When you are a small business owner / entrepreneur with ADD the way in which your ADD symptoms manifest themselves can absolutely have a positive effect on your relationships with others. You may be outgoing and able to talk to many different people, for example. This ability allows you to easily integrate into a variety of social and business situations which may serve you well in building and sustaining your business.
However, many of you recognize that, depending on the context, your ADD symptoms may also prove to be a challenge in creating the types of quality relationships upon which the success of your business rest.
While the degree to which you can choose with whom you want to create business relationships varies depending on the nature of your work, the advantage of owning your own business is that you can choose! Knowing the qualities of people with whom you generally work well and, as much as possible, choosing to work with these people is the first step.
What qualities do the people (clients/customers, colleagues, employees…) you prefer to associate with possess?
What characteristics do you find more challenging?
As you are choosing with whom you want to do business, ask yourself:
Is this someone with whom I think I will work well?
If this is someone who I will find challenging, am I willing to manage those challenges and work with her anyway?
Being mindful of the ability to choose your business relationships can give you the latitude to cultivate relationships that enhance your ability to run your business well, rather than deter from it. The bottom line is that making a choice and being intentional in forming relationships that work for you will serve you and your business well in the long run.
While you do have some choice in who you work with, you also know that as a business owner you will inevitably have to work with people that may have expectations of you that you find challenging to meet. As much as you may work on managing the ADD symptoms that get in your way, they will appear. After all, no one is perfect! So, what do you do? First, be accepting of yourself. At the same time, acknowledge where you may have to do more work in addressing the ADD symptoms that hinder you from succeeding.
The next step is to identify the expectations of the people with whom you have business relationships. Then decide if you are willing to commit to meeting these expectations. Once you have made this decision, you can identify what gets in the way of meeting these expectations, whether ADD related or not, and create strategies that will help you meet them.
1. Be accepting of yourself.
2. Acknowledge and work on managing the ADD symptoms that are problematic for you.
3. As much as possible surround yourself with people with whom you work well.
4. Identify the expectations of people with whom you work.
5. Decide if you are willing to commit to meeting these expectations
6. Create strategies and routines that will help you to be successful.
In the next part of this series I will explore strategies for meeting the common expectations of entrepreneurs and small business owners.