I think of a professional as someone who applies specialized knowledge and skill to help someone else. Doctors and lawyers were some of the first recognized professionals. Today, as our world has become more complex, there are many kinds of professionals who can apply their deep knowledge of a subject to help you succeed. Accountants, nutritionists, designers, veterinarians, marketers, and webmasters can apply their knowledge immediately to find rapid solutions to business problems. If I tried to learn those skills myself, it might take me months or years to learn what I needed to know and I might still not arrive at the best solution.
I’m also gaining a greater appreciation for my own professional skills gained through deep study, much practice, and decades of experience with many diverse businesses and organizations. I can recognize and diagnose leadership and organizational problems very quickly, and help people to find solutions that work. That’s my profession.