What do James Robertson and Shane Cultra have in common?

If you are reading about domain names, you have probably heard of Shane Cultra – if not, go to his site, DomainShane.com, now, it is way better than this one… :)

Have you also heard about James Robertson?  Did his story remind you of anyone you knew?  Well, whether you have heard of James or not is irrelevant.  Lessons we can all learn from him are what is important. (I’ll give you some context later, but the image is a hint)

NY to Los Angeles to Orlando

NY to Los Angeles to Orlando

Think of the most successful person you know and keep that thought in your head while you read this and let me know what you think at the end…

What James Robertson can teach you about success

The life lessons/success story of James Robertson(your person’s name here) come down to the answer to this question:

Aside from the obvious money aspect, what separates a hobbyist from a professional?

Seems like a simple question, but lately I’ve been thinking more about why I treat domains and this industry like a hobby compared to two types of other people:

  1. Most people who just go away quickly because they were looking for an overnight success or million dollar flip
  2. Others who I’ve watched who have progressed to “Guru” or very successful levels from seemingly nothing

To give you some context, I started hobby buying domains back in 2010 and I am still at that level even though I follow the industry to some degree and love learning about it… not a success by any measure – what some domainers would call a hobbyist… what I would normally call something much worse :)

Two Success Factors for Domain Name Investing

There are two main factors that I realize have made all the difference – execution and consistency.  I’m going to use a couple of examples of successful domainers to prove this point.

The two are Morgan Linton and Shane Cultra.

Morgan is a very successful domainer, but has branched into so many areas it is mind boggling… Domains, development, software, fashion, startups, etc.  I don’t know how he does it and I don’t think it is a reasonable path for most people to get started so if you want to learn more about Morgan and his story, please visit his blog at MorganLinton.com

Shane, aka Domain Shane, is a living case study on either successful domaining or making money on the internet part time – take your pick.

  • He works two hours a day on domains.
  • He does this seven days a week – that is still only 14 hours a week… not unreasonable by any standard
  • Analyzes auctions and domains that are dropping and publishes a blog post every day on his tips/picks
  • He has missed maybe a couple days in 5 years (since 2009).
    • Just for easy math, lets say that is 10 days missed out of  5 years – I doubt it is even that much.
    • 5 years x 365 days = 1825 days
    • 1815/1825 = 99.45%
    • in other words, he shows up every day!
  • He recognizes trends in the market and even shares them openly. When I first started reading his blog he was touting 5L brandables and short domains. More recently he has been recommending Chinese markets including Numerics which have all dramatically risen in value.  (side note – if I had taken his off hand stock mentions on Apple, my stock portfolio would have an extra zero on it right now, but he doesn’t technically offer stock tips)
  • He is now a regular on Domain Sherpa which is probably the best podcast on domains you can listen to for learning about what makes domains valuable and getting expert opinions for free.
  • Oh yeah, he also runs a huge nursery business, appears on gardening shows, speaks, was a successful finance blogger and investor, has a family, runs marathons at a faster pace than you can run to the kitchen, plows snow for yet another business, saves kittens and kisses babies.

So what does Shane have in common with James Robertson?

James is the guy who walked 21 miles to/from work each day for 10 years.

In Detroit. 

And never missed a day. 



He was there rain or shine, snow or heat.  I can’t get my people to show up when snow is even in the forecast, but then again, I live in Alabama and snow is just short of Armageddon here :)

In other words, James is consistent.  He just shows up and is dedicated to being there… On time… and working hard when he gets there so he also executes well.

We can get in a discussion about his poor execution because a man that dedicated should be easily employed by someone a lot closer because most businesses can’t find people who will regularly show up.  But for the sake of this discussion he was doing what he knew to do which is just show up consistently and it worked for his needs.

Shane’s motto is “Outsmarting the dumb, Outworking the smart” and he does that every day.

Recently James got a lot of attention on social media and the news and received over $300,000 in donations and a brand new car.

Shane was recently added to the DomainSherpa.com panel and has been building up his domain business.  I guarantee you he’ll make more than James will with that 300k donation.  Shane built his domain empire with money from his blog, reinvesting, etc

So basically, I think Shane has shown that you can be successful if you start out with a goal/plan/idea, work at it consistently for years, and execute well.  You can’t leave one of those factors out though or you will just end up quitting or treating it like a hobby… so says the pot/kettle/mirror…

So, who did you have in mind as your most successful person you know?  Did they have the same consistency and execution?  Let me know what you think in the comments especially if you have examples or different opinions.


More of a side note, but here are James Robertson’s commute miles in relation to the World Trade Center

World Trade Center to Eastchester

World Trade Center to Eastchester

Every day: World Trade Center past Central Park, Harlem, Yankee Stadium, Bronx Zoo, Mt. Vernon and all the way to Eastchester.

Every week: World Trade Center to East Hampton, NY.

Every month: World Trade Center to Cleveland, OH.

Every year: World Trade Center to Orlando… via LOS ANGELES!!! Image is at the top

Most people won’t walk that far in their lives… if they can help it and they always can… :)

Speak Your Mind