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Becoming a Professional Entreprenuer
October 3, 2013 | By Andrew Collins

What differentiates you from your peers?  How am I striving to become the best at what I do?  More importantly, what is it I do?  I’ve been tackling these questions and more as I navigate the entrepreneurial gambit.  Recently I’ve come to a realization that provides some clarity as to why and what I do things – simply put, I’m a ‘professional entrepreneur‘.

But what is the difference between an entrepreneur and a pro entrepreneur?  Well, it ultimately has to do with your lifestyle choices, risk management, training, accountability, goal setting and a framework around the role of an entrepreneur.  Much like a professional athlete, becoming a pro entrepreneur requires hard training, dedication to your craft, regular meet ups to benchmark yourself against the rest and a lifestyle regime that is having you perform at your best.

Much to my disappointment, I never made the professional tennis circuit, and I’ll never become a world class athlete.  Yet having reflected on my past 7 years of hard nosed entrepreneurship, I’ve discovered I always treated it like a profession – I just didn’t know it.   As an athlete does push ups and sprints, I’ve been studying business models, learning from others failure and success, testing ideas, developing teams, meeting peers and anything I can to increase my hours on the pitch (in business).

I made a decision on my lifestyle a few years ago not to waste away my nights in booze and party (contrary to popular belief) – but to treat my city as a platform to perform at my highest level.   Sustaining a balance in a city like Shanghai has not been easy, the temptation of a late night drink, attending a must-be-seen-at party or a long sleep-ins on a weekend have for the most part vanished from my life.

When I’m awake, I’m thinking about my craft and thinking about how I can take the business forward with all the rock stars I have around me.  It’s one in all in – and I’m completely driven to make our business reach the heights of an Apple, and Google or what is fast becoming a new age IMG.   I know we’ve only just begun, and I, like the rest of our team have a long road ahead, yet if we continue to treat our profession with the professional qualities of an athlete, I’m certain we’ll be hitting our peak performance.

A few tips to unleash the professional in you:

  • Think about tomorrow and how today affects that
  • Create balance in your lifestyle- don’t do too much of just one thing
  • Separate your profession and your leisure time (you’ll enjoy it more)
  • Be accountable for your own progress
  • Set goals every week and enjoy beating them

Thanks for listening.

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