Personal Musings - Are You Out of Control?

Personal Musings - Are You Out of Control?

Do you want to be successful in business? Do you really? If I could tell you one characteristic that will almost guarantee your success would you listen? More than that, would you follow through with it in your own life?

OK, here it goes….over the years I’ve found that “self-control” is the one character trait that underpins all of the businesses that I’ve founded. Self-control is largely frowned on as a concept that is outdated with the “If it feels good then just do it” mentality that now permeates society. Here’s the thing….I’ve found that it works.

So what is self-control? Obviously, self-control is being in control of yourself and at its heart is another word many people don’t like to hear, discipline. Self-control means that you have learned how you best work and take advantage of that.

For example, I’m typically at my desk at around 7:30am and finish work at 6pm. Due to time zones, I try and limit my late night calls. I’ve learned that I need to rest on the weekend so unless it’s an emergency I don’t do any work at all then.

I’ve seen many people behave in manic ways. They work 48 hours straight and then take the next 5 days off. Or they get so excited because they are working 7 days a week and after 2 months they fall to pieces.

What I’ve discovered is that clients don’t like this type of behaviour. They want to know that you are stable and that the business between you and them is being looked after. What’s the point in providing excellent service for 20% of the time and then abandoning your clients for the 80% because you’re burned out?

I’ve been asked a number of times about what is the difference between my business and another. When I was first asked this question I pondered it for a few seconds and answered by saying, “We like to see ourselves as the domain investor’s banker. We are measured, considerate and take managing your domain assets very seriously. Some other business may have all the glitz and the glamour but you may wake up one day to discover your assets have been trashed.”

What I was really describing was the heart of self-control.

I was speaking to one of my kids the other day and I said to them, “You don’t go from school to the CEO’s job in one step…..there are many, many steps along the path.” I don’t know what it is about the current instant (give me faster, better for no cost) generation but I’m not sure if my kids heard what I was saying.

For example, how did I build One article at a time. Writing articles when you don’t want to is really difficult but I know that if I keep on writing quality content then people will want to read it and Google will want to index it. It’s the slow and steady that wins the race. Overnight successes are rare……most of the time things that last are just hard work!

Self-control also reflects in what you say and to whom do you say it. I was speaking to a person recently who works in the IT (information trading) industry. What’s IT you may ask? They are the people that try and gain your confidence by sharing with you things that they should never share about their employer, other companies or individuals.

When you tell these sort of people anything about your own business assume that they will share it with everyone (in confidence of course). To be blunt they have not learned to keep their mouths shut – they are not self-controlled. My advice, be very careful about what you say around information traders!

Being self-controlled also means that you don’t get angry quickly. One of my daughters recently said something to me that was completely disrespectful. It would have been really easy to blow up, yell and scream etc. Instead I went for a bike ride with my wife and we discussed the issue.

After getting back I calmly explained that we had cut off her Internet access for as long as she continued to be disrespectful. Within two hours I had an apology. She asked if she could now get back online…..I said no but I would allow her access the following day. There needed to be some consequences to her action and a time where the apology was worked out.

There was no yelling or shouting and my daughter realised that her father had a right to be treated with respect. Likewise, I need to treat her in a similar manner.

I wished that I got it right all the time…..let me be the first to say that I don’t. What I have realised is that being self-controlled is one of the most important and difficult things that a person can tackle about themselves……it also leads to a great amount of success in life. So, are you self-controlled or out of control?


Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.

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Moving Forward in 2015

In 2015 the domain industry was launched with Namescon but there's a lot more on it's way. Domaining Europe, ICANN conferences and The Domain Conference being run by Howard, Barbara and Ray Neu are just a few of the topics discussed on this video.

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When is an Escrow not an Escrow?

When is an Escrow not an Escrow?

I was reading another blog recently (yes I do that) and was intrigued by the comments on an article about escrow. A viable, secure and reputable escrow service is absolutely key to every domainer if they are to safely buy and sell domains. So when is an escrow not an escrow?

I used three key words in my first paragraph and I would like to unpack them to help readers judge and escrow service.

Is the business that is ultimately backing up the escrow service going to be there tomorrow? Do they have the financial ability to pay their debts when they fall due (ie. are they solvent)? My impression is there are too many people hanging out a sign saying that they can do escrow and actually have no idea what it means.

