Arjun Sen – ZenMango

Marketing is a tough game.  The platforms are always changing, the initial costs can be mind-boggling and the whole market is filled with promises that no one marketer can really keep.
Enter ZenMango founder Arjun Sen.  You see, Arjun works on six main principles, mostly centered around how you and your business make your audience feel.  Nothing brings about motion, like emotion.
Listen as Arjun details his secrets to marketing success, including his experience working for some big players, like Papa John’s and Chipotle.  Also note that his big life change was when he decided to stop being a workaholic and became a dad first, business pro second.  The man has his priorities in order.

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Authentic Business Adventures Podcast


You have found Authentic Business

Adventures, the business program that brings
you the struggles,

stories and triumphant successes
of business owners across the land.

Past episodes of the Authentic Business
Adventures Program can be found on

the podcast link and

We are locally
underwritten by the Bank of Sun Prairie.

My name is James Kademan, entrepreneur,

author, speaker and helpful coach to small
business owners across the country.

Today we are welcoming/preparing

to learn from Arjun Sen,
the founder and CEO of ZenMango.

Arjun, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great and truly
a pleasure to be on your podcast.

And the two words I really like,

especially I like authentic,
but more important, I like that adventure.

So to me, life has to be an adventure.

And that’s the spirit,

because what I heard about your podcast,
that one word really put me on the spot.

That is the name of the game.

And I would love to say that I can take

credit for that, but I can’t. Actually way
back when when I first started this thing,

I had another guy that was with me and we
would well, the plan was that we would

both interview guests and just have
a few different perspectives.

He flaked.

So he left us with a good name, though.
So that’s good.

That’s super good.
And I’m glad you continued the journey.

So. You know, it’s so much fun.

You get to meet cool people like you.

And I learn I’ve learned a ton of stuff,
tons of little tidbits.

I’ve learned about some great books
that I would have never known existed.

I learned about businesses.

I mean, even with
ZenMango what you have going on,

I would have never known that that was
a thing or that what you do is a thing.

So it’s a learning experience as much

for me as for my listeners,
at least I hope for my listeners.

Absolutely it is.

So tell us then, ZenMango,
what is ZenMango?

Let’s start there.

So ZenMango.

You know, it started
when I was in the corporate world.

I was running marketing
and operations for Papa John’s.

And day after 9/11,

I realized I was failing in the biggest
job of life, which is being a dad.

My daughter was eight.

And, you know, you and I both have 24

hours in a day, which means we need a lot
of discipline on how we use the time.

And I was just putting all the hours
in my work life to move ahead.

And then I realized I was
a corporate corporate workaholic.

I feel let me do one thing right.

So I quit and consulting started as

what can I do from home
to be a dad? Like those days,

if you asked me to do anything,

I would have done it. Like
my first project was doing

some sales graphs

for a burrito chain
who happened to be Chipotle.

OK, can you do but can you do sales graphs?

Oh yeah absolutely.

And I remember those twelve hundred

dollars was the best twelve
hundred dollars ever.

So that’s the way that ZenMango evolved.

So today, the core of ZenMango is
that we are all in the feeling business

and you and I are feeling human beings
like human beings have feelings.

And that’s the part where I think

for a second is the reason I got excited
about the podcast was

you spent time talking to me before you
took me through your passion and vision.

And I came here

excited to talk to this amazing human
being who takes time out of day

not to create more value for himself,
but value for the rest of us.

And that, to me, made me feel good.

So to me, I really think it’s all about
the feelings because

in India there’s this amazing song where I
come from in the city of West Bengal,

where it says that if you paraphrase if
you write your name on a piece of paper,

you know, it will tear
the writing on a rocket will fade.

But if you put it on the heart,
it stays forever.

And that’s the reason I really think

in limited budget,
everything is all about feelings.

And we live by eight words.

Be human.

All right. Think human.

All right. That makes you feel human
and then act human.

All right.

And that’s what matters,
because you don’t have to be perfect,

because we are all human beings,
human beings, our imperfections that make

it because my daughter reminds me that
my left and right eye don’t match.

I’m like, wow, I’m not even

biologically symmetric.

So we are different.

And I really think being
human is so important.

So tell me, so the common
denominator there is human.

Mm hmm.
So can you go through those individually?

Let’s talk about be human.

That’s the essentially making mistakes
and learning from them, is that right?

And I think that’s the part where we just

really need to understand and put each
other in each other’s situations.

I’ll give a very simple example was

I was traveling to Phoenix and next
morning I had a flight at 6:00 a.m..

So I booked myself at a hotel close

to the airport and I just had one rule,
Arjun, 3:30,

get yourself out of bed and in the shower.
If I could do that

rest is auto pilot.

So I did that, but once I got myself

in the shower, I realized there was a
little sticker on top of the shower knob.

Which says turn the knob left and the lever

and I realized that at 3:30 that if I need

instructions to turn a shower on,
this is no ordinary shower, I try it.

And after five minutes I gave up.

I call the front desk and the kiddo
who was there was brilliant.

And she said, you know,
I’ll just pull it hard.

It won’t break it and then turn
it right and see what happened.

Then it worked.

So when I finally got to the airport,
I was sitting on the plane, I realized,

let’s say you are the boss,
I work for you.

You and I both know there’s a problem.

You, Sergeant, fix it out.

It goes and finds.

water-Resistant sticker,
that’s not easy to find.

And I put it out there.

But I never stayed in the hotel to

see what happens at 4:00 a.m.,
3:00 a.m. in the morning

if I cannot make a shower work,
I felt stupid, right?

So the customer experience is just
like to me, think for a second.

When was the last time you and I love

to go back to a business which makes
us feel not good, a little stupid.

And I just felt that’s the part where we
come and put yourself in the other

person’s positions is very important
because that is the core to start with.

Fair, very fair, yeah, that’s
it’s interesting how often I run

into business owners
that have never actually gone through

the journey that a customer would go
through with their product or service.

They just they never even thought about it

or and they never I shouldn’t say
that they didn’t think about it.

