There were some great comments on my previous post: “Let your conscience be your guide – a $25 reminder for all of us.” It was a lesson drawn from a simple experience of getting back $25 on a car rental.

I was struck by the many comments around “spend money in business like it’s your own” and it made me start to think about when I first picked up this idea. When did I really start to understand the true value of a dollar as well as how, as a business owner, you should think about the products you sell?

These lessons were brilliantly taught to me by my boss a long time ago. When I was 16, I worked in a golf retail shop. In addition to selling stuff, I also was responsible for the stocking, cleaning, and inventory security for hundreds of golf clubs, balls, clothes and accessories.

One afternoon our boss called an all-hands meeting for the team for the following morning. We didn’t know what it was about, but when I arrived at the store, I stood in the doorway and looked around, confused. At first, I was not sure what the heck was going on. Every item in the entire store had what appeared to be a piece of paper taped to it.

As the green paper came into focus and the image became clear, I stepped back and took in the entire picture. Each one of the hundreds of pieces of inventory was taped with $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills…every item in the store meticulously tagged with the approximate dollar value of that item. I can still see it in amazing detail in my memory, 30 years later.

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