Tommy Mallet has candidly detailed how his dyslexia has impacted the day-to-day running of his business, saying it can be ‘quite a struggle’.
Last month, Tommy was revealed as having made the Forbes 30 under 30 list of most influential entrepreneurs for his Mallet
Candid: Tommy Mallet has detailed how his dyslexia has impacted the day-to-day running of his business, saying it can be ‘quite a struggle’
Speaking about his dyslexia, Tommy said: ‘More so when I got older, and I realised it affected me more than anything. When I started going into business, started having to read documents, buying cars and insurance and so on.
‘I can read anything that’s in front of me. I can read a text message, it’s just anything in-depth. I can get by. I’m getting better as I’m getting older.
‘I’m putting a lot of energy into it. I’m taking my time, I’m finding a bit more patience which I don’t think I’ve ever had. So I’m getting there.
‘But it’s quite a struggle on the day-to-day when you receive letters, legal letters, insurance documents, to be able to go through and things like that.’
Businessman: The TOWIE star, 28, who made the Forbes 30 under 30 list of most influential entrepreneurs in April, said it can be difficult reading legal letters and insurance documents
Tommy added that someone helps with the larger documents, saying: ‘I’ve actually got someone I can forward them straight onto who has to go through them with me.’
And although now a successful businessman through his footwear company, Tommy recalled how he used to feel ‘bullied’ by some colleagues.
Speaking about previous work experience, he said: ‘On my day to day work, if they give me an email to write, it would take me hours to do it. I feel like I got bullied by the older people I used to work for at the time.
‘I was reading a newspaper, for example, trying to fit in and the guy took it off me and threw it over the other side of the room and said: “Go and pick that up, you can’t even read it.”
‘I knew what I was worth and I knew I was worth more than someone telling me what to do and throwing a newspaper. I always knew I was a leader from a young age and I always knew that I was going to be a success.’
Proud: The fashion mogul, 28, has made millions of pounds through his footwear company
‘Honoured’: The entrepreneur shared a screenshot from Forbes website on his Instagram in April to announce the news as his proud girlfriend celebrated her beau’s achievement
Congratulations! Tommy and Georgia welcomed their first child together, a baby boy called Brody Fordham, last week
He continued: ‘I always knew I’d be the best at whatever I’d do. And I had that from a young age, like 12 I think, earlier, I think 9. I think I first told my dad I was going to be a millionaire at the age of 9.
‘So when I’ve got a guy that works in an office, been wearing the same suit all week and the same shirt, throwing a newspaper and calling me stupid, I feel like it was just something that set the pace to show me I shouldn’t have been where I was and I needed to just level up and go elsewhere. That’s how it all started for me.’
And Tommy managed to show the man who mocked him at his old job the error of his ways once he’d made it, having him thrown out of a restaurant.
Tommy explained: ‘I was sitting in a fine dining restaurant about 10 years later and one of the main doormen came to my table and said, “there’s someone at the door who wants to meet you, he’s seen you come in the place and he wants to meet you” and it was the guy that threw the newspaper.
Designer: His brand Mallet London shoes are known for their signature metallic heel clips (pictured) and have already made £11.8m in sales as of 2020
‘I was sitting round the table with some familiar faces and said, “yeah throw him out…just throw him out and I’ll pay his bill, tell him I’ve thrown him out of the place.”
‘And that was what happened. So I’ve done it a different way instead of arguing back with him. I showed him he was wrong by getting him sent out of the establishment!’
Tommy certainly proved any more doubters wrong in April when he was revealed as having made the Forbes 30 under 30 list of most influential entrepreneurs.
He shared a screenshot from Forbes site on his social media and wrote: ‘Honoured to be chosen for the Forbes 30 under 30 list!! FORBES LIST YOU KNOW Thank you, Forbes.’
And proud girlfriend Georgia celebrated his achievement as she commented on his post: ‘How lucky is our baby, he has you teaching him and showing him the world.’
Not always easy: And although now a successful businessman through his footwear company, Tommy recalled how he used to feel ‘bullied’ by some colleagues (pictured with Georgia)
Making it work: Tommy explained that he’s used to finding other ways around having to read big textbooks and putting in the extra hours (pictured with newborn son Brody)
Reflecting some more on his younger years with Radio 5, Tommy revealed another test and lesson came when he was told to read a book on how to use computer software AutoCADs.
He said: ‘They gave me a book, it was the biggest book I’d ever seen and they said, “read that book and learn how to use AutoCADs and draw houses”.
‘I didn’t want to say to them, “I can’t read that book,” because I was getting a lot of stick from them anyway.
‘In the end, and that’s when I learnt what I could actually do, what I was capable of, I taught myself how to use AutoCAD without reading the book and I was better than anyone in my college class at it and that sort of gave me the confidence to know that I can get round not being able to do the academic part of it.’
Support: The doting new dad often shares snaps of his shoes in department stores, with proud girlfriend and new mum Georgia (pictured) regularly showing her support in the comments
Tommy added that he always knew he was going to be successful and told his dad about his plan to be a millionaire at just nine-years-old.
He said: ‘I told him I was going to be a millionaire at the age of 9. At the age of 16, when I failed school, he said to me: “What are you going to do now?” cos I come from a family that are quite clever, go off on results, the old traditional way.
‘I said, “don’t worry, I’m going to go out and make it” and I did. I’ve never taken no for an answer. I’ve always worked my way round things that might go back to the reading thing.
‘I always know I have to work out my own way of how to do it because I’m not capable of doing it the way everyone else does it but I can make my own way up of doing it.
Pushing him: The entrepreneur, who left school due to dyslexia with no qualifications, recently revealed he promised his father that he would be a ‘millionaire’ by the time he was 30
‘I always knew, I always knew I’d be a huge success. I need to put more hours in than anyone else because I’m not naturally got what everyone else has got.
‘And I have to be more vocal. I have to how people what I’m doing and so on, and it’s worked because I’m one of the biggest brands in the world in my opinion.
‘I’ve been kicking down doors for years and I’m opening stores worldwide. When I get one in America, I open one in Canada. When I get one in Canada, I go for the next one in Australia.
‘I feel like that whole underdog thing and my story and my background has a big part to play in it. I’m not a normal person.’
Tommy’s interview comes after 5 Live launched Word Matters, a new network project drawing attention to the estimated nine million UK adults who struggle with reading and writing.
‘I always knew I’d be a huge success’: Tommy said he’s always been confident of his money-making abilities (pictured with Georgia and their adorable dog Monkey)