The Eight Hidden Life and Business Lessons in the David and Goliath Story – #CoffeewithColm Episode 180

Most of you know the story of David and Goliath, how a puny teenager overcame a 9ft Philistine Giant with a sling and a stone.

A handful of very important, but largely hidden, details leading up to the moment of truth caught my attention recently and I feel the need to ‘think out loud’ over coffee for myself, as much as for anyone choosing to tune in.

Goliath thought he was invincible and projected this confidence onto the Philistine army while simultaneously instilling fear into the hearts of Saul’s army lined up opposite.

For forty days there was stalemate, with the big guy mouthing off and the Israelites quaking in their sandals.

David was the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons and as such was put upon by his older siblings. The three eldest had gone off to the war, leaving little David tending sheep.

One day Jesse, the Da, says (pardon the Dublin and Limerick vernacular, but you get the gist)…

“Here Daithí, would y’ever go check on the three big lads at the battle. Take some bread and grain with ya.”

“No bother” says he and off he goes first thing next morning.

When he got there he was all excited so he threw the bread and grain into the supplies tent and ran to the battle lines to see the brothers.

“How’s it goin’ lads?”

“What are you doing here, ya little twerp? This is no place for a mere boy.”

“Just havin’ a goo…”

Next thing, yer man Goliath comes out again giving it holly, mouthing off. Usual stuff;

1 Samuel 17:10 “… This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.”

David was in awe.

To find out what happened next and to learn the eight hidden lessons in the lead up to the big moment, watch the six-minute video, listen to the six-minute podcast or read on below…

David cannot believe no one is stepping up to take Goliath on.

The men around him started talking amongst themselves.

Soldier 1: “I hear whoever kills this gowl will be worth a fortune, get to marry the princess and never have to pay taxes again as long as he lives!”

Soldier 2: “G’wan! Seriously?”

Soldier 1: “Just sayin’ like.”

It’s so outrageous that David thinks he has misheard, so he asks the guy to repeat…

“Whoever gets rid of your man, gets loads of money?”


“Gets to marry the princess?”


“Never pays tax?”

“That’s what I heard.”

At this point, David’s eldest brother is getting the pip.

“What are you at y’eejit? Who’s mindin’ the sheep? You’re only wastin’ time hopin’ to see a good scrap.”

“Whaat?” says David (elongating it as only teenagers can) “Oh, I’m not allowed to talk at all now, is it?”

But talk he did. He turned to some other soldiers and checked out the rumour.

  • Riches? Check
  • Princess? Check
  • No tax? Check

David ran to find Saul.

“I’ll get the giant for you.”

“But you’re only a youngfella.”

“I might be, but I’ve saved many’s the sheep from lions and bears – killed a few of them an’ all with me bare hands.”


“S’true. And I’m a big believer in the Big Guy upstairs. Keep me safe, He will.”

“Right so”, says Saul “What have we got to lose?” (secretly thinking nothing, except perhaps this youngfella!)

So Saul dresses David in his own armour; big tunic, coat of armour on top, bronze helmet on falling down over his eyes – think of a little girl playing dress-up in mammy’s clothes – getting the picture?

David is not only looking it, but feeling stupid as well.

“I can’t wear this. It’ll only slow me down.” So he got rid of them, got back into the clothes that made David David, grabbed a few stones from the river bed for his pouch and stepped out from the line of soldiers.

Goliath laughed at him.

1 Samuel 17:43“…Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head….

47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

We know what happened next…

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

Job done.

Fame and fortune.



Zero tax.

Let’s look at the eight hidden lessons?

The Eight Hidden Life and Business Lessons found in the David and Goliath Story.

  1. “They” tried to tell him he wasn’t able. Not just Goliath, but David’s own brothers. Oftentimes it is those closest to us that remind us who we are, where we come from and therefore our notions of grandeur are just pie in the sky. Giving family the benefit of the doubt, they just don’t want us to get hurt or disappointed as we chase our dreams. Some people are just downright jealous though. He ignored the ‘Committee of ‘They”
  2. He networked. He didn’t sit at home wondering. David got out there into the field of battle, ear to the ground, found out first hand what was being said
  3. He did his due diligence to make sure the rumour mill had the story straight, he checked the facts by asking around.
  4. He stepped up. Straight to the king and said, “give me a shot.”
  5. He was prepared. Bears and lions. Keeping his sheep safe. He knew he could handle himself. He was confident.
  6. He had Faith. He believed in a Higher Power. 7 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
  7. He was enough. He didn’t try to be anybody else. When he stepped into Saul’s armour, he realised it felt wrong and that if he was to succeed, the only way would be to succeed as himself, not a caricature of someone else.
  8. He moved froward at speed and purpose. Once he knew what his mission was, 48 …David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

Eight great lessons for us all hidden in the detail leading up to the victory that we all know of since day dot, the story of David and Goliath.

What is the current Goliath you are facing? Perhaps it’s a physical Goliath, or a relationship Goliath, or a financial Goliath, or a career or business Goliath.

Regardless, apply the eight lessons…

  • Don’t let the “Committee of They” stop you.
  • Get out there and meet people.
  • Do your homework, check the facts.
  • Step up.
  • Be prepared.
  • Have a little more Faith.
  • Know you are enough.
  • When you move, move fast and with purpose.

Thanks for thinking with me.

Yours truly.


Watch | Listen | Read | Think | Act


Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:

  • Let Go and Let God. Click here.
  • Stop Selling, Start Serving – and watch the MAGIC happen – click here.
  • Don’t let the “Committee of They’ steal your dreams. Dolly Parton didn’t. Here’s how – click here.

HIRE ME TO SPEAK. Consider me speaking at your event, launch, awards, or as your after-dinner keynote. Find out more here.

WORK WITH ME OR THE COBM | SOUNDING BOARD TEAM. Need help with your business? Check out the areas I and The Sounding Board of trusted experts can assist with. Find out more here.

FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by yours truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.

DEEP DIVE. If you would like to go deeper in your own personal journey, you can review the first step in my “12 Steps to Create the Life You Really Want” for FREE. Check it out here.

LINKEDIN. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.

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4 Responses to “The Eight Hidden Life and Business Lessons in the David and Goliath Story – #CoffeewithColm Episode 180”
  1. Noreen

    A super Sunday morning start, plan for the week, fulfill your dare to dream project/s . Will read this more,and print this to take my fearfull moments away.have a plan let’s do this. Omg give me courage. Thank you

    • Colm O'Brien

      Hi Noreen. Sorry for my delayed response. Thank YOU for your honesty. Here’s to a courageous new decade! Happy New Year. Colm

  2. Helen McArdle

    Hi Colm,
    I love this story it reminds us that skills are learnt by repeated mindful practices. David had perfected his ability to use the sling shot as lethal weapon to kill predators.
    The advantages of size can often hide disadvantages. Scientists question weather Goliaths extreme hight was caused by acromegaly which also causes double vision and nearsightedness and would make it harder to fight David up close.

    • Colm O'Brien

      Hi Helen
      Sorry only getting to this now.
      Thanks for the considered response. We learn something new every day!
      Happy New Year

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