Starting a business is a way for people with autism to make their own success in their own way. These four entrepreneurs have created thriving businesses and built global brands. Below, I’ve explained how you can take inspiration from their stories.
Satoshi Tajiri – Invented Pokémon
In 2018 Ryan Reynolds returned as Deadpool, staring as the Marvel superhero for a second time. 2019 sees the first man of Twitter as another hero, the cuddly yellow Pokémon called Pikachu. Reynolds has Japanese autistic entrepreneur Satoshi Tajiri to thank.
Satoshi created Game Freak in the 1980s with illustrator Ken Sugimori. Originally a video game magazine, by 1989 the Game Freak was developing its own games.
Eventually becoming a developer for Nintendo, seven years later the company released their most famous series, the global smash Pokémon. Since then the series has sold over 300 million games worldwide. This makes Pokémon second only to Mario as the most successful game franchises ever.
Satoshi says that he is on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum. While he doesn’t speak often about his autism, he’s a testament to the success autistic entrepreneurs can have.
Andreas Souvaliotis – Developed Carrot Rewards
Wellness apps are among the most successful on the globe. My personal choice is Headfirst. It’s a meditation app that’s designed to give you a better headspace and bring clarity to your life. Carrot Rewards is one of Canada’s best wellness apps and its developer, Andreas Souvaliotis, is autistic.
Carrot Rewards works by giving you loyalty points each time you make a healthy life decision. Among the things that earn you points are reaching your step count and completing quizzes about wellness topics.
Andreas was diagnosed as having autism when he was in his early 40s. His diagnosis helped him make sense of his challenges with social interaction, giving him the confidence to become an entrepreneur. Once you find confidence in yourself you can achieve anything.
Bonnie Arnwine – Created National Autism Resources Inc
1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Bonnie Arnwine’s son was diagnosed with autism in 1998. Ten years later she founded National Autism Resources Inc. — a business built to provide therapeutic tools to help people across the autism spectrum. Bonnie isn’t autistic but she’s an entrepreneur who’s helping people across the globe who have autism.
Among the items sold by National Autism Resources Inc are a range of therapeutic tools, school resources, gifts, and educational toys. Each is made to benefit the lives of people with autism by supporting their needs. Bonnie says that running the National Autism Resources Inc is more than a job, it’s a calling.
Bonnie’s path to becoming an online not-for-profit entrepreneur offers a great source for inspiration. If you have autism and have been inspired by Bonnie, it’s simple to become an online entrepreneur like her. Bonnie built a store and filled it with great research-backed products. All you need to do is find a great idea and set up your own store – WordPress is a great option for building your store, as it’s simple to use, comes with a great selection of themes, and allows you to start selling products via the WooCommerce plugin.
Spencer Kelly – Started The Expedition Soap Company
Spencer Kelly set up his own online store selling soap after his bike was stolen. His father gave him a loan to buy a new one, on the condition he paid the money back by the end of summer. He created ExpeditionSoaps.com. a week before turning 15 and has now made over $100,000.
Spencer’s business has been so successful that he was invited to speak at The World Conference on Autism in 2017. Here’s what he said about the experience: “I met many amazing people, including Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, Dr. Temple Grandin, and Dr. Hackie Reitman! I was immersed for the weekend in the world of Autism and it was awesome!”
Spencer was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was a child and suffered from motor tics. Therapy helped to cure his tics and today he’s one of the most successful autistic entrepreneurs under 20. Take inspiration from his story and you too can become a successful entrepreneur with an awesome business.
These four successful, autistic entrepreneurs are only the tip of the iceberg. There are countless men, women, boys, and girls who have started with their own businesses. Use the examples in this article to go away today and start yours.