How to get rich online in 2023

A motivational article about personal finances, multiple sources of income, investing and digital nomad lifestyle. Contains quotes, examples, thought-provoking questions and stories from people who are living the dream life.

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Domain names for sale

Back in 2012, I though it would be a good idea to invest in old and short domain names. I bought 3 of them (four letter .com domains) for about $2000. It was a lot of money for me at the time, but I thought it was a wise investment. To my great disappointment, this isn’t one of those stories where the post ends with thousands of dollars in profit. But if you stick long enough, who knows! As for the 3 domains I bought in 2012 I was able to liquidate really quickly in early 2014 when I needed the cash! Although I didn’t make a ton of money, I also didn’t lose money! Which is great if you want to liquidate assets quickly.

When I started to build a domain portfolio a few things fall into place. We were able to finish the development of several tools at WhoAPI! The second thing that happened was that I fell in love (happens to the best of us) with an amazing illustrator, so I am able to combine spectacular logos as a bundle with a domain name. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you will see what the end result looks like on some of this projects. Thirdly, Michael Cyger (you can read my interview with him) launched DNAcademy where I learned a lot about domain investing in a very short period. And last but not least, I have more spending money than in prior years, so I decided to invest instead of spending it on toys.

Here’s a list of domain names that I am selling:

As you may know, I had a fascination for four-letter .com domain names.,,,,,,,,,,

I also own some Croatian one word domain names:,,

I am interested only in serious high-bid offers.

Previous sales:,,,,, and others.

Not buying, or actively flipping domain names

It’s also worth pointing out that I am not actively flipping domain names. Therefore, if you are selling a domain name, do not contact me. I am not a broker (I can’t help you sell a domain name), and I am not buying domain names. So what changed? Why am I no longer interested in domain names?

I am buying and selling websites

This topic is addressed in great length here where I write about website investing. You can see the advantages, how to do it, where to do it and so on. I had better financial success with website investing, compared to domain investing. That’s why I decided to stop domain investing.

Besides, all my “domain investing” knowledge is actively used in the due diligence process when I am buying a website. So none of that went to waste.

Old projects (2013-2015)

Books I often recommend

Some of the books here literally changed my life. When I look at myself 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and 15 years ago I notice one common pattern. The more books I read, the more time and money I have. If you don’t have time to read books, it’s like you are driving a car and saying you don’t have time to refuel your car!


Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!


In case you missed Tony’s Unlimited Power, this is a must-read. Believe it or not, I recently read this book again (2019). The reason why I am mentioning this is that it is still relevant. A lot of what Tony is preaching today can be traced back to this book.

Awaken The Giant Within will bring you closer to understanding how the human mind works (yourself), and how you make decisions. This is where I learned about belief systems and how questions play a huge role in our lives. (Also mentioned in Unlimited Power).

Word of warning, this is not a small book. At more than 500 pages, you are going to need more than one boring Sunday afternoon to start your life-changing journey. Even more so because the book is filled with actionable advice, tasks, homemade workshops, and quotes that will have you thinking for an entire day.


Think and Grow Rich: The Original Classic


I’ve read this book several times, and I listened to an audiobook (available on Audible) it’s that good. It was written back in 1937 and reportedly sold over 100 million copies. Millions of people swear by it, and countless legends attribute their success to it. This book is like a short version 2.0 of Napoleon Hill’s series of books titled “The Law of Success”.

Word of caution, The Law of Success is over 700 pages long, so unless you are a Napoleon Hill fanatic, and seriously determined to become successful, stay away from this book until then. Think and Grow Rich, on the other hand, is perfect, and once you master that book, then take on The Law of Success. In case you are wondering, I’ve already read The Law of Success as well but I feel it’s not worth recommending compared to Think and Grow Rich.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle and Will Durant. This is why I essentially picked up this book. And haven’t regretted it. I am sure you “do something” each morning as you wake up. You either brush your teeth, pick up a smartphone or go for a jog. Just this one small decision starts the ripple effect of how your day will turn out. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months. Before you know it, you are an alcoholic. You become diabetic. Or, you are on your way of becoming happy, healthy wealthy.

How do you turn things around? Can we really be at the driver’s seat of our lives? One small habit at a time, Charles Duhigg thinks we can. The power of habit is a wonderful book, and if you are no stranger to human psychology, it should definitely be on your reading list.



There’s only one problem with the book How to win friends and influence people. I fear that the people that absolutely need to read this book will never pick it up. While the ones who genuinely care about improving their relationships with other people (spouse, friends, employees, co-workers) will read this book. It’s like “the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer” all over again.

After reading this book you will realize how much there is going on between two people. How much of “you” is in “them” and how universal all this is. Dale Carnegie wrote this book back in 1936, and it is on almost every “entrepreneur must-read” list for the past couple of decades. With the rise of “social media”, and technology advancements I think we can all use a little bit of “how to win friends.”


Outliers: The Story of Success


I was pitching my startup to a VC and since he wasn’t interested very much, our conversation was moving away from the startup. On one hand, I wish I knew that so that I stop wasting time, but on the other hand, at least I got this great book recommendation. The VC told me how my story reminds him of the book he read recently (this conversation took place in 2011). I turned into one giant ear because at the time I was my first year into reading everything and anything.

He mentioned Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which ultimately lead me to Blink, The Tipping Point and later David and Goliath. Although Blink and The Tipping Point are great books, I would recommend only Outliers. If you ever heard of the 10,000-Hour rule, book Outliers popularised the term. However, the book might leave you depressed because of some statements (birthdate is one example). And also, there are people making claims that some of the “facts” stated in the book aren’t accurate to begin with.


How to Think Like Einstein: Simple Ways to Break the Rules and Discover Your Hidden Genius by Scott Thorpe (2015-12-01) HOW TO THINK LIKE EINSTEIN – SCOTT D. THORPE

This book took me by surprise and is probably the least famous of this entire list. Maybe there are even better books on the topic or maybe I see something in it, that other people don’t. If I find a better one, I’ll replace it. This book taught me to approach problems differently. I dive deeper into explaining this here, but I’ll scratch the surface here as well. Everything is relative, and each problem is viewed from your perspective. Einstein was great at changing his perspective through imagination. Even if this leads him to impossible and weird places.

The entire “problems are challenges” debate went to an entirely different level for me after reading this book. Problems turn into millions of dollars, and happy surprises turn into worst death-threatening scenarios. If you are facing an unsolvable challenge, grab this book that holds a single idea. How to think like Einstein.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP – MARIE KONDO

In case you are wondering what the hell is this book doing here, bear with me. If you are reading this, I know you are human, and I know you’ve been in plenty of situations Marie Kondo writes about. Ever bought something you didn’t like after a while? Have you ever given something to someone, just so that you can get rid of it? Have you ever wanted to work in a more organized office? Were you ever confused about why your entire life is one big clutter?

I get it. My desk is one big white space cover with absolute essentials. No wonder I wanted to read this book. But even I saw improvements in my wardrobe, purchasing habits, gifts I gave, and productivity. Are you confused by this statement? Well, although this book mentions how to fold clothes properly, it will teach you much more than this. If only my dad (a.k.a. the hoarder) would also read this book. That way I can stop quoting this book to him.



The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER – DAVE RAMSEY

If you are struggling financially, you need to do the things advised in this book. Dave Ramsey is an absolute genius when it comes to personal finances. He will advise you to cut up your credit cards, something that other experts don’t think it’s a good idea, but he is on a mission to get you out of debt! Debt is Dumb, Cash is King! He pioneered the 7 baby steps that will get anyone on the road to heaven.

Everybody is scared of looking at their finances because they are scared of what they will see. After you are done reading this book, and I know you will. Hop on to his YouTube channel. Advice he gives there is priceless, but also sometimes shocking. Sometimes, people need a good jolt to get them out of the mess they put themselves in.


