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EXECUTION Journey into domain name trading (Digital Real Estate)

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Genius01

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Dec 18, 2017
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I've decided to document my journey into domain name trading.
I'll flesh this post out a little bit later on....quite very tired now....just had to post this right away to meet my deadline.
Stay tuned.

EDITED TO FLESH OUT POST: (WARNING- LONG POST AHEAD):
Yeah, so I decided to go into domain trading full-time.
For those who aren't familiar with it, it's basically the digital equivalent of real estate.
Acquire valuable domain names, and sell them to interested clients at a profit, or develop the domain names to full digital properties (websites) which you can own or sell.
I'll be going more with the flipping model (buying and selling domain names), as developing domain names into full fledged valuable websites takes time and resources.

WHY DOMAIN NAME TRADING:
I think it has the best potential to yield reasonably good profits from reasonably low capital in the shortest time, compared to other business models, if done right, with the right strategy.
However, that's the challenge....doing it right. It requires a lot of learning and a lot of reading to know what works and what does not, and I am willing to put in the work as required.

There are about 4 businesses I intend to do in future.
I'm starting with domain trading because (hopefully) it will help me build the capital I need to tackle the other ones.
Then I can move on to the subsequent businesses one by one in order of increasing capital requirements, once one business has grown to the point where it can be run on almost autopilot mode.

Very importantly too, domain trading gives me an opportunity to learn some key skills I think will be fundamental to success in the other businesses I may do in future, and to business in general.
Things like cold emailing, cold calling, selling, negotiation skills...... these are skills I will develop and hone in the course of domaining.
They are skills I didn't particularly need or learn in my day job career, but are important in entrepreneurship.
So it's like a real life business school for free, where I can get paid to learn (hopefully).

Also, the business has the capacity/potential to scale to a significant size if my thoughts are right. I've seen pointers to indicate that it's possible to operate it at a much higher level that can have revenues (and profits) in millions of dollars, though difficult, but possible.


PREVIOUS HISTORY
I had dabbled into attempting to kick off some other businesses before, but on both occasions, got to the point of actual takeoff and stopped, (after creating full fledged websites ready to start marketing and receiving payments). This was largely because of my day job which was crazily time consuming both day and night at the time, and also because the day job was providing some income, so the motivation and discipline to go the extra mile to market the sites and actually take off just wasn't enough.

I've always desired the entrepreneurial life, (even though my day job has the potential to pay quite well compared to other jobs), but I've never been able to push myself enough to combine both, partly because of the taxing nature of the nature of the job, and partly because of the small cushion provided by having an income.

So I quit my job 2 months ago, to compel myself to develop the discipline and motivation to do the needful.
As I've realized for myself from past experiences, deadlines and need and adrenaline can be a powerful motivator.
The job would have ended anyway by the end of November, as it was a fixed term contract. However I'm not looking for another job, as I want to go full time into entrepreneurship, though I may be doing a little occasional consulting to make some minimal funds along the way.


WHAT I'VE DONE SO FAR IN DOMAINING:
I had built up a small portfolio of names, which were gotten late last year/early this year when I first heard about domaining. I currently have about 120+ names in my portfolio.
Had a small sale come in sometime during this year spontaneously with no effort from me (someone simply messaged me that he was interested in one of the names I had, and I sold it to him).
But I haven't made any serious effort towards marketing the domain names, other than listing them on one site.

Since quitting, I have done a lot of reading, and set up a system to enable me send cold emails to well targeted potential clients at scale. And I've actually started working the system and sending out emails. But I feel I do too much reading (and sleeping and playing- being distracted online), and too little actual work that moves the needle.
The initial results I have gotten from my cold email outreach have not been encouraging, as most of my emails seem to be landing in spam. So I have to pivot and find a better way to reach the inboxes of relevant targeted potential users (who in some instances are actually happy to learn that such domain names are available).
May also need to combine cold emailing with other forms of outreach such as cold calling or targeted ads in particular cases.


GOALS FOR THIS MONTH (NOVEMBER 2019).
My goal is to generate a revenue of at $10,000 by the end of the month.
That's a high target for a first month starting from scratch, but I honestly believe it's achievable, though difficult.
My personal disposition is that I'll rather aim for the stars and land on the moon. So even if I don't hit the target, the amount of effort that I put into reaching for that target will get me something appreciable, or set me up to achieve something good the subsequent month.
Plus I'll be learning all the way what works and what doesn't work.

