Thom Hartmann redefines ADD as “A Different Perception” and wrote in his book, The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child, that people with ADHD
…may instead be our most creative individuals, our most extraordinary thinkers, our most brilliant inventors and pioneers.
I think he is right!
If you are an entrepreneur or independent professional and have ADHD, you are probably intimately familiar with your challenges. And you may blame your ADHD for many of these.
But, do you know how your ADHD has helped you to be successful? What if you used your ADHD to propel you to succeed?
If you are an entrepreneur, thinking of becoming one or just have an entrepreneurial approach to your life and / or work, you can harness your ADHD so that it is one of your greatest assets. Successful entrepreneurs with ADHD have figured out how to do this.
Who Are They?
David Neelman, JetBlue Airways CEO and founder credits his ADHD for his creative thinking, which led him, among other accomplishments, to create the e-tickets that we all take for granted now. He also attributes his ADHD with his ability to hyper-focus, saying:
“One of the weird things about the type of [ADHD] I have is, if you have something you are really, really passionate about, then you are really, really good about focusing on that thing.”
Peter Shankman known for his new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing and advertising has been described as “crazy, but effective” by Investor’s Business Daily.
Shankman agrees. In fact, In a letter he wrote to his 15 year old self when he turned 40 he credits his ADHD for his success, writing:
“It’s not a disability, it’s an ability. It means your brain runs faster, and at a higher RPM level than most people’s brains. And once you learn to manage it, it’ll be an awesome, awesome thing. Get ready to enjoy it. — ADHD is actually awesome, if used correctly.”
Paul Orfelea, founder of Kinkos attributes his ADHD for the energy and creative thinking that led to his creative business ideas, sharing that
“With ADD, you’re curious. Your eyes believe what they see. Your ears believe what others say. I learned to trust my eyes. — Because I have a tendency to wander … I never spent much time in my office. If I had stayed in my office all the time, I would not have discovered all those wonderful ideas to help expand the business.”
Do you share some of the traits of an entrepreneur with ADHD
Out – Of -The – Box Thinking
Your have lots of ideas. They come fast and furious. In fact, you likely generate more ideas than you can possibly act on.
You dream big. Your may also be an intuitive thinker, able to see unique solutions and possibilities. When you share your ideas with other people, they might alternatively respond with “that is amazing” or “that is crazy.”
Crazy can be good! Where would we be without “crazy” ideas, like, uhmm, the light bulb, phone and car. The inventors of these were thought to have ADHD!
When you latch onto an idea that you are passionate about your energy know no bounds. And, when you can channel this energy effectively, it gives you the drive to persist in pursuing your vision.
Without this excitement for your ideas you may just give up.
Ability To Hyper-Focus
Once you find something that you are passionate about, you may have the power to hyper-focus on that one thing and get it done.
This ability to direct your energy in a laser like way can help to execute on your ideas, rather than allow them to just take up space in your head.
One key benefit is that being able to hyper-focus allows you to block out distractions that might ordinarily get in your way because of your ADHD
Tolerance For Risk
If you have your own business, you already have some tolerance for risk. And to be successful you have to continue to make decisions all the time that have some degree of chance.
- Should I create product x or product y?
- Will the launch of service x be successful?
- If I hire Bob to redo my website, will I bring in more clients and make more money?
- Is the investment in training from Sally worth it?
- Will this blog post accurately reflect my brand?
Sure, some decisions may be more calculated than others.
But being willing to take a jump off the high dive when others may not is one of the assets of having ADHD.
And essential to having a thriving business.
When you get an idea in your head you may forge ahead quickly.
You don’t wait to get the green light from others or to explore all other options. This capacity to be decisive is also critical to building a business, rather than remaining stuck on the same old path.
And, once you make a decision that you are sure of, you do not want to alter your course. This determination helps you to persevere and take risk in spite of the odds.
Juggling many balls at once is seen by many as one of the hallmarks of many entrepreneurs with ADHD. Being able to multi-task when the tasks are related to a common goal can work well for you, and may suit your need to combat the boredom of a slower pace.
This ability to multi-task can also be well suited to the demands of today’s work world.
Of course, the trick is finding that sweet spot between just enough and not too much.
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
I bet there are many more ADHD attributes that you could probably point to as helping you in your business and life…
These qualities characteristic of your ADHD are ones that can help you whether you use them in your own business, your work or, perhaps a hobby.
And, while you have reached some measure of success, maybe you are not quite where you want to be. You may be ready to harness your ADHD characteristics to your benefit, but are not sure how to do that.