Absorb As Much Information As You Can And Then Apply With Kirk Pickstone

A dyslexic entrepreneur changing the perception of dyslexia and helping dyslexics start and run better businesses.

At 44 I discovered I was dyslexic, it sent me on a path I had never dreamed of, I quit my job, Started a Business and went to University, graduating with a Master Degree in global Entrepreneurship… “Still scratching my head”.

I now run two successful business with my wife and co-director Sandra Ownes.


Kirks Key Points

  1. Absorb as much information as you can and then apply.
  2. The hardest thing to overcome was my self-confidence.
  3. You will always have transferable skills no matter what.
  4. Gain as much experience in every job or role that you’re in.


Guest links


Top quotes

  • I must have been bad because when I got into work, everyone thought I’d jumped off the bridge.
  • I’d hit a glass ceiling.
  • I was supposed to be there for 6 weeks and I ended up being there for 10 months.
  • After 10 months in Holland, I decided that I didn’t want to go back to my site in the UK.
  • I needed a new start otherwise, I would have remained stagnant
  • I had two choices, stay in Holland or go back to the UK and I was 80% going to stay but I met someone.
  • Back your bags Kirk, we need you to go and sort it.
  • Being a troubleshooter was probably my favourite job but I didn’t like all the travel.
  • Within 6 months I got to know everyone in the business which gave me a lot of exposure.
  • I absorbed as much information as I could
  • I need a permanent contact, I don’t want to be on the road.
  • Don’t replace both managers, I’ll do both their jobs.
  • I ended up on a course that was run by Stamford University in California
  • The only was to progress was to go into procurement or specified in cement manufacturing and I didn’t want to progress in those areas.
  • I did a lot of report writing and this is where the problems started.
  • I kept getting picked up on these issues and no matter what, I couldn’t get them right.
  • I just thought I wasn’t as clever as everyone else.
  • A lot of people my age tend to find out when they move into a role where they do report writing.
  • When I got tested, it was a relief and I was quite emotional because it explained what I’d gone through all my life.
  • You can do a mini test one line for free.
  • I went to the British Dyslexia Association to be tested, its a 2 hour test and costs about £400
  • It’s a niche market and they charge what they want and I think it’s wrong.
  • I got told by HR that they couldn’t find anyone to write my reports. I didn’t want them to find anyone.
  • You know what, give me the redundancy I’m going, stick your job.
  • I was getting stabbed in the back by my colleagues because they thought they should be doing my job.
  • I said to my wife that I don’t ever want to work again, it was that bad.
  • One of my goals after leaving corporate was to stop people having to go through all this.
  • I also work one on one with businesses to tap into dyslexic people
  • The hardest thing was to get over my self-confidence issues
  • I want to unleash people’s confidence
  • Sandra believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself
  • Unfortunately we only see the end result of people’s success.
  • Do something whilst you’re building something else up
  • Don’t be disillusioned by what’s around you.


Key timestamps

  • 0:54 – Coming back as a new person
  • 2:18 – Off to Holland I go
  • 4:59 – Back to the UK but a new location
  • 7:33 – Being a troubleshooter
  • 10:22 – I needed a permanent contract
  • 12:31 – Further education
  • 13:57 – Still wanting to progress
  • 15:35 – Where the problems started
  • 19:00 – Getting tested
  • 20:10 – How dyslexia works
  • 22:29 – Working in the corporate role with dyslexia
  • 23:18 – Gardening leave
  • 24:00 – Getting stabbed in the back
  • 25:06 – My first client
  • 26:10 – University
  • 27:15 – Spreading the word
  • 29:14 – The design business
  • 31:32 – Working with lasers
  • 33:50 – The big journey and the biggest things
  • 41:49 – Guest links