Dyslexia has been a positive for me in business and I have never let it hold me back.
Thinking differently should be seen as an asset not as a hindrance. Dyslexia has taught me to keep things simple, to rise above difficulties and to focus on what I’m good at.
It is Dyslexia Awareness Week in the UK, with the theme of #positivedyslexia2017. This is very fitting for me – as I’ve said before, I’m sure my dyslexia has helped me succeed.
But I was surprised to learn only three per cent of people see dyslexia as an advantage. Unfortunately for many young people, success and intelligence is measured through exams – which don’t recognise or measure many skills that dyslexics bring to the table.
That’s why I left school at 16 to start Student – and I haven’t looked back. I’ve always dreamed big and I’m naturally good at thinking creatively and being able to see the big picture. Dyslexia can help you problem solve and even drive innovation as you look for new ways of doing things.
I’m not suggesting students should drop out of school; I’m advocating for all people – not just dyslexics – to find their passions, and then work hard to become really good at it.
Dyslexics can be great storytellers and excellent at explaining things. There are many brilliant dyslexic authors and journalists, like Agatha Christie and AA Gill. It’s important we let dyslexic kids imagination and creativity develop. That’s far more important than focusing so heavily on spelling and grammar, which we usually find difficult - in the real world we have spell check!
The real world needs dyslexic thinking. Dyslexics have helped shape the world with many different creations and inventions – the plane, the car, the light bulb, Picasso’s paintings or Steven Spielberg’s films. We should be nurturing dyslexics, young and old, for their amazing way of seeing the world and embracing what they can or may do for it.