Will 2009 make you Stronger or Weaker? Here is a Roadmap to Avoid the Latter

Afternoon Folks!!

My dad used to say that if your neighbor was unemployed it was a recession.
If you were unemployed, it was a depression. Can't argue with that. Perception
is everything. This is not my first recession and I had one depression in my
life. That lasted for 3 weeks. It was awful. Losing what you love to do is like
a death. A romantic death.

But it was those 3 weeks that would point me into my life's direction.
Through adversity great things are inseminated. The seed of almost all great
success came from the greatest adversity. That is a pretty interesting
phenomenon. Have you experienced the same?

So I want to know how things are in your area? Are stores closing? Are you
living in a tourist area? Are you seeing indications of decay or expansion? The
best way to really find out the state of things is to ask a lot of people and
listen to what they report.

So while we are going through this storm, the good news is most will come
out stronger. The strong will get stronger because they get great strength from
adversity. They rise to the occasion. They work better under pressure. The weak
do just the opposite. They either get weaker, or some will get stronger because
they get great strength from adversity and they may not have known it. It takes
a real disaster to see what folks are really made of. Most rise to the occasion.
Weak or strong, most will find their soul and dig deep when it really counts.
THAT is the difference between everything. The true test.

So as we go through 2009 and what is coming, know you will come out of it
much stronger IF you can understand it and harness it. Harness the mood. Harness
the fear. Harness the energy that times like this produce. There are always new
ways to make old money. There are always old ways to make new money. There are
always ways.

That brings us to us and how lucky we are. We have been challenged before
and come out stronger each and every time. This will be no different however you
can position yourself for the rewards to be much bigger and much sweeter.

If you posses the right mind set, you will sit back, relax, observe, engage
and excel. But knowing where you are at in this down cycle will have a great
impact, if you act too soon, you could be at risk. If you wait too long you could
miss great opportunity. So observing is the key and when the TIME IS RIGHT (and
EVERYTHING is about timing) then you can swoop in and make the deal that can
change your life. It only takes one deal. The right deal. If you are busy making the wrong deal, then you will likely miss it.

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz

What does”Word of mouth” Really Mean and How do you Make That Happen??


Morning Folks!!
Let's start from scratch. The fastest way to get the word out of something
you have is word of mouth. You want to motivate somebody not motivated to take
an action by telling someone else. That is the essence of great marketing. So we
can talk about development but we are not really developing anything. We need to
create businesses. But in that creation the key is attracting people by having
them tell their friends. It's about hitting critical mass. It's what youtube.com
is about. It's about what all the social networks are about.

So what can you do to make someone as lazy as me to take action? That is
the key question when we develop or open a business. Finding a niche. Tapping
into an energy that we ourselves must create. It is hard to grow a business on
the Internet unless you tap into it in one form or another.

Blogs are a great way to create an audience. But there are millions of
others on their soapboxes and their megaphones. All wanting to do the same
thing. Strike gold. Tap into a gusher. Everyone out their screaming ME! ME! ME!
Soon nobody will be out there to even listen. So getting folks together looking
for similar things is a task that will be getting harder in the future not
easier. That is why I believe domain names with traffic will just become more
and more valuable,

Bottom line, we are all searching for what works. Most things will fail,
but you know it only takes one spark to light the world on fire. One item, one
vehicle, one idea. So folks either spend too much time chasing failure or not
enough time chasing success. That TIME is really the key along with the timing.

