Archive | General Stuff

Let’s Talk About “Street Smarts”

Posted on 15 April 2019 by Andrei

Frankly, I always thought it was a shame that the importance of “street smarts” in the world of domaining tends to be underestimated… can you consider yourself a good domainer if you have close to zero real-world experience?

In other words, if you’ve let’s say never run a business or even been near someone running a business. Or, generally speaking, if you don’t have the right balance in your life between reading and actually executing.

Can you call yourself a good domainer under such circumstances?

Well, I guess you can. Nothing in this world is impossible, but even if you are doing okay-ish or even very well as a domainer without getting your hands dirty, blissfully living in your little bubble… it’s still sub-optimal, to put it mildly.

I mean, look: I’ve written two 400-page books, went after my PhD and frequently devour books (primarily non-fiction), I’m anything but the type of person who would hold a grunge against the “white collar” dimension of life. On the contrary.

But I’ve been through enough to know that while living in your very own little ecosystem that’s as disconnected as possible from the many less than glamorous problems of the proverbial real world might give you (temporary) peace of mind and seem comfortable… your comfort zone tends to be your #1 enemy.

Maybe you’re smart, fair enough. Maybe you’re good at acquisitions, great. But if you get stuck in your comfort zone, it’s only a matter of time until others who are just as smart as you and just as good as acquisitions but went beyond their comfort zones will do better than you.

So while not necessarily a deal-breaker, street smarts are definitely something that could and SHOULD give you an edge.

Great… but how can one make improvements in the street smarts department?

In a nutshell, I’d say it’s all a matter of being willing to put yourself out there. Try new ideas, connect with other people, launch a project or two. Fail embarrassingly. Then get back on the saddle and try again, rinse and repeat.

In my case, I had no choice but to develop street smarts, because life in Eastern Europe tends to demand that. So, yes, the street smarts of some people might be context-related. To others, it just comes natural, for example people who have impressive emotional intelligence. Fair enough.

But for most individuals, street smarts are acquired willingly and systematically. Kind of like training a muscle. You set a goal (improving your street smarts), develop a game plan and executing, one failure at a time πŸ™‚

I hope this post wasn’t too abstract and don’t want to hit the “Publish” button without making it clear why I’ve decided to write it. The #1 reason is that anyone can try to do it. And by trying to do it, you’re actually doing it, because that’s the entire point: trying, putting yourself out there.

While it may not be the most comfortable experience in the world, it’s one of those things that will generate benefits indefinitely once you set things in motion. Your improvements in the street smarts department will become more obvious once you notice that you’re now seeing negotiations with end users from an entirely different angle (being able to actually empathize with the end user and his/her business struggles), that you’re more confident in the decisions you make (when to accept, when to counter, etc.) and the list could go on and on.

Try it… you’ll most likely hate me initially but thank me in the end πŸ™‚

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You’re Only Human… Who Would’ve Thought?

Posted on 18 March 2019 by Andrei

The past two weeks have been a pretty humbling experience, since my body repeatedly showed me its limitations… something I’m not used to AT ALL!

It started with a tolerable but annoying knee injury, which left me unable to do a bunch of tasks which always came easy to me. What followed was a period of stomach pain, and, finally, the flu which has been making my life miserable for the past 48 hours (chills, continuous fever, the whole enchilada).

Come to think of it, I guess I should be in bed instead of writing this, heh.

But before my wife notices that I’m working and forces me to do just that, I felt this is an important post to write because we make contingency plans for a lot of business-related scenarios… market downturns or even crashes, industry-specific turbulences and what have you.

What many of us fail to do, however, is make plans that pertain to our health or, more specifically, what happens when it deteriorates πŸ™

Now, sure, we all *know* our health can and eventually will deteriorate.

But how many of us truly internalize this threat?

The thing is, I don’t usually get sick and when I do eventually come down with something, it tends to manifest itself as an annoying headache that an hour of sleep makes go away.

