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?