One of the pages Lacie designed

One of my goals this year is to get better at small business finances.

So lately I’ve been reading books like Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits by Greg Crabtree. I’ve also been interviewing CPAs and bookkeepers to learn all I can to “up my game” in this area.

And one of the most important things I’ve learned recently is to pay myself a “market-based wage.” Crabtree says, “If you don’t pay yourself a market-based wage, your net income number is lying to you. Or rather you are lying to yourself.”

So I started paying myself a market-based wage earlier this year. And it feels good. I now get paid on the 1st and 15th of every month. No matter what.

But for some reason I’ve not done the same for my wife, who also works in the business sometimes.

My wife Lacie is an amazing designer. I know I’m biased but clients tell me the same thing.

She specializes in custom high-end landing page design. I’ll write the copy and come up with the creative brief and she’ll make it happen in Unbounce. And every time it looks amazing.

But I haven’t been paying her. I know, I’m a horrible husband!

She’ll do a great job. The client will pay. But then I wouldn’t pay her (outside the cost of a babysitter). I would think, Our finances are combined anyway. So it doesn’t really matter. If I’m profiting then she’s profiting, it’s all the same.


According to Crabtree, market-based wages apply to everyone (spouses, friends, family). So if I’m not paying my wife what she deserves my net income number is still lying to me.

So I’m tired of living a lie! And tired of not paying Lacie what she deserves. So today marks the day that I will start paying her a market-based wage. Never again will she work for free.

Wish I would have learned this sooner but better late than never.