Choosing the entrepreneurial life is often a choice for those who don't fit the mould, or those who look beyond traditional methods to see if there's a better way to do things. One of the most famous examples of this is Richard Branson himself, who didn't excel at school, yet found business the perfect fit for the way he saw the world. Jordan Harry is the founder of StudyFast, a speed reading business that provides an accessible way for people to learn this skill, and therefore helping them to learn more efficiently. Jordan was inspired by his own experiences at school to find a better way for him and others to learn - and the rest is history. Here's his story.
StudyFast is the leading destination for students and professionals to learn speed reading. We help people read fast, remember more, so they learn anything faster. The StudyFast teachings expand beyond speed reading and focus on managing information overload by changing the way students and professionals manage information. Our speed reading training is unique because we combine workshops, web applications and an online course to teach people how to manage information overload by becoming an effective and efficient reader.
What made you decide to start your business?
When I got to university I realised that there was a vast amount of reading we had to do - yet no time is spent teaching students how to learn. Throughout education every subject gets progressively harder, yet the last lesson we had called ‘reading’ was when we were 12. This results in many students having difficulty keeping up with the ongoing information overload. Speed reading used to be a superpower only the rich corporates could afford to learn before I created StudyFast. After being frustrated with the outdated teaching techniques and high price tag I knew there was a better way for students and professionals to learn anything faster.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge came way before I started my business. During my childhood, I suffered from a severe speech impediment which held back my reading speed back by three years. Since then I have since dedicated my life to helping others unleash their true genius and brainpower to study anything faster. I knew that spending hours reading books and watching seminars was not as effective as it could be. I had to come up with a way to empower not only myself but the lives of others. I overcame this challenge by learning first-hand from America’s leading speed reader Abby Beale, and Clive Lewis, who owns the #1 professional development company in the UK. Safe to say, my motivation was kick-started.
What are 3 vital things you learnt in the early days of starting up?
- Your ability to learn and learn quickly is essential. Thankfully, as a speed reader learning quickly wasn’t an issue, but putting it into practice was stressful. Being able to go from website development to a sales call and then to post a creative piece of content on Instagram was not easy at the beginning.
- It’s good to learn from your mistakes but better to learn from others. I spent way too long doing things the hard way and doing it all myself. However, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to give you free advice if you just ask.
- Your network is key to your growth. I had a big social following before I started my business but was fearful of putting my work out to them. However, as soon as I did all it takes is one friend to share it with their 500 followers and then two of their followers take interest in your work and share it with their followers. And the cycle continues. Getting likes, comments and shares is vital if you want to be in front of new audiences.
What's been your biggest achievement so far?
It was the moment I figured out how to scale my business and created my online speed reading course ‘Speed Reading Mastery: Double Your Reading Speed In 7 Days’. Prior to my online course, I was delivering speed-reading workshops up and down the country and before I knew it I was exhausted and had no new clients due to the time I spent teaching.
Since creating the online course, I have taught over 1,000 students and professionals in over 60 countries. Additionally, I secured my biggest client (Deloitte) through the online course because an employee enrolled, really liked it, and sent it to the Learning and Development team.
Any other tips for those just starting out in business?
Become a stoic. In Will Durant’s book ‘The Lessons of History’ he states that “A nation is born stoic and dies epicurean.” Stoics believe in delaying instant satisfaction for long-term gain. Whether that’s reading a book for 10 minutes a day or reaching out to one prospect, as a business owner or budding entrepreneur, you’ll have days where you won’t feel like doing something. And it’s on those days when you don’t feel like doing it that you’ll grow the most.
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