This 17-Year-Old With Dyslexia Says Being Bullied Pushed Him to Become a Millionaire
By Laura Dang
September 28, 2015
A dyslexic entrepreneur who was bullied in school as a child for his learning disability is on his way to becoming a millionaire by the time he turns 20.
Seventeen-year-old Ollie Forsyth, of Pury End, Northamptonshire, is a budding businessman who started his first company, an e-tailer called Ollie’s Shop, at age 13. He made a profit of $14,500 within the first year, turning over $33,500 annually. The shop’s annual profit continues to double yearly as he sets off to work on his other projects.
Forsyth told the Daily Mail he benefited from being on a special education route in his early years:
“I went to a special needs school, which helped me with my dyslexia and was fantastic.
“I then moved to a school in Dorset where I had the three worst years of my life, constant bullying, and cyberbullying.”
The teenager suffered so much that he “wanted to end his life badly,” but was determined to succeed after he sought counselling at school. He explained:
“This is what drove me to success. I was bullied that much, I wanted to end my life, but, I said to myself: ‘I am going to be a millionaire one day and those bullies will be working for me.’ ”
Forsyth has been so successful in his entrepreneurial pursuits that five of his former bullying classmates have contacted him for jobs and requests for advice on their businesses. The 17-year-old has been ranked for The Great British Entrepreneur’s award and is set to release his upcoming book in the United States in 2016.
In addition, Forsyth is in the process of launching a creative digital agency, UNBXD, in collaboration with a classmate from school. More than 40 prospective clients, including celebrities, have expressed interest in working with him.
The teenager, who manages his own entrepreneurial magazine, The Budding Entrepreneur Magazine, has also been offered positions from companies around the world. He has even been offered 10% equity in an app worth 1.5 million pounds ($2.27 million) in exchange for his services.
He lists Virgin CEO Richard Branson, who is also dyslexic, among his idols. Another project Forsyth co-founded with a friend is University Bell, an online exchange for university students to sell and purchase products across campuses. He says of the business:
“I have one ‘project’ in the pipeline with predicted forecasts of $11 million within three years. […] There are going to be nearly 1,000 universities registered on the platform and we have forecasts to turnover $2.2 million by December next year, so my goal could happen before 20! We launch in the U.S. and the U.K. in October.”
As a way to give back, Forsyth visits schools as a motivational speaker. He said:
“I think it’s really interesting to see how I left school with not many friends and I didn’t have the greatest three years of my life there, but now students are constantly asking me to do something with them. I don’t have a problem with this at all, I think it’s great as it proves those bullies I’m not actually a failure.”
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