Are you a gold digger?

Lisa Thal

What words inspire you to keep moving forward when facing setbacks?

Here are a few of my favorite three-word phrases.

Just Do it.
It’s worth it!
You got this!
Keep moving forward.
Keep Showing up.
Find a Way.
Keep on digging.

We’ve all been there – times we would have used any combination of the words above to keep us from facing defeat.

I wanted to share the story from Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich,” about how close we all are to succeeding. We must keep showing up! After all, if we don’t, there’s no telling what opportunities we may miss.

You know I love a story that involves anything with three.
This story is about Three Feet From Gold.

The story will have you digging and pushing yourself through any setbacks you may face because you could be one call, email, or proposal way from winning that business or personally finding success.

Keyword to remember, temporary. One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when facing temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another and gives up.

The cliff notes version of the story is an uncle of R. U. Darby who was caught up in the hype by the gold fever in the gold-rush days and went west to dig and get rich. He staked a claim and went to work with a pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was his vision.

After weeks of labor, he discovered shining ore. Ore is a valuable metal or mineral that can extract for gold. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. He covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home, and told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery and had it shipped.

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 the big profits would be rolling in.
Down went the drills! Up went the hopes of Darby and Uncle! Then something happened! The vein of gold ore disappeared! 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 give up and head home.

They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars and took the train back home. The Junkman was resourceful and called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project failed because the owners were unfamiliar with “fault lines.” His calculations located the ore of the vein about three feet from where Darby stopped drilling. I think you can imagine where this story is going.

The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

So what happened to Darby? He went into the business of selling life insurance. He remembers losing a considerable fortune because he stopped three feet from gold. Darby profited from 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 someone says ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

What a great lesson for all of us!

He owes this to the lesson he learned from his experience in the gold mining business.

Before success comes into our lives, we could face temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes you, quitting is the easiest and most logical thing. That is what the majority of us do. Most successes will come one step beyond the point at which defeat has overtaken.

The question is, what are you three feet from achieving? Have you given up too soon, only to discover that you’re close to success? My advice is to keep showing up and digging because you could be Three feet away from realizing your dreams. If nothing else, every defeat is a lesson showing you how to win the next time.

Learn more about Simplifying Your sales meetings using 3-word topics at

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