There are too many things I am simply an amateur at in life. If I pick up a sport or study a new topic, it’s hard and clumsy at first. Actually, it’s difficult for a while until I can get my brain and my body the reps and familiarity to be competent.

These days, I want to get better at a few select things that are important to me. I’m spending a lot of time with tennis, for example, and enjoy the cadence and fun of the game. I have experts that teach me and show me how to hit and move efficiently. It’s awkward at times to learn a new stroke. But the reps help me become more comfortable.

I could expend a ton of energy and rely simply on effort and athleticism. However, I am needlessly working harder, much harder than the experts I see and play with. They are getting the ball back and are relaxed about it.

The newbies are frenetic. They run and swing at everything with determination and hacking.

Without humility, amateurs can think they are working hard, being effective and even on the same level as those that are further down the path of competency. They may even wonder why they are not seeing the same result as those that are experts. The problem is that the delusion misses the reality that there is a wide chasm between how amateurs and experts see the game, whatever game they are in.

All talent is not the same.

Yes, we can all use the same tools now. They are cheap and accessible. It doesn’t mean that we are all experts.

Heck, if you ask people to go find an answer, they even search completely differently on Google. How do you measure the efficiency of each person’s brain?

Maybe it’s about how fast a task or project can get done. Perhaps it’s the least number of lines of code required to get a solution. Or the brevity of words to get an impact could be the clincher.

Amateurs with pride miss the differences.

Can you really do SEO because you learned a small bit about alt tags?

Are you now a writer because you figured out how to blog?

Are you truly an entrepreneur because you started a website and opened a business checking account?

Yes, we can all play now. That doesn’t mean we have arrived. There’s still a long journey to expertise. And that takes consistency and sustainability. When you know things because you paid the price to make complex things simple, you are more relaxed. You know what works and what does not work. You know the trade-offs.

There are going to be people that understand the chasm between your expertise and their amateur hour abilities. And they will value it accordingly with partnerships, ventures and friendship.

And then there are those that are simply oblivious to the amateur/expert chasm. Smile. Move on. Let them try their hand at the game. You know the real price to competency.