I’m sure that they have thought about it,
but they thought about it through their

eyes, not necessarily
agreeing consumer or someone that’s not

not aware of how things work.

And my most amazing boss played host

who just retired as chairman of Panaro
when I was working at Papa John’s.

He always told me that every week I would

I need you to leave the office
and be a customer to our brand.

And be a customer to two to three

competitive brands
and then be a customer to any other brand

because it’s one big connected world
and unless you feel where the shoe hurts.

You don’t come up with that solution,
you come up with the sticker on the shower

solution, which, you know,
you can fire me, I did something.

I said I saw it.

I spent company money, expensed it.

So but the origin,
the customer still did not feel good.

That’s what matters.
Mm hmm.

Yeah, that’s huge.
That’s huge.

I used to have this thing.

I think I still do have this thing

on my website deep in there somewhere
called Easy as Pie.

And the idea is that we
might call answering service would

essentially call a business and whatever
business you told us to call

and just let’s you know,
gives you a report on how easy it was to do

business with you.
Because the rule that we have is confused.

customers don’t buy.

And so if it’s confusing or if it’s
difficult to do business with you,

it’s probably going to be
missing out on some opportunity.

I love that.
I love that.

We take for a second

how many times you and I walk
into a retail place or a restaurant

and we do not know once we
take a first step where to go.

This is just like if you came to my place
with your family for,

you know, an evening out
and you came in and you have no clue what

to do, like you don’t know to go
very soon, you make a U-turn and you leave

by saying you don’t like you
have to see yourself there.

You see, you belong there.

You are welcome there.

You are comfortable there
because that is very important.

It’s like a date if the date
starts by being uncomfortable.

And I love what you just talked about is

that whole being making it easy to work
if the date starts with.

If I was single and let’s say my wife is

sitting across, we are still single
and she looks at the first five seconds,

what the heck am I doing
with the goofball?

Of course, you get the fake phone
call and say, I have to go.

The world needs me.
You know, I need to save the planet.

I’m like, surely, you know?
I know.

And that’s what I think is
I think you are on that.

That’s huge.

So is the idea of a Zen manual that you

help people with that, that you walk
through that process with them?


So I help them connect
to the customer feeling.

Some of it is what everybody
does is we try to find 14.

but you know what happens is.

There are three parts
to seeing the pinpoint.

Most of us get very excited when you see

the pain point, but I really push
people by saying pause right there.

Seeing beyond is the first
and the most important step because.

What you saw and you are putting on your

website with that question is what most of
us don’t see and that makes you special.

One of one seeing beyond
is where you get rewarded.

And if you don’t see beyond that the very

beginning, you get into tunnel vision,
you solve the problem that happens, OK,

if your faucet is leaking,
I can send you a faucet.

But that doesn’t solve you need the water
leak to stop

and water to flow from the faucet,
to me, taking a solution doesn’t work.

So the second thing then we go
through is what you see beyond.

Is don’t just offer an experience
or solution, take it all the way.

To make the person feel good,
like if I worked as an electrician,

my job is to make things not happen.

I come home and do things and I clean

and leave late to the point where if
it’s your home, your family comes back.

What happened?

I was just there because nobody needs
to know about the drama of what happened.

Like, that’s it.

You feel good that you
solved the problem yourself.

And that’s the part where
that feeling is so important.

That’s the reason why even in today’s
world, you know,

if I walk in with the shoe cover, mask on,
gloves on and everything else,

and before I leave,
anything else I can clean?

Can I take the trash out or anything?

I’m going to the trash anyway.

Makes you feel good that I
was a good friend, right?

I know the part is which is very critical.

Most of us, even when we get an idea,

we jump, but pause if you pause again and
just push the idea and make it bigger.

Because a bigger idea,
the rewards are exponentially huge.

Mm hmm.

And that’s the part where,
you know, recently.

I was going for a Face-To-Face

presentation for the first time and I
realized the back of my hair needed

a little backdrop and, you know,
so I just do my own haircut now.

I was I put some color in.

And then I dozed off,
and when I woke up literally this side

of the face, I felt like I was
in Phantom of the Opera, OK?

And I literally wrote a blog
about I couldn’t show my face,

so I tried nail polish remover.

It doesn’t work that nobody
should ever try that.

It burns, but nothing happens.

I called the store, sells beauty store.

Samantha picks up the phone
and she knew my problem.

She said, come over, I had the solution.

I’m like, OK, I go there,
still not believing her.

I walk in, of course,
with my face recognition and the bozo

she had ready for me the product and says
before you buy I a few samples,

go to that corner and use
that mirror and see if it works.

I go there, I put it on and it work nice.

I tried like it was beautiful.

I think if she stopped right there,

it was, well, what Samantha being super
Samantha, super soft and stop their.

Then she said, and, sir,
there’s this extra thing, this is a very.

Nice smelling good for your skin,

it’ll just, you know, the rash and
irritation that happen, it’ll go away.

Just use this.

Of course, now I trust her,
I put this on and I just felt amazing.

And that extra step now for a second

uninstalled was six dollars,
ninety nine cents.

Wow, what was six dollars?
Ninety nine cents.

She’d give me 25 cents a free product.

So much attention.

I felt special, like this was
the first time I come back to the car.

I have never, ever used the mirror,
which is on top.

I even built a mirror down,

looked at my face, looked to make sure,
wow, you look great, man.

But that’s what making that idea
because it is in your heart forever.

And every time I get a chance,

I shamelessly talk about
these guys because.

No friend of origin or
you should go anywhere.

And not get treated,

this this was like a royal treatment,
and that’s the bigger, the bigger.

Yeah, it’s interesting,

I was having a conversation with someone a
couple months ago about how we feel that

that customer service has just

been slowly dwindling,
I just the thought of treating a customer

well or just doing things that we probably
consider common sense,

you just look around and you think,
what in the world, why is this not being

taken care of or why is this stuff
either being forgotten or presented weird

or just the dialogue that you
happen to have with some people?

Just getting a thank you
or have a nice day kind of thing.

Kind of seems to be in some cases,

a thing of the past
that we are becoming efficient.

