When you make a choice with your heart, you expect the world to follow. In the excitement of doing what feels true to you, you can forget the impending challenges. Perhaps it's the brain's way of protecting ourselves and allowing us to take a risk without dwelling on the sometimes negative repercussions.
Changing your brand name is SO NOT EASY. Losing some fans and confusing some customers I was anticipating (not that it makes it any easier), but losing my domain in a weird glip to an internet squatter out to take advantage of me? Didn't see that one coming at all!
Here's what happened. Last Thursday, Nadya (my seamstress) told me our url www.purushapeople.com was down. Now you might know, I changed my company name to my name, Hayley Elliott (the reasons why: see HERE), and of course changed my domain name to www.hayleyelliott.co (www.hayleyelliott.com is parked. POOP). I had my old domain www.purushapeople.com forwarding to my new one! This way, all the blogs, websites, Pinterest posts, etc etc etc I accumulated over the last 9 years would lead to my current site and people would still be able to find me.
When I saw the domain was down I called my registrar Fat Cow. I remember paying for it manually on January 29th, and I just got charged for domain privacy on March 21! So I would think I have the rights to it. Fat Cow tells me the domain expired January 26th, and it was sold on GoDaddy. I'm panicking at this point, how will anyone find me?!?! Will I lose a lot of business?
The answer, yes. I'm kinda fucked at the moment. My usual traffic to my website is about 1/3 of what it normally is. My family and I live off my business, and not lavishly. Every sale counts, and every missed visitor it a potential lost sale.
Meanwhile, some guy that buys domains for the sole purpose of exploiting people like me is sitting on www.purushapeople.com. He has no intention to use the site. Purusha People is a term I made up, he probably doesn't even know what it means. I emailed him to tell him the website wasn't for sale and there was a mistake. I bet you can already guess, he didn't care at all and said I could make an offer for it. He believes the site to be very valuable so is willing to hear what I'll pay. Yea it's valuable, because I put my blood, sweat, and tears into my business for the past decade. What did he do? Spend $12 to buy it? C'mon, this feels so cruel. People in the domain squatting business though are probably nothing like you and me.
So what do I do? I guess share my story. Contact this man again and hope I can spur some compassion and understanding. Sue him? Pray that Fat Cow will help me out and admit they fucked up. Work harder to make my new url more accessible. Some of my customers suggested 'new brand, new domain, new growth'. Leave this behind. Of course don't give this dude anything (I won't), but I can't help but be stunned and discouraged that this is happening. I didn't do anything wrong.
Help me bring traffic back to MY website, please! Click HERE to drive traffic, click some links and window shop, so Google can get the message that THIS is Purusha's website, not the site that is now in Spanish about online roulette. Eyeroll. What a waste of a domain :/