Entrepreneurs

"At the age of eight I still couldn't read. I was soon being beaten once or twice a week for doing poor class work or confusing the date of the Battle of Hastings." – Richard Branson: Founder of a whole series of Virgin enterprises
"Perhaps my early problems with dyslexia made me more intuitive: when someone sends me a written proposal, rather than dwelling on detailed facts and figures, I find that my imagination grasps and expands on what I read." - Richard Branson, from Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way, Times Business, 1998
  • Henry Ford
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." - Henry Ford
"You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do." - Henry Ford
  • William Hewlett: Co-Founder of Hewlett-Packard
  • Paul J. Orfalea, founder of Kinko's
"When I talk to college students about all of this, I tell them to work with their strengths, not their weaknesses. If at you're not good in reading, do something else. Go where you are strong."- Paul Orfalea

"Trust what you see, rather than what you hear. And don't take life so seriously-just enjoy it." - Paul Orfalea
"I couldn't read. I just scraped by. My solution back then was to read classic comic books because I could figure them out from the context of the pictures. Now I listen to books on tape." - Charles Schwab
"I've always felt that I have more of an ability to envision, to be able to anticipate where things are going, to conceive a solution to a business problem than people who are more sequential thinkers." Charles Schwab, explaining that his struggle with his own dyslexia has led him to develop other capabilities, "The Schwab Revolution," Business Week, December 19, 1994
  • Ted Turner, President, Turner Broadcasting Systems
  • F.W. Woolworth
  • Craig McCaw, McCaw Cellular
  • Fred Friendly, former CBS News president
  • Richard C. Strauss, real-estate financier
  • Mark Torrance, CEO, Musak Corporation
  • Malcolm Goodridge III, senior vice president, American Express
  • William Doyle, chairman, William Doyle Auction Galleries of New York
  • G. Chris Anderson, vice-chairman of Paine Webber
  • Weyerhaeuser family
  • Wrigley
  • Russell Varian
  • Zara Reid: Has sold "CSI Promotions" and runs now successfully a PR company "Rigby Reid Media"
"Right from the start of school, I knew I couldn't read and write like the others. I got used to being called lazy or told I wasn't concentrating. I spent the whole time at school being embarrassed, and I was gutted to be put in the remedial class at secondary school. I left school with no exams at all. I think being dyslexic has helped me. I never went to college; I didn't do a PR course. I learnt everything I know through life. I use a dictating machine to record meeting – if I try to write things down, other people can't read them my notes and sometimes I can't either. Life is now great, and you know what? I think a lot of the people who were in the top band at school aren't doing much at all." - Zara Reid
  • Don Winkler
"Don Winkler has a brain for the 21st century. A dyslexic brain. As other managers struggle to 'think outside the box,' Mr. Winkler has no other way of thinking. . . . In five years he has built the finance arm of Banc One Corp. from an industry also-ran to $26 billion in assets. How he did so says a lot about Mr. Winkler and the value of querky thinking in a chaotic business world." - Thomas Petzinger, Jr., "A Banc One Executive Credits His Success to Mastering Dyslexia," Wall Street Journal, April 24, 1998
  • Craig McCaw
"His thoughts often seem to progress in a nonlinear fashion, which McCaw says stems from [his] dyslexia. . . . He has difficulty absorbing lengthy written documents and usually avoids them. That leaves time for him to do what he prefers anyway, which is to think and to stand back and take in the big picture. . . ." - Andrew Kupfer, "Craig McCaw Sees an Internet in the Sky," Fortune, May 27, 1996
  • Horst M. Rechelbacher
"Close your eyes and you will see clearly. Be still and you will hear the truth." - Horst M. Rechelbacher, Indiana State University
  • John Corcoran
"Understand how your brain works; recognize and understand the problems of learning differently. It is hard work to teach people like me, and it is hard for people like me to learn. To learn to read and spell makes me feel successful---at last I am whole." - John Corcoran, Indiana State University
  • Delos R. Smith
"I have learned how to be different. After I learned to be different, I enjoyed being different. It is so much fun to walk to a different drummer." - Delos R. Smith, Indiana State University
  • Reyn Guyer
"My learning disabilities pushed me to discover talents that I wasn't aware of having. It has also led me do develop products which help others who struggle through school as I did." - Reyn Guyer, Indiana State University
  • David Murdock

"There is only one thing that can stop you and that is yourself. Don't think of what you can't do. The most powerful thing is the realization of what you can do." - David Murdock, Indiana State University

Article on dyslexic entrepreneurs

Overcoming Dyslexia
FORTUNE examines business leaders and artists who have gone beyond the limitations of dyslexia