Remember: Business is What Have You Done for Me Lately

Mar 26 2011

Congratulations, you were successful.  You made a ton of money and can now live comfortably.  You were the king of the world and figured out a system or a business model that nobody had done quite yet.  Eventually things changed, the business model faded away, and now you are standing there figuring out the next move.  I’m cool with that unless all you do is talk about what you did in the past.

You know those guys, the guys that wear their high school football uniform to the 20 year reunion.  Those days were the best days of their lives.  Days that were never able to be replicated.  Despite the fact they got all the girls and the attention back then,  you still feel sorry for them.  It’s no different in business.  Things change and what can be grand one day can immediately turn to shit the next.  A serial entrepreneur is constantly thinking up their next move, not talking about the moves and successes from the past.  Certainly they learn from them, utilize the assets that were built by it, but they don’t live in the glory.  Respect is earned through time and action but you find out quickly the difference between a person that is respected for what he’s doing and done as opposed to only for what he’s done.  One is treated like a grandfather and one is treated like the super successful cousin that shows up once a year at the family picnic.

The domain industry is young.  There are billions to be made in the future.  Congrats to those that made it on the first round. I think you’re reading the article of a guy that’s going to be part of round two.  Why am I so sure?  I am the 5th generation in my family’s business.  A business that is constantly changing with only one constant.  I sell plants.  How they’re grown, what is grown, and how they are sold has changed with each generation.  My employees and the corporations rely on my ability to adapt to the changing environment in which we now operate to achieve economic climb. The Internet is the hub of this move forward.  Horticultural keyword domains are a big part of this change. I “get it”.   We are at the very beginning of a business revolution that is letting small business become national, and national reach local.  A change that will allow those that can keep up, the ability to make more money than they ever have before, while at the same time bankrupting companies that have been rolling in cash for generations. The same companies that are telling others of their greatness rather than concentrating on making sure it continues.

It seems that many in the domain investing industry are worried about the people and blogs that are posting information/advice and the fact that they aren’t “experts”.  Do the past winners in this young industry have better advice to give than those that are presently succeeding?  In my opinion I am more interested in hearing from a present success story that can be replicated, versus an early entry story whos time and day has come and gone.  People enjoy the stories of the $100 to $100,000 flip of 2000 but they get wood when they hear about the big flip from last month. Last month’s story gives hope to present domainers that it is still possible to make huge gains in today’s market.

I am not a domain expert but I know business and business on land and on the Internet, follow most of the same principals.  It doesn’t matter what you sell or how you sell it.  The parts are interchangeable but the model is the same.  The difference from 20 years ago and today is the present model includes the Internet and domains.  Parking and minisites are not business models, they are super low interest saving account for domains that you haven’t found a business model.

So celebrate the past. Congratulations.  Hopefully you’ve saved the money to continue your journey.  I have the reigns of a 140 years of history that I’m expected to lead.  I’ve grown the company by 500 percent over the last 15 years and millions of dollars in sales but I’m not resting on my laurels.  I know that domains and the Internet are giving me a chance to make the past look small in scale.  But it won’t be by looking through old photos, balance sheets, and dusting off old trophies.  Nobody cares about what happened last year.  They want to know what I’m doing NOW.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. John

    I agree with you in all respects but one…… that is that most of these new “expert bloggers” are making big money. I’d guess they are mostly living paycheck to paycheck, so to speak, just barely eeking out a sustainable income based on what they are doing/reporting.

    I’d also guess over 90% have a second job since they can’t make it 100% Online with domains or development.

    If they have something novel to share I’m all for listening, but there is a bunch of regurgitated misinformation being spewed and followed by the new masses. It’s sad to watch them being led into the desert to only fade away.

    Old eyes, like new ones, can allow some of us old folks to see some things clearer, like history repeating itself.

    I DO know one thing. This business will only get harder each year that passes. Google, Bing, Yahoo have made it clear they are the enemy of both real and amateur developers and real and amateur domainers.

  2. theo

    John your right. But what Shane says here is cutting down right to the bone..

    This industry is still very young. And the landscape is changing extremly fast.

    Vision is the key to succes here and to look beyond the .com scene or concentrate on what is yet to come..

    What Kevin posts at his blog is a good source to wich direction ICANN is heading.

    Adaption is needed since the rules are changing rather fast.

  3. DTalk

    People that have had mega success in the past are not necessarily good voices for the future. But they may be. ‘Older’ voices are not wrong because they are ‘old’.

    People that are a ‘new voice’ today may well be speaking the vital truths we need to hear for tomorrow. But, they may not be. Newer voices are not valuable because they are ‘new’.

    There’s never been a substitute for plain old good judgement, good instincts, good business nous, and, great persistence, energy, and determination. And, courage.

    Read everything; hear everything; Be open at all times….then, go build your dream with everything you’ve got.

    1. Post author

      “old voices” will always have value. My only statement is that the old voice that is also a new voice has the most value. As I stated in the article. The basics of business have never changed. Buy low, sell high, manage costs, increase sales. Those parts are easier are managed differently based on when and where they took place. In domaining, if you bought names in 1995 you could say flipping domains is easy if you hold. A statement that most “new” domainers know that it is no longer a guarantee. Thanks DTalk for the response and well put.

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