Let's say you know a train is going to come in 3 days and is an express
from Miami to NY that takes only 1 day. Is it foolish to do nothing for 2 days
while folks that may not know about the express leave 3 days earlier on a train
that makes 100 stops and takes 4 days to get there? What if I told you that the
local with 100 stops cost 3x as much. What if I told you that the on time record
of the local with 100 stops was 42% and 50% of the time it was a day late? At
some point there is enough info and pitfalls to make you realize that the local
with 100 stops is just kinda silly and the express is much easier, cheaper and
more enjoyable. Sometimes doing nothing can make you more. Especially when you
know the real info. On the express you get in all refreshed. On the local after
4 days and an extra day late you are dirty and tired. It's a tough route. You
still get there, but if you had it to do over again probably enjoy a few extra
days on the beach. So it isn't about working, it is about working
smarter
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


If I started Again Today in the Domain Business


Morning Folks!!
If I had to start again today it would be much harder. But that is why I
did not start today and why I said in 1996 that THIS was a 'Unique opportunity
in time' Now maybe folks really understand wtf that meant. But if I did start
again today and I believe you can, I would do the following.

First, decide how much you want to INVEST in domain names. $5000, $10,000,
$100,000.

Let's pick $10,000

Assuming you know what constitutes a good domain name (90% still have no
clue) then I would try and buy domains from $100-$1000. I would buy as many as I
could that are SALEABLE. That mean something. That could have value to someone.
Then start selling. Put yourself out there. Find a domainer that you can feed.
That is a domainer that you know can turn your domain into cash because YOU did
the legwork. Oh, did I mention you have to WORK?? Yes, you have to get your lazy
ass and actually do something. 8 hours a day? Come on! 12 hours a day? closer.
16-18 hours....ok, now you are talking. You got to dig baby! You got to dig! You
got to be smart. You got to be creative. What you can't do is what I hear the
most....WHINE! The answers are all there for you and most are just too lazy to
read it. They WHINE!

Go out and find a great domain before the next guy. You may even find one
that produces income and did not cost a lot. But you got to dig. Do research.
Pay attention. Hand register. There is still more opportunity in the domain
business than any other business I see. Do I want to do it again? No. I put in
my 18 hour days then so I would not have to do it now.

So there is a simple roadmap but YOU have to put in the sweat and tears.
Nobody in this business made it without hard word, long hours and sacrifice.
Nobody made it without making mistakes. Nobody made it without a lot of things.
So if you have yet to make it....STOP Stop in your tracks. Stop moving
backwards, Stop moving. Stop. Go to the beach. Just stop what you are doing,
take a deep breath. Think what you want and realize the way you picked ain't
making you the $$$ you should be making. It is more important today than ever.
Just because you have years invested in the wrong path does not mean you can't
get on the right one. But you got to change the music for a different
result.

There are just so many ways to climb this mountain. Have no money? You can
be a broker and sell a domain for someone. But do it smart and you will make it.
Do it stupid and you will be laughed at. It only takes ONE DEAL to get you
fueled. Imagine making a deal to sell a domain. If you know who and how and
where, you could take a domainer, approach them. Say I will sell your domain and
I want my 10% commission. On top of that, if I sell it for over $100k, we split
that portion 50/50. Now here you just laid the groundwork for a big payday and a
way to fund your entire enterprise with just one deal. But you gotta WORK!! Got
to have contacts. Find end users. Do all types of stuff but nobody can do it for
YOU! I just gave you a couple ways I would approach it. One with $$$ in my
pocket and one where I was flat broke.
The second example would be my choice
because all you need is brains and ideas and hard work and the money will come.
But you can do both without a heck of a lot of head wind. But it takes time and
patience and hard work. Find something that works and repeat, repeat, repeat. That is the secret. It's just too simple for people to discipline themselves to do so they run 20 different directions at once instead of focusing on something tried and true..

The 80/20 rule exists because only 20% or less are willing to do the hard work to
get to results. The remaining 80% spend their lives whining. YOUR
CHOICE!!!

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz


How much is a domain really worth?


Morning folks!!
How much is a domain really worth? That is the key question in our business and beyond. But first you have
to ask yourself some questions.

