These are the three stages of every career.

The first transition is easy. A hobby can turn into a passion without you even noticing. It’s the second transition, going from a passion to a profession where most people get stuck for years. And not for lack of trying.

Getting paid for what you do requires you to be objectively or subjectively better than nearly everyone else trying to get paid for the same thing. Worst of all, you’re not the one who decides when it happens; you need to persuade other people that you’re worth their money.

But there’s a different transition that you can make right away. You can transition to a professional apprentice.

An apprentice learns every day. They practice their craft, they study the work of others, and have a teacher to work with.

A blacksmith’s apprentice doesn’t spend his daydreaming about becoming a blacksmith someday, he spends his time in the forge, working the bellows, trading hard work for expertise. He’s getting better every day, and gradually becomes a blacksmith.

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