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Is That Deductible? It Depends: "Blueberry & The SimpliMD Webinar"

Sep 10, 2023

The Blueberry Stomp Follow-Up

I am continuing from last week's post about sponsoring our local running event, the Blueberry Stomp. The Marshall County Blueberry Festival is Indiana's largest four-day festival, attracting an estimated 300,000-400,000 attendees. The Blueberry Stomp 5K and 15K is held in conjunction with the Blueberry Parade, which takes place on Labor Day morning. The entire event is a genuine slice of Midwest Americana, with the race and parade flowing through a wide, tree-lined main street that is filled with enthusiastic spectators on both sides. My wife and I take great pleasure in sponsoring this race every year.

The race itself is special because of its setting. The first three-quarters of a mile and the final three-quarters of a mile are watched and cheered on by adoring community members who eagerly look out for people they know. As a family doctor practicing in this small town, I am well-known among most people. It's just part of living in the "glass house" of being a rural doctor.

To add some excitement and enjoyment this year, I made the decision to participate in the race wearing my Buddy the Elf outfit, complete with wig. I thought, "Let's mix things up and have a blast!" Oh my, it was so much fun. Almost every 3-5-year-old along the parade route lit up when they saw me. Of course, I was bombarded with questions like "what's your favorite color?" (purple). I thoroughly enjoyed showcasing my hopping skills as I hopped across the crosswalk in the heart of the downtown parade route. Most people still recognized me, but only after they did a double take.

I had an amazing time! My wife was incredibly proud of her special husband, and to top it off, I managed to secure 4th place in my age group!

Doctors in rural communities are like mini-celebrities. It's special and fun to connect with them and support our community events in this way.

Time To Grill & Work

The rest of our Labor Day was spent enjoying a planned cookout, where we used some of the freezer beef that we buy from my neighbor at Slonaker Farms. Their cows are only pasture-fed, ensuring quality and taste. We typically purchase half a cow, have it processed, and freeze it for use over the next year or two. The quality, safety, and taste of our beef are fantastic, not to mention that it costs less than half of what you would find at the grocery store. As if that wasn't enough, a patient of mine generously provided me with a box full of fresh produce from her garden, which will make the perfect side dishes for the ribeyes. I absolutely adore these fresh Midwest summer meals!

Medical Office Building Work

I also had to coordinate with a fellow small business owner regarding the work he was going to do on the medical office building that I lease to the hospital for my medical practice. We have a back entry door that needs to be fixed, and I also need to bury a downspout drainage system under the pavement to prevent ice build-up and potential falls during the winter. As per my commercial lease agreement with the hospital, I am responsible for anything related to the building's exterior.

In addition to that, I had to check the status of the contractual common area maintenance (CAM) reconciliation process with the hospital. If you are not familiar with triple net commercial leases, let me explain. These leases involve the difference between the expected CAM costs (which are paid each month as part of the lease payment) and the actual CAM costs on an annual basis. The reconciliation process worked in my favor, resulting in a $8000+ check. Therefore, I needed to make sure everything was all set. In typical corporate fashion, I discovered that the previous property manager for the hospital had been terminated, and to my surprise, there was no communication regarding who would be taking over the role. After exchanging several emails, I successfully identified the new person in that role, who happened to be located over 2 hours away in Chicago. The never-ending corporate process of elimination and consolidation often leads to a decentralized and detached remote chain of command. There may be names and roles, but little connection. Personally, I don't care for that.

SimpliMD Development

One of the nice features of a national holiday is having the day off from the clinic. So, after enjoying the morning Blueberry Stomp and parade, I had some time to work on things. My primary focus was the ongoing development of SimpliMD.

As you may already be aware, SimpliMD is currently undergoing a significant transformation to evolve into a physician community that not only supports your micro-business but also helps you enhance your micro-business competency. I have put in a tremendous amount of effort to transform the website using Kajabi into a comprehensive product store. It now offers a wide range of resources, from free to paid, to cater to all needs. Check out the new SimpliMD website if you haven’t been there lately.

My First SimpliMD Webinar

One exciting aspect of SimpliMD's development has been the successful launch of my very first live webinar called "Are You Ready To Take Control of Your Professional Future?" on September 29th at 7:30 CST. The focus is on residents and fellows who are in the final stages before entering the marketplace as doctors.

