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To use my actual name or alter it for English-speaking audience? That is a question...

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PoGOOD

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Hope one of you could help me out in making a very important decision...

I come from Poland and - as a citizen of a Slavic country - I was given a Slavic first name: Radoslaw.
There's nothing wrong with it as long as I was marketing my services in Poland and surrounding countries - people from the Czech Republic, Slovakia or even Balkan region were perfectly fine with it - they have similar names among their peers.

Right now it is time for me to up the ante and approach an international audience with product and promotion written in English and German.

As I worked for international companies for years (British, German, Czech, Austrian) - I know my first name could be a nightmare. Nobody knows how to spell it, there's always a risk for a mistake when foreigners write it down - and as a major point - it is so strange for a typical English-speaking person's ears - it is virtually impossible to remember.

Not a good start for a marketing campaign - don't you think?

Similar story with my surname - in Polish it translates into "weather" and is the easiest name in the world to remember for my fellow citizens and Slavic neighbours. It is not so sweet though for people outside our corner of the Earth.

Could any of you please advise what should I do when approaching English-speaking audience?

Option 1.
Stay firm with my actual name - Radoslaw Pogoda - and hope in the power of links and banners for people to click thru without memorising it at all?

Option 2.
Change the first name alone to a more user-friendly form and leave the surname, as it is pretty easy to pronounce - Rod Pogoda? (like a singer - Rod Stewart)

Option 3.
I could use the translation of my middle name - Carl, leaving the surname in original form. it will result in much more palatable combination - Carl Pogoda.

Option 4.
Follow the footsteps of great artists / creators of yore - select a pseudonym that is a simple translation of my name - Bob Weather?

Option 5.
Use a totally English-speaker-friendly pseudonym, somehow related to my business niche or model - I help companies to increase sales and create powerful sales departments - I could make a good start choosing the pseudonym related to that - Bob Growth, Carl Dollar - or something much more subtle... ;)

Will appreciate any comment or suggestion.
If you already have some experience in using a niche-related pseudonym - I will benefit from this greatly.

Thanks in advance! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that subject.

foto - 3.jpg
 

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Raaa

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Honestly nobody really cares about your name...

And oh, Bob Growth, Carl Dollar doesn't sound legit. It'll make the person wonder, why is he hiding his last name? Got something to hide?
Just draws more suspicion to you. Focus more on your brand.

(But personally, if I had to choose from the above list, it would be Rod Pogoda)
 

PoGOOD

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Honestly nobody really cares about your name...

I am fully aware of that - it makes no difference at the beginning as I will promote my model only. It will become more and more important down the road - that's why I want to decide now.

Thanks for the valuable insights!
 

Ascension

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I believe Rod Pogoda would be a good choice, it sounds natural enough. I don't think your name would be much of a problem in written form but over the phone people often don't ask for your name a second time. In the end they try to contact you and can't.

Btw you probably pronounce it differently but Radoslaw with German pronounciation sounds damn awesome
 

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I would either go with Carl or Rod Pogoda. Leaning more towards Carl. You don't want to go overly Americanized because people will instantly think "Indian customer service" I don't know if that's a thing in Poland, but when you call Dell tech support and "Steve" answers the phone with the heaviest Indian accent ever, you just roll your eyes.

Carl is a pretty neutral name, it can be European and works well in English. That way if you do anything with voice, people can realistically believe someone with a Polish accent could be realistically named Carl.

Edit: autocorrect. Be named Carl don't be naked Carl. Unless that's your thing...
 
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PoGOOD

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You don't want to go overly Americanized because people will instantly think "Indian customer service" I don't know if that's a thing in Poland, but when you call Dell tech support and "Steve" answers the phone with the heaviest Indian accent ever, you just roll your eyes.

Carl is a pretty neutral name, it can be European and works well in English. That way if you do anything with voice, people can realistically believe someone with a Polish accent could be realistically named Carl.

Edit: autocorrect. Be named Carl don't be naked Carl. Unless that's your thing...

Most people say my accent is very neutral, as I was working in English-speaking companies with people from different countries and wasn't influenced by a single nation or region. But you are spot on with your remarks. It is exactly the type of advice I was hoping to get from the TMF gang :)

That was very valuable - thanks!
 
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PoGOOD

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[...] I don't think your name would be much of a problem in written form but over the phone people often don't ask for your name a second time. In the end they try to contact you and can't. [...]

