You never stop learning

by Uncategorized

Dear reader, this blog is nothing to do with dentistry and everything to do with understanding yourself. My sad little tale starts about 25 years ago when I was in advertising. I was working for a number of premium car brands and read an article in one of the trade mags that revealed the average age of a new Porsche 911 buyer was 63.

I remember thinking “how pathetic and sad” that a little old fella would want so desperately to look cool and regain his youth. In May this year I was 63. My car at the time was a semi flash but restrained Porsche Panamera which I liked but did not love, and my wife would never go out in it with me if I was driving it (just in case somebody saw us) so it sat on the drive most of the time, only getting used on really big road trips.

I had the Panamera a year in April so I dropped it off for its service, and when picking it up I was walking through the showroom and spotted the new model 911. I asked the sales person what the waiting time on one of those babies was, expecting her to say two years or something daft like that .

She actually said, “If you want that one, you can have it.” “Holy shit,” I thought, and an hour later I had bought it, or rather signed a PCP finance document. No test drive, no understanding of residuals, no understanding of the cost of ownership — all reason departed me, I just bought it, like I would buy a new pair of shoes.

Bonkers behaviour. Or was it the early signs of dementia? I remember feeling “I really deserve this,” but that’s about it. Ten days later I drove the car from Exeter to my home in Falmouth, about 100 miles. That was early May and I had just reached 63 — so everything must be right.

In June I drove the car to the Hive board meeting and I did it again in July. Apart from that I would just look at it and admire it on the drive. During August I began to realise that I was never likely to actually drive the car, it just was not me, it was a pointless trophy, and that I had bought it because I could, not because I needed it. I remembered what Jeremy Clarkson said in the 90s: we buy the cars we can afford, not the cars we need.

I finally realised that it’s really quite important to check in with your aspirations and test them against your values. Don’t do things just because you can. Bottom line — avoid pointless follies. I sold the 911 back to Porsche Exeter last week after having had it for four months, covering just 312 miles, and as you will appreciate I did take a bit of a smack on the price, but frankly it was the best waste of money I have ever experienced — I felt great after handing over the keys.

PS I have three clients who have 911s, which they rave about, so apologies to them. The difference is they are half my age and absolutely love the car.

Have a great week.



“It was the best waste of money I have ever experienced”


Author: Jonathan Fine