Recently, one night I chose to sleep in the guest bedroom. I realized immediately it was not a comfortable bed. The mattress was too soft, especially on the sides. Also, the blinds did not close all the way and streaks of light came through, straight into my eyes. I am usually a sound sleeper, but that night I could not sleep properly.

The next morning when I woke up, I felt bad about all the guests that have visited us in the past, how they all had a bad night’s sleep in that room. We could have done much better. I would have never realized how uncomfortable the bed was until I slept in it myself. I started calling friends and family who visited us in the past and asked them how their experience was. Most were taken aback by my question, but some recalled the bed was not very comfortable. But no one told me anything at the time because I did not ask them. To make amends, I invited everyone to come back and try out the new bed we bought for the guest bedroom. The blinds are fixed too. I am excited that I already have three promised return visits.

I never intended to provide a bad-sleeping-experience to my guests, but until I slept in the room I had not put myself in their position and hence never felt their pain. Once I felt the pain, remedial action had to happen.

This happens in the business world a little too often. Business leaders solve for the big problems but do not spend enough time being a customer to their own business; and that makes them miss out on feeling the guest pain-points. Once you walk the path of the customer, feel the pain-points; just like in my case of the guest bedroom, remedial action to get to a better experience happens nearly automatically. It also is fun and exciting to feel what guests feel.


Please ask yourself and your team the three questions to connect better with your guests. When was the last time you:
  1. Were a guest in your business?
  2. Talked to your guests after experiencing their pain first hand?
  3. Slept in your guest bedroom?

I have committed to do the last one every few months as it will continue to put me in the mindset of being aligned with my guests. The same way, in the business world, I must BE my customer, THINK like my customer, FEEL like my customer, and then ACT to take care of my customer. If I do not FEEL it, there is no way I can ACT from my heart.

On a different note, I want to share with pride and excitement the 100th episode of my podcast which was guest hosted by my incredible daughter Raka Sen. Triggered by questions only a daughter can ask a dad, this is a great conversation full of reflections, learnings from past guests, and secret stories about ZenMango’s origin. I want to thank each one of you for your support and encouragement to reach this mega-milestone and march forward to the next 100 and beyond.


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