And that’s the part where, you know,

let me put you in a real life situation,
you and I are best friends.

We grew up together.

You texted me by saying, Arjun,
I need help.

Can you call me?

If I tell you that, I’ll put you
on a call back and I’ll call you.

When it’s your turn,

that’s stuff, that’s not a good
conversation with them, no.

So this is what happened to me this

weekend where we will tell you
that your call is very important.

All right.
I know.

I know.

So this what happened to me this
weekend is I’m not very tech savvy.

And all of a sudden in all my home alarm,

everything that had put in
this started malfunctioning.

I started getting alarms, everything else.

So these guys, I thought I called them,
so they told me I’m number one seventy

eight and they’ll call me back and
sometimes the call takes till next week.

Wow, I cannot wait like that.


And finally, when they finally called me

and I’m just looking at by saying I don’t
want to miss this call because, you know.

So this guy told me that he
need to change the batteries.

I’m like, OK, I’ll change
the batteries already.

He said, oh, it still didn’t work.
I said, no.

He said he wants to work cheap batteries.

This and no, I didn’t buy batteries.

Like, I I’m just getting defensive.

Like, my wife’s right there.

She’s like, oh, do what you
said, you stay out of it.

Used to think it was a kiosk.

So finally, I had enough.

OK, I go to a different company,

buy this stuff and not next day know
I want to disconnect the services.

So the person who was there tells me,

so you still have to pay for one month
because we have a contract, says, OK.

But, you know, I went to a very bad day

yesterday and I was a customer
with for five years.

Shouldn’t you just forget
the forty five dollars Cheslow?

I can’t.

I said no in the contract was that will

call me back like in three hours
later that you added so discloser.

And finally I just played the card because

I still believe in that
customer is all powerful.

And I just say, can I
talk to a supervisor?

And she says, I am the supervisor.

I’ve said, are you the CEO of the company?
She said, no.

I said, OK, can I talk to somebody else?

Because I just have this urge to share.

She said, yes, you can, but.
I can assure you,

most probably nobody will call you back
because this complaint of yours is not

worth resolving because
you’re leaving anyway.

I just like I just said, you know,
thank you, because in my whole life

of customer experience, I have never felt
this kind of disregard ever.

I even asked her, like,

would you be able to talk to me like this
if this happened, let’s say at a retail

store, customer service where three
other people are standing around?

You wouldn’t.

Like the very fact we are having the one

on one conversations,
that’s the reason this callback,

they think as your best friend, you say,
Ogen, I pick up, drop everything and call

you buddy now because I
didn’t mean on your terms.

Not I’ll call you this week.

Maybe next week like that doesn’t work.

And then if you are unhappy,
come on, 40 dollars.

That’s all it took.
Or even they could have said nicely.

I’m so sorry.
I can do it, you know.

Good for you, have a good day,

but that’s the part where you really
nail that we are becoming more.

About efficient.

But not understanding what it
feels to be on the other side.

Yeah, it’s interesting because I don’t
a lot of the times that I run

into businesses that have
what I would consider to be

less than we’ll call it,
even remotely good customer service,

I don’t really think
they’re that efficient.

I think maybe they’re cheap.

So maybe they’re hiring a little bit

of the B team and they’re not giving
that many training of any kind.

And so you’re hiring people
that maybe just don’t get it.

The customer service thing.

And then you’re not
training them to get it?

Mm hmm.

And then the result is
frustrated customers

and arguably frustrated employees that I
imagine there’s a lot of turnover.

And to me, I think, you know,

the example, the way you broke
it down, I really love that.

And this really helps me understand

that it’s a step beyond because if I was
the founder and owner of the company.

And if I it’s the visionary and the leader
defines why we exist in the business.

And to me, if.

Customers leaving with a wall is not

important because of that, as you said,
I’m not hiring the right people,

I’m not creating the right,
you know, the right way.

I’m not lining them to what
is their empowering them.

That becomes the huge challenge.

And that’s the partner with any business.

You start also by asking
who your customer is.

Why are you there, because you have to be
one of one like

you can survive in this business world
by being another service provider.

It has to be a niche where you are
the only person who offers that right.

Otherwise, you become a commodity.


People go for save 20 cents.

And you’re gone.
And finally, the thing is,

we must all have this very clear picture
of what every customer gets every time.

And when they leave what they feel like

going back to again, I can’t
talk enough about Samantha is.

Some anywhere else I would have left

with a product, which I would
have thought it worked.

Samantha made sure I left
with the product that I know works

and I got it from a person,
I use the word not lightly.

I was fortunate, lucky and blessed.

To connect with Samantha and again,
most early in life,

I would not see her ever again,
I wish her the very best and everything

in life,
but that interaction was purposeful

and brilliant and wow that I think
I cannot stop talking about her.

I spent six ninety nine.

She’s got to raise your price.

I’m telling you, she needs to charge
more for the smile she has given me, so.

Yeah, especially a guy comes in there

with a bunch of stuff on his face,
you can fix this problem.

He’s not shopping around.


And to me, I think this is huge,

like when we were buying our car,
we bought a car for the goofiest reasons.


So my wife and myself with a little dog,
Yuki, we had gone to different dealership,

blah, blah, blah,
everywhere is a bait and switch.

Tell us about, you know,

we were looking for a one to two year used
car with a low mileage everywhere to go.

It’s like, yeah, we had
the car just got sold out.

So I’m like, OK,

so finally we’re tired and we stop

at the last dealership
literally close to our house.

And I’m just sitting there and they just
had the car, which, you know,

they told me they would have,
which was a surprise,

and all of a sudden my wife,
who is sitting at the lobby of the lounge,

takes me by saying,
you need to come here right now.

Are you OK?
She said, here, come home right now.

I go there and see the service manager

has brought a bottled water,
chilled and iced

another doggy ball and was put
in the water for our little dog, Yuki.

Oh, nice.

And I have to take a picture and I just
felt for somebody who sees

and feels this way,
not only is my wife a bottle of water,

I don’t think our dog Yuki’s
ever had a bottled water.

OK, so this was the worst in his life.

