This 17-Year-Old With Dyslexia Says Being Bullied Pushed Him to Become a Millionaire

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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.

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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.”

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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.’ ”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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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