Dyslexia hasn’t held billionaire Richard Branson back—and it shouldn’t hold back any kids currently struggling with the same problem, he says.
Branson responded to a teacher who wrote to him about dyslexia in a blog post Friday. The teacher, Jonathan Farmer who works in Northern Ireland, asked Branson for words of encouragement for children who have learning difficulties. “I can really empathize with his experience,” he wrote. “I was labelled lazy and dumb because the blackboard looked like a jumble to me.”
He’s not alone. Some 5% to 10% of the global population has dyslexia, according to the University of Michigan. And there is some evidence those with dyslexia are more likely to pursue entrepreneurship than other professions. “Dyslexia is just a different, creative way of thinking and many children with dyslexia have gone on to achieve great things,” Branson added.
Branson’s top tips:
• “Find your passions and pursue them doggedly”
• “Do your best”
• “Don’t be afraid to ask for help”
There is a higher incidence of dyslexia in entrepreneurs than among people in other fields including corporate management, a study at Cass Business School in London found in 2009. Some 35% of entrepreneurs in the U.S. and 20% in the U.K. have dyslexia, researcher Julie Logan found.