Shawn Smith | 2017 Recipient of the Startup Canada Resilient Entrepreneur Award
“Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.”
Shawn Smith M.Ed., CCC is the proud founder and CEO of Don’t dis-my-ability consultation services Inc., a company specializing in the emerging field of Neurodiversity located in Fredericton.
Shawn’s story is unique in that he was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive Type at age 30. Before his diagnosis, Shawn struggled at every level of the public education system. It took Shawn four years to complete three years of high school, 32 attempts to earn the 18 credits required to graduate including failing grade 10 math four times.
Since being diagnosed and taking prescribed medication at age 30, Shawn has experienced a tremendous amount of self-growth in a relatively short period of time and has a unique understanding of learning, abilities and potential.
In 2010 Shawn was accepted to the Master of Education in Counselling Psychology program at the University of New Brunswick on Academic Probation and graduated in 2011 at the top of his class.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
SS: My business may be local but my market is global.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
SS: Focus on your strengths and find other people for whom your challenges are their strengths to help you.
SN: What is the one thing we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
SS: Keep doing what we are already doing!
SN: What is your vision for the next 150 years?
SS: I hope to see social entrepreneurs leading by example and filling the gaps that our government cannot address.
SN: What is your message to the world?
SS: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Once you experience this shift in thinking, the impossible becomes possible. I am the example.
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards?
SS: I went from relatively unknown to a national award winning entrepreneur.