8 reasons people with learning disabilities have a greater advantage as entrepreneurs

I had to work harder at everything as a kid, this makes being an entrepreneur easier and risk less intimidating

I was being called to the resource room again. That embarrassing moment as a sophomore where I had to go get special help with my school work. In our school the “resource room” was a nice way to say room for kids that struggle and cannot learn as well or keep up with the other kid in school. The few of us in there were given extra attention to the school work assigned by the teachers. We got help understanding the material and answers to question we had.

I did not graduate with honors and academics were really not my thing. I even attended college for a while but later had to dropout due to failing grades. but going through all that special learning did teach me two very valuable lessons.

One- If I was going to get what I wanted out of my schooling and life, I was going to have to work harder than anyone else and…

Two-  I was going to have to use the smart brains of others to achieve anything greatly.

If you cannot see it by now, these two lessons are tantamount with the very skills necessary for success in business. These lessons have served me greatly in owning my business and being an entrepreneur, speaker and writer. If you, or if you have a child that struggles in school, entrepreneurism just might be a great route to find amazing success. Here’s why.

1. We have to work harder than most people to get what we want

During my days in school, I always had to study harder and for a lot longer than most other kids in school. This hard work was only rewarded with just average grades at best. Some of us just don’t learn the way school is taught so we have to put in the extra hours to keep up. This can be a very frustrating situation but it does end up with amazing rewards later in life. If channeled correctly – extraordinary rewards! Learning different kids develop a much different work ethic than the kids that school is easy for. They inevitably have to. The world is set up for educated people that learned in school so we are used to the hard work. Entrepreneurship is also hard work. We are used to putting in the hours to get what we want. Also, we are actually not dumb! So combine relentless work ethic and intelligence and you have an incredibly winning combination in business.

2. We tend to view the world more realistically

Honestly, how often have you used all those trig formulas you were so good at in school? Most of our education is spent getting us ready for the world that is no longer relevant to what we learned. Add that we only about 15% of what we learned in our adult life. Those of us that struggled had to become more resourceful in getting educated. We looked for other ways to get information and found alternative means of sourcing information outside of school. These information sources become a quiver we can pull from at any time because we are not beholden to our own learning.

3. We had to study while other kids were out playing

In the moment as a kid, this seems like torture. But later in life (especially entrepreneur life) working while everyone else plays, pays vastly better in the end. Last year I was finishing a project on the weekend right next to the highway that accessed our mountains. On Friday I saw all my friends going to the mountains camping and 4-wheelering. They honked and waved as to say, “You poor sucker!” and on Sunday, as I was still working, same thing as they were heading off the mountain. This is something we are very used to since we were kids. Work while everyone else plays. The invoice check I deposited that Monday would likely shadow what my friends make in three months!

4. We have fewer friends to distract our success

Being smart in school generally puts you in the popular crowd. School-smart kids are in the same classes, the same organizations, sports, and clubs. The special education kids get pulled away from these more of the time and do not have as many friends. Later in life, being alone more than with friends is very conducive to high levels of success in business. It really is lonely at the top and we are used to it. While your old classmates from the past are out having beers and hanging out, we are working and developing our businesses. Understand, we still have friends, we are just better at saying no to social time. We do not feel the pressure to keep up with social relationships and this eases our minds to work.

5. We are used to working hard and putting in long hours with little gain

The reason most people quit anything is because they are not seeing the results right away. Workouts, business, promotions all get resigned because it take so much time and real effort to start seeing the benefit. As special learning kids, we are completely used to this. Most of our work in school was a struggle. It took a lot of work and long hours to get even just average results. There is nothing more synonymous with working hard to only get average results than in business. We are very use to this and we are less likely to give up on a struggling business.

6. We don’t rely on our talents to get what we want

While book-smart kids just got this stuff back in school, we had to be more resourceful. We looked for other way and means to complete the work getting help from there people. Knowing we were not going to get through it on our own, we developed skills to elicit other people to give us what we needed to succeed. This makes taking risks much easier and much more doable. Your confidence is off the charts if you know how to get the things you need from other people. Opportunity is everywhere when you know how to create a mastermind circle network.

7. Our creative minds are probably more active

When living in a world built for formally educated people, you have to become very creative to have any measure of success. Our brains do not learn by being spoon-fed information then be tested on it later. Our brains learn by creativity and doing things. “Creativity and doing things” just drips with the idea of entrepreneurism! When things got hard for us in the past, we had to become creative and find new way to complete work. This is an incredibly useful skill in the business world, (maybe even paramount!) After all, there are no laws prohibiting someone from being too creative as an entrepreneur.

8. We had to adapt on the fly.

Nothing is more terrifying than getting up in front of the class and working a problem on the board. Especially if you have no idea what is going on and all of your peer are watching you. This should be considered cruel and unusual punishment! Pressure moments and clutch situations are the special education kid’s thing because we have had to do it our whole lives. I’ll be honest, the pressures and stresses of business are nothing compared to the pressure and stress of doing something dumb in front of your peers. We have developed skills that allow us to come through in a pinch even if it’s not perfect. We always survive to hustle another day and keep going.

I worry that kids like me, those who struggled in school, can be timid when it comes to starting a new business. We are so used to hearing that to be successful you have to have a great education. But I wrote this article hoping that if someone is fearful of becoming an entrepreneur because they struggled in school, that they will see they actually have an incredible advantage over others.

Super smart kids rely on their own talents to succeed. If a challenge like business goes outside their comfort zone, they are generally more likely to give up. They are also less likely to risk greatly if the challenge is too far reaching. Special learning kids are used to getting things done in more ways than one. They see risks and challenges like anything else they have ever done. They think, “I have failed so much in my past and still survived, this will be nothing!” They will just figure it out!   

Do not count the special learning kid out of high levels of success. They have developed superpowers that most people do not even know about. They can be hungry, hurt and struggling and still out hustle and grind most people!                

Daniel J Bockman

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