Doing business at the Speed of Life

In my daily business transactions I’m driven by speed: concluding sales, acquisitions or projects in the least possible amount of time.

While this is prudent in the Information Age that we are currently living in, I recently had the type of encounter that’d qualify as an epiphany.

A domain buyer contacted me via email, we took the communication offline and discussed the escrow process on the phone. Everything seemed to be going well, until his choice of exchange, which involved a transfer out versus an in-registrar push.

At that point in time, the deal almost fell apart. My argument was, why wait 5 more days for the domain transfer to complete, when a push would instantly satisfy the escrow exchange? More importantly, why wait an extra week for payment from escrow to arrive?

I became increasingly articulate in my argument, without realizing I was turning pushy. My modus operandi of completing a transaction in the least possible amount of time was clearly getting in the way.

The buyer told me very directly that I had become a pushy fellow. As he had placed an offer for the same domain five years ago and I had declined, there seemed to be little reason to rush things now. If I had awaited “pay day” for six years since I acquired the domain, what difference would an extra week make?

The bottom line is that I realized how right he was. Caught up in my own Internet speed, I was not following the Speed of Life, where things take time; certainly more time than what we seem to allocate.

The transaction completed in a very satisfactory manner and my escrow check arrived a week later. Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to review my processes and to allocate more personal time to the single most important person in my life: me.


  1. When you add a wife and kid you’ll find out that you’ll have to move to number three or less in importance and have to learn AND teach patience. Of course you could always keep yourself at the single most important person but then you’ll be by yourself again and you’re wife and child will take up with someone that puts them first.

    Shane (Married with kids, 6′ 0″ 180 lbs)

  2. Shane – Of course when you have a wife and kids priorities shift a lot. But remember, you’re still the single most important person in *your* life: you have to stay fit and healthy before taking care of everyone else.

    PS I am 15 lbs overweight 😛

  3. I can relate as our industry moves very quickly while the rest of the world evolves at a different pace. I recently had a company inquire one late afternoon about advertising on one of my sites. I was out when they sent the email but I responded that evening. I didn’t hear back over the next several days so I thought well they must not be interested. Two weeks later another individual from the same company perhaps the first contact’s boss inquired again about advertising on that site this time asking about site traffic. I responded with a detailed letter within a matter of hours of their contact. A couple days later I received a note of thanks for my response. They were going to consider it further. Well, you get the idea that I was anxious for a quick response but the real world just doesn’t make decisions as quickly.

  4. Leonard – thank you for sharing this great example of what constitutes “speed of life”; the *real* world should dictate the pace to the digital one, not vice versa. We tend to push things to their limits as if we are electrons inside a fiber!

  5. While doing business at the speed of light it’s indeed very important to slow down and not make any sudden moves, or you might scare away the buyer 😉

  6. “As he had placed an offer for the same domain five years ago and I had declined, there seemed to be little reason to rush things now. If I had awaited “pay day” for six years since I acquired the domain, what difference would an extra week make?”

    I find that funny. 🙂

    And loving the phrase “Speed of Life”.

  7. Lets not forget one of the best internet stories of all time, Lycos. Bob Davis, who signed his book for me here on Cape Cod where he has a summer home (MUCH different neighborohood than mine) named “Speed IS Life”. He took $1.2 million in seed money and sold it a few years later for 5 billion. That is FIVE THOUSAND MILLION. Then the Dot Co crash came. Sometimes a sudden move DOES make sense :).,9171,1000014,00.html

  8. Correction, didn’t mean to scare the “.co” crowd, I meant the “Dot Com” crash.

  9. Acro, you’d be surprised at the speed of the real world when everything is set-up properly for them. When there’s co-ordination in a system. As you know, biologically speaking, say in the human body, co-ordination is the process by which the central nervous system sorts out the various impulses for the harmonious working of the body as a unit; and it is quite efficient; it may not do it at 186,000 m/s, but quite close. Now, let’s look at the market place, let’s say that say Nintendo is coming out with Wii X, the real life camps out days ahead of time in malls and shops to pick up the game system, regardless of recession or what have you. We need a harmonious industry.

  10. What a great post! I appreciate your openess in sharing this. You were lucky to have a buyer that spoke up to you about what they were feeling, rather than just walking away.

  11. Michael – I could not agree more 🙂

    Tia – Thanks. It’s a play on “speed of light”. Life’s slower, but we behave like electrons these days.

    Bob – You scared me for a second with that .co reference 🙂 The Dot Com crash coincided with the Microsoft trial over their IE browser. It all started in March of 1999.

    Uzoma – Thank you for that great analysis of tech vs. life. I’m glad I’m not a game console freak 😀

    Chris – You’re welcome. It was, as I said, an epiphany.

  12. @Acro — actually, it was March of 2000. The “Ides of March” to be exact. I was there. I remember it well — lost millions, on paper at least. 🙂

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