The Richest Man in Babylon: Original 1926 Edition THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON – GEORGE S. CLASON

This book was written back in 1926, and although Tony Robbins mentions this book in his books Unlimited Power (mentioned above) and Money: Master the Game it is actually Jim Rohn who recommended it to him and to the attendees on one of his seminars. That’s how I was compelled to read it.

Inside, there is timeless advice on investing, saving, and making money. We may not like some of it or disagree with it, but this book withstood the test of time, even after nearly 100 years. Besides, this is a small book. It is easy to read in one afternoon, but reap the rewards for a lifetime!


The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy THE MILLIONAIRE NEXT DOOR – THOMAS J. STANLEY & WILLIAM D. DANKO

This book just blew my mind and turned me into a believer immediately. But, have in mind that there are people like Nassim Nicholas Taleb that totally disagree with what is written. So, why are there two polarized clans? The book (and research behind it) explain how millionaires among us don’t actually, statistically, live an outrageous lifestyle.

They don’t waste money on fancy drink, they buy used cars (mostly domestic), they marry “only” once. What you really want to be is “Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth”, this doesn’t mean you are making a lot of money but spending it all. It means you genuinely have a lot of money and live on your terms. This book completely changed my opinion on what it means to be a millionaire.



If your knowledge of the economy is advanced, you should probably skip this book. I remember when I read I kept saying to myself, this is so fun, and true, I wish I read it earlier. Essentially, what this book is talking about is productivity. If your finances or business (or country for that matter) are struggling, you should put into good use the teachings of this book. Similar to Rich Dad Poor Dad (below) this book explains good debt and bad debt.

If you borrow money to increase your productivity (from fishing 1 fish to the ability of fishing 2 fish) you are doing yourself a favor. However, if you are borrowing money to watch more TV, you are on a road to problems. As I was saying, I wish I read this book earlier in my life. If you have any kind of debt attached to your name, it might be a good idea to pick up this book regardless of my recommendation. Maybe you put two and two together.


Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! RICH DAD POOR DAD – ROBERT KIYOSAKI

With this book, I finally learned what it means to have your money work for you. I also learned the power of assets and more importantly cash flow. I read plenty of books by Robert Kiyosaki, (like the Cashflow Quadrant), and although they are very easy and fun to read, mostly it is just repeating the good stuff. I don’t mind it, but I won’t recommend it. For example the Cashflow quadrant is also a good book, but revolves around a single (genius) idea – the cash flow quadrant. Plus, you get some of Kiyosaki’s stories. If you are going to read anything by Kiyosaki, start with his best book, Rich Dad Poor Dad.

To this day, the book has remained relevant with its advice. And it is still being discussed by popular podcasts such as Tropical MBA!



The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich THE 4-HOUR WORKWEEK – TIMOTHY FERRISS

With all the bad rep this book gained over the years, I am almost ashamed to admit that this book changed my life. At the time I first read it, it never occurred to me it was possible to have a location independent business. My small business was hit with the recession, and I would lose clients because they shut down their business! I can tell you, it’s a super weird feeling asking for a contract renewal, only to find out they shut down their business.

I also loved the tasks that this book gives you. I am not sure if I would find my fiancee if I didn’t have the courage this book gave me. Not to mention stand in front of 300 people to pitch my startup. Sometimes, all you need is a little nudge, and this book was it for me. Here I go ranting about me again, but I really hope this book can do for you, what it did for me! Other people were working 80 hours per week, and were able to significantly drop that down! I’ve recommended and gave this book as a gift so many times, I can’t remember how often.


The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure THE 10X RULE – GRANT CARDONE

In order to balance our reading portfolio, we need our 10X guy. If some of these books are too “woo-woo” for you, 10X will break this pattern. Life is a journey, it’s not a destination? Not according to Grant Cardone! This book will force you to think big and take even bigger action to get there. Word of warning, do not, I repeat, do not read this book before going to bed. If the late night is the only time you have to read books, skip this one!

The 10X rule is a book that revolves around a simple concept. Whatever goal you had in your mind, you need to 10X that goal. The easiest way to explain this is with numbers and money. So, if your goal was to make a million dollars, commit to making ten million dollars. Then take more action than you thought was needed to get to ten million dollars. Grant Cardone thinks that by doing this, you have a much better chance of getting ten million dollars, let alone your initial goal of one million dollars. Can’t wrap your head around the idea of taking so much action, and you are concerned about work-life balance? Don’t be confused if 5 years from now you are still broke and short of your dreams.


Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness LITTLE RED BOOK OF SELLING – JEFFREY GITOMER

This was one of the first books on selling that I ever bought. I only wish that I have done so sooner! Although it has the word “little” in its title, be sure that this is a great book, and it shouldn’t surprise you that it is often listed as one of the highly-rated sales books of all time. Even 7 years after I’ve read Little Red Book of Selling for the first time, I still have an image of one page imprinted in my mind. Page 207. “The more you watch TV, the more competition will kick your ass.” We could talk about replacing social media with TV, but I’ll leave that for another time.

Jeffrey Gitomer will teach you how to ask questions. How to make rapport and turn leads into clients. Truly, if you never read a book about sales, this one of the best places to start. If you are a solopreneur or a small business owner, and you think that you are not in sales? You definitely need to read this book. The price of this book will pay itself in a single day if you implement but one idea.


The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience PRESENTATION SECRETS OF STEVE JOBS – CARMINE GALLO

Do you plan to pitch your startup? Are you creating a webinar to attract clients? Do you need to present your big idea in front of your team? Are you scheduled to unveil your revolutionary product? Situations, where a great presentation is necessary, are endless. If you are not a Steve Jobs fan, get a different book. But read at least one good book on presenting. For me, this one was enough, and it certainly helped me fundraise $250.000.

What I liked about this book is because it used a lot of Steve Jobs presentations, that you could watch on Youtube! That way you could connect the dots. My presentation skills are nowhere near, but they have improved greatly! One thing that’s especially important to mention is that just like with any other book, you have to practice what you learn! You have to stand in front of that crowd, and test what you read. Record yourself (at least today everybody has a decent smartphone camera), and evaluate your progress.


Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams LAUNCH – JEFF WALKER

Are you launching a website? A new service? An ebook, or a course that your clients can take? Jeff Walker wrote a step by step process that made him millions of dollars. The Launch is all about building your list, a real high-quality list, that will convert and make you rich. It will take you from 0 (zero, zilch, nada) to a profitable business. How to get first people to sign up on your list, and which questions you need to ask them. And how to use the answers from those people to build the product they will end up buying.

This entire process is covered in the book. Although times have changed since Jeff made his millions, his advice is still valid and probably best out there. As far as I’ve seen what other bloggers are selling, it is mostly Jeff’s original idea reshuffled or watered down. You don’t need a $999 course on how to launch your new business, execute on what’s in this book, and you should be well on your way.



A very short book that was originally published back in 1982, it will take your management skills from 0-60 in one reading. Although a very simple, and sometimes criticized book (some think this is just a fad) I wish that I read it sooner. I love a short, easy-to-read book, with a simple idea, that you can start utilizing as soon as you step into your office. Great for a Sunday afternoon reading, and start using it on Monday morning.

The book is very easy to read and understand, as it follows a story of a young manager who is looking for advice on how to become a better manager. His search is over when he finds “the one” who calls himself The One Minute Manager. Then he receives advice (and the way he receives advice and executes on tasks you also learn how to manage) on how to become a better manager. If you are looking for another great book on leadership and management, check above for “How to win friends and influence people” or just click here.


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't GOOD TO GREAT – JIM COLLINS

Here are some of my notes for this book. There are five levels of leadership. Top leader builds a company that can endure without him. This type of leader doesn’t build his ego by acting as if he is irreplaceable. Personal modesty and professionalism will play a big part here. Hire the right people, fire the wrong people. First what, then, why. Hedgehog concept, deep understanding, and amazing simplicity.

Technology speeds up the flywheel, but it is not responsible for its starting. Flywheel instead of our perceived destiny, evolutionary process of our company. Who are we? BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals with the Hedgehog concept. 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine.


