When Your Name is Difficult to Pronounce

As someone with a very long and “ethnic” name living in a Western country, I can see that I have a huge disadvantage in life.

I remember reading a book where the author wanted to contact the one of the authors of the book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras.

He says that he ended up contacting Jim Collins because he couldn’t pronounce Jerry Porras’s name.

I thought this was absolutely pathetic but it demonstrated how a lot of people feel about names that are difficult to pronounce.

I know that a lot of people would see my name and prefer to deal with someone with a “regular” name instead.

This raises an important contra-point:

What about Arnold Schwarzenegger?

This is a long “ethnic-cy” name that if you hadn’t heard it before, would intimidate most people, and make them want to avoid saying it.

But Arnold did not let this hold him back.

He turned two potential disadvantages into advantages:

His name and his accent could easily have acted as an excuse and a hinderance. But he turned it into a strength, by making him more memorable.

In fact, he has turned a potentially difficult to pronounce name that people would avoid, into a name that almost everyone knows and can pronounce easily.

And his name has become an asset in a way that a name like David Smith would never have been.