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The $30,000 Domain Name
Picking a great domain

This is a story about the value of patience and following through on your ideas…

A childhood friend, who I still hang and work with on various projects, is a very successful internet marketer. Like me, he’s been an entrepreneur since adolescence. Birds of a feather, I suppose…

However, unlike me he is a blend between a gunslinger and scrambler (click here to read my article on the four types of entrepreneurs): artistically creative and ballsy, which is probably why we work well together (I’m more of a mechanic entrepreneur).

My friend will stay up ‘til all hours of the morning learning code (even though he’s not a programmer), researching obscure issues of economics (even though he’s not an economist) and opportunity spotting online for new startup ideas. When interested in something, there’s no stopping him from learning all the intricacies of it. I don’t know if I’ve met anyone better than him at researching an idea and quickly turning it into a profitable business. He’s good at creating something from what may, at first glance, appear to be nothing.

On one of his research binges, he found a domain name that could have many applications. Unfortunately, someone owned the domain, but hadn’t created a site for it. So he did some digging, as he typically does, and discovered that the individual who owned the domain had possessed it for a few years; and the expiration date was coming up in 9 months. For someone to own a domain for that duration yet never build a site indicates they have no plans for it, and likely forgot they even own it… at least that was my friend’s conclusion.

He marked a couple weeks before the expiry came up on his calendar to remind him to start tracking it on that date. Despite not having any idea what he would use it for, if anything, he believed it was a valuable domain name. As he described it to me, “this has many applications in the growing sharing economy, I just don’t know what exactly.”

Long story short, once the expiry date arrived, he monitored the domain registry every day to see if it was available for purchase. It took weeks (there is a grace period for current owners of domains to renew even after the expiry date), but eventually the domain name came up for auction after it was not renewed. My friend picked it up on a multi-year purchase for a couple hundred bucks. Again, he had no idea what he would use it for, if anything, but he believed it had value.

Several months after he purchased the domain, offers began to arrive in his inbox from foreign companies that wanted to buy it. He was right after all… there was a market for this now valuable domain name. First offer was a couple grand. Then seven grand, ten, twenty, before he finally settled on roughly CAD$30,000. Not a bad ROI wouldn’t you say?

Point of this story is when you have an idea, don’t sit on it. Follow through no matter how big or small it may be. Although all ideas won’t be a success, the more you swing, the more you’ll hit. And making a habit of pursuing your ideas creates a winning character. Majority of people talk about their great ideas but never act on them. That’s why such a small percent of the population are entrepreneurs. Most people don’t put in the labor required. They don’t follow through. Just taking that step is huge. Believe in your ideas and take action; otherwise you’re just another talker.

Oh, and in case you are curious, the CAD$30,000 domain name was – bought by a company in the Middle East.

Stay hungry,
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