Kudos to Daymond John who shares that he is “Blessed with Dyslexia” in his Twitter page. As October National Dyslexia Awareness Month, the community gives a huge thanks for sharing his dyslexia story in multiple media interviews and presentations.
“I’d have to read a book three or four times just to understand what other kids got the first time around.
“Thankfully, my mother has always been my biggest supporter … She was able to identify that and help me find ways to excel despite my differences. For instance, she always knew I was better at reading out loud, so she’d make me read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to her every Sunday while she was cooking.
“She made it seem like I was doing her a favor, like I was helping her to prepare for work the next day, so it never felt like a chore. She got me to practice reading without me even realizing it.”
John didn’t find out he was dyslexic until he was an adult — and he says the diagnosis was a huge relief.
“It was like a lightbulb went off. I finally understood why I struggled the way I did.” He was then able to use the disability to his advantage.
“I see the world in a different way than most people and for me that’s been a positive thing.”
Daymond had a meteoric rise and dyslexic entrepreneurial talents of recognizing opportunity and thinking strategically. From a Fast Company article, Daymond used to be a gopher of sorts for up and coming hip hop stars coming out of the borough, and then he had the idea – what if he gave them shirts? – matched the right shirts with the right artists.
“People thought I was this huge company,” he says, “when I was a waiter at Red Lobster with 10 T-shirts in my basement.”
By 1998, FUBU’s sales were over $350 million.
Today Daymond has additional perceptions about dyslexia and dyslexia awareness and he seems right on on mark.
From the Understood video:
“I’ll do a speaking engagement for 5000 people, and I’ll say, how many people are dyslexic, and maybe 4 people will raise their hands, right, and usually it’s the CEOs and very very powerful people who raise their hands, but people that work within environments , they’re ashamed and they’re afraid and they don’t say it. Then I start to give the stats about Will Smith and Tom Cruise, and myself, and the four sharks, and all of a sudden everybodys in the room is dyslexic and raising their hands. I want, obviously, to bring this awareness to people.”