I’m at an interesting crossroads in my life.
With the recent sale of Investor Junkie, I’m starting over literally from scratch.
I’m having to build a new audience for my business(es). One lesson I learned from the Investor Junkie sale was I should have built a personal brand in parallel. With the Investor Junkie brand, I never thought about what I would do next if I were to sell the business.
This domain (LarryLudwig.com) has existed for years, but I never put anything on it until recently. As the Monday-morning quarterback, I should have created this website years ago.
When I was building Investor Junkie, I knew I didn’t want the site to revolve around me. I’m not ego driven and didn’t want to be the only voice. I wanted multiple authors — not just me — to write for the site.
I saw too many sales of other personal finance sites that left me scratching my head.
Take my friend J.D. Roth’s site, Get Rich Slowly.
While I’m sure it was a successful exit for J.D., I’m not too sure of Quistreet, the company that acquired Get Rich Slowly. They pretty much ran it into the ground, and traffic slowly decreased after J.D. left.
J.D. and Get Rich Slowly are synonymous. People visit Get Rich Slowly because of what J.D. has to offer. His readers want his personable stories — not those of some generic content writer.
Needless to say, last year, J.D. reacquired Get Rich Slowly for much less than he sold it for.
If I were acquiring blogs, I certainly wouldn’t want to purchase a site that’s tied to an individual. So with that in mind, I purposely built Investor Junkie to be about the Investor Junkie brand, not me.
I’m now building up my personal brand because I don’t have any intention to sell it.
I’ll still build other brands besides mine, but I want to build a cult-ure around myself.
Which gets me to the point of new business ideas.
I’ve been researching and purchasing domain names.
One of the domains I had high hopes for was RetirementHacking.com
I paid $4,000 for it.
It was already registered to another owner (otherwise known as a “domain squatter”).
$4K might seem like a lot for a domain name, but it was actually a fair price.
So I had the idea and the domain name. My next step was creating a logo. The logo is a critical part of creating any new business.
I hired the same ad agency that worked with me on Investor Junkie. Bowen Media was all gung-ho when I told them the name.
To the owners and the employees of Bowen, who are all around Millennial age, “hacking” implies optimization or shortcutting your way to success.
I thought it would be the perfect way to talk about all aspects of retirement, such as travel, medicine, health and eventually financial topics. Helping Baby Boomers live their lives to the fullest. I even had a tagline: Live Life on Your Terms.
Everything was perfect… until I sat down with Bowen to discuss creating the logo.
As it turns out, before the meeting, the Bowen team had conducted an informal survey of their older friends and family members. And judging from the results, the word “hacking” had massive negative connotations.
Baby Boomers attach a completely different meaning to “hacking” than Millennials. In their case, it means someone breaking into your account illegally. So combining retirement with hacking is a BAD, BAD, very BAD idea.
No one is going to visit and recommend to their friends a website that’s going to “hack” into their retirement accounts.
So I had just wasted $4K.
In retrospect, it’s better I found out now that this domain name would be repulsive to Baby Boomers. No matter how hard I tried, the name would have been a deal breaker.
I would have been fighting an uphill battle. At some point, I would have had to rebrand as something else.
It’s cheaper to waste $4K on a bad name than to spend many hours and more money on the wrong business from the get-go.
The lesson here is you should realize your mistakes and cut your losses quickly. Move on to the next idea. There’s no point in throwing good money after bad.
I’ll have to regroup with my retirement website idea and see if I can either find another domain name or think up another business opportunity that would fit it in a positive way.