ADHD Adults Shouldn’t Be Entrepreneurs?

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Opening the brand new premier issue of Success Magazine and reading up on Richard Branson, the poster child for ADHD entrepreneurs, I was reminded of a conversation I recently had with a client of mine. She’s an entrepreneur with ADHD whose psychologist told her that becoming an entrepreneur is one of the worse careers you get into if you’re an adult with ADHD because it lacks structure.

I was flabbergasted to be honest! I work with many incredibly successful entrepreneurs with ADHD. In fact, I feel that many ADHDers are perfectly suited for entrepreneurship. After all, they tend to be “Big Picture” thinkers who are great visionaries, very important qualities in leadership. Details tend to bore the large majority of ADHDers. They’re also adventurous risk seekers, and who crave high stimulation.

The biggest complaint my ADHD entrepreneurial clients mention is a difficulty with focusing on one idea at a time because they just have so many brilliant ideas. Their creativity allows them to be excellent problem solvers, often finding “out-of-the-box” solutions to seemingly impossible problems. They are easily distracted by their environment and are more likely than “neurotypicals” (adults without ADHD) to spot opportunities. They have unlimited amounts of energy and focus when working on projects they’re interested in.

Lack of structure can cause ADHD entrepreneurs to fail but it is far from insurmountable. It’s actually where I often come in for my clients. They’ve often been in business a while and now that it’s getting big they need help to create structures. They often struggle with projects because of it.

If you’re an ambitious adult with ADHD and you decide to start a business you’re passionate about and find people who can help you to manage your areas of weakness, you’ve got a better chance to succeed and be unstoppable despite the odds.

Richard Branson (Virgin Industries), David Neeleman (Jet Blue Airlines), and Paul Orfalea (Kinkos) are living proof that when you work on your strengths, channel your energy in passionate endeavors, you can be wildly successful ADHD Entrepreneurs.

What are thoughts on this?

4 thoughts on “ADHD Adults Shouldn’t Be Entrepreneurs?”

  1. Pingback: ADHDFamilies » ADHD Blog Entries Featured » Business and life coach thinks many adults with ADHD are perfectly suited to be entrepreneurs

  2. I’m relatively new in the entrepreneur space, and love the freedom and ability to create, not to mention the diversity of experiences and people. I do realize and appreciate, however, that I am more effective when I partner with others who have complementary executive functioning with mine. Otherwise, I risk getting caught in the weeds and losing sight of the big picture.
    I was diagnosed as an adult, and have learned so much about myself and how my brain works! My ADHD journey has taken on more meaning and is even more informed as a result of this venture. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

    1. Hi Kelly, Thanks for taking the time to write. Focusing on the Big Picture is usually a strength for creative geniuses but getting caught in the weeds as you put it can jeopardize your chance at success. The one thing that helps is to plan from the top down, that is, starting with the big picture. You might like my new report the Top 3 Productivity Hacks for Creative Genius Entrepreneurs at

      I wish you much success!

  3. Hi Linda, I know this was written a while ago but I have just discovered it.
    I am 36yo and have only recently been diagnosed with ADHD. I wish I had been diagnosed sooner as it may have helped me understand my weaknesses better. I have had 3 failed business attempts. All 3 started out great but as things grew I got overwhelmed and began to loose interest and struggled. I was always looking how to start and find the next big idea I had going around in my head.

    The stress and financial collapse from these failures have put my family and marriage under immense stress. I nearly lost the most important thing in the world to me. But I couldn’t see it. I kept making plans on how we would get out of the financial hole and it would never work out how I thought it would.
    I have started working for other companies now. I have worked my way up in my career to a six figure income but I have changed employers several times as I get bored easily.

    I don’t struggle with the work I struggle with the motivation once I have been in the role for about 6 months. It is no longer stimulating enough.

    I have had several business ideas since but have lost faith in my ability to execute them. Not to mention my wife said she would leave me if I try another business.

    I am still finding the right treatment at the moment as there is very long wait lists to get into psychiatrists. I am on a 12month wait list at the moment to be seen by a doctor who will attempt to qualify me to be medicated according to your medical system over here.

    Thanks for your blog it has opened my eyes to where I have gone wrong repeatedly.

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