There are times when the above statement and question are not greeting card platitudes, or office wall poster philosophy.
There are times of decision that need thoughtful or urgent attention.
Last week we said good-bye and good luck to a summer intern. My weekend email raised a question that in my mind has become linked to the intern, though that was not my initial reaction.
The email was from a 65-year-old reader. He asked me if I was noticing a general malaise among collectors. He said he felt like he was losing interest in numismatics and wondered if he was not alone.
I answered him with all the thought that my “first day of the business week, clean out my email” attitude allowed.
I told him that it was not unusual for individual collectors to go through periods where they questioned their hobby interests, but I also said I was not noticing any general malaise among my wider audience.
Then it was on to the next email. You understand.
But the question stayed in the back of my mind. It has percolated for several days and some thoughts have brewed.
The email and the intern became connected.
At the age of 65, most people are retired or are about to be. The future is unknowable. What do you attempt to do with it?
Why not take the opportunity to dive deeper into numismatics? Perhaps a 65-year-old collector can create his own numismatic internship.
Do you know a shop owner that you’ve dealt with for many years? Perhaps you have done regular business with a vest pocket dealer who sets up at all the local VFW hall shows. You might even be privileged to know a national dealer.
All of these dealers need help. The question is can you give it to them in a manner that might be useful to them?
Most collectors of my acquaintance would not last five minutes in a shop environment. I wouldn’t last five minutes in a shop environment. That’s not how my collector mind works.
For a collector, it’s all about me; what do I like? What do I want?
To help in the commercial field you have to turn that outward. What does the customer like? What does he or she want? And then the most important question: how can I fulfill that need and make a profit?
These three questions dealers ask themselves everyday. Perhaps the answer for some of these might be to take on a 65-year-old intern.
A vest pocket dealer might need a hand packing and unpacking the table stock and transporting it. Even having someone to watch a table during a bathroom break is important.
Can you do that? You might find the door to commercial learning open to you and renew your numismatic interest.