August 3, 2022


Imagine that for most of your life you collected Star Wars toys or Matchbox cars or Barbie dolls or baseball cards or whatever else, just because you loved the stuff.

For whatever reason, these particular objects entered your life and captured your imagination.

They made you happy every time you looked at them, so you bought more and more.

Eventually, your collection grew to a size that other people couldn’t help but notice it. To comment on it.

Your friends or parents or spouse started to ask questions, like:

And what was your response?

You started telling them - and yourself - a story.

A story about how valuable your collection is.

About how one day if you decide to sell it, you’ll get rich.

On the surface, this is a rational answer to a rational question.

But here’s the thing...

It’s make believe.

Value is subjective, not objective.

Just because something is worth a lot to you doesn’t mean it’s worth a dime to anyone else.

Your love of your collection is YOUR love. So to you, your collection is incredibly valuable.

But odds are good that almost nobody loves it as much as you do.

Which means that it will NOT be as valuable to a potential buyer as it is to you.

Which means that you’re NOT going to get rich if maybe one day you decide to sell. You probably won’t even come close to breaking even.

Which means that the story you’ve been telling everyone will turn out to be incorrect.

That your “investment” was a failure.

You’ll be forced to admit that you were wrong.

And people hate admitting that they’re wrong.

They’ll bend themselves into pretzels to avoid the inevitable “I told you so!”

They might even consider escape routes that are morally or ethically or legally questionable.

So what can you do to avoid the shame of such failure?


When someone asks you why you have so many Barbies, just say “I don’t know... I just love Barbies.”