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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => SR Forum Archives => LAB Lounge FUD Forum Archive => Topic started by: Matt Vivlamore on January 24, 2008, 04:38:31 am

Title: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on January 24, 2008, 04:38:31 am
With Evan expanding as much as he is already has in the past 2 years and the future world tour… Tom hitting 1000 shows… Dave asking about Box Truck engines…

When are you considered to be at the "Pro" level of the Sound Business?

When does it happen?  Is it gear?  Is it the amount of shows?  Is it the size of your truck?  The bands you have worked with?

I know there isn’t a cut and dry answer to this, but when do you start considering yourself a pro or your rig as a pro system?
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Minka Matikainen on January 24, 2008, 07:44:13 am
This is extremely exaggerated comment and not meant to be taken literally.

But still, here we go...

A friend of mine once asked me: "How do you tell the difference between amateur and professional?" "I tried to mumble something out and he replied: "Professionals get paid for what they do."

I think that all of us, who are payed for doing sound are considered to be as professionals.

The difference is that the real "pros" have been doing it for a much longer period and I think that they are the guys (and gals of course) who are LIVING out of sound business.

So to answer your question, I would say that the guys (and gals) working only in SR business could be considered as "pros", although all of us who are payed are professionals...

Just my thoughts...

-Minka-
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Mike Christy on January 24, 2008, 07:56:35 am
We are in the service industry, that is foremost. It starts with being professional about all aspects and details of the task at hand. You can be a "pro" with a set of EONS and one mic, if thats what the gig calls for, or a full blown v-dosc system. It's all about implementation, performance and in the end, meeting/exceeding the customer's needs ( a bit of corporate speak there ) Its not all about the gear, its about relationships with people, and providing what is required.

Of course, experience, the appropriate/good gear, and talent are all required to be successful.

Some may say that a part timer like myself (ankle biter, weekend warrior, what-have-you) may not be pro, I don't have a warehouse, a diesel box truck, or an accountant, but for the limited business I do, I provide a professional product, high quality service. I know (not being egotistical) I am as good as or better than, and am competitive with "pro" providers.

Mike
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Steve Hurt on January 24, 2008, 08:07:59 am
When you start considering return on investment when you buy gear instead of thinking "wow, more blinky lights per square inch!"
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Bob Leonard on January 24, 2008, 08:13:03 am
It's not the size of the gig, it's the sound from the rig.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Mark Walter on January 24, 2008, 08:41:49 am
When it stops being fun.....

I feel that way about the music business in general.

A want to be an amature for ever.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Caleb Dick on January 24, 2008, 01:46:23 pm
Mike Christy wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 04:56

We are in the service industry, that is foremost. It starts with being professional about all aspects and details of the task at hand. You can be a "pro" with a set of EONS and one mic, if thats what the gig calls for, or a full blown v-dosc system. It's all about implementation, performance and in the end, meeting/exceeding the customer's needs ( a bit of corporate speak there ) Its not all about the gear, its about relationships with people, and providing what is required.


+1

I differentiate between amateur and pro based on service and expertise.  This is followed by gear, with the goal being simultaneously exceeding the client's needs and reducing their stress level.  

Gear is the rule of thumb, or yardstick, used to judge the expertise and service level by people who have not worked with said provider in the past.

As a business, at some point you will choose between ROI before fun, or fun before ROI.  Buying a Danley rig for small parties  Very Happy vs a rig that isn't your favorite because it will generate more income. Confused

Caleb

edit: added business perspective
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on January 25, 2008, 04:37:34 am
Mike Christy wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 07:56


Some may say that a part timer like myself (ankle biter, weekend warrior, what-have-you) may not be pro, I don't have a warehouse, a diesel box truck, or an accountant, but for the limited business I do, I provide a professional product, high quality service. I know (not being egotistical) I am as good as or better than, and am competitive with "pro" providers.


Mike you’re just like me...

I do a have been sitting in this committee to help plan for a festival... They want a Pro Sound company; they consider me a hobbyist since I have a full time job. They also own a Dynacord Cobra 4 system and its lead by the 3 Stooges; the main operator is known as "Feedback Fred"...

They want to bring in a "national act" to play at this festival and they are looking for donations for a pro sound company to run the sound.

