartending sometimes

  • totally drink too much and be out until like 3 or 4 in the morning. You know what I mean?

  • So it was like I would have these levels of little wins and then I think it almost...

  • there was like too much energy or I couldn't handle it or I wasn’t willing to just really

  • stay there and I would self sabotage a bit. And I think...

  • Well was there actual moments that you...

  • That I decided that this was it?

  • ...suddenly decided?

  • You know, I feel like it was... I don’t remember like an exact moment, but I do remember

  • a specific period in my life and it was when I met my fiance Josh who I’m with today,

  • weve been together for almost 10 years. And there was something around that period

  • of meeting him when I really took ownership of my gifts and I stopped screwing around.

  • And it was about that time that while I never had like a problem with drinking, the partying

  • kind of went away.

  • Uh huh.

  • Do you know what I mean?

  • Exactly.

  • Like, doing those stupid things that just throw you off track, those things kind of

  • melted away. And that was the time when I, not coincidentally, started making more money,

  • started receiving, you know, some opportunities that never seemed to happen before. Things

  • started lining up when I feel like I met him, I owned my gifts, there was something that

  • kind of settled in myself. And while nothing started coming along easily, there was something

  • that changed in me and it was something about... again, it was around that partying idea of

  • not like just saying, “Oh well, you know, who cares? I’ll just stay out all night.”

  • Or... you know what I mean? “I don't need to get to that newsletter in the morning,

  • I can push it off to next week.” Like, I stopped doing those things.

  • I mean, in a way what youre doing now, Marie, is sort of a form of partying, but

  • it’s kind of positive partying. You know?

  • That’s totally right.

  • So it’s not as though you went from A to Z, it’s just you sort of changed the metaphor

  • a little bit. You know? Where you made it direct instead of indirect.

  • Yeah, and I think it was also too, you know, you talk about this in the book a little bit

  • where, you know, you change how you treat your body, you change when you go to sleep,

  • you change when you wake up, you change just how you approach everything when youre

  • a pro. And there’s this sense, for me in my experience, of just reverence and honoring

  • the fact that I'm here for a reason and I make a difference to other people and that

  • that’s important. You know what I mean?

  • Yeah.

  • And I can't just, you know, flitter that away. And so that...

  • Well there’s a story, we were talking about this earlier, in Turning Pro that I stole

  • from Rosanne Cash’s wonderful memoir called Composed, and it’s sort of her moment of

  • turning pro. And it takes a few minutes to tell the story, but I’m gonna tell it. It

  • was a dream that she had. And at this time, I think it was like the late 80s, and she

  • already was a success. In fact, she had an album out called King’s Record Shop that

  • had 4 number one songs off of it. And... but something didn’t feel right to her in her

  • life. Now one night she had a dream, and in the dream she was sitting... she was at a

  • party and she was sitting on a couch next to Linda Ronstadt who had alway been kind

  • of an idol of hers and she had always admired Heart Like a Wheel, the great records that

  • Linda Ronstadt did back in the 70s. And in between the two of them was an older man named

  • Art, very important, and Art was talking very animatedly to Linda. And Rosanne wanted to

  • kind of break into the conversation. She tried to, and Art just turned around to her in the

  • dream and gave her this withering look of disdain and non interest and just said, “We

  • don’t talk to dilettantes.” And Rosanne said she woke up... she woke up and she was

  • just shattered to the core and she realized that it was true. That even though she had

  • had these number one hits that she’d always thought of herself as a songwriter, but she’d

  • only written 4 songs on this album and they were not the big songs. So she said from that

  • day forward, just like you just were saying about how it changed when you wake up in the

  • morning...

  • Yes.

  • ...she said she changed everything about her life. She got her singing teachers that she’d

  • never, you know, real technique teachers that she had never done before. She said she started

  • training like an athlete. She had began reading a much broader scope of all different kinds

  • of art. She began studying painting so she could see what a non verbal, non musical medium

  • was.

  • Yup.

  • And kind of the... and she... even her marriage broke up over this kind of thing, or at least

  • eventually.

  • Right.

  • And she just decided, “I have to... I’ve been an amateur. I may have had success, but

  • it doesn't feel good to me.” And so she’s kind of totally committed to songwriting and

  • learning and she felt, she said, like she went back to being very young, like a beginner.

  • Yes.

  • And that was where she wanted to be. And I forgot what the last line of the thing...

  • something like, “I traded the morphine sleep of success for the livewire world of the artist.”

  • So that was... that to me is like a great turning pro moment in a dream, didn't even

  • have to be, you know, like waking up drunk in a gutter somewhere or something.