It’s not until you get an occasional wake-up call from your body that you realize just how much you actually do each day, just how much you take for granted and just how difficult things get when that’s taken away from you.

The bottom line is this: to call yourself a robust/resilient domainer (or entrepreneur, investor, freelancer, whatever it is you do for a living), you need contingency plans in place for when things go sour health-wise.

To give you an example that pertains to my YouTube channel, I try to have at least a month’s worth of videos as a buffer and the same principle applies to the other stuff I do. Needless to say, I’m very grateful for that buffer right about now, when I mostly feel that my head is about to explode.

And on that note, it’s time for another cup of tea and a bit more rest!

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Are You an Investor or a Consumer at Heart?

Posted on 14 March 2019 by Andrei

… please note that there’s no right or wrong answer here, it’s all a matter of being in touch with who you really are.

Obviously, if you’re an investor at heart or in other words someone who is always more than willing to defer consumption and re-invest, you’ll probably make more money in the long run as a domainer than someone who prefers consuming right away.

But, again, it’s not a right/wrong situation.

Someone making $x per year can be much happier than someone making $5x yearly. And if the $x per year person says that no, from now on he will do whatever it takes to also earn $5x, he or she will only end up more miserable in the process if the goal of earning more isn’t something he or she genuinely wants.

In my case, I knew all along I was a “cheap bastard” or someone who is not into fancy cars, expensive clothes, exotic vacations and what not. It’s not that I hate these things, I don’t crave them. What I do however crave and have always craved is financial security, knowing that I’m on the right track.

Other people I know are consumers by excellence. They purchase better cars on credit, indulge in the latest and greatest consumer goods (from newly-launched phones to home cinemas, you name it), the list could go on and on.

Are they doing the right thing?

Well, it depends.

In my opinion, as long as they don’t go overboard and become compulsive spenders, the answer is most likely yes as long as they’re doing it for the right reasons. As long as they’re doing it because it makes them happy deep down inside. I have no problems with that whatsoever.

If they do it to impress their friends or because it’s what society conditioned them to think they should be doing, then that’s a different story and way too many people make this mistake.

What I’m trying to say here is that the decision to “live your life” is a deeply personal one and it’s all relative. I feel like I’m living my live by knowing that I’m financially resilient (with peace of mind being what I *actually* crave), whereas other people would be miserable without indulging in the best society has to offer.

Again, I’ll probably do better than them in the long run as an investor… but so what?

In both of my books, I’ve referred to research conducted based on data from multiple countries: time and time again, it has been noted that as long as your basic needs are met, future income gains aren’t correlated with directly proportional increases in happiness.

Therein lies the key do figuring out how to live your life IMO.

If your current financial behavior puts your basic needs in jeopardy, something has to be done. If, however, that is not the case and if your current lifestyle is one you find fulfilling, then by all means, do your thing and be happy.

Simple enough, right?

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You Know China’s the Elephant in the Room… Do You Have a Plan?

Posted on 10 March 2019 by Andrei

Out of ~7.7 billion people on this planet today, roughly 1.4 billion of them live in China. It was hard to ignore China when they were going through a rough time economically (China after the First Industrial Revolution as well as China during Mao Zedong’s regime, two shameless plugs that I think you’ll find useful)… let’s not even talk about today’s China, with a GDP per capita that grew 25x (NOT a typo) since Mao’s death.

What I’m trying to say is that a trend has been set in motion that is ridiculously hard to stop and while there will be bumps in the road (remember, the US had its own share of problems until it became the economic superpower it is today!) as well as difficulties to overcome (the huge discrepancy between the economy of the highly industrialized regions of China compared to let’s say Western China), it’s only a matter of time until China will become the world’s largest economy.

And even once that happens, there will be PLENTY of room to grow, since its GDP per capita will still not be unbelievably high.

As such, I don’t care what industries you’re in, opportunities in China are and will be all over the place.