But that level of feeling made me realize

when these guys have that kind
of a heart and a feeling.

This is the person I want to do business
with, so it’s not just six ninety nine,

you know, this is of 30,
40 thousand dollar car.

But it’s in both those cases,

it’s all about feeling like it’s feelings
are so important for us human beings.

And that’s the part I just want to show.

That is just what it doesn’t
matter how much you spend.

Feelings are always important.
That’s fair.

That’s totally fair.
Let’s dip into the think human part,

because I was I was kind
of mulling that in my head.

What does it mean to think human?

Think human to me is.

If you have a challenge.

You come to me because.

You expecting me to solve the problem?

OK, so not only do I put in that position,
but I also start thinking what exactly?

Do you need

this in this particular case?

Samantha started feeling by saying this

guy will come in,
he talked about a presentation.

I need to show him
that this search stops here.

He doesn’t have to go to five other stores

because most probably would have gone
to other stores by three other products.

See which one works.

And of course,
the interaction and the allergies would

have just, you know,
made my other side of the face too bad.

But that’s what she taught.

For me.

And took the problem to beyond a solution

and that connects to the third one
is feel human,

because then she started looking at is
what should I feel when our needs?

Because she could have been a great sales
person and told me, this is the best,

this is my favorite, blah,
blah, blah, everything else.

No, she showed me.

She proved to me it works.

And then she gave me the extra soothing
think, oh, I still can feel it.

It was perhaps like that feeling of I even

told a girl, you are a she said,
Arjun, you know.

She had a smile.
I said, I love the absolute love that I

can start to tell my wife
about you and how amazing you are.

And I think that thinking for me.

And finally, feeling that as my best
friend, where do you want to take me once

those to happen,
then you act and it’s so easy.


I like that, I like that,
and that takes us to the act human part.

There’s some.

There’s some humans that are acting
in different ways, so how do you mean it?

So to me, I just think
that’s the part where

that’s the part that part
goes beyond business.

OK, that’s the part.

It’s about simple courtesy.

It goes back to the golden rule,
how we like to be addressed.

The most important thing, again,
there is pausing for each other.

OK, so today when we start the podcast,
just to make me feel comfortable,

you took extra time five to 10
minutes before you were here.

OK, you paused for me.

That’s just it’s just like if you invited
me over to your place with our families

to come over, you would have taken time
to get ready and collect that extra time.

Posing for me is very important.

You order to retail or a restaurant
or a hospitality somewhere.

The manager comes in and says,
how are things?

Everything OK?

Most of the time these are
like California stocks.

They don’t even stop for you.

It’s like the person
goes like, Are you OK?

Wait, wait, wait, wait.

When you ask your friend,

are you all of a sudden meet you
in the grocery store, I start.

I look at you eye contact.

Hey, how are you?

And we sleep OK, kids, OK, this OK?

I ask not to check a box.

I asked not to come back and tell
my wife I met my friend.

I asked how is my wife’s
like how they do it.

I don’t know.

I just asked him
and he answered, fine, fine.

What is it?

OK, if there was anything wrong,
he would have told you.

But that’s this lack of caring that
on the other side I would have come back

and right away said, you know,
not only that their son is now doing this

and you need to talk to his wife
and also both of them,

like they are doing this new
refinishing on their dining table.

They’re so excited we should go.

Yes, because I care.

And that’s the human part is delivering
has to be done at a human level.

You know, the example I gave you
of the alarm company, everything else.

I’m not telling them how to do business,
but a very simple things are

even when you say no, I understand no
means no, they are running a business.

But don’t make me feel bad about not

make me part of you, you know,
and you’re a reasonable human beings.

That’s the that’s the core is that be

reasonable with me because once
you get that stubborn Arjun out.

You triggered it.

I want to be understanding the customer

always wants to be understanding,
and that’s the part where being human,

if you act human, the customer also
treats you like a human acting.

You’re at a restaurant and they forgot
to bring you something you ordered

a few minutes later,

the manager comes running by saying,
hey, I’m so sorry, you forgot.

Not only that, we give you a full portion.

And if it’s OK with you and we get free
dessert, you choose for the people

you know, you right away said,
no, you don’t have to.

But that’s a good you didn’t have to.

And that’s what human beings do.

Yeah, I like to think that it’s
very interesting, it’s a.

It’s a good observation.

It seems like there’s that’s a lost art
to a lot of people

I mention even sometimes myself,
you just get so in the zone.

He has so many plates that you’re spinning

as sometimes I imagine I’ve probably taken
customers for granted, not intentionally,

but just throw an email that says,
hey, how’s it going?

And if I don’t hear a response,

I just assume everything’s
well without any follow up.

That it would be interesting to just say,
hey, I guess without being creepy right

here, I heard from you,
how are things going?

And I think that’s the part where
boundaries are very important because,

you know, just like if I was
single and I was dating my wife,

I can just send her one message.

And if she doesn’t respond,
maybe one more.

But that’s it.

And then I should have got
the answer by saying, you know.

She doesn’t like me, but right here

she’s at the side of the fence,
if only she saw this side

the way Samantha helped me help me.


it’s all over the seat.

But, you know, I work I work with some
sports personalities, too, in branding.

And one of the top golfers
one time taught me.

That in life, it’s all
about that one thing.

That you need to focus on at this instant.

So this incident for both of us,

we have turned our phone off everything
because this is all that matters.

He explained to me that when he walks,
he feels every part of the grass.

When choose.

He choose the government,
that’s all he does, he feels like, oh.


When he sees the ball in the line,
for a part, that’s all he sees

when he sees a target,
he sees everything to the point.

He says, OK, not the least bit bigger
or the grass gets bigger.

The target.

And that’s the power of focusing
on that one thing at any point of time,

because I think for a second, if you and I
both worked as baristas at a Starbucks.

It’s not an easy job because on a given

day, I don’t know, maybe fourteen hundred,
you and I each make 14 so far.

Fourteen hundred people together.

That’s surreal to me, that blows my mind,

but on the other side,
if Arjun comes as a customer.

I only will come to Starbucks
only once today.

