top of page

Are You Three Feet From Gold?

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

New company and start-up owners, how’s business?

Are you exhausting yourself and not seeing progress? Frustrated. Want to quit? That's not who you are. Keep going. This story from the famed Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill will give you hope. It’s the story of R. U. Darby entitled Three Feet from Gold.

In the days of the gold rush, "gold fever" bit R. U. Darby. With a pick and shovel, he set out to claim his fortune. The going was tough but Darby was determined to strike gold.

After weeks, he hit a vein of rich ore. Darby quietly covered up the mine, went home to Maryland to tell his family and a few friends of his find. He raised the money for the necessary drilling machinery and shipped it. Darby had discovered one of the richest mines in Colorado. He mined a few cars of ore. It was clear. He had hit the jackpot. The drilling continued. But to his astonishment, the gold vein disappeared. Vanished. After countless attempts with zero results, disappointed and exhausted, Darby quit. He sold the machinery to a local junk man for a few hundred dollars and went home. The junk man hired a mining engineer who said Darby wasn’t familiar with the ‘fault lines,’ thus his failure. The engineer’s calculations showed that Darby stopped drilling three feet from gold. The junk man became a millionaire.

Does this resonate? Launching a new business is like Darby’s expedition, it takes unswerving persistence. At times, your eyes and ears show and tell you ‘nothing’ yet consider the work up to this point as necessary ‘mining.’ By quitting too soon or not seeking expert counsel, you run the risk of forfeiting ‘gold.’

Can success happen overnight? Sometimes yes. Yet the gestation period between the idea and tangible success is a training ground to develop the persistence necessary to face adversity.

Agree. Persistence is an essential success prerequisite. Yet Hill’s work goes further than promoting bulldog determination. The cornerstone of his philosophy encourages development of faith, imagination, desire and so on. These ‘soft science’ skills are rarely if ever taught in MBA programs, perhaps they should be? Granted an idea or concept with legs is necessary yet equally important if not central to your aim is that, ‘Success is an outward expression of an inner condition.’

Think about it.

Do you know brilliant folks, with lightening in a bottle that can't get out of their own way? They struggle and never achieve his/her level of success they desire. Conversely.

Have you seen folks who by comparison come from less desirable conditions and skyrocket to monetary success? Cultivate faith which Hill describes as an inner belief and confidence in the ability to achieve your goal.

Outward success starts as an "inside job." Here’s what I’ve seen.

Passion to completely dissolve obstacles in its path.

Unrelenting faith that delivers what others consider impossible.

Enthusiasm to engage millions to breathe life into an idea.

Imagination that solves problems where intellect falls short.

Perseverance to course correct and continue forward.

Courage to transcend fear.

Belief to alchemize any circumstance.

Plant your mind with these soft science seeds. Nurture them. Keep company with like-mined thinkers. Balance your brain with less logic and increased doses of imagination and creativity. Ignore the ‘It can’t be done,’ crowd because, ‘Opinions are the cheapest commodity on earth,’ Napoleon Hill.

I was fortunate to stumble upon Hill’s work in 1973. These principles have allowed me to grab life by the lapels and "direct" my destiny rather than react to it. You can too.

If you’re familiar with Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, success is yours. If you are new to his work, you’re in for a treat. Get the book. Rather than stopping three feet from gold … you’ll strike it rich.

Epilogue. Darby became a millionaire insurance salesman. He remembered to never stop, three feet from gold.

© Paula M. Parker M. Parker 2014.

17 views0 comments
bottom of page