The trillion dollar question is this, however:

What exactly are you doing about it?

Time and time again, we become the masters of hindsight, the people who say “I knew all along that XYZ will be big” but made exactly $0 because they didn’t take any form of meaningful action to get a slice (no matter how small) of that pie.

What can you do?

Well, it depends.

I for one, as mentioned in an earlier post, am learning Chinese.

If you don’t want to do that, no problem. Some of you might decide to brush up on your history, especially Asian history. Great idea!

Others might choose to travel to China every now and then, make connections and see where that leads. Excellent!

As perhaps the architect of today’s China (Deng Xiaoping) said:

“It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice!”

… a huge shift from Mao’s less than flexible ideology and wise words to live by, if you ask me.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter that much what you do as long as you promise yourself you’ll at least think of something to take advantage of this monster of a trend… which isn’t going anywhere.

Half the battle is showing up πŸ˜‰

Good luck!

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Why I’m Learning Chinese

Posted on 01 March 2019 by Andrei

Nǐ hǎo! I’ve always kinda-sorta wanted to learn Chinese but last month, my wife and I have signed up for an actual Chinese class… should be interesting!

But why?!?

In my case, it’s a no-brainer, as I know how many additional doors knowing Chinese can open. Hopefully, once my Chinese is decent enough, we’ll be spending a month or two in China for business+pleasure reasons.

Yes, I know people can just use English, fair enough.

But we’re young and in our case, I see learning Chinese as an investment in our future. Not necessarily one that will generate returns right away but a promising one nonetheless.

Let’s look at it this way: perform a Google search for the term “Angus Maddison database” and you’ll come across data about which percentage of the world’s GDP various countries represented over the past 2,000 years… I kid you not.

You’ll notice something interesting: when it comes to the majority of those 2k years, China + India accounted for more than 50% of the world’s GDP. And as far as the Chinese culture is concerned… let’s just say that even the first emperor they have recorded information about is described as someone who *took over* an empire that was in bad shape and turned things around… but that empire already existed!

So, on the one hand, there are benefits associated with my career and on the other hand, there are benefits associated with immersing yourself in a culture as impressive as that of China.

But the potential economic benefits transcend just my career, make no mistake. I for one find it hard to believe that China will not become the world’s #1 economic power during the lifetime of most people who are reading this. In terms of GDP, of course, because even once that happens, China will have its share of poverty issues, for example Western China vs. the powerful coastal industrial regions.

But still, it is an economic force that shouldn’t be ignored, even if the benefits related to your career aren’t as obvious as in my case.

Perhaps investment opportunities will eventually arise, perhaps you’ll be able to *attract* investors from China… who knows. The bottom line is this: there will inevitably be several ups and downs over in China (the short domain mania represents an eloquent example that pertains to domaining). Even the US didn’t get to where it is today very smoothly, let’s face it.

But after drawing the line, this much is certain: there are or will be life-altering opportunities in China for pretty much everyone who is reading this and those who are properly immersed in Chinese culture (among other things, by trying to learn the language) will have a huge edge IMO.

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Should Domainers Care About Politics?

Posted on 27 February 2019 by Andrei

Keyword domain or brandable. Dot com or ccTLD. Niche-specific metrics. Domain-specific metrics (age, past sales prices… if any, etc.), there are a ton of things that are on your mind if you’re serious about being a good domain investor.

Therefore, I don’t judge those who tell me they don’t care about politics-related stuff at all.

You’ve heard the narrative: that stuff just fills me up with negative energy, I stopped following the news a long time ago, I don’t even own a TV anymore, etc.

I get it.

But (because of course there is one!) you do need to understand that just like economics, there’s no running away from politics, there just isn’t.

If you think that as long as you’re a good domainer, you don’t have to care what your country’s politicians do, well… tell that to a domainer from the UK who invested in a bunch of let’s say one-word .eu domains and risks dealing with a business, legal and logistical nightmare in light of the entire Brexit situation.

