8221 Brecksville Rd, STE 205 Brecksville, OH 44141
The Power of a Story In a Hungarian Goulash Cook-Off
prairie,”where herdsmen would eat it as they drove their cattle to Europe’s biggest cattle markets inVienna and Venice. We told the story of howwe went to the HistoricWest Side Market in Cleveland at the crack of dawn to get not one, but four (!) different cuts of beef from local organic butchers and cooked the concoction for six hours on low heat, adding the hand-cut vegetables and meat to it slowly. That we scouted for the biggest pot and wooden spoon we could find tomake this wonder. That we carefully transported it and drove an hour to finally be able to present it to the honorable audience.
Laz and I had relatives visiting us from Europe this summer. I don’t get to see my aunt and uncle or their two daughters very often, so we were excited—not tomention jealous of all the time off European employees get! Anyway, we heard of a Gulyas cook-off happening at a nearby Hungarian club in Hiram, Ohio, and we thought it would be great to sign up to create memories together with our extended family. If you are not sure what a Hungarian goulash is, it’s kind of a soup or stewwithmeat. What Laz and I didn’t knowwas that my aunt, who happens to be a fellow accountant in Hungary, andmy uncle, who is a minister in the church, are also foodies who would take this contest very seriously! On the day of the cook-off, as we started handing out the samples to the horde of visitors and judges, we realized that not only were there 12 other contestants, but we were likely the least experienced. Other families had Hungarian décor around their station and were handing out appetizers and homemade brandy. We only had our 7 gallons of goulash. It dawned on us that every goulash would taste good, so there was no way to win this competition based only on taste! By the time the visitors tried 12 different bowls, they wouldmost likely forget how the first one had tasted, and they would not knowwhich goulash to vote for at the end. But we really wanted to win in order to crown this day with the glory and the memory of winning at least one of the two first-place prizes! The only thing that we could do at this point was tell the audience the“story”of our goulash. We told themhow this was a family effort. That my aunt and uncle were here visiting fromHungary and had brought with them authentic Hungarian paprika and other spices. That the family recipe had been handed down through generations and was an authentic one originating from the“Hungarian
Needless to say, after telling the story a hundred times, everybody knewwho we were and the story behind our goulash! When it came to voting, they did remember us, and I’mproud to say that we won the people’s choice award (and second place by the judges)! We all know that story-oriented thinkingmakes us better at selling. A story immediately adds some warmth and humanity to our message. And an amusing story will probably help us stand out among our competitors! Our family will have a lastingmemory of multiple generations from across the globe coming together for a fun day, and Laz and I have another reminder of how powerful stories can be when it comes tomarketing and selling!
–Borbala Banto, CPA
P.S. Somany of our clients who follow us on Facebook (@BorbalaBanto) asked us about this“award-winning”goulash that we decided tomake a batch the next time we host a live event. You don’t want tomiss it!
1 (440) 340-1030
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