What I'm pondering or thinking about at this time....

Saturday Musings - What's Your Goal?

Saturday Musings - What's Your Goal?

My wife Roselyn and I have fallen in love with New Zealand and more specifically Queenstown which is situated in the mountains of the South Island. Looking around the incredible vistas is like stepping into The Misty mountains from “The Lord of the Rings” middle earth.....it's stunning.

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While walking around the township we discovered a hiking business that takes people on a five day walk from Queenstown, across the mountains and down into Milford Sound. For those of you unfamiliar with Milford Sound, it’s one of the most picturesque, unspoilt places on the Earth with waterfalls cascading thousands of feet into the ocean, wales, dolphins, and soaring mountain ranges. All good!

We’re pretty excited about going on the hike in just under two years’ time (we’re doing a lot of other already planned travel this year) but there’s one problem. We need to get a LOT fitter. To paraphrase Borimir from Lord of the Rings, “One simply does not walk into Milford Sound through the mountains. There’s ups, downs, river crossings and a host of other obstacles in the way.”

So we have a goal…..lose weight (which is a good thing) and get a lot fitter. Goals can be like New Year’s resolutions that are forgotten after the first week or you can choose to take them seriously.

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Saturday Musings - Attracting Flocks of Customers

Saturday Musings - Attracting Flocks of Customers

About a week ago, my wife and I decided to purchase a bird bath to attract the local birds outside my study window. The bath sits beautifully atop a pedestal and is replete with a turquoise glaze to make the water that much more enticing. I know if I was a bird I would be falling over myself to have a bit of a splash.

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I had visions of a Disney cartoon where birds would be so grateful for my benevolence that they would sit on a branch outside the window and sing me songs all day. After setting the bath up I waited and waited and waited for the birds to come flocking in to enjoy what I’d provided for them. …..boy was I wrong.

Scratching my head, I thought to myself, “Maybe I need to entice them just a little bit more.” So off I went to the kitchen and grabbed a slice of bread to spread crumbs all over the lawn to attract the birds to my yard. They loved the bread but none did anything with the bird bath. Hmmmm….not good.

You would think the stupid birds would realise that I’d setup the bath for their enjoyment! What more do I have to do to get them to use it? To this day, I’ve been trying to think up new ideas to attract my avian customers to the bird bath and not one has used it……sigh……

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Saturday Musings – Disposable Relationships

Saturday Musings – Disposable Relationships

We live in a social age where friends are quantified by Facebook and their “closeness to us” by the number of likes received. So are personal relationships really important anymore or are they something we should put on and take off like an old coat?

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When I talk to the current generation that have grown up with social media as part of the way they manage their relationships it’s clear to me that something has changed. I’ve noticed that committing yourself to an event (eg. a birthday party) is something you leave to the last minute as there may be a better offer in your news feed. Or worse yet, commit yourself and then just don’t bother to go.

I know of a teenager that had a birthday party and only two thirds of the people turned up that said they would. Of the two thirds, about half a dozen cared enough to bring a birthday present. Sadly, birthday parties are now less about celebrating someone’s birthday and more about running an event that attracts your social peers.

I may be showing my age here, but I wouldn’t dream of turning up to a friend’s birthday without bringing a gift. It seems this courtesy has deserted the current generation in their self-absorbed focus on me, myself and I.

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2017 - The Year of Innovation

2017 - The Year of Innovation

If I was to describe this year in one word it would have to be “innovation”. For a long time, the domain industry has been doing the “same old same old” with a tweak here and a tweak there but I believe this year is going to see some massive changes.

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For the last fifteen years, the domain industry has been caught in a malaise where landing pages look the same, domain market places are basically the identical to what they were and development has migrated up the content management systems version numbers. All a bit of a yawn.

While I was at NamesCon I perceived a growing sense of frustration and tension building in the air from people who wanted more for their domains. It was almost palpable. When there is a growing demand from the market then I’m a firm believer that innovative companies and individuals will seek to fulfil it.

I took a few days’ vacation immediately after NamesCon and one of the things I love to do is read. I picked up Elon Musk’s biography (Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and Paypal fame) and was stunned by the similarities between the markets he has entered and the domain industry.

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NamesCon - The Gilmour Family Are On Their Way!

NamesCon - The Gilmour Family Are On Their Way!

As per normal, I’ve arrived at the Qantas Club in Melbourne, Australia, grabbed a coffee and now I find myself sitting down to write my regular “I’m On My Way” to a conference blog. The big difference this time is nothing’s normal, I’m not alone…..Roselyn and our two daughters are with me.

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For those of you that do a lot of business travel you’ll understand that you have developed certain habits that create a bubble of calm around you as you make your way through an airport. From the moment we stepped out of the car I knew that my bubble had been well and truly shattered.

