Today’s Thought: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I’m often asked how my career progressed over the past 3 decades, and I always start with where it all began…the EK Fernandez Carnival in Hawaii. Really. With Ferris Wheels, Tilt a Whirls, games, teddy bears and Cotton Candy.

The truth is – everything I learned about business, I learned under the big top tent.

My understanding of the power of a strong ‘customer experience’ was cemented in a single interaction I had with my first “boss” Linda — who happened to be the owner of the business, was the mother of one of my best friends in high school, and my first mentor at age 16.

I could see — what I wanted to be. I knew in some way business would be my path. I just didn’t know how my journey would unfold.

After college I went back to work for the family in Maui – It was opening day of a 15k foot arcade and I was the GM [at 22]. The ceiling had thousands of light bulbs to create the feeling of being under a big top tent at a carnival. Linda walked in an hour before the public was going to see it for the first time. She did her normal walk through to make sure everything was ‘just right.’ Before we opened the doors, she walked over to me, and said it all looked great except one thing… heart dropped, what could it be? She pointed up, and I let my eyes follow her hand as she walked away…what was it?

??? ????????? ??? ???. ??? ??????, ??? ????????, ???.

From that day forward, I understood that if we didn’t care about what the store looked like, if we weren’t 100% focused on the customer and entertaining families and children alike, why would they come back? It is a lesson I still apply today when talking about the power of CX. It is all the little things that add up to a great experience.

What was your first memory of something you still think of today?

Thank you Truist for asking me to be on the cover of your Leadership Institute Magazine, I was honored to share my story.

If you’d like to read the entire interview, please do here.


  • Tiffani Bova

    Each Day Trying to Make a Difference

    Tiffani Bova is the global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce and the author of the Wall Street Journal Bestselling book Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business (Portfolio), she is on Thinkers50 list of the world's top management thinkers. Tiffani, a top influencer in Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, the Future of Work, and Sales, is a regular contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marketing Matters on Wharton Business Radio - SiriusXM in addition to a variety of industry-leading podcasts on sales, marketing and digital business. Her own podcast What’s Next! with Tiffani Bova has became one of the top 100 business and management podcasts on iTunes in 2019, and won top Sales and Marketing Podcast by Top Sales Magazine. Tiffani was also recently recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s 37 Sales Experts You Need to Follow on Twitter, a LinkedIn Top 50 Sales Influencer, a Brand Quarterly Magazine Top 50 Marketing Thought Leader, and one of the most Powerful and Influential Women in California according to the National Diversity Council. Bova is a highly sought after keynote speaker having delivered over 300 keynote presentations around the globe to over 300,000 people on sales transformation and business model innovation.