The average entry level entrepreneur's heart is going to skip a beat at the mere thought of buying a web domain for $1.5 million...but not Noah Kagan.
Kagan, the Founder of SumoMe and AppSumo, employee #30 of "The" Facebook, and employee #3 of Mint.com, understands the importance of owning your brand.
Kagan recently divulged several key factors that built up his tenacity to make such a (seemingly) expensive decision.
1. Be definitive and know your "true north".
Over 6 years worth of email correspondence was required to convince the domain seller to part with the name. Kagan even had to hire secret brokers to ensure that he could be a candidate for the sale!
Why so much effort?
Because there are hundreds of brands that have some extension or hyphenated version of the word "Sumo" but now only Kagan, can hold this title. It gives his company strength in its own legitimacy. 1 word domains are powerful, and he knows enough about the importance of having a brand that is short and memorable.
2. Life is precious and time is short.
It takes as much time to do something big as it does to do something small. A life lesson Kagan learned from a former colleague at Facebook. The meaning behind it, is simple...
You can chip away at a small task that has minimal payoff or do work towards a visionary goal because at the end of the day the overall effort you will have expended is going to be about the same. You're better off going big.
3. Be persistent with the things you really want.
To make a decision of this kind of magnitude, you need to really want it. Kagan wants to build himself an empire and surrounds himself with others who do too.
The words passion and dedication are not simply enough to describe this type of motivation. Your enthusiasm and drive, needs to get pumped out of every atom and cell in your body, making you total in your dedication to your vision.
4. Adapt a strategic mindset.
Being engaged in tight negotiations with significant dollars on the line is enough to make even the most seasoned investors knees buckle. Kagan found comfort in adopting a broader mindset by viewing the $1.5 million as a portion of his long term revenue strategy.
This is what you would call, an entrepreneurial pragmatic mindset. Mentally framing the decision in terms of its long term value made it much easier to make the bigger commitment.
5. Stay focused and don't celebrate until you win.
Until the final contract is signed, assume nothing is a sure thing. There's an old proverb that goes, "Don't rub your belly while the fish is in the net". Kagan maintained strict focus at every stage of his negotiations.
He didn't celebrate when the deal was approved and there was no victory dance when the contract was sent. He waited until all the signatures were in place and bank transfers were on their way.
To keep his communication channels tight with the seller they frequently chatted via WhatsApp and he carefully addressed every concern the seller had until the deal was brought to a close.
A Strategy Worth It's Weight in Gold?
This was a deal that took over 6 years to make happen and required multiple "strategically managed" steps to bring to fruition. Fueled by perseverance and what seems like an extremely high threshold for risk, Kagan earned the Sumo.com title.
Sure, he had to certainly throw a lot of weight around in the ring, to the tune of $1.5 million, but it gives us a significant lesson in understanding the inner workings of immense decisions.