Nathan Gohari left school early and opened his own business at 18 despite being told throughout high school his severe dyslexia would hinder his chances of success in life.
Less than a month ago he opened the Creative Sewing Centre in Seven Hills and the experience was a "reality shock" but a payback of sorts.
"I feel like I've proven wrong the people who thought I couldn't do anything because of my disability," he said.
"We are all people who can strive to do whatever we like. Everything is possible if we put our minds to it."
The Wentworthville resident was diagnosed with dyslexia at 15 when trying to find out the source of his problems at school.
"I was also told I had a higher-than-average IQ. I didn't feel happy at school and it wasn't worth all the stress of what I went through to do the tests if I wasn't getting the right support."
He left school two years ago and did a certificate in frontline management, certificates II and III in retail with TAFE and is now studying for a diploma in management.
"The adult learning environment was better for me and there was a better support structure.
"I wanted to aim to be an independent haberdashery supplier and I've done that.
"The reality of setting up a business hit me in the face but I'm so proud of what I've achieved.
"It's an experience that the average 18-year-old doesn't have but I really encourage more young people to take the plunge and set up their dream business."