HOW DO I INTEND TO ACHIEVE IT:
1. Listing my domains on ALL available marketplaces ASAP.
2. Going back to relearn cold emailing properly, to find a way to land in the primary inboxes of well targeted recipients.
Hopefully by the end of the month, I should have gotten to the point where I am sending 500-750 emails per day, and actually landing in inboxes rather than spam.
3. Doing auctions for some of my domain names if i can figure it out fully this month.

4. Offering discounts and promos where appropriate to stimulate sales in this month of November.



MY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES (Personal SWOT analysis)-

Strengths:

1. Very intelligent (I think, may be very wrong, lol).
2. I can be very hardworking. I use the term "can be", because when in paid employment, I work extremely hard, working day and night, sometimes over 24-48hrs at a stretch with no real breaks, so hard that all my bosses love me and were sad when I quit. However, in this past 2 months working for myself, I can't seem to muster that same degree of hard work (or even a quarter of it, lol). Seems like I need a frowning boss looming over my head to get me to work hard. A major challenge will be transitioning that extent of hard work I did in paid employment, to doing same working for myself. If I can pull that off in any way, that will be superlatively fantastic.
3. I have time to pursue the business maximally. Whether that time will be used productively is another issue entirely- that's the challenge.

Weaknesses:
1. Discipline: I do not think I am disciplined enough when working on my own. Either I do not get up to do tasks when I should do them, or I get distracted when online doing them (simply follow a YouTube video or interesting link and enter a rabbithole of videos and links from there). I need to develop the discipline to stay focused.
2. Procrastination- ties in with lack of discipline above. I'm working on measures to control both of them and I'm seeing results. This thread is one of such measures.
3. Analysis paralysis- I tend to overanalyze and think up all the possible scenarios in an attempt to mitigate risk. Instead of saying- f..k it, let's do it! I'll consciously try to reduce that by doing more of "Ready, Fire, Aim", though that may come with more mistakes. But better than not taking a decision from analysis paralysis.



HOW I'LL UPDATE THIS THREAD:
I may not have much time to participate a lot in the forum this month, as I intend to dive deeply into doing everything I need to do.
However I'll update the thread at the end of each week, stating-
-A review of the week in general
-Whether I achieved my goals and To-do list for each day of the week (I'll be setting goals for every day of the week, and at the end of the week I'll state publicly whether I achieved them each day or not). I intend to finish whatever is on my To-do list everyday, before I sleep for that day. If I don't think I can achieve it for that day, I won't put it on the list. Or I will list it under Extras- do if there's more time.
-What went right for the week
-What went wrong
-Goals for the following week.




So that's about it.

I think it's going to be an interesting ride, sort of like watching a movie play out........... only in this case, I'm the actor, and the consequences of actions and inactions and decisions are very real, not just a movie you get up from after 2 hours.

Whatever happens, win or lose, I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot.
So ultimately it's still a win either way it goes.

Apologies for the long post...see ya later!
 
Last edited:

dauntless

Contributor
Oct 26, 2019
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I hope you are one of them cool domain trading guys. A couple of years ago I lost a domain name due to inability to renew (had emergency surgery and stayed a couple of weeks at the hospital). Dude wanted me to pay $800 to get the domain back! I had even designed business cards and marketing collateral with that name. assbucket.
 

Genius01

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Dec 18, 2017
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Nigeria
I hope you are one of them cool domain trading guys. A couple of years ago I lost a domain name due to inability to renew (had emergency surgery and stayed a couple of weeks at the hospital). Dude wanted me to pay $800 to get the domain back! I had even designed business cards and marketing collateral with that name. assbucket.
Lol, dunno if I'm cool or not. :smile:
But I feel your pain...sorry about that.
It's just what happens with the business....if you leave a valuable asset lying free, someone is going to pick it up. It's just like an unclaimed piece of land lying free for anyone to stake claims on.
Tip going forward- If you have any domain name you consider valuable, its best to leave it on automatic renewal with your card attached, so that it renews your ownership automatically every year without you even knowing about it.
If you let it expire, someone IS going to pick it up, and sell it to you for a profit....unless it's valueless or it's trademarked (if it's trademarked, you can get it back).
But on the plus side, most domainers I know tend to be considerate to the previous owners if it's that they forgot to renew it and it expired, and will sell it back to you for waaay less than they would typically list it in the open market.... provided you are nice and not unduly confrontational with them.
 