The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More THE LONG TAIL – CHRIS ANDERSON

To be honest, I am not sure if it is too late to recommend this book. I read it over a decade ago, long before long tail took over the Internet. However, if you need clarification on how Amazon was able to take over book stores and publishers around the world, you should still read this book. Especially if you need to catch up and get on with the program. For example, in SEO, many target “long-tail keywords” in order to get ahead of their competition.

Who knows what long tail trend you can spot, and take advantage of that insight. After all, according to Chris Anderson, our economy, culture is moving away from mainstream products and markets into niches in the tail. You don’t have to be better, you just have to be different is making more sense than ever before.



The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment THE POWER OF NOW – ECKHART TOLLE

Are you considering meditation? On your way to work, are you asking yourself, “Is this all there is to my life”? Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple. Don’t lose yourself in past regrets or future worries. There is only one thing, the present. Which reminds me, there is a great book that didn’t make this list. The present. Getting back to The Power of Now, it may sound simple, but we all know it could be very hard. Just like losing weight is very simple (eat a lot of vegetables, drink a lot of water, avoid everything else and exercise three times per week for 30 minutes).

What is very interesting in the book is that it feels like a combination of several different religions. Essentially, it is only advocating good! Another great takeaway for me personally was Eckhart Tolle’s approach to materialistic thoughts. If you skipped my recommendation above “Marie Kondo – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up“, and you are frustrated because you don’t own the latest iPhone, buy this book! It is much cheaper than the iPhone, and it will make you happier.



I remember one time I was lying on the beach, and overheard some old ladies sitting right behind me. They were briefly discussing books, and I suppose without me thinking about it, my ears perked up. Anyway, one of them mentioned that her favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. At first, I was judgmental, because what else was she going to say? So many people read that book. But I quickly changed my mind, because I had never read The Alchemist, so I had no way of knowing.

I’ve decided there and then to read it. To be more precise, I bought an audiobook, “read by Jeremy Irons – OMG”, and I loved it. Not sure how much his voice contributed to this, but it sure made it a better listening experience. If you are looking for a clear path in your life, I recommend this book. Somewhere along the path with a shepherd boy Santiago, you just might find yours.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK – MARK MANSON

Are you wondering if this book delivers on the title? Yes, it does, and it over-delivers. As Mark Manson explains, it’s not just about not caring about the wrong stuff. It’s also about caring about the right stuff! If anything, it’s even more important! If you can get past the profanity, all the f*cks and sh*t sandwiches, and you are an overachiever who sometimes freaks out, I would definitely recommend this book.

Last summer I drove for 440 km (273 miles) to the beautiful beach of Bol (Brac, Croatia) and I needed to wind down from my 24/7/365 online entrepreneurship. It was just what the doctor ordered, and I am recommending it ever since. If you feel stuck, or that you are not progressing fast enough, definitely pick this book.


[(As a Man Tinketh )] [Author: James Allen] [Jan-2003] AS A MAN THINKETH – JAMES ALLEN

One of the reasons I mentioned this book here is because it is ridiculous how old it is, but at the same time relevant to the issues we are facing in our modern daily lives. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.”. Although written in 1903, you have to admit, this is as good of dieting advice as you can get today.

The title of the book gives away what it is about (as you think, so it becomes) but since the book is pretty straight forward you will immediately see how YOUR thoughts impact YOUR life. Since the book is very old, you can get it for pennies on the dollar, and my guess is you can read it during one nice Sunday afternoon. Once you start to pay attention to your thoughts, your life could go in a different direction.


Man's Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING – VICTOR FRANKL

This is such a powerful book. Occasionally hard to read, and by that, I don’t mean the structure of the sentence. The author has gone through the horrible experience of being in a concentration camp and losing his family in the process. Tony Robbins recommends this book any chance he gets, and after a while, I succumbed. I am glad I did, because this book is a must-read. If you have millions of dollars and you are wondering where is the meaning? Or if you are going through hell (then keep going) and you are confused why is this happening to you.

This book can guide you, and if nothing else give you plenty of reasons to be grateful for. I remember how happy I was just with the warm soup, while I was reading this book. Yes, it’s that powerful in providing a new perspective. For all you beginner readers, this is a small book that is very easy to read and you definitely need to pick it up.




For me, this wasn’t just a book. It was an opportunity to get a peek into the life of one of the greatest figures of our time. The changes this man, and his company brought into technology is nothing short of spectacular. But, like any other biography or autobiography, this book spends a lot of time on seemingly irrelevant things. After reading the book many people debated how Steve’s biological parents left an impact on him, and how this resulted in creating the man we all know. Not sure why then we don’t have more orphan / billion-dollar company / founders but seems like this is the consensus. Another example is Steve’s calligraphy class… right.

Now that my negative remarks are out, the book will deliver on ins and outs of Apple co-founder’s life. This story is told from his perspective, and I am sure that every Apple fanboy read it. However, if you are using Windows, Android phones and are not excited by one of the biggest business turnarounds of the century, you might want to skip this one.


Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story (Thorndike Press Large Print Nonfiction) by Arnold Schwarzenegger (2012-10-19) TOTAL RECALL: MY UNBELIEVABLY TRUE LIFE STORY – ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Bodybuilding, acting, politics, entrepreneurship, how in the world is something like this possible? The explanation resides in this unbelievably true life story! If you decide to opt-in for an equally entertaining unabridged audiobook, have in mind that Arnold Schwarzenegger reads only a small portion of the book. Anyway, I feel like I don’t have to pitch the book, but here’s just a tidbit. Arnold’s story is simply amazing and inspirational.

Although his career and life are not spotless, you would miss the bigger picture if you avoided this book because of it. The thing that shocked me most from Arnold’s life, was that he earned his first million dollars as a real estate investor! If you are confused with this statement as much as I was, then you should pick up this book!


Open: An Autobiography OPEN – ANDRE AGASSI

Does it make sense to read this book even if you are not a tennis player? Absolutely yes! Beautifully written, easy to read, entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking. If you are like me, and occasionally need a break from the online business world, this book might do the trick.

But don’t be fooled. Agassi’s highs and lows have a striking resemblance to the startup founder’s life. On more than one occasion I was able to relate and find comfort. We even share the same haircut, haha! The only thing that could be a downfall to this book is the part when Andre Agassi talks about… Tennis. I know, it’s shocking. I didn’t mind, so I am recommending it here.


3 golden rules that have the power to change your life

As I was crossing the street holding a small gift for my bookkeeper, I was thinking about why I was bringing a gift. It was a small gesture that cost only $5 and five minutes of my time, but I felt good about bringing it, and I was hoping it would brighten up their day. Then it occurred to me: if someone came to my office with this small gift, it would sure make me happy.

1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Like Jim Rohn, I am also an amateur on the Bible. But with a little help from Google and Wikipedia, I do know that inside there’s a verse called Matthew 7:12, and according to Wikipedia it goes something like this:

Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you
shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

This is also known as “THE” golden rule. On this same track, Zig Ziglar used to say, “You can get whatever you want, if you help enough people get what they want.” Think about this for a second. Can you trace any of your frustrations to times when you were focusing on yourself? For example, in traffic? I know I can! When someone is not driving to my expectations (drives too slow, doesn’t signal before making a turn, etc.) I get frust… fascinated! You can integrate this thinking into your business, your relationship, or your happiness in general. As you shift your focus from yourself onto the person or client you care about, you will not only feel better, but also achieve greater success. No matter how much our society and the media wants to convince us we are only focused on ourselves, real fire inside of us starts only when you start to give. Tony Robbins sums it up very nicely: “The secret to living is giving.”

2. Men are developed the same way gold is mined.

As I kept walking from the garage towards my bookkeeper, I thought about this golden rule and remembered another golden rule I read a while back in a beautiful, timeless bestseller: How to Win Friends and Influence People. I read it for the first time five years ago, and then two years ago I listened to an audiobook. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone, and especially to business owners, CEOs and leaders in the making. There are some incredible gems inside this book! One of them is golden.