I told them give me that stage and the Dynacord system and you'll have your professional set-up for the national act. I think I might be losing this battle. So far this sign up for the festival of local bands, there been more request for me to run sound for them. I've only been going strong in my area for a little over a year, but I've been in sound realm since 2002 when I picked up a college job as a stage hand.  It also helps that I work with a bar for a year on no budget for sound bringing in national touring acts.

editted:  college seemed to make me spell bad.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Steve Hurt on January 25, 2008, 07:19:51 am
Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 04:37

the main operator is known as "Feedback Fred"...



Laughing


Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Mike Christy on January 25, 2008, 07:22:59 am
Matt, Seems like some what of a perception issue, and hesitation of the check writers to take a chance. They are accountable for what service they buy. I hope to read more replies to your situation from others.

Since I too have a day job, I am not aggressive at all in driving my sound biz, Im very passive in that regard, and am as busy now as I like to be, well, most every weekend is busy enough.

I dont see anyone like AudioEast, a "pro" shop in my area, as a target for me to take business away from. I respect full time guys and I would not place myself in their path when it comes to bidding on jobs (they would have to be small jobs). I guess Im saying I know my place in the food chain.

But, on the other hand, your in a tough spot knowing you can possibly provide a better service than the current operators, and want to grow your business.

I dont know...

Mike
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Gary Atkinson on January 25, 2008, 08:18:15 am
Personally, I feel as if when you are getting paid for a job, you should be considered professional. Anyone who gets a paying gig does have the responsibility for being portrayed as a professional. The way you act, react, speak and respect your clients will determine if you are a pro or not. People that do not act in a professional way will not last in this business.
Yes, I have a day job also but, in the 5 years that I have been doing this, I have built my business on being professional and provide the client a good product. Repeat business is what has taken me from a bar only business to one who is bidding for festivals and larger indoor venues with regional acts.
Don't try and BS your way through it. If you don't know something or you find a job thats over your head, admit it and be a true pro about it. If you have to cross rent to get it done, so be it. Just make sure you are smart about it. I have been given the task of not only being the audio contractor in many cases but, also I cross rent the stage, roof, generator and lighting if it requires more than what I can provide. Yeah its hard work but, to me its very satisfying to see it all come together!! As a result, I have a huge sence of self satisfaction for a job well done.
Currently I have had to obtain a CPA to help me with my business side of the equation and in turn, it has allowed me to grow in a different way. Being organized at a gig shows your professionalisum. Being organized in your business structure and on the accounting side is not only smart but also a trait of a true professional.
Bottom line, if you act as a professional, provide a professional product no matter what type of gear you have and you are percieved as a professional in your clients eyes, IMO your a Pro!!  
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Dave Barker on January 25, 2008, 09:02:52 am
Matt as I understand your question my opinion would be that you are probably "considered" a professional and or pro level company when that is your sole source of income, when that is your business and your living.  And that is from someone on the outside looking in.

That certainly doesn't mean that hobbyist, weekend warriors and so on, which I consider myself are not professional and many times more professional than some of the full time guys.  I feel like I go out of my way to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch, many of the big "professional" providers I have dealt with on projects are here is your gear good luck.

My question is that if you are looking for a "national" act to perform at this event it would seem to me that they would have there own BE and you could certainly mix openers and be the system tech.  Most regionals I deal with bring there own engineer and if not, then the organization should be fine with you mixing if the national doesn't believe enough to bring along there own engineer.  Most of the time for me they have there own BE and I end up on monitors or just teching the system.

Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Mike Kivett on January 25, 2008, 09:29:15 am
To me, you're a professional when:

1) You get paid to supply the service.

2) You supply the service necessary to successfully complete the task.  ("enough rig for the gig", etc.)

3) You take care of all the problems that come up within your area of responsibility, so the client doesn't have to worry about it.  In the end, that's what you're REALLY being paid for.  (And that sometimes means other problems too, but you know how that goes.)
 
4) You satisfy the client.

If you can do that, you're on the right track.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on January 25, 2008, 10:35:00 am
Dave Barker wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 09:02


My question is that if you are looking for a "national" act to perform at this event it would seem to me that they would have there own BE and you could certainly mix openers and be the system tech.  Most regionals I deal with bring there own engineer and if not, then the organization should be fine with you mixing if the national doesn't believe enough to bring along there own engineer.  Most of the time for me they have there own BE and I end up on monitors or just teching the system.





