9 min read

Understanding the Strong Connection Between Entrepreneurs and ADHD

Featured Image

Entrepreneurs and ADHD can make a pretty great combination. Just like anything, ADHD comes with both its strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly enough, though, when it comes to starting and running your own business, ADHD might just give you a step up.

We’ve had articles on successful celebrities with ADHD before, and many of those celebrities also happened to be entrepreneurs. This connection between entrepreneurs and ADHD isn’t a coincidence either. Studies have actually shown a strong link between people having ADHD and becoming entrepreneurs.

Still this hardly means that everyone with ADHD should start a business. Neither does it mean that every person with ADHD who does start a business will find success. For starters, not everyone with ADHD exhibits symptoms the same way. This is why some people have inattentive type ADHD and others have hyperactive-impulsive or combined type.

Ultimately, starting a business is challenging. Living with ADHD can be overwhelming. For some, putting the two together only spells disaster.

Nonetheless, there exists some kind of connection between entrepreneurs and ADHD. In this post, we want to explore this connection further. This post might give you some insights if you’re considering starting a business yourself. It might also give you some understanding into a loved one with ADHD who may want to start a business. Read on to find out more about where entrepreneurs and ADHD intersect.

Understanding Entrepreneurship through Weaknesses and Strengths

Many times you hear entrepreneurs described as unique people. In many ways, they really are special people. After all, it takes a lot of courage and determination to start a company and see it through to success.

With such a tremendous undertaking, in order to really see the connection between entrepreneurs and ADHD we should look at what defines these people. What defines or forms people with ADHD who may start a business happens to be their weaknesses and strengths. While weaknesses and strengths can’t provide a complete picture of a person, they can give you a glimpse into how people with ADHD succeed in running companies.

To understand the connections between entrepreneurs and ADHD let’s look closer at the weaknesses and strengths defining this relationship. Let’s start with the weaknesses and then move to the strengths. Through these, we hopefully will have a better understanding of what makes a person with ADHD a more successful entrepreneur.

The Weaknesses of Entrepreneurs and ADHD

We all have our weaknesses. Depending on our personality or disposition, some of us may find ourselves better suited to some pursuits than others. At the same time, though, while we all should accept our weaknesses, we shouldn’t let our weaknesses define us. Towards that end, no matter what weaknesses we may have, we might still thrive at some activities that at first wouldn’t seem like a great fit.

In looking at entrepreneurs and ADHD, at first you might find several things that just don’t seem to add up. Some weaknesses and symptoms of ADHD might first appear to destroy one’s chance at starting a business. When you look a little closer, though, you might find something quite different. Let’s look deeper at some of the weaknesses of entrepreneurs and ADHD, and why they may or may not matter.

Procrastination

For many years, many people saw individuals with ADHD as lazy or lacking motivation to complete even the simplest tasks. While this negative stigma of ADHD still persists in some circles, we have mostly gotten past this idea. Now, we understand more clearly that ADHD brains simply function and process things differently. This sometimes makes it difficult to fully engage with tasks others can easily check off.

While we understand that individuals with ADHD might not be lazy, still procrastination tends to be a major weakness for those with ADHD. Sometimes, procrastination crops up through distraction. Other times, it can involve avoiding pain or difficulty or simply having trouble focusing on a topic that your brain doesn’t have interest in.

For entrepreneurs, procrastination can kill momentum if you let it. For this reason, procrastination rates high as a major weakness for entrepreneurs and ADHD. If you never can get over procrastinating even in the small areas, your ambition and dream might never leave the ground.

Fortunately, procrastination can be overcome. Ways to stop procrastination dead in its tracks include setting reminders to alert you of things that need to be done. Additionally, you can get help either in the form of accountability with someone asking you about tasks you need to complete or through hiring someone to help with the small things that you just can’t get accomplished.

Another way to limit procrastination is through mixing activities you don’t like with things you do. Take a break from the boring paperwork every half hour to refresh your spirit with a quick jog or something to give you a brief reprieve. Then return to the activity you tend to procrastinate on until you get it finished. For more tips on beating procrastination, check out the ideas in this article.

Disorganization

Nothing can sink a company as quickly or as completely as disorganization. Disorganization acts as a plague and curse to many businesses trying to get ahead. After all, the level of organization can make the difference between being prepared when opportunity knocks and missing a once in a lifetime chance.

For many people with ADHD, organization gets out of hand because they simple don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, for entrepreneurs and ADHD, you don’t have to go it alone with organization in running a business. While this weakness might appear at first as an immense obstacle, many people with ADHD can find creative ways to get better at organization.

Organization might seem like an immovable obstacle, but the truth is that many people learn to get better with organization. For ideas on where to begin, you can check out our article on the top ADHD strategies for organization. You can also turn to technology to help. For instance, check out some great apps for organization in this list.

Yes, organization can present itself as a huge weakness for entrepreneurs and ADHD. With time and effort, though, like many of the weaknesses here, you can work to overcome and get better at organization. If all else fails, team up with a partner who complements your skillset and can help you with the organizational skills you need.

Forgetfulness

Along with disorganization, forgetfulness feels like a surefire way to sink a business. In thinking of forgetfulness, I can’t help but think of the forgetful Uncle Billy in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie, Uncle Billy is so disorganized and forgetful that he loses the company’s deposit and nearly sends everything into ruin.

While this movie is fiction, forgetfulness in business can really spiral out of control quickly. Additionally, forgetfulness does plague many individuals with ADHD. The good news happens to be, though, that through hard work, one can improve their memory and make ADHD and forgetfulness better.

