Don't Give Up...The Gold Could Only be 3 Feet Away!

Posted by Jim Matuga

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Apr 1, 2015 10:35:00 AM

One of the most common causes of failure is quitting when one is overwhelmed by temporary defeat.  Most people are guilty of this mistake at some point in their life.  

I am reminded of a powerful story in the renowned business book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.  An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the "gold fever" in the gold-rush days and went west to strike it rich in the gold business.  He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel.  The going was hard, but his quest for gold was insatiable.

After weeks of strenuous labor - the hardest work he could muster - he was rewarded by the discovery of the precious gold.  He needed machinery to bring the coveted gold to the surface.  Not to be discovered by a competitor, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, MD, and told his relatives and a few neighbors of the "strike."  They got together money for the needed machinery and had it shipped.  The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.

The first car of ore was mined and shipped to a smelter. The returns proved they had one of the richest mines in Colorado!  A few more cars of that ore would clear the debts...then would come the big killing in profits.

Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! 

Then something scary happened.  The vein of gold ore disappeared.  Just like that.  Nothing.   They had come to the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold was no longer there.   They drilled on, desperately trying to pick up the vein again-all to no avail.

Finally, they decided to QUIT. They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars and took the train back home. Some "junk" men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed because the owners were not familiar with "fault lines." His calculations showed that the vein would be found JUST THREE FEET FROM WHERE THE DARBY'S HAD STOPPED DRILLING! That is exactly where it was found!

The "junk" man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up. Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so.

Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over when he made the discovery that DESIRE can be turned into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.

Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he STOPPED three feet from gold, Darby profited by the experience in his chosen work by the simple method of saying to himself, "I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say 'no' when I ask them to buy insurance."

Darby went to be one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sold more than a million dollars in life insurance annually.  

Before success comes in any persons life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes you, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT.  That is exactly what the majority of people do.  

My point is this:  In life...don't give up.  The gold could be just 3 FEET AWAY.   


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Jim Matuga

Written by Jim Matuga

Jim Matuga is the founder and President of InnerAction Media, a marketing agency in Morgantown, WV. His new book available on AMAZON, Marketing Matters, was inspired by his regular column in the State Journal. You can listen to his weekly podcast “Positively West Virginia” on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. He has extensive experience in leadership positions with West Virginia media companies, including newspapers, TV, cable, direct mail, radio, agency and digital.

Topics: Strategy

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