With that white cop, with the green logo,
an obscene amount of money and feel good.

So to me,
from the employer’s point of view,

I totally understand
that it is one of many,

but to understand from the customer’s

point of view, it’s one of one
that if my let’s say I’m allergic

and I cannot have milk,
I need to have, you know.

Almond milk.

If you don’t if you make the mistake

and the problem that happens,
I understand you’re still at 99 percent,

but for me, 100 percent
of my orders failed today.

So that’s the whole part of, you know,

we put that, you know, just push brands
is one customer at a time.

That’s the way you build your business.

You know, most of us that’s so it’s like
to me it’s all about, wow,

that one person falls for that
person when you’re in front.

I even talked to some
amazing hospitality brands.

This is what to do if you and I are having

a conversation,
the general manager,

instead of just walking past religious
parties and once he has eye contact

with you, he’ll talk to you
and smile through the eyes.

Oh, interesting.

And as he talks to you,
he will never lose eye contact with you.

All right.
This last part really was well.

When he makes his exit visualize,
he makes his exit over your shoulder.

That means he walks past you.

He doesn’t turn and show his backside.

Oh, he is a showman.
I know.

I just was like even.

So to me, I’m not a psychiatrist

or psychologist,
so I don’t know how it works.

But what I felt if somebody
goes into that much care.

It makes me think, what else is this guy

doing great acts, the kind of person
takes service to that level.

Even like.

That’s where you could vote over and over
again, because that’s the level it’s

the flip side of what you
and I were talking earlier.

These are people who care to that level.

Mm hmm.
Yes, interesting man,

the little things that you can do that
really, what does it take for him to go?

Let’s just say to your left,

right past you that waitress’s
instead of showing the backside.

So, yeah, I mean, it’s a steps

mArjunal at best for what he has to do.

But the value to it
of what it gives you from an emotional

point of view is
on the verge of priceless.

Ultimately, I’ll give you another example.

This is, you know,
like any time I go to a grocery store,

if I ask for something I’m usually
told I’ll four bottom left.

I’m like, yeah, and that’s
like the treasure hunt.

Scavenger hunt.
I never been OK.

I don’t even fight.

OK, and then recently I
was at the grocery store.

I was just asking for, you know.

Coconut, you know, any kind of you have
frozen coconut or something like that.

This man says, I think I know what,
let’s figure it out.

I’m like, OK, so he walks.

He actually goes and he said,
I would have told you I’ll 14 bottom left,

but there’s nothing in that story
somewhere else right now.

There was a different scavenger hunt

because I know this guy
is not going to stop.

He showed me the frozen Candice’s the.

You know, when I left that day,
I felt if I walked in the store.

And if my key performance indicators was

how many steps I have taken
with my customers

because we are all step conscious,
like the 10000, like we are on structure,

we can use the same mindset inside.

Like today you have taken

fourteen hundred steps and you
are the champion all time record.

Tomorrow I want to give
fourteen hundred and one.

And every step you take with the customer,

as you mentioned earlier,
is like the small things.

But to me, it’s a bit like I come back

and again, you know, I’m very insecure,
these things make a big difference.

I have to tell my wife,
I guess what I make.

My new best friend,
Chad and Chad walked with me

in the grocery store and found
me three kinds of coconuts.

They said she’s like,
you didn’t buy all that.

I had to

choose you. You buy, what would we do?
I said, I don’t know.

Let me call Chad and find out what

I had to buy, what he showed me,
how he put the effort in.

And you know, that’s here.

That’s cool, that’s very cool.

So how long have you had an Mengel?

It’s after 9/11,
so it’s nearly 20 years now.


So things have changed from a.

From an ability for even just

the different channels for where
you can market ultimately.

OK, so what type of businesses
do you typically work with?

You mentioned some some professional
legalities, sports personalities.

And to me, I think.

You know.

For a small band like ours,

the best marketing is putting a heart
into every customer every time

because it’s the word of mouth
and the references that take us beyond,

it’s very tough for me
to market myself, you know.


we are doing some social media and a few
things, but it’s it’s tough,

it’s tough to break through
and that’s the reason I just find

that every opportunity you get,
you just wow that customer.

Because to me, I really think
that’s the biggest opportunity is.

We don’t work for only brands,
we work for the individuals that’s there,

and I also understand if
you give me a project.

You’re not hiding a set,
you don’t have a backup,

which means your career depends
on my success and what we do right.

And and that’s the part where I take it
both for the brand and for the person very

seriously, because you give me
a position of responsibility.

It’s like babysitting.

You know, you’re going
to say that I followed this.

Did the CPR know my job is to get
the baby back to you with a big smile?

All body parts, no fingers were
damaged, nothing like that.

That is very important and I think taking
the responsibility, that’s the way that we

are building the business
as we go through.

You know, times are tough at times,
but somehow I just feel that there’s

enough goodwill that helps you
to bounce and come back very strong.

Yeah, I would say every business has ebbs
and flows, whether it’s a typical

seasonality or a left hook of 20 20 at
some businesses had to take on the chin

or arguably we all had to take on the chin
cause you just have to adapt and move on.


And I think that adapt and move on is so
important because that’s the part where

you always have to even when you’re small,
you have to evolve constantly.

Oh, constantly.

Yeah, absolutely.

It’s like if I was today iPhone 12,

I have to always invest to be iPhone 13,
14, 15, because otherwise especially

for a smaller business
being branded as yesterday’s solution.

Is a disaster, is a disaster,
and again, this is not my concept,

somebody taught me and you
must have also heard about it.

Most of us is what I have learned is

to constantly evolve this
concept of Fab Fabulous five.

You need to because you and I
alone cannot get there.

There are thought leaders
who need to hang out with.

So who are the five people
you need to hang out with?

Oh, I have not heard of that before,
and that’s an amazing thought process

to me, that I want to learn social media
and find the most amazing person ever.

And I want to be an apprentice
with that person.

And because that’s the part which is very

important, is the best way
to evolve is having that.

Those five people you watch
them from goes learn.

And after some time you evolve and then
you just say thank you to one of the five

and then you add somebody else
on a different dimension.

