Richard Branson On Why Being Different Is The Fastest Route To Success

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What do Richard Branson, Steven Spielberg, Andy Warhol, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill have in common?

All were dyslexics who went on to achieve great things.

“Whenever something goes wrong or you find yourself at a disadvantage, often the best way to handle it is to turn a negative into a positive. I learned this early on as I struggled with dyslexia, a learning disability that affects reading comprehension. I left school when I was 16 years old partly because of my dyslexia. On one of my last days at school, the headmaster told me that I would either end up in prison or become a millionaire” 

Richard Branson

That same Richard who left school the odd one out, was running the biggest private group of companies in Europe by the time he was 50 years old.

That same Richard learnt, over the years, that it was “his different way of thinking that helped to build the Virgin Group and contributed greatly to its success”.

That same Richard attributes dyslexia with teaching him some of his core sub-skills – from the art of delegation – hand-picking a great team with the strengths that he lacked – to a way with language – ensuring that his advertising campaigns are simple and jargon free. Because if he can’t understand them, who can? 

If you’re not already feeling ready to embrace what makes you different or to carve a path which inspires you even if it goes against societal norms – whether you’re dyslexic or not – I’ve saved the best for last…

“Whatever personal challenge you have to overcome, you must be brave enough to accept that you are different. You must have the courage to trust your instincts and be ready to question what other people don’t. If you do that, you can seize opportunities that others would miss. Believe in yourself, and use everything you can — including the obstacles — to propel you along the road to success. Who knows what you might achieve?”

Read the full interview with Richard Branson here and prepare to be inspired.

And if you’d like more where that came from, tune in tomorrow for another inspiring role-model who turned depression to great advantage :)

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