Name: Shane Bellone
Business: Fish Stick, LLC
Forum nickname(s): NamePros: Shane Bellone
Nothing about domaining is easy and if it was I sure wouldn’t have enjoyed it.
I started domaining back in 2012 when I started my first development project. I realized that domains were hard to find so I did some research and quickly realized they were a digital commodity. It immediately sparked my interest since I was heavily invested in the stock market at the time.
Prior to my domaining career I was in the United States Army. I was in an intelligence unit that was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and came home in 2011. I decided to get out and pursue my education in late 2012.
My biggest obstacle has always been myself. I find myself drawn to self-destructive activities. About 8 years ago my life was a hot mess. I was an out of control teenager self-medicating with any drug I could find. Sure, it was fun but it was not conducive to building a meaningful life.
My best single domain sale has been ITMagazine.com. As some of you know, I bought it for $120 and flipped it 27 days later for $10,000. It was an exciting moment as it was my first 5-figure deal. After that, I dove into domaining full-time.
I spend most of my time working but when I’m not on the computer you would likely find me at the rock gym. I started rock climbing about 2 years ago but about a year ago I hurt myself and was out of the game for 8-10 months.
Now I’ve been back for 4 months and have focused solely on bouldering. I’m in beast mode climbing 4-5 times a week.
If I’m not climbing or working, I am most definitely at my favorite restaurant. It is an authentic Chinese spot that recreates traditional dishes from the Sichuan province. I have eaten everything from frog to stomach there. Amazing food and great people.
I am still liquidating my domains for supplemental income while working on turning my branding company into my primary earner . I spent 4 years in the domain industry and a little less than 2 years doing it full-time. I spent most of my time flipping domains as quickly as possible.
Towards the end, I realized flipping is a hustle and not a business. I tried repositioning myself. My attempt to switch from a flipper to a holder wasn’t a smooth. This industry forces you to relearn every time you reinvent your business model. Nothing about domaining is easy and if it was I sure wouldn’t have enjoyed it.
What is your best development project?
My primary project is developing Fish Stick into a self-sustaining branding business that operates nationwide. I hope to work with businesses to develop their company into a brand that consumers identify with. I believe external branding is a byproduct of internal branding. In other words, a company’s internal values bleed through the employees directly to the customers.
What do you feel is the best and worst aspect about the domain industry?
The best aspect of the domaining industry is that it caters to those who think outside of the box. I find this type of work mentally stimulating which in turn keeps me interested. I get bored easily so I’m drawn to the challenge.
I despise the lack of transparency. It is too easy to cheat people out of their hard earned money with some deceptive but common practices. It’s borderline pathetic.
Who are your role models in the domain industry and in life?
I have no role models in the domain industry. As I have said before, in order to succeed you must lead. Those who follow will be devoured by the sharks.
Where do you believe the domain industry will be in one year?
The domain industry seems to be experiencing a drastic change. The meteoric growth and crash of Chinese premiums created a toxic environment for everyone in the wholesale market.
Many people made a lot of money and then proceeded to chase the “easy” money right into the ground. I believe the industry will continue stabilizing and the liquidity of truly great names will increase. Simply put, descriptive .coms will be back on top and the nonsense will be on the floor.
What advice would you give newcomers?
No one can teach you how to make money in this industry. Anyone who claims to is lying. This profession is not easy so stop being lazy and do the work.