If you have been in business, long enough, you learn one incontrovertible fact: relationships matter. The comic book world is filled with all manner of people. They have a variety of different backgrounds, cultures, and life goals; there is no monolithic comic book speculator. When we were in high school, everyone hung out with the friends they felt comfy with–the jocks, the nerds, the artistic geeks, etc. But as you grow older, meeting different folks and learning about them become a very interesting part of life. In turn, they learn about you and have some sort of friendship and exchange. For you jokers out there I am not talking about exchanging bodily fluids.
One of the strongest relationships for the Silver Surfer was his true love Shalla-Bal on the planet Zen-La. Surfer sacrificed himself on the altar of goodness, love, and friendship. This sense of duty and honor to his relationship was all-encompassing.
No, I haven’t turned into Dear Abby; this is going to be a lesson about some common sense integrity guidelines. I included Fantastic Four #49 because it is the first cover appearance of Silver Surfer. If there is one superhero in Marvel that embodies personal integrity, it is the Silver Surfer. Can we invest in this paragon of virtue? How is Silver Surfer’s first cover appearance performing recently in the short-term? The good news? The lower grades seem to be fully participating in growing short-term returns.
- Grade 8.5 $2,025 the last sale returns negative -10%
- Grade 6.5 $670 the last sale returns negative -5.4%
- Grade 4.0 $460 the last sale returns positive +9.2%
Having integrity throughout your life is rewarding both personally and professionally. This follows you like a shadow, and the older you get the more your personal integrity dictates the quality of your life. Further, we need to trust others enough to talk and communicate with them. Too many times at the local comic book shop some socially awkward individual cuts me off or smashes into me to get at a bin, worse yet brushes me aside, or is just plain rude. Do not be this guy! Comics are great but you don’t need to be in Beast-Mode in a retail establishment.
Slow down, realize human beings are social animals and need interactions with others. Treat the staff with kindness and be interested in their lives; you might find they reciprocate. Then instead of the comic shop being a Viking raid; it instead becomes visiting friends who share your interest in comics. Every time you go hunting for comic books you see all your old buddies. Hence a business relationship, perhaps even a friendship is formed, quite possibly both. All people get negative from time to time, and that is ok, just don’t stay that way. Instead, turn that negativity positive and improve relationships at work, at home, with customers, your friends, and your loved ones. Remember, in this life, the goal is the journey, not the destination. Here are some common-sense rules, I humbly submit to you readers for business and life:
Common-Sense Rules for Friendship and Business
- Business isn’t really about making money, it is about sustainable profit.
- Friendship isn’t about fun it is about mutual respect.
- Business relationships work best when they are friendships.
- When you tell someone you are going to do something, follow-through even for your vendors.
- Always be responsive to your customer base.
- Love what you do, and do what you love.
- Finally, have integrity at all times, with all things, in everything you do.
Friendship is simply mandatory for being successful and happy at the same time, especially in the comic book community. In the words of my crazy uncle, “Make friends with everybody in business Norm and you will be much better off.” Many of my best friendships have come through (comic book speculation) business. I believe it is profitable personally and professionally to extend the olive branch of friendship. Then you will have a happier life and have stronger business ties. Do what you love; especially if it is comic book speculation and don’t forget to make friends.