Mourning is just extended self-pity.
— Donald Draper
I let a domain expire yesterday. It was one of the first domains I ever registered — possibly the second or third. It was also the domain for the second blog I ever really invested any serious time or energy into.
It wasn’t a very focused blog. It didn’t really have a niche or a topic. It was founded on the belief that my reckless charm would catapult me to internet stardom.
Well, it never really got me there. In fact, the only place it ever did seem to get me was in trouble — both professionally and in my personal life. But it did teach me a few things a few things along the way.
First, it taught me that it’s not enough to try and get by on your charm and your wit. You have to have a purpose. Charm and wit can go a long way in fulfilling that purpose, but they can’t be your purpose in and of themselves.
Second, it taught me that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet… and there’s really no such thing as anonymity. Sooner or later, we all get outed, and when that happens, the best you can hope for is that, all along, you were lacking in purpose enough that no one really notices or cares when you get outed.
Third, it taught me about personal branding. About how your personal brand needs a purpose, and should be grown around that. About how you can’t put a round peg in a square hole, and no matter how good you are at some things, if your personality doesn’t fit the mould, you’re to have a hard time getting people to take you seriously.
I would like to say that “most importantly, it taught me to let go,” but it didn’t. The truth is that I kept renewing that domain long after I stopped blogging there. I even put up a custom parking page for a while. And then I took it down, put back up the blog, and tried to revive it all over again.
The thing became a time suck. A distraction from thinking about something more useful, something more meaningful, something with a purpose. It haunted me…
So when I got a renewal notice, I asked myself “do I really still want this thing in my life?” I understand that I should hold on to it for intellectual property reasons (or whatever) but don’t we bury our dead so that we can move on?
So I decided to let it go… Because its time in my life was up, I had finally learned from it what it could teach me, and that it was time to move on…