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Building a Small Piece of Greatness

I've recently become interested in history, which was one of my least favorite subjects in school. Last week I watched a documentary about the Medici family, the rulers of Florence who served as patrons to many of the great Italian artists, including Michelangelo.

When we look at the great works of the old masters, we don't necessarily appreciate the scale of time it took to create each one. David, one of Michelangelo's greatest works, took him four years of near-daily sculpting. Four years for one statue.

Learn to Get Things Done

I have a group of friends that I have dinner with every Sunday. One of them owns a chocolate factory / cafe called Dandelion Chocolate, and another owns Three Babes Bakeshop (side note: best chocolate and pies ever, respectively). Once in a while the conversations swings to business, and the rest of us get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a brick and mortar.

Last night they were talking about hiring more people, because both of their workloads have increased during the holiday season. The one skill they specifically sought: the ability to actually get things done.

People email me once in a while for advice, which I like to give if I haven't overloaded myself with other work. A good portion of those emails make it clear that the person has no idea how to just get things done. They ask questions whose answers would be immediately obvious upon any amount of independent investigation.

It's funny to me that in this age of computers, people have become computers themselves. Most are able to follow instructions, but as soon as anything even slightly out of the ordinary comes up, the person freezes and waits further instructions. And if there are no instructions, nothing happens at all.

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