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Kill Your Pain Points

About your pain points when dealing with customers and other people. Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to be able to unleash some empathic genie from a bottle and sic them on those pain points? We’ve been working on that dream for some time, and we’re happy to share with you the genie that eventually appeared to us.

Toward the end of our book Better Capitalism, we offer an introduction to that genie by way of an analogy. Here’s how it reads:

Imagine you are hiking through a beautifully dense forest. You sit down to rest when, silently, a creature vaguely resembling a human materializes before you. Without it speaking, you understand it wants to show you the difference between hell and heaven. You are stunned but curious, and not feeling threatened you nod your agreement.

You follow the creature with your eyes as it glides toward then around you. Standing and turning around, you see before you an ancient wood door surrounded by a stone doorway, as if these had been there forever. Just a door frame and door, which you can see behind is the path and forest you just traveled. The creature reaches for the doorknob, swings open the door, and beckons you to follow.

Stepping through the doorway you find yourself in a cavernous banquet hall filled with those large round tables common to conference rooms around the world. Sitting at the tables are people of every possible description and background, trying to eat the abundant food heaped in the middle. You quickly notice each person’s arms are longer than normal and mis-proportioned in the oddest way. From shoulder to elbow is half the usual distance, and from elbow to hand is three times the usual distance. The effect is that while everyone can reach the food, their arms do not bend in a way that allows them to bring food to their own mouth. Throughout the banquet hall what looks like and, is in fact, a perpetual food fight, is the result of angry and hungry people screaming and tossing food into the air and trying to catch it with their mouths, but mostly missing. Sporadically food lands in each person’s mouth, and occasionally there is an astoundingly obese person who has mastered the ability to catch food in his or her mouth.

Exiting the banquet hall and closing the door behind you both, the creature communicates, “This shows you hell, created by people with free will. Hell is here on earth and you need not look elsewhere for it.” Pushing the same door open again, the creature steps through and you follow. You both are back in the same room with the same people and their weird arms. Food is still stacked in the center of each table. The difference in this room is that everyone has learned to reach the food and use their long arms to feed each other. There is no food fight atmosphere, no anger or hunger, and although some have more than others, no one has less than then they can reasonably eat to be filled. The creature turns to you but it does not need to communicate anything because you say it aloud: “This is heaven, here on earth created by people with free will, and I do not need to look elsewhere for it.” The creature nods, bows, and disappears along with the door and doorway. In gratitude you resume a better journey with your new mindset.

This short analogy seeks to create an easy to remember visual. In the first scene are the relentless pain points of the present hell of doing business that we’ve labeled plantation system economics. In the second scene, there is the attainable heaven of doing business that we’ve labeled partnership economics. The difference, represented by the creature, is the awareness and application of the partnership ethic and mindset of mutuality that we introduce and teach.

We’ve developed a partnership ethic and mutuality mindset that is a significant asset in minimizing and resolving, if not eliminating, our pain points. That’s close enough to a dream come true for us to be satisfied. May we encourage you to get yourself a copy of Better Capitalism, engage with it and draw from it what you need to kill your pain points, and then circle back with us to tell us of your successes.

What about you? Share your story, question, comment, idea, disagreement -- yes, we welcome disagreement for the sake of mutual benefit! -- with us at We will give a thoughtful response, with prioritized attention to emails from our subscribers. Subscribe here >>

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