I think most players, especially if they start pretty young imagine what it would be like to be a pro. I know I did. I started at fifteen, had few lessons, but didn't play out much in high school. In college, I was way behind the curve at first, it was 1978, I loved funk and couldn't slap! I learned how to slap, learned scales, modes, basic theory, and got pretty good after a while. I played in some talent shows but didn't regularly gig. In grad school, I joined a pretty serious band, did some gigs, showcases, and made a studio demo or orginals. I left to work on my Ph.D. and I was pretty good, not studio good, but good enough for a working top forty band. By this time I had some serious offers, I remember one time a guy who recruiting me had me sit in at a local club playing Rick James' "Give It to Me Baby." He had me do a slap solo and I got huge response from the crowd. He a made an offer and I thought it over and I realized that if I really had wanted to go pro, I would be working on a doctorate and that coming in late from a gig and being a grad assistant would not mix too well for a first year doctoral student. I ealized I had held on to the dream of being pro but all of my actions were clearly leading me in another direction. Obviously, I still love bass as much as I post, but I know that it is a hobby and academia is my profession.