You’d Never Suspect That These ‘Shark Tank’ Cast Members All Suffer From the Same Disorder

The sharks on Shark Tank can be intimidating with good reason. They all have created successful businesses and act as gatekeepers to struggling entrepreneurs by making the hard decision if they will financially back their ideas. After the show, many businesses have flourished with their help, and some have closed without it.

But all the sharks are just people who also had their own hurdles while making their businesses. That includes struggling with certain disorders like dyslexia. Dyslexia affects how a person learns to interpret words and symbols. It often leads someone to struggle to spell or read words correctly.

Surprisingly, multiple sharks have dyslexia, and they have talked about when they were diagnosed and how it has actually helped them become the people they are today. Here are eight things we learned from the sharks and what they said about dealing with dyslexia.

1. Kevin O’Leary says dyslexia is a unique power

Kevin O'Leary attends NATPE Reality: Case Study: SHARK TANK at NATPE 2015 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on January 20, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida.

Kevin O’Leary  | Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

The businessman became successful through his technology company and is now giving advice and money to aspiring entrepreneurs. One thing that he credits to his success is that he is dyslexic.

He told Entrepreneur:

The way to look at dyslexia is as a unique power instead of an affliction. Very few people have the abilities that dyslexics have. If you look down the road, as they grow, what happens to dyslexic men and women is they become very successful in business. This is because dyslexia gives you some really unique perspectives and abilities that I’d call superpowers.

Next: This is what an educational therapist told O’Leary to make look at dyslexia differently.

2. O’Leary’s educational therapists gave him confidence

Kevin O'Leary leans forward in a chair on Shark Tank

Kevin O’Leary on Shark Tank | ABC

The good thing is that the future shark was diagnosed back in the ’60s and worked with educational therapists, according to his book, Cold Hard Truth. There was one question he was asked that made him look at dyslexia differently.

“You have the ability to read backwards, read in a mirror, read upside down. Can any of your classmates do that?” he was asked. He then wrote, “And that actually got me back the only thing I really needed, which was my confidence.”

Next: O’Leary tears down this misconception.

3. He says there is no evidence that dyslexia negatively impacts people’s future

The sharks sit in chairs on Shark Tank

Shark Tank cast | ABC

O’Leary is now confident that dyslexia doesn’t mean someone won’t be successful.

Dyslexia just doesn’t do that and there’s no evidence in history that it does,” he told Entrepreneur. “It’s just that it affects math and reading scores early on, and so what? That’s something you can get around. Never give up and never let dyslexia hold you back. It’s a gift.”

Next: This is another way O’Leary says dyslexia helps people.

4. O’Leary claims dyslexia helps people focus

Kevin O'Leary on Shark Tank

Kevin O’Leary on Shark Tank | ABC

Another reason dyslexia can be viewed as a power is the ability to focus, according to O’Leary.

“For entrepreneurs, that turns out to be 80 percent of the battle,” he told Entrepreneur, adding, “staying focused in challenging times and on the tasks you’re trying to achieve in business is very important, and that is actually how you get over dyslexia. Forcing yourself to focus over and over again.”

Next: This shark is also dyslexic, but didn’t know it for a long time.

5. Daymond John didn’t know he was dyslexic

Daymond John speaks on stage at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on February 8, 2017 in New York City.

Daymond John speaks onstage at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on February 8, 2017, in New York City. | Rob Kim/Getty Images for Yahoo Finance

The FUBU founder is also dyslexic and credits his success to it. However, it took him a while to know that.

“I was never ashamed of it because I didn’t know I had it,” he told Business Insider. “My mother treated me so well and loved me so much and made me feel like there was something special I had, but I had to work on all the things I was weak about.”

Next: This is why he thinks it’s important talk more about dyslexia.

6. John says there are many successful people with dyslexia

Daymond John sits in a leather chair on Shark Tank

Daymond John on Shark Tank | ABC

John has no problem talking about it because it’s so common, especially on the show.

“But as I look back and I try to address people about dyslexia — and I believe the stat is over 40% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic,” he told Business Insider. “Out of the Sharks, add all the Sharks together, and the guest sharks, there are 12 of us, and eight of us are dyslexic.”

Next: This shark is also dyslexic and said it made her more creative.

7. Barbara Corcoran said her dyslexia made her more creative

Barbara Corcoran gestures while holding a pen and a notebook on her lap in Shark Tank

Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank | ABC

The shark also doesn’t let her dyslexia get her down. “It made me more creative, more social and more competitive,” she told Entrepreneur, adding:

There’s a great freedom to being dyslexic … if you can avoid labeling yourself as a loser in a school system that measures people by As and Bs. And the kids that are so good at school, that don’t have to fight for it, very often they don’t do as well in life and business because they’re not flexible. There’s no system dictated to them out there like it is in school and they certainly tend not to make good entrepreneurs.

Next: This is why she said dyslexia has been a great motivator.

8. She also sees it as a source of motivation

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran on Dancing with the Stars | ABC

The real estate mogul also said that the condition has been a motivator for her. ”

Dyslexia and its insecurities…” she told Entrepreneur “It sure is challenging mentally, but it sure can keep you motivated, make you money and get you places nobody else is going to get.”

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!