I was interviewed yesterday for a book — a book on entrepreneurship. While there is nothing unusual about that, this book was different: it is a book about dyslexic entrepreneurs that Nicola James is writing.
I am not sure at what age I realised that I had mild dyslexia but I do remember spending most of my childhood feeling separate from the other kids and embarrassed about my compleet inabillity two spel [sic].
During the interview I had a realisation about the connection between dyslexics and entrepreneurship. You see, a fair number of highly successful entrepreneurs — including Richard Branson and Bill Gates, Nicola tells me — are dyslexic. I suspect that the reasons for this are:
1) Many dyslexics are super creative – as if they traded one type of thought for another. I suspect that many would have been brilliant lawyers, professors and executives. The challenge is that to get to most of those positions they would have to deal with the education system, exams and systems that measure intelligence and capability in very narrow terms.
Entrepreneurship allows people like me to excel in an area where the only real measure is that of success itself. I did not need years of University and a degree to decide, one day, that I wanted to start a business. I just did it. So no matter how effective and convincing I may have been as a lawyer, the barrier to entry (education) prevented that from happening where as with entrepreneurship — with that barrier removed or diminished — was an open door to me.
2) One of the great errors of entrepreneurship is too much ‘doing’ or working in the business rather than on it. I first heard Michael Gerber talk about this idea in the E-Myth. Now I understand it better. You see, dyslexics know there are things they are simply not good at including, perhaps, things like writing, remembering, concentrating etc. So instead of struggling to do everything in their business they seek, early on, other people or resources that can achieve those things. I know this was the case for me. The tremendous freedom I felt when I finally learned to effectively delegate was wonderful and it was a major part of my success in business.
So, if you are a dyslexic, this is my message to you: Try entrepreneurship.
And if you are not, remember the lesson learned, don’t try to do everything in your business. The more tasks you can delegate, the more time you have to work on your business.