Genius01

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Dec 18, 2017
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Nigeria
Goals for this coming week (Monday November 4-Sunday November 10).

1. List all my domain names on ALL possible marketplaces.
2. Re-educate myself on cold emailing and create a new viable strategy for cold email outreach, that is also scalable.
3. Get up to level of sending 50 well targeted cold emails per day that get delivered into the primary inbox, by the end of the week. (100 emails per day is actually preferred, but a minimum of 50 emails per day is okay, as I will be taking things slowly when starting cold email).
4. I will be tracking the time I start work everyday too, and report it at the end of the week.
Goal is to start work by 8am everyday, and finish by 12midnight everyday, with 2-3 hours of break in between.
5. Goal is to also ensure I finish EVERYTHING I have on my To-do list for that day before I lay my head down to sleep (unless for things that are absolutely beyond my control).
I will be tracking how well I do that also for each day, on a % score out of 100, and report that at the end of the week. Aim is to score 100% in completing all the tasks everyday.


Later on I will start tracking exactly how productive I am in each of those working hours, but for this week, the goal is to ensure I start and finish at those hours.
I plan to wake up by 7am everyday (latest 7.30 if I sleep really late), do some exercises both physical and mental, bathe and then start work by 8am.
After finishing by 12 midnight, I will plan my schedule/To-do list for the next day, head straight to bed and probably fall asleep almost immediately (latest by 12.30am) as I will be most likely fagged out.


I will report at the end of the week how well I have performed in these goals.
And be as brutally honest as possible. Honesty helps accountability.

Bye.
 

Pinnacle

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Oct 29, 2007
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Edmond, Oklahoma
Had a small sale come in sometime during this year spontaneously with no effort from me (someone simply messaged me that he was interested in one of the names I had, and I sold it to him).
But I haven't made any serious effort towards marketing the domain names, other than listing them on one site.

Same. Pending sale right now. Someone just offered me $1000 for one of my domains out of nowhere.

Investing it into my business so I can hire a 1099 contractor and advance some other projects.
 

Genius01

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Dec 18, 2017
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Same. Pending sale right now. Someone just offered me $1000 for one of my domains out of nowhere.

Investing it into my business so I can hire a 1099 contractor and advance some other projects.
Yep. It happens like that sometimes.
Congrats on your sale.

Do you routinely invest in domain names or you just happen to have some domain names you had earlier registered for some other purpose?

And please beware of scammers who will approach you with a good sum of money for your domain, and possibly agree to any sum you request for.... with the small caveat that you have to verify the name with a specific service they recommend, which you have to pay for, and once you pay the $100 or so verification fee, the "buyer" disappears....and goes to rinse and repeat elsewhere.
It's less common now, as most people are aware of the scam and don't fall for it.
Just decided to mention it in case you're not aware, since you say it's a pending sale.
 

Pinnacle

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Oct 29, 2007
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Edmond, Oklahoma
Do you routinely invest in domain names or you just happen to have some domain names you had earlier registered for some other purpose?

The latter.

Thanks for the heads up, but the Buyer is represented by GoDaddy Broker Services and I'm with another registrar.
 

Genius01

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 18, 2017
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Nigeria
The latter.

Thanks for the heads up, but the Buyer is represented by GoDaddy Broker Services and I'm with another registrar.
Oh that's fantastic then.
Godaddy's very safe, since they offer escrow services automatically as part of every deal.
Congrats.
 

Genius01

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Dec 18, 2017
218
264
173
Nigeria
Goals for this coming week (Monday November 4-Sunday November 10).

