The Positives and Negatives of Being a Part Time Domainer

Nov 09 2010

There are a lot of ways to make a living in the world but when it all comes down to it, there is only so much time.  That relegates many of the things we do to “part time”.  In order to be the best at something it takes full out dedication.  The best runners train all day.  The best programmers program all day.  To be the best you have to dedicate most of your day to perfecting your craft.  This doesn’t mean you can’t do other things.  You just have to set the bar lower and be realistic with what you can accomplish and what you can’t.  Domaining is no different.  There are advantages that a part time domainer will have, but for the most part we are playing at a disadvantage.  Here are the positives and negatives, from my perspective of doing this part time

Positives:

1. I don’t have to make a living at this.  My bills are paid and at no point in time do I have to worry about how much I make with domains.  This allows me to be patient and in my opinion, get more money for my domains because I don’t need the money.

2. I am building real business skills before I jump in.  Despite what others think, running a business is running a business.  Whether it is on the web or at a corner shop, it’s all the same.  The components may be in different locations but they are the same.  I’m not saying that domaining and developing domains is not real business I just feel that a person that understands both the Internet AND has run their own brick and mortar business will have an advantage.

3.  I can work when/if I want. This kind of goes with number one.  If I have time, I work on my domains, if I don’t,  then I don’t.

4. I can expand slowly. No pressures for revenue, no outside funding for my domains.  It’s me, myself, and I.  A completely self funded investor.  I learned a long time ago, you have much better chance of making money if you can self finance.   I realize there are larger opportunities out there that require more money than we have and it is advantageous to borrow for these purposes, but buying a domain is not one of them.  If you have a business model behind that domain purchase perhaps.  If you are just buying a domain to flip, be careful.

5. I can often get better prices. Nobody knows who I am.  Even when a seller googles me I don’t come across as a wealthy domain investor.  Full time domainers make a bid for a domain and my guess would be that sellers google their name and think they will be able to sell for more because they are dealing with a “big time domain buyer” .  I’m sure they bid anonymously to prevent this, but I don’t have to worry about it.  I’m just a little ‘ole part time garden domain buyer.

6. I have met some incredible people.  There are a lot of incredible people on the Internet and part of the reason I do this is I really enjoy talking to other people and sharing experiences.  No money can buy that.

Negatives:

1. Not enough time: You just can’t get all the things done you want to.  I have big plans but no realistic plans to get them done.  You may say outsourcing but outsourcing takes management time as well.  The “big boys”have proven that outsourcing has it’s own set of problems.

2. I get sniped at almost every auction.   I have to work during the ending hours of most auctions and can’t sit there and bid.  The results are I either have to put in a very high bid to insure I get it or I get sniped.  I’ve lost more domains for $10 than I care to remember.  I’ve tried to write grease monkey scripts to bid for me but I want to be careful I don’t break anyone’s TOS.  If I want a domain, I’ll get it.  I’m just going to pay more than I probably would have to if I could “compete” in the bidding. On a side note, it’s probably saved me thousands of dollars on domains that I really shouldn’t have bought anyway.

3. You don’t build strong relationships.  I’ve been fortunate that the blog has helped me meet a lot of people but the only real way to meet someone is to work with them.  People in the same industry share ideas and often help each other both make money.  It’s hard to build these relationships when you do it part time.

4. I do things half assed. I work 60+ hours a week, Train for 12-15 hours a week, have a wife and daughter.  That relegates leftover time to everything else.  I means I often am forced to rush through things or just do a lesser job than I’m capable.  Some would say they would rather do nothing that half assed but .50 cents at half assed is better than nothing.

5. My brick and mortar business is a better investment of my money.  It is more important I put money back into our real business than into domains because I make a lot more there.  I put “spare” money into domains.  It takes money to make money and if you only put in a few thousand a year then your returns will be proportional.

