Strengths and Struggles of the A.D.D. Business Owner By Melody Edwards, Entrepreneur & co-owner, Homeserviceva.com
Many Business Owners struggle with Attention Deficit Disorder, better known as A.D.D.
I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30 years old, finishing college for the 4th time, running a window cleaning business, and raising a young child on my own. I was constantly overwhelmed, frustrated and never felt accomplished. Having a diagnosis changed my outlook and my life!
Instead of constantly feeling frustrated that the “right way” never worked for me, I finally felt free to create systems that worked for me. I read a lot of books on managing symptoms, got medicated, but continue to learn and remain curious about how my brain works.
A.D.D. & Business Ownership: A Challenging Journey
It can be a frustrating and challenging journey, especially for those who love us or work with us, but that’s all the more reason to keep working on yourself. If you commit to learning and growing, your life and important relationships will change for the better.
For those of us diagnosed, it’s a constant struggle to manage our symptoms, which can include disorganization, procrastination, distraction, indecisiveness, tardiness, and forgetfulness.
Starting tasks and projects is daunting. When I think of a project, every step floods into my head at once, along with all the little details that need to be considered. My thoughts overwhelm me and I shut down, then procrastinate until I’m closing in on my due date. That’s when my dopamine kicks in and I get it done! Works great for me, but not for those around me.
Breaking The Procrastination Cycle
This blog post is a great example of my indecisive procrastination cycle. I’ve been wanting to write about ADD and entrepreneurship for years, but there is so much to say, so I shut down and wrote nothing at all. To finally be held accountable to a due date was daunting, and getting started on this was a big challenge.
Some symptoms of ADD are actually superpowers for entrepreneurs. Creativity, risk tolerance, and resiliency are essential to success in business. We are great in a crisis, and prove it by putting out the fires we face daily in our business.
One of my superpowers is intuitively understanding solutions to problems even before fully understanding the problem itself. Instead of problem solving in a linear fashion, I tend to think spatially. I examine every detail. There is never a straight line to the solution, but instead a three dimensional database of ideas that come into my head all at once.
Although there is no magic cure, just know you are not alone! In one study, up to 62% of successful entrepreneurs identified as having traits consistent with an ADHD diagnosis. If you can become more self aware and learn how to manage your symptoms, you will find that success will be easy to find.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where I will share some simple tricks that have helped me manage my symptoms.