Cutting the Grass

A few minutes ago the doorbell sounded and upon answering it I discovered our friendly lawn mower man smiling back at me. In my opinion his dark sun tanned wrinkled face had seen altogether too much of the Australian sun but that was his job and he loved it.

During the few minutes of idle banter I remembered that we had a now thoroughly dead Christmas tree down the side of the house that needed removal. I asked him if he’d take it away and he quickly replied, “Not a problem but there is a disposal fee of $10.”

I know that the local council will charge something but it’s nothing like $10. Despite this I quickly replied, “Not a problem!”

So why did I do it? The value in not having my wife Roselyn ask me to remove the tree was worth more to me than the $10. For that matter he probably could have asked for $15-$20 and I would have agreed! My problem would have been at that price Roselyn would have made me do the tip run the following year with the pine needles from the dead tree filling up my sports car. She pays the bills in our family and there’s nothing getting past her.

From our mower man’s perspective he normally gets $35 per cut so he’s just dramatically increased his take from his client. It works out really well for him, for me and that’s what business is all about.

I speak to a lot of people about business and it surprises me that time and time again many of them think that it’s all about trying to get the most out of the other guy. That’s a transactional mentality. At some stage the person on the other end of the transaction will get smarter, feel ripped off and go elsewhere.

I personally think that it’s better to have a more long-term view with clients. This means that every transaction needs to be fair and work for all parties. I don’t just want a deal now I want to deal multiple deals into the future. With the result that we’ve had clients for seven plus years with ParkLogic and whenever there is an issue we have a relationship with them that’s stood the test of time…..I think that’s a much better way to go.

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Writing a novel

Since May last year I've been writing my first science fiction novel and releasing it by episodes on FireFallTribes.com.  When I first started writing I just bashed out the episodes to get the done quickly so that I could get on with business and real life......and then a strange thing happened.

I found myself getting more and more wrapped up in the story, the characters and the various settings. It was engrossing! I wanted to find out what was going to happen next and the only way to do it was to write the next chapter. So just on 80,000 words later I found that I had the first draft of my novel.

What has surprised me is that nearly 2,000 people have been enjoying the journey and providing valuable feedback as they've read each episode. It's been really humbling to get some of the feedback as readers have shared some of their thoughts on the highs and lows as the story unfolded.

So I'm nearly at the end of the first rewrite now. Only about 40 pages to go....which is great! The big test will come when my wife Roselyn reads the manuscript (she really doesn't like scifi) and checks the grammar and continuity of the storyline. From there it will go to a professional editor and then onto getting self-published as an ebook.

It's the first book in a series and I've already mapped out book two....so stay tuned!

It just go to show what you can do when you really put your mind to it. If you have always wanted to write a book then I'd highly recommend the process.....it's a LOT of work but also very fulfilling. Don't expect to make a million dollars, just do it for the joy of creating something you've always wanted to do.

For those of you that are wondering....I'm still finalising the name of the book. Initially it was called "The Chosen Invasion" but his is going to change.

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Saturday Musings - What's your passion?

It’s an interesting question but it’s one that I ask my kids all of the time. My daughter recently graduated from high school and has now enrolled in university….yes, I’m a VERY proud father. In discussions with her she kept on talking about what job would pay the most so that at the end of uni she would earn a packet! I kept on saying, “Sarah, do what you enjoy and the money will come.”

So the question I ask you is, “What’s your passion?”

One of the biggest challenges that I find that I face in the domain industry is that there are so many opportunities and great ideas that it’s easy to forget what you actually really like doing. Although earning money is an important part of life it’s only just a part not the whole.

I love the domain industry and domains but I don’t try and do everything with every one of the domains in my own portfolio. To be quite honest with you there are only a few of them that I actually get excited about…..and they are the once that I slowly develop. The rest of them I let ParkLogic take care of and I rarely spend any time worrying about them.

I had a conversation with a domain investor the other day who was really good at finding great traffic domains but really bad at managing them. He loved the sleuthing around and building systems for finding the gold in all of the dirt but hated actually managing them afterwards. To cut a long conversation short…..we now manage his portfolio and he goes and finds the domains. He loves it and his life has improved dramatically!

So across this weekend I encourage you to ask the question, “What’s your passion?” Once you have the answer, make decisions to follow it.

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2014 - The Year Ahead

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DomainFest 2014 Announced

For the 9th year DomainFest is returning to its roots by being held in Hollywood on the 31st March until the 2nd April at the Loews Hotel. This is great news for the industry and for Oversee.Net. For some strange reason a number of people in the industry have been voicing whether DomainFest would actually go ahead and some even suggested that it was the beginning of the end for Domain Sponsor! Those individuals must feel pretty silly now.

I have always liked going straight to the source and at no time during the last several months have I been told by anyone from Oversee that DomainFest was not going to happen. In fact, it has always been an emphatic YES! The challenge was to finalise the date and the great line-up of speakers and activities. So for all of the naysayers out there.....take some advice, if you have a question then go and ask the source.

I remember attending and speaking at the very first DomainFest and it was an incredible event that galvanised not only the domaining community but those outside of it. Oversee has consistently tried to bring new entrants into the domain industry by educating the wider media about the importance of domains to business. Whether it has been by personally inviting potential investors or having keynote A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. The ultimate goal has always been so that domainers can realise greater returns on their assets through additional investment being poured into domains......I'm sure that Oversee wouldn’t mind helping in this process :-)

The innovative mindset is reflected in the conference agenda with three major streams of sessions with a focus on gTLDs, Domain monetisation and mobile traffic. There is also three sessions on domains as a business.

Although the sessions have always been outstanding I’ve found that it’s the people that conferences like DomainFest and TRAFFIC attract that make them special. They are gathering places for domainers to swap ideas, learn and most importantly do business.I think that going back to Hollywood is returning to the roots of what made DomainFest a great conference.

Being a bit of a film fanatic I've always enjoyed being near where the Academy Awards are held! With any luck one of the evening events may be similar to the "James Bond" one that was held many years ago. If you remember that event then like DomainFest you've been in the industry for quite some time.

I know that I will attending DomainFest and look forward to meeting up with as many of you as possible.


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