“Men are developed the same way gold is mined. Several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold. But you don’t go into the mine looking for dirt. You go in looking for gold.” – Dale Carnegie

This was an eye-opener for me personally, especially since every leader is keen on personal development. Meaning, the same practice for developing your team, you can use to develop yourself. Play on your strengths, mask your weaknesses, and find someone or something to replace your weakness. Find someone whose strength can replace your weakness. Compliment your team when they do great work, as that will inspire them to do more great work. When they make a mistake, help them learn from it so that you have someone in place who has already made this mistake.

Looking for the gold will turn on your “reticular activating system” (RAS) which will help you find more gold. If you don’t know what an RAS is, the best and easiest way to explain it is for you to remember that time when you bought a car, or shoes, or brand of sunglasses and then you started to notice them everywhere. Those things were always there, but now you are noticing them because your brain now looks for them. Same with business opportunities, the perfect soulmate, and your goal in life.

Oftentimes, myself included, we fall prey to negativity and depression after we fail at a task again and again. We start to see so much dirt that we even neglect the gold we find. We justify it with, “Oh yeah, we were lucky,” “That’s the norm,” or “That’s still worse than xyz.” I once heard Arnold Schwarzenegger, in a motivational speech, say: “Nothing can replace hard work.” I can relate to him saying that because body building is a great example where you have to put in the reps, training, proper diet and whatnot to get the results. There is no amount of reading, talking, or motivational videos that can bring you results. You have to remove a ton of dirt so that you can get an ounce of gold. There are no shortcuts.

Once I thought of these two golden rules, I figured that if I could find a third one, that might turn into a nice little blog post. I didn’t have to think much, because even before I could open the door of the building I had the third golden rule.

3. Buy gold when it’s cheap. Sell gold when it’s expensive.

“Buy low, sell high” while having “asymmetric risk-reward” and “opportunity cost” in mind. It took me a few years to learn these terms, so I’ll explain them here just in case you aren’t fluent in the language of the sophisticated investor.

Buy low, sell high is pretty simple, and the simplest of the three concepts. That’s also why so many people lose money on it. They think they are “buying low,” until they realize they are not, and by then it is already too late. It took me a while to realize I have always been in the business of buying low, selling high! Oftentimes people classify this as value-added service, reselling, or investing. You can also buy a book or a course, acquire some knowledge (buying low), and then provide value to the marketplace by offering solutions and get your return with a much higher dollar sign (selling high).

I’ve learned that this concept becomes especially fun and powerful when you mix it with the other two: asymmetric risk-reward and opportunity cost. If, like me, you are not an economics major, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of these two terms. After I learned some people made millions of dollars on account of them, it took me five minutes to understand them. Now don’t get me wrong, understanding something and doing something on a daily basis are two completely different things. You don’t get paid for what you know. You get paid for what you do. So what I can do here for you is help you reach the first step, which is to understand these two very powerful concepts.

It is what you do that defines you.
– Batman movie

Let’s start with the easier one, and the one you will need first: opportunity cost. If you don’t have any savings and are struggling financially, I am almost positive you don’t know what opportunity cost is. And even if you do, you are then ignoring this rule completely. I’ll explain by using an example of a smoker. I don’t have anything against smokers; I was a smoker for more than five years, and quit smoking almost 10 years ago. Why? My granddad died of lung cancer, and I was so broke that I couldn’t afford to buy my own cigarettes. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. Cigarettes are a great example because most smokers buy them every single day. So hypothetically speaking, let’s say a pack of cigarettes that you would smoke that same day cost $4 where I am from. If you are in the US, this can go up to $6 or $7. But anyway, lets go easy, and say you would spend 30 times $4, a total of $120 that month on cigarettes. We both know that smokers don’t smoke for one month and then quit. Which is another reason why this is a great example for explaining opportunity cost. Let’s say a smoker smokes for 30 years (or 360 months). He would spend roughly $43,200 on cigarettes. And again, we both know that sometimes smokers buy more than one pack per day, AND that the price of cigarettes always goes up. If you used that money to start a business, acquire a client (with an ROI) or invest in the stock market, anything that could give you a return greater than $43,200, that’s opportunity cost: the cost of a missed opportunity. I think we can both agree that at only $4 per day, or $43,200, it’s pretty darn high!

If you are thinking, “Goran, that’s great, but I am so broke, I can’t afford cigarettes, or I am not buying cigarettes at all!” No problem. I was there; here’s what you do. Opportunity cost also applies to your time. For example, watching TV, playing video games, etc. Again, I was playing video games for 12 hours a day (if not longer), and watched so much TV as a teenager that it might be one of the main reasons why I dropped out of high school. So when I write this, don’t think I have anything against playing games or watching TV – I was there. Allow me to explain how opportunity cost applies to your time. Let’s say you are watching three hours of television every day. Or nowadays, people spend that amount of time on various social media channels, so you could use that as an example as well.
3 hours x 30 days x 12 months x 30 years = 32,400. That’s over 32,000 hours, and that’s IF you stop watching TV or browsing social media after 30 years. And that’s IF you only spend three hours doing it every day.

During that time you could learn several new skills, start a small business, become a better lover, make new friends, travel the world, plant a forest, help people in any kind of need, you name it. It is very hard to quantify and compare the return on investment from watching TV to that of becoming a brain surgeon (could you become a brain surgeon in 32,000 hours?) or a romantic lover, BUT it is a great philosophical question, and a great explanation of opportunity cost. I know I sound like a productivity junkie, and I am, but I am not saying you shouldn’t rest a minute in your day; rather, I am saying don’t spend over 60,000 hours watching TV during a 60-year period. I remember reading somewhere ( – and there is a heated discussion on who to attribute this quote to) – anyway, I think Gandhi said to his assistant that he would meditate today for 20 minutes. And then his assistant replied that he doesn’t have time in his very busy schedule for today! To which Gandhi replied, “Then I will have to meditate for an hour.”

Finally, the asymmetric risk reward. It sounds more complex than it really is. Since I am into SEO and Google AdWords and conversion rate optimization, I’ll use that as an example. Let’s say your asymmetric risk reward is 1:10. In a nutshell, it means you risk 1 for the chance of getting back 10. For the sake of this explanation, let’s say, U.S. dollars are in question. For example, your cost per click on your AdWords campaign is $1 (I know, very low, haha), and you know that if that website visitor converts to a paid client you will get $10. (For the sake of this example, let’s ignore customer lifetime value.) But this is where many people get it wrong! They think that this is asymmetric risk reward. The truth is, sophisticated investors are 100 percent sure that 1 in 10 will convert! So they spend $1 knowing that in 10 clicks they will get back $10! It’s not an idea that, “If the website visitor converts, I will get it”; they know it will convert. Those are the types of opportunities they are looking for! If you spend $11 for 11 clicks, and only 1 person converts with a $10 return on investment, sooner or later, you are going to be out of business. Unless you cross-sell, up-sell, ask for referrals, sell subscriptions and “work hard and smart,” but then you are just increasing your asymmetric risk reward from 1:10 into 1:20. This is still asymmetric risk reward, but it’s not the same comparison. A great asymmetric risk reward is 1:100, where you risk 1 for the chance of getting 100. That way, you can miss 98 times, and still come through.

Rich people plan for three generations
Poor people plan for Saturday night
– Gloria Steinem

In conclusion, I really think that by living these three golden rules every day, you are going to be exponentially better than you were supposed to be a month from now, a year from now, a decade from now. I know it’s extremely hard to plan for the future and look decades away, but that’s one of the traits that separates the ultra-rich from the mediocre and the poor. Long-term thinking and delayed gratification go hand-in-hand when it comes to securing wealth for yourself and your family. Thinking long term also has a nice spin with opportunity cost. You shouldn’t think of your $100 phone plan as “just $100 a month.” Instead, see it as stealing $1,200 from you every year and $17,300 from you every decade. Jim Rohn used to say that it’s not what the TV will cost in dollars, it’s what it will cost in time spent watching it.