1. List all my domain names on ALL possible marketplaces.
2. Re-educate myself on cold emailing and create a new viable strategy for cold email outreach, that is also scalable.
3. Get up to level of sending 50 well targeted cold emails per day that get delivered into the primary inbox, by the end of the week. (100 emails per day is actually preferred, but a minimum of 50 emails per day is okay, as I will be taking things slowly when starting cold email).
4. I will be tracking the time I start work everyday too, and report it at the end of the week.
Goal is to start work by 8am everyday, and finish by 12midnight everyday, with 2-3 hours of break in between.
5. Goal is to also ensure I finish EVERYTHING I have on my To-do list for that day before I lay my head down to sleep (unless for things that are absolutely beyond my control).
I will be tracking how well I do that also for each day, on a % score out of 100, and report that at the end of the week. Aim is to score 100% in completing all the tasks everyday.
UPDATE: PAST WEEK IN REVIEW.
Put up a very poor performance this week.
Failed to achieve any of my goals. Though I made some progress along each one, but I failed to hit the mark of achieving it.
The major problems were that I found I was spending far too much time on each task, far more than I budgeted, because I try to get all the information possible to minimize the chances of making a mistake. That slows me down a lot. I've had days when tasks I planned spending 2 hours on, ended up taking 7-8 hours, and I was really annoyed with myself.
In addition, I realized that after doing the first 2 or 3 tasks of the day, I tend to get distracted by other things, such as watching YouTube videos that may be relevant to other things in business but not to the immediate task at hand. Also not good at all. I need to develop laser focus.
There were also some offline tasks that took up significant parts of my day on 2 or 3 days, and limited what I could do.
Overall, I would rate my performance as 30% in achieving my goals for each day this past week, as well as 30% for the week.
Very very pissed off with myself.

MEASURES TO ADDRESS THAT:
I'm squeezing myself further in an attempt to ensure I achieve the targets I set for each day.
Going forward, for each day I fail to hit my goals for that day, I'll give out a significant sum of money to someone random. (A sum that's significant for me at this time).
Though I have relatively limited resources, I'll keep doing this every single time, so it's either I go completely broke from not hitting my targets, or I'm basically forced to get them done to avoid having to dash out money.

2. Eliminate distractions. I'll develop tunnel vision on my To-Do list for this week. It's either I do the next task on the list, or NOTHING else gets done. Including watching YouTube videos on other parts of business, or interesting links that may contribute to knowledge.
I'll simply store any interesting links or videos in an "Interesting Links to look up later" note in Evernote, and get to it whenever I have free time.

3. Avoid trying to necessarily get all the information possible on the internet on a topic in order to take a decision. It simply wastes waaay too much of my time. I remember seeing a video or an article on Jeff Bezos where he says most of the time, he takes decisions with only about 70% of the actual amount of information he would like to have on the subject, but he prefers to take the decision anyway, rather than wait to have 100% of the information. That most times, waiting to get 100% information is waaay too slow for business.
I'll have to adopt that strictly going forward.
It's a bit of a contradiction to all my training in my real-life slowlane career, where you have to get and review all the information possible, to minimize chances of making a mistake. But I recognize it's part of the switches I have to make to become a successful entrepreneur.
It means I'll likely make more mistakes, but I have to accept that, learn to recognize mistakes early, and pivot if necessary quickly, as Jeff Bezos also said. It is what it is.


GOALS FOR THIS WEEK:
Essentially a repeat of last week's goals (to complete the things I haven't completed there. I may add more if I achieve this, but for now, it's essentially these.)

1. List all my domain names on ALL possible marketplaces.
2. Re-educate myself on cold emailing and create a new viable strategy for cold email outreach, that is also scalable.
3. Get up to level of sending 50 well targeted cold emails per day that get delivered into the primary inbox, by the end of the week. (100 emails per day is actually preferred, but a minimum of 50 emails per day is okay, as I will be taking things slowly when starting cold email).
4. I will be tracking the time I start work everyday too, and report it at the end of the week.
Goal is to start work by 8am everyday, and finish by 12midnight everyday, with 2-3 hours of break in between.
5. Goal is to also ensure I finish EVERYTHING I have on my To-do list for that day before I lay my head down to sleep (unless for things that are absolutely beyond my control).
I will be tracking how well I do that also for each day, on a % score out of 100, and report that at the end of the week. Aim is to score 100% in completing all the tasks everyday.
 

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