1. Is your valuation as an asset?

2. Is your valuation as an income producer?

3. Is your valuation as a collectible?

4. Is your valuation as a commodity?

5. Is your valuation for a NEED?

6. Is your valuation for a WANT.

7. Is your valuation for a project?

8. Is your valuation for an idea?

9. Is your valuation for its' uniqueness?

10. Is your valuation based on more than one of these or all of
these?

I can add more to that list and so can you. Like future value. Like value because a huge
company has a hit website and you have the singular version. The point is like a
diamond, there are so many ways to measure value in a domain name and the value can change. There is also
a value if you are forced to sell it right now today because if you don't make
your $3500 mortgage payment you are in foreclosure. So the biggest one in
valuation is and has always been Circumstance. So if you can
avoid circumstance, you can also avoid selling low. The minute you put a time
frame on selling a domain you are going to get less than it may be worth. I look
at each domain as a planted seed. If you harvest it before it is ready, you
don't get much reward. There is no fruit.

I have never really let a domain drop. If I bought it, it was to keep. The
only ones I let expire are the ones that are time sensitive. Not much of a
market for ClintonEdwards2008.com or such type 'Perishable' domains. So the
point is those getting hammered with registration fees may want to look at the
business differently. I run into guys all the time that have tens of thousands
of domains and are lucky if they break even. If I look at 10,000 domains that
don't have much meaning and don't earn reg fees I am looking at a business that
is wasting $80k a year. $800k over 10 years. That's a liability, not an
asset. Dumping the crap to buy just a handful of premium domains is the map to
their survival. I often say that my most important purchases were my early ones
because they gave me the fuel and luxury to take risks and experiment.

Some say you can't hand register domains anymore. I do all the time. The
domain market merged with advertising is not static. New opportunities
materialize constantly. I hate redundant domains. What is a redundant domain?
A domain that says the same thing twice and sounds stupid and has no meaning.
But they litter the highway there are so many out there.
FixedLockedMortgageRates.com. I'll have to add some more. Usually the first 2
words have the same meaning. Worthless in my book. Let's face it, it is easy to
buy a crappy domain. So in today's economy building income is more important
than ever. Buy domains with income. So damn easy compared to everything else.
Just look for someone with a circumstance that wants to cash out and you are an
instant winner. At least your investment is going to pay dividends while your
asset or collectible or whatever you want to call it goes up in value. Last time
I looked domains are still in great demand. If you open a business today the
domain name is no longer an afterthought. THAT is a HUGE sea change. We may not
see it. But believe me it happened. I will close with what I have said from day #1 and I have never wavered. 'Domains will go up in value faster than any other commodity ever known to man'. (But let me exclude worthless domains that will continue to be worthless.)

Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz


Doom and Gloom and a Pot of Gold

Morning Folks,
In the past couple weeks I have tried to articulate the perils we face. I
believe this is where we are at. It took me a long time to figure it out. I
think things can get dramatically worse and if another attack were to come it
would be economically devastating.
But the one thing I keep coming back to, if I had ONE asset to get me thru
whatever we are going to face, it is domains. Income producing domains. The most
versatile asset ever invented.
You get on a plane to another country and they ask you if you are carrying
more than $10,000 in cash and other instruments? Domains worth millions are
invisible to the naked eye. You can take them wherever you go and when you get
frisked, they won't find them. You don't have to hollow out your heel and fill
them with diamonds.
So a 'Unique opportunity in time' has now turned into a 'Unique Asset in
time.' So all I can say is with everything we are about to face, few will have
the luxury of being as nimble as we are. You can operate an empire from an
iPhone.
So I will say this about buying domains in 2009. If
you can't get stats and daily earnings and a really good projection of how many
years to get your $$$ out of a mid price domain, pass and find one you can. Each
purchase is important from here on out. Buy assets not liabilities. There IS a
difference.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Rick’s Incredible economic plan…….Let’s give them Seattle

Good Morning Folks!!