Use interviews as lead magnets on your website

After interviewing some of the biggest domainers in the world, what can I share with you? Before I get to that I think there’s something else that is perhaps even more worth sharing, and that’s why I interviewed them in the first place. Why interviews?

1. Interviews are great link bait.

If you ask a good question, other blogs and websites might link to that content because the industry expert you interviewed might have said something smart (and there’s a good chance for it), maybe even visionary. Your task is to create an environment for him to shine!

A great example is my interview with one of the founders of DigitalOcean. This interview was later mentioned by countless websites, including Wikipedia. Have you ever tried to get a backlink from Wikipedia? Yeah, let me know how it goes. Heck, 7 years later, I am still linking to that interview!

Sometimes the roles are switched and you are the one being interviewed. Interviews, go figure...
Sometimes the roles are switched and you are the one being interviewed. Interviews, go figure…

2. Success stories are great content

Interviews are easier to read than the author monolog. Also, people rather read what industry expert has to say than what some newbie has to say. No offense to anyone, heck I consider myself a newbie.

Interviews are great content because industry experts have more than a few interesting stories to tell. The guy that went with a machete in the jungle has the most interesting stories. While the guy that 50 years later just drove by on the tarmac doesn’t have much to add.

3. Interviewing someone is better than guest posting

If you ask someone for a guest post, there’s a better chance they will refuse than an interview. Why? If you are interviewing someone, it means you are giving them certain credit and recognition (successful people love that, it’s their tap on the back). But don’t forget, what you are really after is creating quality content, and a great website! In return, this will increase the traffic to your website!

Whereas a guest post is the same, only a level below. With interviews, you kinda give people a template or a road map of what to write about, which is people’s biggest problem. Most of them don’t know what to write about, or how to start, and they have the writer’s block. If you add daily work, problems, busy schedule, it’s easy to say no to a guest post.

4. Want access to someone who is hard to reach?

Think of your absolute best and prosperous client in the world. Call him or send him an email if you can pitch him your product. You probably know his answer in advance. Ask that same person to do an interview. Do you think your chances of reaching him increased?

What do you think which stands a better chance? It’s all about building relationships with your leads! Soft sell. Catching the whale, that’s what it’s all about.

5. Interviews with big names give your company a great context

What do you think about how do your partners, potential customers, clients, media, industry experts perceive your company if all the big names are present on your company’s website? Good or bad? Positive or negative?

However, one thing has to be clear, it’s not only you that are getting the benefits. The person that is being interviewed gets the traction as well. You do all the hard work to get as many visitors as possible to read about this successful industry expert, you link to all the URL’s that person provides, and he can happily share the interview with his friends, clients, and partners. It’s a win-win situation.

6. Going viral

In some cases, you can include several industry experts in your article, and one of the influential people you interviewed may mention this in his social circle. This can be social media, email, or live event. This is where your article can especially pick up some traffic.

One last tip, don’t interview the first person that comes to mind. Interview business persons that you would like as your favorite customer. But don’t pitch! Don’t even hint a pitch. Be patient! Let them realize the potential of your product by themselves. Think about how they do it in the Inception movie! If you pitch, the dream will collapse.

Sales is a delicate process such as planting an idea in the movie Inception
Sale is a delicate process, similar to planting an idea in the movie Inception

Impact of personal finances on your startup

At the beginning of this month, I read another book on personal finances and decided that same day to put some of the advice to practical use. Some of the stuff might make you laugh (using envelopes to control my expenses), but before I get into that in one of my future posts, I’d like to say how much I feel the personal finances impact your business and especially your startup!

I see personal finances as a set of habits. Do you:

– Measure something or not

– Plan something or not

– Stick to your goals and decisions or not.

Being broke is the result of your habits

Going broke, or being without money is a habitual pattern, nothing more. Unfortunately, I will also have to skip the importance of habits, willpower, goal setting in life and personal finances for some other time, because that’s too broad of a topic.

Maybe you know someone who is really lazy, undisciplined with more than a few bad habits (smoking, alcohol, drugs) and still very successful under some definitions. Let’s say he has a great business, a lot of money, a great wife, a great body, whatever. He is winning in a certain field. Here’s the problem with that, when it’s going great, people think it’s going to be great forever. When it’s going bad, people also think it’s going to be bad forever. But that’s not how it goes. Every recession, depression, and war had an end. Ever economic boom, the revolutionary product had either an end or a major slow down. A lot of people are so successful in certain fields, but so remarkably unhappy in other parts of their life they go so far that they commit suicide.

Remember Curt Cobain? You don’t have to go so far, I am sure you know Robin Williams. All the money and success in the world didn’t mean anything that day when he decided to commit suicide. Then again, if you ask 99% of the people what is their biggest problem, they’ll say, money (so it’s a personal finance problem, a set of habits). Money is not a problem. I’ll say that again, money is never a problem. The problem is you. To paraphrase George Carlin: “The money is fine. The people are fu**ed …”.

Those same people spend more than they earn. I am sure you heard this in the movie Fight Club,: “Buy stuff they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.” So what happens when someone starts a company? Well, in the beginning, it’s just them (or perhaps one or two partners), and their habits and their personal finances have a major influence! Their ability to do budget planning. Skills to do personal finances. It’s the management that decides to buy a new chair instead of investing in the product. It’s the management who decided to buy a new car instead of investing in research. It’s the management who decided to go to a conference instead of doing a real lead generation.

When a startup is failing, it takes some guts to admit that it’s the management problem. In startups, there are so few people that you have no one to point to, then yourself. But many people don’t. They point their fingers at the market, the problem they are solving, the money they don’t have, the people that surround them, and so on. It even gets worse. You don’t only “transfer” your habits to your startup, but since you are personally spending more than you are making, you have to suck out the money out of your startup! In return, more than cripples the startup that maybe had a chance if you didn’t have to buy cigarettes, travel, party, party, party. Who’s going to pay for all that? The fledgling business!

Amazing how so many people start “changing the world” and try to solve a huge problem in the world, and they don’t even know where their personal money is going! I know, I was guilty of this. Right now, I am just mad at myself for being so stupid in the past. But just a little bit, because I know that it’s not important what happened to you, it’s important what you decide! You have to make a decision that from this day you will change your habits, which will have a substantial impact on your personal finances, and, ultimately on your startup! Yes, dear reader, I admitted my mistakes, I sucked it up, and now changing my habits.

Start small, start anywhere!

Skip one coffee per day. Skip one candy bar per week. Skip one dinner in a restaurant. Skip here, and skip there.
Make one more phone call. Do one more interview. Make one more sale. Send one more newsletter. A little bit here, and a little bit there.

Repeat each month, and add just one more. Just one.

Make it a golden rule to spend less than you earn! No matter what! If you make this your habit, so will your startup. Ultimately, that means that you and your startup are making more each month, which means that all you now need is time to pass. If there’s one thing you can be certain of, is that time will pass. Ten years from now, you will still be here. There’s a good chance that 50 years from now, you will still be here! The medical / biomedical, technological, psychological advances will surely improve people’s lives, and increase longevity. So start now!

Don’t be that guy or gal who has to suck the money out of startup, and because of that, pay more taxes. What happens next is that they complain about high taxes, and how the government is the problem. Taking the money out of a business in order to buy junk? Not really. Hey, if you want to buy expensive toys, you better be ready to cough up some dough. I heard the new iPhone 6+ is out, with a nice smartwatch.

Don’t fail. Don’t spend, more than you make. We need more people like you. We need people who build startups, who fight, who create instead of consume. Will you be that person?


Stocks, bonds, gold, real estate, and now websites! Since 2009 when Flippa was started, buying and selling cashflow-positive websites have been more and more popular! It is a vibrant industry where thousands of website investors gather to do business!

