Discerning eye and specialization in topics
At times, I think I want everything under the sun and I’m afraid that I’ll implode because I think I have so many interests, yet don’t have the means to pursue each seriously. I’m afraid that I’ll be accumulating stuff as opposed to adding items to my collection. I’m afraid that that I’ll overlook important details that will be lost in the fever to pick more stuff up.
As modern collectors, a discerning eye for what one purchases is important because purchases today maybe tomorrow's trash. One might be collecting for fun, but in 10-15 years, you don't want your collection to be worthless, especially if you put in a good amount of time and effort building it up today.
This isn't about collecting whatever you want for fun. It probably wouldn't hurt me to pick up a box of 1988 Donruss in order to go through it for fun, even though the brand is worthless.
On the other hand, not every product that comes out is going to be valuable, even in the near future. You don't have to buy a case of something, not every single card you see is worth picking up, not every prospect with a nice rookie year parallel autograph card is going to have a long and productive career. Temper your enthusiasm to believe the hype.
Also specialization in collecting anything is important. You don't exactly want to be collecting many things, but don't have one special subject to focus on. Also, collecting can be a complicated process because you have to familiarize yourself with many terms and levels of collecting lingo that basically have to do with your collection's value. If one doesn't have the knowledge or just doesn't care, then you go about things and later on find that you've blown your wad on nothing of significance.
Be aware of what you collect, so that you maybe picking up less things, but at the same time your collection has a bit more quality.