Do you need a new identity?


One of the most important elements that determines your success is how confident you are about yourself. With confidence, you can close business deals, network other individuals, light up a room when you walk into it, and do anything else you can imagine. But lets face it, not everyone is confident in themselves which means they probably will not be as likely to succeed in life.

If you are one of these individuals, an easy thing to do is give up and continue on with your life. But if you want to succeed there are many things you can do to boost how you feel about yourself. One of the ways I have seen people build up confidence in themselves is to change their identity.

For example, in the movie SuperBad there was a kid named Fogell who was under the age of 21 and did not have much confidence when it came to being a ladies man. So he decided to create a fake ID and change his name to “McLovin.” There were no physical differences in Fogell after he changed his named to McLovin, but he became somewhat of a ladies man because he gained confidence through re-inventing himself. One little thing such as changing his name made him feel more confident.

Of course, the point of this post isn’t to convince you to change you name to McLovin, but what I am proposing is that you take a page out of Fogell’s book. By adjusting the smallest things about yourself you can build more confidence and you will be more likely to succeed.

There are probably tons of other ways you can improve your confidence level so if you have any ideas, feel free to leave a comment.

P.S. If you want to be identified as the best in your industrygo here.


  1. Michael Martine :

    Great point, Neal. When my site was only my name, it didn’t really convey a sense of what I was all about. But when I changed it to Remarkablogger, everything suddenly picked up big time!

    To complete the reinvention, I had a new logo designed and redesigned the blog, too. Most people are thrilled and my subscriptions have jumped. Reinvention works, even everyone already knows you. Just look at P. Diddy and Madonna. They each have reinvented themselves several times.

    • Congrats on the subscription increase. Hopefully 2008 turns out well for you!

    • Pierre Soderman :

      Good for you that number of your subscribed reader went up. But I actually believe in the opposite. I think people feel that the blog has more truth in it if a person is behind it, Im mean with their name in the domain. So I made a blog with my name and Im now trying to brand my name to become a succesful blogger. What do you think Neil?

      • Michael Martine :

        Thank you. I don’t know what Neil would say, but you’ll notice this site isn’t πŸ™‚

      • It can go both ways. For example Michael Arrington is branded through, while Guy Kawasaki is branded through

        I personally prefer using your name as the domain name, but in some cases you may not be able to. Such as when I started this blog the guy who owned would not sell it to me, so I had to use some other random domain. I luckily now own, but I still have to figure out what to do with it because I don’t want another blog.

  2. Tanner Christensen :

    Some solid advice Neal. Something as small as a change of clothing, a haircut, or even a nickname can make a world of difference when it comes to one’s self confidence.

    And, as you stated, confidence is one of the most important elements of success.

    • I know a lot of talented people, but they just aren’t confident in their abilities. With a bit more confidence they could be very successful.

  3. Great post Neil!

    I think that you have made a great point that many people do not consider with this post. Many people think that their level of confidence is just something that they are stuck with, and not something that they can improve.

    Confident people have confident thoughts. Shy people have shy thoughts…its as simple as that. Recognizing your negative thought patterns and making a conscious effort to change them into positive thought patterns (for months, not days) is guaranteed to make a person feel much more confident in themselves.

    Also, when we are confident, we do everything better than when we are not feeling confident. Our performance and self-esteem are directly related.

    I am sure that as a young businessman who must deal with much older and experienced businesspeople on a daily basis, it is extremely important for you to have a great sense of self-confidence. It is inspiring to me ( I am only 22) that someone so young can accomplish so much !

    Keep up the great work, Neil!

    • Glad I could be an inspiration. With me, and what you will find with yourself, is that many people will end up looking at you in a different way due to your age. In some cases it will be in a negative fashion and in other cases it will be positive fashion. Because of this you need to be confident in yourself or else you will not succeed with the individuals who look down upon you.

  4. The Monetizer :

    Probably the obvious choice, but exercise/physical fitness is a great confidence booster. Great post, movie was pretty funny too.

  5. Getting a haircut or buying new clothes always seems to help, until it grows back. πŸ˜€

    • Tanner Christensen :

      If you have clothes growing on you then you clearly have other issues that need immediate attention. πŸ™‚

    • Clothes usually seem to be the answer for many people due to its’ cost and time it takes to buy them.

  6. Hi Neil – It is interesting that the guy was able to be more confident just by changing his ID. But I suppose anything negative that had happened to him in the past could no longer affect his self confidence as he had wiped the slate clean.

    Many years ago, something bad happened to me and I was v ill. My self confidence plummeted. Building it took a long time, but I began studying and also started my own business. And each small success I had really helped build my self confidence a lot.

    Anyone who is lacking self confidence should try doing just one small thing they would be really proud of, then building on it. Avoiding negative people also helps build your self confidence a lot.