My son, John Stillson, MD, is a second-year FM resident at JPS in Fort Worth. He and his wife are hosting a meeting at their home for JPS residents who have expressed interest in learning more about SimpliMD and the benefits of professional micro-corporations. I am incredibly excited for the event because one of my passions is sharing pro-tips on how to thrive throughout one's career.

In fact, this is precisely why I wrote my best-selling book, "Doctor Incorporated: Stop The Insanity of Traditional Employment and Preserve Your Professional Autonomy." I had the desire to share my experiences in the business of medicine with my son, John, but it unexpectedly struck a chord with a much larger audience.

That's also how live webinars have gained momentum. Initially, we planned to have a small meeting at his home for a select group of residents interested in John's knowledge about micro-corporations. Given his firsthand experience as a micro-business doctor's child, he possesses unique perspectives on the subject. He also possesses the entrepreneurial spirit, just like me, which is why he is working as an agent for SimpliMD, servicing the younger generation of doctors.

Anyway, while organizing the presentation, it became evident that the interest and demand extended beyond the JPS residents. Therefore, I decided to expand it by hosting a live-streaming Facebook Event, allowing others to access it remotely.

The rest of my Labor Day was dedicated to creating the presentation on Canva, designing marketing images, and setting up the necessary hardware and software to ensure the success of the event. I'm thrilled to share that my wife has agreed to be the event video producer! Now, I am in the process of assembling all the necessary equipment and software.

This includes the realization that my current MacBook Air will need to be replaced. Its memory always seems to teeter on a "no RAM" message, partly due to all of my work with SimpliMD. I'm excited to embark on this new journey! First things first, I need to order a new computer. Next, I'll research and choose the best streaming and recording software vendors for my needs. To ensure high-quality audio, I'll also get a portable microphone. Lastly, I'll set up the entire event funnel on my Kajabi site. Fingers crossed that I did it correctly! I will work with my son and wife to rent chairs, cater food, and organize the flights from South Bend to Dallas-Fort Worth.

If you haven't signed up for the webinar, I invite you to do so now by clicking here.

Is That Dedectible? It Depends

Now is the time to figure out how the costs were allocated to all of my activities.

  • Blueberry Stomp: Event sponsorship, elf costume, and race registration can be claimed as business deductions for advertisement and business development purposes.

  • Meat from Slonaker Farms: It's a personal expense, but a frugal one since it's much cheaper than buying it from the store. I would also like to mention that in previous years, I purchased their cows at the local 4-H fair auction, and the cost was considered a business advertising expense as well. The personal expenses involved in having the cow transported, slaughtered, and processed.

  • Grilled Vegatable Assortment: No costs, and one of the many perks of being a country doctor is that patients share from their bounty!

  • The backyard deck and gas grill: Personal expenses to own, maintain, and operate.

  • Medical Office Building Improvements: The expenses related to the building are considered business expenses for my micro-corporation. It's important to note that this real estate LLC is separate from my PC for various liability and business reasons.

  • Medical Office Building CAM reconciliation: After a bit of searching, I was able to confirm that I will be receiving my $8000+ check for 2021. Additionally, the process for the 2022 payment has already begun and will be completed by the end of the year. I'm determined to find a tax-efficient way to bring those dollars into my household from this C-Corp. I have a meeting scheduled with my accountant later this week to discuss the best approach.

  • SimpliMD Development: All business expenses go to SimpliMD, but my time, which is the most valuable aspect, is not even close to the roughly $500 per hour that I earn when I am working at the clinic. But that's why I call SimpliMD my passion project! I'm hopeful that my significant time investment will eventually yield tangible financial returns.

  • SimpliMD Webinar: All business expenses, including office equipment, production equipment, software, flights, rentals, and catering, are covered by my Business Development Company, PC & SimpliMD. The great feature is that my wife will have the opportunity to come along, all at the business's expense, as she will be managing and operating the streaming production equipment. Additionally, the lodging at my son's home will be free, and we'll have the opportunity to visit and connect with my son and his lovely wife during this business trip.

Why continue using your after-tax household dollars to live your life? If you want to learn more about how a micro-corporation can help you retain more of your income through business expenses, as I mention in my story, then download my free e-book "4 Strategies For Doctors To Retain More of Their Income" here.

Become a member of the SimpliMD community and embark on your own journey to micro-business competency

And if you made it the end of the blog, my reward to you will be a free digital copy of my best selling book “Doctor Incorporated: Stop The Insanity of Traditional Employment and Preserve Your Professional Autonomy” here.