When I first started in the business world, like most entrepreneurs I wanted to do it all. Domain Investing is a business where you can easily convince yourself that you can do it all thanks to the incredible low price of domain names. For my first two years I really did try to do it all, I bought tons of names, built out all of them that were humanly possible by working on nights and weekends, and really tried to do the impossible.
Two years later I had made some great progress, but quickly saw that only about 10% of what I was doing really took-off, the other 90% failed. This was okay because it helped me learn what worked and what didn’t. I wouldn’t change my approach for anything in the world, but I am glad that I learned from this approach, or at least I thought I learned.
In year three I decided to focus almost entirely on domain development and thought that focus meant focusing just on development. I continued to build out domains like crazy but convinced myself I was more focused since I wasn’t putting as much focus on buying and selling.
Now five years later I look back and realized that even when I thought I was focused, I wasn’t. Running more than a handful of sites is unfocused, period. Sure, there’s the great myth of the mini-site, a magical 5-10 page site that you built and then sit and forget about while it brings in the big bucks. While mini-sites do still bring in money for my business, that money means a lot less to me now since much of what we do brings in a lot more meaningful revenue.
In 2012 I’ve learned the real meaning of focus (or at least this time I think I’ve got it right!). Focus means really doing only one or two things, not focusing on one things and doing a million things in that niche. To that end I have found a real passion for building brands, not ten brands at once but one brand at a time. I learned that focusing on building brands doesn’t mean building a bunch of brands and focusing only on that, instead it means focusing on one brand at a time.
In the end it means doing more with less. Building fewer sites, buying fewer domains, and selling fewer domains, but making far more money. Now rather than trying to sell ten or twenty domains a month I focus on selling one domain a month but make it really worthwhile. Rather than having an army of sites and brands I’m focusing on having one or two go-to brands.
Of course, this is an evolution and over the last two months I’ve evolved further and will be doing even more with less going forward. This realization came with FashionMetric, a company that Daina (my fiance) started and I have joined as a co-founder. This is not a website, this is a real company that is now getting the majority of my focus and I am loving every minute of it. We are building a real brand and taking a deep dive into an industry we both love.
In parallel with this the domain sales side of my business has taken-off like a rocket ship which has been a dream come true. I think after five years I finally understand what Domaining is really about and realized that most Domain Developers really aren’t Domainers (please don’t take any offense here) but instead are website developers and affiliate marketers.
While I love website development and affiliate marketing, my interests have migrated to building a real startup. It’s a lot harder than building a site, takes a lot longer, and has a lot more hurdles along the way. That being said it is an adventure that I am making major sacrifices for and will be making even more major sacrifices for in the very near future.
So what does this mean for my blog? This means that my blog will also become more focused as I will be discussing buying and selling domains much more when I cover Domaining topics, and I can easily see over 50% of my posts switching to FashionMetric and the journey we take building a real startup in the fashion world. For those who have come along on this adventure since 2007 you have seen my dream of building a business become a reality as I have built a strong six-figure business in the Domaining space.
Now I will be taking this skill set and, like a sponge learning more everyday as we build an exciting new company. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will it make a ton of money this year, who knows. What I can tell you is that I am doing more with less and I’m loving every minute of it.
What does this mean for you? Take a long hard look at your business and make sure your spending your time on the right things and staying focused. Set goals and hit them. If you miss your goals talk to an expert who can help. I have been lucky to have some incredible mentors along the way and if you don’t have a mentor, find one now, they make all the difference in the world.
It’s a lesson that took me five years to learn but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can learn the same lesson, do more with less.