Million Dollar Mud

You probably remember the great California Gold Rush of 1849; but did you know there was another gold rush in Nevada about the same time?

Gold was found at the head of Six-Mile Canyon in Nevada in 1859 by two miners named Pat McLaughlin and Peter O'Reilly. Another miner, Henry Comstock, found their claim and convinced them that it was actually his! So history remembers 'The Comstock Lode.'

Unlike the California miners, those working in Nevada had a real problem. There was a sticky blue-gray mud that clung to everything, including their picks and shovels.

They cursed the gummy muck as they dug down through it to the precious gold. Tons of the dreaded mud were pushed away and piled high as the hungry miners pushed deeper into the hills and mountains.

Then one day, somebody got curious about what the mud was made of and decided to have some of it assayed. Well it turns out that it was silver ore, worth in excess of $ 2000 a ton. One report said it assayed as high as $ 3000 a ton! This was in the 1850's when $ 1.00 had nearly the same purchasing power as $ 25.00 does today!

Word spread quickly about the bonanza in Nevada – the richest silver deposit in the United States. But it was not until a hundred years had passed before the real 'Bonanza' was discovered when a television series of that name was born out of the legend of the 'sticky blue mud.' The television series lent 14 seasons and made millions in revenue!

There will be times when life 'gums up the works' with unexpected encumbrances – your shipping department is late, your orders get lost, a road on the way to work is blocked; and that is a perfect time to take a good long look at the challenges you are facing and discover whether they have a 'silver lining.'

More than one innovative corporate executive has gone looking for trouble and found that the trouble he made his or her company a fortune!