Those five are very critical because.

For you to get to the next level,

the skill already exists with somebody
maybe in a different industry.

Instead of reading books or anything
to invent, why don’t we just,

you know, and the same day be on somebody
else’s Fab Five do so it’s all about

giving and taking, but both are parallel,
but giving also you evolve.

Interesting how I guess
I’m familiar with the theory,

but I haven’t heard it like
the Fab Five like that.

So that leads to the question,
how do you find those five?

How do you find the people that are

that are the professionals that you’re
after when there’s a lot of people

saying that they’re professionals
and after you chat with them or spend some

money with them, you learn you’re not
exactly the the cream of the crop.

Talking about Friede,
this is not big money.

So to me, I just oh,

this is the part where, you know,
when you and I connect, I right.

We realize that there’s something you do.
Mm hmm.

And that’s the part where I just ask you,
first of all, what can I do to help you?

And can I tell you as a mentor, please,

because to me, I think that’s the part
where very important is I will take time.

You know, I sign an NDA,
I just assist you in a few meetings.

I want to see how you operate.

And, you know, to me,
for example, you know.

There’s this incredible gentleman called

Chad, and, you know, we both know Chad,
Chad, the coconut guy.


And so Chad with Skrillex, I think,
you know, I’m talking about Chad.

Oh, sorry.

Chad could be a coconut guy, too.

But, you know, he doesn’t
share that with me.

But when I met him, what I realized was.

He knows how to connect dots.

He knows Chad knows
he doesn’t just give you a link,

a solution with checks,
boxes by saying I connected you.

He knows at the end
how to connect it to the business.

And he also understands
that the long content.

Does not create the best reach.

So he and his team sat with me to help me.

With my contact.

You know, I had a little.

Pride about I knew, but I don’t know
how to market myself, I don’t know.


you know, that’s that was the part where I
really right to be when I realize this is

a guy who connects the dots, I just am
hanging out with Chad in any way I can.

And that I also to add value every chance

I get, I keep voting him
by saying, what can I do?

Just seeing him from clothes has been such

an incredible journey as you start going
through and those are the people who have

to find and they have to have
a blend of functional skills.

And also personality blend because.

You know, because without the personality

it’s very tough to connect with people,

you have to connect with these
people at a very deep level.

Mm hmm.

Interesting, I like that.

OK, so I’m taking a different direction,
I look at I want to ask you before I

forget about Zen Mengel,
I got to ask you where the name came from.

I’m so glad you did it all.

Initially, we were called restaurant

marketing group because they came from
restaurants, was working in restaurants.

Well, that is two different
feelings right there.

I know, I know.
And it could have got worse.

Also, when my clients left restaurants,
I had to get a new name.


My daughter was 13
and she had just been nominated by at Age

magazine at the age of 13
to be 40 under 40.


When there was this classic day.

Yeah, I am so proud.

Like, that was this amazing date.

We are all sitting my team in my basement
talking about what the new name would be.

And we are coming from worse than
that strong marketing group.

We are coming like strategic marketing
group, like squared and circular names.

And then my daughter comes and says,

Hey Dad, if I give you a name,
would you buy pizzas for Joey and me?


Ten minutes, that’s all it took.

Ten minutes later, she comes in, you know,
the little kid goes to the

easel and she writes there on the
right, but not that ZenMango.

And then just hear me out.

She says in.

Rhymes with our last name scent,

and also it puts you in a position
of superiority, it just tells you wisdom.

I’m like, oh, I like this already.

She’s a dead mango.

I added, because mango is
the world’s fastest growing fruit.

And also the colors allow you

to keep the current orange colors
at the restaurants restaurant market.

Not bad.
And then she had also drawn a mango

and put that side by saying
that you always awesome.

I even put the things out
in the mango to build that.


But being a dad.

I could not believe that.

When we were struggling to.

Anything started, this kid just
comes to the finished product.

I said, OK, we’ll think about it.

In my team was very smart, she said, hey,

you know, she bought them pizzas
and she said, Arjun,

this is such an amazing name
that it’ll take us years to appreciate.

And what she told me I never forgot was
every time we would tell the story.

Older you get.

You feel good associating with the name
because it came from an amazing origin.

Right, and so to me, every time I

talk about ZenMango, I don’t
trade the story every time.

I’m so glad you asked.

It just makes me feel that, you know,

to me, my daughter is 26, she’s in
Philadelphia, she’s coming home to speak.

But every time I talk about that man,
I just connect with my amazing princess.

Of course, she doesn’t like
to be called princess,

but it just is an amazing connection.

And I’m so glad she gave us the name.

That is pretty cool.

And just when you’re talking about

feelings before,
it’s so interesting that the names

and mango brings all these feelings
and restaurant marketing group.

If ever there was a name
that was commodities.

I know.
I know.

Oh, yeah.

That’s that’s night and day.

We group even used to call us
Orangy like who are really.

I had no clue what I was thinking so.

Oh wow.

That is painful to think about.

That’s so interesting.

I know something,
it’s interesting because you see

I like to joke with people on the colors
or the the names of the colors of paint

or the names of a microbrew
or the names of some new app.

They always come up
with some weird old name.

They make up a word, they add a zero
akua next to it and they call it good.

And you’re like, what is that?

What’s then main goal, I guess,
the first time that I heard that name.

I think I still got the impression

that you were in marketing and I
didn’t even know anything about you.

So it’s kind of interesting,

I have no idea why,
but, yeah, that’s a way cooler name.

This is way more memorable.

Thank you then.

Restaurant Merklinger.

I can only imagine somebody does a Google

search and a restaurant
marketing group there.

Like I said, I now regret
telling the story to you.

You’re givingthe monologue.

And I say, look,
this is the beautiful part about

the authentic part of authentic
business adventures.

Because the idea like I had a company

called Dodgems, it was
a French repair company.

We had more than a few people call us

to see if we could ge their wedding
because they thought that James was a DJ.

I don’t even know how they came
across us, how they found us.

I don’t know if they went to our website.

They would clearly see we’re not DJs,
just that name alone.

