DOWN TO THE LAST DOLLAR
I had one dollar bill left in my wallet the other day. I got in my car and drove to the nearest ATM machine. While I was driving I realized, I really didn’t need to by anything. I had gas in my car, I had virtually all that I needed to do what I had to do without spending any money that day. I did need a hair cut, but I always need a hair cut. I needed a shave that morning, but I had a new package of disposable razors, and a can of shaving cream. I wondered if I could get through the day without needing to buy something.
I felt quite rich that day. I had one dollar that I didn’t have to spend. I could have spent it easily, but I decided to save it for the next day incase I needed it then. That same morning I received a check in the mail . One I was expecting several weeks earlier, but I was grateful that it came. Having someone owe you money isn’t quite as convenient as actually having the money in your hand, but I had a dollar in my wallet that I didn’t need to spend, and I was content.
As the day progressed I remembered a day in my life when I only had a quarter in my pocket and a busted bank account. I recall how lucky I felt that I had a quarter. I was a real estate and finance broker trying to survive through an expensive divorce and a bad recession. On that day I had parked my car in front of a gas station convenience store to visit a potential client. As I stepped out of the car I noticed a $20 dollar bill laying on the ground. I was estatic. I must of been beaming with joy when I went into the store to meet the owner. The owner was interested in buying one of my many listed properties. Because of my sudden wealth, I was able to buy a pack of cigarettes, a chocolate bar, and ten dollars worth of gas. (This was when gas was a dollar a gallon and cigarettes were 50 cents a pack.). I set up a property showing for the store owner, thanked him and left feeling incredibly lucky that I had nine dollars in my pocket, a pack of cigarettes, and a full tank of gas, as well as an interested customer for one of my listings. I had another appointment to go to immediately after the first one.
I arrived at my next appointment 15 minutes early and had time to stop into a restroom to straighten my tie and comb my hair. This was an important appointment. I was well prepared but broke. I had to forget about being broke at least for the next hour to get through the meeting. As I stood in front of the mirror in the restroom I reached for my wallet and opened it to look at the nine dollars I had left. I stared at the money for several moments and thought how great it was to have nine dollars, a full pack of cigarettes, and a full tank of gas. I started out the day with a quarter in my pocket. With that thought I began to feel like I had a million dollars. I was Donald Trump, I owed a fortune, and once had a fortune. I shrugged off my anxiety and walked out of the restroom with briefcase in hand, and went to my appointment. I was greeted politely by the receptionist and asked to sit down in the reception area, while she informed the owner I had arrived. As I sat there I became nervous again and pulled out my wallet to looked at the nine dollars. As I stared at the money for several seconds I thought of how happy I was to have it. I thought how very happy I was for that moment. Less than one hour earlier I only had a quarter and what was left of my self confidence.
As the owner of the business came out of his office he smiled at me and extended his hand. We shook hands and he asked me to come into his office. This was our first meeting . I had only spoken to him several times on the phone. I sat down on a large leather chair as he sat on the leather couch across from me. I opened my brief case and took out a few financial statements, and an agreement then explained the details of my offering. He smiled broadly and said he liked me and what I was offering. He signed my agreement and wrote out a sizable check for my brokerage retainer and a check for a deposit on a commercial property I had listed.
As I walked out of the office that afternoon I was floating on air. I didn’t understand what had happened to change my luck that day, but I wasn’t going to question it. As I left the building and walked to the parking lot I was approached by a panhandler, who asked if I had any spare change. I asked him what he needed and he looked at me as if I had confused him. He replied, all he needed was a quarter. I reached into my pocket, pulled out a quarter and gave it to him. He thanked me and left. As he walked away I realized I had given him my last quarter. I began to laugh as I realized that had he asked me for a quarter several hours earlier he would have been asking me for all the money I had. Since then I have never worried about being down to my last quarter. This may sound strange to someone who is holding on to their last quarter but, I am convinced that if I have confidence in myself I have everything I need.