Are you someone who doesn’t enjoy spending hours tucked up in bed with Big Ted reading a novel from cover to cover? Prefer the pictures to the words? Well, don’t despair; you may be among some of the world’s most gifted and talented people, an amazing problem solver, with a super creative mind.
The research is in; 36% of entrepreneurs struggled with reading at school. Many left without graduating and most don’t remember their school days as happy times. It’s not just business people either; artists, actors, designers, builders, computer geeks, architects, traders and even mining magnates have all been identified as having reading difficulties. Most say that school was hard and reading and spelling is still hard even now. And yet they were super successful once they left school because no one cares how well they read, write or spell anymore.
In fact, most now employ staff or use software to do it for them, so they can get on with being creative, super thinkers, coming up with solutions to problems and making loads of money.
Despite what some of your teachers might have told you in the bad old days, struggling to learn to read does not mean you lack brains, that you are lazy, or unmotivated. New brain research tells us that individuals who struggle to read are as intelligent as everyone else and that many are super smart. The student with reading and spelling problems will often come up with hundreds of ways to compensate for their weaknesses and to hide their difficulty. And the most popular? Driving teachers crazy with really bad behavior. Sound familiar?
“I taught myself to read as an adult after years of hating school and creating havoc because I struggled to learn” recalls David, Emergency Management Officer working in the Iron Mines of the Pilbara.
“It wasn’t until my teacher was away in Year 9 that my dumb stream classmates and I were put in with the high achieving class,” he said. “A question and answer session on ethics soon shut everyone up – except for me that is. I had a thoughtful response to every question! I remember the teacher telling me I should be in the gifted class, but they wouldn’t let me in because I couldn’t read and spell correctly.”
David, creator of havoc, went on to become a registered nurse, a qualified social worker, the owner/publisher of a business magazine and built another business into a corporation before entering the mining industry!
Three-quarters of men in jail have been identified as having difficulties with reading. Reading difficulties have even been linked to homelessness and even suicide. So, according to the data and statistics, if you have a reading difficulty you could either end up as Steve Jobs, Richard Branson or The Boston Strangler… or maybe even working in the resources industry.
But if reading is hard yakka, don’t despair. It is never too late to become a better reader and speller… The Internet – great for buying cheap goodies from China and all sorts of other entertainment – turns out to be brilliant for education. You can learn anywhere, any time, at your own speed and with privacy…
If you want to catch up on past schooling because you were too busy creating mayhem in the classroom, skipping school, stealing cars or hanging out at the local footy club getting drunk, now is your time to shine. Your mates don’t even need to know what you’re up to and it doesn’t need to take hours every day either.
Liz Dunoon is a teacher and a mother of three, who couldn’t wait for her children to learn to read. But then, her wonderful kids found it tough. Really tough. Formal learning was a struggle and for a while Liz couldn’t understand why. So she did her research, became an overnight expert and now devotes her life to supporting smart people with reading difficulties. That’s about 10% of all Australians, just so you know you’re not alone.
“I meet so many in my work; speaking and writing on learning difficulties, that I have come to know first-hand how incredibly talented people who struggle with reading can be. I have no doubt that includes thousands of people in trades and in many hands-on, creative industries,” Liz said.
Liz has interviewed hundreds of people over the years in every profession from politicians, to plumbers, to truck drivers who are at the top of their game, yet struggled with reading at school. Some stories break her heart. Others are inspiring and just plain wonderful. The common theme is this: formal learning can be really hard for some brains because they’re just not designed to learn that way…
One day, while talking to another school dropout – now a multimillionaire and doing very nicely – Liz had a bright idea.
“Actually he came up with the idea and told me to go away and get on with it,” she laughed. “Don’t you just love pushy entrepreneurs?“
Why not become a tutor for everybody, he told her. Create a program to help people to catch up on past schooling. Not another dodgy, educational computer game with bells and whistles – something smart and user-friendly that works. You have the experience and the knowhow, he said, so get to work! That’s the spirit that helps make a millionaire.
Liz pulled out her magic wand of ‘anything is possible’ and started to wave it, becoming an education program designer.
Liz decided that this tutoring program had to be video streamed from the internet so people could use it anywhere, whenever it suited them on any device – a bit like YouTube. It had to be about skills, not how old you are, so that anyone could use it. It had to be fast – life’s busy – so each tutorial is only ten minutes long. It had to follow a logical system, covering reading and spelling. And provide for plenty of reading practice with real books and song lyrics (with the song videos, of course).
It needed something else, too. It had to show that anyone can improve their skills. And, they can change their lives. She focused on confidence building, with lots of interviews with inspirational school strugglers as mentors.
“Most of all,” said Liz. “It had to be affordable. Who wants to spend thousands of dollars on a program they don’t know for sure will work? So The Ten Minute Tutor was born.”
Launched back in 2013, it has now been used by thousands of people; kids, teens and adults and Liz has found the feedback overwhelmingly positive. “This program has been proven to transform people’s lives”, she says.
So if memories of your schooling have left you feeling crappy and you are walking around with a few huge chips of rock on your shoulders caused by your teachers Mr. Nasty and Ms. Annoying, it is time to get over it and move on. You can improve reading and spelling skills at any age. Then get on with starting an airline or a global computer empire worth billions. How hard can it be for someone as smart and creative as you?
To check out The Ten Minute Tutor – Go to www.thetenminutetutor.com, you can find out more, watch an online web class, see a sample videos, watch some video testimonials and check me out.