How To Choose A Business Name With A Matching Domain Name

For me, this was BY FAR the most time consuming step to starting my online business. I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent trying to conjure up a few ingeniously clever business names. To add to the stress, most of us are looking for untaken domain names that are an exact match.

The truth is, it’s really not that all that important. You can start a business with one name, and change it later if you come up with something better, and do a 301 redirect to keep the traffic flowing. The important thing is that you provide something of value, whether that something is content or a product. But if you are still stuck on this first crucial step, I’ve laid out a guide to help.

Step One:

Open up a document file in Word or Google Docs and grab something caffeinated. Trying to force creativity is never a good thing, so as you follow these steps and begin to brainstorm, take a break here and there to do something creative like listen to music or go for a run. That being said, rid yourself of distraction when the time comes to focus in on those million dollar ideas.

Step Two:

Take a look at the competition. Make a list of the top five websites or business names that you like and why. Then, make a list of five business names that you don’t like and why. This will give you a good foundation to start with.

Step Three:

Brainstorm all the words that you want your business to embody. Think of as many adjectives that describe your mission. Try to come up with a tagline that represents your purpose. Document everything. The more you come up with now, the better chance you will have of this list actually turning into a few usable names later on.

Step Four:

Look at your list and pick out the ones that stand out to you. Try creating word-mash-ups, and think of new and interesting ways to spell out your ideas. Business names often are made up of words that don’t exist yet or are born from the combination of multiple words.

Step Five:

Type “Business name generator” into Google and find a few that work for you. Some of these tools are really impressive and others, well, let’s just say they need some work. The ones I found the most useful allowed bulk word input, so I could enter all the names and words I brainstormed and receive a list of mashed-up outputs!

Step Six:

If you still can’t come up with anything, check out a website like Fiverr.com. This is one of the most useful platforms I have found for finding freelancers to help me with business related tasks and the guy I hired did an amazing job coming up with trademark-able business names with available domains!

Final Step:

Go to a domain name registrar like Name Cheap and search for available domain names that match your business idea. If you are new to domain names, see my blog post about it for more info.

Image result for namecheap logo transparent

You can do this at most hosting providers as well, such as bluehost. To make it easy I have embedded a domain name checker for you below.

Weekly Journal Nov 7th – Nov 14th

Another week of hustle without profit but I’ve got some new prospects, and I also picked up some motivation from a killer book you’ll find listed below!

Monday:

  • Researched new themes, narrowed it down to two
  • Wrote Blog post about Theme Searching

 

Tuesday: 

  • Purchased Elegant Themes Developer Package!
  • Did some domain name research on NameCheap for a new blog postingImage result for elegant themes logo

 

 

 

Wednesday:

  • Did some more research on building websites with the Divi Builder. There are a ton of tutorials on this subject and I highly recommend them!
  • Worked on the new layout!

         Divi WordPress Theme     

Thursday:

  • Picked up a copy of #AskGaryVee from Amazon. Click the image below and read it for yourself. Already 50 pages in and lovin’ the motivation!

Friday:

  • Helped a friend optimize their website hosted by Bluehost. As Gary Vaynerchuck will tell you: Always be the one giving 51% in any relationship, and don’t expect anyone to owe you anything!Image result for bluehost logo

Saturday:

  • Set up studio for podcast. Below is an image (and amazon affiliate link) of my setup. Coming from an audio background, I highly recommend this gear!

 

Sunday:

  • Researched freelancers for a new project on Fiverr.com
  • Contacted a few friends to add to my email list. (coming soon)

Total Online Earnings:

$0

Total Expenses:

$70 (ElegantThemes.com Developer Package) – $20 Book (#AskGaryVee) = $90

Final Thoughts: This week I got busy, but I’m doing my best to stay motivated. If you can make it past the first month of building your blog, you will have made it further than the 99% of bloggers who gave up before you.

If you find this post interesting, have any questions, or just plain found something to call me out on please leave a comment below.

*Monday-Friday starts out an eight-hour workday, before getting started on the projects listed above. Also the pictures and links on this page are affiliate links for those of you who want to follow in my footsteps and give back along the way! Thank you!

