It has long been known that dyslexics are drawn to running their own businesses, where they can get around their weaknesses in reading and writing and play on their strengths. But a new study of entrepreneurs in the United States suggests that dyslexia is much more common among small-business owners than even the experts had thought.Mentioned in the article is Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko's:
The report, compiled by Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a third of the entrepreneurs she had surveyed — 35 percent — identified themselves as dyslexic. The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely than nondyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving and were twice as likely to own two or more businesses.
“We found that dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills,” Professor Logan said in an interview. “If you tell your friends and acquaintances that you plan to start a business, you’ll hear over and over, ‘It won’t work. It can’t be done.’ But dyslexics are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems.”
“I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator,” [Orfalea] said. “I think everybody should have dyslexia and A.D.D.”I wrote about Orfalea back in May:
He attributes his success to his difficulty with reading and writing because it forced him to master verbal communication.
“I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence as a kid,” he said. “And that is for the good. If you have a healthy dose of rejection in your life, you are going to have to figure out how to do it your way.”...
“I told myself I would never be a lawyer or a doctor,” he said. “But I wanted to make a lot of money. And I knew business was the only way I was going to do it.”
I adore Orfalea, who wrote a memoir called "Copy This! How I turned Dyslexia, ADHD, and 100 square feet into a company called Kinko's." He got me through the loneliest segment of that 1235 mile drive from Austin to Madison last month as I clicked the satellite radio over to C-Span and heard him giving a talk based on that memoir. What a wonderful, inspiring guy!I love these stories of how people find special powers in their mental deficiencies. (Oliver Sacks is a master at presenting material of this kind.)
Bonus topic: What are the mental deficiencies that prevail in the world of blogging?