Many years ago, I had a beautiful Ford Mustang. It was my dream car at the time… a GT model, stocked with a 4.6L V8. Of course, being your typical car nut, I gutted it, rebuilding everything I could to give the car more horsepower, torque, and a more menacing growl.
My buddies and I worked on this car in the evenings. It allowed us to drink some beers, shoot the shit, and stare at the car more than anything. We would periodically change a part, or get caught up in a multi-hour marathon of work, but for the most part, we just used it as an excuse to hang out. That was until some “real” work needed to be done, and I had to seek help.
I decided to add new cams to the engine. It would deepen the exhaust note and give it that famous dragster “lobe” V8 enthusiasts seek – as well as add another 15 horses or so. But since I had to take off the valve covers, take out the cams, tensioners, valve springs, etc… there was just NO WAY I was going to get it done on my own. Luckily, at the time, I was dating a girl with a genius engineer of a father.
What would have ultimately been a month long job for me and my friends turned into an hour of surgical precision. We pulled the car into his garage at dusk, and pulled it out before the sun was completely out of view of the horizon. There were no breaks, no beers, and no excuses. This guy was a bonafide professional at his craft, having worked on cars for decades. He didn’t even look at the 60-page instruction booklet that came with the new cams – it was unreal.
Fast forward to today, and we live in the “information age.” Which I like to call, the misinformation age. We are ruled by social media, online videos, and fake professionals. All it takes to become a guru now is waking up in the morning, making a decision to proclaim a title for yourself, and then POOF, like magic, you are suddenly a(n) *insert flashy title here.
This is a problem. Because, true professionals have knowledge you don’t. They didn’t watch a video on YouTube and then suddenly decide to BE something. No… they started working on that passion in grade school, kept it going through high school and college, worked it in entry-level positions, until finally, after 20, 30, or even 50 years of consistent work, they were awarded with that title – by another person or organization, no doubt.
We have people who know how to check their Facebook feed calling themselves “Marketing Experts.” I have met people who did a piss-poor job of installing carpet in a home who call themselves “Real Estate Investors.” Someone listens to a Tony Robbins book on Audible and suddenly takes on the title of “Motivational Speaker.” Then, not only do they give themselves the title, they try to lead people to believe this is who they really are when they don’t even believe it themselves.
And it is just plain wrong.
Not only do they look silly, simply regurgitating free information you can find online, they are not experts. They have no clue what they are doing, they don’t know what they are talking about, and they end up hurting you as a person or a business, because you were silly enough to hire them in a last ditch effort to receive help.
You aren’t a professional if you don’t know what you are doing. When you watch a video of a chef dicing onions and think it looks easy, it is because of decades of work, dicing thousands of onions. Just because you can manage to make it through your first onion without cutting yourself doesn’t make you a “guru,” nor does it mean you will not one day lose a finger.
If you want the returns a Real Estate Investor receives, you have to invest in real estate. If you want you want to be a millionaire or billionaire, you have to build a unicorn. YOU DON’T DESERVE THE BENEFITS OF INVESTING WITHOUT INVESTING IN SOMETHING LONG TERM. A couple weeks just won’t cut it. And if you give up after a couple of weeks, you should be ashamed of yourself and apologize to everyone whose time you wasted.
What we call the age of information is more like the age of entertainment. Complete jokers who are nothing more than hobbyists, pretending they have done something significant with their lives, while trying to cash checks they don’t deserve in their bank accounts. Telling everyone they are going to be doing something for the rest of their lives, just to act like it never happened.
In the real world, you can’t fake it till you make it. You have to FACE it (reality) until you make it. You have to become better. You have to build things. You have to try harder. You have to work harder. How dare you get excited about something just to give up on it within a couple of weeks. That is exactly why you will never be rich. And until you are willing to fail, feel pain, flip a house, cut your fingers, and talk to thousands of people and risk not motivating them, you will never fit into the show you are trying to put on for people.
A true professional doesn’t give up. A true professional doesn’t have time to NOT make time for the processes needed to reach their goals. Professionals don’t call in sick, they don’t treat their goals like hobbies, and they don’t claim they want something while showing the world they aren’t working for it. If you are doing this to yourself or others, you should stop pretending, because you are just getting in the way of those who are actually working to be rich.
CEO of SmartrHoldings and SmartrMarketing
International best-selling author.
Published on Forbes, Quora, and many more popular online publications.