Taking domain investing from a side-hustle to a full-time job is probably the dream of many domain investors. A few months ago investor Keith DeBoer announced that he was making domains his full-time job. Now that a bit of time has passed, I caught up with Keith to get his insights on the transition. The Interview How long ago did you first begin thinking about going full-time in domains? I’ve always been passionate about domain investing. Right from the start. I’ve always been a bargain hunter and so this type of stealth mode activity was right up my alley. The hunting, the searching, the strategizing. Deciding where and how to acquire marketable domains at the lowest possible prices. I fell in love with it. What I’m trying to say is that I wanted to be a full time domainer pretty much right from the beginning. I was having so much fun, of course I wanted it to be my full time ‘job’. If someone is considering doing domains full time, what do you think they should take into account? I would say several things. First, the speculative nature of the job. Success in domaining means threading the eye of the needle. When you’re only selling 2% of your inventory each year the line between profit and loss can get pretty thin. Second, the tendency for the domain industry to trend. In other words, what’s super profitable one year, may not play well a year or two later. So we need to adapt. A domainer has to be alert and able to recognize trend changes and move with those changes in a timely manner. If we don’t then we risk getting left behind. I look at my domain portfolio as a rushing river rather than a ripple-less pond. And lastly, a fallback plan. It could be in the form of sufficient savings for the slow months, or other ways to generate cash or income on short notice. Another possible fallback plan would be the ability to downsize and live on a little less until your income gets back on track. Even with thousands of domains, sales come in bunches and there are periods of feast and famine. After you made the decision to work in domaining full-time, how did the decision feel? Were you confident in your choice, or still somewhat uncertain? Money wise, I could have gone full-time a few years ago but I didn’t have some of the fallback options that I’ve mentioned above. So I kept waiting. As an older man with no clear, in-demand, marketable skill, I waited through several years of rising income before taking the leap. I think a younger, single person with a low-overhead lifestyle, could have jumped into the deep end of the pool much sooner than I did. Still, even with all the waiting, I was nervous. I’m happy to say, though, that my remaining fears were obliterated by the $100,000 in sales that came in during just the first 60 days of being full-time. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being full-time? Being full-time brings both relief and pressure. Relief because my time is my own, but also pressure to perform and keep the money rolling in. Overall, though, it’s an advantage because my mind is no longer divided between two projects. Now I live and breathe domains. In fact, last night I had a dream about domains and woke up thinking about one in particular. Has the choice to be full-time in domains changed, in a substantial way, how you do domain investing? Not so much on the surface. I mean I follow the same procedures and practices as before. The difference now is that I have more time to review more lists of available domains and absorb more deeply the startup and tech trends. As a result I’m becoming more deeply fluent in the rapidly changing cultural and technological landscapes of the day. I’m also becoming better at recognizing shifts in the domain market itself. Again, it’s just the singularity of purpose and mental dedication that’s changed. Also, it’s more enjoyable too. Overall I’m optimistic that all of these things are going to have a substantial impact on my ability to generate bigger and more frequent sales going forward. A Bit About Keith Keith DeBoer is an experienced domain investor who specializes in brandable domain names. He first joined NamePros in 2015. He has more than half a million dollars in retail sales. Keith has shared his tips and techniques through more than 100 articles in DnGeek, BrandBucket, DSAD and right here on NamePros. I went through the NamePros archives, and here is a sampling of his writing. Are You Leaving Money On The Table? Domain Market Booms and Busts There Is No Money In Brandable Domaining (a 2015 look at the criticisms around brandable domain investing) Real Domains, Real Brandable Sales Are Your Brandables Profitable? Never Split The Difference: An Interview with FBI Negotiator Chris Voss His Brandable Insider podcast is a treasure chest of information and ideas presented in an engaging style. You can see a list of all episode titles at Brandable Insider. Episode #54 How To Pick The Best Brandables is one of my personal favorites. Your can read more about Keith at KeithDeboer.com. More On Moving From Side-Gig To Full-Time Job In researching this topic, I read a number of articles on the topic of transitioning a side-gig into your full-time job. While these articles are not specific to domain investing, many points made are relevant. Joseph Liu writes in 7 Signs Your Side Hustle Could Turn Into Your Full-Time Job that one consideration is if you are giving up opportunities because you are not able to devote full-time. As a domain investor, are there avenues that you feel confident would be worthwhile that you simply don’t have time to follow up? He also notes that rather than wait for the perfect time to transition to full-time, simply insist that it is a reasonable time to do so. Martin Delaney in When to Quit Your Job and Take Your Side Hustle Full-Time provides an honest assessment, partially based on his personal experience. He writes “Don’t quit your job too early on the belief your side business isn’t progressing due to the fact you’re not working on it full time.” He also emphasizes the importance of having sufficient financial resources to keep going a substantial period if income dries up at first. In Moving From A Side Hustle To A Full-Time Gig Justin Adler stresses the importance of having a sound business plan. Questions to ask yourself as you ponder whether this is the time, include “Is the potential drop or risk in income sufficiently balanced by the other intangibles I’m gaining, like happiness, or autonomy?” Have Your Say I hope that many will share your own experience and plans in the comments section, whether you have made the move to full time domainer, or have dreams of doing so. Update: I had an out of date figure for Keith's retail domain name sales total. The article has now been updated to correct value of more than half a million dollars. Even more impressive! Sincere thanks to Keith DeBoer for being open to this interview, and the wonderful insights provided through his answers. Just one of numerous ways that he has contributed to the domain community over the years.