Updated: May 27, 2022
As a child I always had an impulsive nature often making decisions that were lets say 'a little dangerous' often you would here my mum and dad saying 'Daniel watch out for that……..' then would come a bang and ultimately a raft of tears as I made the trip to A&E for the umpteenth time. It never really bothered me and I learned to cope with how clumsy, impulsive & fidgety I was.
Back when I was at school there was no diagnosis of any sort for ADHD, you were either one of the naughty kids or the ones that were 'easily distracted', from my school report you would see that I was firmly in the easily distracted pool. It wasn’t until I was in my late 30's when I reached out for help with some mental health challenges I had that when received a diagnosis of ADHD.
Since diagnosis I have become more aware of my 'powers' (yes powers) and more importantly my coping mechanisms. I never thought it was strange to have so many bits of nothing on my desk that I would fiddle with, the best being 2 magnets which came out of a conference badge, this was well before the trend of fidget spinners hit the streets.
I would have everything on a list and had to focus on one thing at a time or I would be off with the fairies in neverland day dreaming about something irrelevant such as what would happen if my Darth Vader had a fight with Ironman…………
Anyway sorry I got a little distracted then.
I recently read an article regarding entrepreneurship and ADHD and I found it very fascinating. The article focused on the ADHD traits of tenacity, ingenuity, hyperfocus, creativity and others offer a strategic advantage in some business situations. The first thing I did was to look at myself and how I have progressed through my career to where I am today.
Here is the article
Risk-taking, impulsiveness, hyperfocus & curiosity, these are qualities we see from some of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, is it coincidence that these same traits and qualities are largely associated with attention deficit disorder? Is there a link between entrepreneurship and ADHD?
In some ways, the ADHD traits most commonly associated with challenges are the same ones lauded by successful entrepreneurs. Still, not all entrepreneurs with ADHD build strong, healthy businesses, suggesting that ADHD traits related to entrepreneurship are complex and may lead to positive and negative outcomes.
Harnessing the powers
It took me a while to find out who I was and how to get the best out of myself. Now risk-taking & impulsiveness might not be the greatest facet of a accountant so I am a true believer in the play to your strengths strategy in business. This means that you must find people in your team that play those roles while you use your own ADHD powers to take the business forward, this is exactly what we have at Simoda.
The creative brain
We have a regular office joke about marketing as 'the colouring in department' also 'don’t mess with the pantones' however my ADHD has helped our marketing strategy no end with interesting ways to communicate, website & social media, including using our own voice for blog posts like this.
Thinking about the future and where the business needs to be has always been a passion of mine, looking at what drives successful organisations and people forward and how technology can play a part in success and failure.
I can concentrate on tasks with some focus, yes I still get distracted but usually in a good way where I am being a nosey and often jump in on conversations that someone else is having if I feel I add value or can challenge. I wrote a blog on curiosity and how it didn’t kill me but made me better, my ADHD powers are full of me wanting to know how something works, why something is not working, how something delivers results it generally helps but can be a hindrance as well.
Here is a link to the blog post
If any of the above resonates with you then brilliant, you are not alone and yes you will succeed in the right setting and with the right level of support. Find an employer who sees your disability as your advantage and promotes your strengths, also find your coping mechanisms as soon as you can and you will only see success.
After many years in business I am still only at the beginning of my journey and having a diverse workforce who play to each others strengths is what success looks like.
Here's to many more years
I would like to add if you are suffering from ADHD symptoms and you cant find the help you want there are plenty of support groups around, however my email address is here so if you want a chat and learn how to harness your 'powers' then feel free to drop me an email.
Thanks for reading & obviously Darth Vader would win.
A proud MD of a fantastic company