The Secret Ingredient

Not too long ago I observed a conversation online between this businesswoman and her followers… she’s from the UK and recently moved to the states. She was talking about this specific paint she had on her walks back home across the pond and how much trouble she was having recreating the same look here in the states. Apparently the specific paint brand isn’t available where she lives. 

As I scanned the responses, I saw post after post of almost identical replies… her followers suggested, “just color match it!”

They explained that she could take the exact color that she wanted to a store like Home Depot or Lowe’s and simply ask the attendant to make a paint of the same color. 

She was having the hardest time explaining to them that it wasn’t just the color that she needed… She had tried this “color matching” and the paints just didn’t feel the same. There were qualities that (although she struggled to pinpoint exactly what those were) were missing… 

It all boiled down to this fact: The ingredients of the two paints are not the same and it was obvious. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t work the same. It was lacking something. 

This got me thinking about two things. You guessed it- business and music. 

Business first: You know how there are lots of businesses that “do/sell the same thing?” You might even find identical inventory in two stores.. or two identical service packages on paper. 

Here’s the thing though.. we all prefer one over the other because of some ingredient that’s lacking. Sometimes we can’t quite put our finger on it. Other times (most times if you’re like me and know exactly what you want 99% of the time) we know exactly what that ingredient is. And while we might settle in a pinch, we are always headed for that preferred brand if we can help it. 

Now music: You know how there are lots of artists that perform the same songs? For example, I’m willing to bet a pretty penny that you prefer one artist’s rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” far above the rest *cough Jeff Buckley cough*. Now depending on your personal ability to systematically dissect a musical performance, you might be equipped to tell me exactly how one artist nailed it and why the others fell short… 

In both areas – business and music – I think the one single ingredient with the MOST impact on my experience is 

…drumroll please… 


You can’t “color match” heart. No matter the looks, the delivery is ALWAYS better if it’s got heart. If it’s there, you can’t miss it. If it’s missing, boyyyy can you tell, amiright? 

Business.. music.. it’s the same- best served with heart. Hands down. 

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