Running A Small Business With Dyslexia

Lucy Gray

Dyslexia is my superpower

I was really undecided as to whether to write this one, but seeing as I started out saying I was going to be honest with you guys throughout my journey I thought I would have a chat about this!

I was 'diagnosed' with dyslexia when I was 16 so pretty late in my educational career. We laugh in my family at how it wasn't detected earlier, I mean I was asked to redo my Year 2 SATS because they couldn't believe how badly I had done in the spelling. I still feel sorry for 6 year old me who had to leave the class and do it all over. It was actually my Dad who suggested I should be tested, he was reading my history essay and recognised it in my writing (he has it too, it actually runs in families!)

It was just after my GCSES (not to brag or anything but I didn't do too badly) so when I finally got my results back saying in fact I did have dyslexia, my friends immediate reaction was to joke:

"No you don't! That's just an excuse, you did so well in your exams!".

But as it states on the NHS website:

Dyslexia a specific learning difficulty, which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing.

Unlike a learning disability intelligence isn't affected.

When I went to Uni (have I told anyone I have a science degree? No? Well I do!) I was told I the test I did at school didn't comply with their regulations for extra time and support so I had to do another test (which was so stressful I ended up buying a bottle of vodka and 4 kit-kat chunkies straight don't worry the vodka was actually for a party that night!).

I received the extra time I needed in exams, I spent hours in the library reading over and over paragraphs of work, I had to print everything out as I find it very difficult to read on screens, I recorded my lectures and listened back to them over and over. I put in the effort...and then some more. 

graduation photo

I made it to graudation day with a 2:1 in Bsc Psychology!

What has this got to do with your business though Luce? I hear you ask.

Well, I decided to be a calligrapher didn't I. Gosh maybe I should have stuck with just the illustration part,  just the other week I was commissioned a 40th birthday piece where by each of the persons birthday it was friends described him in 3 words. 

I googled all the hard words, I asked Siri (who now has a fab Aussie accent) how to spell narcissistic, supercilious and loquacious (not sure what this friend thought of him!) and I was proud of the final piece - this piece was good, really good.

I went to get my Mum to proof read the punctuation, she gets to the last line (THE LAST LINE) and says to me

"Lucy is this word meant to be rouge? or rogue?"

I could have cried. TWO letters the wrong way round. Now I could have left it, I don't think it would have been noticed, but I knew it was there, I couldn't charge my customer for something which had an error in it. So back I went, and did it All. Over. Again. It was painful and frustrating, and yes it could have happened to anyone, dyslexia or not but this often happens to me. I have to be EXTRA careful all the time. 

Tuesday calligraphy is actually pretty hard for me as I'm having to think about how to spell words really quickly, I get friends and family saying "Have you checked your instagram post? It's missing some words (I always skip words)" which is frustrating. I'm 26 now having your Mum, Sister, friends pick up your spelling and punctation is embarrassing. 

You may need to check your instagram post

But would I change myself?

Actually no I wouldn't, for years they've said that people who have Dyslexia actually are more creative. Because we have a learning difficulty we have to find other ways of learning, thinking outside the box. As Holly Tucker (founder of Not On The Highstreet) states its a super power! 

In fact I was actually asked back into my secondary school to talk about my revision techniques (I recorded voice notes on my electric pink iPod nano, drew pictures, took photos, even recorded a short film, anything to not read/write!). 

So who knows, If I didn't have my Dyslexia maybe I wouldn't be sat here today writing about how it affects my creative side of the creative business I own! 

Lucy xxx

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published