Many people tell me that they enjoy the commentaries at the beginning of each pricelist.
First of all, I have a strong set of principles. Some of that shows through in the writing I do. Principles guide me in many things that I do. I can blame my parents for instilling a set of principles in me. Itís what I live by and they have served me well all these years.
Second, I try to write for the average collector. I donít have a problem with scholarly articles. In fact, I enjoy them myself. By my typical customer is not buying plate varieties on a particular stamp or esoteric usages of stamps to exotic countries. I try to write about things that every day collectors can apply to their own collections and interests.
Third, some of what I write about comes from personal experiences, both good and bad. Trust me; Iíve made plenty of mistakes. Iím not ashamed to admit when I goof. I meet lots of different customers and sellers. Some of those stories are worth mentioning.
Iím quickly approaching 10 years in the stamp business. One of the things Iíve gained over time is confidence. Not arrogance, but confidence. There is a big difference between the two.
Iíll never forget when a gentleman who was organizing a local stamp show told me that my material was overpriced. He looked at my very first pricelist. He said that I should be selling it for 10% of catalog value because ďthatís what stamps sell for on the Internet.Ē I was barely in business a few months. Was this guy right? I was still very immature as a stamp dealer.
If I met that same guy today and he told me the same thing, my response would be much different. Heís very misinformed and now I can show him why. Ten years ago, I couldnít do that.
If you think I know all there is about philately, youíre wrong. There are many things I donít know. Which is part of why I like stamp collecting and stamp dealing Ė itís an opportunity to learn something new every day. I consider myself a little more knowledgeable than many collectors. Thatís because I draw from all of my experiences and I love to read books about stamps. Those two things combined help me be a better dealer and a better person. It may make me look smart, but I donít consider myself overly smart.
As long as people tell me that they enjoy what I write about or that I taught them something new, then Iíll probably keep writing. When I can no longer contribute in a positive way, Iíll probably stop writing.
Whatís the difference between confidence and arrogance? Confidence is when you feel youíre right about something based on your experiences and knowledge. Arrogance is when you know youíre right about something, even when the facts suggest otherwise. Think about it.