Categorized | Domaining Tips, 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 🙂

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 🙂

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