Many CEOs and entrepreneurs have been speaking out about a diagnosis they have that has helped them achieve success. The diagnosis is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This condition is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD is commonly diagnosed in young people, but it occurs in both children and adults. It affects 5-10% of children and 4% of adults. Some common symptoms of ADHD include trouble focusing, forgetfulness, difficulty sitting still, as well as interrupting others while they are speaking. Not everyone with an ADHD diagnosis will have the same personality traits, but they may showcase some personal strengths including creativity, multi-tasking, risk-taking, resilience, as well as high energy which they can use to their advantage.
One study found entrepreneurs with ADHD are more likely to embrace new experiences and showcase passion and persistence. From the study, many participants stated boredom in their previous roles was the reason for starting their own company, so they can pursue their own ideas when they want.
The study found there are many strengths that fall under an ADHD diagnosis which are helpful for entrepreneurs with an ADHD diagnosis to achieve success. These traits include:
Impulsivity. This trait can be an advantage to not overthink decisions, as overthinking can lead to anxiety about a decision. Many entrepreneurs with ADHD believe that quick decision making is also a positive way of being productive.
Hyper focus. This is defined as the ability to zero in intensely on a project or activity for hours at a time, displaying an unusual level of concentration on something.
High energy levels. Some individuals with ADHD may experience endless amounts of energy. Having high energy levels can help an entrepreneur fuel their workload. Although they may not experience high levels of energy all day, the benefit of running your own business is being able to set your own hours.
Creativity. Individuals with ADHD may have a different perspective and approach to tasks and situations which allows them to be more creative when thinking about certain scenarios, ideas, or handling situations.
Knowing the strengths of ADHD and how to utilize them can be beneficial for someone with this diagnosis. Of course, there are many disadvantages and can be struggles when it comes to seeking treatment and finding the proper support that works for you or a loved one. It is important to note this is a manageable condition, and treatment is available.
Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.