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Launching a business can be a daunting task, especially when you have ADHD. It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, depleted, and rejected when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. If you’re struggling with these challenges, you might be experiencing rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD).
Another roadblock many ADHD entrepreneurs deal with, is low energy, which can make getting started really hard.
In this blog post, video and podcast, I’ll cover both roadblocks and provide solutions for getting past them.
What is RSD?
Rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD) is a condition that causes individuals to have an intense emotional response to perceived rejection or criticism. For individuals with ADHD, RSD can be especially challenging because ADHD already makes it difficult to regulate emotions.
Why is RSD Common Among Entrepreneurs with ADHD?
Entrepreneurship is a high-risk endeavor that involves a lot of rejection and criticism. When you have ADHD, the emotional response to rejection and criticism can be amplified, making it harder to move forward with your business.
RSD is a sneaky condition, because it can make you feel like a failure, even when you’re making great progress.
How to Overcome RSD?
Overcoming RSD starts with understanding that rejection and criticism are a natural part of entrepreneurship. It’s important to realize that not everyone will want what you have to offer, and that’s okay. Here are some strategies to help you manage RSD:
Understand your motivations and why you’re starting a business. This will go a long way when the going gets tough.
Create boundaries around things that are draining your energy. This starts with building a business that’s right for you and your personality. I’m currently working on a program that will help you do just that.
Getting enough sleep and take care of your physical health are must-dos. You simply won’t function well enough unless you’re feeling emotionally and physically at your best. This will also help to temper fluctuating energy.
Practice time management and prioritize tasks that light you up. This will also help with low energy. Also, understanding your capacity and how much you can realistically get done in a day is important for planning and output.
Seek support from a therapist, coach, or a trusted friend who can help with putting rejection into perspective.
What About Low Energy When Starting a Business?
Low energy is a common symptom of ADHD that can make it difficult to get started on tasks. ADHD affects the brain’s ability to regulate energy levels, which can lead to low energy and fatigue. Entrepreneurship can also be mentally and physically draining, which can exacerbate low energy levels.
This is something that I’ve dealt with in all of my businesses, but before I go further, I want to say that sometimes low energy is a physical thing, which can be managed. However, low energy can also show up when you’re not truly excited about what you’re doing. I think it’s worth calling that out because we can tend to be impulsive and start things that won’t retain our interest over time.
How Can You Overcome Low Energy?
Overcoming low energy starts with managing your physical and mental energy levels. Here are some strategies to help you overcome low energy:
Get enough sleep and workout daily.
Get outside in the sun every morning – you need that vitamin D to stay positive.
Create a routine and stick to it.
Prioritize tasks that are meaningful and energizing.
Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Use your energy wisely by breaking tasks down into small, manageable pieces.
Courses & Templates
Distraction to Action
A science-based productivity program that helps ADHD’ers define what’s most important and follow through on it.
Vision to Action
A template to help you clarify and align your strengths, values + personal needs with your intentions.
The Organized Business
A robust template for getting your business organized with trackers, workflows and project planning.
ADHD Entrepreneur Success Tips – What Works for Me
Launching a business with ADHD can be challenging, but it can also but super rewarding when you launch the right kind of business for your energy and interest.
When you understand the setbacks that can impact ADHD, like rejection sensitivity dysphoria or low energy, you can plan for them. When you’re prepared, you win.
Here’s what’s worked for me in terms of starting a business with ADHD. If you want more support, sign up for my ADHD Entrepreneur Program launching this fall.
Create structure and systems in your business to reduce ambiguity. The clearer you are on what you’re doing, the less likely you will be to spin out with mental drama. I created this template to help me do that in my own biz, and it’s been so helpful.
Understand your motivations and why you’re starting a business – this will help with staying power.
Create boundaries around things that are draining your energy. If your business is nothing but draining tasks, you won’t stick with it for long.
Get enough sleep and take care of your physical health. This is so important for energy management and brain health.
Prioritize tasks that are meaningful and energizing. I like to schedule my most energizing tasks for first thing in my work day. It tends to help me maintain focus longer.
Seek support from a therapist, coach, or trusted friend to help you with perspective when you get rejected.
Remember, entrepreneurship is a journey, and it’s okay to stumble along the way. With the right strategies and support, you can overcome rejection sensitivity dysphoria and low energy and build a successful business.