Dan of www.thedanplan.com talks about his current career as an aspiring pro golfer. You can follow along on his journey to pro status on his website and on his Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.
I document my journey to become a professional golfer through 10,000 hours of deliberate practice in a website called thedanplan.com. In a sense, I am a golfer, a writer, a documentarian and a researcher. Wearing a number of different hats in order to make what I do possible.
How would you describe what you do?
From 9-6 I practice golf utilizing the ideas of deliberate practice. In the evenings I catch up on emails sent through the day, answer interviews and write blogs about my week.
What does your work entail?
My work is about increasing my skill level in golf. I spend 7 days a week working on my golf game getting it geared up for
The point of The Dan Plan is to demonstrate, by going to the extreme, that it doesn’t take “talent” to make it to the top level in any specific endeavor, rather it’s all about the amount of hard work you put in. Don’t forget about your dreams.
a future in competitive golf. I practice on ranges, putting greens, chipping areas and play plenty of courses around the Portland, OR area.
How did you get started?
I began April 10, 2010. Before that I had never played the sport of golf and knew nothing about it. I started by putting from 1 foot away from the hole and slowly, over the next five months, worked back from the hole to the fringe then added a pitching wedge and over the next year moved away from the green adding clubs as I needed them until I was eventually playing with a full set of clubs on December 29, 2011. Since then I have been fine tuning my skills and learning more about the mental game of golf.
Why did you decide to do this?
Good question. For me, it was simply to try and prove that it’s never too late to give something new a shot. I have known a lot of people in all areas of life who have used “talent” as an excuse to not try something or pursue a dream. I am hoping to demonstrate that with enough passion and hard work anything is possible.
What do you like about what you do?
It is completely mine and everything I put into it is what I get out of it. The harder I work the better my game gets, there is a direct correlation between input and output. Also, I get to make my own schedule and decide when to do what work.
What do you dislike?
Not much, it’s truly an amazing experience and I can’t imagine doing anything else at this point.
How do you make money/or how are you compensated?
Great question. I live off of savings for the most part, although I do raise a bit of money through donations on the website. I also have some cash coming in through ads on the site.
How much do you make?
Barely anything, although I manage to get by and am happier than at any point in my past. I make about $500 a month at this point.
How much money did/do you make starting out?
When I began I made no money. For the first two years I made just a few dollars through donations but those have been picking up over the past year. Sponsorships are right around the corner too, which would add to potential revenue.
What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?
You need to be able to write in order to document the journey. The other skill needed is to be able to stay open minded and learn as much as possible.
What is most challenging about what you do?
Getting over frustrations and accepting setbacks. When you are traveling down a completely new path there will be plenty of wrong turns along the way. It’s important to be able to accept this and to be able to move on without regrets.
What is most rewarding?
Every single day is rewarding. Going out and doing what you want when you want it is the reward. There isn’t much money in what I do at this point, but being able to folow my dreams and spend every day working on improving myself is amazingly rewarding.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
Be patient. Leaning something new takes time. Also, when starting it can take a long time for things to take off and you need to remain patient and not lose faith in the process.
How much time off do you get/take?
Technically speaking, I can take off as much time as I would like. However, even on a “day off” I like to get to the course and put in some time.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
There are no misconceptions as I do not know of anyone doing anything remotely similar to what I do. Some people think that it’s all about the end results, but the truth is that it’s just as much about the journey and telling the story as it is about the finality of it all.
What are your goals/dreams for the future?
To play on the PGA Tour. That’s the goal and what I aim to achieve.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
It’s never too late to start something new. The point of The Dan Plan is to demonstrate, by going to the extreme, that it doesn’t take “talent” to make it to the top level in any specific endeavor, rather it’s all about the amount of hard work you put in. Don’t forget about your dreams.