My wife did a Periscope broadcast recently talking about the necessity of professional development. That same week, Dan Miller of 48 Days posted a podcast talking about the same thing. Clearly, God was trying to tell me something! A few days later, I signed up to become a part of the Dynamic Producer membership site, which coaches music producers, gives professional feedback and guidance for their work, and provides opportunities to submit their music for major projects. As well, I am currently searching for a piano teacher, to help address the gaps in my skill and push my playing to another level.
Why is this so important?
The truth of the matter is that no matter how unique we think we are, and no matter how "special" we think our callings are, without the proper skills, our impact is limited. I've discussed this over and over again on my blog, but I think it still needs to be emphasized. Character growth should include having good stewardship over the gifts we have. If God gave me the raw gift of playing an instrument, how will I return it to him? Unused? Barely better than how I started off? Or will I return it with all its potential extracted? I believe part of the account we will have to give before God is how we invested in the gifts He gave us.
Learning and professional development never ends. There is ALWAYS more to learn. How much potential have you realized? I think I've realized only about 3% of mine. By getting professional feedback from people who aren't personally biased towards me because of relationships, I've been able to clearly see the areas I need to improve in with my craft. I encourage you to do the same. Every year, take some time and money and choose to invest in your craft!