Three Feet from Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities! (2010)
by Sharon Lechter with Greg Reid
by Sharon Lechter with Greg Reid
“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” This interesting success journey allegory (or fable) is based on Napoleon Hill’s revolutionary bestseller Think and Grow Rich. It is about a young entrepreneur, Greg Reid (co-author as the character), who was struggling in his business and life, went through a life-changing series of encounters with some of today’s foremost business leaders and inspirational figures. When he was about to give up, only “three feet from gold,” his mentors inspired him with their stories and encouragements. When I read his story, I read mine. Truly, Napoleon once said: “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.”
The title Three Feet from Gold is based on a real-life story of R.U. Darby (you can find it in Think and Grow Rich introduction). His uncle had been struck by gold fever. He had traveled west to get rich in the mining business. In the book, Don Green, one of Greg interviewees told him the story: “This would-be prospector had many more hopes than solutions, you see because he had not invested the time to learn how to do what he wanted to accomplish. He just wanted to find gold… Fortunately, after weeks of manual labor, Darby’s uncle was rewarded with the discovery of gold, and lots of it! While it was a good problem to have, he quickly realized that he really wasn’t prepared. He needed machinery to remove the enormous amount of heavy rocks and dirt that covered the shining ore…” to own machinery it will cost lots of money, so Darby’s uncle covered the mine and traveled back to his home to persuade his family and friends to invest for the equipment needed. After that, he and young Darby return to the gold mine and start digging for the promised treasure. Sure enough, they found high-quality gold!
Don continues, “Darby and his uncle were convinced they were about to make a huge fortune from their gold mine. Then tragedy struck… the gold simply disappeared. Just when their hopes were at their highest, the Darbys were crushed to reach the end of the rainbow – the proverbial pot of gold was no longer there… Discouraged and defeated, Darby and his uncle sold both their mine and their equipment to a local junkman… With that, [they] caught the next train and returned to their home in Maryland, ending their quest for gold… [But] the junkman hired a mining engineer to inspect the claim, and together they discovered what is known as a fault line. The engineer explained that gold ran in long veins and that the previous owners had simply drilled through one side of the vein and come out the other. The engineer explained that if the junkman were to go back and dig in the other direction, perpendicular to where the Darbys had made their first discovery, he would most likely tap back into the treasure… [He] followed these simple instructions and, sure enough, he hit one of the largest pockets of ore ever uncovered – a mere three feet away from where the Darbys had quit mining…” They quit only three feet from gold!
Darby learned his lesson and used that experience as motivation for him not to quit his next chosen work. Hill recorded him saying: “I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.” You know what? Darby became one of the most successful salesmen of his time. When Greg heard this story, he was determined not to quit from pursuing his dreams in business and life. Through ups and downs, external circumstances and internal conflicts, Greg don’t – but almost – quit! By the end of the chapter, Greg and his co-author, Sharon Lechter (both as characters in the book itself) produced a book based on his interviews and life experiences. They came out with The Success Equation, namely, ((P + T) x A x A) + F. P stands for Passion, something that makes your heart sing; with T stands for Talent, something you excel in; multiply it by the right A stands for Association, successful people or organizations; and A stands for Action, concrete steps you can take toward your goal; and then add your F stands for Faith, the unwavering belief in yourself. So, keep moving toward your God-given dreams, never giving up or quitting – you are Three Feet from Gold!
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.