I recently learned a startling fact about gold mining in the 1800s that I think is equally as applicable today.  It is a lesson that if learned will improve your income or if you’re unemployed, help you find a good job.

When you think of the “great gold rush”, what comes to mind?  If you’re like me, you think those old salty miners who traveled from the east coast to California and Arizona to search for gold.  They caught “gold fever” packed up their families and took off.

It makes sense in a way; to pack up and go to where the gold is.

However, thousands of people overlooked one crucial point.  They forgot to look in their own back yards for the gold they sought.

Due to ignorance of what gold looked like, how to mine it or perhaps the wild stories being passed back and forth, these miners took unnecessary journeys west when gold laid right under their feet.  They faced harsh wilderness, starvation and cold in the new location when all along, what they desired was back at home.

Some did find gold out west, but more did not.  Fast forward 100 or so years and you’ll see that many of the most productive mines were not on the west, but on the east coast!  Just last month, the Haile-Brewer gold mine in South Carolina was estimated to contain 2 to 4 million ounces of gold.  At today’s prices, on low end, that’s $2.7 billion!

By the way, you may remember me telling you way back in 2008 you should buy gold.  Hope you were listening!

I too have often dreamed of panning for wild gold riches.  Actually, treasure hunting is just a hobby of mine – but who knows?  I may hit the mother lode.  In the past, I admit dreaming of the day when I retire I can go out west to find my lucky strike..

But in recent months I did a quick search of mining maps and found no less than 11 lode bearing gold mines within 20 miles from my house.  I’ve actually panned in some of the nearby locations and found gold.  Not enough to live on, but it shows a move out west would have been a waste if I wanted to find gold.

Applied to our current employment, I think gold mining is a good metaphor.  How often do we search wide and far for something outside when we already have what we need close?

We are all masters at something.  Maybe you are a computer wizard, maybe you are great at painting.  You tell me.  But once you’ve developed a special skill, you don’t have to travel 1000 miles away.  There are people right where you live who need you.

Happy digging!

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