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Generous People Make Me Smile

His smile is amazing and his energy is contagious. Miguel was standing in front of me, almost begging for the right to serve me. He works as a golf attendant in a very cool, very expensive country club.

I was privileged to visit this club to play golf with a guy who knew a guy who got me in. I still feel weird being the customer in a place like that. Not a blade of grass out of place, very nice people—but the pretty people, the upper crust, the super rich, a room full of millionaires. And even though my numbers hold up in a room like that, I never really feel like I belong. But today, I realize I do belong—at least as much as the guys there who’ve lived like no one else so later they can live and give like no one else.

This was not an old-money, generational, Ivy League country club. Instead, all the facilities, the golf training bays, the club itself are relatively new. Very nice, world-class place, but a club of new-money people.

How do I know? Based on the largest study on America’s millionaires that our Ramsey Solutions team just completed, I can easily conclude that eight or nine of the ten guys I met at this club were from first-generation money. Chris Hogan, Ramsey Personality and author, wrote about this study in his #1 best selling book Everyday Millionaires, and in it he flat-out destroys the myth that most of America’s current millionaires inherited their money.

Case in point . . . At the club later that afternoon, I was sitting at a table with three new friends I had just met. All four of us are millionaires many times over, and not one of us inherited a dime.

So, where was I? Oh yes, so I’m walking in the door and meeting Miguel for the first time. There he is smiling and offering to serve anyway he can. He said he listens to me on the radio and would be honored to care for me during my day with him . . . Shine your shoes, help you set up a locker, anything for you Dave.

By the way, my new friends told me Miguel is “just this way,” always caring, always serving, always smiling.

Miguel and I snap a picture together, which I was honored to do.

Several hours later after golf, I’m on the deck overlooking this magnificent scenery at this very cool club with my three new friends. Out pops Miguel, and he hands me our picture for me to sign. Wow! This guy has gone and had that picture printed from earlier this morning. Of course I sign it and we talk. This guy is a prize.

After he leaves, one of the Everyday Millionaires I’m sitting with informs us that Miguel is about to finish his master’s degree in engineering. What? Wow, I’m loving this guy more every minute.

Oh, and get this—my new friend tells just the three of us at the table that their mutual friend at the club, Steve, is paying Miguel’s tuition. (All of us agree we like Steve a little better after finding this out.)

And it gets better—one of my other new friends says he thought he was close with Steve, but Steve had never mentioned that he paid Miguel’s tuition. We all smile because we all know that Steve didn’t do it to show off. That’s not what Everyday Millionaires do.

Steve just wanted to give a guy like he used to be a shot. No fireworks, no Generosity Awards, no one knowing . . . but now you do.

First-Gen Millionaires are some of the most generous people you will ever meet, and you will never know this side of Heaven who they are or how much they give. Because recognition is not what they seek.

As I am leaving the club, Miguel trots out to make sure I’m not bothered by having to lift my own bag. Wow.

I said to him that I heard he’s getting his master’s in engineering. He smiled again, this time even wider than before, and I think I saw his chest stick out a little as he said, “I came to this country with nothing in my backpack but dreams. Someday I will belong to a club like this.”

Yes sir, Miguel, you will. I believe that as much as I believe Baptists like casseroles! And when you do join the Everyday Millionaires club, you too will be compelled by the unwritten playbook of generosity like your friend, Steve. And you’ll find yourself paying it forward to give a guy like you used to be a shot.

*Note: Steve and Miguel are not the real names of the real people in this real story.

Dave Ramsey

About the author

Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored seven bestselling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, The Complete Guide to Money, Smart Money Smart Kids and The Legacy Journey. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. Learn More.