Let's give them Seattle. You heard it right. You heard it here
first! This is no joke. Well kinda. Let's give them Seattle. They are
'Sleepless' in Seattle anyway, so let's give Seattle to China. See I
figure the value of Seattle would pay off the debt we owe to China if
we do it by midnight tonight. That would solve our economic problem.
Outrageous you scream! Come on Seattle, get a sense of humor. I thought
about Wichita but that would not pay enough of the debt. Los Angeles
was an option but so many of the parking companies are there. San
Francisco would give us a credit from China but I don't trust them to
pay it back. So Seattle for now. But we must do it by midnight or we
have to throw in Tacoma if we wait until tomorrow.
New York was a consideration and we will probably be forced to give them
New York City in about 3 years. Now if we wait 5 years San Francisco won't be
enough. We will likely have to give them the entire state of California. So I
say act now before we get swallowed up completely and have to give them the
entire Louisiana Purchase.

Sad ain't it?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

Test, Experiment, Test again, Experiment, Test, Test, Test

Morning folks!!
How often do you test and experiment and change parking companies or other
ways to monetize with the traffic you have? Do you just leave your traffic at the same place month after month? Maybe even year after year. Show me someone who does not test and I will show you someone that is making much less than they should.

It always amazes me how little testing many domainers do. I started testing 14
years ago and I have never stopped. Ya know how you expect higher prices for the
same merchandise at different stores, well parking companies are the same. You
have to know which ones will eat your traffic and not spit out revenue. The
variance in payouts is staggering. It is not uncommon for it to be 2x, 3x, 4x
and even more. Some companies consistently pay lower. Some just on certain names
or categories. Some pay higher. Do you know which ones?

The best way to earn without the hard work is a direct deal with an end user. That trumps
anything you can make on ppc and many times anything you can do yourself. Now
that the net is getting more sophisticated and end users are beginning to
understand that a million visitors with no sales is not as good as 5 visitors
with 1 sale. So while PPC is not what it was, the end user is finally worth
contacting. The point is you can never really rest. You need to watch those stats and you need to understand that your day job is squeezing as much revenue out as possible. How much money are you leaving on the table?
Have a GREAT Day!
Rick Schwartz.

Do you ask the RIGHT questions when buying domains? My top 20 Right Here!


Afternoon Folks!

If you want to buy great domains you have to ask the right questions to see
if it qualifies. If you don't ask the right questions it is virtually impossible
to buy the right domain. What is the right domain? One that will be in demand in
the future for starters. Some focus on the tools out there and that is all well
and good. I would give that part of the equation the least amount of weight.
That will change if you are focused on the future. So zero today may mean
hundreds or thousands tomorrow.

Here are just some of my top categories.
1. Is it easy to spell? I mean EASY! The masses can't spell.

2. Is it easy to remember?
3. Will it look good on a billboard or in a commercial?

4. Will it pass the radio test?
5. Is it commercial or social?


6. Does it mean something just standing alone?


7. Can the domain go up in value by 100x? by 1000x 10,000x?


8. Is this a retail price or a wholesale price?


9. Are the other extensions taken?


10. Does it get ANY traffic or make ANY income consistently?


11. Is it a plural when it should be a singular? Or is it a singular when
it should be plural?


12. Will there be mistypes? If you buy a .net and build it without owning
the .com how much traffic will you lose?


13. If I decide I don't want the domain anymore is it good enough to be
liquid?
14. Are there other related domains that would help or hinder?


15. Is this the best domain I can find for the money?


16. Can I use the money in a better way?


17. Does it add value to your overall portfolio?


18. Could you open a business around that domain name?


19. Is the traffic type in or is it coming from any other way?


20. Could you envision a large company using that domain in a national ad
campaign?

These are just a FEW of the questions I ask and most take a split second to
figure out. You need gut. The best way to build gut is guessing the traffic
before you find out the actual numbers. If you master this, you will be way
ahead of the curve.

I still believe most great domains are bargains and priced between $500,
$5000 and $10,000. I can't afford all the bargains out there. That is also why
if you have large portfolios, dumping your crap is essential to survival. 10,000
names making no revenue is worth cutting loose and buying 80 $1000 names. There
is about to be a glut of shit domains on the market. So the drop game is about
to change once again. This one will be like peeing on an electric fence because
anyone picking up those drops will merely be buying a liability at the worst
possible moment.



