After working years beyond normal retirement age, a wealthy man reportedly worth billions had announced that he was stepping down from managing his company, his life’s work, and handing it over to others. He was known to have a massive vault in the local bank.
The man had but one grandchild, a teenager who had showed a keen mind and interest for entrepreneurship. The grandson asked him about the fortune stored in the vault and conjectured about how much money must be kept in a place that size—stacks and stacks of thousand-dollar bills, no doubt. The young man’s eyes gleamed as he speculated.
The grandfather said, “You want to know that badly? I’ll show you then.”
The youth couldn’t believe it, but off they went to the bank. The bank pesonnel recognized their most valuable customer and unlocked the vault for him. The grandson grinned more broadly than in his prom photos.
Inside, a different picture met him than he had expected. Instead of neat stacks of clean bills, he saw bins of rolled coins. He glanced at his grandfather, who just smiled. Hesitant at first, the youth stepped over to the first bin, picked up several rolls, and examined them.
“Pennies?” he asked, disappointed as he scanned the vault again and realized that his grandfather’s fortune was at least 100 times smaller than he had imagined. And quite possibly thousands.
“Those pennies are indispensable, my boy,” the old man said. “A fortune is not made of hundreds or thousands or even millions of dollars—but, at its heart, it’s rather an accumulation of pennies. I worked for each one, and my fortune, my success, is measured by each one.”
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