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Bob Hawkes

Time For A Break From Domain Names

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By Bob Hawkes, Oct 4, 2019
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    In many things in life, taking a break can be healthy, and domain investing is no different. If you are getting frustrated from lack of sales, or losing your passion for domain investing, one option might be to give yourself a break. Even if you don’t briefly take a complete break from domain investing, it may make sense to take a break from one aspect, such as acquisitions.


    Taking a Full Break
    Let us first look at the idea of a complete break from anything domain related for a few days or a week or two. Before your break starts, make sure your domains are effectively listed on marketplaces and have landers. Also, any domains that are about to expire should be renewed prior to your break, if that is your intention.

    Now take your break and forget about domains for a week or two. Don’t research acquisitions, follow domain news, or do anything with your portfolio during your break.

    You may well come back to domaining after the short break more creative and energized. Scientific research supports the benefits of taking a break. For example, an article from Psychology Today covers five mental benefits from taking a break. These mental benefits include better focus, sounder decision-making, and enhanced creativity.

    The subconscious brain works without you realizing it. You may develop new insights while you thought you were not even thinking about domain names. I have more than once been stumped in an analysis. When I have set it aside for a few days, and then returned, the solution was then obvious.

    At least once each year, I head out camping to a region without cell service, and that forces me to take a break from all online activity. A fair number of Canadian survey respondents reported that they too take an online break each year.

    One obvious problem with a full break from domain investing is that you may miss sales due to being unresponsive. It is unlikely that, for your highest-value domains, the delay will result in a lost sale. The potential purchaser really wants that particular domain name. For domains with more modest prices, you may want to set fast-transfer or a registrar marketplace immediate-transfer.

    Another option would be to assign a trusted associate to monitor your domain investments while you are taking a break. Providing clear written directives, and having someone manage your portfolio for a week, also means that procedures are in place should you have an unexpected future absence due to injury, sickness, or personal emergency.


    Taking an Acquisition Break
    Perhaps you don’t want to take a complete break from domain activities, but you feel it is time to take a break from acquisitions. In the article Balance Buying and Selling the idea of assigning certain time periods just for selling activities was mentioned.

    I recall once reading about a domainer who set a month in which he never bought domains. I think that is a great way to force yourself to take an acquisition break.

    In 2018, @DefinitelyDomains started the topic titled, Time for a Break, which ties in nicely with this topic. For example, @NameSplice said:


    Taking a Social Break
    Because domain investing is, so much of the time, a solitary activity, we can all benefit from online communities such as NamePros. We learn new techniques, stay current in domain news, get help and advice, and find encouragement.

    There are valuable debates about many topics on NamePros. I think most of us have learned a lot from these. Sometimes, though, debates can get too heated, and a brief break may help you see issues more clearly and to respond more constructively.

    I think this argues in favour of taking a break from domain-related social media, at least now and then. You will probably appreciate NamePros, LinkedIn, or Twitter even more after a few days of a social media break.

    If that idea seems too extreme, another possibility is to ration the time you spend on social media. For example, each day sign on for no more than 30 minutes. I find that Twitter is more effective if, rather than being on it continuously, I only sign on for a short period a couple of times a day.

    I admit, I seldom leave NamePros for very long. However, I do find that when other priorities have required me to be away for a day or two, I come back to NamePros and appreciate it even more. I am more apt to prioritize what it is I want to interact with, rather than trying to follow every thread.


    Tips on Effective Breaks
    A few years ago, @James Iles wrote an excellent blog post on Should You Take a Break From Domaining? In addition to justifying why someone might take a break, he provides tips such as notifying important contacts in advance and effectively using autoresponders. He also covers topics like setting maximum bids on expiring auctions a few days in advance.

    For those who manage websites or write content, he recommends that you schedule content to appear on different days to have a smooth flow of new content.


