Well…if Socrates was right, then I’m a damn genius. Do you think anyone believes they are really an expert? I mean truly – in the privacy of their own mind, when they are being 100% honest – are any of us that confident? Maybe you are. And if you are I say one of two things: Congrats or Bullshit. Maybe even both. But for me – I don’t think I will ever feel like an expert at anything.
Once upon a time I had a pretty successful career in the automotive business. I was very good at my job and was rewarded and promoted for it. But because it wasn’t my passion and I didn’t know as much as I thought I should, I constantly felt like a fraud. Like someone would walk into my office at any moment screaming “A-HA! You’ve been found out!!” and I would be led away with my head hanging down. Looking back now I realize that I knew plenty. I was good at a lot of things in that job that my peers were not. They may have known more, but I was better at the job.
That was then and this is now. That particular career is now 8 years behind me. Wow- eight years. Since then I’ve tried a few things. I tried being a housewife. Nope – not for me. I don’t like to clean and I am far too accustomed to being a breadwinner. I tried a few making money from home things not worth mentioning. Some worked, some didn’t. Eventually I wandered into reselling. I didn’t call it that – I didn’t even know that word. Somehow I had stumbled upon Etsy and without a crafty skill to draw upon I settled on selling vintage. After all, my grandmother had been dragging me to yard sales and extolling the virtues of antiques my entire life. It seemed natural.
Over the last few years I have realized just how natural it is. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m good at it. I can make a living without working so hard that I feel it’s not worth it. I can say I’m a reseller without being ashamed. If you think it is a dirty word then you’re an idiot and I can say that, too. I have learned to diversify. I spent my first years in reselling thinking Ebay was below me. How small minded and arrogant of me. I now sell on Etsy, Ebay, Amazon and other platforms as well. I’m so engrossed in my business that often my dreams entail me wandering into the perfect estate sale where I’m the only customer and everything costs a dollar.
Back to good old Socrates. Am I an expert reseller? Am I a wise reseller? Hmm…what would that mean? I do think I have some things figured out. I’ve learned not to limit myself. I’ve learned that my husband is as good of a picker as I am and to stop making him put things back when I think they are worthless. I’ve learned to buy things on a hunch because my hunches are good and based on lots of knowledge and experience. I’ve learned to haggle, though I still forget to sometimes when I get excited about an item. I’ve learned that even the not-so-great decisions are valuable learning opportunities. I’ve learned that I can learn something from everyone, even and perhaps especially if I dislike them. I’ve learned that my father taught me professionalism and impeccable customer service and how rare those skills are.
Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that I’m not perfect, I’m not an expert, and that most who say they are are just lying to themselves and the world. None of us knows everything. Most of us don’t know much. Thankfully, none of this means that I (or you) can’t be a great reseller. It might be my best trait, even. There is a variation of the Socrates quote, this one is from Plato.
“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
So hey, maybe I am an expert at something after all.