Are You Really Going To Let That Stop You?

Stop

I’m working on some pretty big things behind the scenes lately. They’re not quite ready to share, but sometimes when working on projects, I start and stop and start again, but little things come up that threaten to stop them from happening. This is one of those little things.

***

The site keeps getting bigger and bigger and a few months back I began brainstorming an idea for scaling the site and it’s functions. I had a specific idea in mind to reach more people and was really pumped about it.

I had the concept mapped out, the design mocked up and the people lined up to do the work.

And then I ran into an insurmountable hurdle…The biggest death knell to any online project.

The domain name was taken. 

Not only that, on top of that, it didn’t expire for a whole year!

I stopped dead in my tracks.

It was going to be a year until I could do anything with my great, fantastical, mindblowing, impossible idea. Suck, suck, suck suck. O well, I guess that’s the end of that. I was just about ready to package up all the work I had done up to this point and mail it back to myself in a year until my alter ego slapped me upside the face:

ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO LET THAT STOP YOU?

Are you really going to let that stop you? A domain name. A freaking domain name? If your idea is as good as you think it is, you should be able to do it on www.thisdomainsucks.com and it wouldn’t matter as long as you build it. Stop whining about how someone bought a $7 domain name before you. They didn’t even take your idea. They’re just putzing around doing nothing with it. Why are you letting them stop you?  Do what you want, build it and worry about the domain name later.

Delicious launched on De.licio.us

Twitter launched on Twttr.com

Bit.ly launched on Lybya’s domain extension.

They all seemed to do okay.

You know why? They didn’t care about the domain as much as they cared about starting.

So I decided to check. Sure enough .Net and .Org were available. Immediately, my whining kicking in:

But I don’t WANNNTT a .Net or .Org. They’re not as cool as the others. I want a .Com. People will like it better. It will be so much more popular if it’s a .Com

Once again my alter ego jumped in and slapped me in the face:

If you don’t want to do the work, don’t do the work. But please stop complaining.

Leo built the best blog on the internet on a ZenHabits DOT NET. JD was one of the top 25 blogs this year on GetRichSlowly DOT ORG. Your domain name matters a whole lot less than your willingness to do the hard work day after day.

I needed to face the facts. The domain name might be 1% of the project’s success – maybe less. The hard work it was going to be responsible for at least 99% of the projects success. I was using the 1%, as an excuse  not to do the 99%. I didn’t want to take the blame for letting the 1% stop me, so I was making it out to be some impossible task that would put a stop to the whole project when it was barely an obstacle to begin with.

Domain Name Taken

***

This happens a ton. The things that stop up sometimes are pretty laughable.

You probably have something amazing in your head waiting for you to do it. But something so small it’s laughable is stopping you from doing it. Not because it’s impossible to solve (it’s actually probably pretty easy to work around), but because you’re scared to do the work.

Let the squatters take their .Com. Let the people setting up trip lines, try and trip you up. There’s going to be a ton of little stuff that tries to stop you before you even start. If you’re going to build something, build it. Build it in spite of everything wanting you to fail and just see if it works. And if you want to give up, then give up. But don’t think for a second that you did so because what you were after was truly impossible.

As for me, I’m going to keep building and I’m not going to let the 1% stop me.

***

Race Update: I’m running the Sylvania Triathlon with Johnny B Truant this Sunday in Sylvania, OH. It’s my first olympic distance of the year and should be a good metric as I get ready for Chicago in a couple weeks and the Miami Half-Ironman later this fall. Should be fun :).

{Photo Credit}

Comments

  1. says

    Wonderbink.com was originally going to be Catbooks.com, as I was planning to put up a blog about free writing called Catbooks and Other Methods. Big surprise, it was taken. I can’t remember what variation I settled for, I just remember that something logjammed when I tried to get it and I threw my hands up and put in Wonderbink.com instead. Went off without a hitch, and it’s come in handy because I have so much more flexibility with what I can do with it, since it’s just a weird name I came up with years ago that nobody else out there is using.

  2. says

    This post reminds me of my all-time favorite New Yorker cartoon. (And that’s saying something because the New Yorker has some awesome cartoons.) Three suits — aka men in suits — are at a party sipping drinks — for shits and giggles, let’s say scotch, neat. One man is making introductions: “The agent who turned down Stephen King, meet the publisher who turned down Harry Potter.” You are the author of your life. Be the agent and the publisher, too. [Not you personally, Joel . . . 'cause you are already kind of rocking it that way.] Look forward to hearing about the race. Expect you’ll rock that, too.

  3. Kathie Collins says

    I have let the 1 % stop too many times, mostly based on fear. I am trying to change this nasty little habit of mine and your words are certainly encouraging. It helps that someone I like to read struggles with the same issue. Thankyou, Joel.

  4. says

    Ha! Did the exact same thing a year ago cos yourlifeyourway.com was taken. Whined about yourlifeyourway.net then used the SAME analogy (zenhabits.NET) and went for it :) Indeed, the things that stop us can be sooooo ridiculous! Exciting to read about what’s coming. Woohoo!

  5. says

    This blog was impeccable timing in my life. I’ve been standing in my own way focusing on the lack of funds. Kind of important but I realize I’m wasting energy and if I believe in my dream, things always work out. All I have to do is LET GO!

  6. says

    What??? Not let the little things keep us from doing??? This is some seriously crazy shit…I’ve spent my whole life letting people tell me why I can’t do something…Now you are telling me something else!

    Well, I agree 100% with you. I tell people all the time, stop complaining, just do SOMETHING.

    This article comes to me (as sooo many good things do) at exactly the right time. I have an idea, something I think is a super good idea. I don’t know where to start exactly, but I have started doing something.

    This time I refuse to let the past patterns stop me.

    Thanks for the pep talk!!

    • says

      Awesome. Just starting and figuring it out as you go can be massively helpful. A step, no matter how small, gets you started….you can always change course, but at least you’re started!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Are You Really Going to Let That Stop You? “The domain name might be 1% of the project’s success – maybe less. The hard work it was going to be responsible for at least 99% of the projects success. I was using the 1%, as an excuse  not to do the 99%. I didn’t want to take the blame for letting the 1% stop me, so I was making it out to be some impossible task that would put a stop to the whole project when it was barely an obstacle to begin with. [...]

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