By Rich Figel
Last week I interviewed Paul Brown, the man behind the salons, hair products and a cosmetology school that bears his name, and learned something interesting: he's dyslexic, and that was perhaps one reason he found his calling in the hair biz. As a 12-year-old boy, he started cutting his own hair and discovered that looking in the mirror made things easier. Then he began cutting his family's hair and started charging others 50 cents per haircut. Paul has come a long way since then. In addition to his six Hawaii salons, his hair care products are being sold all over the world. Just this month, over 500 T&G salons in Indonesia began selling his line.
I recalled reading about a study back in 2007 that showed 35 percent of American entrepreneurs surveyed, identified themselves as dyslexic -- compared to 1 percent of corporate managers who have dyslexia, according to an NY Times article. About 10 percent of the general population has dyslexia, which ties into my 10 Percent Theory column I wrote awhile back for the old Star-Bulletin (click here for that piece).
Paul said he was quite aware of that study, and believes there is something to the idea that people with dyslexia compensate by becoming their own boss. Dyslexia is defined as having problems with the "visual notation of speech" -- such as transposing letters or numbers, and having trouble reading or writing certain words. To get around that, they tend to delegate more tasks to others, which frees them up to deal with bigger problems and ideas. Here's a Businessweek piece about a HBO documentary on the subject that aired last year.
An Inc. magazine article noted that Richard Branson, Charles Schwab, Ted Turner, and Cisco CEO John Chambers have the disorder. Henry Ford also had dyslexia. Click here for that link. Our segment on Paul and the Paul Brown Institute at Remington College won't begin airing until June 7, but you can still catch our current episode this weekend and throughout next week on OC16.
For daily viewing times and other useful career-related links, visit www.CareerChangers.TV -- and check out videos from past and present episodes on the CCTV YouTube Channel. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend, and please take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Mahalo.