“It’s simple. I just remove everything that is not David.”
That was Michelangelo’s response when the Pope asked how he created such a magnificent piece of work.
As I gazed up at this statue in Florence this week, I thought about clients. Clients who panic when asked to slow their work to create space to build the next level of their business. I did it last year, when I changed my business model. The revenue dip was cringe-worthy. I took out a loan.
But, I was inspired by the story of Michelangelo.
He, at all of 17 years old, would steal away to a local charity hospital in the dead of night to study and dissect corpses to learn the human anatomy. His first project was a statue of Hercules. Nobody had commissioned him. He started the project himself. When he finished, he got 100 Florins from the Strozzi family.
Then he made a small cupid statue. Then Bacchus. Then a youthful Virgin Mary, holding the body of Christ.
He learned of an abandoned piece of marble baking in a Duomo backyard. Two sculptors had tried to carve “David” but failed. Michelangelo lobbied for the work. He knew he could make something special out of it. All of the projects before this changed him. Mentally. Emotionally. Artistically. He was ready for a 10x jump. Michelangelo tackled the block and worked on David for 2+ years.
He worked in seclusion.
He barely ate or slept.
When Michelangelo finished the statue of David, he got 400 florins for it. The most he ever made. It was displayed in the Palazzo Vecchio as a symbol of Florentine pride. Soon commissions from nations’ leaders and governments started to flood in. Three years later, the Pope asked him to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Michelangelo removed all the ‘noise’ in order to create a magnificent piece of work. And it paid off in spades. Dr. Ben Hardy talks about this at length in his new book “10x vs 2x.”
Download this PDF on how I slowed down at moments in my career to build a powerful personal brand.