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Is That Deductible? The Trial, Triathlon, and Transitions

Jun 24, 2024

Running a micro-business as a physician entrepreneur is a dynamic and multifaceted endeavor. This past week has been a whirlwind of personal achievements, professional responsibilities, and moments that highlight the delicate balance between work and life. Here’s a glimpse into my week, viewed through the lens of a micro-business owner.

Monday: Family Ties

Monday night dinners at my widowed mother-in-law's house have become a cherished tradition. These gatherings are more than just a meal; they are a cornerstone of my week. My wife and I deeply value these dinners, as they offer a sense of grounding and connection. These moments remind us of the importance of family, providing emotional support that is essential for maintaining balance in our busy lives. The laughter, shared stories, playing games, and the warmth of family bonds help recharge our spirits, which indirectly supports my business by keeping me centered and focused.

While these family dinners aren’t deductible from a financial perspective, their value in terms of emotional well-being is immeasurable. They reinforce why we work so hard—to provide for and spend quality time with those we love.

Tuesday: Home Fixes and Maintenance

Tuesday was a day dedicated to resolving an issue at home. Our bathroom's heated floor had been malfunctioning, and I had to coordinate with the manufacturer to get it fixed under their two-year warranty. As the technician worked under my wife’s careful oversight, I was reminded of the parallels between home maintenance and running a business. Regular upkeep and understanding warranties are crucial, whether it's for your home or your business equipment. This repair was a non-deductible personal expense, but it underscored the importance of ensuring everything in both my personal and professional life is in top condition to avoid unexpected disruptions.

Wednesday: The Weight of Past Cases

Wednesday brought a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of our profession. I had to block out half my day to provide virtual testimony for a case involving a troubled teen I hadn’t seen in over a decade. This individual was now being prosecuted for a heinous crime, and my medical records were a crucial part of the trial. The gravity of the situation weighed heavily on me. While I was thankful for the ability to testify virtually, thus avoiding a trip to Florida, the experience was emotionally taxing. This case highlighted the profound impact we have on our patients’ lives and the long-term implications of our care.

From a business perspective, the time spent on the testimony emphasized the importance of meticulous record-keeping and the potential legal obligations we carry. This time was not directly billable, but ensuring that my records were thorough and accessible proved invaluable. It's moments like these that underscore the importance of diligent documentation—a practice that, while not deductible, is essential to our profession.

Friday: Planning for the Future

Friday, I collaborated with CME Away to plan and discuss an upcoming webinar for our SimpliMD community. Scheduled for July 25th, this event aims to provide valuable insights and continuing medical education for our members. These webinars are a key part of our mission to inform, inspire, and support physicians. The planning sessions, while intensive, are always invigorating. They remind me of the importance of continuous learning and community engagement. The costs associated with these educational events, including my time and any materials, are indeed deductible as they directly contribute to the growth and development of our business.

Saturday: Personal Triumphs and Professional Reflections

Saturday was a milestone day for me personally—I completed my first triathlon in over a decade. The sense of accomplishment was immense. Balancing training with my professional responsibilities had been challenging, but it reinforced the importance of setting personal goals and dedicating time to achieving them. Physical fitness and mental health go hand-in-hand in maintaining the stamina required to run a micro-business.

Sunday: Celebrating Transitions

Sunday brought a sense of nostalgia and forward-thinking as we enjoyed a picnic with my clinic staff. We celebrated the summer and reflected on the clinic's transition as I step back after nearly 30 years. With two nurse practitioners but no doctors yet, our clinic is beginning to mirror the future landscape of primary care in many rural areas. This transition is bittersweet, but it’s also a testament to the strong foundation we've built and the capable hands that will continue to provide excellent care to our community.

From a business perspective, the picnic was a deductible expense as a team-building and morale-boosting event. It provided an opportunity to express gratitude, share future plans, and ensure that the clinic's operations will continue smoothly in my absence.

Navigating the Week Ahead

As I look back on this week, I’m reminded of the complexities and rewards of running a micro-business. Each experience, from family dinners to legal testimonies, contributes to the rich tapestry of my professional life. While not everything is deductible, the value of these experiences transcends monetary calculations. They shape who we are as individuals and as professionals.

For my fellow physicians navigating the world of micro-businesses, remember to keep detailed records, balance personal and professional goals, and cherish the moments that remind us why we chose this path. Each week brings its own set of challenges and triumphs, and it’s how we navigate them that defines our success.

Join the SimpliMD Community

If you’re a physician looking to empower yourself through micro-business competency, I invite you to join our SimpliMD community as a member. For only $99, you can gain access to valuable resources, educational webinars, and a supportive network of like-minded professionals. Together, we can inspire and support each other to thrive in our roles as both healers and entrepreneurs. Sign up today and take the next step in your journey towards professional and personal fulfillment.