    • Sorry to hear that you were ill…hopefully you are all better now.

      As for staying away from negative people, that is a really good tip. All they will do is bring you down, compared to hanging around with positive people.

  7. Good post Neil … I see that with alter ego profiles on Stumble. People do assume anonymous identities. Then they can try different personalities on for size just like a shirt. Keep and adopt what works. Its really A/B testing for certain personality traits πŸ™‚

    Also, with our history following us everywhere now (digital footprints), some people who have made more major mistakes (ahmmmm former president of Traffic Power perhaps) may find it necessary to assume a completely different identity. Maybe this will be the next service we SEOs/Social Media types offer … name change services (hehe).

    • Changing your identity is also a great way to combat a negative reputation. It usually is not the best way because you should confront negative PR, but it does work.

      • If only it was that simple! Maybe adopting an alter ego type persona, complete with its own identity is the way to avoid getting your own good name into disrepute because of some online shenannigans.

        • you can, but it depends on what your intentions are. It does require a lot of hard work to brand or re-brand yourself appropriately.

  8. Certainly, changing to another identity does make a huge impact to oneself and the people around. But persistance is required to sustain the fake identity.

    How about listening to motivating songs to increase the level of confidence?

    • Motivating songs work as well as listing to motivational speakers.

      • Motivational speakers do have a certain charm. Anthony Robbins and his ilk sure are charismatic, and boy oh boy is their enthusiasm contagious! They just sweep you up in a wave of positive energy. Now if you can just hang on to that….

        • Exactly, if you can take your positive energy and hold on to it and amplify it you’ll have an easier time pushing yourself forward.

  9. I only read the first paragraph earlier and changed my name to McLovin!

    Ok.. Seriously, great advice. In late 2007, I had a logo made for and re-designed the whole thing. My traffic went up a bunch, and people started commenting on and digging my posts. It’s funny how looking a little more “pro” can do wonders. I plan to overhaul very soon, hopefully with the same effect.

    One other thing I noticed is that small successes can boost your confidence enough to help you reach the large successes. On the heels of my redesign, I joined Entrecard and felt confident enough to set goals that I have been successful in meeting along the way. I’ve become an Entrecard Seller, was the 3rd most popular site there, have been the most popular Technology site there for a while, and have made a lot of contacts.

    I use each success as a stepping stone to a higher goal. One day, I will have a Centurion card, too. =)

  10. I am a recent subscriber to your blog and this entry made me think. Yes I am one of those people that have little confidence, it is difficult to pull yourself out of a rut because the negativity and lack of confidence is so powerful that they drag anything else back into the quagmire, however you have made a good point and it is something worth going for.

  11. Hey Niel,

    Your CC story was inspiring :)..Anyways..Just stopped by to tell you that I loved the Mclovin ID so much that I uploaded a picture of myself and used it as a facebook profile pic. πŸ™‚

    Cheers Dave

  12. Maynas Chua (eric) :

    Hi Neil,

    That’s a good point you mentioned about increasing your confidence level and I do agree with you that it’s all in the mindset.

    A suggestion to increase one’s confidence level, many people are modest about their achievements in their life and not talk much about it unless prompted. In comes Donald Trump *winks*, he is proud of what he has done in his life and is never too shy to proclaim his achievements. If one has read his biography, it’s hard to imagine a personal of such a personality and mindset just not succeeding.

    If one just doesn’t have the capacity to think of himself as someone great. Model someone else until he is confident enough to establish his own identity after “borrowing” the desired mindset. It’s all in the mind.

    *Thoughts are things*
    (This line seems to pop out everywhere since the release of “The Secret” lolz but it holds a simple yet important truth)

    We become what we think about ourselves frequently.

    A step back,
    here’s a little confidence booster when you’re feeling out of sorts Neil (and everyone else who sees this)

    Go to Google or Yahoo and search for your own name “Neil Patel”


    Neil Patel- 265,000 search related items about yourself. Cool eh?

    Guy Kawasaki – 814,000 search related items (not far off!)

    Richard Branson – 1,350,000 (not that far off too ah ? *winks*

    It’s all about you when you search about yourself when you search about yourself. haha. let’s feel important, shall we ?

    Maynas Chua – 2090 search related items

    Ya, I feel good πŸ™‚

    The first entry is my personal blog minus the business stuff (I separate both for more personal freedom)

    Do feel free to drop a line or two in the chatbox.

    Have a great day Neil,
    Maynas Chua, Eric

  13. Confidence is needed to succeed? I won’t quite agree to that. I have seen so many non-confident people achieve a lot of success in their lives..

    Again, the meaning of success differs from individual to individual. For some success would mean fame and money, while for others it might be to live a peaceful and contended life.