If that’s too specific, think about scenarios involving the fragmentation of the Internet.

Michael COSTELLO (I know it’s Castello, just writing COSTELLO in the hope that he’ll drop by and say “It’s Castello… punk!” like he did when people misspelled his last name in the comments section back in the day… the good old days, heh!) has frequently voiced concerns about this scenario from a domain investor’s perspective and his arguments make perfect sense.

Currency wars (countries trying to weaken their currencies after a financial calamity, the Great Recession in our case) already escalated to trade wars from many perspectives… if any of those end up manifesting themselves in an “I’ll just pack up my toys and leave!” manner when it comes to the Internet, domaining as we know it will be in for its biggest test.

If you don’t know what currency wars or trade wars are, here’s a link to one of my one minute videos that’s about currency wars and here’s one about trade wars.

You probably already know a fair bit about the Great Recession, so there’s no point dwelling on that.

What I’m trying to say is that in an Internet fragmentation context, stuff would happen to domaining that would make past challenges (the post-Great Recession crash, new gTLDs and so on) look like a walk in the park and you need to keep your ear to the ground.

Is there something we as domainers can do to stop such things from happening?

Let’s face it… no.

Our industry is way too small for us to be able to influence things one way or another, the only thing we can do is voice our concerns whenever we can (during ICANN-related discussions, for example, or in other similar cases) and most importantly, plan ahead so that IF (not when but if… nothing is certain and there’s nothing wrong with hoping for the best) such a scenario ends up unfolding, at least we’re not being taken by surprise.

Therefore, yes, I’m afraid domainers do need to keep up with politics-related stuff.

Even if it only means spending 5-10 minutes each day reading the news. I’m not saying you need to invest a huge amount of time, I am however *strongly* recommending that you do something. You might hate it so much that you feel the need to shower right away after doing it but… yeah, sorry πŸ™

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Any Bitcoin Sellers Among Domainers?

Posted on 03 November 2018 by Andrei

I’ve started investing in btc more seriously as of $500 and stopped investing fiat at $5,000. Over the next few months, I will once again be investing some fiat and am looking for a few go-to sellers. In other words, people I add on Skype and contact whenever I want to buy.

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Dear End Users, Let’s Not Forget About Domains!

Posted on 10 September 2018 by Andrei

I see waaaaaaaaaaaay too many people who have become pretty much 100% dependent on social media. Businesses built around a YouTube channel. Or a Facebook page. Or Twitter, whatever. These individuals found something that works and don’t care about anything else. Maybe they’re talented at making videos and their YouTube channel is doing well. Perhaps their witty comments got them a Facebook or Twitter following.

You know what scares me? That many of them don’t even think about the importance of creating and growing their OWN website. On their own domain. Yes… how old school of me! Continue Reading

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CashBet.com Casino on STEROIDS: Kidnapping just got a hell of a lot easier.

Posted on 03 February 2018 by Graham Haynes

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DomainingTips + NamePros Partnership, New Twitter Account & TLC :)

Posted on 02 February 2018 by Andrei

Well, it seems DomainingTips is once again receiving some much-needed TLC!

Graham and I are trying to slowly get back to posting more frequently, we’ve partnered up with NamePros to bring you the NameProsDaily posts and I have to say, Eric from NamePros is one of the hardest workers I’ve come across! Really excited about everything he’s doing, positive, you name it!

He went ahead and even created a DomainingTips-only twitter accountΒ where all new DT posts will appear, please follow when you get a chance to btw.

Have to say, I’ve missed blogging and while I’m still nowhere near ready to commit to a regular blogging schedule, I’m getting there. After my new book is 100% ready for the spotlight and I organize some things better in my professional life (easier said than done!), I’ll finally be able to dedicate more time to DomainingTips and of course to my YouTube.com/OneMinuteEconomics channel, which is growing quite nicely but more on that later this month, when I’ll try to put together a case study update. That’s it for now, take care guys!

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