For example, I receive requests all the time from new monetisation companies wanting to get access to our large volume of traffic at ParkLogic. My problem is that for many of them I don’t know if they will be in business in the next 12 months. It’s the same for some of the start-up escrow companies, they just aren’t viable.

Security is all about whether there is an independent body that verifies that the internal processes of any escrow transaction are auditable and transparent. This means that the escrow company needs to go through the expense of government audits that verify they are a legitimate escrow business that is conducting themselves in a good and proper manner.

Recently I’ve seen a number of escrow companies pop up in strange and wonderful jurisdictions. This doesn’t mean that the escrow company is bad but it does mean that they are doing this for a particular reason. In many cases, it could be that the costs of providing a fully operational escrow business in the USA is too high, therefore they get an escrow license off-shore.

The advantage of a company that goes through the expense of a US license is that they tick a lot of the boxes. They have the money to pay and go through the government audits. It’s very likely that the US government audit will be a lot more stringent compared to other jurisdictions.

For example, my understanding is that you need to get a license for each US state (some are bundled together) and that California is really the big one. I’m not a lawyer but if you’re conducting an escrow business in California without a license then I would have thought that you’re on dangerous ground. There are some creative ways around this problem but if you’re doing business in California as an escrow company then why not just get the license and be done with it? I may be a little naïve but I just don’t get it.

One of the most difficult things that you can do in business is build a good reputation. It often takes years and years of consistently doing the right thing by customers.

For example, I’m privileged to be part of a group of domainers get together at each conference. We do so because over the last 10+ years that we’ve known each other there has developed a sense of trust and mutual respect. It’s taken a lot of time to build these relationships and the result is a huge amount of business between us.

It’s the same thing for an escrow company. It takes years to develop the reputation as a place that can be trusted with literally millions of dollars of transactions. Reputation is everything.

So when is an escrow not an escrow? From my way of thinking, it's when they can't tick the boxes of viable, secure and reputable.

I’m very careful about who I have sponsoring my blog and I’m very proud to have on here because they are viable, secure and reputable. I’m not saying that any other escrow company is not any good. What I am saying is that I’ve only had positive experiences of dealing with


Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face.

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How to do a Domain Traffic Test - Analysis 101

How to do a Domain Traffic Test - Analysis 101

This articles continues directly from the previous in the series on conducting a traffic test (click here to view). I then create a summary tab which pulls all of this data together so that at a glance you can see what’s going on. Since we create these packages of analytics for clients on a regular basis you’ll have to excuse me if I refer to the testing company as ParkLogic.

In the summary, you need to know the total amount of revenue (daily) earned by the testing company and the baseline. This will provide the lift above the baseline. In the case of the screen capture there is a $190.94/day increase which has then provided a 127% uplift versus the baseline. This is quite a good result.

I then like to find out what was the maximum amount that ParkLogic was winning by per day. This is so that clients that wish to take all of the domains away can then leave the winners with us. In this case it’s $457.54 per day which isn’t that bad considering the baseline for ALL of the domains was $715.40.

In fact, if you leave the winners with ParkLogic and send all of the losers back to where the baseline source then the result should be $1172.93/day versus a total baseline of $715.40. In this case the result is a 64% uplift in revenue and only assumes that the baseline produces the same results as previously attained.

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Saturday Musings - The Getting of Wisdom

Saturday Musings - The Getting of Wisdom

I’ve been a parent for over a couple of decades now and during this time I’ve learned a few things about bringing up our children. The biggest challenge that I had to overcome within myself is to let my kids fail.

Since my own children were born, all I wanted to do was protect them from whatever may happen. Be that a stubbed toe, bullies at school or what they watch on television. A switch went off in my head that said, “I need to shield my kids from anything that can harm them.”

The problem was that as the years went by I found that I couldn’t and shouldn’t protect them from everything. In order for them to grow up into adults of character they needed to experience the consequences of their actions and not be constantly protected by Mum and Dad.

For example, when our kids were little they would be fascinated by fire. I would tell them not to touch it and they wouldn’t because it would burn them. If my 21 year old son picked up a burning stick then I’d now tell him he was an idiot.

When I talk to my friends, what we all seem to have in common is the challenge of moving from a “parent/child” (do what I say) to “parent/advisor” (I have wisdom) role. I’ve always advised people that when they have a problem seem somebody not just anybody to receive wisdom.

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