It’s December 31st, 1:58 pm just hours from a new year and I am confined to my bedroom with kids home from school and hubby at work in our home office, it’s the quietest space in the house. PJ’s still on, blonde wig hanging from my side table, coffee and water on deck, my favorite Spotify station, Brain Food, is playing and I am finally in my zone. At the end of every year I am intentional about recapping and sharing my thoughts with my tribe about the coming year, but things did not go quite as expected. The last week and a half has been surreal! On the 20th my dear friend and Financial Coach in the network, Kristina Buhl, text that said, “Remy just died! I need your prayers!” I jumped up and went immediately to her side! Her fiancée suddenly passed away hours after we met virtually to chat about her role as a Contributing CEO Chicks 2020. Flash forward to Sunday evening while cooking dinner for Kris and the family, my assistant calls and says, “My car just caught on fire!” WTH is going on!?
The last 11 (SN this number has been following me for 3 months, hmmmm) days have been beyond challenging! I am, and always have been extremely empathetic. Growing up I thought something was wrong with me when I could not handle watching the news, scary movies or intense stories with traumatic story lines. It was as if I could feel the persons pain, like it was my own. This sensitivity would later be the basis of my prayer life and spiritual development. Strongly tied to the gift of compassion, that moved Christ to operate in miracles… I realized people's pain is what moved me so strongly to operating a solutions-based business model. Every business or organization I have ever been a part of was tied to solving a problem.
Problems, challenges, pain points… What do you do when life throws you a curve ball which busts you in the head to the white meat, all on the day you were scheduled to close a million-dollar contract? While on your death bed you get word, they went with the next bid… Wait it gets worse! Months later, while on the verge of recovery, your spouse says they can no longer handle the stress of the finances and health issues, so they let you know they filed for a divorce while you were in therapy? WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN LIFE IS SEEMINGLY BEATING YOU DOWN!?
One of my greatest teachings this year was titled, “The Burden Comes Before The Bag!” Did you know nothing always comes before something?
If you were fortunate to face challenges this year then you have an opportunity to take the lessons you have learned and apply them in 2020! The longer I live, the more I see pain as a necessary part of progress. The cries and questions of, “why me?” or “what in the world was that?” The random distasteful experiences and uninvited circumstances used to create a true desire for answers. From the time the pain is inflicted up until the time of your rebound, the process has a way of developing something greater in you that only God could get credit for! With God as our guide, we can come out of seasons where we once fought for our joy, sanity and strength.... to become wiser, stronger, and full of unspeakable joy on the other side!
2019, for many, was like a woman expecting. Every contraction, every fainting breath brings her closer to the birth of her child. 2019 was a transition year, full of pushing thru pain both personally and professionally. From great amazing highs to sudden almost unbearable lows!
Personal pain points us to areas of our lives that need attention. Pain can be an indication of:
Areas of ignorance - Pitfalls we constantly trip up in because of a lack of information and wisdom. I often use the comparison of a baker who is great at making desserts but struggles when it comes to operating the bakery. Why? Due to a lack of business acumen. The recipe required to bake the cake is totally different from the recipe required to run the bakery.
Areas where we are insecure - These can be emotional scars that date back to our early development. Battling with our “imperfections” that bring about feelings of rejection or hurt. This pain point is a tricky one, it’s the enemy that lies in me. It is how we view ourselves that can hinder us from walking into the very spaces and platforms we desire.
Areas where we need grief management - Our ability to deal with loss. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a marriage, job, finances or a home. Pain from loss takes such an emotional toll that it can affect us physically. Lacking appetite, energy, high or low blood pressure, etc...
Areas we need physical healing - When our physical bodies are ill, lacking proper nutrition, hydration and exercise. Pain in our body can highlight what we need to work on to live healthier lives.
Areas we are fearful - This is probably the most interesting pain point I know. Fear of the unknown, it grips people’s decision-making abilities leaving them paralyzed and stuck in dry seasons. Pain sometimes must come to move us out of our comfort zones.
Wheeeeeww! Just writing this takes me back to moments of my process, break through is not pretty. Like the birthing room, it is messy, painful, bloody and eventually BEAUTIFUL! Being self-aware is key to getting to the root of your personal pain points so you can begin working through them immediately, avoidance is the enemy to your process and progress. Working with women for several decades has really taught me how to know when someone needs therapy more so than coaching. Read my blog “She Needed a Therapist…” here!
Let’s discuss pain from a professional viewpoint…
Professional pain points us to areas in our business that pose a problem to our potential and existing customers. Indications of these can include:
Financial: Your potential client may be shopping to save money on the products and/or services you provide. Surveying your current audience to gauge what their expectations are can help you price competitively and still win!
Productivity: Your potential and existing client wants to be productive. They want to avoid wasting time. Having simple yet thorough processes in place should make the engagement efficient and convenient.
Systems: Your potential and existing clients want consistency even if they are inconsistent. Process and procedures are necessary to creating consistency for your customers. Processes lead to “perfection” not in the sense that you have a model or system that is without flaws, but one that has greatly minimized them!
Support: Your potential and existing client want to feel valued. Too often we are highly engaged in the sales and closing process but not in the long-term servicing of our clients. Customers need access to support at critical stages of their customer journey. Learn to value old customers just as you do new ones.
Viewing customer pain points in these categories allows you to start thinking about how to position your company as a solution! PROBLEMS PRODUCE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES! With the use of surveys, social media, studies, data, you can further understand the needs of your customer.
I am a firm believer that business is personal! Understanding both your personal and professional pain points can really help you to be aware of the problem at hand and find a solution. Ultimately you will be the better for it! 2019 was a year to build for us here at the network. I was fortunate to travel the most I ever have, to book the most paid speaking engagements I ever have, it was record breaking! I also invested the most I ever have, experienced the loss of a major contract that looked like a sure thing! Nevertheless, I have great expectations that 2020 will bring great proof that the pain, sacrifices, and even disappointments experienced were not in vain.
The greatest reward for any visionary is the manifestation of their vision.
We want proof that we heard from God, proof that our big ideas are valid, proof that we were right to pursue our dreams! I believe 2020 will be a time of moving from potential to possession, from dreaming it to living it and I am ready to see it, are you?! Here’s to a goodbye, farewell to 2019 and a big hello to 2020, CEO Chicks are ready!
CEO CHICK FOUNDER,