I love to be in empty performance halls. There is a sense of quiet expectation.
While you are setting the stage, working on the last-minute details, all the people that will be sitting here tomorrow are living their lives. This event is one more item on their schedule.
So as you are preparing for this room to fill, how does your perspective change if you move from filling it with paying customers to filling it with guests?
If they are customers, they pay and you deliver.
If they are guests, they come with a sense of wanting to belong, of wanting to be welcomed. It’s okay if they have to bring some money, guests bring food to parties all the time, (particularly when it’s a potluck.) If they are guests, especially good friend guests, they are on your side. They want it to be a great time, they want to overlook the odd things. They just want to be part of the party, the event.
The more we treat them like customers, the more they expect perfection and the less they give us grace. The more we treat them like customers, the less we have to be nice to them, because the niceness is purchased.
The more we treat them like guests, the easier it is to be nice to them, because we are less worried about the price and more interested in the relationship.
Whether we are filling a concert hall or a blog or a hardware store, what if we thought about guests?
What do you think?