You know that shopping spree you went on? The one where you went in search of new tennis shoes and instead came home with a sack full of items you hadn’t planned on? Sometimes those moments are fun; sometimes filled with regret. Well, trust me on this, the same can be said in reverse when you let a great opportunity go by.

A few months back my team worked with a dream client. They listened carefully during the consultations that preceded their big event, and created and implemented an auction plan that steered them toward the right targets so they could meet their goals.

On gala night this client offered something I hadn’t seen before. When the main part of their fundraising program was complete, they moved guests to the after-party in the venue foyer, complete with party band. A few songs in, our auctioneer was asked to sell the chance for an attendee to play the cowbell on stage for one song with the band. It took just five seconds before I decided to bid. ...Why? Two of my team’s Professional Bid Spotters were also drummers and I thought it would be a kick to see them hammer out (or ham up) the cowbell on stage. I told them what I was going to do and we laughed (a lot!) as the bidding progressed.

And then it happened… I paused. I waited just those few seconds too long, and the “cowbell performance” went to another ecstatic bidder! I was thrilled for her, but thought, “If I had just gone that one bid more!” The money was going to a great cause and that small gesture could never honor enough my Professional Benefit Auctioneer and the Professional Bid Spotters who worked so hard that night to help assure our client's success.

Avoid “Non-Buyer’s Remorse” and follow your instincts to be generous. There is so much joy in giving. Don’t let your chance pass you by.