Yes, there is an actual moment where you realize you’ve become a professional.
It’s more of a slow burn, lots of little moments of work in the background to get to that point, but THE moment for me was when I realized my focus had shifted. My priorities expanded from simply generating content to deciding what I wanted people to take away from it—and how I would find those people. And contrary to what I thought, that’s not automatic.
Getting my books out into the world? Check! Biggest, most challenging and rewarding check! But it was a major adjustment to realize that launch day wasn’t the end. It’s only the beginning. Because once you publish, the journey of outreach begins.
This is where I get butterflies, not only because a lot of insecurities are being awakened and dragged out into the open, but because I care about this deeply and want to get it to the people who need to hear it.
On that note, here’s what I’ve learned from becoming a professional. If you’re wondering what it will be like to bring your dream into reality, keep reading, because this applies to more than just publishing books.
1. You cannot do everything yourself. There are plenty of resources online, but you don’t have time to research them and do the best job at all of them. Decide what you can do well yourself and what you will need help with.
2. If you want people to take you and your work seriously, you’re going to have to return the favor, and that means PAYING. Bathe everything in prayer and make sure what you're paying for will be worth it.
3. It's going to hurt somewhere. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Make peace with that.
4. Since your business is going to require some financing out of your own pocket, do not put pressure on your dream to pay bills immediately. Practice doing it for love.
5. Not everything has to be handled at once. Take a breath, get a calendar, and take it step by step.
6. No matter what you’re delegating, you will have to be involved on some level. Stay aware of what’s going on and make sure you understand the fine print on everything.
7. If you want your work to go anywhere, you will have to budget your time better and become more disciplined.
8. Ask God for specific help! He will create a beautiful journey out of this.
9. Think of promotion as figuring out how to help people and bring value to their lives.
10. Base your activities on being led by the Lord in something you’re extremely passionate about.
11. Accountability is not automatic. It’s something you have to pursue and explain.
12. Some people will still not get it. Some responses will blow you away and others aren’t going to line up with what you pictured, but it's all okay. Feel free to let people know what you need, but also give them grace to respond naturally.
13. Major milestones aren't finish lines. Hold tight to God's perspective through every stage because dream pursuit is a lifestyle.