I am sure you have your criteria as well. Some are more focused. Some are
more general. Some are with different extensions. How ever you do it, 2009 is a
year where folks can not afford to make mistakes.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz


Zero visibility and taxes brings business to a halt!

Morning folks!

I heard a very good description of where we are economically the other day.
Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric said that we are in a fog. As far
as business is concerned there is zero visibility. What that means is conditions
are so bad companies can not even plan or project 30-60 days out. They are on
day to day and that is just one of the reasons why the economy is so bad and
getting worse.

Then add the layoffs and what that does to the morale of a company and how
that down draft has the power to destroy that company. Reorganization takes time
and opportunities are missed.

You may ask why am I writing about the economy more than domains? It is a
simple answer. If you have the most beautiful suite on the Titanic and the ship
is going down and you are busy redecorating, you are in serious trouble. You
have the wrong focus. You also need to read yesterday's post as well as previous ones. There is a thread and theme that runs throughout.

I also like being on record. I am willing to stick it out and believe what
I say and think. Does not mean I always get it right. But time and the record
have proved more often than not. My posts about what is HERE now started 1-2
years ago and just kept intensifying. The reason, the numbers just did not add
up and it was just a matter of time before numbers trumped the bullshit. People lie, numbers don't.

Last week I wrote about the lack of confidence and how that is the
epicenter. Well, now there is much more confidence. More confidence that things
are going to get much worse. That is the only thing I can see any confidence in.

How you handle these troubled waters is going to determine many years of
your life from this point forward. So it has nothing to do with your cabin and
everything to do with the ship. If you have $10 million and hyper inflation
comes (And we are certainly planting the seeds for that to happen) you are
broke. So things can change quickly and drastically. Things can truly spiral out
of control. This is no drill. This is the real thing. We are witnessing an
economic disaster so much bigger than 1929 that I don't have a calculator that
will even go that high. The good thing is that it is worldwide. The bad thing is
that it is worldwide. Riots, unrest and governments falling has the power to
overshadow the economics at some point. War becomes inevitable.

Right now we are in a deflationary phase. When something is deflated you
try and inflate it. The here and now is deflation, but you can't be blind to the
other side. We are getting both, just don't know the timing. What's important is
being AHEAD of whatever happens. One step ahead and things are fine, one step
behind and your world can come crashing down. It's tough to make money. It's
even harder to keep it.

A lot of things are going to happen in the next 90 days. The next 60 could
be the worst we have seen until this point. Tax time is getting closer and
unless you are in Congress, we all need to pay that tax and that is where the
first true test and bottleneck happens. That is going to determine where we go
from there. Likely some minor relief followed by the very darkest days we have
ever faced.

That's what I see coming. Cover your eyes and hide or be proactive. I have
been preparing for this for a very long time and I am still not ahead of it.
Nobody is really ahead of it. The quality of life as we know it is in jeopardy. The fallout has
yet to even materialize.

Cash is king, but income generating domains can become more valuable than
cash. The payouts will adjust to the market and inflation. They are down now
because of deflation. Accept it. Don't dwell on it. The market is working. The
reward for them will be most evident when that inflation comes.

Have a GREAT day!

Rick Schwartz

First National Mattress Now Open for Business

Morning folks!!


Passive aren't we? That can't happen. They wouldn't do that. That's
impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for that.
That's impossible. That's impossible. Keep telling yourself that and maybe that
will be like clicking your heels in Oz and stopping it. Now let's chant it together.

The state of California can't/won't send refund checks for at least 30
days. Now chant the above line. That can't happen. They wouldn't do that. That's
impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for that.
That's impossible. That's impossible.

Iceland collapses. Sing..... That can't happen. They wouldn't do that.
That's impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for
that. That's impossible. That's impossible.

Mexico is near collapse Sing....That can't happen. They wouldn't do that.
That's impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for
that. That's impossible. That's impossible.

