Throughout the years, I have been approached by numerous people asking me to be their domain investing mentor or asking for a referral to a mentor. I have not done any mentoring before, and while I appreciate the fact that someone thought of me for this, I don’t think looking for a personal mentor is the best idea. I want to share some of my thoughts on the idea of domain investment mentoring and why it’s probably not a good idea to seek out a mentor.
Many successful domain investors are very busy managing their business. Those who operate their business in a part-time manner probably have a full-time job that takes up most of their time. These investors spend as much time on their domain investing business as their job and/or family commitments will allow. Investors who have adequate free time probably relish that extra time. For me, I tend to have a fair amount of extra time on some days, but I try to spend that time doing things with or for my family. It is not really feasible for me to spend additional time mentoring someone else, and I would imagine others feel the same way,
Some people who have become successful don’t want to share the secrets to their success. If they’ve found a certain niche or learned something that is helpful to them, sharing it with someone else could make it harder for them. In essence, a successful investor would not want to create competition. For people who think like this, mentoring would not be of interest.
Being a mentor probably means having the responsibility to recommend or suggest ways to spend money. It’s easy for me to say “buy a $2,000 domain name rather than 200 hand registered domain names,” but suggesting that someone spends $2,000 of their hard earned money is a big burden. Domain investing is not cut and dry either. That $2,000 domain name may sell for more quickly or it may sit in a portfolio for years. It would make me very uncomfortable to recommend how someone should spend their money.
Looking at this from the mentee side, I would be reluctant to work with someone who is willing to offer their time to someone else for free. Sure, there are a lot of nice people in the business, but I would be concerned that they would be trying to take advantage of the mentee somehow. I read my kids the Three Little Pigs story, and the wolf dressing up in sheep’s clothing comes to mind.
Investing in domain names is not easy. There is considerable risk investing in domain names with uncertain returns. It can take a lot of time and money to learn about the business. There are plenty of good resources available to learn about domain investing, including forums like NamePros and DNForum, blogs found on Domaining.com, and I have heard positive things about DNAcademy (that is not first-hand knowledge). Even Google searches with specific questions will yield results. There are also plenty of people who would be happy to offer a tip or two when asked politely.
From my perspective, domain investing is something that can be learned by someone who wants to spend the time and effort. There aren’t really any shortcuts to learn, but that is pretty typical for any type of investment. I don’t recommend seeking out a mentor.