Why haven't you reserved your name as a dot com?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know how passionate I am about teaching young people (including my own children) about empowerment through technology. This morning, I had the distinct honor of speaking at Entrepreneur Camp at Johnson C. Smith University here in Charlotte. Sponsored by the Pride Entrepreneur Education Program (PEEP), Entrepreneur Camp is designed to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in young people between the ages of 15 and 25. My topic was Relationships, Respect, and Results: How to use social networking as a personal development tool and avoid pitfalls that could destroy your opportunities!

Apple and Books

Much like the students I addressed at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta, my audience today was very interested in how young people can use social media and social networking to do more than just socialize. My goal was to impress upon them the fact that, in addition to helping them socialize with their friends, social media are at their core personal development tools. We discussed blogging for college admissions success, as well as how social media in general can be used to create opportunities to advance your professional goals long before you think of yourself as a professional. One of the critical concepts I shared was the importance of reserving your name as a dot com.

Start Creating the Future Today

To maximize social media and new technologies, you must put a platform in place today, so it's available to you in the future. If you wait for the opportunity to come to starting putting the platform in place, you are going to be too late.

Likewise, if you are not using technology to help create the opportunity, you are putting yourself out of the game, possibly without even knowing it.

Reserving your name as a dot com, and reserving your name as a vanity URL at every social space you can find, is a powerful and effective way to ensure that you can capitalize on the most opportunities now and throughout the rest of your life. I enjoyed seeing how engaged the students were when I told them they could reserve their name for less than $10 a year, and that they could reserve their vanity URLs at dozens of social sites for free.

Why Be Late To the Party?

Unless you don't have $10 a year, you have no excuse for being late to this party.

Their eyes were opened to the importance of this concept when we went online during my presentation to find that many of their names were already in use by people who are building wealth by doing everything from blogging to selling ads to posting their resumes. Many of them promised me that they would, within the next 24 hours, reserve their names and start thinking about how they can leverage who they are to create new and exciting opportunities.

Two Minutes on May 7, 1998

When I first discovered the Internet, the first thing I did was reserve my name as a dot com. Looking back, I wish I'd reserved many more domains than that, but at least I claimed who I am as my own little corner of the Web. That was May 7, 1998, and it only took two minutes and a few bucks for me to take a step that has paved the way for multiple opportunities for me, my family, my business and my members. can tell you from experience that there's nothing more empowering than creating and leveraging opportunities that simultaneously strengthen and increase the power of your name.

Call me crazy (and my husband did), but I even chose our children's names based in part on whether they were available as top level domains. Do you think that was overkill?

We're talking about this at the INDIE FaceBook Page today. If you haven't already, go and reserve your name as a dot com.

Click here to learn more about the Pride Entrepreneur Education Program.

You can reserve your name at any one of a number of domain reservation services. I use Domains Next, Blue Host, and Go Daddy, with the latter two being my favorites.

Question: Have you reserved your name as a domain name? If not, what are you waiting for? The cost is about $10 a year. Your name is worth much more, don't you think?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.