In starting a business, you really need to learn to balance a lot of things all at once. Until they get their companies off the ground, many entrepreneurs must fill multiple roles. Filling so many roles would be challenging for anyone. For someone who struggles to remember some tasks, it can present even larger challenges.

Forgetfulness truly can act as a major weakness for entrepreneurs and ADHD. To help keep yourself on track, though, you need a way to remind yourself of tasks. This could happen through the use of to do lists or calendars or having someone check in on your progress. Another way to help yourself remember things is to get a mentor who has started a business in your field before. Lean on that mentor to help remind you of the many things you need to keep on track as you get your business started.

The Strengths of Entrepreneurs and ADHD

When it comes to entrepreneurs and ADHD, what we really want to key in on are the strengths. Most news and education have programed us to believe that ADHD only provides limitations and weaknesses to a person. While we never would want to say that someone with ADHD doesn’t have immense difficulties, we nevertheless believe that ADHD can provide tremendous benefits. Some of these benefits we might even categorize as super strengths of adults with ADHD.

The ADHD mind works slightly different from many other people’s mind. This can produce difficulties, but it can also offer great potential and opportunity. Much of this potential comes to the forefront when talking about starting and running a business.

For instance, if you looked up the common traits shared by successful entrepreneurs you will most likely notice some similarities with ADHD. We need to understand this connection better, though. Let’s look closer at the strengths of entrepreneurs and ADHD and what that means for starting a new business.

Creativity

When starting a new business you will run into any number of challenges and obstacles. The thing that really sets the companies that succeed apart from the failures, though, is their ability to think and respond creatively. For entrepreneurs and ADHD, the strength of creativity cannot be understated. Creativity might provide the largest reason that many people with ADHD go into business for themselves. They have ideas and they want to express them in more innovative ways, so they start something altogether new.

ADHD and creativity go hand in hand for many individuals. If you have ADHD, you should delight in this idea and learn to find more ways to express your creativity. While you might never fit into the 9 to 5 corporate environment that doesn’t meant that you should shun your creative tendencies.

Rather, you should give more license to your creative pursuits to shine. If you find yourself wanting to be more creative, seek out more opportunities that you would enjoy. You can look for community opportunities for things like painting or gardening or theater. If you want to learn a new trait or skill, look for classes in those things at your local community college.

Starting a business might not be the best route for every creative individual. For many, though, it could eventually head that way. The best way to find out if that might be something for you is to start small with something you like. Really get into using your creativity and find out where it takes you. If you see an opportunity to turn it into a business, you might just find out that being an entrepreneur really fits you, as well.

Risk-Taking

Inherent within starting anything new is risk. You can’t start a business without facing some kind of risk. Many entrepreneurs in fact face substantial risk both personally and financially when seeking to start a new company. Simply the idea of risk keeps most would-be entrepreneurs from ever getting started. For some people with ADHD, though, this element of risk might make the whole proposition that much more enticing.

Risk-taking comes naturally to many people with ADHD. Whether driven by boredom or a need for change and new things, people with ADHD simply gravitate towards the new and exciting. They want to push the boundaries and try new things.

For entrepreneurs and ADHD, risk-taking can provide a significant strength. While not every risk will pay off, you absolutely must take some risks in business. If you feel that starting a business might be right for you, you need to know what risk you can take on and be comfortable with the uncertainty that risk-taking involves. Many people with ADHD will be just fine with this aspect of starting a business. If you don’t feel comfortable with risk, though, you might want to look other places than becoming an entrepreneur.

Hyperfocus

Entrepreneurs need to take risks to find success. They also need to have focus on the things that really matter for their business. While focusing on some tasks might present challenges for those with ADHD, focusing on things that they are passionate about might actually be easier for individuals with ADHD.

For entrepreneurs and ADHD, this is where the ability to hyperfocus comes into play. Sure, distractions usually limit the work productivity of many with ADHD. Nonetheless, some things just seize the attention of some individuals with ADHD leading to a hyperfocus intensity. This hyperfocus can drive a person starting a business to spend all their effort and energy into making a business work. While this approach might not be sustainable over a long period, it might just be what a new business needs to get off on the right foot.

Many people might give up or tire out when faced with challenges or difficulties. The ADHD individual, on the other, who has hyperfocus on a particular task might press forward when others give up. This unique strength can give individuals with ADHD a leg up in finding success as an entrepreneur.

Seeing the Connection Between Entrepreneurs and ADHD in the Weaknesses and Strengths

People with ADHD aren’t superheroes, though, some of them might do courageous acts. People with ADHD also don’t have any golden ticket for finding and becoming successful. Rather, they, like everyone else, have both their weaknesses and strengths that they grapple with everyday. In those strengths and weaknesses, though, might just lie a unique ability for ADHD individuals to find more success in starting and running businesses.

Starting a business really isn’t for everyone. For some, though, becoming an entrepreneur might just be the ticket to a rewarding career. Entrepreneurs and ADHD might just have a unique link that makes someone with ADHD especially suited for starting a business.

If you have ADHD and wonder about your career path, you might look into starting a business. Still, just because you have ADHD doesn’t mean that becoming an entrepreneur will be a right fit, though. It may be, but it also may not be. Read up as much as you can on what running your own business looks like. Consider what other ADHD friendly jobs might be available.

Talk to others that know you well on whether this path might fit your personality. In the end, if everything seems to line up, you might try starting a business on for size. You might then also find the right fit you’ve been looking for.