Why My ADD Makes Me A Great Business Owner
When I was younger, I was a high achieving student, taking honors courses, and playing varsity sports. I was also working part time to full time, taking college courses, and having some semblance of a social life. While my grades had always been top notch, around sophomore year, they started to slide, and I felt like the life I was juggling became way too difficult to balance. So, my Mom and I went to the doctor, worked through a quiz, and bippity boppity boo, I was diagnosed with moderate ADD. After discussing various medication and non-medication options, I made the decision to manage it with coffee, with making lists, and to be cognizant that I easily lost focus. I became a list making queen, and still make lists to this day to help keep my brain and life feeling organized.
While my lack of attentiveness has made for some difficult times - like when I have a conversation with someone but only take away half of it (sorry, David), I actually see it as so much more of a positive aspect in my life. It was the beginning of becoming more self-aware, of noticing things that made me different, and understanding that I’m still here and okay, and it doesn’t make me any less worthy as a person.
What I’m not great at? Monotonous or overly repetitive tasks. I need to keep myself engaged in activities that are constantly changing, even if just a bit. Working a day job doing the same thing every day with little to no change is actually a soul sucking position for me, regardless of the pay. The two day jobs I’ve thrived in, included a huge amount of tasks, and were for smaller, dynamic companies, that constantly kept me on my toes. Was it slightly stressful at times? Yes, but I love being able to rubix cube and problem solve, so they were environments I absolutely thrived in!
Now for some of the positives that make running my own business the logical choice for me:
I can jump from task to task and not feel lost
I actually thrive when I’m in a semi state of change
Problem solving is my jam
I’m decisive (can be seen as impulsive - but my choices are thoroughly thought out)
I can have several irons in the fire at a time and keep multiple timelines
I’m a big world view person and love to structure things around me
But still, all of these can come tumbling down if I take too much on, and February through April every year is a time where I have to be extra aware of what I can and can’t do, or I drop balls, miss deadlines, and feel like my business starts to look a bit like a runaway train. Each year improves dramatically, and it helps me see and improve the stress points of my business, which allows me to pivot, and make improvements for the coming year. But, those feelings of falling short of my expectations and those of clients can start to feel overwhelming and even suffocating at times.
Today, I want to challenge you to change how you see societally perceived “negative” aspects of yourself. I want to hear from you how some aspect of your life that you deal with regularly makes you a better person or business owner? Maybe you’re more empathetic, you give those around you grace, you’re a killer sales person - I want to hear it from you and celebrate!