They where throwing around the ideal of bringing in a national act that they would pay.  Most bands for this festival get $20-50 for playing, 75% of the bands that come this festival are new/1-2yr old band within Southern MD trying to get exposure.  



I am like hearing people opinions about when your opinions of what it take being considered a pro.  

It seem everyone can agree as long as we meet or exceed the expectations and maintain a positive attitude during the course of the show we are considered a pro.

I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Jeff Babcock on January 25, 2008, 11:25:21 am
Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 10:35



I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.




Matt, If you feel you have your chops together enough to do a larger show, why are you turning it down?  If you are charging enough then you should be able to rent the extra gear required to pull it off.

"Pros" do this all the time.  Rather than buying a huge rig, buy a medium size one and when you need the huge one you simply rent the additonal boxes to complete the rig.  It may cost a bit more to rent, but if the boxes in the big rig aren't working very often, it isn't necessarily cost effective to own them.

Sorry to be harsh on you, but your website is your worst enemy.

It says "we don't have the latest and greatest gear out there from Midas, EAW, BSS or Klark" and "We offer a PA system for up to 300 people".  Why say that?  If a client needs better gear, rent it.  Don't place a limitation on your service (as long as it's something you can handle).  If someone goes to your website they assume based on what you are saying that you're an ankle-biter and they move on to somebody else.  If a client is willing to pay me to bring in a D&B rig and an H3000, guess what happens....  A phone call is made and we bring it in... if the client will pay and you can rent it and use it successfully, then you're showing that you are more of a "pro", not to mention the good experience you will gain.  Just don't get too overzealous and end up over your head.

You'll never get your foot in the door on larger gigs if you let your personal rig be the limitation.  Rent or find a business partner to team up with on the bigger stuff.  You've got to be willing to do that or you'll never get anywhere short of a miracle.

Jeff
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on January 25, 2008, 11:52:59 am
Jeff Babcock wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 11:25

Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 10:35



I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.




Matt, If you feel you have your chops together enough to do a larger show, why are you turning it down?  If you are charging enough then you should be able to rent the extra gear required to pull it off.

"Pros" do this all the time.  Rather than buying a huge rig, buy a medium size one and when you need the huge one you simply rent the additonal boxes to complete the rig.  It may cost a bit more to rent, but if the boxes in the big rig aren't working very often, it isn't necessarily cost effective to own them.

You'll never get your foot in the door on larger gigs if you let your personal rig be the limitation.  Rent or find a business partner to team up with on the bigger stuff.  You've got to be willing to do that or you'll never get anywhere short of a miracle.

Jeff


Jeff,

I think a lot of the show had to do with the timing, it was during the week.  The guy I sent them to, we do hand each other a few gigs here and there.  Right now I know I am holding back, since my small rig (250 people) isn't at a 100% what I want it to be.  My Monitor rig needs some attention to; they are missed matched 2 NX55p and 3 Behringer Wedges.  I am sitting back waiting to file taxes for the next step.  By this time next year, I be able to do the 800 person rock shows;  4 U15s, 6 UCS1, that my purposed rig.

The closest person to rent a bigger system is 2 hours away and the Dynacord Cobra 4 system won't leave the house unless its a show that they booked.

This weekend I am working with Evan and a few LAB members for the show this weekend.  On my stage (side stage), I'm renting Eric W. U15s, and trying out the LS1208 Evan has; 4 U15s, 2 LS1208 in a High School gym.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Jeff Babcock on January 25, 2008, 12:25:13 pm
Matt, You're serious that the closest "bigger" system is 2 hours away.... ouch... are you sure there's nobody else around your area?  I'm in Canada and have about 15 "good" rental sources within 2 hrs.... MD should be better than that.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 25, 2008, 12:44:56 pm
Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 03:37

Mike Christy wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 07:56


Some may say that a part timer like myself (ankle biter, weekend warrior, what-have-you) may not be pro, I don't have a warehouse, a diesel box truck, or an accountant, but for the limited business I do, I provide a professional product, high quality service. I know (not being egotistical) I am as good as or better than, and am competitive with "pro" providers.


Mike you’re just like me...

I do a have been sitting in this committee to help plan for a festival... They want a Pro Sound company; they consider me a hobbyist since I have a full time job. They also own a Dynacord Cobra 4 system and its lead by the 3 Stooges; the main operator is known as "Feedback Fred"...

