Apple computer founder, Steve Jobs died in October 2011. Steve was famous in the computer industry. As far as I know, he was not a stamp collector. What does Steve Jobs have to do with stamps?

In 2005, Steve gave the commencement speech at Stanford. He talked about 3 things he discovered in life. This is part of one of them:

ďYour time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma ó which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.Ē

Steve was referring to his passion to develop the Apple and Macintosh computers. Iím sure he had many people telling him it was all wrong or it would never sell. Steve ignored all of that and went on to build one of the most successful companies in the computer industry. He followed his heart and intuition. He wasnít constrained by others dogma.

As a stamp collector, you should follow that same advice. Do you want to collect Potato Tax stamps from Peru? (Honestly, I have no idea if these are real stamps or not) Collect them! Others are too quick to pass judgment on your collecting interests. ďOh, no one collects that stuff. Itís all wallpaper. That stuff will never have any value.Ē And on, and on, and on.

Do you like the stamps? Then follow your heart. Have fun. Who cares if no one else collects them? Iíve said it a million times and Iíll repeat myself a million times more. Stamp collecting is about having fun. In many ways, stamp collecting is a learning experience too.

At the end of the day, what makes you happier? Spending $5000 on a mint $5 Columbian (Scott #245) that you took out a second mortgage on your house to pay for? And then you have to put it in the safety deposit box at the bank because you donít want it to become damaged or youíre worried about theft. Or the thrill of going through an accumulation of ordinary stamps and finding that last needed Potato Tax stamp from Peru?

I collect Mailerís Postmark Permits. Most collectors donít know what they are. I collect them because I like them. There is still the thrill of the hunt. Iím always finding new material for my collection. I donít collect the traditional way. I do my own thing and Iím happy with the collection I put together. I have a lot of philatelic miscellany that goes along with my collection Ė notes from the people who used the MPP cancel. Copies of their permits to use an MPP cancel. And so on. The purist would say, ďThat doesnít belong in a collection.Ē I donít care. Iím happy. When I die, someone else can do whatever they want with the collection. In the meantime, Iím doing it my way, thank you very much.