There are days in our lives that we look back on and see where we made a choice to be something different than what we currently are. I look back on a few key days, the day I asked my wife to marry me, the days my 2 sons were born, the day I broke my elbow off in Sedona mountain biking and the day I graduated from college. I also remember the first auction that I got paid to do, the first fundraiser I ever did and the first classic car I ever sold...but there is one day that stands out as that day of choice that changed my professional life forever.
It was that day in December I was sitting in the Advanced Auctioneer Academy listening to John Nicholls(our current NAA vice president) he was talking about what it meant to be a professional auctioneer and how to get involved in your industry and how that can change your life. He said to join your local and national professional industry associations, he said to reach out and ask for help from more educated and experienced auctioneers, he said to mentor and share your experience to lift up new auctioneers. This was a huge light bulb moment for me...ding! And that is where I decided to take my Auctioneer profession seriously and has skyrocketed since.
As I sit on the airplane flying over the Grand Canyon on my way back from instructing 23 of the worlds newest auctioneers at the Western College of Auctioneering, I just realized I gave a similar presentation on Professionalism and Ethics in the Auction industry. We had a conversation on what it meant to be a professional, how you are expected to act and present yourself, how to treat your sellers and buyers, how you carry yourself in public and being a part of the industry organizations. We also talked about finding a mentor and guide, but also giving back to those that are just coming up. One student auctioneer, who I believe will have a great auction future posed a statement..."You're a professional once you make that choice to truly be one." With that statement, I saw 23 light bulbs go off...very similar to the enlightenment that I had while sitting in class just 5 years ago.
Throughout the day I was able to share my knowledge, love and passion for Auto Auctions, Fundraising/Benefit Auctions and what it means to be a Professional Auctioneer. We also worked together on improving the students bid call chant, along with stage presence, confidence building, ringman work as well having fun while auctioneering. I saw so much growth in one day from these 23 student. From first hearing their chants in the morning where some were still stumbling over their numbers and erratically waving their hands in front of their faces to seeing quite a few give a smooth auctioneer performance with confidence and control. Others were way ahead of the class and were ready to go to work right away after class, some still had some progress to make but their hearts seemed to be filled with the potential in business and in life. I'm so proud and honored to be a small influence on these future auctioneers and hope they take that light bulb that went off to help them light their path to the future in the industry. The final message I left them with is:
Be awesome, Be your best and go forth and change the world!
It's moments like these that re-inspire me to look back and take my own advice...
"Today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!"