They want to bring in a "national act" to play at this festival and they are looking for donations for a pro sound company to run the sound.

I told them give me that stage and the Dynacord system and you'll have your professional set-up for the national act. I think I might be losing this battle. So far this sign up for the festival of local bands, there been more request for me to run sound for them. I've only been going strong in my area for a little over a year, but I've been in sound realm since 2002 when I picked up a college job as a stage hand.  It also helps that I work with a bar for a year on no budget for sound bringing in national touring acts.

editted:  college seemed to make me spell bad.



Matt-

Part of the "problem" is that you're local.  Remember, experts are from more than 50 miles away! Laughing

What kind of "national act" are they trying to get?  That will determine what kind of rig they need, if a mixerperson is traveling with them, etc.  You might be better off demonstrating your professionalism as the stage manager if you can't shake Feedback Fred from the crew.

To your question about MI v. Pro... You've gotten some pretty good input.  My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude.

Have fun, good luck, and let us know how it all works out.

Tim Mc
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Mike Christy on January 25, 2008, 01:13:59 pm
Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 12:44

To your question about MI v. Pro... You've gotten some pretty good input.  My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude. Tim Mc


Are you saying that I cant have two or three professional jobs? One by day, and one by night?
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Stuart Pendleton on January 25, 2008, 01:19:56 pm
Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 12:44

My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude.


Tim, I think I am professional then.  After spending about 50K on what my wife thinks is an expensive hobby, continued income and work from it means she will allow me to live a little longer...so my existence DOES depend on it.   Shocked

Stuart
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Matt Vivlamore on January 25, 2008, 01:25:37 pm
Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 12:44



Matt-

Part of the "problem" is that you're local.  Remember, experts are from more than 50 miles away! Laughing

What kind of "national act" are they trying to get?  That will determine what kind of rig they need, if a mixerperson is traveling with them, etc.  You might be better off demonstrating your professionalism as the stage manager if you can't shake Feedback Fred from the crew.

To your question about MI v. Pro... You've gotten some pretty good input.  My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude.

Have fun, good luck, and let us know how it all works out.

Tim Mc


I am not sure what kind of "national" act they are trying to get, they through around the ideal in order to grow the event and bring in more people.  I can't really shake Fred of the festival, he is the mastermind behind the festival.  Last year was the 1st in 8 years he didn't mix a stage.

Where I am at in MD is like a ulra-mini version of Florida and I live at the bottom; DC is a little over an hour from my house, Baltimore is 2 hours.  My "local" store is 45 minutes away, but my dealer is 1.75 hours away.  

When I get the chance, I travel up to Baltimore (2.5 hours) to work a show; I have driven 4 hour to work a show in Cumberland, MD.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Gary Atkinson on January 25, 2008, 01:49:55 pm
Jeff Babcock wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 11:25

Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 10:35



I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.




Matt, If you feel you have your chops together enough to do a larger show, why are you turning it down?  If you are charging enough then you should be able to rent the extra gear required to pull it off.

"Pros" do this all the time.  Rather than buying a huge rig, buy a medium size one and when you need the huge one you simply rent the additonal boxes to complete the rig.  It may cost a bit more to rent, but if the boxes in the big rig aren't working very often, it isn't necessarily cost effective to own them.

Sorry to be harsh on you, but your website is your worst enemy.

It says "we don't have the latest and greatest gear out there from Midas, EAW, BSS or Klark" and "We offer a PA system for up to 300 people".  Why say that?  If a client needs better gear, rent it.  Don't place a limitation on your service (as long as it's something you can handle).  If someone goes to your website they assume based on what you are saying that you're an ankle-biter and they move on to somebody else.  If a client is willing to pay me to bring in a D&B rig and an H3000, guess what happens....  A phone call is made and we bring it in... if the client will pay and you can rent it and use it successfully, then you're showing that you are more of a "pro", not to mention the good experience you will gain.  Just don't get too overzealous and end up over your head.

You'll never get your foot in the door on larger gigs if you let your personal rig be the limitation.  Rent or find a business partner to team up with on the bigger stuff.  You've got to be willing to do that or you'll never get anywhere short of a miracle.

