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January 17, 2013

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Finding Your Niche: How a Laid Off Local TV Reporter Created a New Career for Himself Online

I have often talked about the boundless world of opportunity offered by the world wide web. It's just a matter of finding your niche. As I detailed in our current Cover Story marking DN Journal's 10th anniversary, the internet killed my previous business - music retailing - but it also opened the door to something that turned out to be even bigger - domain investing and this publication. Ten years ago I found an unfilled niche (the need for a domain industry trade magazine) and built a new career around filling that hole.

The Internet has given a lot of displaced people a new lease on life including a local TV sports reporter named Dan Eassa whose story was told in our local newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, this morning. Prior to owning brick and mortar record stores I had been a TV sports reporter for nearly 20 years in this market  myself, so I could relate to Eassa on that level - but what really resonated with me was how, after losing his job,  he created a new future for himself online - one that he has full control over - something that he did not have - and never would have had - working for someone else in his old job at the local ABC-TV affiliate, WFTS Channel 28.

Three years ago Dan Eassa (now 45) was a 42-year-old father of two with 17 years of broadcasting experience when Channel 28 told him his position was being 

TV studio image from Bigstock

eliminated. Just a few months earlier his wife had been laid off from her teaching job at a private school. When it rains it pours. 

After months of desperately searching for a new TV job and coming up empty, Eassa, a former college football player at Pace University, decided he had to take the bull by the horns and make something happen himself. As a sports reporter and former college player, he knew how important college recruiting had become to coaches, players and parents who wanted their kids to get unbiased advice that would help them make one of the most important decisions of their lives - yet there was very little authoritative information online on the topic. 

Football player image from Bigstock

So, with plenty of time on his hands, the unemployed Eassa turned himself into an expert on the subject. He read and memorized every word of every rules manual available at every level of college football. By June 2011 he had created a non-profit organization and website to guide everyone involved in the football recruiting process through a maze that multi-million dollar college programs rely on for talent. He even gained the support of big time NFL players like Derrick Brooks and LaDainian Tomlinson.

The site took off and Eassa found himself being invited to speak about recruiting at schools and prep association meetings all over the U.S. Over the past two years he has spoken in 35 states and been paid as 

much as $2,000 per appearance. He also draws a salary from the organization he created. His wife has found a new job too. When one door closes, another one opens

Dan Eassa is the first mover in a new niche that he created and now he is the go to guy nationwide when people need information on what the recruiting process entails including things like how many of the promises recruiters make are based on fact and how many on fiction? What constitutes a violation of NCAA rules? Is there really any such thing as a free four-year ride (Eassa says there is not - exploding one common myth).

This is just a brief recap of writer Joey Knight's full story about Dan Eassa in the Tampa Bay Times. Read the entire piece for more remarkable details about how Dan went about creating a new future for himself and his family (and while you are at it, check out this 2012 piece from Forbes Magazine called 7 Steps to Find Your Niche - and Dare to Risk). If Dan could do it (and he did), if I could do it (and I did) and thousands of others could do it (and they have) you can do it too!

(Posted January 15, 2013) 


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