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stake your claim and the growth will follow

August 21, 2015

For some reason I always though that the phrase “stake your claim” had a sense of declaring something that you have already achieved, a way of saying “Take note, this area is mine and this is what I have done.”

But the mineral prospecting origins of the phrase have much more of a, well, prospective sense to them. “This is my space and I think I will be successful working in it.” Sometimes what determined your success or otherwise was how hard you worked in the area you had claimed for yourself. Other times it didn’t matter how hard you worked you were never going to succeed because you had put your stake in the ground in the wrong place and nothing anyone could do was going to make it pay.

Driving down highway 1 in South Australia, through what is arguably some of the best wine country in the world, I saw something that made me think there might be some wisdom in the advice that tells you to do it. It had been dry so most of the paddocks were brown and dusty. One though caught my eye because it was criss-crossed with a grid of green dots – small areas where there was grass and it was green. At the center of each of those dots was a stake – nothing had been planted there other than the stake. A declaration, it seemed to me, that someone intended to grow something there.

And so something was. The simple act of planting the stakes had captured just a little more rain than the surrounding area creating a small circle of green growth in a sea of brown.

A damascus steel blade

My damascus steel knife,  Gardner Knives

I think that is what can happen when you are prepared to take action and you put a stake in the ground and declare that you intend to make something happen. I think of people like Andrew  who recently self-published his second book in the Engibear series because he wanted kids to be able to read books about real engineers. Marcus, who established the well-known [bunker] and John Mills Himself and has a passion for high quality, ethically grown and roasted coffee. And Barry from Gardner Knives, the reason I was in South Australia, who has a passion for hand-made knives and shares that passion with anyone who has ears to listen to the steel.

I have had the privilege of spending time with all three of them. Each has been prepared to stake their claim and each have enjoying growing success that came, in large part I believe, simply because they were prepared to give it a go.

I am guessing you a have a stake lying around somewhere and an area in mind where you would like to plant it. So what are you waiting for? Stake your claim, until you do nothing can grow.

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After you have subscribed, send this post on to your friends. Go on. You know at least one person who should read this post and three more who could use a bit of shaking up… seriously. Do it now. You read this far so pay it forward!

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