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Look What Donna Did!
As Published By Margie Remmers
Profiles in Goal Achievement
Donna Sheehan, Children’s Book Author with Dyslexia

How does a woman with dyslexia so bad she can’t even read her own shopping list become a renown children’s book author?

Faith, determination, persistence–and a large dose of positive attitude!

Meet Donna Sheehan.

When she was about 9 years old, Donna noticed that she always had messy handwriting–on purpose. “If the teachers couldn’t read it,” says Donna, “they wouldn’t know I couldn’t spell.” And since it was a small town in rural Australia, they had the time to go over her work with her verbally.

“I did well because I was marked on content,” Donna adds. “I had great comprehension, but I was a really slow reader, and I couldn’t spell.”

She did so well, in fact, that she was accepted at university and excitedly began studies in geology. “I got a perfect score in the field work, but when it came to taking exams, I failed every time.” And at college she didn’t have the support of her teachers like she did in her small hometown.

When Donna was younger, her parents had taken her to an optometrist. But, as is the case with most dyslexics, there was nothing wrong with her eyes. “No one would entertain the idea that there was anything that could help.”

It wasn’t until she got to college that she finally got the tests she needed–and some answers. She discovered that although her reading comprehension (such as reading an entire paragraph was 89%, her ability to read individual words was only 21%.

After the testing, she got much more support. “Once there was a label, they went out of their way to be helpful.”

She found that colored glasses and colored paper helped considerably (“At least the words didn’t jump off the page anymore,” she says), and the teachers gave her extra time to complete her exams, but it just wasn’t enough. She knew that if she continued in geology, the paperwork would always be a struggle.

So Donna went back to something else she had always loved–children. For several years she worked as a nanny and Gymboree instructor, but it wasn’t until she had children of her own that the idea came to write a series of children’s books.

When Donna was pregnant with their second child, her husband Dan was sent on a 6 week assignment to the States. They hated being apart for so long, and when he came back, they determined that it would never happen again.

So Dan went in search of internet businesses that he could run from his home.

While doing so, he became aware of the self development and personal wealth building techniques taught by such well-known experts as Napolean Hill, Wallace D. Wattles, and teachers from the movie The Secret, such as Bob Proctor.

Dan and Donna learned how to notice and pay attention to how your thinking affects your day. And when they applied the principles they were learning, their lives were transformed in seemingly miraculous ways: their own marriage improved, their children’s relationships with their grandparents became happier, Dan’s business boomed to the point where he was able to quit his job, and the Universe delivered the money they needed to buy a block of land and build a house–all in a relatively short period of time.

They underwent such a metamorphosis that Donna felt a strong desire to educate her kids, then just two and four years old, on how they could use these same principles in their own lives, so she went searching for children’s books on the subject.

Trouble was, there weren’t any.

So Donna explained the principles with simple words and stick figures on napkins and scratch paper.

Some time later, fate landed Donna in the front row of a special one day seminar conducted by Bob Proctor, David Schirmer, and Gerry Roberts. The topic was wealth building. The recommended method? Becoming an author. “You have a book,” they said repeatedly. “What is it?”

For Donna, the answer was clear.

Unable to find a publisher who would accept both her text and illustrations, she set out to publish them on her own–a five book series that kids can read on their own over and over.

“The response from children has been wonderful,” says Donna, and recently Mark Joyner, four-time best selling author and famed internet guru described “My Mind and Me” (the third in Donna’s “My Thinking Mind” series) as, “An awesome children’s book that will…have a positive impact on kids.”

Not bad for a woman who, though she can read books well enough, still struggles with deciphering her own shopping lists, as well as menus and promotional flyers–“Things that don’t have enough words for me to get the content.”

So what’s Donna’s advice for pursuing your dream and overcoming your own obstacles?

First, start small. “If a big step feels too big, take the little ones. The results just feel so good.”

Second, keep a gratitude journal and “fall asleep thinking about things you feel good about.”

Finally, Donna recommends a technique called “sleep instructions.” This simply means adding a sentence or two to the end of your journal to help keep your mind focussed on your goals while you sleep.

As Donna will tell you, you really can have what you want. But to have it, you must forget about the obstacles and keep in the forefront of your mind the things you really want to accomplish.

And for Donna, that means continually thinking up things that will make a difference in children’s lives.

If you would like to find out more about Donna and her children’s book series, visit her online at She would love to hear from you!

© 2008, Margie Remmers,