Your journey from rank amateur to industry legend has seven steps. Where would you place yourself right now?



You’ve started working and are looking for a profession you enjoy. As you find yourself, you might take a few different turns. Everything is unfamiliar and frightening.

Operational Drone:

You’re starting to establish a profession, but for now all you do is react to orders. Only because someone told you what to do do you know what to do. As you gain experience, you become aware of your own strengths and flaws.


You are no longer reactively taking directions. If anything, you’re starting to break new ground and find inventive ways to solve problems. You take initiative, can tell terrible ideas from good ones, and have found that people come to you for your comments and insights, sometimes even in presentations. You are starting to do things more and more out of desire. You’re starting to feel defined and self-actualized as a result of it. Because you have something to say, you are competent to write articles on your subject and are thinking of producing a book.


The media turns to you for your insightful commentary. You frequently give speeches at conferences, and you mentor and coach people. You wrote the book on the subject, so whenever someone says, “You know who you should talk to about that,” they always add your name to the end of the sentence.

Thought Leader

You have achieved high-level leadership in your industry after moving past simple “excellence.” You are one of the voices dictating the direction the entire sector will take. You are Michael Jackson, not one of the imitation performing acts, and the rest of the business is mimicking you.

Mark Icon

You’ve come to represent this area of life. They always think of you while talking about your world, just as they always think of Arnie whenever the subject of bodybuilding comes up. Years after leaving the industry, your name is still the one most closely linked to it. The Oprah of TV discussion shows, you have emerged.

Where do you stand right now? Consider the level above and consider what it might require to advance there. What actions could you do this week to advance from amateur to expert status?

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