Why I Didn’t go to NamesCon
There are actually two reasons why I didn’t go to Namescon this year, and neither of them involves anything to do with desire, as I certainly wanted to go. The first reason is that I’m only a part time domainer and my day job required me to be elsewhere. By day, I’m an environmental engineer and I spent the two days of Namescon speaking to a total of 44 commercial real estate attorneys in Maryland and New Jersey, earning them continuing education credits and speaking about changes to a revised standard that’s important to that industry (ASTM 1527-13). It went over so well that the sales team of my company wants me to stop being an engineer and join their side of the business. Been there done that, although at this point in my career, a healthy mix again might be a good thing! After all, I have made my living on being a seller-doer.
The second reason why I didn’t Namescon, and the reason why I write this post, is to communicate the fact that after almost two years domaining, I’ve decided to operate in a cash positive mode. In other words, I operate my domaining business in the black. I keep track of all of my expenses and all income to make sure that I’m making money along the way and on a monthly basis. DomainShane and many other operate in this fashion…using money generated from their domaining business to fund their domaining business.
If you are not operating this way, what are you waiting for ? If this is your business endeavor, then act like it…separate the finances from your personal accounts and either be happy because your making money and paying taxes, or taking losses and taking a right off while you get established. Either way, you need to take control of what going on and more importantly, keep track of every day’s income and expense.
Many people who jump into this new exciting endeavor of buying and selling domains do so without a plan and without a system to keep track of what’s going on. Personally, I know it was a challenge for me at first, although only because I was treating it like a hobby. If this is you…stop what you are doing right now! Develop yourself an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of your daily income and expenses. Subtotal by month and quarter and know whether or not you are operating in the red or black. Whether or not you operate in a positive cash flow will become very evident to you if it’s not already. Besides cash flow, it really makes sense to know whether or not your investments are worthwhile and that they are paying off in the long run.
I had the luxury of attending TRAFFIC this past Fall 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and I did it all on profits I had earned earlier in the year. Many folks have suggested that I would have spent my money better by attending Namescon this winter instead. While that may or may not be true, I have zero regrets with my decision. For my very first domaining conference, TRAFFIC offered an intimate setting that allowed me to meet, chat and dine with many successful players in this industry, attend many informative sessions as well as enjoying a luxurious vacation with my better half at the Ritz! As I stated, I did this on the back of profits I made during the year through my domaining side business.
The trip was paid for via profits and is now a right off this tax season; I was and continue to be fueled by the inspiration and connections made there; and with less participants than NamesCon, I was able to have meaningful and targeted conversations that I capitalize on today!
By the time Namescon had been announced, TRAFFIC had come and gone and since I live by my rule of thumb of operating in a cash positive mode, I determined that I would stash away profits over the next coming year and attend Namescon then next time around instead of attending this time. While I didn’t get to attend Namescon this first time, the feedback following the event was really nothing but glowing praise. The essential components of great people, great speakers/topics and an affordable experience will only make it grow, especially with the buy-in and feedback that has been offered by most attendees.
Now that I’m in and actually making five figures as a side business while I watch sports at night, I’m pretty positive that more NamesCon and TRAFFIC conferences are in my future, as there is nothing like putting faces to names, learning from those that have already done it, and establishing personal and business relationships, because that’s what it’s all about!
If you have taken the time to read through this post, I hope I’ve driven home the point that this is a business and you need to act that way. First and foremost, keep track of your income and expenses. If you are making money, reinvest and come meet me at the next industry conference…if not, change your plan…set some new goals…tackle them and then come and meet me at the next industry conference!