You’ve got to say, “I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it.” It’s called perseverance. ~Lee Iacocca

Successful people never give up. They have a don’t quit attitude that sustains them when they encounter the inevitable roadblocks and setbacks. They keep trying, working, and persisting long after the average person has thrown in the towel.

They persevere to the end.

One of the most common causes of failure is quitting too soon. Most of us have made this mistake at one time or another, and maybe even on several occasions. To achieve your dreams and goals, you must learn to persevere through hardships and setbacks. Every great achievement in history was often preceded by great opposition. And some of the greatest failures can be traced to giving up prematurely.

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In the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, there is a story that powerfully illustrates this principle. Hill tells the story of R.U. Darby’s uncle who was caught by “gold fever” in the gold-rush days, and went west to find his fortune. He staked his claim and went to work feverishly to make his fortune. The work was hard and the progress slow, but his lust for gold fuelled his efforts.

After weeks of strenuous labour, Darby’s uncle struck gold! But he needed machinery to bring the shiny ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, returned to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland and told his relatives and a few friends of the “strike.” They pooled their money together for the needed equipment, and had it shipped to the secret location. Darby and his uncle went back to work the mine.

The first train car of ore was mined, and shipped to a smelter. Their returns proved they had one of the most lucrative mines in the state of Colorado! Only a few more cars of that gold would clear their outstanding debts and place them within reach of huge profits. Their dreams of unimaginable wealth drove them forward and onward!

When adversity strikes

Then something terrible happened. The vein of gold ore disappeared! They had come to the end of the rainbow, and their pot of gold had apparently vanished. They kept drilling, desperately hoping to find the vein again. All their efforts were met with failure. The vein couldn’t be found. Finally, after significant effort and cost, the decision was made to throw in the towel.

Discouraged and defeated, they sold their machinery to a local junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. The junk man was aware that the Darby’s had been mining gold ore. He called in a mining engineer to inspect the mine and make recommendations. The engineer advised him that the project had failed, because the original owners were not familiar with “fault lines.”

His calculations showed that the lost vein would be found just three feet from where the Darby’s had stopped drilling! And that is exactly where the junk man found it! He extracted millions of dollars in gold ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.

Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance. ~Samuel Johnson

Have you ever stopped drilling just three feet short of the gold? Have you ever thrown in the towel, only to discover that victory was just around the corner? On your success journey, you are sure to encounter failure and defeat along the way. When obstacles overtake you, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what most people do.

Who do you turn to?

The junk man understood the value of calling in an expert to help him turn the “impossible” situation around. Who do you turn to–in your life and your business–for that expert opinion that provides the winning edge?

In an earlier post, I wrote about how successful people embrace change. Successful people also persevere to the end. In his book, Hill noted that more than five hundred of the most successful men in America at the time reported that their greatest successes came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.

Don’t stop digging three feet short of the gold. Endure to the end, and reap the benefits!


Eric Deschamps | Ottawa Business Coach

Eric DeschampsBusiness Coach Ottawa

Co-Leader of Rhapsody Strategies

“Helping others succeed has always been my passion. There is no greater feeling in the world than coming alongside someone and empowering them to achieve their goals and dreams.” I work with individuals with a single and simple purpose: to help them define and attain their goals, one step at a time. Through the coaching relationship, I help business owners and professionals achieve more by delivering world-class growth strategies, tools and advice individually tailored to each owner and his/her business.