April 26, Don’t Be A Martyr To Your Business! (Caring For Our Basic Needs, Using Business Debtors Anonymous Tool #4)

Thought for today:

Martyrs make bad business people.  As business owners with a lot of responsibilities, some of us became very irresponsible, neglecting basic needs for the sake of the business.  That is why Business Debtors Anonymous has Tool Four…

BDA Tool Four:

We pay ourselves a salary including benefits, medical insurance, vacations, and sick days.

A member shares:

“What can I say?  When bills come due, something has to give.  I have to cut somewhere, and it’s usually my salary.

“The biggest problem was that I was afraid to take any days off.  Vacation?  Personal days?  Sick days?  Never!

“After years of working the DA program, I can (happily) say that this has changed.  I actually take vacation three weeks a year.  This is possible because I’m selectively learning to trust certain people to run parts of the business without me physically being there.

“My husband was the same way.  He works for a big outfit, and he used to be afraid to take a vacation.  He didn’t have any trust that he would have a job to come back to.

“As business owners, we have to encourage people to take some down time.  It’s unfair to force any employee to give up vacation days to fix a broken project – yet that’s exactly what I did to myself and my employees!  My feelings of guilt drove these decisions to work compulsively.

“My husband still has one issue.  He’s had episodes of major depression in the past, but he still feels he couldn’t disclose that to his HR department in the future.  Even though he’s entitled by law to certain accommodations for his depression, he feels it would be foolish to mention this fact and leave himself open to discrimination.

“We had to do a reality check, take what we needed from this Tool, and leave the rest for another day.  Today we think things through, accept the realities of our businesses, and don’t  go too far overboard in either direction.”

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)

Small ways to start taking care of ourselves as business owners and as employees:

For compulsive debtors, these things can need more herculean effort than the average “civilian” population. So we start small…

  • Taking a regular paycheck, including sick pay if needed, and vacation pay
  • Taking an occasional three-day weekend, and vacations
  • Shopping for medical insurance on the health exchanges, or offering insurance to our group of employees
  • Opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401k

Over time, small choices like these can make us feel more civilized and secure, which in turn will  enable more productivity.

If we realize that there is more to life than work, our work takes on a new vitality!


  • If I am a business owner, do I have the discipline to care for my basic needs of a salary, medical care, and vacation?  If not, am I willing to take a small step toward feeling more civilized, even if it means letting go of something I feel indispensable about?
  • If I work for someone, am I secure that I have done a good job, so that I’ve earned the right to take time off?  If not, what is the reality?  Is my relationship with my boss healthy?  Do I need to work more effectively?  Or do I need to accept that I need down time?

Meditation for today:

Slow down and consider that the best work we do is when we feel loved and lovable.  When we place responsibility for outcomes in our Higher Power’s hands, we become free.  Accept the love that comes to you from unexpected sources.

Affirmation for today:

“When work is done, I will pack up and go home.  I will not wait until I am exhausted before leaving.”

“I will keep a prudent cash reserve.”

Prayer for today:

“I pray to learn how to manage my time and my money.  I pray to trust a loving Higher Power.”

Topic for discussion:

What’s your experience taking out medical insurance, taking a regular paycheck, and taking time off?  How difficult was it to allow these for yourself?

Follow Through:

Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners

(Links on this page will bring you to Amazon. If you decide to buy something, Amazon will give us a small commission. This helps us defray the costs of running this website and does not add to your cost.)