When I left public accounting last year to become a stamp dealer I did so because I was tired of living a life that I felt had no ultimate meaning. I had reached the pinnacle of my profession: I had made it to partner. Yet I was profoundly unhappy. I can still remember the exact moment that I knew I had to leave. I had just returned from the office Christmas party and I was sitting at my desk which overlooked the entire staff work area. I remember thinking "so this is it". This is all there is to my life: I'm going to come here every day and tell a constantly rotating group of people what to do and then I'm going to retire. I remember thinking "why bother?".
I love stamps. I owe virtually everything I know about this big, wide world to this hobby. If I did not see it on a stamp, then I was inspired to learn about it because something I saw on a stamp made me curious: everything from places in countries, to historical figures and events, to exotic flora and fauna. Stamps were my way and an entire generation's way of travelling the world without ever having to leave home. I really believe that so many people could benefit from this hobby and I can see from the number of Facebook friends that I have made over the past year, that there are a lot of stamp collectors out there.
So I thought that the best way to contribute to this hobby was to provide collectors with the best possible selection of material from a few specialized areas on a retail basis and to focus on quality by:
- providing highly consistent descriptions and grading.
- providing highly detailed descriptions.
- providing high quality scans.
- shipping orders out promptly.
- contributing to the body of publicly accessible philatelic knowledge by maintaining blogs that I would post detailed and informative articles to that would provide information not available in standard catalogs.
- charging reasonable prices and giving my customers the option of making offers if they considered my prices too high.
I just wish I knew what that was, instead of just thinking I know.