Life in KC

Money Challenge: What would The Pro do?

We both own and run small businesses, which means we make it up as we go more often than we would like to admit.

Sure, we have budgets and business plans and processes that we stick to, but any entrepreneur who’s being honest will tell you they are just “making it up” at least some of the time.

We don’t claim to have all the answers in business or in our personal life. Far from it!

One question helps tremendously when we are faced with a new challenge: “What would a professional do?”

So, for example, Carrie is a freelance voice-over actor. We just moved into a new town house in Westport, and she has been using the closet as a sound booth to do her recordings.

The closet works great but isn’t going to cut it forever. A new sound booth runs around $2,000. Naturally, we want to avoid this cost if we can. We could limp along using the closet for months, even years, or we could just pull the trigger on a new booth. Decisions without a clear answer are the worst.

Then we asked the question, “What would The Professional do?”

The answer becomes obvious. A professional voice actor would have a professional sound booth, not just a closet. Decision made.

Life, as in business

Asking “the question” always gives us the right answer without having to agonize over it for too long.

You can use this method in any area of your life, not just in business.

What would a healthy person eat?

What would a good parent do?

What attitude would a happy person have?

What would someone who wants to be debt free within two years do?

Copy cat

This decision-making method comes down to copying the actions of the kind of person you want to be.

Would the kind of person you want to be continue down this road or would they try something different?

Remove yourself from whatever situation you are facing and replace yourself with The Pro, then hit play and take notes. Usually the answer will come instantly.

It’s so much easier to make decisions when you cast the decision-making duty onto someone else who is likely to make the right decision. Then just copy.

We’ve found doing this takes away indecision, anxiety and doubt. It also reduces the fear of making the wrong decision. If The Pro would do it, chances are it’s the right move.

Copy the thoughts, actions and attitudes of the imaginary person you want to be, and you will start becoming that person.

Forget about what you would do for a minute. What would The Pro do?

Apply this idea to your financial life and enjoy the progress.

Derek and Carrie Olsen are monthly money columnists for Ink challenging you to take a closer look at your finances. They’ve also written two best-selling books on the topic of personal finances. Find their books, blog, podcast and speaking schedule at