Overcoming childhood taunts, Richard Branson says this early challenge helped him succeed in business

Dyslexia hasn’t held billionaire Richard Branson back—and it shouldn’t hold back any kids currently struggling with the same problem, he says.

Branson responded to a teacher who wrote to him about dyslexia in a blog post Friday. The teacher, Jonathan Farmer who works in Northern Ireland, asked Branson for words of encouragement for children who have learning difficulties. “I can really empathize with his experience,” he wrote. “I was labelled lazy and dumb because the blackboard looked like a jumble to me.”

He’s not alone. Some 5% to 10% of the global population has dyslexia, according to the University of Michigan.

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