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The Gift of Dyslexia

October 9, 2015

It is estimated that one in ten people have dyslexia. For many, the thought of dyslexia may suggest limitations when it comes to business but in this article Soul Analyse explores the idea that dyslexics make better entrepreneurs.

 

Richard Branson Quote

Famous People with Dyslexia

The concept that dyslexics are highly-accomplished is not new. Just look at Albert Einstein – he is considered the most influential physicist of all time – and his theories still have a major impact today. While not an entrepreneur, Einstein’s intelligence is a great example of how dyslexia does not diminish intellect.

Sir Richard Branson, who is best known as the founder of Virgin Group, has always been vocal about his dyslexia. The British business mogul recently wrote a moving letter to a nine-year-old dyslexic girl. In the letter, which was posted on the Virgin website, Branson said, “I see my condition as a gift, not a disability. It has helped me learn the art of delegation, focus my skills, and work with incredible people.”

Branson makes no secret of the fact he dropped out of school at just 16, largely due to his dyslexia, but this has in no way constrained his ability to succeed; he is one of the most successful businessmen in the world, having built the Virgin empire, which he self-started with just £300.

One thing that correlates with all of the famous people we list here, besides from dyslexia, is creativity – and Walt Disney is no exception. The American entrepreneur, cartoonist and animator, used his extraordinary imagination to  create some of the most famous fictional characters to ever exist, which are still very prominent today – one of which he was the voice of (Mickey Mouse). 

Entrepreneurial Traits

There is research to suggest that people with dyslexia are more likely to become self-made millionaires and there is one man helping to get them there. Since being diagnosed with dyslexia at 44, Kirk Pickstone has been on a mission to encourage dyslexics to reach their potential and explore their entrepreneurial skills. 

While writing may not be their strongest skill, dyslexics tend to be masters when it comes to speaking, something which is critical to business. Effective oral communication within, and outside of, a company, is key to business growth. 

But it seems not all dyslexics struggle with writing and author, speaker and entrepreneur – Ladey Adey – is a great example. The businesswoman, who wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until the age of 38 after her daughter received a diagnosis, told Soul Analyse, “I have gone on to be a chief executive in the charity sector and I am now running my own business. I’m a dyslexic who loves words, so have just completed writing my own book.”

Delegation

Many business people struggle with delegation; often hesitant to let go of responsibility but for a business to succeed, delegation is essential – it’s not possible for one person to take on every task within a large corporation, and results are diluted in doing so. 

It has been mentioned countless times that dyslexics are very comfortable with delegation. Their keenness to assign responsibility, gives them the upper hand over non-dyslexic entrepreneurs and allows them to play to their strengths, while compensating for things they aren’t so good at. 

Dyslexia is an Advantage

A common trait among dyslexics, is an ability to solve problems easily and with a strategic mindset. Dyslexic Aimee Blakemore, a fine art graduate and manager of two businesses, feels that dyslexia is a cognitive style, rather than a disability:  “Dyslexics are typically more creative and strive to beat the challenges they face. They look for logic and have better practical skills.” 

Our verdict? The correlation between entrepreneurship and dyslexia is a long-standing debate. We’ve found that dyslexics look at the world through a different lens; one that is imaginative, visually-creative and tactful. It seems there is an eroding stigma associated with dyslexia and it is becoming clear that it’s an asset, rather than a drawback. 

What are your thoughts on dyslexia – disability or advantage? Comment in the box below.

-SA-

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