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“In competitive contexts, many have merit, but few succeed. What separates the two is luck.” Today’s topic regards … is it better to be lucky than good? Or, said another way, can good (talent) only take you so far if you’re not lucky? https://www.fastcompany.com/40510522/meritocracy-doesnt-exist-and-believing-it-does-is-bad-for-you.

There are thousands of top-shelf auctioneers around the United States. Yet, a select few work at the highest-profile events and even fewer make millions of dollars doing so. Are these select few auctioneers really good? They are. Are they as well lucky? No doubt.

Talent is seen as something someone makes themselves, contrasted with luck which is tied to more external events, usually out of the control of the individual. Although, the more talent coupled with more positive networking with others … maybe the more lucky someone becomes?

In 2010 I started assisting a nationwide company with their auctions that found me working as an auctioneer on a Wednesday night in Groveport, Ohio. As I’ve told hundreds of people, had I been less than “on my game” that night, they likely would have picked someone else. Yet, they picked me.

For that matter, there was that mild sunny day in November 2009 when I created a www.wordpress.com account and started (and continued) this blog … unbeknownst to me leading about a year later to me being hired as an auction expert witness and thereafter dozens of times all across the United States.

As hundreds of auctioneers walk across the stage each year competing in a variety of auctioneer contests, the winners are talented (and lucky) enough to win. Of course, those who don’t enter — no matter the talent — don’t win. In many respects, it’s a matter of putting yourself and your talent out there so luck can find you.

Lastly, as our article above suggests holds, “Meritocracy is a political system in which economic goods and/or political power are vested in individual people on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than wealth or social class” but goes on to say it isn’t merely merit, and luck plays a critical role.

If you aren’t where you as an auctioneer want to be, it’s easy for me to tell you to hone your craft and network with others. I would also tell you that being lucky is essential, which means much of your success may be out of your direct control.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and America’s Auction Academy. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by the The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.