How I Beat My Domain Buying Addiction - And How You Can Do It Too

I used to own 50+ domains. Here's my step-by-step guide on how I beat my domain buying addiction.

Let's start from the beginning...

I did it again. I bought another domain name.

I had a new idea for yet another business. Something I was definitely interested in and could see myself working on for years to come. Clicking the checkout button got me so excited about the opportunity and potential to create something amazing.

But then it happened again... I didn't get around to using it and I had to renew it. For the third time.

It's Too Easy to Start a New Business

Or at least to feel like we're starting a new business…

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A domain doesn't cost much. Maybe $10 or $15 a year or so. But my pile of domains was starting to add up and I was on an expensive path if I kept at it.

More importantly, it was negatively affecting my time and priorities and it took me a while to understand this.

Buying a new domain is almost like taking on another job. The goal is to build a new website, start a new project, or launch a new company - yet we rarely finish these new projects. Why is that? And how come it just keeps happening?

The answer is actually pretty simple.

It's all about your time management, and at a higher level, understanding the effects this new project will have on your time.

You have to ask yourself, what will I have to take focus away from in order to pursue this new venture?

Because that's exactly what you are going to have to do. If you are not intentional in making time and cutting something else out of your life, then it will happen subconsciously and you will not get to choose what it is that you give up.

It takes time and hard work to build something new, and you're lying to yourself if you think that you have time to both finish your previous project AND focus on your brand new idea.

So, let's address all the reasons why buying that domain absolutely cannot wait… and fix your domain buying addiction once and for all.

1. Domains Are Abundant

Everybody wants the perfect domain name for their business. We think that if we don't secure the name now, we won't be able to in the future. And okay, there is some truth to this, but this absolutely cannot be your reason for hoarding 50+ domains.

There was one time where I did lose a domain because I wasn't quick enough to buy it. I found the perfect name was available and I just waited too long to pull the trigger. By the time I built the product, the domain was taken by somebody else.

This definitely became one of my subconscious triggers, that from then on pushed me to click the buy button with more urgency. But as a result I collected and now pay for more domains than I will ever be able to use.

I learned a lot from this experience.

By taking my time and not pressing the buy button immediately, you have more time to think about the name of your product. When my domain was swiped, I was able to brainstorm business names and come up with an even better, clearer name (that even had all of the social handles available).

It's super rare that someone will buy your domain between the time you identify it and when you validate and pursue your idea. Understand and accept this and don't use it as a reason to collect more domains than you need.

Recognize and don't give in to this scarcity mindset.

2. Be Intentional With Your Time

I touched on this earlier, but it's crucial that you manage your time and consider the impact of starting yet another project. Most entrepreneurs already wish they had more time in the day to get more done.

People in general are not intentional with their time. They do not plan out how they spend their time and they don't recognize opportunities to take advantage of spare time. We take time for granted and assume we can make time for the things like new projects.

It's easy to see what you are prioritizing and how much time you can really afford to dedicate to this new project.

Just look at your calendar. Even if you don't regularly use one, write out how you spend every hour of the day. The goal here is to get a sense of how you currently spend your time.

This will also highlight what your priorities are.

If there's something you wish you were doing but its never on your calendar, you aren't prioritizing it.

What's that? 8 hours of Netflix this week?

You're prioritizing Netflix over starting your business.

How you spend your time is how you prioritize your life. The things you make time for are your priorities, consciously or not.

3. Don't Accept Cheap Dopamine

Buying a domain feels productive. After all, you just made your business official and established your small piece of internet real estate where people can find you, right?

Why is it that you feel productive? Buying a domain doesn't accomplish anything for you business. It takes 1 minute to checkout, so… I guess you saved your future self a minute, congratulations.

You feel productive because this is literally a dopamine release. You click the checkout button and you own this cool new thing. It's no different from buying a new house. You've signed up to make a lifetime of payments (granted several orders of magnitude cheaper) and you get to enjoy the feeling of ownership.

But are you any closer to finishing your software? Finding product market fit? Closing on your first customer?

Not really.

So next time you find yourself staring at the checkout screen, remind yourself of these 3 things:

Am I only buying this now because I'm worried someone else will swipe it first?

What will I give up in order to make time for this project?

Am I really just trying to feel productive?

Got a question? Find me on Twitter and ask away!

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Hey, I'm Nick Dill.

I help people become better software developers with daily tips, tricks, and advice.
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