    What Do You Think?
    I would love to hear from you on this topic!
    • Do you regularly take a short break from domain activities?
    • Did you find that it improved your productivity after you returned?
    • Do you regularly take breaks from new acquisitions?
    • What tips do you have on not missing sales while you are away?
    • Do you have a trusted associate who can handle your domain activities in your absence?
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 9th blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

    Home Page:
    https://namesthat.win
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  5. Comments (45)

  6. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    You asked us what we think. All i can think is:

    any time-off for Bob, is a loss for the community

    One of nicest on NP; your posts are an example
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  7. sharastar

    sharastar Established Member

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    First of all congratulations @Bob Hawkes on a great article on productivity.

    Yes it's true Bob I have tried it with one of my Business recently and it worked wonders.Should probably do that for Domaining also.

    3-5 days will even do the work but 1 week would be awesome personal time to recharge and get back on track again with a bang.
     
  8. RheiHawk

    RheiHawk Established Member

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    Outstanding advice, Bob! Although, I would, and do, still check email even during a break. I don't know how I'd feel if I missed a solid lead/sale because I totally checked out for a short time. I don't want to find out either D-:
     
  9. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    While I know you didn't, it feel like you wrote that for me! lol

    NameCult keeps me very busy .. I can't recall the last day I missed sharing both my Daily Auctions List and my Daily Closeouts List. I'm pretty sure I have BY FAR the deepest manually searched lists in the industry as far as I know. Seems last year I missed a day because I had flooding in my condo .. I missed another day at some point because my computer died.

    I have a full time (non-tech related) job of many many years that's recently wreaking havoc on my knees to the point where I'm seriously considering finding a new job (maybe in domains? lol).

    I also walk little SteamieTheHotDog.com between 50km and 100km a week (thankfully walking is supposed to be good for my knees).

    I'm still dealing with legal issues, insurance issues, condo disagreements, lying neighbours from the flood (internal piping/water tank). I still have another ongoing lawsuit with the city from a prior flood (external). Also have significant debt and paperwork from another side business that incurred a big loss due to the death of our overseas middleman mid-transaction. On top of that my partner in that business fled the country to go overseas leaving me to handle all the chaos and the debt. The government is after me for paperwork on that effectively doesn't exist (they're wrongly assuming I actually made a profit .. and I'm like .. show me the money you think I have .. lol). My mother has had a bad year (thankfully starting to improve quite a bit recently) with 3 operations including a hip replacement. Steamie has had a couple of relapses from his bout of Meningitis the year before. Life has been pure chaos to say the least!

    All that said .. slugging away at domains has really helped my financial situation. I'm approaching the end of my 3rd year, and 2019 will definitely be a profitable one for me despite really not getting organised with my portfolio in any way. The majority of my domains aren't priced, and far less than half are are even listed on just Afternic and Sedo. I've never done outbound, and only did a little bit of wholesale my first year. So I'm probably operating at about 25% to 30% of what I could be doing .. yet I'm still making sales (a few with Sedo, a few with Afternic and a few via WhoIs incoming), which really gives me confidence in my domaining future (as long as I finally start to price and list ALL of my domains at all the other venues).

    Domaining has saved me from likely bankruptcy. I've still got a ways to go both in terms of money and in just dealing with paperwork/renos, but I hit rock bottom in 2018 after 2 very bad years (not at all related to domaining, as I did make a few sales, but I wasn't yet profitable) .. and even if the path will be a little longer, I've climbed back up a bit and more importantly have a bit of momentum from domaining that I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel.


    NameCult itself has been a bit of a disappointment in that most people just don't click the affiliate links. After considering all the taxis I take to work because I'm getting everything ready at the last minute, then it's really not at all worth my time. I keep doing it because I go through the lists anyways, and I've also invested a HUGE amount of time and energy into streamlining my process. I really wanted to give it a year or two of consistent effort before really coming to a decision on whether to stop it or not .. getting to that point soon if I haven't already.

    Or maybe I should do like Shane and get one or two others to do a couple of days a week. But aside from the above, I've had other very significant problems with partners in the past .. what I like about my domaining is that it's just me .. there's nobody I need to rely on, and just as importantly, nobody is relying on me.

    The irony is that with going so deep into the lists, I pass over tons of quality domains for relatively cheap each day. Maybe I should focus on wholesaling rather than on publishing lists? Or maybe both .. if I actually find the time! lol

    Or maybe I should just stop posting ridiculously long posts here on NamePros!? lol


    Bah .. TIME .. it's a M%#!$3R F&$#$3R!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  10. sharastar

    sharastar Established Member

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    Good to hear your story @Ategy.com.Very Inspiring one.

    Also I do have bought some names from your Name Cult list and yes unknowingly at first I did buy most of those in Incognito mode(Godaddy site issues was the reason at first) but after knowing about this affiliate stuff I now buy from your site link so that you may get commissions with the valuable service you provide for us(Doing it Irrespective of any Godaddy site issues.)

    Sorry for my earlier mistakes with your Name Cult lists.

    Your help and service is really massive and want to let you know how much it means to the Domaining Community overall.

    Thank You very much.
     
  11. marijuanadomain

    marijuanadomain Established Member

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    Since Domaining is a B...S fun hobby, Domaining is break for me....lmao
     
  12. gipson

    gipson Next Domain Market VIP

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    I take my brake 2 month ago. No registration or search, read only
     
  13. TCK

    TCK NameOptions.com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks to your well-thoughtout article.

    Here is what I firmly believe:

    If your full-time job is domaining, you can take a vacation but not a significant break that may detrimentally affect your renewals and domain sales/inquiries. But if domaining is a hobby and you find yourself addicted to online activities that do not affect your bottom line, but instead, steal valuable time, then that is a different story.

    One alternative to “taking a break” is to have another side business online. That may be a blog or another business that is not directly involved in domaining. Or another site you have a passion or interest for. Develop some of your best domains. Switching channels like this when you find yourself tired of or frustrated with domaining can be productive and refreshing on a number of levels.

    Let me tell you a little secret. The most successful domainers have other ventures online in addition to domain sales.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  14. myfavorite

    myfavorite Member VIP

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    Partial break may be feasible for me.

    Would not want to miss out responding to an enquiry or offer.

    Also definitely would not want to miss out an opportunity for early entrance to a new trend such as new technology etc
     
  15. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    If you’re gong on a break, and they really want it...

    they’ll find another way to reach you
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  16. myfavorite

    myfavorite Member VIP

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    For most of us the only contact is mostly through email. With some using privacy on domain making using other sources more difficult.

    If I don't respond to email that will be a big obstacle to sales. Except quick transfer is enable.
     
  17. Xabial

    Xabial Established Member

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    Agee, which is why I also always check my junk mail
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  18. TCK

    TCK NameOptions.com VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    For a lot of sales, response time is critical as they may be impulse buyers. Unless you are dealing with very premium names.
     
  19. myfavorite

    myfavorite Member VIP

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    Same here:xf.grin:
     
  20. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Guys .. While @Bob Hawkes did mention sometimes going completely off-grid to unplug, I'm pretty sure for the most part that the spirit of what he means is taking a break from the bulk of your routine. I don't do outbound, so sales correspondence represents well under 2-3% of my time domaining compared to everything else .. probably quite a bit less considering I put in 3-4 hours a day for everything going through the 50k expiration list and getting my own reduced list ready for NameCult.

    I think for 99% of domainers who take time to go through the daily lists and spend time going through names and participating in auctions, there is effectively no time difference between completely unplugging and just responding to sales correspondence a couple of hours a week. For those where it would make a difference, they likely already have a secretary to at least keep leads hot a few days until you get back. So yes take a break .. but take that email if it comes through .. a few minutes easy stress free correspondence could extend your vacation another week or two! ;)


    And yes .. definitely check that junk mail :) .. my 2nd highest sale this year (high $x,xxx) had 2 or 3 emails go into spam that I almost missed over several weeks. Ended up being one of the most amazing epic domain sales stories EVER considering the actual domain and who the buyer was! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  21. falez

    falez Established Member

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    Very true. Fantastic content as always.
     
  22. Mohamed Ahmaid

    Mohamed Ahmaid Established Member

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    This is exactly what I have done couple days ago.
    I wish there is a tool that links serious email offers to SMS to my phone number.
    Thanks Bob
     
  23. lock

    lock PremiumNameDomain.com VIP

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    Why not take the immediate risk off yourself and start seeking opportunity try some brokering?
    What if the calibre of names you had presented improved and you actually had more faith in what you had on offer? If your making sales which I know you have you just need the right buyers and I think you can find the right buyers with the right name with your current approach. I think you could be suited to selling. If you take a break hit auto renew on the ones you have faith in. Take a break buying not selling. Perhaps all to literally just love Bobs post and sounds like an announcement more than advice just to ponder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  24. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam Top Member VIP

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  25. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent Gold Account VIP Trusted Blogger

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    Thanks everyone for your kind comments and for additions and insights!
    I totally agree. I sort of arbitrarily chose a week, but shorter breaks can totally work, and be more feasible for full-time domain investors. Because we can do domaining 24-7 does not mean we should, and even a single day full break can be valuable.
    Yes, I think you definitely speak for the majority here, and it is probably much more reasonable to take a break from everything except checking messages and responding to offers.

    Thanks for sharing your personal story, @Ategy.com and even though not enough have clicked on the links to make it worthwhile, your contribution to the community with your daily personally created lists is amazing. Knowing your story makes it all the more impressive. I hope things go smoother in some of the struggles, and that your domain selling success of 2019 stays strong.

    I had not really thought as clearly as @Ategy.com about this...
    but there is so much truth. That independence does lead to the difficulty in taking full breaks, however. I would love to hear some comments from those who have a trusted associate who can handle things while they are away.
    This is an interesting idea that would allow full use of domaining skills without the risk of having a large amount invested in a portfolio.

    I am guilty of largely ignoring my spam box, but this story from Ategy should be a warning to us all to keep tabs on our junk mailbox!
    I totally agree with this, and my post, I now realize, was largely from the perspective of a part-time or hobbyist domain investor. Hopefully many who do it full-time at least have an associate who they can draw on to cover things, but not sure if that is always or even often true. Thank you for the valuable perspective @TCK and I agree entirely with your view.

    Just in case there was confusion from the title, it did not reference a break that I personally was taking, although, well, I am trying to cut back slightly this week :xf.smile:.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  26. marijuanadomain

    marijuanadomain Established Member

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    The main Q is....how much does a full time domainer make and WTF do they do the whole day? staring at the screen and eating donuts , getting fat?
    This is a BS stress reliever hobby and if I make money (which I do as I got lots of 4L domains dirt cheap years ago as low as $10 each) and hand reg at 99cent and resell at $$$...
    easy peasy money hobby.
     
  27. Haykay2005

    Haykay2005 Top Member VIP

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  28. poweredbyme

    poweredbyme Democrat.win VIP

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    Selling is highly automated process at registrar marketplaces. A holiday for couple of weeks would stop only acquisitions.
    Having a break is always possible and sometimes is inevitable when there is no fund for acquisitions. Domaining is the last business that requires a non-stop work. Positive effects on break is a reality on most businesses as most businesses require a non-stop monitoring, controlling and management. Domaining is not one those of businesses as most things apart from acquisitions can run on autopilot for several months with no critical issue.
     
  29. Dan Nayo

    Dan Nayo Established Member

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    @Ategy.com
    Great job you're doing with that your daily list. Some of the good names do give an errors while trying to buy with your discount. Don't no why but the few time I tried buying I'd to go to Godaddy directly, and I paid more than I should have when I buy through your link. Other times I just forgot to click your link. Sorry about that but you're doing a great job for newbies like me in making the selection less risky.

    @Bob Hawkes.
    Great article once again. You've help my learning process without even knowing.
    When you go for that you break don't stay to long because we need you. You're so energetic and active in this forum and your prints are everywhere. That's the beauty of the internet.

    Thanks again.
     
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