Success, Business & Single Motherhood With Erin Ward

Erin Ward is someone who exudes confidence in the way she talks, walks and acts in her life.

A single mother of two young boys, a highly coveted non-profit auctioneer and certified by the National Auctioneers Association, Erin is a role model for any individual, male or female. This is Erin’s story and how she has made it to where she is today.

Erin is an auctioneer and she told me what she does on a day-to-day basis:

“As a benefit auctioneer specialist, I have chosen a career that really gets to showcase the chant. As an auctioneer, I use the fast paced, high energy, fun chant song to encourage bidding specifically at my fundraisers.  If I do a great job, then unlike a traditional auction, I use this methodology to encourage major donations to help thousands of people!”

It didn’t start this way and Erin shared how she has made it to this point in her 11-year career as an auctioneer.

In the beginning, Erin struggled to grab a foothold with her true calling as an auctioneer. There were a number of times throughout her career where she didn’t fully commit to auctioneering and as a result failed to fully pursue her passion.

“A few years ago, I was seriously at a pivot point in my life and almost gave up on auctioneering but a friend told me to give it another shot. I didn’t know if I was going to come back to auctioneering as I had struggled in the past to make a living. What I realized though is I hadn’t found my niche in auctioneering,” said Erin.

Learning to Niche

It was at this time Erin realized she was passionate about her role as an auctioneer but hadn’t found her area to excel in. When she did find her niche in non-profit auctioneering though, she made a switch that allowed her business to be a unique selling point for a number of non-profits all throughout America.

This type of analysis or inflection in your business is critical at any point. Whenever you’re in business for a long time or short time it is a must to find a differentiator between you and your competitors.

“Fundraising auctions were not always ways to make a living, in fact, today not nearly enough people make a living specializing in benefits,” said Erin.

Erin found her niche by entering into an untapped area of auctioneering which was non-profits and as a result was able to make a business through her passion.

Offer More Value Than You Charge For

As anyone in business knows one of the core things you need to learn early on is that you need to deliver more value than what you charge for and this has been one of Erin’s maxim as she progressed in her career.

“As an expert in the field of fundraising, I have helped my clients so much beyond what I originally thought was my talent.

When I walk into an event today, I immediately notice everything I have helped my clients with through my consulting.  It feels good to see that I have earned my rate before I even step on the floor.

I think historically auctioneers felt like their skill at benefit events was on stage, but after working so many I realized that they know how to raise money in unique ways.  Auctioneers have the ability to look at a room and know where, when and how to raise money and this has allowed me to make money for non-profits in ways they never imagined” said Erin.

Auctioneers have the ability to look at a room and know where, when and how to raise money and this has allowed me to make money for non-profits in ways they never imagined” said Erin.

Working Through Adversity

Erin like the rest of though has made her way through the tough times and lived to share her tale on the other side. Erin told me how she has managed to raise her children while running a business and being a single mother.

“I wake up scared often and ask myself questions

– Am I making the right choices for my boys?

– Can I still live my dreams and provide for them?

– Can I live as my best self and still keep them safe?

I have to talk to myself again (something I’m getting quite good at is self-pep-talks)  and reappraise and ask myself the following questions.

– What type of boys do I want to raise?  I want kind, adventurous, self-fulfilled, happy, giving, smart and good boys.

I want kind, adventurous, self-fulfilled, happy, giving, smart and good boys.

What is the best way to teach them to be that?  By showing them.

By showing them.

I realized that every single day  I am their role model.  I am the one they are learning from, so I can’t disappoint them.  And when I fail, get upset or hurt I share it with them and tell them how I plan to succeed at my next try.

I show them how I can push through this painful disappointment, to come out the other side” shared Erin.

This type of determination is what allows people to grow and excel in all situations. The questions posed by Erin are ones that we all need to ask ourselves when we’re scared.

We’re all role models in some aspect of our lives so we all need to execute on the things Erin has shared. What defines us is how we deal with the times when we’re at our lowest. Anyone can persist and be happy when things are starting out and going well but to succeed like Erin you need to be able to maintain this attitude at your lowest points.

To see more of Erin, you can get in touch with her here.

Kale Panoho

Kale Panoho is a digital marketer, personal trainer and growth hacker in the startup and health industry. His work has featured in the Huffington Post and John Lee Dumas's Entrepreneur On Fire podcast. He is using these experiences to work as a consultant with new and existing business and educating clients about body composition and nutrition. Check out more of his work: