Napoleon Hill’s classic book Think and Grow Rich is full of great wisdom. I loved the true story he tells of a man named R. U. Darby and his uncle who were hit by the “gold fever” during the gold rush. After having their first car of ore shipped to a smelter, they discovered they had hit one of the richest bodies of gold in Colorado. Excitedly, they continued digging, but the ore vein disappeared. They kept at it in the hopes of finding the vein again, but when they didn’t get the results they were hoping for, they packed it in, sold off their machinery and gave up.
The man who bought the machinery realized random digging was not the best way to find the vein. He called in a mining engineer and had him make some calculations. What contributed to the failure of Darby and his uncle was their lack of knowledge about “fault lines” and their neglect to consider alternatives. With his expert knowledge, the engineer was able to predict that the vein of gold could be found 3 feet from where the Darby and his uncle quit digging.
Millions of dollars worth of gold were pulled from the mine by the man who decided to not accept easy defeat, and to bring in someone else who had the specialized knowledge he didn’t.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this story. The first is that success is often just beyond what seems to be your greatest obstacle. So many people have unrealistic expectations and give up far too soon. What if you took your failures and used them as your measuirng stick? What do you need to change in your approach, your mindset, or your environmentt?
The second lesson is you should never let lack of knowledge keep you stuck. Imagine how far you could go in your business if you would get help and get the specialized knowledge that you don’t have.