3 feet from Gold!
Perhaps you’re familiar with the story . . .
In Napoleon Hill’s classic book, “Think and Grow Rich,” he tells the story of R. U. Harby, and his uncle . . .
Harby’s uncle, like many others of the gold rush era, got bit by gold fever. So he and his nephew packed their bags and made their way from Maryland to Colorado. They were going to stake their claim and dig their way to riches.
After a lot of hard work they found a vein of ore. Hopeful, they covered it up and made their way back to Maryland where they raised the money for the machinery needed to drill their mine.
With money “in hand” they made their way back to Colorado ready to make their fortune.
Things started out well. Before long they had enough gold to clear their debts. Then the gold supply stopped. The vein disappeared.
Frantically they dug, and found nothing. They dug some more . . . and more, and more. NOTHING!
It wasn’t long before the frustration overcame them, and they quit. They sold their equipment to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and went home.
One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make is to quit . . . “3 feet from gold!”
Robert Kawasaki is one of many very successful entrepreneurs who have said it takes 5 years to sort business out and reach the tipping point—the place where one amasses enough knowledge, skill, experience, and influence, to make success happen. Likewise, Malcom Gladwell, in his book “Outliers,”(also, author of Tipping Point) said it takes 10, 000 hours to master something. At 40 hours per week that is 4.8 years.
Traditionally,business majors go to school for 6 or more years, but somehow we entrepreneurs expect to short cut the learning curve, and be: immediately successful. No need to go into the why of that, but I hedge my bet on it having something to do with the Superwoman/man syndrome.
Something else we entrepreneurs often fail to see is that to be successful many of us have to pursue 2 degrees: one in business, and one in our field of expertise. So, after you do the math you might want to give yourself a break, celebrate your investments (time, money, energy, educational pursuit, etc) thus far, and rally yourself to stay the course.
The junk man,in R. U Harby’s story, being the resourceful individual that he was, called in a mining engineer who checked the mine, ran the calculations, and found thevein of gold, 3 feet from where Harby and his uncle stopped digging. Harby, being the determined man he was mined that lesson for another kind of gold and pushed though the obstacles to make his fortune selling insurance.
So whether you are 3-feet, 5 feet or even 10 feet from gold invest in a mentor—a mining engineer. Make sure that person is someone who already has the success that you want, is similar in values and character to who you want to become, and can “run the calculations,” and lead you to your gold.