Richard Branson is the only person in the world to have built eight billion-dollar companies from scratch in eight different countries.

His recording company, Virgin Records, is one of the top six record companies in the world. In fact, Virgin Group consists of over four hundred companies in different countries.

What is Branson’s secret to success? Dyslexia. What many people may consider to be a weakness, Branson considers his greatest strength.

​Like many other young, undiagnosed dyslexics, Branson’s teachers thought he was lazy and not very clever. He couldn’t always follow what was going on in school, and he dreamed of things he could do once he left.

​While dyslexia presented challenges in school, it also presented a whole host of new challenges in the business world. People there rely on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, which presented a problem for Branson who had trouble reading such devices.

Always the innovator, Branson was able to turn this hurdle into an advantage. He learned to focus on the things he was good at and delegate other tasks away. He trusts others to do a lot of the reading and writing on his behalf while he handles the creative side of the company. In fact, he has his coworkers read aloud all of Virgin’s marketing materials to him, and only allows the materials he can grasp quickly to be put into Virgin’s advertising campaigns. This makes for stronger campaigns as they only include messages that are easily understood.

​Branson is not alone in finding his dyslexia to be an asset in the business world. A 2007 survey of 139 business owners in the United States found that over one-third of the survey respondents identified as dyslexic.

​Read more of Branson’s story over at the Washington Post.