Friday, March 7, 2014

The Excellent Adventure: Day 8

Interesting sign from last night's
field trip to Ceadertown.
Go Braves!
I'm starting to get tired.  Eight days is a long time to be away.  Before this excursion, I don't think I've ever been away from my family for any more than about four days.  Only three days left.  Enough complaining.  Gotta dig deep and finish strong!  GATA!  (Get After That Auction!)

Even though I was dragging a little bit today, I was still stoked about selling real stuff for the first time last night.  (Details here in case you missed it.)  It's amazing how you can just transform and immerse yourself into the situation when real money is on the line.  I learned that it can be done.  I have done front of a bunch of people I don't know...... in a town to which I had never been!  Today we were back at the "schoolhouse" and back in the books.

Our teachers are both from different backgrounds.  That makes the class very interesting and very informative at the same time.  Our lead teacher (because his name is on the building) is Charlie Gay.  Charlie is a 77 (I think) year old gentleman with over 40 years in the auction business.  He has done a little bit of everything, but his major accomplishment was a dealer auction in which he would have products and buyers from all over the country.  As he said, he rode that mule for a long time.  Once it began to dry up, he closed it down.  At one time he was grossing $5 million a year!  His partner is Robin Huff who Charlie emphatically contends was his star pupil.  Robin, a lady, has made it her business to make a mark on a male dominated industry.  And boy has she done it!  She has done very well.  The two are partners not only in the school, but in the auction and real estate business as well.  They work so well together.  Charlie trained Robin on the business, Robin trained Charlie on the internet.  Charlie helped Robin into the male controlled business, Robin helped Charlie into the real estate business.  They compliment each other so well.  That comes out in class too.  It's kind of an oldschool/newschool type environment.  As a student, I love it.

Today, Robin was the lead instructor.  We talked about the sale of firearms at auction.  Pretty simple.  To auction firearms you must have an Auctioneer's License and an FFL.  Gotta have both.  No exceptions, no loopholes.  Period.  I have no problem following that one.  I don't care to have to spend the day visiting with the ATF in exchange for a few bucks earned on an illegal auction.  No thanks.  We spent a bulk of the day talking about something that interests me greatly, charity auctions.  First things first.  They were not shy about telling us that we should be paid for our services.  Of course giving is important and you will obviously want to serve a couple of your favorites, but you simply cannot afford to work for free 30 times a year.  Robin contended that while doing charity auctions for free is noble, your calendar is clogged for other opportunities that may come along.  So, while you might be working for free one night, it might cost you $10k if you miss the opportunity for a big estate sale that could fall on the same day.  I think there is an opportunity to serve non-profits in this arena.  The old saying, "You get what you pay for" comes to mind.  I spent a lot of time in the fundraising and non-profit arena.  I know the business.  Think about every charity auction that you've ever been to.  You usually have one of two things.  A really entertaining auctioneer who knows nothing about the charity, or a fundraiser who knows everything about the charity who probably isn't a very entertaining or strategic auctioneer.  Would you pay someone $1,000 if they could return you a $3,000 net increase?  I would.  Regardless of my business.  I think that is what a professional auctioneer could do for a charity......IF and only IF they would commit to and work for the charity. I know the fundraising side.  Been there, done that, had some success for 12 years.  Now I'm learning the auctioneer side.  I might have a niche here.  Offer a high level of service, get results and people will gladly pay you.  I'm thinking hard on this one y'all.

As we do daily, we worked on our chants again today.  Today we began adding filler words.  I had already peeked ahead and started practicing with that earlier in the week.  What else am I supposed to do at a campsite with no TV?  Most of my evenings have been spent listening to recordings and practicing my chant.  I am getting better.  I feel like I did pretty goof in Ceadertown last night.  I have recorded myself a few times in an attempt to track progress.  Still sounds strange to hear myself doing it.  I still have some work to do, but I think I'm making progress.  Just like anything else practice is the key.  Mamma Bear will be driven nuts when I get home.  I'm going to chant everything for a few weeks ;-)

Going back to the tent tonight.  I have spent the last three nights in my Jeep.  Temps were in the 20s Tuesday and Wednesday nights and last night it was sleeting.  It looks to be clear and only in the 40s for my last few nights.  My rations might run out before the trip is up.  I'm almost to the end of a loaf of bread and down to one can of vienna sausages.  I have plenty of oatmeal and Lance crackers to get me through the rest of the trip.  I could just eat in Rome each day and night, but it's kind of the principle of the matter.  I want to make sure I eat what I brought and do this thing how I initially intended.  I'm saving a boatload of money too.  That's always good motivation.

Off to the showers and hitting the hay.  Hope everyone has a great night.

Y'all take it easy,


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