Why a Quarter Is Worth as Much as a Ten Dollar Bill

Investing in Parenting

It was the middle of July and I was trying to take in a baseball game with my 15-month-old son, Isaiah. If I lived in San Diego it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but July in Phoenix is miserable. Like, 113 degrees miserable.

From the moment we arrived to the moment we got home it was a struggle. Just battling the heat from the car to the stadium took nearly every ounce of energy (and hydration) I had. When we arrived at our seats, Isaiah didn’t want to sit for longer than an inning, so we walked around the stadium several times. Despite the struggles of the day, I would never take back that experience.

I have pictures to prove that we were at that baseball game, but Isaiah will never remember that day. He won’t remember our matching jerseys, our yogurt treat or our third row seat (I only bought one seat which meant I had to hold him the entire time). So why go through with it? Because it takes 40 quarters to make a $10 roll.


By itself, a quarter isn’t worth much. Place that quarter with three others and suddenly you have a dollar. Place those four with another twenty quarters and you begin to look for change rolls. At thirty-nine quarters, a single quarter has much more value than twenty five cents. That single quarter embodies the total value of all the others together.

Getting married; the birth of a child or grandchild; the passing of a parent; meeting a biological parent for the first time. These are a few of life’s truly extraordinary moments. Beyond these milestones, life is a string of ordinary moments. Our baseball game was an ordinary moment that he will never remember. The game we go to in 2014 will be ordinary. Isaiah will not remember every ordinary moment I spend with him. My belief is that there will come a day when all of these ordinary moments will add up together to create an extraordinary relationship with my son.

Every Quarter Has Value

It is my hope leaders will recognize that just as every quarter has value, every interaction with those we lead (be it personal or professional) has value. Each moment has an equal part in creating extraordinary relationships… or in keeping with the illustration, each moment is another quarter in the roll. Without quarter 3, you can’t get 40 quarters for your $10 roll.

Creating extraordinary relationships takes discipline. Commit to viewing every moment as an integer in the equation. Define your long-term goal. Then, shift your focus to investing in every ordinary moment.

Don’t look for the the $10 bill laying on the ground. Take advantage of every quarter you find. Only a fool looks for the quick buck. The wise man waits and lets every cent gather as much interest as possible before cashing in on his investment.

Committing to Extraordinary

Knowing what you want in the end is one thing; taking the steps to actually get there is another. How do you create the resolve to see your relationships and goals to the end? How do you make each day count?

Here are a few moments from our day together…

1 reply
  1. Christopher Pilon
    Christopher Pilon says:

    Awesome post, Dave! A great reminder, especially for those with kids. I often forget it is these little “insignificant” moments that add up in our relationships. I know I don’t remember every moment from my childhood but they all combine to give me an amazing love and respect for my parents. That doesn’t happen just through the things I can remember – they happened through them consistently being there for me. By the way, loved the video of Isaiah in his little D-Backs jersey – very cute.

Comments are closed.