In this new, limited blog series, “Collecting While Stuck at Home,” we offer ideas for enjoying your collection at times when a standard hobby experience is not possible. Illness, financial constraints, or any number of factors might temporarily keep collectors from participating as they normally would, but that does not mean that their hobby needs to be put on hold.
Ask most anyone about the tools they employ for achieving success and a significant number of them will include setting specific goals and making plans to achieve them. In our personal lives we might set goals or timelines for completing our schooling, losing weight or starting a family. At work we might set goals for the number of sales calls we make in a given period, the completion of certain projects, or the date by which we hope to obtain a promotion. In terms of finances, we might plan for saving a certain amount of money per paycheck, when we want to be able to purchase a home, and the age at which we would like to retire.
If we are such a goal-driven society, then why don’t we set goals for our hobby lives as well? It would seem that the same type of structure would prove as beneficial to our collections as it can be in other areas of our lives.
What Are Hobby Goals?
The idea of hobby goals might seem foreign at first. What kinds of goals or plans could a collector possibly have for themselves? The answers are actually simpler than you would imagine.
- The Scope of Your Collection – This can actually be tied back to a previous post entitled
“Collecting While Stuck at Home | Jot Down Why You Collect” which offers more information in this area. Suffice it to say that it can be very beneficial to set goals in terms of what you want to collect and why. The more defined your answer is, the better the chance you will have of obtaining that goal.
- Financing Your Hobby – How do you plan to finance your hobby? Do you need to plan a certain monthly hobby allowance? Or are you only going to add to your collection with money you earn by selling other cards? If that is the case, then you should set goals for monthly and/or yearly sales that will afford you the ability to purchase items you like.
- Timing Your Purchases: Collecting – This can be looked at a number of ways. Maybe you would like to complete a 1960 Topps Baseball Set in PSA 8 condition within five years. If so, then you will need to plan your finances and purchases accordingly. Understand ahead of time which cards will be the most expensive and spread those purchases out so that you are not overextended at any given time.
- Timing Your Purchases: Investing – Perhaps you like to speculate about cards you feel will rise in value. The goals you set along these lines might include having accumulated a certain number of examples by a given date. Maybe you want 100 examples of a particular base rookie card by the All-Star break of someone’s rookie season? Or you want to purchase as many examples as you can find before they hit a certain price? Mapping these things out ahead of time will help you achieve your goals.
What If I Change My Mind?
Some collectors will balk at the idea of hobby goals because they don’t care for the idea of restrictions in their hobby. After all, hobbies are supposed to be fun and too much planning takes away any sense of enjoyment, right? And what happens if I change my mind about something? I don’t want to be stuck.
Just like any other type of plan, hobby goals can be readdressed and changed as-needed. Maybe you get a significant raise at work and now want to tackle that 1960 Topps set in PSA 9 instead of PSA 8? Perhaps the rookie you were stockpiling cards of suffers a career-threatening injury? These things happen and obviously your plans will be affected. Remember, hobby goals are not necessarily chiseled into granite slabs, never to be amended. They are simply plans that we make for addressing the hobby in ways that will result in us having the collections we desire.
Goals can be set at any time. The first of the year might seem ideal, but it is certainly not necessary. In fact, you might already be halfway through building a particular collection, but can still make a plan for completion. Give it a shot and see if setting hobby goals doesn’t ultimately save you time and money, and make your collecting life run a bit more smoothly.