Daniel bday 12 3We all have places of shame, embarrassment, regret and frustration. Crafty entrepreneurs know how to ask a potential client what are their pain points, so they can offer a service or product to help them fix them up. But after we identify our pain points, can we fix them ourselves without having to pay a professional?

Could identifying your pain points make you a better person? Perhaps if you’re letting your ego run things, it may not be easy to ID the pain points. Do you let the same pain points occur over and over, yet you don’t do anything about it? I’d advise you start paying close attention to the pain, and stop numbing yourself to it, or your pain teacher will just keep knocking on your door. Such as…

“Hello, Alice? It’s Mr. Pain Point again. You continue to work 12 hours a day for peanuts, while you blow off your family who think your laptop is a permanent appendage. You don’t want to ask for more money because you’re afraid of getting rejected…yet again. But have you considered you’re on the fast track to burnout? If you keep working and working for nothing, you’ll be no good for nobody. Yes, thank you, for letting me share. I promise you next time I won’t be so gentle.”

Figuring out your pain points so you don’t keep doing the same bad habits over and over will help you achieve your goals, but you do have to force yourself to be aware and honest because when you first recognize a pain point there’s going to be some initial pain. But the good news is that the relief soon follows.

I had this boyfriend once who had acid reflux, but he continued to eat the wrong damn things and then would blame me when his tummy was upset. Really. Like I was supposed to stop him from drinking beer or eating cheese. He never remembered his pain points, or else, he was like Dory from Finding Nemo. He also forgot his wallet, his keys, forgot to maintain his sailboat so we had serious mechanical failures…and on and on. I broke up with him after that because he had such high pain point tolerance.

In another example, have you been late and it cost you a client? Did you blame “traffic?” Can you remember next time to set your alarm or not overload your schedule so much? Just yesterday, I overtrimmed my performance video from our church concert because the start of the video had a thumb in it. Yes, I was rushing, but I was also trying to get my video uploaded before I went to bed. I thought I could edit that away, but somehow my phone ate up the song’s intro and my opening lines. Ooops. Won’t do that again. It seems bad things happen when you rush.

How about this to change the paradigm: if you know you can only make a deadline by rushing the work, don’t rush it. Ask for a doable extension—it’s in everyone’s best interest. But what if you have always procrastinated and rushed through client work, and it turned out fine in the end. But did it really turn out fine? Maybe your client is not telling you something. Maybe they’re not referring work to you because they know you rush and are known to relax your standards. Not all people are great at giving negative feedback. And you keep on going your merry way procrastinating and rushing. Hmmmm….

So sometimes you can escape the pain point, but it will catch up to you…I promise. You can rush a client job or a newsletter or a blog post (not like I’ve ever done that), you can drink too much the night before expecting to be tip-top perfect at Toastmasters the next day, or you can keep blaming other people for your failures.

Can you be brutally honest with yourself, while at the same time, be gentle with yourself so you can more forward? See, pain points can be good for something.