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How I nearly lost my family name

I was born “Ron Aharon Eyal Mazliah”.

My family name was always a bit of an issue. It means “successful” in Hebrew, and so all the teachers, clerks and army sergeants always commented on it, as in “are you successful today Mr. Successful?”. The kids at school, with their ingenious ability to create degrading rhymes for every possible word, came up with something akin to successful-smellyfull.

As I started writing my name in English, i transliterated it to “Matsliah”, which is different to “Mazliah” that has been used by my family for a few generations.

Since I left Israel in 2001, I was using my last name less and less.

When I changed my first name from “Ron” to “Eyal” I chose “eyalnow” as my username or nickname on the internet. Why I changed my first name is for another, much longer, post.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know me by the name “Eyal IntimatePower”. I got used to using my brand as my family name from my previous business when i was “Eyal TantraIsLove”.

Recently I went through a bit of a journey with my last name.

As I’m about to publish a book, I needed to decide on my author name. I was well aware that this is the name that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. The name that i will be introduced by when I give my Ted talk, get interviewed on Oprah or present myself at a conference.

I was considering three options:

1. Eyal IntimatePower
2. Eyal Now
3. Eyal Matsliah

I had a strong resistance to “Matsliah”. I couldn’t imagine how any non-israeli could pronounce it. Most will probably feel conscious about mis-pronouncing it. It didn’t sound sexy.

Eyal IntimatePower will promote my brand, but what happens if i want to exit and sell the business in 10-20 years?

I was 99% sure i was going with “Eyal Now”, which is easy to write and pronounce.

And then I asked my FB friends and followers about it. Their response totally blew me away !

A few suggested to go with just “Eyal” and while i liked the idea of being a first-name-only-person, i couldn’t really do that because I could not be found on the internet among all the other Eyals.

And while a few supported “Eyal Now” or “Eyal IntimatePower”, the majority supported my israeli-born name. They said stuff like:

  • “Your real name sounds smart and elegant and can come with u wherever you take your expertise. Humans are evolving and that means your audience may be more intelligent than you know”
  • Your surname is unusual/mysterious and because of this it opens a door for a story/narrative/discussion to take place about you… this is a good thing! Also it carries your background/culture”
  • “I like authentic: Eyal Matsliah The best actors, poets and minds have had unusual/difficult names and been all the more recognisable.”
  • “Your birth name holds the most powerful resonance
    That is the only label i would wear”
  • “Your own name. It is sophisticated, mysterious, draws back to your heritage and the culture you carry., and it is YOU… Has an ancient wisdom flow to it. I dig your name.”
  • “I vote for your real Israeli name. I trust you more with it. It is authentic, honest, and it embraces your true roots.”

A few days later, in a beautiful synchronicity, Facebook asked me to verify my name. So, knowing they were going to ask for my passport, I changed my facebook name from IntimatePower to Matsliah.

Hello world,
My name is Eyal Matsliah.