When I stopped hand registering domains, these 3 things happened

When I stopped hand registering domains, these 3 things happened

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…

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Comments (7)

  • Brady Reply

    There are two main factors working against domain investors and both are correctable and I believe will be corrected soon.

    1) The tech giants have squelched the entrepreneurial spirit. I would fight Larry the cable guy but not Larry Homes. I believe that the current government is ready and will address this obvious inequity of business / wealth. and
    2) The disastrous economy since 2008 combined with the ever increasing societal division and social unrest that can be likened to the 60s era not to mention world violence, mass immigration and other political and social activities are putting downward pressure on the entrepreneurial spirit and prohibiting would be entrepreneurs and startups from taking risks.

    As long as there is an internet there will need to be addresses aka domain names. Those investors that hold good domains long enough will realize huge upside when the business climate improves and the entrepreneurial spirit is rekindled in the U.S. and in other developing countries.

    There was a domain investor who bought .coms like crazy when the dot boom happened in 200 2001 and the climate and market for domains was at its lowest point. He did allright when the market returned.

    What other investment on the planet has a $10 downside and unlimited upside?

    March 22, 2017 at 7:36 am
  • OpticalOwl Reply

    Intersmesting perspective.

    A good way to keep your mind sharp would be to read the news. Or focus on a web business. 🙂

    March 22, 2017 at 8:56 am
  • Ron Wells Reply

    Great article … I can totally identify with it!

    March 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm
  • Dn Ebook Reply

    Hand regging is a challenge and fun but should only be a small portion of a portfolio, need some established quality in there as well I think.

    March 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm
  • @domains Reply

    I agree with your post 100%.

    March 23, 2017 at 8:29 am
  • Michael Januszewski Reply

    Over 99% of my domain names are hand registered and I like your perspective on this. I agree 100%.

    It really is creative and also, it can be addicting. I am constantly coming up with name ideas and I can’t seem to read or hear about anything without thinking of a domain name.

    Great article MIke!

    March 27, 2018 at 9:21 am
    • Mike Sullivan Reply

      It’s a gift… and a curse : )

      March 27, 2018 at 9:55 am

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