Domain Spotlight:

Here’s A Look At My “Other” Job

I find it comical that people will criticize the fact that I don’t make a living through domain investing.  Despite the fact I still put in a good 20-40 hours a week at this thing,  people are still naive to think I don’t know how to make money or have real stories of success and failure to share.  I have a huge advantage over most domain investors in the fact that I have the ability to run a business while at the same time using domains and the Internet to vertically integrate my company.  Many domain investors that go full time are sacrificing the best years of their careers.  A move that could prove detrimental to their family and their long term financial wealth if the domain world turns upside down.  I have no such worries

I get to play in the dirt for a living.  I have the pleasure of running a true brick and mortar business. I have to come up with marketing strategies, be a cost cutter, a revenue maximizer, hear employee bitching, and customer smiles.  Every day is full of one on one, face to face conversations.  All of which make running an online business a little easier.  I run my online business with the same basic strategy but throw in one giant difference.  The anonymity of users.  Basically I take my same local customer, multiply them times a hundred, make them bitch and steal more,  and now I have my online customers.  To keep me grounded (and relaxed) I like to walk the properties and take in all that’s being accomplished.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes all the hard work that much easier. I thought I would share a few pictures of my “real job”

Early spring means pansies and we grow tens of thousands of them for local park districts and universities

We grow our own plants so we take cuttings like this boxwood.  I get excited as you do when you find a great domain. The difference is this is the start of a $35 boxwood and I’ll grow 10,000 of them from scratch. I wish I could do that with domains

You know all those pretty flowers your wife spends all that money on?  This is what they look like when they are first started.  6 weeks and they will be big and full of flowers.

And my favorite thing of all.  Digging trees.  You take this little twig and grow them into these beautiful large trees.  There are very few businesses where you can take nothing and make it into $200.  All it takes is hard work, knowledge, and time.  Kind of like domaining but with a much larger chance of success.

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17 Replies to “Here’s A Look At My “Other” Job”

  1. I’ve done all that service/ mortar store stuff for years and years.

    Some love it, but not me. I prefer to be able to leave town for six weeks at a time and not have to do anything besides check my email.

    I’ve now gone into the Amazon several times, traveled up the whole Mexico pacific coast, paddled across the Everglades from swamp to sea and North to South, spent a month in Rio de Janeiro, a month in Costa Rica, etc……..

    I could never have done this having my old construction, landscaping, auto detailing, maid service, etc…. businesses.

    I’m done with most all that. 🙂

    But hey, I take nothing away from a person doing it. It’s very respectable.

    I also think you do well picking out domains. I tend to like PPC money-makers more than you though.

    1. John,

      You are the exception not the norm. People dream of what you are doing but it’s not a reality for most people, especially who make a living in domaining. I find that most of the people that talk of their great life tend to not have as great a life as they talk. There are give and takes in life when you jetset around the world. Not everyone wants to live a life of adventure. I also have a family and maybe you took your family on all those things but I would much rather have my family than any of those things you mention. And yes, you can do all those things with a brick and mortar business. You just have to build a strong enough business that you don’t have to do any of the actual labor yourself. Staff it with qualified individuals that can run it with your guidance. Then you can leave when you need to. You obviously didn’t hit that scale yet. And as a matter fact I’ve done every single one of those except the time frames. I can only do weeks not months because my daughter has to go to school or I just don’t like being away from home more than three weeks. Congrats on the traveling thing and maybe some day with a wife and children you might have enough reason to stay home more often 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing Shane! Pretty cool business and I always enjoy visiting our local greenhouses to purchase our flowers each year. Green Bay to Chi Town is a little further than we normally drive so you may have to offer a 5% off coupon or something like that to get me in the door. LOL

    Are you in some kind of business deal with GM and the recent domain they purchased… (not a joke)

  3. Looking good Shane,next time when i will be building a house in Chicago area i will call you.Now this days my construction business is dead.But my flooring co. is still ok.

  4. Hey Shane,

    Looks good =) I like how your business complements your domaining. Seems like a great way to take a computer break =P

  5. Who are the people who are talking crap about you Shane ?

    Nice look at what you do seems like a cool business.

  6. Shane, thanks for the look into your business. It’s good to see someone that enjoys what they do (besides domaining). I’m about to graduate college and head into a career as an electrical engineer in the Air Force, so domaining is going to be a side-job for me as well.

  7. Don’t let people get to you, They can bring out the worst in you, And maybe thats what they want. This post imo inaccurately paints you in a bad light, Putting people down and propping yourself up is soo unlike you . Sounds like your having a bad moment.

    1. T,
      If this is the worst in me I’ll be just fine. Thanks for the concern. John knows that I am merely trying to point out that staying home and raising a family can be just as adventurous and fulfilling as traveling the world. I’ve always felt that seeing something beautiful and not having someone by your side to share in it’s beauty is as bad as not going at all. I only want to “see the world” if I have one of them with me. Just an opinion. It’s not wrong or right, just mine.

  8. Nice to read this. I used to export food, which involved a lot of travel to farms here and there around the world. Now, I get lots of time with my kids, but my work is (to them) mostly just sitting at the computer. It’s great that your kids can actually clearly see what you do for a living, physically handle the things you create from dirt, and even pitch in and help. As much as I like domains, there’s something vaguely unsatisfying when everything we create or trade is virtual.

  9. I actually did get two of the businesses up to making several hundred thousand dollars a year, but even when you sub out the managing of the business you still have to manage the manager, and if the manager drops the ball, gets sick, disappears, then you are right back into the business running it and all it’s aspects. Also, when you hire foreman/managers they often start to get a big head once the company starts making good money and then want crazy salary increases. They start to act like salesmen who think they walk on water.

    I have had them ask for paid cars, cell phones, 15% percent of my overally sales. Believe me, it’s work just working with them.

    Also, when you are not involved in the daily operations of the biz then you make mistakes of all kinds b/c you can’t see the direction of the biz as easily as the foreman/manager. It’s problematic.

    As far as family……never wanted kids……..mainly so I could travel. I especially don’t like babies. I only like it when babies turn to kids and then they have personalities….then I can relate. Call me selfish, but seeing the world I put way above everything else.

    I’m not sure why but much of my generation, Generation X, does not want kids. About half my friends, over 40 now, have no kids. 🙂

    I did take my wife on about half those trips though. 🙂


  10. I think people who don’t want kids are short-sighted. They just think about their 30s and 40s and how they want to be free. What about when you are 60 and retiring from your jetsetting job? You will have no grown up kids to keep you company, and when you turn 70 and 80 you will have no one to take care of you. On top of that, you miss the enjoyment of watching your kid grow up. I have a 4 year old daughter and wouldn’t trade her for the world.

  11. It would be almost impossible to truly make a person without kids understand what it means. Try explaining love to someone who’s never been in love, They won’t get it.

  12. Do you do any grafting of japanese maples or is that a specialty that you don’t dive into?

    1. Steve,

      I don’t do any myself but love to fly out to Oregon and watch the guys a Buckholtz and Buckholtz (sp?) do their work. They are some of the best in the world.

  13. I guess no answer about who was criticizing you, was there a blog post or something like that ? I think people in domaining like you and your perspective.

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