My older brother Daren and I didn’t have a lot of toys as kids, so the few we had, we loved. My G.I. Joe and WWF action figures were holy relics. And the oily palm print I got imprinted on a piece of paper (after slapping Davey Boy Smith, the “British Bulldog,” on the shoulder at a WWF event) had massive value to m
For my brother, it was his Star Wars action figures. I’ll never forget Daren’s Star Wars collection. It was awesome.
He kept nearly every original action figure in a Darth Vader carrying case for safe keeping.
As it turns out, they weren’t safe there.
At age seven, I was starting to understand the world around me and I figured there was a considerable market out there for the mint-condition figures. Star Wars was on the lips of every warm-blooded North American male.
One Saturday morning after cartoons, when Daren wasn’t around and Mom was busy, I took the Darth Vader carrying case outside to our townhouse complex. I’d seen people come to the door selling cookies before and wondered if I could do the same thing with the Star Wars figures. We always seemed to need extra money for an emergency cab ride or groceries and this seemed like a good way to make some.
I walked door to door around our cul-de- sac, bartering and selling his action figures for pieces of candy, loose change and anything interesting somebody offered up.
When I got back home, I had a serious collection of loot and felt a huge rush of excitement. I was proud of my selling! My brother, on the other hand, was understandably not.
That surge of pride and sense of accomplishment was a high I’ve chased ever since. Something magical happened in that moment. The feeling that fed my spirit in the moment was independence. I am forever, unabashedly, wholeheartedly, deeply obsessed with my next breath of accomplishment. My next deal. My next win. My next taste of independence.