Tuesday, August 13, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Three Feet From Gold"

by Phil McGarvey

R. U. Darby's story is the cornerstone upon which this fascinating book was written. Darby was a friend of Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich". His intriguing story is found in chapter one of T&GR.

When Darby was a young man he went to Colorado to help his uncle work a vein of gold he had discovered. The two men mined one railroad car full of what appeared to be the largest gold discovery ever.

Then all of a sudden the supply of gold dried up despite their continuous drilling. Disappointed, they sold all their mining equipment to a local junk man and returned home to Maryland.

The junk man, however, sought the advice of an engineer. The engineer concluded that Darby and his uncle failed to appreciate that they had merely hit a fault line and that they would have struck it rich had they dug three feet further.

The junk man drilled down only to discover that the engineer was correct in his calculations. Darby had stopped three feet short of treasure. The junk man and the engineer thus became wealthy from their discovery. Hill refers to this incident as Darby's "quitability".

In this autobiographical allegory, Greg S. Reid is commissioned by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to interview successful business people. By the way, the timing of this is almost precisely 100 years from the time Andrew Carnegie commissioned Napoleon Hill to do the same thing.

The object of the project was to discover if Hill's principles are viable today. Another interesting parallel is that Hill wrote his work just after the Great Depression; Reid's book was published in 2009, during the second most devastating economic event in US history.

Reid's interviews included a cast of characters, including such notables as:

Evander Holyfield, boxing champion
Dave Linger, co-founder of RE/MAX
Debbie Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
Charles "Tremendous" Jones, founder of Executivebooks.com
Genevieve Bos, founder PINK magazine
Mike Helton, president NASCAR
Jahja Ling, acclaimed symphony conductor
Taddy Blecher, human rights activist

One thing all the successful people interviewed had in common was their indebtedness to Napoleon Hill and his "Think and Grow Rich" philosophy.

Another common factor was their awareness that success is attained by having a vision or purpose and never giving up on that vision in spite of the obstacles life presents you with. As a matter of fact a person should turn these obstacles into opportunities.

In conjunction with this idea, all those interviewed would not quit because their vision was greater than themselves. In other words, the WHY was a critical component. If the WHY is big enough the HOW will take care of itself.

One result of Reid's endeavors was the derivation of a personal success formula for all of us: [(P+T) x A x A] + F = your Success Equation. Combine your passion with your talent and multiply it by right association (successful people and/or organizations) and action. Then add faith or belief in yourself.

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