(Based on a story from ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill)
During the 1840’s and 1850’s the world was very similar to what it is today. Back then nations were consumed by thoughts of making themselves richer and trying to break the status quo. Countries like Australia, New Zealand and the USA were in their infancy and trying to find their place in the world. The established countries like Russia, France and Great Britain were trying to maintain their supremacy through trade agreements and military power. Gold was discovered in Victoria, Australia and on the frontiers of the then USA. People from all over the ‘old’ world rushed to the ‘new’ world to make their fortune and become self made men/women. What’s the point of these ramblings? Well there is a story of a man (R.U. Darby’s uncle) who heard all about the riches that were being ‘found’ and made in mining for gold out in Colorado so he left his home in Maryland to journey to Colorado. There he staked a claim and after some preliminary digging, he discovered that he had found a deposit of gold so vast that it boggled his and everyone else’s mind! They thought that they had found the biggest goldmine in history. Not having the funds to exploit this claim he traveled back to Maryland to ‘raise’ the funds necessary to buy and install all the equipment.
After his return he went to work on the mine. When the first car was pulled out filled with ore it was sent it to the smelters to determine the gold content. As the result came back, they discovered that it was indeed one of the richest finds of gold in history. Everyone was awestruck with dreams of potential wealth. He ‘knew’ that in just a short period of time of mining he will have accumulated more wealth than he had ever dreamt about!
As you can imagine the drills were fired up and he and his partners went after the gold with a vengeance. Something strange then happened; they hit a wall and discovered that the gold ‘vein’ had mysteriously disappeared! It was nowhere to be found – despite and digging further down, it was to no avail … it had just disappeared! They were desperate so they continued to try but to no avail. All their hopes and dreams were dashed!
Dejected they finally decided to quit. They sold their equipment to a junk man and walked away. Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through their minds? ‘How stupid are we?, ‘What the hell were we thinking?’ ‘Never again!’ and probably ‘I’m too old for this crap anymore! I’m just going to get a good paying job and do the smart thing!’
So they went back home to Maryland. However the Junk Man decided to bring in a mine engineer to look at the mine and do some analysis. Guess what? The specialist discovered what Darby had done wrong!! It appeared that the Darby’s had overlooked or were unaware of “fault lines.” The huge gold vein was found just three feet away from where the Darby’s had stopped drilling! So the ‘Junk man’ started drilling in the place the specialist had indicated and there it was exactly three feet away!!
The junk man made millions of dollars because he had the presence of mind to seek a specialist/expert before he gave up.
So what happened to our friend Mr Darby. He realised what a massive blunder he’d made and he learned from this experience. If you remember that he vowed to find a ‘good’ job? He went into the life insurance business and he used this experience of having lost a fortune because he had stopped just 3 feet away from the gold. He swore to himself that in this new business he would never stop because someone said ‘no’ to him when he asked them to buy insurance. So he never again stopped.
Darby became one of just a few salesmen who sold over a million dollars in life insurance annually. He had learned to persevere because of the experience of quitting his mining business.