One entrepreneur explains how she was able to get the perfect URL for her startup and what lessons she learned along the way. Last week, after almost two full years of being called S.W. Basics, we finally secured our dream url: swbasics.com. Up until now, the url was privately held, and we've been directing people to a much more clunky website address of swbasicsofbk.com (with the bk standing for Brooklyn). You'd be surprised how difficult that is to spell out for people and how confusing it can be. Not to mention that sometimes I'd lay awake at night wondering how many customers we were losing when swbasics.com didn't lead them easily to us.
For years, I'd known the identity of the woman who owned the url, since it's public record. For years, I'd built her up in my mind as a terrifying and impossible obstacle. I wrote a brief email months ago requesting to speak with her about the url, and when I didn't hear back, she became that much scarier and impossible to me. I filed it away mentally with all the other "Maybe someday we'll be huge and this will just magically work itself out" scenarios. (Others include amazing celebrity endorsements and a beautiful space full of private offices and big windows...)
In the end, we successfully acquired the url because a team member wasn't afraid to pick up the phone, and I connected with the owner personally. It was one of the best calls I've ever had about the business. The woman on the other end was full of kind words about our brand, support for me as a young entrepreneur and advice for how to grow my business (turns out she even used to make her own natural skincare products!). We spent a long time on the phone, and in the end, I felt like I had made a new friend with a real bond. She redirected her site to ours that day, and we are in the process of transferring the ownership to S.W. Basics.
It has been a truly eye-opening experience for me, in which I've learned:
1. I need to get over my BS. The world is full of obstacles, especially for entrepreneurs. But how many of those obstacles do we create ourselves? How many of them are made up? How many are literally one phone call away from being solved? It's pretty amazing to think of seemingly insurmountable problems as incredibly simple if you just, you know, get over yourself.
Related: How to Name Your Startup
2. We are all humans. That may sound like I'm getting a little spiritual here, but you know the saying, "It's just business, nothing personal"? In situations like this, I remember how untrue that is. Everything is personal. When I got on the phone, I was prepared to have to fight for what I needed for my business. Turns out it was just a normal conversation with a super gentle, kind human. It's a shame how easy it is to forget that.
3. I should focus on being more humble. I say that because the whole situation made me realize how righteous I felt. It was my url, it was my company, why wouldn't she answer my email and give me what I needed? I felt a little ashamed once I realized I was speaking to someone older than me, with way more life (and business) experiences – and who was in no way treating the situation with that level of selfishness and self-involvement.
Running a business can get a little lonely. You are constantly having to support and soothe yourself mentally, make quick decisions that stick and feel very committed to your convictions. But sometimes it's nice to remember that we are all people, our heads can make things much harder than they actually are, and there's still so much to learn.