When I began as a domainer, I started with hand registered names and resold a few. That gave me a taste of what was possible and I was all in. Since that time, I have bought and sold a few premium domains, but always enjoyed the hand reg hunt for undiscovered gems. Recently, I proactively took a break from hand registering domain names and I thought I was going to end up with a post about how I benefited from the experience. How it made me a better domainer. I thought I was going to end up writing about how it allowed me to focus on higher quality domain names and how my profits increased overtime. But instead…
I lost focus
As I stopped the daily hunt for names to hand reg, I lost my focus on domaining. It wasn’t my top of mind passion. I slowly drifted from DBR, my favorite domain forum, and missed out on all the interactions between the sharp and ever learning domainers at every point in the experience spectrum (this was a huge loss). I stopped browsing Domaining.com multiple times a day and reduced to just a few times per month. I pretty much stopped blogging entirely.
It was those quick plunges into Godaddy, whenever the mood struck me, to see if a random name was available that actually kept the passion burning and my mind focused on domains. Not that hand regs are the core of what I do. In fact, I probably look up and find 100 available names for any single hand reg I buy. I typically maintain an inventory of less than 100 hand regs at any given point. It’s the thrill of the hunt.
I became less creative
I know a guy who does a crossword puzzle from the newspaper everyday and wont rest until he completes it. He says he does it to keep his mind working. I haven’t purchased a paper copy of a newspaper in 15 years. I had my own way of keeping my mind challenged.
Always trying to come up with good names everywhere I went kept me sharp. Think about it, it’s like constantly trying to solve a puzzle. You see something, think a little differently about it, and try to come up with one or two word dot coms that may not have yet been snapped up. Then you think of variations on that. Then that leads you to another related domain area to think about. Sure, the effort doesn’t typically result in a cash cow, but neither does a crossword puzzle.
Cutting back on this exercise definitely had a noticeable impact. I was just generally becoming less creative. I noticed that I wasn’t quite as quick with solving problems. I was less engaged and less interested in solutioning issues that I faced in other areas of my life. I stopped giving creative business advice to friends. It just wasn’t as fun or as easy as it once was.
I wasted time
Checking out availability of names or thoughts that popped into my head throught the day was a welcomed break from what ever I was doing. Let’s face it, there’s probably not one of us that takes enough breaks in the day. I’m sure I could dig up some research or statistics that would support my claim that taking breaks makes you more productive.
When I took breaks to brainstorm some domain names, they were short breaks. A matter of minutes. It felt productive even though you could argue that I was still wasting time. Buy it occasionally resulted in an easy sale and a few bucks.
During “the break” when I wasn’t looking up domains, I would do other things online to try to fill the void. I would watch stupid videos and visit mindless websites. I would click on the link to see what “20 celebrities from the 90’s look like today, number 7 will shock you.” Before you know it, a half hour has gone by and I have nothing to show for it.
So what’s next?
Hand registering domains is fun for me. Even just the act of brainstorming possible domain names. I enjoy it. It motivates me and I truely believe it keeps my mind sharp. Besides, it’s even more fun when you find a gem and flip it. So I’m back at it, spending some of my time exploring the art of hand reg’ing. Hey, that just gave me an idea…