This picture was taken in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, in September of 2010. The giant penny is on display as part of an annual art contest held in Grand Rapids each fall. The contest is called Art Prize, and the winner is chosen via online voting by the general public. The giant penny did not win first prize that year, but it was my favorite. As you can see in relation to the people standing next to it, the penny stands about 10 feet tall. It is comprised of thousands of actual U.S. pennies. The different copper colorations on the giant penny are achieved by placing pennies with different copper tones accordingly.
This Penny Is Your Net Worth
Think of this giant penny as a symbol of your net worth. Some of you may have a zero or even negative net worth. That is how the artist who created this giant penny felt when all they had was an idea and a huge pile of pennies. They needed to take that pile of pennies, sort them out and put them together to create this art piece. Just the same, every individual needs to sort out their financial picture and get it headed towards positive net worth. Eventually, debts will be paid off, savings will grow and asset values will increase. All of these financial aspects can be comprised of thousands of transactions throughout your lifetime. Each transaction leads to what will eventually become your net worth.
Hopefully, you have at least a vague goal of what you want your net worth to be. Many people skate through life without a goal and without a plan. They work all their lives and spend all their money. They never really build much of a net worth. This is like the artist with the huge pile of pennies who never takes action and puts them together. As you can see, the artist who did take action came up with this awesome art piece! This is what you should do with your finances. Sort everything out, come up with a plan and implement it. Eventually, you will have a sizable net worth that rivals that of this gigantic penny.
This Penny Is Your Business
You can see where I’m going with this analogy. Big things are usually made up of a whole bunch of little things. A business is no different. Whether your business is a traditional brick and mortar or some sort of online business, it is comprised of many different aspects. There could be several dreams, desires and aspirations that go into starting a business. The ideas need to be put into fruition by properly utilizing time, money, people, equipment, etc. Every small thing is meshed together to create one thriving business. If done well, the business is profitable. This is symbolized by the giant penny. If not done well and not properly put together, the business is more like the pile of pennies that the artist never took the time to put together.
This Penny Is The Economy
This is probably the best analogy that I came up with to compare this gigantic penny to money related topics. The economy in simplistic terms is nothing more than people buying and selling different goods and services for profit and for the betterment of their fellow man. Think of it this way… Before settlers came to America, Indians occupied the land and were pretty much self-sufficient. They were able to acquire everything they needed to survive on their own. There really wasn’t much of an economy, unless they traded certain things to other tribes. When settlers arrived, they brought the concept of economy with them. Certain people were good at certain things so they would do just that. Eventually, people would do only what they were good at or what they enjoyed and trade their good or service for other necessities. This entire concept has blossomed into the economy that we know today.
Every person and every business make up a small part of the economy. Every good or service that is bought or sold has an effect on how the economy works. Each individual or business plays their part in contributing to the betterment of their fellow man. In return, each individual makes a profit or wage so that they can buy the things necessary to survive. It works like clockwork and really is a beautiful thing.
The giant penny symbolizes the economy as a whole. It is put together in such a way that it makes sense. Every penny has its place and every penny plays a small part in the construction and display of the large penny.
Every Penny and Every Person
This gigantic penny can be looked at as a subtle reminder that everybody and everything plays a role. Whether it’s within personal life and finances, a small or large business, or even the economy as a whole, every little thing matters. Every small penny in the giant penny makes a difference. Every person and everything they do somehow make a difference in society and the way the economy is affected.
If you think somebody or something doesn’t make a difference, well, that is like the random penny that has been discarded and thrown onto the ground. Even these discarded pennies can be picked up to create something awesome like the giant penny. Don’t ever let somebody tell you that what you are doing does not matter. It matters. Everything matters. Everything you do is just a small part of something much bigger. Go out and make a difference. Be the best you can be to shine as a small part of the gigantic penny.