  • Yeah.

  • It was just a dream, so...

  • I love that. That’s one of my favorite stories in the book and I think one of the other ones,

  • and I’d love to ask you about this, you know, you talk about the moment in New York

  • City for you when you were driving a cab and youre in an apartment and you just couldn't

  • take it anymore and you had to write. And then what I loved, and you painted this picture

  • so beautifully, was like you wrote for a little while, and if I remember correctly it wasn't

  • like it was necessarily any good but you didn't care, you just actually had beat resistance

  • and you sat down and you wrote. And then you almost found yourself just like cleaning the

  • dishes, like, dirty dishes that were in there for like 10 days and you were whistling. It

  • was like something had broken through. You had broken through your resistance.

  • Yeah, that was kind of my sort of moment. It wasn’t as much fun as Roseanne's moment,

  • but that was preceded by my trying for years to write novels and always crapping out at

  • them on the one yard line. You know? And exploding my life, self sabotaging, and all that. And

  • I’d reached the point where the idea of sitting down at a typewriter was like just...

  • to me was like shooting myself in the head.

  • Right.

  • But this one particular night I just, like you were talking about partying, I just kinda

  • sat there and I thought, “Well, who can I call? Where can I go? What can I drink?

  • What can I smoke?” You know?

  • Right.

  • And finally I just said, “I just can’t do this.” And I sat down for 2 hours typing...

  • terrible, so I just threw it away. You know? But that wasn’t the point. It was just...

  • when I was finished, I actually felt ok and that was why when I was washing the dishes

  • after that I discovered I was whistling, which I never whistled. You know? I thought, “I

  • feel ok.” And that was... kinda told me I was gonna be ok from then on even if it

  • might take me another 30 years to do anything good, at least that I was gonna be ok. So

  • that was my kind of... that was my moment.

  • That was really cool. And then you wrote about, in another section in the book, about your

  • year of turning pro. And what I loved about that, and I’d love to chat about that for

  • a moment, is, you know, this idea of turning pro, it’s a decision that we make in a moment,

  • yet it’s a decision that we have to recommit to each and every day and develop that habit.

  • So how was that year for you?

  • That’s exactly... you hit the nail on the head there, Marie. Because there is... there’s...

  • it’s like a moment of saying, “I’m not gonna drink anymore.” Right? You go, “Oh

  • wow! This is fantastic!” But then the next day, you know... so I... for me, I... my white

  • whale was to finish a book. To take it from page 1 to the end, which I never had been

  • able to do. So I saved up all my money, the short version of it, and I moved to a little

  • town in northern California and I just had a year where I didn’t see anybody. I had,

  • like, you know, no sex, no sports, no TV, no music. I was like Rocky. I would get up

  • in the morning, I’d have a breakfast of liver and eggs. You know? And it was just

  • me and my little cat, my cat Mo, and... but it was great because it was a year when I’d

  • had no distractions and I could just focus day after day after day. And when you do that,

  • as you know, you know, energy concentrates around you and you become really a different

  • person.

  • Yeah.

  • And when I finally actually did finish it... and it never sold. You know? And the two books

  • after that didn't sell either. But at that... in that year, I really knew that I had become

  • a pro, that I could do it. You know? And so it’s great beyond that initial breakthrough

  • to be able to establish the habits of a professional instead of the habits of an amateur.

  • Yeah. And I...

  • The amateur’s habit is as soon as any adversity shows up, the amateur just falls out. Right?

  • But the pro, when adversity shows up, keeps going and just builds that as a habit...

  • Yes.

  • ...and many, many, many other habits like that.

  • Yeah, I love that. And it reminds me too of the story you told in the beginning about

  • your friend where she bought all her gear. Like, I love that! Just, you know, getting

  • on the gear and going, “I am committed to this.” You know, “The bumps are gonna

  • come, the obstacles are gonna come, but a professional doesn’t run away. A professional

  • stays, does the work, gets it done, shows up the next day, here we go again.”

  • And actually, Marie, that leads to another really important concept here I think is that

  • when my friend bought all this golfing gear, she really put herself on the line. She put...

  • there was risk now because she was lousy. People would say, “What an idiot out there

  • dressing like, you know, Annika Sorenstam, but can’t hit the ball off the tee.”

  • Right.

  • So it’s the same thing when you mentally... I think a lot of the... the reason why a lot

  • of people remain amateurs is it’s a way of protecting yourself where you say, “Ok,

  • I failed but, you know, it was because I didn’t really try that hard.”

  • Right.