In 2022, there are dozens of marketplaces where entrepreneurs and investors alike can buy and sell websites.

Mind you, these are not websites for brick-and-mortar businesses. These websites operate as small businesses themselves! Some of the more popular monetization methods are with advertisements, eCommerce, and SaaS. 

Overhead is minuscule compared to many industries, and most of the expenses go into marketing and sales. Which leaves plenty of revenue for healthy profits. Opening a local cafe with doubtful success could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Buying a website for $30,000 could bring you as much as $1,000 on the very first month. 

The number you are looking for in 2021 is 30X 

If you have never ventured into the digital world of commerce, risks could be substantial. However, with some education and mentoring, you could reap the benefits very quickly! 

COVID or no COVID, the number everybody in the industry is still looking for is 30X. If the website’s profits are $1,000 per month, you can get it for as little as $30,000. This is a ballpark figure, and it largely depends on many factors! Age, trend, industry, monetization method, and many others.

Vice versa, if you have a website that’s making $1,000 per month you can ask for 24X – 40X on monthly profits.

Passive cash flow?

Although considered as passive income by some, there is still a lot of work to be done in running a successful website. Once you lift your foot off the pedal, you will still generate interesting revenue, but eventually, the traffic to the website will stop, and so will the revenue. Even though, it could take years for this to happen in some cases.

Managing several websites, as many website investors do, is quite a challenge!
Here’s what a typical day at the office might look like:

  • Check if all websites are up and running
  • Renew any domain names that are about to expire
  • Check if all SSL certificates are running smoothly
  • Log in to Google Analytics to check traffic
  • Log in to Google AdSense to check revenue
  • Log in to Google Search Console to check website traffic for top keywords helps you run your website portfolio

This is where comes to the rescue! You can track as many cashflow websites as you like! Make sure that your website portfolio is running smoothly and making the revenue you are looking for!

The beauty of running a website portfolio is that:

  1. These websites are making money 24-7-365 (while you sleep)
  2. You can choose your working hours
  3. You can work from anywhere in the world, or from home
  4. You can expect a sizeable return on your investment within 30 months
  5. Websites are very liquid and you can expect 30X on monthly profits when selling

Websites vs stocks

Returns are better for websites (as you can see by the 30X explanation before), but perhaps provide less security compared to stocks. However the security that comes with stocks, only comes if it’s a blue-chip stock like AMZN, GOOG, or MSFT. Let’s face it, some no-name website making you $100 of pure profit every month can tank tomorrow and no one would hold their breath.

With that in mind, raise your hand if you would like to get $100 every single month with very little work involved. Also, if you know a stock that is giving $100 returns every month, or year (for that matter), I am interested in hearing that stock tip.

Websites vs real estate

Websites are similar to real estate in many ways. Where they differ in my opinion are returns and security. Again, returns are better for websites, and security is stronger in real estate. However, with real estate, there’s a bigger barrier to entry compared to stocks. Finding a blue-chip stock is easier than finding top real estate in a prime location that will stand the test of time. 

I suppose, for many, it is easier to manage several houses or apartments, but for the millennials, it could be that “digital real estate” is more attractive! As the younger generation is more tech-savvy and would like to travel more (which is very hard if you have real estate in a fixed location).

I personally own more than a dozen websites and have been actively buying and selling websites for the past three years. It’s a very exciting process, and so are the returns! If you are tech-savvy and are looking for an additional income stream I would recommend testing the website investing with an entry-level website. 

With just a few thousand dollars ($3,000) you could be the new owner of a website making as much as $100 per month. From there, as they say, sky is the limit.

How to get out of debt

First of all I have to say I am not some financial guru. Just a few years ago, my finances were a mess. I didn’t know it at the time, but once I started improving them, I realized the obvious. My finances were a mess. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t pinpoint it. I couldn’t help the people I love, I couldn’t make a difference for the causes I cared about, my business was struggling and I had to borrow cash each time there was big spending on the horizon. Like a minor fix on the car. Sound familiar?

Getting a loan was so easy!

Credit card number one, credit card number two, overdraft, loan number one, loan number two…

Before I knew it, I had too much month at the end of the money, and my only source of income at the time was a new fledgling startup that had just received an angel investment. I was lucky because I was able to sell my first company, which helped take care some of my debt, but that didn’t change my habits. We were barely making any income because the product from the new company was yet supposed to be fully developed, and it was a race against time. Later when it was becoming obvious that we weren’t capable of making the revenue to support the team, and no investor was coming to the rescue, the team started to fall apart. I resolved to what was my final loan to save the company. I was on my own, and I started with myself. I decided to first take care of my own finances before figuring out my business. So I read a few books, watched a few seminars, and more importantly I took action.

I started tracking my personal finances. I created a budget for me and my fiance. Together we made a firm decision to stick by it. We weren’t going to starve ourselves, we were still traveling, visiting family in different cities, there was time and money for our favorite cafe, but when the month was over, our personal finances had to be in the green.

Income > expenses. That was our number one rule. Then we started eliminating our debt, and after we were done with that, we started saving some money. We realized that “income > expenses” is easier if you work both on improving your income AND reducing your expenses. We learned that you also need to financially reward yourself and the ones closest to you, so that the struggle makes sense. When you do it like that, your rewards are thought out, and you make the decision based on your real wants and needs.

I think one of the books that capture those steps is The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It doesn’t cover everything, and you still have to act (not just read the book), but it is a great start for someone who is clueless and needs help! Nothing wrong in needing financial help. You are definitely in the majority on this fine planet. I think it’s one of the ultimate mysteries. How do you explain two different families living in the same city, one barely getting by with $1000, and the other also barely getting by with $1500. Shouldn’t the one with $1500 be well off since they are making as much as 50% more than the other family? Somehow we find a way to mess it all up. I remember one of my investors telling me a story about his friend. His friend got a raise, and then he sold his old car, and bought a brand new car with a loan. Why in the world would you do that? A couple of years later, one of my friends did the same thing. Don’t be that guy.

You can get out of debt, only when you decide that you really want to get out of debt. If you put other things before getting out of debt, you will never get out of debt.

Another important thing I found out during my financial crusade was that the little habits I originally thought weren’t that dangerous were in fact really dangerous. Think of it like this, if you pay something EVERY month, you really have to be 100% certain that you absolutely need that. Otherwise, it’s not “just $5”, it is at least “$60” (x12 / per year) and once you calculate in opportunity cost (if you invested those $60 dollars elsewhere), it snowballs into a much larger problem or should we say opportunity. This is especially important if you are an entrepreneur. $60 spent elsewhere is $60 that wasn’t invested in your business. Some may say, $60, that’s nothing. A few years ago, I would agree with you 100%. But now I know my customer acquisition cost (CAC), and I can tell you exactly how many clients I could get with $60. I could also tell you our customer lifetime value (CLV), and how much exactly we didn’t make because the measly $60 was spent elsewhere…

I don’t want to say quit smoking and invest the money in a tobacco company, but if you do the math yourself, you could get a compelling reason to do so. Obviously, you’ve decided that smoking means more to you than financial freedom, which is totally OK if you’ve accepted this as your destiny. I am using this example only to explain the root of the problem. You can get out of debt, only when you decide that you really want to get out of debt. If you put other things before getting out of debt, you will never get out of debt. Some of you may be asking, can I get out of debt and still indulge in that one thing I love to enjoy the pleasure of? Sure, you can, but you will probably have to cut off something else so that you at least start to spend less than you earn.

Recently I listened to an audiobook on personal finances, The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey. Watch the video below to see what 5 takeaways I got from it.

If you are watching this video, and reading this blog post I think we can both agree life isn’t so bad. You can afford a device with Internet access. Billions of people don’t have this privilege and opportunity. Earlier I mentioned $60. What if life was such a struggle that $60 sounds like a lot of money? I hear you. I’ve been there! You have to start somewhere, and the next best thing after money is time. You have to be careful how you spend time. Think of it like budgeting your time in a day, or in a month. If you keep spending time with the same people that aren’t going anywhere, guess what the chances you won’t go anywhere either are? Exactly.

