Warren Edward Buffett is well known as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
His company meets once a year with upwards of 30,000 shareholders and interested parties attending.
In his most recent get-together, Mr. Buffett was discussing investing. In response to a question about his own strategies at age 82, he responded that he still has intensity about his work:
- “You have to love something to do well at it,” Buffett remarked.
I suspect most everyone would agree with this; and the more I meet and enjoy the company of fellow auctioneers, the more I realize auctioneers really do enjoy their work.
For me, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
In fact, the other day, someone asked me where I worked, and I stumbled over my answer, thinking that the last time I “worked” was over 30 years ago …
What makes auctioneering such an enjoyable occupation? Focusing more-so on the bid calling itself, it seems it stems from several factors:
- Work environment — auctioneers work in a variety of environments, and when bid calling, are usually “on stage” (often seated) where there is a comforting sense of idolization, respect, and appreciation for their work.
- Compensation — about 25% of auctioneers make over $250,000 per year and the median income is about $60,000. Many auctioneers work only a few hours a day and on only select days, and earn a nice living.
- Stress — although one might think bid calling is stressful due to the rapid talking and keeping track of bidders and amounts, auctioneers actually do essentially the same thing over and over, and almost unconsciously, resulting in very little actual stress.
- Physical demands — Bid calling is fairly good exercise, and not usually strenuous to the point of physical injury. Many auctioneers focus on the bid calling and have staff who arrange, lift, carry and/or load items before, during or after the auction.
- Keeping abreast — while the auctioneering industry continues to evolve, it is not difficult to keep apprised of industry changes, current laws, trends, and new technology. Almost all states have classes and seminars for auctioneers, and the National Auctioneers Association provides unparalleled educational opportunities including designations designed specifically for auctioneers.
Of course, some auctioneers perform very physical tasks and/or work in dirty, hot, stressful … less-than-desirable environments. Further, some work for only minimum wages considering all the hours required.
Yet, it seems even considering all this, most all auctioneers enjoy their work.
What is the result of auctioneers enjoying their work? Likely because of this enjoyment, most auctioneers are very good at what they do, and have passion about their labors. Such passion is clearly infectious, often drawing family, friends and others to want to work with them.
And, the infectious nature of auctioneering attracts sellers and buyers — who are naturally drawn to auctioneers exhibiting passion. Such reaction affirms the auctioneer’s work, furthering confidence and enjoyment.
What to verify my conclusions? Find an auctioneer and ask him or her, “Do you enjoy your work?” I’ll bet his or her answer confirms ours.
Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.