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Is it okay to launch my motivational membership site under a pseudonym?

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Genius01

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I'm about launching a motivational membership site dealing with how to achieve your goals.

I'm a medical doctor in a developing country.

I really value my anonymity because I like to be quiet and relatively unknown (core introvert and by default not active on most social media), and also for professional reasons cos I want it to be that when my name is searched online, its professional articles and research papers that come up and not my business side.

But I also have a product you want to bring to the world, a motivational self development product, and I want it to be completely separate from my medical doctor identity for professional reasons mentioned above.

Is it okay to develop a full persona, alias/pen name, social media profiles to respond to peoples comments and enquiries and co.

Is it actually illegal if I do not defraud anyone, or is there anything actually wrong with the above (apart from breaching the T&Cs of some of the social media sites that forbid 2 profiles for one person, though I'm aware a lot of people have multiple profiles on same sites both for personal social reasons and business reasons, especially in IM/online marketing).


The other alternative I've considered, is to launch as a mystery persona eg launch as "Dr X"..., or "Dr Who", (sort of like the author "V" of the Mafia Manager, for want of a better example, lol).
That way I don't have to use any fictitious pen name, but at the same time won't have to use my own real name.
But I don't know how the reception to an obviously mystery persona will be in the personal development niche.

I'm interested in hearing what Fastlaners, with their wealth of experience, think about it.
 

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IMO no problem at all. Authors and many others do it all the time..
 

justonemore

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Great question. I have no idea, but looking forward to the responses.

I'm wondering outside of the online aspect, if you get some success and someone wants to interview you for an article, could you use your fake name with them too? Say that you're "John Doe', the owner of your company.
 

cy-

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If you are to charge people for the membership, you are required to display the company name, adress etc. for the register page and often also at the footer of all your frontend pages. Also for the receipts, as people need to know 'who' is charging them.

I don't know what options you have for creation of companies in your country, but where I come from, the company owner, adress of the owner etc. is visibly displayed in a public database for everyone to see, if they so wish.

If your alternative option is to not make it under a company and just have it under yourself as a person or a pseudonym, then it will be impossible to find a payment processor, as they can only allow companies to charge people with credit card etc.

I wish you the best of luck.
 

Genius01

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Great question. I have no idea, but looking forward to the responses.

I'm wondering outside of the online aspect, if you get some success and someone wants to interview you for an article, could you use your fake name with them too? Say that you're "John Doe', the owner of your company.

Lol, might have to stay away from physical interviews (don't particularly like the limelight anyway, and would generally avoid them anyway, if I could).
But for online/e-interviews, will simply be interviewed using my pseudonym name....contributes to building the brand under the pseudonym.
It will just be like...this is an interview with John Doe, creator of XXXX.com....no particular big issues with that.
 

Genius01

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If you are to charge people for the membership, you are required to display the company name, adress etc. for the register page and often also at the footer of all your frontend pages. Also for the receipts, as people need to know 'who' is charging them.

The name of the website and maybe its address will be what is displayed at the foot of the pages. My name does not need to be there.

If your alternative option is to not make it under a company and just have it under yourself as a person or a pseudonym, then it will be impossible to find a payment processor, as they can only allow companies to charge people with credit card etc.

The payment processor details can be in my real name, I have no major issues with that.
But the front end "personal brand name" would then be the pseudonym.... That's the one that will appear plastered all over Google et al.
 

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Just go by your first name
 

Genius01

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Just go by your first name
Would be difficult to just go by a first name alone as an identity, unless its an obviously mystery persona like Dr X, or Dr Who, or V.

Can't imagine just saying as an example, "my name is John", and that's all.
And someone asks "John who??"
And i reply "John, just John".


Seems a bit awkward and unrealistic to me, unless you mean it in a way that I'm not getting.
 

Maxboost

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Would be difficult to just go by a first name alone as an identity, unless its an obviously mystery persona like Dr X, or Dr Who, or V.

Can't imagine just saying as an example, "my name is John", and that's all.
And someone asks "John who??"
And i reply "John, just John".


Seems a bit awkward and unrealistic to me, unless you mean it in a way that I'm not getting.

Go by John A. I would tell my audience the truth. You still need to keep your professional life separate. I honestly wouldn't care what your full name is as long as you have the solution to my problem.
 

Genius01

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Go by John A. I would tell my audience the truth. You still need to keep your professional life separate. I honestly wouldn't care what your full name is as long as you have the solution to my problem.
Thanks. Your points are duly noted.
 

Maxboost

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Thanks. Your points are duly noted.

To further add, I had a suspicion that MJ DeMarco was not a real name, nor do I care at this point. The advice given in that book is more important than any book I've ever read.
 

deepestblue

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So many names out there in the marketplace are indeed pen names / stage names. This is showbiz. IMO if it's good enough for Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain it's good enough for just about any one.
 

justonemore

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So many names out there in the marketplace are indeed pen names / stage names. This is showbiz. IMO if it's good enough for Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain it's good enough for just about any one.

Is there anything that you have to do to start using a pen name(forms, registration, anything)?
Like how you have to fill out forms to do a DBA in the business world?
 

Genius01

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So many names out there in the marketplace are indeed pen names / stage names. This is showbiz. IMO if it's good enough for Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain it's good enough for just about any one.
Lol, guessed so.
But it was easier to use pen names back in the days.
Now with the advent of social media requiring you to upload your pics like LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as increased demand for video via platforms like YouTube and Snapchat, its become much more difficult to maintain anonymity behind a pen name.
 

Genius01

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As long as you don't put Prince in front of your new name...
Hahahaha....or claim to be a doctor or attorney when you're not one...


Is there anything that you have to do to start using a pen name(forms, registration, anything)?
Like how you have to fill out forms to do a DBA in the business world?
I'm not sure this is actually necessary unless you're doing something really serious like registering a company or so....at least not in the world of regular IM.
But I don't know for sure though...
 

justonemore

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Does anyone know how this works related to registering domain names?
I know you can use private services to guard the 'whois' information, but is there anything illegal to making up a fake IT guy who works for your LLC to register the domain names?
 

Genius01

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Does anyone know how this works related to registering domain names?
I know you can use private services to guard the 'whois' information, but is there anything illegal to making up a fake IT guy who works for your LLC to register the domain names?
Lol, think I've come across somewhere that you stand the chance of losing your domain name completely if somehow, its found out that you registered it with a fake/nonexistent name.
But again, I'm not absolutely sure.
 

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IMO no problem at all. Authors and many others do it all the time..

+1.

Stage names, pseudonyms are quite common for personalities, actors, authors. I even use one.

but is there anything illegal to making up a fake IT guy who works for your LLC to register the domain names?

You're overthinking this. I don't think anyone is going to care who you put as the IT guy. If you register in an LLC, the LLC is the owner, not Mickey Mouse or some employee.
 

DaveC

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Personally, I try to keep businesses away from being fixed personality wise to any person, real or not. If/when selling your business, too much of your face plastered everywhere (real or fake name) can make it tough to sell. The motivational space might be a little different where it is more personality driven (Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, etc....), but that's my take.
 

justonemore

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You're overthinking this. I don't think anyone is going to care who you put as the IT guy. If you register in an LLC, the LLC is the owner, not Mickey Mouse or some employee.

Great point. The intent of the whois information is just to determine ownership. And the LLC is the actual owner. That makes sense.
 

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