6. Takes time away from your family.  No my wife doesn’t complain because I’m sitting 8 feet from her all night every night but there are days when she gets a bit frustrated.  I’m not sure if it’s the long hours at work, the blogging, the running, the swimming, the marathons, the biking, the triathlons, the daughters endless sporting events, or what.  But she does feel at times I’m not available.  Domaining takes time. Time that could be used towards other things, whatever they may be.  She does love the fact that i have never spent a dime from my paycheck or income from the nursery on domaining.  Not one dime.  It’s all driven by side income.

7. Things move in slow motion. As I stated above, a positive is I can move at my own pace but there is one problem.  If you want to move quickly, it’s hard when you are part time.  You don’t have all day to check emails, check statuses, or do tasks.  You do them at night and weekends.  This makes things that should take a few hours, take a few days.  It’s not good business.  I try not to do too many transactions at once because of this reason.  I want the person on the other side to think that I do nothing else besides what he and I are doing.  I want to appear he has my total attention.  It’s not true and it’s difficult, but that’s the goal.

8. Some in the industry don’t take you seriously.  If you don’t sell that big domain or have a huge portfolio, some dismiss you. I will always remember TRAFFIC for this reason.  I will remember the people that  shook my hand and treated me kindly and I will especially remember those who snubbed me.  Of course, most people had not a clue who I was or why I was there but I figure if I take the time time to introduce myself it’s common courtesy to give a smile and a handshake back.  There were a few that didn’t.  There will be a point in time that I will be able to help them make money and I will most likely choose to help someone else.  Of course, everyone gets a second chance before I make full assumption.  After all I’m just a part time domainer.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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6 comments

  1. Morgan

    Right-on Shane – great post and all excellent points!

    One thing that has always amazed me about Domaining is how few people want to treat it like an investment vehicle. I have plenty of friends who invest in the stock market and real estate, and do very well with it, but they also have successful high-paying day jobs.

    I don’t think at any point I’ve considered them less of an investor because they don’t work on the New York Stock Exchange. A good friend of mine is a Doctor who also invests in Real Estate, he’s passionate about Real Estate investing and has built-up a great business for himself. However, not at one point in time has he thought of doing it full-time, he already has a job that he likes, and makes good money!

    Don’t get me wrong, for some sitting in front of a computer all day is a dream come true. As someone who spent five years in University sitting in front of a computer writing code all day long I learned that’s not for me. I need to travel the world, meet new people, and most importantly – close deals!

    We all do what’s right for us and everyone in the industry should be working together to grow the space and welcome as many new Domainers as we can. Don’t tell someone to quit a six-figure job and work as Domainer full-time if you’re not pulling that in yourself – right?

    As you know I’m a big fan of your blog Shane and it was excellent meeting you in January. Are you coming to DOMAINfest? Love to give you the LA tour!!


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Thanks Morgan,

      I’m 99% sure I’ll be attending domainfest. I have to go over a few cost analysis ie double check with my wife. I’ll take you up on the LA tour as well.

  2. tricolorro

    “But she does feel at times I’m not available.”

    Shane,

    Why not do as some couples do in a similar situation and make one night a week that is good for both of you your special date night.

    She gets you 100% that night.

    A once a month weekend Date Day would be nice
    too!


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      Tri,

      After 16 years of marriage I have learned when to drop everything I’m doing and talk or do and other times I just have to pretend like I’m listening. If I do put forth all my attention she thinks I’m trying to get some lovin. With only one child we have lots of time just the two of us. My daughter is always on the go so if anything we need more family time. Thanks for the recommendation though, it really is good advice.

  3. Vincedia

    I am also a part time domainer and business owner, and I agree with your article almost completely. I would have to add that not needing to sell a domain to put food on your table, or not needing the income from the domain world to pay the mortgage as a negative as well.

    I think a little need and hardship go a long way in building a successful business, and that’s what we hope of our investment hobby right? You can afford to be lazy and not pound the pavement pushing a domain, you can afford to make a few mistakes and buy some domains that are not top quality because “what if?”, and that could hurt because now your gambling more than investing.

    I’m not saying in any way that you have any of the above problems. I only mention it because I found myself making this mistake recently. I purchased some domain names that I should have passed on…with the rationale that “hey, I can afford it”

    Disclosure – I have a gambling problem 😉

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