Top Two, Most Customizable WordPress Themes

Okay so you have your Domain name picked out and you’ve set up hosting… Now what? Oh right, we need to give our website a face. If you are using WordPress like the rest of us, go to your dashboard and select the “appearance” tab. This will give you the option to choose from the huge array of free themes out there to get started. Pick a free theme, start building your site, and hit LAUNCH!

For those of you that have already done this and are ready to move on to more custom options, I have narrowed it down to my top two favorite themes. Hopefully this will help you make the choice quicker so you can get your website looking more professional!

Themeforest (Envato) – Avada:Image result for themeforest logo transparent envato

According to Themeforest, this is their #1 most downloaded theme, and it looks pretty impressive. They have one of the better scrolling banner options I have come across and an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop menu and layout option. If you are looking for easy customization, this might be the theme for you. The Avada theme also offers a selection of ready to use theme demos, so if you see one that you want to emulate you simply switch the graphics and text for your own and you’re ready to launch!

For $60, you get access to use the Avada theme on multiple websites, and updates are included! The only downside to Avada in my opinion is that they make you pay extra for extended support. That being said, for the price it’s a winner!

 

ElegantWebsites.com – Divi:

Elegant ThemesI desperately want to try this theme out, but instead of a one-time fee, ElegantThemes.com uses the yearly subscription model. Don’t freak out yet though! You can cancel at any time and keep your current theme, but you won’t have access to updates. They offer total customization, and you can even edit the text and layout from the front end! This makes the whole process a lot easier, allowing you to instantly see your changes appear after making them. If you want to give it a shot you can demo the Divi theme here.

Also Divi offers other useful tools like Split Testing, allowing you to test out which changes provide the best results when you want your customers to take action on your website! However tempting this theme is, keep in mind that you will have to pay for it again each year. This might not be a bad theme as you get tech support and updates included, which some other providers don’t offer. If you can hack it, the “Lifetime” package is the best deal here giving you complete access to all their themes and updates for life, for $249!

Personally, I would go with the Developer package for now and upgrade to the Lifetime package towards the end of the year before its time to renew. They allow you to upgrade at any time and apply the credit of your current package towards the price of your new one!

***Once you buy this package you must download the zipped files to upload the theme like most WP Themes… However if you are using a 1-click install for WP, you might have to copy and paste a small section of code in your host’s file manager for the Divi builder to function (cpanel – quickinstall – installations (right click – code edit) in Hostgator). For hosting providers with c-panel, this can be done fairly easily. Just make sure you save the original text before you modify anything or you will be looking at a big headache if you are not a web developer. If You would like a more detailed write-up on how to do this, leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out!

 

Divi WordPress Theme

Conclusion: Go with Avada if you are new to WordPress and want an easier to use theme with tons of customizable options. If you are ready to put in the extra work to watch a few tutorials and skim through a few forums to get the look you want, the Divi theme is for you. It will reward you with more customization and provides a good tool for website developers.

Weekly Journal Oct 31st – Nov 6th

Hey everybody. I am going to do my best to post weekly updates documenting my progress and actions. This will help keep me accountable, and provide all you followers out there with a timeline to work with. Remember to take small steps every day towards your goals, and give yourself a break every once in a while!

 

Monday:

Tuesday:

  • TOOK ACTION! Finally committed to the project.
  • Purchased a hosting package from Hostgator (3 year, Business Cloud)
  • Purchased five domains from NameCheap.com

 

Wednesday:

Image result for namecheap logo transparent 

Thursday:

  • Got free logo designs from a freelancer on Upwork
  • Started website building
  • Wrote content for website pages

Image result for upwork logo transparent

Friday:

  • Launched first website, live to the public
  • Continued with website build
  • Got refund from Fiverr VA for late delivery, still left him a great review!

Saturday:

  • Took most of the day off!
  • Picked up audio gear from storage for the podcast (See below for clickable link)

 

Sunday:

  • Went to bank to get direct deposit information
  • Signed up for Amazon Associates
  • Bought another copy of the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, after my dog eats the first one.
  • Continued website building


Total Online Earnings:

$0

Total Expenses:

$161.55 Hostgator Hosting – 3x years, $21 Fiverr.com, $30.30 Namecheap = -$212.85

Final Thoughts: Take a look at my expenses vs earnings. This is what you should expect when you start out. There is no such thing as overnight success, but you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet!

