Tuesday, June 30, 2020

No is a complete sentence

Last night, an odd thing happened.

Right as I was climbing into bed, I received a text from an unknown number asking about this site.  The area code appeared to be from the US east coast. I'm on the west coast. So, for me, it was 9:30 pm. For this person, if they are on the east coast, it's after midnight.

Who contacts a complete stranger in the middle of the night? Seriously? Who does that? I suppose I'm grateful they texted instead of called.

They wanted to buy the domain name.

I've held this domain name for. . .  8? 9? 10? years. Since I hired a friend who is a graphic designer to help me come up with the name and logo a long time ago. But before I changed my business' name, finalized the logo, and started using it, I made sure the domain name was available. (Hasn't this been Business 101 for the past 20 years?)

A few years ago, I almost lost it, because of an issue with my auto-renewal. I was surprised at my emotional reaction at the time. I got that straightened out and was able to get it back.

Since this is a micro-business (that is, just me), I didn't bother to try to trademark the name or anything. I was certain it probably wasn't unique.


I did not buy every variation of the name.

When the person who contacted me last night asked about purchasing the domain, because my site seemed dormant, I issued a clear, "No."

If this person had left it there, I might have reconsidered after a few days. I no longer get the majority of my income from this business. I am working full time and taking grad school classes. I don't have a lot of time to write, or even to tutor.

But I still do run the business. I still have clients. I still point people to my articles on studying.

So, my initial reaction was, "No."

But this person couldn't take the "No."

They said they were running a free enrichment program for elementary school students. That's great. Getting kids help with math, especially for free is fantastic. I totally support that.

Then they asked, "Will it be [up for sale] soon? A clean domain name would help these students find their resources."

Again, I said, "No." Clearly. Firmly. No.

As my friend Tina often reminds me, "No is a complete sentence."

One does not have to give a reason for a no. Saying no, especially without qualification, is a difficult thing for me (and, really, for many woman). It's taken me years to unlearn mitigating my negative responses with weasel words. Not now, maybe, other phrases that make it sound more like, "Convince me" than "I'm not going to."

I didn't do that this time, I clearly, firmly said, "No."

And this complete stranger asks me, "May I ask what the strong tie to the site is?"

For goodness' sakes, NO!  And WHY WOULD YOU? [Believe me, as a former sailor, I really, really want to use stronger words than that.]

You asked, I answered. And yes, at this point, I was testy. I told you I was in bed. I told you I didn't have to justify myself to you.

I do not have to sell you something I own just because you want it.

And now, of course, that person got upset as well. Because I just escalated. Really, I just wanted to firmly underline my NO. And to tell the person that I think the time of day they were trying to do this was inappropriate. "I'm in bed," I said.

So, now, it escalates. And they confirm they are on the east coast. I loved the lecture on acting more business-like from someone who contacted me IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. That was choice. Seriously. "I shouldn't have to assume your sleep schedule." Nice. How about conducting business during normal daylight/business hours? "I didn't think you'd respond." Why not?

Look, I applaud the desire to help kids get help, especially with math.

When I bought the name, the only suffixes that were really available were .com, .net, .edu, .org. But look, a quick search on name.com reveals the following domain names are available:

awesummath.live
awesummath.site
awesummath.org (which, really, if you're offering a free service, why wouldn't you want that one?)
awesummath.us
awesummath.study
awesummath.academy (ooo, that one's cool).

"No" is not a negotiating tactic. It's an answer. A final answer.

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