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Common Crooks

It seems like more and more these days I read stories of people who are caught trying to get away with doing wrong.

I learn of someone else who tried to beat the system, someone else who lied, someone else who cheated, someone else was doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing and they got caught.

But do you know what stories I NEVER hear about?

The kind of story where someone could have legally gotten away with something that wasn’t quite right, but didn’t.

I hardly ever hear of someone who was caught doing the right thing when no one would have blamed them for making a different choice.

And that’s why I was so surprised to hear the story I’m about to share with you.


The $500,000 Integrity Test

It’s a story about San Francisco Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt.

Affeldt was given an opportunity to LEGALLY take what wasn’t his.

And he refused.

Here’s what happened…

Jeremy Affeldt and integrity

Photo from Wikipedia


In 2010, under an existing contract that he had with the Giants, he was supposed to earn $4 million.

They later negotiated a two-year, $10 million extension, with him.

There’s nothing wrong with that, right? Right.

There wouldn’t have been anything wrong with that – except for something no one else noticed.

Somewhere during the process of writing up the contract there was a clerical error.

Instead of $4 million, someone had typed $4.5 million.

When Affeldt noticed it, he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

(*That’s a lot of money, but it was only 5% of the $10 million he was rightfully supposed to get.)

He asked the Players Association, his agent Michael Moye, and he even asked the Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans about it.

All three told him the contract was ironclad.

They told him that even though technically the money wasn’t his, legally he could keep the extra $500,000.

But his agent, Moye told him this, “You know what? As your agent I’ve got to tell you that legally you can keep it. As a man who represents integrity, I’m saying you should give it back.

That’s all Affeldt needed to hear.

He had the contract written up again with the extra $500,000 taken out.

He went to Bobby Evans and said,“I can’t take that money. I won’t sleep well at night knowing I took that money because every time I open my paycheck I’ll know it’s not right.”


The Real Reason The Titanic Sank?

For years, the most widely held theory about why the Titanic sank was that a huge gash was ripped into the side of the 900-foot cruise ship by an iceberg.

The impressive ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage, from England to New York.

Fifteen hundred people lost their lives in the worst maritime disaster of its day.

But in recent years, the theory of the huge gash causing the ship to sink has come into question.

In an article from Science Illustrated, a new theory is put forth.

A theory which reveals a much SMALLER reason for the giant ship’s failure.

“Science writer Richard Corfield believes the placing of the rivets may have contributed to the disaster. In an article published in Physics World, he highlights the findings of metallurgists Tim Foecke and Jennifer Hooper McCarty, who suggest the rivets that held the ship’s hull together were not uniform in composition or quality and not been inserted in a uniform fashion.

“This may have been the result of a cost-cutting exercise and meant that the part of the hull that hit the iceberg was substantially weaker than the main body of the ship.

The rivets at the bow and the stern were not hydraulically inserted, so they would have been as firmly installed as those in the middle three-fifths of the ship, according to Corfield. ‘Since the impact was at the starboard bow and the impact was near a seam of rivets, the rivets, rather than the placing of them, contributed to the sinking of the Titanic.'”


Do you understand what this means?

The reason the Titanic sank is not because of a giant iceberg or a huge gash, but instead it was because of some small rivets!

As one writer said, “Small damage, invisible to most, can sink not only a great ship but a great reputation.”


What Goes Around, Comes Around

In your quest for success in business, never trade your soul for the goal.

Small, little unethical choices can add up and ruin you.

As the ancient saying says, “You reap what you sow.”

One way or another, your choices will splash back and douse you.

You can’t buy a clear conscience. 

As Henry Kravis, Co-founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., a private equity firm with over $62 billion in assets, once said…

“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of the inspirational New York Times best-selling book, Life’s Little Instruction Book, says it like this…

 “Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.”

There’s more at stake in your journey to build a successful business, then just money.

You’re building a reputation and a life.

Build on a foundation of integrity.

It’s the best thing for a successful business and a successful life.


Source: I originally saw this story about Jeremy Affeldt here on


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About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.