Every decision we make either brings us closer or pulls us further away from our goals. The decision to keep going, to experiment with new ideas, to consider new perspectives, to keep trying even when it’s hard will always lead you closer to achieving your goals.
In contrast, the single decision to quit will rip you away from your goals and remove any progress you had made toward your goal. And the worst part? You could have literally been one decision, one conversation, one engagement away from a huge win!
Napolean Hill shared an incredible story that illustrates this point beautifully in his book, Think and Grow Rich, titled “Three Feet From Gold”:
“One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat. Every person is guilty of this mistake at one time or another.
An uncle of R. U. Darby was caught by the gold fever in the gold-rush days, and went west to DIG AND GROW RICH. He had never heard that more gold has been mined from the brains of men than has ever been taken from the earth. He staked a claim and went to work with pick and shovel. The going was hard, but his lust for gold was definite.
After weeks of labor, he was rewarded by the discovery of the shining ore. He needed machinery to bring the ore to the surface. Quietly, he covered up the mine, retraced his footsteps to his home in Williamsburg, Maryland, told his relatives and a few neighbors of the “strike.” They got together money for the needed machinery, had it shipped. The uncle and Darby went back to work the mine.
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 would come the big killing in profits.
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 QUIT.
They sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars, and took the train back home. Some “junk” men are dumb, but not this one! He called in a mining engineer to look at the mine and do a little calculating. The engineer advised that the project had failed, because the owners were not familiar with “fault lines.” His calculations showed that the vein would be found just three feet from where the Darbys had stopped drilling! That is exactly where it was found!
The “Junk” man took millions of dollars in ore from the mine, because he knew enough to seek expert counsel before giving up.
Most of the money which went into the machinery was procured through the efforts of R. U. Darby, who was then a very young man. The money came from his relatives and neighbors, because of their faith in him. He paid back every dollar of it, although he was years in doing so.
Long afterward, Mr. Darby recouped his loss many times over, when he made the discovery that desire can be transmuted into gold. The discovery came after he went into the business of selling life insurance.
Remembering that he lost a huge fortune, because he stopped three feet from gold, Darby profited by 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 men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”
Darby is one of a small group of fewer than fifty men who sell more than a million dollars in life insurance annually. He owes his stickability to the lesson he learned from his quitability in the gold mining business.
Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.
Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.”
This is not an uncommon or unheard-of tale. We have all heard the stories behind successful celebrities or business leaders who credit their success to never giving up. To trying one more time even when it felt like the odds were stacked against them and they should just give up. That extra effort, that extra push, that try-one-more-time attitude led them to their breakout moments and propelled them to success.
I have seen this same story played out by companies pursuing increased awareness, engagement, and revenue through marketing. They start out strong with great content published on a consistent basis.
But then somewhere along the way, something happens. They begin to second guess their efforts. They worry about the number of likes or comments they are receiving. They grow concerned about factors out of their control, and misunderstand timing of the B2B pipeline.
And then they make that fateful decision.
After only 30, 60, or even 90 days into a marketing initiative, they often times quit.
They could have literally been one more piece of content, conversation, event, or engagement away from a business-changing flow of leads. They could have been three feet from GOLD.
Marketing is a Flywheel – it’s never one and done
Successful marketing leverages a symphony of tactics with different purposes and anticipated timelines for return.
Think of any successful marketing channel that you’re using — tradeshows/events, SEO, referrals, word of mouth, paid advertising — the successes that came from those channels did not happen overnight. It took time to build those channels and create a steady flow of opportunity.
The same goes for your digital marketing efforts.
It’s a building process that takes time, effort, and most of all CONSISTENCY.
Don’t give up too soon. Don’t stop digging just because you haven’t seen gold yet.
Most people are literally three feet from gold with their marketing efforts at any time and they don’t even realize it.
It’s just that one extra conversation. That one extra post. That one extra engagement.
There’s a lot of activity happening behind the scenes that you don’t even realize. Even if you don’t see it, it doesn’t mean they aren’t watching and consuming the information you’re sharing.
You have to show up consistently to achieve results
Stop expecting one piece of content, one post, one direct message or email to miraculously deliver results. Even if that message resonated, if you don’t show up on a regular basis, your firework will fizzle and you’ll be back at square one.
Try sharing your message through video … through written word … Through graphics. You don’t know what will work until you try … and try again. What worked today may not work tomorrow.
Embrace the journey.
Be persistent in your content creation and in your engagement with people. Get your name out there.
Instead of throwing in the pickaxe, seek mentorship.
Seek an expert who can navigate you back to the vein. You may have been going six feet in one direction and a tiny adjustment in the other direction could mean the difference between success and failure. But you may not have made that adjustment without the help of an outside perspective.
It’s valuable— and potentially life changing — to seek a mentor. He or she can help you objectively see what’s going on and help you determine what to do next. Mentors provide a valuable alternate perspective, backed with unique experience that complements your own.
Marketing Second Opinion
With current events, we’ve found that most businesses today are trying to:
- Reduce or cut marketing investments
- Optimize their existing marketing investments
- Invest in new marketing tools or initiatives
(or some combination of the three!).
It’s a difficult time right now, but the worst thing you could do is give up.
Instead, choose getting the right support and information with a marketing second opinion session with me.
We will go over your current strategy, show you how to get in front of your future buyers faster than ever before, review what your competitors are doing, and identify exactly what type of content your buyers need to reach out to you as their go-to solution.
Like I said, sometimes it takes a different perspective to help you make those tiny adjustments that will get you breaking through to gold.