We had people I actually had to reach out

to a DJ and I said, hey,
we’re getting these phone calls for DJs.

And I don’t want to tell them,
no, we’re not a DJ.

I want to say, no, we’re not a DJ.

But here’s the DJ.

So I just got this guy’s name.

He was cool getting free
referrals, you know.


And you just having just ask them
if you have a dial in your face.

I can also connect you to some

extent of Samantha.

Oh, that’s awesome.

So I have a question for you.

Fire away.

We talked about the word adventure.

but I also want to talk about the word
authentic because to me that is such

an important thing, not just in business,
but life to everywhere.

Like so many times,
even in dating profiles of my single

friends, I just look at they put
a picture of them from 20 years back.

I said, Do you realize you
meet this person?

Hopefully you’ll ever meet.
It’s not you.


Help me understand authenticity
like you guys put it in the name.

So it’s so important.

So we come from and how to be authentic.

Like I really have to ask that question.

So I’ll answer it with the story.

A short story, because that’s
the easiest way or best way.

This is a we’re on one hundred and forty
whatever episodes, so we do one a week.

So let’s just call it two.

Two and a half years ago,

a person that I know in business,
I invited to be on the show

and he’s going to come on the show two
days before he says, hey, James,

can you just give me a list of the
questions that you’re going to ask me?

And I replied back, no,
because I don’t have a list,

because I just tell you,
it’s just like we’re going out for coffee,

we just happen to have microphones
and cameras on us at the time.

Then it was in a radio studio.

There wasn’t even a camera.

And he’s like,
I really want to be prepared,

so could you just come up with some
questions and give them to me?

And he was is pretty persistent in asking

this, I’m like, all right,
if I make you feel better, whatever,

I’ll put together some questions
and then I’ll email them to you.

The show happens and I’m thinking, oh,
man, I actually got to ask him

the questions that I told
them I would ask them.

So I asked them the questions and he
had a prepared answer.

I’m like, oh my gosh,

this is the driest interview in the world
because this guy practiced his script.

There’s no authenticity about that.

He probably bounced it off maybe his

employees or his wife and said, hey,
can I say this or how should I word this?

I’m not a focus group.
Oh, my.

Yeah, right.
You went to a focus group to figure out

how to respond to James’s questions,
and it was so dry.

It’s still up there.

I don’t want to tell you which one it is

because I don’t want
to make the guy feel bad.

But it was interesting.

I’m just in the studio thinking
I got to throw this guy Curveball.

I just got to ask him something that was

not in the script and just
see what happens.

And it went way better because

at that point we were probably 15,

20 minutes into the interview
and he was comfortable.

You know, he’s in his chair,
he’s got the microphone set and we’re all

good, even though he’s having his
little memorized, scripted dialogue.

So I think I just asked him a question

like, when was the moment that you decided
to quit the job and start the business?

Because everybody, every entrepreneur has

that moment when they’re just like,
I’m here, I want to be there.

I got to I got to cut some ties here
and make that make that happen.

And when I asked them that,
then it went much smoother.

So the intention of the word authentic

was to point out or maybe bring
the stories alive of the failures,

as well as the successes
with the people that we have on the show.

And also he talked about is this becomes
like a real conversation if you and I met

for coffee to a common French
connection we would not meet with.

OK, before we meet James

Hitchins, you will ask me
tell me what those are.

And these are the four things
like I have a podcast, too.

Nothing like yours.

And, you know, and I give
some of the questions.

And what was funny was this
one guy says, Yeah, Ergin.

The next question that you’re supposed
to ask me, I can vote together, OK?

I don’t know.
The person raised me one time,

but at the end, you know,
he came so prepared and I just was running

a little late because some of that
suspect long sentence was rapping.

He said, no, no, no.

There’s one more question you asked,
which I didn’t answer up, go for it.

And it just becomes because
I totally get it, because.

How important authenticity is,
because I’m so glad.

Thank you for answering that.

Yeah, it’s a huge it’s a huge deal.

I guess the whole point of the podcast

was the one to help existing
entrepreneurs grow.

Mm hmm.
And also to help people that are

considering venturing out on their own
in whatever business that they’re

to take the leap to take that bold step,

knowing that there’s no such
thing as an overnight success.

Anything that you can look at that you
believe to be an overnight success

probably took at least
a decade, if not more.

And what it looks like is even though.

You are carrying it on in a conversation.

You process things so fast and you drop

these one liners because I’m going to
literally listen to this and write down.

No, listen, in the last one minute you

talked about in every entrepreneur’s mind,
there is that one moment there is.

And that’s such a powerful thing.

That’s such a powerful thing
is sometimes we forget.

And to me, that was very important

that when I look at the this everything,
I just went backwards.

You no, I did this to be a dad first.

Right, though I cannot change the key
performance indicators of the goal line

right now, because I really think
that those one liners,

zingers from you are so important
that even though it’s an authentic

adventure, it is not about both of us just
walking anywhere, everywhere.

You just have a master plan.

And I love the way you
bring these one liners in.

And that, I think makes the adventure not
only fun, but also worth going through.

I appreciate you saying that.

Well, it’s so much fun.

So much fun.

I know of well,

I guess I don’t know of that many business
owners that are not enjoying themselves.

I like to tell them you’re
not enjoying your business.

You’re the one that built it, man.

So you can get either fix it or get out.

What was the whole point
of starting your business anyways?


You want to spend more
time with your daughter.

So that was a priority to you.

So if your business started to take more

of your time so that you couldn’t,
you got to fix that

because that’s that’s going away from the
whole point of starting the business.

I feel like a lot of times entrepreneurs
just give a signal right there.

If your business is going away from your
purpose, you are the person to fix it.

And the name of the game
repeating what Jim says,

that business. Right?
That’s the name of the game.

The rule is it’s not obvious to everyone.

Like what you’re pointing
out is not obvious.

We blame everybody.

And that’s the reason I love this
discussion is and I don’t use love,

you know, casually, it’s it’s a cool
discussion that those one liners from you

are amazing nuggets that trigger
thoughts in all our minds.

Yeah, we get a.