If you find this post interesting, or have any questions, or just plain found something to call me out on please leave a comment below.

*Monday-Friday starts out an eight-hour workday, before getting started on the projects listed above.

Starting Out, Day-Jobs, Mentors, & Little Steps

steps-388914_960_720These are the first blog posts I ever wrote. I found them worth sharing again as I asked myself the question… Where do I start?

Simply asking this will hold 99% of us back, and stop us from ever taking that next step. We all have this passion; a desire to do something meaningful with our lives, like we were made for something better. The reality for most of us is, unfortunately, exactly the opposite.

So to answer the question…

Right here. You see the paragraph that came before this one? This is where you start. The question therefor is not where to start, but rather… when?

You don’t need to quit your job to start a business, and I would actually advise against it. You want to be your own boss? Okay. You think you’ve got what it takes to make it happen? Fair enough. But let me tell you, from one aspiring entrepreneur to another, that keeping your day job for the time being is a hell of a lot better than collecting bottles and cans to fund your project.

Also keep in mind, I am right there with you 100%. If you are sitting at a Starbucks, bumming some free Wi-Fi with your homemade coffee in one hand and your dog ‘s leash in the other, that’s okay! But somehow as you toggle between email and inspiring podcasts, you came across this site and found it worth your attention. For that I owe you something of value, yes? I think so. So here it is:

Close every tab you have open, all except for this one. Because my goal here is to guide you on the way to success as I attempt to find it for myself, and through my failures and achievements you may even find your own.

One thing is for sure: The only difference between you and I is that I started now. Right now. So either dive in, or stand at the edge of the pool wondering what could have been. Your life is a string of choices. Choose wisely.

Don’t Quit Your Day-Job Before Reading This

I figured since I touched on the subject earlier, that I might add a little about the subject here. There is one personality trait that divides the successful from the failures, and that is the inability to accept less from life.

We are the type of people who give a hundred percent at everything we do.

So if you have a job that pays the bills for now, then good. But in order to be successful there are a few things to keep in mind

1. Do you like your job?

If the answer is yes, then you are doing it right! If the answer is no, then ask yourself why you still work there? You know what you are worth, and if the job you currently hold, is holding you back from reaching your full potential then its time to spend some time interviewing for a new one. If you like what you do, then keep with it

2. What do you do well?

You should be working somewhere where you can feel proud of the work you do. If you work somewhere where you can gain some experience in whatever field you aspire to dominate one day, even better! Find your passion and hone your skills until the time comes to venture out on your own

3. Does it fit your lifestyle?

I once worked a job for a company listed as one of the best to work for in the world, but let me tell you that when you are working fifteen-hour days, everything else crumbles around you. Make sure you have time to dedicate to not only building your business, but for yourself! There is a hierarchy of needs that must be met first before all else, and if you let yourself slip away you won’t have much to offer when your time needs you most.

4. Could you work remotely?

If you have read the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, you already know this is possible. If you think your job could be done more efficiently from home with less distraction, or simply have a desire to travel more and work less, consider the remote work option. For those of you who have doubts about whether or not you could pull something like this off, grab yourself a copy of the book mentioned above here: The Four Hour Work Week Book. I promise it will change your life!

5. Do you have a reason to succeed?

This is perhaps the most important of all. If you truly wish to stay motivated, you need to give yourself something worth fighting for. You can have a day job and be a successful entrepreneur by night, but without motivation you will never get anywhere. This is why those who are let go from their jobs, with a family to support seem to make it happen more often than others. They have something to lose. So give yourself something to lose, or walk away entirely.

So there you go! Work at a place you can be excited to wake up and go to, and learn as much as you can. Stop living for the weekends and take pride in what you do. Make time for yourself and surround yourself with people and things that are going to enrich your life. Try the remote-work approach and see if you can swing a few extra days off here and there. And finally, give yourself something to lose so that you will stay motivated.

Get Yourself A Mentor

This is a step that most seem to let their pride shield them from.

If someone were to walk up to you and asked for your advice, what would you say to them? Would you have anything of value to share?

We all walk around hoping one day to bump into some billionaire who will share with us the secrets to their success, but that only happens in movies and lets face it, those movies don’t seem to end all that well.

