Have you ever noticed that when people are passionate about things that aren’t interesting to you, you’re inclined to call them “weird”, or say things like “They have too much time on their hands”.
At LEGO I used to hear this all the time about our most passionate fans. I worked hard to immediately and harshly squash this mindset. Even LEGO colleagues often had a hard time understanding how fan interest in the product could be deep enough to move people to tattoo LEGO bricks on themselves.
Calling your most passionate consumers “weirdos” is a dangerous, infectious mindset and should be rooted out and exterminated without prejudice.
So how do you get people to stop this? For me it was fairly easy, although a bit uncomfortable. Once someone would say something like this, I’d immediately say: “wait a minute, you’re really going to insult the people who put food on your table?” This would lead to some conversation where I would slip in something like: “So out of curiosity, what’s your hobby?” Most of the time this would shut them down and make them realize what they were doing.
I once had a guy tell me “Oh, I’m restoring a car, but that’s different.” We started talking and he ended up sharing that he was going to have spent around $30,000 to restore this car he was planning on selling for around $15,000…
Everyone has their on kink, including you. Before you call out someone else for theirs, think about whether you want someone calling you weird for yours.