I don’t I guess the the rule is that if

they give people
content as fast as possible regs,

they don’t have the they
don’t have the attention span

to pay attention to more.

But, yeah, I appreciate you saying that.

They’re fun.

It’s, um, it’s so interesting.

You say that the blame thing
mentioned the blame thing.

I was teaching a business plan class way
back when you could teach in person

and people that would come up
with the excuses for why they either

wouldn’t start their business or
wouldn’t grow their business.

Man, it was so amazing how many
excuses they can come up with,

I’m like, in the end you’re the owner,

but there’s there’s no
man for you to blame on.

You are the man.

So a woman or whatever,
like you’re the person,

and one of the things I have found is
many time excuses come in on a journey.

Where we do not know
what the first step is.

And once you take the first step,
it’s so much easier.

And then you also don’t have a clear

picture of the last step, because the last
step is the reason we are doing this.

And I’ll give an example is I also try

to help people somewhat,
not at that scale you’re doing, but.

Sometimes you don’t put
the mirror on ourselves.

I wanted to start a podcast for the last
three years, I found every possible reason

why not to do a podcast like
the personal give you excuse.

I can beat that person any day with
like they were goofy are excuses ever.


But then what I found was I needed
to find that fab, find that one person.

And I needed that person to help me take

the first step
and also have a clear vision

on what the last step would be,
because once you have the last step,

that means once you take the first step,
there’s no stopping.

You have like once you start a race
and you know, and you feel what it feels

like to cross the finish line and,
you know, feel that deep that the hole

just for you and you just like I did it,
there’s momentum, momentum.

So those are the two things.

Any time there’s an excuse,
I push people because it’s you know,

we are human beings, again,
like it’s OK to be scared, you know,

because inertia is very important because
what we have not done before

and that’s the reason I think
that first happened, the last step.

And people find

that excuses like now I don’t even
remember my amazing podcast excuse.

I think I had one hundred
and one of those.

Butthey’re gone.

They’re in the same place with restaurant

marketing group like you have to remember
where you’re spending your time coming up

with excuses instead
of making something happen.

Yeah, the same amount of same
amount of brainpower.

Or more.

Arguably more.


And you’re always with the thought that,
you know, they’re incomplete.

That failure in your mind stays
with you and it defines you

until you try.
You don’t know whether you fail or not.

If you don’t try, you’re a failure anyway.

Oh, absolutely, yeah,
yeah, I’ve had certain business decisions,

arguably quite a few business decisions
that were not the greatest in the world,

and you just dust yourself
off and move on, right?

Yeah, just get up one more
time and get knocked on.

I see another one like
dust yourself and run.

I should listen to it, right?

I should be like your
sidekick on your podcast.

I’m serious.

these men get to shave your
hair and put sunglasses on.

I can do that, too.
I just.

Oh, that’s funny, Arjun.

This has been a lot of fun.
Truly my pleasure.

Truly my pleasure.
How can people find you online?


Just go to

That is awesome.

Is there I guess what is the target market
that you’re after as far as businesses go.

So to be primarily in hospitality,
restaurants, service industry.

But the bigger challenge to me is

any business, anybody, even if you are
B to B or B to C, at the end there is a C

and for C, that customer being a human

just to connect the dots and show you how

you can be successful
in the film business.

I really think I get goose
bumps when brands get it.

Sometimes it rises.

Results in a new tagline,
a new way of delivering service because.

Humans, you know,
it’s like we are at a creative best

when we find that new technique,
that new thing literally.

This part is very cheesy, but I feel
that inside makes action inevitable.

And we as humans are amazing,
but it’s all about that first domino.

Once together, we can push
that and nudge that and then to see

how everything falls in place and then
better experience, better everything.

It’s really fun.

I love it.

So Arjun, that’s A-R-J-U-N, correct?


This is super cool and is your
podcast on that same website.

Yes. Very cool.
Very cool.

Will have to send some listeners over your way.

That would be an honor.

It doesn’t hurt. How often
do you record your podcast?

I try to do it once a week.
All right.

But I’m not novice compared to you.

This is my first year.

I just have crossed 40 episodes.

Just started it.
Your probably four times,

at least for most people
to start podcasts are doing so.

Yeah, but I’m the guy who had hundred
million excuses over two years.


you are not alone there.

This started as a potential radio show.

Oh, man.

Eight years ago.

So this has been stewing in the back

of my head for a long time
and I just I stumbled upon a local radio

studio here that would
let me do a show and it just.

Blossomed from there.

this is little things like that that can

contribute to the momentum sometimes
even when you’re not looking for it.


So, yeah, it’s just
this is the way it goes.


Well, thank you, Arjun,
this has been Authentic Business

the business program that brings you

the struggle
stories and triumphant successes

of business owners across the land.
Coming to you, Arjun.

I don’t even know where you are.

Where are you where are you at today?
Denver, Colorado.

Denver, Colorado.

Denver, Colorado.
I love it.

And I am in Sun Prairie.

And this is underwritten
by the Bank of Sun Prairie.

If you’re listening to this on the web,

please, like, subscribe, share, comment.
Do all that stuff to bring on other new

listeners, because that’s how
we keep making new podcasts.


My name is James Kademan
and Authentic Business Adventures is

brought to you by Calls On Call offering
call answering services for service

businesses across the country, on the Web

As well as Draw In Customers,
Business Coaching offering business coaching

services for entrepreneurs
in all stages of their business.

On the Web at And of course,

The Bold Business Book,
a book for the entrepreneur in all of us

available on Amazon and wherever
fine books are sold.

We’d like to thank you our wonderful

listeners as well as our guest Arjun Sen,
founder and CEO of ZenMango.

Arjun, why don’t you tell us one more
time how people can find you.

Go to

Also Perfect.

Find us airing locally, way locally at

103.5 FM
Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m..

Sundays at 2:00 p.m..

And you can find us online

of course, we’re on YouTube. And past
episodes can be found morning,

noon, and night at the podcast link found

Thank you for listening.
We’ll see you next week.

I want you to stay awesome.

And if you do nothing else,
enjoy your business.




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