I have to admit to being a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to going underground – despite the fact that I have done it several times, I am a partner in an opal mining business and it’s what my husband does on a daily basis…but I avoid it like the plague…I am a recovering claustrophobic!
But I steeled myself on the weekend and pulled on my big girl panties and climbed down 40ft of hanging ladders…only to be surprised…AGAIN!
Seriously, universe, you are AMAZING and provide me with the most wonderful insights at the most poignant times!
What was I surprised at this time?
Surprise #1 – I struck GOLD whilst looking for OPALS!
The GOLD came in the form of further realisations that I am married to a really inspiring and humble man!
I know I shouldn’t be surprised – but the last time I went underground, which is now a few years ago..Michael had me gouging around looking for colour which, when you squinted really hard you could imagine was there, but I was unconvinced. But his humility and total dedication is seriously amazing.
Opal mining is a funny game; it is perhaps ones of the most challenging businesses to be in…even worse than farming (even farming in a drought!) and the reason for that is that you can be the smartest, most diligent, hard working, ground reading freak…and still not find opal. Michael always says – if your name’s on it, it’s yours!
We have had MANY dry years. MANY. And we have dreamed big and been disappointed. We have found some – and then it has stopped. It’s really, really hard work and not at all for the feint hearted…but patience, hard work and HEART based digging pays off. I am no lucky charm and even though I am a partner in the business, it is really Michael’s domain, but gee it felt good to be in his space – he is just so damn excited.
But the gold came next…
After he had driven me all over the fields looking at our claims and pointing out where the good test holes were and what he thought of the country – saying he had at least 20 years of digging to do (GASP!), I asked him – what are you going to do with all that opal. His answer? I don’t know – I just want to find it.
Isn’t that marvellous?
What I wouldn’t give for just an ounce of his focused passion!
He just KNOWS this is what he wants…for the rest of his days. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the stuff money buys. It’s not about the freedom or anything else that I crave and desire and help others find…it’s the thrill of the chase. It’s doing what you love – in spite all of that!
What would YOU do if money was not in the equation?
More importantly – what can you do TODAY to get closer to doing it?
Surprise #2 – Prospecting should be strategic, deliberate and very much part of the business plan
Now in terms of opal mining; this means drilling 9 inch auger holes across the landscape, testing the level, the lay of the land and getting a ‘map’ as best you can of what the country looks like 20-80ft below. This takes enormous skill and patience I just would NEVER have – but when I listen to Michael talking about it I am reminded that this is exactly what we do in our own businesses – if we are good at it – we prospect….for our ideal clients!
Just a side note – in any of my teachings – as any of my clients will know, I am ALWAYS Referring back to 3 key principles – Understanding, Taking Control and Resilience!
In prospecting for opal it looks like this:
Understanding – The trick is knowing WHAT you are looking for. In opal mining – it’s sandstone, level and of course, if you are REALLY lucky opal, with colour. You aren’t looking for gold. You aren’t looking for ore or indicators of some other mineral – you are looking for the way the country falls and opal. Simple.
Taking Control – The BEST way to find this information out and ultimately get the opal (tool) – is to use a 9 inch auger drill – not a compass, not a 3ft drill, not a piece of ultrasonic technology.
Resilience – KEEP on going…the more you do it, the better you get and the more likely you are to have success! Persistence pays off!
IN our businesses it’s the same.
Understanding – Know exactly WHO you want to work with, know what YOU can offer them in terms of a solution to a problem!
Taking Control – know WHERE your ideal customers are and use the tools available to you to connect with them – perhaps it’s other people’s events, perhaps it’s online; perhaps its through mutual friends or colleagues; perhaps it’s through other forms of advertising.
Resilience – KEEP testing and trying – the more you do it, the better your get and the more likley you are to have success! Persistence pays off!
Surprise #3 – Passion is Primary
My husband LOVES what he does. He has known since he was knee high to a grasshopper that all he ever wanted to do was be an opal miner. It’s what makes his heart sing. When he climbs down that ladder and takes a pick in his hand or starts up the digger…his focus is incredible; the smile wipes across his face and the years melt away like butter. He is a kid again – a very rich kid in a candy store!
I feel the same about everything I do – the difference is I am passionate about SOOOO many things…but I know, that when I am in my element; whether it’s on stage; speaking 1:1 with someone and challenging their behaviour, or I am helping change the world with new big ideas – I am that very rich kid in a candy store.
Find that for you – whatever it is.
And do whatever it takes to do it every day!
Honestly; time is too precious to waste another second doing stuff you hate or wasting time hoping tomorrow will be better.
Life is NOT easy…but the hard days are so much easier when you have joy in your heart because you are living your true life’s purpose!
Go find your opal – go build your mine and life your life on FIRE!
Lots of love,