You have to spend quality time improving your skills (books, courses, seminars) and looking for opportunities (networking, cold calls, brainstorming business ideas, sending CVs). If you are not spending at least 8-12 hours per day on these activities (when you are tight on cash), you won’t get far. Again, the same problem with finances, if there’s something more important than getting ahead in life (like playing video games), you aren’t going anywhere. I don’t have anything against you if you are playing video games (I was once like that myself) but five, ten, or twenty years down the road I can almost guarantee; you aren’t going to be happy.

In closing, I can say that getting out of debt is easy once you find a good reason for it. As I mentioned before, once you put getting out of debt on the top of your list, you will find a way. Why? Because the recipe is so simple, it sounds stupid. Spend less than you earn. Don’t buy the stuff you don’t need, sell stuff you don’t need, increase your income, save and invest the difference. That’s step one. Within one year, you can be clear of debt and ahead of the majority of people living around you. Maybe you are going to drive an old car or have to rent an apartment (car and a home are the biggest purchases most people will ever make), but this is secondary! Getting out of debt, in my opinion, needs to be your number one priority!

Fourteen ways to get out of debt

  1. Sell stuff that is lying around the house and / or in your garage and attic
  2. If you are an entrepreneur, increase your revenue by: raising prices/providing more value, increase the frequency of purchase from current clients, get more clients
  3. If you are not an entrepreneur (become one, at least part-time – check job opportunities on Upwork, Fiverr ) or ask your employer how you could provide more value so that you get a raise
  4. Track how you spend time and money. This will give you a great clue where you are making mistakes
  5. If you don’t have time for the first 4 advices, stop doing one of the most unproductive activities in your day, and do any of the first advice listed here
  6. Set a written budget, do whatever it takes to know how much exactly you can spend on each category, and whatever you do, don’t cross that budget
  7. When you set your budget, include: emergency saving, debt payoff, donations (if you are not way-way-way in the red). Giving any amount of money that helps someone or something you care about, will fill your heart and give you energy to proceed on your crusade.
  8. If the debt is huge, you have no choice but becoming an entrepreneur. As long as you are changing time for money (working for a paycheck) it will take you a very long time to payoff your debt
  9. Don’t take new debt to refinance the old debt unless you absolutely know what you are doing. Since you are here, I’ll assume you don’t so I’ll advise you to not to get a new loan. I also made the same fatal mistake few years ago! I got a loan, to clear my overdraft debt. A year later I had a loan to repay, and I was again deep in the overdraft.
  10. If the temptation is to great, eliminate it completely! If you can’t control your credit card spending, cut the credit card. If you can’t control your overdraft, call your bank to cancel your overdraft.
  11. This one is tricky. If you have already sold everything you “don’t need” it’s time to rethink what you don’t need. Do you really need a tablet if you have a smartphone? Do you need a DSLR if you have an expensive smartphone? Do you need to watch Netflix, or should you work on improving your skills?
  12. Once you gain momentum or you get out of debt, resolve to never make the same mistake! Take note of the changes that set you free, keep repeating those actions, and never repeat the mistakes that got you here in the first place!
  13. Stop paying stuff with credit cards, or with 6-12 months “easy pays”. It’s very hard to control your expenses like that, and especially if you are in debt. If you really, really, REALLY need to buy something, sell something else, increase your income and talk with a third party to help decide if you really need this thing you can’t afford.
  14. Get everybody under your roof to be on the same page! If your spouse spends whatever you saved, you will soon be in debt, or single.

What I learned after tracking my personal finances – for 30 months

Most of the time, I am writing about buying domain names for your new or existing business, when really your business and domain name investments don’t stand a chance if your personal finances are wacky. I already wrote about the impact of personal finances on your startup. I certainly made the same mistake, and that’s definitely one of the reasons why I wasn’t able to cash in on the four-letter .com domains back in 2012 when I raised a lot of attention with WhoAPI research that found we were out of four-letter .com domain names.

I’ve been planning on writing a “personal finance” post for some time now, but I was hesitant because most of my friends and readers know me as the “domain and web hosting guy”. I was also hesitant because a lot of people have several “startups” and often, when I write about something that’s not directly connected with WhoAPI someone asks me if I gave up on WhoAPI and what this new startup will be about. Geez… So relax, there won’t be a pitch at the end of this post, and I am still 100% committed to WhoAPI.  Anyway, I became very passionate about personal finances at a low (financial) point in my life. Ever since, I’ve read several books on the topic, and more importantly, I took action! Looking back, I am extremely happy with the progress I’ve made since. Hopefully, this story will motivate you to take action, and also provide some valuable steps. For me, it all started with a Jim Rohn seminar on Youtube…

The sentence that improved my financial destiny

I was looking up Jim Rohn on Youtube, and I found an old seminar (video), and during the seminar, there was a part about personal finances. Jim Rohn joked about it how some people “don’t know where it all went,” alluding to the fact that the person who isn’t aware of his expenses can’t really run a business. I felt ashamed because, at the time of watching this video, I also didn’t know “where it all went”. My bookkeeper tracked all the company’s expenses, and she was mad if I was late or failed to send an invoice when we purchased something with the company’s money, but I never tracked my personal expenses. Now bear in mind this was a few years ago, and the story has a happy ending since I’ve changed so much. (Side note, if you are a startup founder and you struggle with your personal finances, but don’t think these two are connected, I recommend my post on “Impact of personal finances on your startup“). What really started my financial renaissance weren’t fancy cars or yachts or positive thinking. It was the fact I hated that I didn’t know “where it all went”!

I decided to make a move on my personal finances because my startup was falling apart at the time (I promised a happy ending, so yes, I saved my startup), I was in debt (credit cards, 2 bank loans)! I remember a while back, I heard about a book about a past client of mine Financial Renaissance by Sanjin Frlan, and I got some pretty good tips there and I was able to use them. More importantly, I got obsessed with “tracking where it all goes”! And as another personal finance expert Robert Kiyosaki says, I started treating my personal finances as a business. More than 3 years ago, I started collecting every single invoice for every single expense I made (both business and personal). I am still doing it to this date. Yeah, I am crazy… Crazy about getting out of debt, and crazy about saving some money so that I don’t end up broke like more than half of the planet I am living on! That’s crazy if you ask me…

