Be the Person the Pries Coins off the Ground

An experience that happened to me many years ago helped solidify the money mindset that’s been essential to my financial success.  The action was small, but has had a huge impact in my life.

One of my greatest mentors was my wife’s grandfather, a successful home builder in here in Newport Beach.  One day after we had finally found a parking spot on Balboa Island’s main street we headed towards one of his many developments on the island.  My grandfather-in-law was deep in conversation going over what had to be accomplished for the day when he immediately stopped, bent down, and tried picking up a quarter he spotted on the ground.  After giving it a couple attempts he realized that the quarter was glued to the pavement.  Now most people, and apparently all people before him who tried, continued on chuckling at the obvious prank they had fallen victim to.  Without hesitation my mentor turned around, walked back to his truck, pulled out a flathead screwdriver, and proceeded to pry the quarter off the ground.  Once he scrapped the excess glue off the quarter he rubbed it on his shirt, slid it in his pocket, and continued on with his instructions for the day.

I was humored by the whole process because that’s the type of man that he was.  Here was this multimillionaire, who had more money that most people could accumulate in a lifetime, lovingly scrapping a measly quarter off the ground.  Was it necessary, obviously not, but being the principled man that he was I’m sure he’d do it every day if the opportunity presented itself.  I remember relaying the experience to my wife that night, who laughed and agreed that was very much her grandfather but for some reason that small act has stuck with me my entire life.  To this day, I still go out of my way to pick up loose change off the ground.  I get a kick out of it, but more importantly it’s a small reminder of my loving grandfather-in-law and why I never leave money on the ground.

Now let me ask the question.  Are you the type of person that leaves money on the ground?


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