Downside to Working Alone

When I was working as a marketing program manager for a large company and investing in domain names on the side, my goal was to turn the domain investment “hobby” into a standalone business. It’s pretty cool to see that come to fruition, but there is a downside to my business: working alone.

When I was in my corporate job several years ago, I had many colleagues, mentors, and other people who shared similar business goals. When I had questions about a P&L or needed some guidance about a marketing program that was underperforming, I could ask my boss or colleagues. When a program saw exceptional results, we all celebrated as a team. There were off-site meetings and team building activities.

With my domain investment business, there isn’t any of the camaraderie that is associated with working for a larger company.

I am presented with offers and deals that I must consider on my own. There are touchy negotiations that I must tackle on my own.  Every day, I need to make several decisions that could impact my business in different ways, and I don’t really have anyone I can ask to get completely unbiased advice that is based on the exact business situation as presented.

I speak with a number of people who work within the domain investment business. Some of these people are brokers and others are people who own their own domain investments. While I have a great network of trusted associates, we don’t generally share financial details, so there is a large missing component to many discussions. For instance, a colleague might say to pass on a $50k offer, but if I need the money for something, obviously that advice isn’t as valid.

I absolutely love doing what I do. I can get to work whenever I want, I can work from anywhere I want, and I can run a decent book of business without significant overhead. However, working alone poses some unique challenges.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. I completely understand! I miss working in an office, being apart of a team and being around tons of people everyday.

    I have a small group of trusted domainers & business owners, including yourself, that I bounce ideas off of from time to time and vise versa. It’s very helpful when having to go at it alone. However, I have one individual that I have built a long term professional relationship with which I can talk to about practically anything when I need that vital business advice. I’m sure you have someone in your own circle that can be this person for you and your business.

    Have you thought about hiring someone to speak with at least about the financials to fill that void as it comes along?

  2. A few ways to beat the loneliness is to schedule lots of lunches with friends, join local entrepreneur networking groups that have once a week get togethers, or hang out at Starbucks. I’ve met lots of fellow entrepreneurs having coffee at Starbucks that work from home and they’re always eager to chat with someone too LOL.

  3. Agreed, not having coworkers is very lonely.

    I’ve been traveling around the world for 5 years while domaining and developing. If it wasn’t for my girlfriend, the isolation would be unbearable. She has been great for bouncing ideas around, keeping my ego in check and helping out on deals.

    It’s hard enough explaining to our friends and family about domain investing….We usually end up in non-English speaking places that makes communicating with the locals in our industry nearly impossible. If the language barrier isn’t the issue, it’s the fact they’re years behind.

    Luckily my girlfriend has taken an interest and become quite knowledgeable. Unluckily, she’s talking about starting her own portfolio.

  4. “However, I have one individual that I have built a long term professional relationship with which I can talk to about practically anything”

    Yea that me..thank!

    The main reason is your STATUS.

    As Kevin said, you need to move around and chat with others in entrepreneur networking groups, we have an incubator social group here and anybody can just drop in and chat…..hey one thing leads to another…

    You need to open up…you need to make the 1st move. Staying at home won’t cut it.

  5. I am the and I get involve in the pot head community here and with other legal authorities on the legalization of marijuana. I get to know people…and I might have a soon.

    I like jade plant ( so I get involve with the nursery /gardening community.

    and I am involve in wine making so I visit many wineries so I can brand my own wine as

    You see…so many many opportunities but so little time..

    gtg…time for my investor pot head meeting

  6. The internet is your friend and the money you make on your own is your bedfellow .
    Many people working in an office would wish to be successful on their own .

    Still , I guess it could be lonely-ish but the financial security in these times would be worth it IMO

  7. I actually enjoy being alone, no fakeness, stupid meetings, breakfasts when I don’t feel like it and on top of it I get to sleep with my secretary and my wife knows about it!

    I worked in a small office for several years and was happy to domain full time and avoid all that. True you don’t celebrate quite the same way when you see a profit or get to brag but the trade off for me, worth it 🙂

  8. I agree with Josh. One of the reasons I wanted to become an Entrepreneur years ago, was to get away from co-workers. Remember, if the grass appears to be greener on the other side, it’s often because it’s fertilized with bullshit!

  9. Going on a year by this weekend actually in being in domains and working from home.

    Has its perks. Has its negatives. Overall I am ok and happier but been quit the experience and journey.

  10. I should tell you about my day, but I just deleted it. I also have few people to talk with about business, but it sure is more enjoyable than working as an employee.

    I have been on my own for years and would never go back to being an employee. The enjoyment of business and building homes is far greater than working for somebody.

  11. There are more incentive to work alone rather than sit in a workplace around people who would throw you under the bus to get a promotion.

    You control your business. You should give yourself credit for making the right move when you did. Corporate employees are expendable. Operating a successful domain business is valuable.

  12. Revision:

    There is more incentive to work alone rather than sit in a workplace around people who would throw you under the bus to get a promotion.

    You control your business. You should give yourself credit for making the right move when you did. Corporate employees are expendable. Operating a successful domain business is valuable.

  13. The grass is always greener.
    You can solve that working alone problem by hiring a really hot secretary. I’m sure your wife would approve.

    I think you’ll develop more trust with colleagues over time . . . the main obstacle I see is that most colleagues in the domain space that you can chat with also are competition in many cases. Sharing too much puts you at a competitive disadvantage. Finding colleagues who don’t cross in to your space and that you know well and have proven your trust is important. It’s give and take and you extend yourself with a lot more risk. . . but that’s the whole point of being an entrepreneur. Taking risk. I’m glad to have the colleagues I have to get important feedback but that did take time and trial and error. I’ve “shared” domain ownership on 6 figure domains, shared passwords, and even more personal stuff that I’m not sure I’d even breech with some “cubicle buddy”. Mentors is definitely one thing missing as this is a new niche/space.

  14. Hi Elliot,

    Been a lurker for a while, now time for my 1st contribution here…

    I have been there, starting from scratch an online business from home. I quickly understood I missed the buzz from an office as well as some form of discipline.

    I then decided to find an office but could not afford one really at that stage. So I made … a business out of it and it took a couple of days to set up 🙂

    I was based in London, UK and thought that surely other people where in my situation, so I searched for people looking for office share and found a few.
    Next I looked for an office, and found one within an hour.
    I then contacted the other people looking for a desk space and proposed a deal: I would be the tenant and “run” the place and in return they would pay a low rent.
    I made sure I got all needs covered (electricity, water, internet, desks…).

    And presto withing weeks I was occupying a nice little office rent free :))

    I had the best of both worlds.

    The trick: find the BEST people you can. People you know you’ll get along with. Media type people where best: great fun to be with but serious, hard working etc.
    Avoid people who use the phone to make a living!

    I did that for 5 years, with 12 different “co-workers” and we never ever had the slightest issue. Quite the contrary, they all are friends now.
    We all learned from each other and being in different businesses, there is NO politics, NO jealousy, NO nothing but like-minded people looking for a way out of home.

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