    May be the kind of success you are talking about is the one society defines for you. But not everyone believes in that kind of success.

    Check out the movie tare zameen par directed by Aamir Khan and then write something on that. It’s a cool movie about a dyslexic child and how the child suffers as his parents put pressure on him to make him achieve the kind of success the society defines:

    • You make a valid point. In most cases confidence is needed to achieve fame and money, but if you want a peaceful lifestyle you probably don’t need much confidence.

    • I just noticed that the movie you linked to was the first Indian movie I watched. I watched it over Christmas break and it wasn’t too bad… other than the length.

  14. Maynas Chua (eric) :

    Well said Mark and Neil, perhaps it goes down to the term again,

    “Every man’s path is different”

    And each man’s terms of the definition of success is different too.

    – nice site Mark, thanks for sharing
    – thanks for the kind comments Neil

  15. michael brito :

    great post. i do this all the time when i can’t muster up the courage to do something that i need to do.

  16. I agree it’s a lengthy movie, but clearly depicts what happens in a country like India where every parent wants his kid of be a software engineer!

    • Yea, I have seen that happen a lot. Even in my family my parents wanted my sister to be a doctor, but instead she does all the books for my company.

      • Good for her.. not everyone is lucky enough to have a bro like you πŸ™‚

        • More so lucky me. As well as doing all the accounting for my companies, she also did all my online classes in colleges and took my online tests. She even did my homework and essays.

        • Maynas Chua (eric) :

          lol Neil, that was honest *winks* Between, my parents preferred that my sister become a doctor rather than an Engineer, and she studying to be a doctor now.

          Mark, I am raised in Singapore and the trend goes too that is seems that every parent want their son to be an Engineer/ Doctor and their daughter to be a doctor.

          Sometimes I wonder if parents who encourage their children to take up Entrepreneurship instead of a profession are a rare breed.

        • The funny part is my parents wanted me to be a computer science person and work for a big company like Microsoft. They were not always fond of me doing my own business until it started making money.

          I think parents in general like to see their kids succeed, but they usually prefer them taking the stable route, such as a 9 to 5 job in a “good field”.

          • My parents are the same, and were horrified when I started doing my own thing years ago. The conservative nature of their upbringing and conditioning is what gives them the mindset that security of a job comes first, before the risks associated with being your own boss.

            • Many parents from the older generations don’t quite understand the new concepts and theories available to us today. Risks to the older crowd are less likely to be taken than by the newer crowd.

        • Maynas Chua (eric) :

          Congras for already proving to them what you can do *winks* Most people would want to make their parents proud of them, I guess we are no different.

          I do agree with you on parents in general preferring to see their kid succeed in a stable route. Less risk involved.

          In a survey / research done a few years back in the states, it shows that most business owners prefer their children to be a professional of some kind instead of taking over their business.

          The main reason being realising that it takes a certain mindset to build or continue running a successful business and it can be highly stressful and “unstable” at times. The reason why they build successful businesses is to let their family and children lead and enjoy a better lifestyle. It’s kind of a Catch-22 situation isn’t it? lol

  17. Thanks eric

  18. Maynas Chua (eric) :

    no pro Mark πŸ™‚

  19. Articles Spinning :

    I couldn’t help not commenting on this post, even though it’s pretty old. I agree with you, Neil, if there’s something that we aren’t comfortable about ourselves, it’s worth changing even if just for our own sakes. After all, how people relate to us sometimes depend on how we potray ourselves. For example, I don’t know how it happens, but if we are negative or unhappy from deep down, others are able to decipher this and they relate to us this way. But if we are always upbeat and full of life, this radiates through to other people and they relate to us this way. So, yes, you are right, Neil. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Nice article as always. If you want to look more confident here are some steps from me:
    1. Change your outlook, buy new clothes, make yourself new hairstyle etc.
    2. Think that your are good and the others are not better than you.
    3. Don’t be pessimistic, look at good side πŸ™‚
    4. Find a girlfriend/boyfriend, this will help you to look more confident on business meetings πŸ™‚
    Follow this steps, they might help you πŸ™‚
    P.S. Nice driver license πŸ˜€

    • You don’t have to find a bf or gf, but if you should definitely choose carefully with who you surround yourself with in your life.

  21. the big discution there is if people can change or not, i think people are able to change, for good and for bad, and we always have some control over that, a good tool for that is
    “eft tapping” many of the problems related to selfperseption are emotional and subconcious, not logical

  22. sell textbooks :

    If your not confident in yourself why should anyone else be? You need to have confidence and own it!

  23. Good post Neil Ò€¦ I see that with alter ego profiles on Stumble. People do assume anonymous identities. Then they can try different personalities on for size just like a shirt. Keep and adopt what works. Its really A/B testing for certain personality traits ,,,,

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