I have had many mentors along my career path, and some I still have today. Whatever it is that you aspire to do, find someone who has already done it. Find them, and ask them for advice.

A good mentor can show you the ropes, and the advice they share with you can be as valuable as all the time and money spent avoiding the mistakes they made. They are there to help you succeed and when you finally do, make sure you become a mentor for someone else in need.

Just remember when you finally make it to pay it forward.

Little Steps, Big Goals

This might be something you already do without knowing it, or it may be something that from this point out you do because you read this article. Either way here it is:

Every day I make a list of things I need to get done in order of importance. When something is finished I cross it off that list, and move on to the next thing. The biggest thing holding most of us back is the failure to take chances. Most are so afraid of failing, that we never actually give ourselves the chance to succeed.

But picture this: Before you lies a giant  rock-wall a hundred feet high. At the top of that wall is everything you ever wanted in life. Now, you know that you want more than anything in the world to reach the top of the wall, but you’re just not sure how to get there.

You know you can’t reach the top today, but every day you strive to grab that next hold and reach just a bit higher.  Over time you learn how to position your body to combat gravity, and how to place your feet for rest. Eventually you surprise yourself, because although you only got a step closer each day, you realize that you are getting stronger and you feel more confident on the wall.

By the time you’re close to the top, you are so confident in your hand and foot placement, you know that even if you don’t make it today, you can climb back down and tomorrow you’ll be that much stronger and closer to reaching your goal.

This is how we reach our goals in life. One step at a time. Everything you do should be geared towards helping you reach your goals and every day is a chance to take another step and try something new.

Make a list. Cross something off. Everything, else begins to fall into place.

 

Start Here

Welcome to Open Source Your Life. My name is Alec Monaco, and I like to tinker with things to make them work better. This kind of thinking has allowed me to master skills quickly and successfully in all aspects of my life, including my adventures in online business! So, what exactly is open-source?

“Open Source by definition, is code that is freely available and may be redistributed and modified.”

So how does this apply to your life? OpenSource Your Life is my gift to you. It is a blueprint formed by the stories of success and failure, told by those who have been able to attain insurmountable success in online business and life.

About Me

I never realized it until recently, but I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life.

As a young boy I saw opportunity in things that the other kids overlooked. Every time our neighborhood held events I would set up shop with a lemonade stand. People already had the cash on them, and who could resist a cute kid with a good product. Needless to say, I cashed out on the success of my first business venture moving on to bigger, and better things.

When I was a teenager, I loved to surf. I didn’t live near the beach or have a car, but somehow I made it to the beach almost every week throughout high school. So I asked myself, “What do I have to offer?” An extra surfboard and wetsuit I had won in an essay writing contest, and a free surf lesson to anyone who offered to drive me to the beach would do it! If I didn’t find any takers for the week, I took the train to San Francisco and a bus to Pacifica from there, all with a seven-foot surfboard in hand. All entrepreneurs live this lifestyle and share a similar story, and when we have a passion for something… we make it happen!

When I decide to learn a new skill, I put everything I have into it. When you wake up each day with purpose, its hard not to get excited. Some describe it as “getting the bug,” but whatever it is, it turns me somewhat of a curious insomniac.

In high school I worked for an airbrush business doing tattoos at corporate events. I loved the creative flow, and quickly honed my skills enough that I was eventually fired. Why? Because I had practiced so much, that I had become the only employee who could ditch the stencils and do freehand airbrush work. The other employees hated me for it, and so you will find this principle applies to all forms of success.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Ghandi

Seeing a new opportunity, I starting an airbrush business of my own in an untapped market and had more business than I could have asked for.

A little later on I met an online entrepreneur who showed me the inner workings of his Internet Marketing business. It was then that I caught the bug, and its been my obsession ever since. I have been through tons of courses and trainings like many of you, but until recently I didn’t have the confidence to take the necessary action on my own. What was holding me back? Mostly, the uncertainty of it all. But not any more.

Open Source Your Life is an experiment. It is a framework built around duplicating the success of others. Here you will find the tools and advice you need to finally succeed in all aspects of business and life. Join the movement and follow along as I tackle each aspect of online business and passive income, and all of the risk that comes with it!