That's exactly my approach - if they find a video on FB or YT posted by someone that will not take care of the proper link - they will not be able to find me thru Google without remembering my name or brand.

[...] Btw you probably pronounce it differently but Radoslaw with German pronounciation sounds damn awesome [...]
It sound very good indeed - no complaining about that, but after working with Germans and Austrians for over 20 years I know they don't appreciate Polish people very much. Based on that fact I think my chances for inviting a German customer to spend time on my promotional materials would be much higher if I wouldn't be easily recognisable as Polish. I know it sounds bad - but it is the reality. When someone goes thru the materials and can see the value - nationality and other factors don't matter much.

I don't mind it personally, knowing how many Polish emigrants of the worst sort came to other countries since the 80's. This trend was heavily improved since 2005 as more and more valuable people left Poland after joining the European Union, but the old opinion about Polish is still strong.

Every nation has a natural mix of great people and total idiots that you wouldn't even want to hit with a long pole ;)
I don't see the reason to deny this kind of reality as it is something a marketing guy needs to: a) accept, b) take into consideration and c) act accordingly.

Therefore the English-sounding name could, in my opinion, be a benefit for my marketing campaign in German-speaking countries. What do you think about it Ascension?
 

V8Bill

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Rod Pogoda works for me and it's not too much of a stretch because Rod could easily be a nickname for Radoslaw. You're not really hiding anything which could come back and bite you at probably the worst moment (after you're well known). Rod is also a fairly good name as there are many famous Rods and Pogoda reminds me of Pagoda which will throw them off the Slavic scent because of it's asian (exotic?) connotation.

Rod Pogoda also rolls off the tongue quite easily and I think is quite memorable.
 

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I'd stick with either your actual name, or shorten it to "Rado" for brevity.

Have you considered that two of the most popular folks online are:

1. Ezra Firestone
2. Ramit Sethi

Ezra and Ramit are hardly "typical american" names yet they have zero issues because they provide a ton of value.
 

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Ascension

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It sound very good indeed - no complaining about that, but after working with Germans and Austrians for over 20 years I know they don't appreciate Polish people very much. Based on that fact I think my chances for inviting a German customer to spend time on my promotional materials would be much higher if I wouldn't be easily recognisable as Polish. I know it sounds bad - but it is the reality. When someone goes thru the materials and can see the value - nationality and other factors don't matter much.

Therefore the English-sounding name could, in my opinion, be a benefit for my marketing campaign in German-speaking countries. What do you think about it Ascension?

Unfortunately you're right, there are many Germans who don't appreciate the Polish very much, way less so in the younger generation but there is still a certain stigma.
The next problem is that many Germans (again, especially middle-aged and old people) don't appreciate Americans that much either and a name like Rod is really going to stick out here. This might play to your advantage depending on your niche, clothing, sports, new gadgets and so on would all be great for an American name. But as soon as you have to deal with older people you will run into your original problem again: Rot? Sorry what was that? Rott?
Carl is a little old school but will be understood, it might be spelled the German way though (Karl)
If they have to spell it Germans will spell your name Radoslaw or Radoslav but you're right that they might just forget it and just remember "foreign word foreign word"
 

PoGOOD

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[...] The next problem is that many Germans (again, especially middle-aged and old people) don't appreciate Americans that much either and a name like Rod is really going to stick out here. This might play to your advantage depending on your niche [...][...]
After iI send my question to you I started thinking in a very similar way - older Germans do not like fancy/phoney Americanized names and brands. It is something I didn't consider before.
The good choice could be to use Calr in English and Karl in German.

Thanks Ascension! I really appreciate your view!
 

PoGOOD

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I'd stick with either your actual name, or shorten it to "Rado" for brevity.

It actually is my old nickname :D It was so close, but never considered it. It's a great tip - THANKS!

Have you considered that two of the most popular folks online are:

1. Ezra Firestone
2. Ramit Sethi

Ezra and Ramit are hardly "typical american" names yet they have zero issues because they provide a ton of value.

No worries - I have no intention to "go American" all the way to the level of John or similar popular first name. I realise it is not the way to differentiate from the crowd. ;)

Rado could fit Ezra and Ramith perfectly ;)

Thank you Jajt!
 

PoGOOD

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Thanks for all your answers. I decided to keep it as simple as possible. I'd stick to Rado Pogoda for now. If conditions demand - I can always go deeper in the future.
 

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