Jeff


Thats is exactally what I do! I upgraded my smaller system when I started out by renting the larger gear until I could afford it. I reinvested all of my earned $$ on those gigs to increase my inventory. Now all I have to rent is for the much bigger gigs and all I make on those is going back into the company for additional gear when I have the money saved up. Its called growing your business.... Even the big companys do this when a show requires more gear than they have available. They may have it in inventory but, part of thier inventory is out doing other gigs so, instead of losing the gig, cross rent what they need to make it happen.
Title: Serenity Prayer
Post by: Doug Fowler on January 25, 2008, 02:34:55 pm
Quote:

I can't really shake Fred of the festival, he is the mastermind behind the festival. Last year was the 1st in 8 years he didn't mix a stage.


....and grant me the wisdom to know the difference....
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on January 25, 2008, 10:42:25 pm
To me you have to have a professional attitude to be a professional.  It isn't so much about what gear you bring or how much you charge or even if you can get the job done by renting extra gear.  You have to have the attitude!

I often times have to rent extra gear.  Unfortunately for this coming week with the super bowl I had to purchase over $3000 of gear just to get the jobs done.  There is almost no inventory available to rent in the area.

I also know when job is beyond what we can do correctly.  Rather than hire in someone elses gear I will refer it to others.  I would rather one of the big boys in town do a gig that is out of our league then rent gear that I am not too familliar with and just barely get by.

I just got a call yesterday because of my professional attitude.  I worked with a band a year and half ago and their manager remembered me and just called me for some work because of how we treated them!

That's what being professional is.

As far as making the jump to the next level?  I have been making that jump for about four years and I still feel like I am just taking off.  Business is quite good, I have a steady stream of new clients coming in and since so many of my jobs repeat every year I book them all a year in advance so there are already a ton of dates that I can't take any more gigs on.

Maybe when you are able to do multiple shows in a day, that is when you have made the jump to the next level.  We can do two easily and three if all the stars line up.  Four shows in a day would not happen with us.  We would be referring them to others.  So we haven't finshed jumping yet.

Good luck and keep at it!

Ryan
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: justin sircus on January 26, 2008, 02:28:01 pm
It's when you open up your AC box and there are no orange cables and home power strips in there.
Thats only partially a joke.

I think that being considered a pro provider is different in different markets. I actually burned myself out by doing club level nationals for a few years and had to scale back or lose my mind and my credit rating. I used to call my sound enterprise a small business even though i've always had a day job but I now call it an expensive hobby. This way it sits better in my own mind and I'm not as concerned about ROI. I still want to make money and I actually charge more per gig but am comfortable with 2-3 gigs per month rather than the 10-15 gigs I used to have to do to justify the level of gear I have. I still have 2 EAW rigs but 75% of my gigs are now done on powered Mackies and it's great. I have no problem letting the EAW's sit. I would consider myself a professional sound engineer and I suppose most of the people I work with would agree but I no longer consider the business side of it as professional as it once was for me.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Randy Pence on January 26, 2008, 04:17:52 pm
Mark Walter wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 14:41

When it stops being fun.....

I feel that way about the music business in general.

A want to be an amature for ever.


The master sees distinction between work and play
-Lao Tse from the Tao te Xing, thousands of years ago.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Tony "T" Tissot on January 26, 2008, 05:27:25 pm
RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 19:42

......

...Maybe when you are able to do multiple shows in a day, that is when you have made the jump to the next level....

Ryan

That's a really good point. That's also when your business management skills have to trump your audio skill set.
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Lester Moran on January 26, 2008, 06:01:15 pm
Seems pretty simple to me:  If you're getting a W2 from a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation that's an Event-production provider...  You're a "pro".

Or...  If you own and provide production gear "for hire" and are are filing a "Schedule C" with your IRS 1040, you are a "pro".

If you own and provide production gear for events and are not filing a "Schedule C" with your IRS 1040, you almost certainly should be so you can lower your overall personal tax liability by depreciating all that gear you're buying while wondering whether you're a "pro" or not...

Les  
Title: Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
Post by: Douglas Johnson on January 27, 2008, 11:16:38 am
About 20 years ago, I had a District Manager tell me "that the difference between a job and a career is with a job you expect to get paid next Friday for the job you did today, with a career you expect to get paid a year from next Friday.

The same goes for becoming a professional.  It's when you stop working for the pay at the end of the night, and start doing a better job so you can get future jobs, bigger jobs, and better pay.  That goes either if you work for yourself or for someone else, full or part-time.

Doug J.