The basis of many businesses is exploiting people’s weaknesses: think of cigarettes or donuts. Stingy Investor drew attention to an article about the successful industry of self-storage. This is yet another business that owes its success to our weaknesses.
Many of us are pack-rats by nature. We save things that make no sense to save. I’m sure that there are those who use self-storage for reasons that make sense, but there are a great many who waste time and money storing useless junk they can’t bring themselves to throw away.
I frequently re-examine the contents of my home to decide whether I’m storing things pointlessly. If I didn’t do this I probably would already have joined the ranks of people who have overflowing homes and a self-storage unit or two.
Let me try to anticipate some objections. No, I don’t think that self-storage businesses should be prevented from operating. Yes, on some level, every business exploits our weaknesses – like the need for food and shelter. It’s just that some products and services have less redeeming value than others. How bad a particular industry is on this scale can be subjective.
If you have a strong emotional reaction to the thought of having to get rid of say 10% of your stuff, you may have a problem. If you are thinking you need a self-storage unit, try examining whether you have an emotional need to keep a pile of useless stuff before spending your hard-earned money.