AskPat 55 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? This is Pat Flynn and welcome to Episode 55 of AskPat. I'm so happy because a lot of you have been asking some wonderful questions over at AskPat.com and I can't wait to answer today's question from Jeff.
But before we get to that, I want to talk about our brand new sponsor for this show and I'm very very happy to have these guys on board. This is Personal Capital, this is a tool that you can use, a free and secure tool. What else could you want? Free and secure to help you manage and keep track of all the different accounts that you have, from bank accounts to retirement accounts, and all those different things, all in one place. And I love the dashboard and how easy it is to use. Also again, like I said, it's free. So you don't have to pay someone to manage all those things for you. Brings it all into one single screen on your computer, or tablet, or phone, or whatever. I've been using it; I love it. If you go to PersonalCapital.com/askpat, you'll be able to organize and set up your accounts in minutes and it'll pay a big dividends for you. Again, PersonalCapital.com/askpat. Thanks to the guys over at Personal Capital. I love it.
Now, today's question from Jeff is a great question because a lot of you're in this position: You have a day job but you also want to do something else on the side. So let's hear from Jeff about exactly what he wants to do on the side and what he wants to do with his name when also working another job. Let's get to Jeff's question right now.
Jeff Waters: Hi Pat. Jeff Waters here in Rhode Island. I'd like to hear your thoughts on anonymity. Quick shout out first, Anthony Fasano, of EngineeringCareerCoach.com for turning me on to AskPat. Great show. So I'm considering a project focused on information products to teach engineers about making a career jump to software technical sales in the C.A.E., Computer Aided Engineering space. Pretty extreme niche, I'd say. I have two decades of experience in this field and more importantly, I've got a huge network of friends who could join me for podcasts, blog posts, and stories in the ebook, etc.
I'm not quitting my day job to do this, I'm just interested in sharing my knowledge, helping people and trying out this smart passive income thing. I'm okay putting my name on it, but I have no desire to become an internet celebrity. Would you recommend I do that or create a fake persona or character? Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Jeff, thank you so much for your question, and Anthony, if you're listening to this, thank you so much for sharing AskPet with Jeff. It's awesome. I love to hear when people share things like that with others. That's the best way to grow, right? I could tell people to listen to me but when someone else does it for me, that's so special. So thank you, Anthony.
Now Jeff, to answer your question, whether or not you should use your real name or sort of a pen name sorts, it's really up to you. It's really an internal decision that you have to make. Now one thing that goes along with this, and a lot of people consider is, “Hey, maybe if I don't use my real name, I won't have as much of an impact as I could if I did use my real name, or I might be seen as somebody who's just trying to hide something.” I think if you're completely honest with people who do question that, you have nothing to worry about. It's when you start to create a fake persona, when you're not being yourself, that's when you can get into trouble because when you create that content, people can read through it and when you are someone you are not, and people see that, that's trouble. You're asking for trouble.
But there's nothing wrong with providing value, being you, just happening to be known as somebody else. I think personally, that's okay. I've used pen names on sites before, primarily they were to protect my identity on certain sites that I didn't want Pay Flynn—who everybody knows, at least in the online space—I didn't want Pat Flynn connected to these sites. But a lot of people don't use their real name because they want to protect the current position that they have. Jeff, like you said, you don't want to be known as a internet celebrity, but I think even if you use a different name, that different name will become you and you'll become an internet celebrity, it just won't be your real name and that's okay. Just something to think about because maybe you should use your real name. Again, it's an internal decision you have to make but you have to also ask yourself, “Why aren't I comfortable using my real name?” You're going to become known as somebody and that person is going to hopefully grow to become somebody influential. Why not you, Jeff? Again, just questioning what's going on here, talking about both sides of the coin.
But I also want to mention there are number of sites out there that I follow, that I'm a huge fan of, or have become a huge fan of, that at first or still have remained anonymous as far as the author or person behind that blog. The blog's hiring . . . these next ones are personal finance blogs because I used to read a lot of personal finance blogs when I was still working nine to five. But there's a woman know as The Silicon Valley Blogger, there's a guy who wrote at MyMoneyBlog.com who . . . he doesn't even call himself anything . . . “This is my blog and this is what I do,” and actually that blog was super influential to me because that person created net worth reports every month, that person would write a report sharing his net worth and how it went up, how it went down, what investments were made. And that is actually what gave me inspiration to do my monthly income reports, that's where I got the idea. Big credit to the writer behind MyMoneyBlog.com. There's also Mr. Money Mustache which is an incredibly successful personal finance blog now. He's known as Mr. Money Mustache, “Triple M,” he's been able to provide so much value and help people, help me. And I think that when you can provide value and you're real, you are being you, you just happen to be perhaps using another name or some sort of pseudo name like Mr. Money Mustache, it's okay. It is okay.
So Jeff, I think that is a question you're going to have to answer yourself. And again, on both sides, why not be Jeff? But also, should you have to be Jeff? No, you don't have to be Jeff in order to change other people's lives. Again, you have to be cautious when you're not being the real you. Now I will say for podcasts, specifically, you are obviously going to be using your voice. And I think the podcast as a side project is a great move, especially to dip your feet in this water. But, you're going to have to use your real voice. You're going to have to talk to guests and have them on your show, and for those people, you're going to want to be completely honest. I think I'd say, “Hey, my name is Jeff, I'm known as this person online,” just be completely honest, “I'm doing it because I don't want to connect my real name to this, but I'm here to provide value, thank you for coming on the show, this is how we can provide value to the audience together”.
Now there will be some people perhaps who might say, “Hey man, why don't you use your real name?” And if you use a regular-looking name, that's okay, people probably won't ask you, but if you use something like “Blog Tyrant” or “Mr. Money Mustache” for example, somebody might say, “Hey, what's your real name? What are you trying to hide?” Again, you just want to be completely honest with those people.
And of course, if you provide massive value, and people are still saying that, you don't want those people in your audience anyway. Just boot them out, don't even pay attention to them. They're not worth your time. You have so many other people in your audience who are going to appreciate what you do no matter what your name is or what name you use.
So Jeff, I'm going to end it there, thank you so much for your question today, and an AskPat teeshirt is headed your way very soon. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured on the show, head on over to AskPat.com.
As a reminder, today's show was brought to you by a brand new sponsor whom I'm just really excited to work with, this is Personal Capital. If you go to PersonalCapital.com, head on over there right now, you'll be able to sign up for a free account and be able to see all of your accounts in one place, be able to easily manage that. “Less fees, more G's,” that's their tagline and I love that. So you can sign on: Quick set up, get a view of everything you own, again that's PersonalCapital.com/askpat.
Thank you so much and as always, I end it with a quote, and this is a Pat Flynn original, which pop up from time to time here on AskPat.com. This is one that obviously relates to today's episode, that is, “Not sharing your real name is different than not sharing your real self.” Thank you so much and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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