According to the statistics, the percentage of successful entrepreneurs with ADHD out numbers ADDers in the general population. Clearly there is an advantage to being ADHD if you are an entrepreneur. Your hyperactive imagination is a constant source of new ideas, your enthusiasm is contagious to your work-mates and you are driven to see through your wild ideas. But being an entrepreneur requires habits that may come easily to some neuro-typical people but not to you—at least not in a consistent way.
If you are ADHD and contemplating rolling out your own start-up there are the key habits you’ll need to work into your business life that increase your odds of success.
Here are 10 essential habits for the ADHD entrepreneur
- Plan your day in advance
In business, it’s easy to let other people’s priorities run your day—phone calls, emails, appointments, meetings—it never ends. Be the ADHD entrepreneur who plans the day in advance, before the mayhem begins. But don’t just make any old plan—make sure to block out time for your most important priorities.
- Get proper nutrition and exercise
This simply can’t be overstated especially for an ADDer. Being a focused and emotionally even keeled ADHD entrepreneur is about your body just as much as your brain. If you don’t take care of your nutrition and daily exercise, you aren’t going to be at your best. Drink a lot of water, eat breakfast and get your body moving. You’ll be much more successful as a result.
- Position yourself to serve
This is where the ADDer has a great advantage. You are keen to make your customer as excited about your product as you are and to contribute something hugely valuable to their lives. That might come through in the way your products make their lives easier or the way your customer service efforts delight them. Either way, making the most of the unique talent you bring to customer service as it is one sure way to make your ADHD an asset.
- Set clear goals
Goals are not often something the ADDer slows down long enough to think about but are key to success. Knowing your goals will keep you going when things get tough and give you something to focus on when you’re not sure what to do next. But your goals shouldn’t just focus on the long term. Have long-term, mid-term and short-term goals. Doing so allows you to plan your days and weeks with unmatched focus, knowing exactly what you’re shooting for. If you struggle with prioritizing and everything looks equally important, get some help either by using a prioritizing app, tapping a colleague for a different perspective or a work with a business coach.
- Take calculated risks
Risk taking is what ADHD entrepreneurs excel at. When people think of entrepreneurs as those who take crazy risks just for fun—that’s the ADHD entrepreneur. But while the risks you take may be crazy to those without an entrepreneurial mind, in reality, they’re calculated. Or, at least, they should be. If you’re the type of ADDer who jumps in without knowing, (or asking the right person) about the numbers and probabilities behind your course of action, you might not last long.
- Know what your strengths are
This is key for anyone with ADHD. Successful ADD entrepreneurs must have a good handle on what they are great at and when to, shall we say, delegate. Know your own strengths and weaknesses, and take them into account with every business decision. It takes a lot of understanding of your ADHD as well as self-acceptance but it will pay great dividends when you know exactly who to hire, who to partner with and what skills you can offer.
- Hire A-team players
ADHD Entrepreneurs tend to have an excellent sense of who to pull onto their team from a life time of experience with asking neuro-typicals for an assist. To be a successful ADHD entrepreneur, you’ve got to hire the best people you can find that are willing to support your executive function. Doing so will help you create the amazing team that’s needed for success.
- Be open to learning
Great ADHD entrepreneurs never stop learning—about themselves, about their business, about what their customer wants—it’s part of the excitement that keeps them in the game. The moment you stop learning, is the moment you should think about selling up and starting a new venture.
- Look for how to improve
ADHD entrepreneurs don’t rest on their success. As an ADHD business owner, you realize that your focus changes quickly, and so does your business. To keep yourself interested and ahead of the curve, you’re always on the lookout for the next great thing for your business and your customers. You spot new trends in your industry and look for innovative ways to do the usual tasks.
- Evaluate your actions and priorities each day
To be a successful ADHD entrepreneur don’t let one day go by without doing a review. When you review your accomplishments at the end of each day, you’ll be able to celebrate your successes, as well as address your shortfalls. It’s a great habit to begin right away.
As an ADDer, you may have an advantage but there are habits you will need to adopt in order to be successful.