In November, I had the absolute pleasure to speak about ADHD and Entrepreneurship with both Ashleigh King, Director of Nurture Your Zest and Dr Samantha Hiew, Director of ADHD Girls.
Speaking about ADHD and my very new observations of the wonderful people in my own entrepreneurial community is a little daunting. But I needn’t have worried. Both Ashleigh and Samatha are amazing, vibrant wonderful women who have overcome their own employment setbacks and who run their own show.
In great company, we touched on how trying to fit into the boxes and constraints of employment is really difficult for ADHDers. Our executive function can be poor, we can’t always finish “easy” tasks, we may need more breaks, or really quiet spaces or people nearby, and then there are the inevitable misunderstandings with colleagues and following instructions.
At work, I felt like I was a walking list of deficits; knowing that I needed to do better, wanted to do better, never understanding what “I’d done wrong this time”. It always outweighed my wins and achievements which were plentiful. But the shame that I often felt, berating myself to be better was overwhelming and exhausting.
What are the options for us ADHDers trying to carve a successful, fulfilling career for ourselves?
- Jump jobs, careers and industries at a high frequency, desperately trying to fit in (with all the turmoil that creates) or,
- Leave employment and work for ourselves (with all the turmoil that creates).
Often self-employment follows many years of trying to fit into employment.
But be heartened ADHDers. I am proof that within our own self-employment journey, there is so much JOY.
Our passion, ideas generation, drive, skills, hyperfocus and speed of output, empathy and perhaps even risk-taking, are all skills and traits that are highly valued and needed when you work for yourself. There are plenty of people who offer services to fill our own skills gaps. There is a ton of support for the self-employed out there (shameless plug for MINTBusinessClub.co.uk).
And the cherry on the cake: not having to answer to anyone else.
I hold myself accountable and set ridiculously high goals and targets. And I love working so I can use all my strengths in something I really, really believe in.
So a great big personal thanks to both Ashleigh and Sam for inviting me onto their shows, and if you’d like to catch up, you can find them here: