You’re all a bunch of amateurs (French for “lovers of”), although I must admit I’ve never met as professional a bunch as you. This notion of professionalism – doing business ethically, morally and courteously – is widespread in philately. And while some hobbyists might eventually become true “professionals” in every sense of the word, all true hobbyists live out their existence as amateurs regardless of the amount of money being earned. When you love the “art and science of philately” and begin taking this hobby seriously – as most of you certainly do – you inevitably become better at what you’re doing and begin specializing, and even commercializing, your activities. Suddenly, by acquiring and selling material, attending shows and joining associations, you’ve become more of a professional than a hobbyist, although the passionate amateur remains, steadfast as ever. Only when you’re an “amateur” can you truly become pro.
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