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At the age of 26 Michelangelo created what is arguably the most recognized statue in the world. It has also been called the world's greatest statue. "David", the 14 foot marble masterpiece, depicts the Biblical hero David patiently waiting for battle with a slingshot in one hand and a stone in the other. 

According to Wikipedia, the commission to create this sculpture was competitive. Although Leonardo da Vinci and others were consulted, Michelangelo at the age of 26, was awarded the contract. The Cathedral Commission purchased the stone which they called "The Giant" and on September 13, 1501 Michelangelo began to make his masterpiece.

The tale is told that Michelangelo stated, "Sculpting David was easy. I just chipped away from the stone anything that did not look like David."

The Coronavirus crisis has once again put a "giant" stone in front of us. Many previously booming businesses now appear to be nothing more than unusable blocks of business stone. Competitive careers that had been creatively carved out, have now been cruelly carved up. 

Despite this devastating disease, I believe your best days can be ahead of you. I believe your "Michelangelo Moment," your personal and professional masterpiece, is in the making! The contract has been awarded to you to carve out your new compelling career or dream. 

Here are 3 things to "chip away during this crisis" while making your masterpiece:

1. Chip away all negativity. 

 Jack Nicholson in the movie "A Few Good Men" is a relevant role model for us. He "had neither the time nor patience" for negative noise. 

The late T. Boone Pickens began his career broke. He built a billion dollar business from the ground up. That business went bankrupt. He built a 2nd billion dollar business. He never budged from his belief that anyone, anytime, anywhere can rebuild and rebound. 

Jim Rohn states, "You are the average of the five people you spend time with." Chip away people who pull you away from positive thoughts and all the possibilities of creating a new path forward. 

2. Chip away old and outdated ways of thinking. 

Companies like Blockbuster and Polaroid have become synonymous with catastrophic business collapse. Their business burial stones might very well read "refused to change during competitive crises."

Conversely, many of the best businesses today were born in bear markets (GE, IBM, Microsoft, and Apple to name a few). Times of crisis can create new competitive champions. 

Forward thinking leaders like Aziz Hashim, who is managing partner of NRD Capital and owner of Ruby Tuesday, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, and Frisch’s Big Boy, are coming up with creative concepts to drive new revenue streams. Hashim’s "Host Kitchen" concept facilitates connection between new restaurants with low-risk strategies. This will drive incremental new restaurant revenue and create opportunities for challenged restaurant owners.

Be willing to walk away from previous thought patterns that might pull you away from promising new pathways. Innovate and pivot. Be receptive to change. Be responsive to new competitive climates. Be ready for new business barriers. Difficulty does not have to mean defeat. 

Chip away any and all thoughts that might hold you hostage. 

3. Chip away anything that doesn't look like your dream. 

The best of beliefs and businesses are often formed and forged in times of flood, famine, failure, and even times of ferocious flu viruses. 

It would take Michelangelo over two years of tedious and tiring sculpting to shape his magnificent masterpiece. He chipped away anything that didn't look like David.

I believe your new personal and professional masterpiece is in the making! I challenge you to chip away anything that doesn't look like your dreams. In doing so, you might very well discover new dreams and recover old ones. 


Topics: Goal setting, sales productivity, business planning

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.