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PROPOSED BDA PROMISES

Please use these proposed BDA Promises from BDA Workshops (BDA members helping BDA members ... and DA members too, bdaworkshops.org) as you envision your future as a solvent DA and BDA member and successful business owner, independent contractor, entrepreneur, working artist, or other earner in the modern marketplace. Enjoy!

PROPOSED BDA PROMISES — SHORT FORM

  1. We are committed to our recovery from compulsive debting. 

  2. We are growing spiritually and are unafraid of letting others know about our recovery. 

  3. We properly fund our personal lives and live within our businesses’ means. 

  4. We are rapidly becoming free of shame. 

  5. We focus on learning from our experiences and grow to appreciate both positive and negative feedback. 

  6. We have positive self-esteem. 

  7. We can identify and define the contributions we make. 

  8. We see ourselves as equals with everyone we meet through our jobs or businesses. 

  9. We charge appropriately for our time and services. 

  10. We are clear about our limits; we set boundaries. 

  11. We are engaged in work that is fulfilling and rewarding. 

  12. We know that we are enough. 

 

Until we take all Twelve Steps, these promises for business debtors and the other promises of DA will likely remain out of our reach. Please take the Steps and join us in the new life and experience described here.

PROPOSED BDA PROMISES — LONG FORM

1.    We are committed to our recovery from compulsive debting. For most of us, once we’ve become compulsive debtors, we’ve lost the fight long before we start debting again. So, we have surrendered the option of debting and pursue every other avenue to get our personal and business needs met. If we think debting is the only way to get through a current crisis, we shift our focus to the Tools of both DA and BDA, especially those focused on interactions with other members, with the Steps, and with our Higher Power.


2.    We are growing spiritually and are unafraid of letting others know about our recovery. For business owners, we often have our recovery experience “in a fishbowl.” Business partners, investors, customers, employees, vendors, and others have watched us struggle for years. They’ll now be watching us recover, some with more understanding and patience than others. We stay on track and focus on growing spiritually.


3.    We properly fund our personal lives and live within our businesses’ means. We understand the problem of compulsive debting, along with the past, present, and future consequences if we return to that path. We have the choice to return to debting and borrowing, to over-spending and under-earning, any time we want. We don’t, though. We have lived our debting lifestyle and we have committed to giving it up. Our businesses support us in staying healthy and safe. We take good care of ourselves and support others in doing the same.


4.    We are rapidly becoming free of shame. Feeling bad when we do something wrong is completely natural and can serve as a springboard to change. Shame, on the other hand, often involves feelings of worthlessness. Understand that making mistakes that we feel guilty about does not make us bad people or undermine our intrinsic value. Experiencing remorse is natural and allows us to accept responsibility and move forward. Shame and self-condemnation, on the other hand, will keep us stuck in the past.


5.    We focus on learning from our experiences and grow to appreciate both positive and negative feedback. We all make mistakes and have things for which we feel sorry or regretful. Falling into the trap of rumination, self-hatred, or even self-pity can be damaging and make it difficult to maintain our self-esteem and motivation. When faced with a problem with our own actions or feelings, we can focus on finding something positive in the situation. Yes, we might have made mistakes, but they were inevitably learning experiences that can help us make better choices now and in the future. We no longer operate our businesses in isolation, frequently reaching out to others — both in and out of BDA — for their experience, strength, and hope.


6.    We have positive self-esteem. Self-esteem means having confidence in our own worth and abilities. Our goal is to become comfortable with who we are — our income, debt, height, weight, principles, priorities, and everything else that we use to define ourselves. Positive regard for ourselves empowers us to feel confidence in ourselves and to act with integrity and humility, sustains our sense of professionalism, and enables our ability to build supportive relationships with others.


7.    We can identify and define the contributions we make. We approach potential clients in a spirit of service with confidence in our knowledge, skills, experience, and ability to provide value. When we provide services to clients, we can own our achievements and see how our services added value or provided benefits. We can acknowledge how our services have contributed to a better quality of life for an individual person or is helping a client organization to thrive. We remind ourselves that, as a result of our own value, efforts, and abilities, we are increasing our sales, productivity, and profits as well as improving financial results for clients. 


8.    We see ourselves as equals with everyone we meet through our jobs or businesses. Knowing our value means feeling that we are fundamentally equal with anyone with whom we interact: clients, bosses, colleagues, and friends. We are not bit players in other people’s lives. Nor are we the stars of our own “show.” We have a healthy sense of our personal value and deservedness, and we assert ourselves as equals in personal and business relationships.  


9.    We charge appropriately for our time and services. Before DA and BDA, frequently out of fear of losing clients or desire to win more business, many of us undercharged for our time and services. This applies to wages and salaries we’ve received as employees too. We would too often end up doing much more work than we were paid to do, in a desire to prove ourselves. Instead we confused our clients about our financial expectations and set pricing precedents which were often irreversible. Now our sponsors and PRGs help us set reasonable, competitive prices for our time and services, because we’re worth it.


10.    We are clear about our limits; we set boundaries. We are clear about what is acceptable behavior with our clients and employees, and we have the courage to speak up when necessary to ensure that others treat us with the respect we deserve. We don’t need others to agree with our limits, but we do need their acceptance of them, and we’re not afraid to state when those limits have been breached or ignored.


11.    We are engaged in work that is fulfilling and rewarding. When we are involved in work that is fulfilling as well as financially rewarding, we are inclined to work with even greater energy and commitment. When we love what we do, we are prepared to do more and to become more, better, faster, and of even greater value. This is a natural outcome of our continuing recovery and our commitment to operating healthy businesses.


12.    We know that we are enough. Because we have confidence in our abilities and our recovery, we know that we have sufficient experience, along with the qualifications, stories of past experiences, and testimonials to back up claims of competence. With the help of Higher Power and our support network, we know that right now, today, we are everything we need to be and are able to relax in the belief that we are of value to ourselves and to others, just as others are of value to us.

Until we take all Twelve Steps, these promises for business debtors and the other promises of DA will likely remain out of our reach. Please take the Steps and join us in the new life and experience described here.

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