What’s Your Angel In The Marble?

“I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free” Michelangelo

We are all artists of our craft. We see what is possible when presented with even bet-the-business client troubles.

We see the angel in the marble.

So why is it so hard to see it in our own businesses sometimes?

Hey, I find “angels in the marble” for a living and I still make plenty of mistakes working out my own branding.

It’s hard to see and do for your own self, even if you do a bang-up job for your clients.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been camped out in our new home, organizing the work that must be done before we can actually move in (somehow I have turned into a general contractor, but that’s another story).

It’s a 4-hour round-trip commute when the LA traffic gods are in a good mood, so I decided to simply stay and live and work through the mess.

My first task? Clearing the space so the flooring people could work their magic. Which would normally be easy with a new purchase, but in this case we bought from an estate and ALL the property conveyed, down to un-opened packages of light bulbs and toilet paper.

We started toting things off to Goodwill, but that moved too slowly. Bringing furniture to consignment was problematic (I drive a 2-seater) and the local charities either don’t pick up larger items or don’t want them.

So I turned to Craig’s List and ran a bunch of ads offering up our stuff for free.

The response was immediate and a bit overwhelming—over a hundred replies in less than two hours.

Yes, it took me a full day of “meetings” every hour on the hour to get rid of all of it, but every single person saw the angel in their marble.

A pregnant mom took a media cabinet to turn into a changing table. A family of five took the patio set for the backyard they’ve been trying to finish, but lacked the funds for. Another family of teachers took a desk and a monitor as well as supplies for one of their favorite non-profits.

When the last car finally left and the house was empty is when it hit me.

Here I was in an empty house, ready to start our new adventure. Without all that stuff around me, it was so clear what needed to be done to make this space into our home.

I started seeing angels in that marble.

And when I went back to our old space so the work on the floors could start, I had a visceral urge to unpack boxes I’d already carefully packed with our “treasures”.

It took seeing an empty space and living in it for a few days to realize how little we really need (and of course how gratifying it feels to give away the rest to people who will cherish it).

Less is more.

The same is true when it comes to branding and marketing and running your consulting/advisory business.

You can’t see the angel in your marble until you get rid of what isn’t serving you.

Start small: try eliminating one thing—just one thing—that isn’t working in your business.

And see if that angel doesn’t start appearing.

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  • Been through that space issue and love how you handled it. Great analogy to building and envisioning one’s practice. As my own practice developed when I first left government, focus and sharpening was definitely an evolution. It showed on my website as I limited my focus and “offerings” to reflect what I do best.

  • Rochelle

    Thank you Corey! Sometimes it’s more about what we are ready to let go…

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