Okay, so yes, I do know today is Tuesday but I still wanted to get a Domaining MBA Monday in this week, so here we are! Today I wanted to talk about a topic that extends beyond Domaining and applies to just about any business. In Domaining especially, finding a good mentor can be the difference between spending years making nothing and sitting on a collection of domains, and actually creating a real business.
I first read about the importance of finding a good mentor on Fred Wilson’s blog in a post titled, The CEO Mentor and Coach. If you’re running a Domaining business chances are you’re the CEO, CFO, COO and just about every other role wrapped into one which means you need a mentor more than ever. In his post Fred says:
I think many people with the ambition and the opportunity can become excellent CEOs. But it takes a lot of work and a commitment to self improvement. It is a very hard job. It is lonely. And it requires discipline and decisiveness. Most of these traits can be learned. (Fred Wilson, AVC)
This is a great point and speaks to the position that many Domaining business owners find themselves in. The most important thing to know is what Fred says above, being a CEO is a hard job, it is lonely, but most of the traits can be learned, if you have a good mentor.
So how can you find a good mentor in the Domaining space?
Well the great thing about Domaining is there are many successful people in this industry that love to share their advice. The important thing to look for in a mentor is not just someone who has been successful in the space, but someone who has been successful doing what you want to do.
So if you want flip domains find a mentor that has built their business on flipping domains. If you want to develop and monetize, find a mentor that has built their business on domain monetization. The idea is that you want to find someone who has knowledge and expertise in the specific area that you’d like your business to focus on. You can’t do it all at once so pick one area to focus on and make sure you can make money doing that before you move onto other areas.
Of course not all Domainers will have the bandwidth to be a mentor, many of us are busy people so be respectful and ask early in the relationship about your interest in having a mentor. There are ways you can make this a benefit to the mentor by offering to shadow them or help them with some of their daily tasks. This can then help you learn by doing and give something back to the mentor.
I personally have been very fortunate to have an incredible mentor, Braden Pollock. Braden has been my mentor (and friend) for around two years now. We meet for lunch just about once a month and talk almost every week. Braden has helped me grow my business and honestly I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Braden. Along with Domain Investing experience Braden has a wealth of business knowledge and has helped me understand how to structure my business, my deals, negotiations, etc.
So if you are looking for a way to take your business to the next level, find a great mentor that is doing what you want to do, and become their apprentice. Learn as much as you can and make sure to do everything you can do to give back so the relationship works for both of you. Thanks for reading this edition of Domaining MBA Mondays and as always feel free to post questions, comments, or your own experiences in the comment section below!