This is a poignant lesson on the importance of:
(1) Valuing what you create and
(2) Protecting what you create.
Take an inventory of your creations and make sure they are protected. Think, What is the life time value of each of my creations? Am I creating them to sell or would I be better off keeping them?
I'll never forget my annoyance at having to buy back a domain name I created and got too busy to renew the registration.
I was informed that I had to buy it back. And the longer I delayed, the more I'd have to pay. Imagine the audacity!
If I hadn't created it in the first place, it wouldn't be there to sell. So I argued with my domain reg company that I created it and shouldn't have to buy it back. But that's the way of the business world. Some people's whole business is about buying and making money off the creations of others. If you can't see the value in what you generate, there will be many others who do. Why do you think there are people going through your refuse and recycling what you throw away? You see it as worthless trash; they see it as valuable treasure.
And just in case you are thinking, Well, I don't create anything, let me point out that you do! For starters, the more obvious: your domain names, blog posts, web sites and branding.
Then, the less obvious: your design systems (the steps you take to design, create and deliver your products and services); your proprietary customer service processes (the specific steps you take in your business to serve and delight your customers); the formula you follow to produce your bestselling books or works of art; the formula for your skin and hair care products; the patterns for your clothing designs... we could go on. If you are in business, you are no doubt creating intellectual property. And your IP has a market value. You just may not know it. It is alright to create IP with the intention to sell it, just as people buy landed property to sell. Just be sure to sell it for its true worth and that you are not short-changed.
Don't disregard the intellectual property you generate as a business owner. You don't want to spend years and money chasing smart people in court after you see what they've done with your creation. You be the first to see the life time value of your ideas and handwork. And it's not just for your life time; it could become your legacy, as Superman did for Laura Siegel Larson, daughter of co-creator Jerry Siegel.
Moral: Don't let someone else get rich off your sweat while you watch them smiling to the bank. You have assets that you aren't yet valuing.