ADHD, ADHD Symptons

7 Mistakes To Avoid When You Are An Entrepreneur With ADHD

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A study on ADHD entrepreneurship showed that when an entrepreneur with ADHD is pitted against those without ADHD they perform better. But, there are some easy mistakes that I have spotted in the ADHD clients I coach that are foundational to success once you stop doing them.

Entrepreneur With ADHD Mistake #1 Not Having A Routine

Yes, a routine is possible when you have ADHD—don’t believe the naysayers.

Where a morning routine gives you the ability to be productive AF with ADHD

An evening routine helps you to have the right energy to complete the key tasks to actually accomplish them

Mistake #2 Not Delegating Boring Tasks

Let’s face it there are tasks that are just boring and even on medication these tasks are not worth your time or energy.

When an ADHD entrepreneur first joins my program, the majority struggle with the art of delegation.

Often, these professionals want to feel that they are in control; essentially, they sabotage their success themselves by being sticklers, as they believe the lie that only they can do that particular task good.

The truth is, it’s down to having trouble breaking down the planning process, which is an executive function deficit. Once you know how to plan in a way that your brain is wired, it becomes easier to delegate as you have a clear process that leaves little room for mistakes, that anyone can follow them.

Entrepreneur With ADHD Mistake #3 Not Taking Enough Breaks

There is a myth that if you pause when in hyper-focus mode, you end up having difficulty restarting, lose momentum or forget what they were doing all together.

5-Minute breaks will help to refuel your cognitive functions, so your brain is primed to work in high-performance mode

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The truth is, taking breaks make you more productive, because when you’re working from your deficit, you are more likely to make errors.

As you know, going back to correct errors takes more time the more errors you have.

And in turn, when you’re working from your surplus, you speed up your progress because you have more clarity and presence when you’re taking action.

Research has shown that people who take “better breaks” experience better health and increased job satisfaction – following a “better break” (earlier in the day, doing things they preferred) led workers to experience less somatic symptoms, including headache, eyestrain and lower back pain after the break.

Better breaks isn’t about filling your 5 minutes with non-work-related tasks, it’s the enjoyment of the activity, the want not the need!

So what do better breaks look like?

Breaks that are physically active – That get you up and moving, touching, smelling, talking – active. Stretch, juggle , do some jumping jacks, put your diffussor on and smell some essential oils.

Better break ideas are included your pleasant list –

Pleasant lists are part of DBT, where I encourage a list of activities that help you to regulate your emotions, from domestic to passive to sensation seeking. Grab the pleasant list here (opt in not required)

Mistake #4 Not Hiring An ADHD Coach

ADHD is a cognitive difference, and many ADHDer’s will have difficulties in executive function areas as well as healing from traumatic experiences despite a strong desire and attempts to overcome these difficulties there will be oceans of shame when these difficulties become barriers.

Traditional methods of coaching, while effective, will often not work for someone who has ADHD!

There is a good case that traditional coaching could do more harm than good if your symptoms and needs are invalidated from a “well meaning coach” (oh the stories I can share).

One example I recall is when I went through Access to Work to get support when I started my first business and received support from a SEN specialist.

Having a tutor help me with my business wasn’t the right support even though she was an “expert” in ADHD.

An example of this “inapprpiate support” was when I shared one of my proposals I was sending for funding.

Long story short my proposal ws ripped to shreds by this ‘coach’ who loved to use her blood like red pen and cross out my work like it was going out of fashion.

I was crushed and wanted to throw my business in the trash (yes rejection sensitive dysphoria had its foot on my neck).

But back then as a people pleaser I didn’t know how to advocate for myself so I sat in my pool of shame

The problem with not getting the right support means that if you’re not feeling supported then you’re not generating more income and then you can’t get further support.

As an ADHD coach, I use gamified, data-driven assessment tools, so we work from a strengths-based approach that focuses on your patterns, strengths, learning style, performance, and how you interact with the world in a holistic way, interested in learning more, book your FREE ADHD Coaching Consult here

Entrepreneur with ADHD Mistake #5 Not Being In A Progressive Community

Your ADHD network is your networth, so who you choose to spend your time with will make you or break you.

Join my FREE community of neurodivergents here

Mistake #6 Not Having Strategies for Your Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria

Rejection is part of the entrepreneurial journey and knowing how to process criticism is pivotal to success.

When you suffer from RSD you can end up avoiding the very task that just needs tweaking in order to produce great results.

The reason behind avoidance is due to a lack of metacognitive skills (something that is not readily available to the ADHD brain).

So as an ADHD coach, it’s my job to empower clients so that they understand how they think and learn (in other words, a process of metacognition), so the tools and strategies that they use help.

Metacognitive skills are strategies applied consciously or automatically during learning, cognitive activity, and communication to manipulate cognitive processes before, during, or after a cognitive activity

(Flavell, 19761979). 

Examples are executive function processes such as verbal mediation, self-regulation, planning, judgment, and self-monitoring.

ADHD Metacognitive skills

That’s one of the reasons I created the Rejection sensitivity journal for ADHD as a way to incorporate a reflective practice, because those with ADHD can often avoid being reflective.

Success as an ADHD entrepreneur is dependent on before, during and after or what I like to phrase as the 3 P’s pre-production, production and post-production.

Many of my clients believe that making mistakes is the enemy (due to the pain associated with criticism, so in the past they have taken longer to complete tasks (we are talking up to 10 times longer) or don’ts start them at all. But the first step in progression is self-awareness.

Mistake #7 Not Utilising Automation

The algorithms are not more important than your mental well-being.

Entrepreneurs are screaming up and down the entrepreneur hallway that, using scheduling tools are a no no

But any business that you run that doesn’t use automation tools is why that you can’t maintain because we have other things to do

And let’s face it, we have other interests

Implementing automation into your life gives you the ability to follow through with your intentions

Sources:

Better breaks research

What are Metacognitive skills?

We believe neurodivergents should be celebrated, not just tolerated, so we help to build neuro-inclusive workplaces.

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Mail: team@ruth-ellen.com