This is a subscriber-only article.

Save 33% on Entrepreneur+ during our Memorial Day Sale

Use code SAVE33 at checkout.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account?

Sign in
Entrepreneur Plus - Short White
For Subscribers

Taking Stock Failure after failure could not stop Charles Schwab from achieving huge success.

By Bob Weinstein

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If there are three themes running through Charles Schwab's life, they are: hard work, persistence and vision--in that order. Pursuing these ideals helped him to make San Francisco-based Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., the world's largest and most innovative discount brokerage house. Fortune magazine dubbed Schwab, 59, "the king of discounting." With 235 branch offices worldwide employing nearly 10,000 employees, the company chalked up 1995 revenues of $1.42 billion, a 33 percent gain over 1994. That's not bad for someone who, as a child, could barely read a simple sentence.

The keys to Schwab's extraordinary success can be traced to his childhood in California's San Joaquin Valley. From the moment he entered school, Schwab had great difficulty learning. He didn't understand the reason for his academic struggles until the mid-1970s, when his son Michael, then 10 years old, was diagnosed as having dyslexia, a learning disability that makes reading painfully difficult. Only at that time did Schwab discover that he, too, was dyslexic.

Rather than seeing things sequentially, the way most of us do, Schwab's world was more like a huge, three-dimensional crossword puzzle. He could easily absorb visual symbols, such as illustrations, drawings or cartoons, but deciphering straight text threw him. "If it weren't for the Classics Illustrated comics series, I don't know how I would have gotten through school," he chuckles.

The rest of this article is locked.

Join Entrepreneur+ today for access.

Subscribe Now

Already have an account? Sign In