What Salsa has Taught me About Life

I stumbled on a metaphor for life the other day.

I’m trying to lose a bunch of weight. I’ve been slowly increasing my presence on Earth for a long, long time. My doctor suggested that I should help my liver out by getting back to a healthy weight so I’ve been watching what I eat quite a bit, and basically limiting myself to salads, except at breakfast.

I stumbled onto a dish that consists of scrambled eggs, salsa, and spinach. It has strong, great flavor, eggs, and salsa complement each other nicely, and I’ve been having it most days. But I travel for a living. If I’m at a Courtyard hotel, they make this “frittata,” but this week I’m not staying in a Courtyard, I’m in a hotel that has a kitchenette. So I decided to grab some eggs, spinach, and salsa and just make it myself in the hotel each morning.

Which I did, and although the dish is still enjoyable and not horrible to eat, it’s utterly dependent upon the quality of the salsa. The salsa I bought was little more than diced tomatoes – bland ones at that.

It’s always about the quality

While eating my eggs, spinach, and bland salsa, I realized that life is very much the same.  It’s all about the quality of the salsa.  You see, the salsa is what gave the whole dish it’s panache.  It is the defining feature of the combination, it brings it all together.  So if it’s lacking, the meal is lacking.  Heaping more salsa on didn’t help, either.

It’s not about the amount of something in your life, it’s not about the details of how it was made, what it’s made of or how it came to be, it’s simply about the quality of the idea, the quality of the adventure, the friendship, the ingredients, etc.

When I look at my life, the key moments, the key things in my life have always been about quality over quantity.

Quality and weight loss

It’s also a decent weight loss strategy. I’ve found that if I enjoy the flavor of something, even if it’s extremely low-calorie, I am satisfied much more than if it was just bland. I don’t feel the need to go eat something else because it’s not about hunger to me, it’s about satisfying my taste buds.

This just reinforces my search for quality in my life. In everything from my coffee to my cars, quality is a critical factor in my choices. I think I’ve inherently known this, it just never facilitated itself in my mind so clearly until this week, and some really bland salsa popped it into my head.

Such is life. Now, I’m looking forward to Sunday, which is my weekly shopping trip, to grab some variety and find some salsa I really like because honestly, up until now, I’ve been buying random salsa because of its price alone. This week I’ll spend time looking at ingredients, looking at organics vs. non-organics, calories, etc. And while cost will be a factor, it will not be the deciding one.

Salsa for sales?

Again, there’s a lot to be learned out of this simple metaphor. I sell software, and my goal in positioning my software is to always meet the customer’s needs, and even a little more, but that requires me to understand more about my customer and their processes. As we go through these discovery sessions and I get to know them, I’m able to sprinkle bits of interesting, relevant stories throughout the product demos and discussions. Because what I’m trying to do is show them the quality of the product and how that will affect their business more than other products. I’m trying to be the best salsa, but I’m also trying to help them realize how important quality is over other issues and features. This way, cost becomes much less of an issue, because I can’t really control how much my software is sold for, there will always be a lower cost alternative, and trying to beat the competition on price is called a “race to the bottom” in which no one wins, even the customer.

I may even start now by telling them my story about salsa to illustrate quality. It’s worth a shot, it sure worked a number on me.

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Photo by Dennis Klein on Unsplash

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