This article appeared in
April, 2019

Scripophily is a member benefit of
the International Bond & Share Society.
Visit the IBSS website for info.

Leverage Your Hobby

“Leverage” originally referred to the concept of using levers and pulleys to multiply physical effort. Over time, it’s definition has grown to include the use of practically any asset to increase desired results. In that respect, stocks and bonds are simply documents designed to help multiply financial profits through the use of other people’s money.

All of us use leverage and are used as leverage. The IBSS leverages Max Hensley’s skills to help produce this magazine and Max uses my writing to help fill up a page. Members use the magazine to multiply their enjoyment of the hobby and they return the favor with their annual dues. Knowingly or not, we all play roles of interdependency and leverage.

Like a see-saw, leverage commonly works two ways. Both editing magazines and writing articles require effort, but it is the kind of effort that generates pleasure. I reap enjoyment from writing. And if I may be so bold, I believe Max enjoys the pride of producing an attractive and informative product for members. We are both leveraging our our time and talents for pleasure.

I say this because I want to remind our readers that leveraging and sharing skill, talent, knowledge, luck – and even obsession – is fun. It generates distinct and palpable pleasure. Rightly or wrongly, I firmly believe that every member of the Society has something to share. No, I don’t collect certificates from automobile companies and I don’t collect certificates from China. But I want to know about them. And I want to know about people and companies and events and concepts that fascinate YOU.

In other words, I want to leverage your experiences for my benefit and the benefit of other readers. I want to hear what you have to say. In return, I want you to enjoy the pride of accomplishment and the pleasure of sharing.

Yes, yes, yes, I already know the objections. “I don’t know how to write.” “I don’t have the time.” “I need to do more research.” “I don’t know where to start.” “I don’t want others to judge me.”

Having used all these words myself, I can testify to the freedom of realizing they are nothing more than excuses we use to deal with fear of the unknown. I cannot remove your fear but I can illuminate the unknown with a few well-kept secrets.

Every writer feels inadequate. It is the nature of the endeavor. No one ever has the time; we create it. There is always more research to do; no one ever knows it all. It doesn’t matter where writers start their stories; they never end up where they thought they were going. And yes, every writer will be judged. Judgment is a pervasive and intractable human trait that demands we judge and be judged every day of our lives.

I want to suggest that sharing something about your hobby can become a reward you give others AND yourself. It is the kind of reward that can neither be purchased nor created by anyone else. Sharing your knowledge about some aspect of scripophily may seem a weak substitute for gifts of money, time, empathy, knowledge and wisdom. You may not yet see the benefit. But let me ask one question. Of all the adventures you have experienced in your life, how many times have you known the ultimate outcome before you took your first step?

If I can accomplish anything with this article, it is to ask you to at least consider sharing something about this hobby with me and other readers. This hobby is broad beyond measure. It touches almost every human endeavor and desire. I am 100% certain you have experiences, knowledge, viewpoints and insights unique to you.

Why not share them?