For a start, I tend to speed through the airport, weaving my way between the elderly gentlemen on the left while slipping around the family with screaming kids on the right. My family, enraptured with the joys of taking in the airport walked at the same speed of everyone else…..let me assure you, this was a relatively new experience for me.

I’ve managed to convince my family to only travel with carry-on luggage (thank goodness) but you’d be amazed how much a young lady can pack into a case. One of the bags was “substantially” over the weight limit and it took a little bit of extra smiling and joking with the Qantas staff to let us take it on as check-on……so all was good. But for heavens sake.....did she pack lead in that bag????

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Saturday Musings - Thinking is Not Overrated

Saturday Musings - Thinking is Not Overrated

There’s nothing like a vacation to renew flagging spirits and get you energised for the new year. For the past week, my wife Roselyn and I have been enjoying the many activities that Queenstown, New Zealand has to offer.

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I’ve been an entrepreneur all of my life and one of the things that I value the most is taking some time out to assess whether what I’m doing is really what I should continue to do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that you forget to actually work on your business rather than in it.

When I go on vacation I like to take some time out to think about what I’m doing and if it still makes sense. I’m away from the noise of skype, emails, instant messenger, facebook, twitter etc. It’s just me staring at the horizon and thinking. It typically takes me a few hours to clear my head before I can let my mind drift through all of the things I’m currently doing with my life.

Why drift? I’m not trying to nut out a problem but rather get a sense for what makes me feel the most fulfilled. For me, I find that it’s best just to let my mind almost lazily move from one thought to another.

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Saturday Musings - The Entitled Generation...

Saturday Musings - The Entitled Generation...

If I was to describe the current generation of late teens to twenties in one word it would have to be “entitled”. They believe that everything should be served up to them in a pretty box with a bow on top and heaven forbid they actually have to work for it.

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This blog is inspired from a recent experience I had speaking with a twenty-one year old that couldn’t understand why they should pay board to their parents. Without even talking to their parents they’d made a series of decisions which meant they would have a reduced (not zero) income. They believed it was their parents responsibility to continue to support their lifestyle. Go figure?

When I quizzed them about this they cried, “It’s just not fair!”

I immediately responded, “Fair to whom?”

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those readers of Whizzbangsblog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would also like to say thank you to all those companies that have sponsored my blog over the last twelve months. Your continued support has inspired me to keep on writing about domains and business on the Internet.

In particular, I would like to highlight:

It’s with a sense of sadness and loss in my heart that I approach Christmas this year. A few days ago, Pepper, my feline friend of 16 years, passed away. She was a great friend that was the subject of many Saturday Musings over the years.

When I was working late at night she would come and curl up on the carpet next to me. At some point she would nudge me with her nose, hoping for a scratch behind the ears and to let me know it was time to stop working.

Whenever I went away on business my wife told me Pepper would sit in my study and look out the window waiting for my return. When I finally arrived back home she would scold me in a very cat-like fashion until she allowed me to give her a bit of a pat again….after all, I didn’t get her permission to leave the house.

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Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

Saturday Musings - Virtual Reality Has Come of Age

I’d finally done it! I’d made it through a tumultuous week to Friday. I’m not really sure why Friday’s are so special, but for me, around 6pm yesterday was one of the happiest times of the week.

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So why was Friday so special? It just so happens that earlier in the week I’d finally received my Oculus Touch Virtual Reality (VR) controllers to go with my headset. It’s been a busy time of year and all week I’ve been staring at them in their box while I coded away…..sigh…..

Yesterday, I ceremoniously removed them from their awesome packaging (it really was) set them up and took them for a spin. For those of you that are wondering, each of the VR controllers are like a sawn off X-box controller that you hold in each hand.

When I donned my headset the first thing that I noticed were my hands. They were floating in the air in front of me! When I moved my arm then my virtual hands followed. I could reach out and grab things, throw them or bring them closer to inspect them in more detail. It was like a dream come true…..I had hands!

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Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

Saturday Musings – The Secret Power of Entrepreneurs

I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life. I started my first business when I was sixteen years old and now thirty-four years later I’m still at it. Along this journey, I’ve learned a number of things about being an entrepreneur and the very first of them is the power you have in making decisions.

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Sadly, I’ve found that many people opt out of making decisions and they effectively let the world make them for them. They make the trade-off between financial security and doing that thing they dream of always pursuing. As the year’s tumble by and their obligations creep upwards the dream becomes ever more elusive.

The gap between them taking the leap of faith is actually within their hands but the terror of wondering if something went wrong halts them from taking the first step. I often wonder what is more terrifying? Failing in the pursuit of a dream or living with the regret of never tried.

I’m not advocating “leaping where angels fear to tread” but some people just need to make the decision to go for it! Get good sound advice, do everything you can to minimise the downside and work like the blazes at your dream.

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