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How I Run a Successful Business as Someone With ADHD

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Yes, that is correct, I live with ADHD and I own and operate a business. I have done so for 30 years. I have struggled with ADHD, undiagnosed and operated my business all the while, until about seven years ago when I was finally diagnosed and started receiving treatment. I deal with PTSD as well, but that is an entirely different story.

Truthfully, I still struggle with ADHD, but the struggle is nowhere near what it used to be. Treatment has allowed me to get on track, but the ADHD is still there, and still affects my daily existence.

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I am lucky because the business I am in is also my passion. It essentially was my hobby that ended up supporting me after being unable to get a job with the $25,000 education I received when I was 19.

Since my business is my passion, ADHD actually has helped me accomplish goals. Those with ADHD know that it can be a disability, but it can also be a superpower. It gives you an intense focus that is beyond what most average people can muster up. But, the flip side to that intense focus is that it only comes up when you are enjoying/are very interested in what you are doing.

So, running a small business on your own while dealing with ADHD can be difficult when it comes to getting those things done that you are not exactly interested in. Things like book-keeping, janitorial tasks, and other things that I lack interest in tend to get neglected, are done in a sporadic fashion, get put off, or not done at all for extended periods until a deadline of some sorts looms that forces me to finish the neglected task.

Over 30 years, however, I have managed to create systems that allow me to handle those uninteresting tasks, at least well enough that it doesn’t hurt my business.

Just because you deal with ADHD does not mean you are disadvantaged at running a business. It just means you run it differently than the next person. That does not have to be a bad thing; as a matter of fact, it can put you at an advantage over a competitor.

You’d think a business run with intense passion can’t but help be successful, but for it to be successful, you must still make sure you handle the other aspects of your business well. That doesn’t mean handling all those tasks yourself. Sometimes it means farming out the tasks you are not good at. Not great at accounting, for example? Get your books and taxes done by someone whose skills are in those areas.

ADHD may be thought of as a disability, but for those who deal with it, it can be treated as an advantage. The more you think positively about your ADHD, the more likely you will succeed in accomplishing your goals in the passion that is your business.

Getty image by Katherin Ziegler.

Originally published: February 7, 2022
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