10 things I learned after tracking my personal finances for 30 months

  1. Spend less than you earn
    Wow, what a revelation, I know. Probably the best financial advice that absolutely everybody knows, but almost everybody ignores! After tracking all my expenses and income after first few months, I quickly realized I was spending more than I was making! It was time to increase my income and reduce my expenses fast!
  2. Habits and subscriptions are a bigger problem than one time large purchases
    Before tracking my expenses, I thought that if I stayed away from large purchases, I would be OK. But once you see the numbers crystal clear, it makes total sense to you. Jim Rohn said it best, “Success is a numbers game”. Details might be different in your case, but for me I realized I was losing way too much money on habits (cafe bars, coca-cola + chocolate) than when I was making a large purchase. I stopped drinking Coca-Cola (it’s bad for my health anyway), and I reinvested that money into customer acquisition for my business (win-win). This also goes into “opportunity cost”. If you are an economics major you probably know what this means. I am not, so I had to find out on my own. Wasting money on expensive coffee every day of the year could be instead reinvested in a Vanguard Index fund with an 8% return. The story goes that you lost $800 dollars per year on coffee, but if you invested that $800 in that fund, you would probably have millions in a few decades. That’s opportunity cost.
  3. Psychology plays a huge role
    Do you think you are in charge? If you don’t have any money saved, you are not in charge. People mostly buy things they don’t need to impress the people they don’t like. Do you really need to get a new iPhone every year? How about your smartwatch? How about your perfume? How about that $2000 Louis Vuitton bag? I am not saying you should live like a Buddhist monk. I am saying plan your purchases and purchase only the things you will adore using every day, or at least every week! Even more importantly, invest in “something” that will increase your cash flow or create a secondary passive income. Hint, you could look into website investing.
  4. Tracking your income is equally important
    If you have several sources of income or several startup projects (oh no…) then you need to track how much profit or income you are paying yourself from these sources. After a few months, it will become crystal clear where you need to focus and spend time. This will also show you what is a hobby, what is your business and what is a complete waste of time.
  5. Separate your personal finances from your business
    This probably makes total sense, but I made this mistake early on and tracked business and personal expenses in the same sheet (because it was easier for me), but I improved this as soon as I got the opportunity. Track how your business is doing, and track how you are doing, just do it separately.
  6. Married? Track your spouse’s finances as well (or ask that they track it themselves)
    Words can’t begin to describe how happy I am with my wife on topics of personal finances. Finances, or should I say money problems are one of the most common reasons for divorce (article 1, article 2, article 3, article 4). You can track and save all the money you can, but if the other side is on the wrong side of the equation, you will either be broke or single. It is extremely important that all the members of the household are on the same page when it comes to personal finances.
  7. It makes sense to start saving, even if you are in debt
    Why? Because habits are extremely powerful. Once you get that habit of putting that loose change in the piggy bank, there’s no stopping you. But don’t forget, at the same time, you need to eliminate your debt! Imagine you are Neo in the Matrix and loans start flying at you like the bullets. Just say no, and stop them. In Croatia, besides a typical loan, banks often offer overdrafts that allow you to take as much as 3 times more money than your monthly paycheck. Once I understood interest rates on those overdrafts and on the credit cards, I renamed those services: “Highway to hell”. If you are paying for those services (and I know you are paying for them probably every month, then checkpoint #2 once more).
  8. Budget is the king
    Set your budget and stick to it, or at least give it your best effort! If you don’t know your “restaurant budget” for this month, what do you think are the chances of you missing that budget? Combine that with every other expense you can think of, and you have a recipe for disaster!
  9. Custom is better than a template
    Although I will give you two templates for tracking your personal finances, keep in mind that the best template is the one that you will use. For example, I might have created an expense box for traveling, while you might want to create a box for “John’s college” or any other priority. This is something that needs to evolve over time as your life changes.
  10. Lastly, contribution gives meaning
    Being able to contribute money to a cause or a family member in need is far beyond any words can describe. I’d rather not go into the details of my contributions because I don’t do them to brag or to be significant. I do them out of love, respect, and compassion. Both my wife and I give away almost 10% of our profits every month and every struggle we have is worth the opportunity and privilege of helping someone. Giving away without expecting anything in return truly is the greatest gift you can receive.

Two excel sheets you can choose from.
This is an old version of an excel sheet I created –

This is a Google spreadsheet template –

Whatever works better for you, start using it today!

I hope this was helpful and that you start eliminating debt today and start saving some money. Your future YOU and your community will be very grateful. As for me, I’d rather not disclose how much money I saved, but I can tell you it’s the most I have had in my life! Not to mention I have no credit card debt or loans (for the first time in my life)! To think that it all started with that thought that provoked me beyond reason! I was sick and tired of being sick and tired! “I don’t know where it all went!”.  Remember, you don’t need more money to start saving, you need to start managing the money that you have and life will reward you! It will happen during that process, you will start eliminating debt, start saving money, and get new ideas on how to make more money!

If you liked what you’ve read so far, I recommend watching this video where I talk about 5 takeaways I got from listening to “The Power of Ambition” by Jim Rohn. Spoiler alert, Jim Rohn talks about some of the same things in this audiobook, so one of the takeaways is that same sentence that took me on a journey of financial freedom. “I don’t know where it all went”.

A sneak peek into domain names

Domain names are an interesting asset. Some people collect them, some build companies around them and some name one of the biggest recessions to their name. The dot-com bubble.

You can make money by flipping them, reselling them, and sometimes by just parking them.

Three-letter and four-letter .com domains

I have to admit I was always fascinated by short and old domain names. That’s why, even though I knew the industry was talking about not being able to hand register a four-letter .com domain name, I’ve decided to conduct research around it. No one has done actual proper research on this topic, up to that point. It was back in December 2013 that we used our Whois API to check this. Afterwards, I went ahead and bought a few four-letter .com domains myself. I did it on the aftermarket.

A few years later I sold those domains and learned you can sell them directly (to a potential client), via forum (by advertising on a forum that you have this domain name for sale) and via marketplace. In case you are wondering why you haven’t been able to utilize those routes, one of three things could have happened. You are asking for too much money, the domain name is useless, or you haven’t tried hard enough.

Short acronym domain names, even without meaning (I am not talking about,, like, or will always have some intrinsic value. Few years ago domain investors from China raised the price with their speculation, and once they were done with it, the price came down. The marketplace always sorts itself out.

Why should you care?

I think that three-letter (if you can afford them) and four-letter .com domains are a great store of value. Like gold and silver. They are good for short-term flipping, and long-term holding. These domains are very liquid, and this recent screenshot from Namebio proves it.

And here’s another one that’s updated in November 2022. As we can see the market is still alive and well. After 3 and a half years since the original post was published (April 2019) the number of sales and amounts haven’t changed a lot.

Namebio registered over 25 sales in two days. Lowest went for $115, and highest went for $3,211 ( I looked at a larger list of last 100 sales, and not a single four-letter .com domain name sold for less than $100. Seems that someone is always willing to bid more than $99.

Domain registrars

Back in 2006, I co-founded a small web hosting business. And with it, we also provided domain registration services. It was a very tightly bootstrapped business, and my partner and I grew it to about 500 clients before selling it to a larger web hosting company. Over those 5 years, and later from a different company, I was working with and using several different domain registrars. Tucows, GoDaddy, Directi, Uniregistry, NameBright to name a few.

Coincidently, I wrote an interesting blog post, followed by a video on why I chose the domain registrars I work with now. In case you are looking for a good place to register your domain names, you should definitely check it out.

Why should you care?

Well, it’s very simple. If you have more than 10 domain names, it becomes a hassle to manage them. Not to mention the cost has grown significantly over the years. Any serious domain name or website investor holds more than 50 domain names. Let’s see how that looks on a 10-year example.

50 domain names X 10 years X $11 USD = $5,500

50 domain names X 10 years X $8.03 = $4,015

If you think that $1,485 is not that much money, I’ll give you my bank details, and you can send them my way.

Domain data and domain monitoring

This part of my journey and experience with domain names is probably the most complex of the three. It’s strictly B2B (more so, on the enterprise side of the B2B) and partly requires coding skills. Partly because to get domain data you need to operate an API which requires coding skills. And then domain monitoring comes out of that part. Essentially, we are using domain data for domain monitoring. Some of my clients use domain data in other ways (cybersecurity, SEO, reputation management, etc). How exactly do I use domain data, and monitor my domains and websites?

I started buying websites a couple of years ago and fell in love immediately. I was looking at the SaaS tool that we built (Webmaster.Ninja) and realized that with a few minor adjustments this tool could become very helpful. So, with this tool, we are accessing publicly available data. In case you were wondering how exactly this looks, I would rather not share a screenshot because we are in the middle of redesigning our dashboard and building version 2.0.

Why should you care?

In case you need reminding, it’s a major blunder if you forget to renew your domain name. With proper data and tools, this is easily preventable. I will be the first to advise you to renew your domain name for the next 10 years but looks like almost no one does that.

Not only that but this way it is much easier to track your portfolio! If like many, you are using several domain registrars and web hosting providers, it becomes hard to keep track of everything. And what about problems like email blacklists, website downtime, expired SSL certificates? Well, our monitoring tool does all that as well.

So there you have it. A short reflection on my experience with domain names, and why I think you should care. I hope this helps, and remember, you must act on these things. If you let your domain name expire and lose it after all cycles have passed through, don’t contact me. It will be too late.