About a month ago after realising my life really is now changing and the possibility, nay probability, of my pending move away was driving ever closer. I decided it was time to create a bit of spare cash and focus my funds, time and effort into things I actually care about.
Eh? What’errr don’t you care about?
If you’re into online marketing, SEO and the world that comes with it – you’ll be no stranger to trying your best to spot gaps in the market, hunt down bargain domains and make some money.
In this industry one can get so caught up in the excitement of starting something; what with all the freedom that comes with having your own business. Everyone is trying to ‘get on it’!
With that… come wasted money, wasted time, and wasted talent. Robert De Niro said in A Bronx Tale (1993, awesome film) – “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”
What I didn’t realise, consistently failed at and didn’t rectify quick enough was – properly assessing a purchase. I’d get far too excited about something, move in too quickly and end up with a domain name I’d do nothing with. At a time when finding a quality domain name is actually quite difficult, you feel the need to buy on the spot. Or not allow yourself enough thinking time.
My portfolio of domains over the years has been ridiculous. With some of the silliest domains you’ve ever seen… 3dwomen.co.uk… yes it’s true *pulls ashamed face* is worth nothing. Yet some awesome domain name finds, especially for my company… binaryoptions.co.uk for example is worth at least triple what I initially purchased it for. My business partner David purchased liveroulette.co.uk in 2009, it’s now easily worth about 100x what he paid for it. Winning!
What do I mean by wasted money? Well this one is easy. When you make quick-fire, un- thought out purchases, you are wasting your money. Whether you are paying £1,000 for what you feel is a great website, or £8.17 for a brand new hidden gem – if you haven’t thought it out properly, that is wasting your money.
Trust me, it’s painful when you look at your account and see £23.98 has been paid out to domain renewals because you “might” do something with them soon. If you’re doing nothing with them, let them expire, or get the project underway. That doesn’t even include the next steps, designing, building the website, the hosting, the SEO costs, etc…
If I’d spent that money on a better idea id be a lot better-off by now!
What do I mean by wasted time? Not only are you wasting your money when making on-the-spot purchases, but you are wasting your time too. Let’s just assume you’ve made what you initially believed to be a smart purchase…
Now you’re working on an actual website – you’ve got your hosting set up, you’ve designed, coded, built, written, managed, linked, promoted, everything. To be rewarded with nothing is not necessarily terrible as you learn from your mistake, that’s a reward in itself. But I can’t even begin to imagine how many days, weeks or even months of my life have been used up on poorly thought out projects.
If I’d used that time on a better idea I’d be a lot better-off by now!
What do I mean by wasted talent? Talent is something everyone possesses. Talent is something every single person has, but many do not know what it is. Many however, do know what it is. And others, like me, know what it is yet have side-lined it in aid of making money faster!
What, are you crazy Mike!? Well, everyone makes mistakes.
In the past I hadn’t been looking for the best domain, website or idea that Michael Charalambous could make money from. I’d been looking for the best project to make money from, full stop. What I didn’t realise until relatively recently is that if I don’t care about something… I won’t be putting 110% effort into it. And funnily enough, it will fail.
What you should be doing is looking for that domain/idea/niche/whatever that you can really add value to. Where you can stand out amongst the crowd… where you care enough to make it work… care enough to write about it… and care enough not to let it die.
Utilise your talents. Are you a photographer, a gambler, psychiatrist, deep-sea diver, anything? Use it.
If I’d spent that money, used that time and utilised that talent on a better idea… I’d be a lot better-off by now!
For all the reasons above, I began the “clearing out” process and have started selling domains. In fact I’m selling a bunch of airport parking domains, some of which I only purchased a short while ago.
Anyway, to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I have; here are a few things to consider before purchasing.
Am I wasting my money?
Do I have spare funds? Am I well-off enough to get it now, and work on it later? Do I mind renewing this domain for the next 3 years without making money from it!
Am I wasting my time?
Do I really have the time to give this project the effort it needs? How many hours will it take to get this off the ground? Will I have to leave my job? (can I support myself if I do?)
Am I utilising my talent?
Do I really care enough about this to make it work? Will I have the drive to make this a success when it knocks me back? Do my personal experiences help? Do I care about this idea to give it my all?
If the answer to more than one of these is no, I’d take some time to think about it and consider moving on to another idea.
Naturally, you have to take this all with a pinch of salt – if you’re not hard pressed for cash, like me you can often pay out and take a couple of risks. But more often than not, if you’re not 110% confident on the idea, you should go with something else.
What do you think? Am I wrong here? Let me know in the comments!