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We’re not sure who originally said it, but it’s good advice. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” In other words, if you want to improve yourself, find more successful, more smart people to hang around with.

Are you the best auctioneer? Maybe you are, or maybe you are only the best auctioneer within the group you associate with? Are you the best auction company owner? Best appraiser? Best ring person? Best clerk? Best online software operator? If you feel you are the best, maybe it’s time to branch out a bit.

How does one find all these smarter people? It’s called association — networking. For auctioneers, join and take part in your state association and the National Auctioneers Association (NAA.) Take classes from those associations including the NAA’s wide selection of designation classes, attend Conference & Show, and look into experiencing the Certified Auctioneers Institute.

Maybe you feel you’ve outgrown all this state and national association education and networking? They don’t provide you our subject experience any longer? I would offer you have two reasonable choices: start “giving back” (“paying forward,” rather — per Woody Hays) (teaching / mentoring / writing) and/or keep an eye on these associations as they are constantly upping their game.

Oh, that’s still not enough for you? Then make it happen … run for office, serve on a board of directors and/or committees where speakers are selected and content is directed. It is more than obvious with the right people, change can happen and associations can and do move forward.

Further, what are you leaving behind? What legacy are you creating? We’re only on earth a relatively short time — what are you doing to improve the lives of other auctioneers and/or the auction industry? Such benefaction can be tangible or intangible. A few states and the NAA have foundations set up to “pay it forward” financially: https://auctioneersfoundation.org/

Are you in the wrong room? Move to another room. Can’t do that? Maybe make your current room better? Maybe create your own room or multiple other rooms? Maybe help other people find the right room? You have lots of options.

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, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.