There are professionals and amateurs in every business, and we all know that eventually, the amateurs will fall, while the professionals go ahead and win. The real question is what separates the professionals from the amateurs?

Everyone’s motivated, but the reason why most people don’t release that motivation and turn it into action is personal confidence.

Confidence is needed in every business venture. It’s what helps you to make that first step. Being confident means you know that you can and that you will succeed.

Amateurs lack confidence and leave success up to luck.

Here are eight tips to build the personal confidence needed to bridge the gap that moves you from being an amateur to being a professional:

1. Know what confidence is

Confidence is about knowing what you know and knowing what you need to know in order to take the steps you need to. Confidence is knowing that you can succeed and that you will succeed because you’ve put the work in to make sure it happens.

2. Find out where your motivation levels are

There are two motivation zones, the ‘dream zone’ and the ‘dark zone’. In the dream zone – when you’re dreaming about a great future – you can be inspired into action, but when motivation drops into the dark zone; that’s when the going gets tough.

That’s when you realise there is nothing romantic about hard work. That’s when you need to develop the confidence to get back into the dream zone.

3. Find your fundamental motivation

Good motivation is not always positive.

99% of motivation is originally based on a negative response to a problem. Perhaps you’re tired of being broke or stressed. This is not a bad thing because getting out of a bad situation is just as valid a reason to do something as a dream lifestyle. Your story, your motivation is likely a combination of the two.

4. Discover what sort of confidence needs a boost

This depends on if you’re in the dream zone of the dark zone. There are two types of confidence – inspirational confidence, and competence confidence.

Inspirational confidence is for people in the dream zone. They need to be inspired, and to be the most effective, it needs to be done consistently. Go to meetings, listen to success stories and do it often.

‘Competence confidence’ is built by proving that someone has the ability to succeed at their job.

This is what gets people out of the motivational dark zone. 98% of people need this kind of confidence building. This is done by understanding, practice and proving you can perform the skills needed.

5. Think with a professional mindset

How you think determines how you act. Believe that anyone can succeed if they learn the skills they need. Believe that you offer not just a sale but a solution to someone’s problem.

Over a hundred years ago, James Allen wrote ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’. Today, we’d say as a man or woman thinketh… but Allen’s lack of gender-equal wording aside, his assertion is that you are literally what you think – that your character is the complete sum of all your thoughts, is as true today as it was then.

He makes the point that you are ‘always the master, even in your weakest and most abandoned state’. You can fashion your thought in a positive direction or a negative direction. The choice is yours. Bear in mind of course, that your outward circumstances are always a reflection of your inner state. Change the inner state, and your outward circumstances will begin to change too.

6. Learning is important

Learning builds confidence by making you competent. Once you have the skills and knowledge, and once you know how to apply them, you have the competence and confidence to succeed and the independence to go out and do it.

7. You are responsible for the way you communicate

Only 7% of communication is the spoken word. The other 93% comes from voice/tone (38%) and body language (55%). This means that what you feel (about the business, the deal, the client) will show. If you’re confident in your product, the client will be too.

8. Be organised.

Get a diary and write down appointments. Know the industry standards and which processes you use. Even if you’re not an organised person in other aspects of your life, you need to be at work.

Confidence is the key to being a professional, and anyone can be a professional.

That means it’s your choice to remain an amateur.