Plug in whatever event you like. Banks, brokerages, car makers, countries,
states, cities, retail chains, You'll be busy all day. All the things that can't
happen that already have happened and more is happening at such a rapid pace
NOBODY can keep up with it. NOBODY can figure out where it is going. NOBODY
knows what to do to stop it. Worst of all the folks in charge of fixing it are
all a bunch of crooks. The CEO's are busy lining their pockets before the ship
goes down while going on camera saying things are great. The legislators are
busy covering their asses by passing new bills that will obscure the other stuff
and while they are at it their job is to make you and me pay taxes and lock us
up if we don't while they conveniently forget or didn't know and then pay
without the interest and penalties that we have to pay. So the crooks are in
charge and so they get Blago and they get Madoff probably just as a decoy to
keep the attention off of them. The crooks are in charge and now they are about
to screw you even further. Let's all chant That can't happen. They wouldn't do that. That's
impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for that.
That's impossible. That's impossible.

I was scared to say what I thought in the summer because folks would think
I was crazy. How do you tell folks you are moving your $$$ out of Wachovia when
you fear it will collapse and nobody anywhere is suggesting such things? You
don't. But quietly that money left Wachovia. I am not much of a chanter. I just
try and do things before there is a need to do them. Maybe part of that is
living in Florida. You MUST be prepared for hurricanes in season or else. No 2
ways about it. So being down here gives a certain mind set.

Last month I made a post and said that 'Your favorite restaurant will go
out of business' I added the word 'maybe' after it because even just a month ago
I thought people would think I was crazy to say that. Then a few days later I
took a ride and I began to see just that. Restaurants, GOOD restaurants doing
business were closing. Who and when are the 500 Circuit City stores that may sit
empty for years have another business in it? McDonalds may be doing well but I
bet they close stores that are under performing. This is just the beginning of
the collapse not the end of it. This is just a pre-storm squall. The main part
of the storm has yet to manifest itself. The fallout has yet to manifest itself.

So here we are and things economically are going to get dire before they
get better. As I mentioned last week, the $250k insurance on FDIC expires on
12/31/09. To me, THAT is a big deal. They may extend it, they will be forced to.
But just the fact that they did that has me questioning many things. The only
thing keep us afloat is what confidence we have left and if that should
wane........watch out!

How long will it be before we wake up and hear the banks are all closed for
a week? Or there is a run on the banks and it gets out of control? See you need
to ask these questions BEFORE they materialize. Crazy you say! The chances are
you are right. But that does not mean that the hurricane that comes is not worth
preparing for even tho the danger of damage and injury may or may not be
present. You can't prepare once it is too late. But you can always chant That can't happen. They wouldn't do that.
That's impossible. That could never happen here. People would not stand for
that. That's impossible. That's impossible.

My friends, we have been robbed. That is the short and skinny of it and
what we are watching is an epic cover up as not only were we robbed but now the
pricks want our $$$ to try and fill the banks up again. When was the last time a
bank forgave a loan it made to you?? But that is exactly what is happening. We
are now allowing THEM to default and fund that default with our money and
retirement funds as they change the rules on you and me in the middle of the game and tighten up while
doing the exact opposite themselves.

There is a tornado on the radar. It may hit, it may not. I bet you get your
family to safety first and then worry about whether it hits or not later. You
prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That's the deal.

So I write this. I believe this. I sincerely hope I am wrong and by springtime the flowers will bloom and all will be well. I want that too. So I wrestle with pulling the trigger to post
it or just saving it for my own. If I save it for my own I don't have to deal
with any fallout, On the other hand, this is what I see and this is what I am
preparing for. While I don't suggest putting your $$ in your house or under your
mattress as that has great risk as well by fire or robbery, I do suggest having enough cash money or other instruments
in other places than a bank to live on for 6 months to a year. Before it was
just diversify in stocks. Today you have to diversify your cash. Some think the
stock market can't go down further. I tell them take a dollar and cut it in half
you have 50 cents. Cut it in half again and you have a quarter. Let me know when
you can cut it in half and get to zero?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz