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Do left handers do business differently?

Left-handed business peopleALH owners Keith and Lauren (both left-handers of course!) have found over the years that left-handers in business do think differently and tackle problems in different ways.   Our own surveys and the results of various research projects do seem to indicate that there are more successful left-handed entrepreneurs and business people than the percentage of lefthanders in the population would suggest.

 

We think that people like Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) succeeded as entrepreneurs in part because being left handed encouraged them to challenge convention and think differently to come up with creative solutions to problems.

In recent years, psychologists have hypothesised that,  rather than being a sign of awkwardness or evil, being left-handed may actually be a sign of a strong right brain and, as such, superior language skills and creativity. There are certain cognitive domains where left-handed people do seem to excel. One such area is called “divergent thinking,” or the ability to generate new ideas based on existing information which must be pretty useful if you are running a business.  There are plenty of examples of successful business people that bear out these ideas.

5 left handed traits that help in business:

It doesn't really prove a point to trot out a list of famous lefties as there are sure to be many more famous right-handers who have been successful in business as well, but here are a few more well-known examples:

  • Steve Jobs (Apple)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
  • Oprah Winfrey (TV presenter and billionaire businesswoman)
  • Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine)
  • David Rockefeller
  • Lou Gerstner (former head of IBM)

Sharing business success

If you are a left-hander and run a business of any type or are thinking about starting an online business, we would love to share what has worked for us in developing the Anything Left-Handed business and hear about any approaches, training, resources and tools that have worked for you.  Just enter your details below and we will send you some more information by email.

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16 comments on “Left handed business
  1. GORDON AMGOTT says:

    I AM INTERESTED IN EXPANDING MY ACCOUNTING BUSINESS.

  2. Marvin Jones says:

    I own A Barbershop in Midtown Atlanta.. with the desire to diversify my clientele..

  3. Rod Murdison says:

    I am a ‘homestay’ teacher of English (foreign nationals live here for full immersion training).
    However it is very hard to get known internationally, I don’t sell a product for export, it’s a service only obtainable here – the nearest comparable would be tourism.

    I studied for both a degree and a Masters in Linguistics and interestingly, there is a theory that (on average) women are better at languages than (the average of all) men because the two halves of the brain are more closely connected. Next on the list are gay and/or left-handed men and men with the ‘accountant’/’higher maths’ type brains, generally find language learning the hardest – only a theory!

  4. Alecia says:

    I live in Sydney Australia and I am trying to get a event planning business off the ground but its not just any events business I make the cake, flowers and stationary like the invites and help plan the event. If I can I will even make anything else that the clients asks for. It’s never been thought of here in Australia and I have had at least one person copy me though they longer do half the products I offer. I am qualified in floristry and been decorating cakes for since I was 14yrs old (I’m now 30) won awards for my cakes and been a few mags. I also volunteer in the local SES (state emergency services) which is a bit hard being a lefty as everything is right handed like chainsaws.

  5. Ava says:

    Hi Iam surprised that my mail went threw , one of my struggles with learning how to do hair is because it’s such a visual and hands on industry , witch is good and why I got into it is watching a wright handed teacher demonstrate haircut were I would use different scissors and the demosator is on the other. Thing seam upside down and Sissor are backwards. But I got it some how and this is we’re my invention come in to help thanks everyone

  6. Ava says:

    Hi out of quiresty are left handed people more likely to be dislexic ADHD with learning differiances . I do have all of them and identy and emotional problems enough of that my life has been such a challenge , I am a hairdresser / business owner . Iam fifty there and Iam not working because of depression and identity struggles. I do have a lot of ideas and have a invention that wil be cheap to make and great for the beauty industry. Being dislexic add can’t seam to develope it without help so this is something I was hoping I could develope and change my life but may its all a fanticy In my head I don’t know but I would like to share this idear with some one sorry about the spelling but If I try to fix everything nothing will get done Evan if it just a idear thank you

    • Keith says:

      Hi Ava
      Yes, there does seem to some link between left-handedness, dyslexia and various other learning difficulties. I wil email you direct about you idea.

    • Pamela (Foster) Garrett-Jones says:

      How very interesting of the link to ADD, I also fit with that as well, and worked myself out of so many jobs because of my speed. Thank you for sharing that. My son, also left-handed, the only of my 4 children, is ADHD. Hmmm, very interesting.

  7. Chris Toppin says:

    Thank you for putting this together. I can’t wait to see what emerges from this blog. I am left-handed and I’m curious to know what careers/jobs there are out there that might be beneficial to be left-handed. For instance, when I was young I was hired to work as a waitress in a local restaurant, but was quickly promoted to a bartender when they realized that I was left-handed, because right-handed people could only work on the left side of the bar, and when it was busy, needing 2 bartenders, they couldn’t find people who could work on the right side of the bar which was set up for left-handed bartenders. I’m wondering what other jobs or careers are out there that businesses would benefit from having left-handed staff.

  8. raul says:

    MI primer idioma es el español no soy muy bueno escribiendo en inglés.
    Ok.
    Desde muy pequeño he tenido ideas sobre avances tecnológicos ideas que algunas las he visto desarrolladas por otros pero desde otros puntos de vista que no es el mío. Puedo decir que el ser izquierdo me ha sido en un 30% de estorbo y un 70% de ventaja. Me gustaría compartir mis ideas pero me tomaría mucho tiempo pero gracias por permitirme exponer brevemente mi caso.
    Gracias:

    Raúl.

  9. Betsy Shulman says:

    I’m not a leftie, but I always wanted to be… I even tried to learn to write with my left hand. Except for that, I’m a Lefty in every way. After plunging into the world of business three years ago, I’ve come to realize that I process things differently, and have a rough time following directions if I don’t know why I’m doing them. I need the big picture first in order to stay motivated. Staying on task when it requires repetitive action is nearly excruciating, and I’ve had to fight my desire to put a creative touch on everything I do. (That’s my favorite form of procrastination.) Now that I’ve experienced the frustrations and rewards of developing a marketing business on the right side of my brain, I’m using that experience to help other people with left-handed tendencies to market their business from the perspective that works for them. I’ve named my website “Marketing For Lefties” so folks with an artistic mindset or who do things “differently” might find it. It’s frustrating when the rest of the world expects you to think the way they do. I’m glad to find other people who recognize that we lefties approach “non creative” areas, like business development, in a different way than the majority. Thanks for the opportunity to share!

  10. Anice McNamee says:

    I was very interested to read about the possibility of a leftie business forum. I run a craft design business and myself and my partner are both left handed! I ave never thought about it having any sort of effect on the way I run my business but reading through other peoples coments I realise that it does! I would be very interested in a forum where I could receive and possibly even give advice to other business owners.
    Anice

  11. Emanuela Oanes says:

    I’m proud being a leftie ( I wasn’t that proud when I went to school and my communist teacher punished me) and it always made me feel special.I’m from Romania,Transilvania and I run a bridal shop which is not just a business it became a passion even if this year things didn’t work as I expected.I ignored some signals from the market and at the end of this season I feel like I need to learn more about business ( I started my business in 2001).
    Emanuela

  12. G Ruth Sterman says:

    I am a direct marketing business owner. I have no idea about the number or success of lefties in this area, but would like to be kept informed.
    I also work in child-care and have had to make many, many right handers aware of the specific problems faced by leftie children. Maybe someone out there would like to collaborate on a project to bring our issues to rightie teachers/childcarers?

    • Laura P. James says:

      Greetings,
      Love being a lefty. My mother, sister, two brothers and I all lefties. I make it my business to invite others into my lefthanded world. How? Designs lefthanded card, brochures and insist that others when using my computer to return the mouse to it’s lefthanded position. I love celebrating lefthanded day with my summer youth participants. On August 13th I reserve the front seats for lefthanded participants. They all feel so very special. We need more lefthand desk in the classrooms.
      Power to the lefties….
      Laura Priscilla

  13. admin says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments that have been sent to me direct using the contact form. I have pasted some of them here to give you a flavour of the interest we are getting in this idea.
    ———————————————————
    I think that you’re on to something. I’m a proud left-hander and have been a Quality Engineering and Change Management consultant for several years. I have noticed that a large number of my left-handed clients do indeed think differently (or correctly).
    This basis often dictates the methods needed for training and may explain why some of the more “traditional” consultants fail to achieve results.
    I would be more than willing to help others with process improvement via an online forum if such a forum existed
    Philip
    ———————————————————
    I’m from Montenegro, I run a travel agency for 1 years. I am left handed, as well as my sister, my daughter, my nephew, my sister in law, and also my late grandmother was also one of us. If I can help anyway, please let me know.
    Regards from Montenegro, Stanka
    ———————————————————
    Cannot wait to see what you come up with!
    Amy, Mississippi
    ———————————————————
    Yes we do think differently. I am looking forward to talking to a group of people that think like I do.
    Rita
    ———————————————————
    Business consulting, economic development,energy efficiency. I like the idea of a left-handed business network.
    Bill
    ———————————————————
    Hello, I too believe thinking outside the box is what has gotten me ahead. I have published my own local newspaper, taught myself computer graphics and made a business from it. I also do freelance writing and own an online business consulting site as well as an online gift shop. I would be happy to help fellow lefties to maximize their business and give advice.
    Toni
    ———————————————————
    I would be interested in joining this club. I own a medical transcription company in New York, USA.
    Linda
    ———————————————————
    I found your article very interesting, and personally I feel very strongly that lefties have a very creative side to them that is an asset in the changing world of business. I am currently CEO of a management consultancy, and I personally specialise in change management, business redesign & turnaround, and the people side of mergers & acquisitions. I am also a specialist in international Reward & Finance. I would be interested in assisting in any way that I can. I have studied at Harvard Business School, Fairfax and the OU.
    I am an active member of the Academy of International Business and have published two books to date on Change Management. Do let me know if you need any other details.
    Dr Rosalind
    ———————————————————
    A good friend, also a leftie and a member of the LHC, and I are currently starting a small partnership business of our own (teaching folk dance in primary schools) and are both steaming into uncharted waters as neither of us have any business experience whatsoever!
    However, having studied the strengths and weaknesses of left-handers for many years I hopefully am aware of ways in which we might run aground (e.g. strengths = seeing the big picture,solving problems creatively: weaknesses = missing important details, easily becoming distracted!) so hopefully will make a success of our venture. If I have time I will record some of the high and low points of our journey which might be of value to others. One that springs immediately to mind is my frustration at becoming swamped in the minutiae of regulations whist all I wanted to do was teach folk dance to kids (big picture).
    Any thoughts?
    Paul
    ———————————————————

    We will be putting all your ideas together and adding more of our own and will do an update for the next newsletter.
    Keith

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