How a Papercut Can Change the Way you Explain your Business

How a Papercut Can Change the Way you Explain your Business

You’re filing papers in a hurry, and suddenly you hear it.


The unmistakable sound and stinging feeling of a paper cut.


With a paper cut, you feel the pain and check if there is blood. You immediately apply pressure on it from another finger and do the I-just-got-a-paper-cut face.

The paper cut may make you wince and sometimes even curse, but in a minute or two, the drama is over. The pain is gone. You get on with your life.

But, imagine if the paper cut actually severed your entire finger… what would you do if your finger actually got sliced off?

You would freak out!

After the initial shock, you would realize that the most important thing at that moment is to grab your finger from the floor and get to the nearest emergency room to have your beloved appendage sewn back on.

You would quickly seek professional assistance to solve this kind of a problem.

Now you might be asking… what do paper cuts and severed fingers have to do with my business? Let me explain.

Most entrepreneurs describe the problem that their businesses are solving in a way that causes people to feel like they experienced a paper cut. It stings, but there is no pressing pain, urgency or long lasting impression left afterwards.

To be effective and persuasive, entrepreneurs must describe the problem in a way that makes someone me feel like a finger has been chopped off.

Now, hear me out.

I am not trying to be macabre, but entrepreneurs must understand that people need to feel the urgency of solving their problem as if they’re missing a limb or experiencing vital organ failure.

Instead of telling people what you do, focus on the problem that you are solving. Make them feel the magnitude of the problem so they need to fix it immediately.

This intrigues them to the point that they become curious about how you solve this problem. They will ask to hear more.

Once you can succinctly get people to understand that the problem is as severe as a detached finger, there is only one logical question that follows:

“Would you be interested in learning how to solve that problem?”

People want to solve painful problems as soon as possible. They will most likely be interested in your idea, or they will know someone with that problem and pass on your solution.

Remember, because you have only talked to them about the problem at this point, they will be curious about your method to solve it. You have now gotten their attention.

Entrepreneurs love to lead with what they do to try to impress their audience with a big idea. This is nowhere near as effective as focusing on the problem that you are solving.

Once you establish that you are solving a problem, your audience will naturally start to think of different ways that it might be solved.

As humans, we are built to solve problems. If we set people up with the problem first, then everything that we tell them after that helps them form a solution in their head. This gets them invested in our idea. They will now understand why we are doing what we do.

So remember, start with an ouch, and you will get their interest.


If you are interested in learning more about this concept and how to better communicate your message, sign up for an early copy of my 3-1-3 Book at

If you have any comments on my Paper Cut Theory, please share!