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ADHD Entrepreneurship has it’s own special challenges. Research shows we’re more likely to start businesses, but we’re also more likely to not follow through with them. Today I’m sharing my own ADHD entrepreneurial successes and lessons learned in 2022, with hopes that they help you in your own entrepreneurial journey.
So let’s jump right into my first lesson learned and success!
ADHD Entrepreneurs MUST Focus on Wins
All human beings focus on the negative. We are wired that way because our brains are designed to protect us. It’s called a Negative Cognitive Bias and as a result, we’re always scanning our environments for the negative. Our reticular activating system picks up those negative cues, and they sink into our psyche so that we remember our failures to avoid repeating them.
ADHD brains are even more hypersensitive to negative stimuli to the point where positive stimuli doesn’t even get a chance to enter into your brain (unless you’re intentionally making an effort to do so).
No wonder we’re so sensitive to rejection and prone to perfectionism and procrastination. The fear of actually starting something is terrifying because that idea of negative feedback can be really overwhelming for us.
This is why it’s so important that when things do go well, that we pay attention to them and you give them an opportunity to sink in. Making your subconscious aware that good things do happen and that you do things that are right, ensures that you build the confidence you need to move forward and take action towards your goal.
My Wins in 2022 as An ADHD Entrepreneur
I would say that my biggest win the consistency that I’ve demonstrated in my business as a solopreneur. So I am running the show solo here, I don’t like managing people. I like to do things on my own. So I’ve had to intentionally scale my business in a way that doesn’t leave me overwhelmed. That’s also been my biggest challenge this year, but I do think I’ve managed it well.
How I balanced ADHD Coaching and Content Creation
I chose the platforms I was going to put effort into and decided to deprioritize all the other places were I could potentially show up. For me, that was
- Youtube – because it’s a discoverable platform and videos have long term reach.
- My podcast – because I own the platform, and it’s an intimate way to communicate with my audience
- My website – because of SEO discoverability and again, I own the platform
- Email – I own the platform and it’s the most efficient way to reach my community
That means Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook got very little love from me this year. Tiktok wasn’t even on my radar. This may change in the future, but as a solopreneur who wants to stay that way, it was important to be selective and strategic with my time and energy.
I am happy to report that I successfully produced weekly content consistently throughout the entire year – without missing one since week.
As an ADHD Entrepreneur – Get Comfortable Taking Messy Action
You’ve got to start with messy action, y’all. The sooner you can get used to starting before your ready and taking action in the face of ambiguity, the sooner you’ll start feeling more confidence and motivation.
For example, I would never have grown my Youtube channel from nothing at the start of the year to over 3500 subscribers in December. When I started, I sucked at making videos. I still don’t think I’m really good at it, but I think I’ve improved by taking messy action and getting a little better with each video.
Allowing myself to not get mired in perfectionism has been the key to being prolific with my content throughout this year.
Create Systems that Work for Your ADHD Brain
Over the course of 2022, I focused on honing and refining my workflow so that it worked for me. At the beginning of the year, I was so overwhelmed with everything I had to do, but I looked for opportunities to streamline and minimize duplicative efforts.
That looked like focusing on one piece of content per week that became my video, podcast, email and blog post, rather than making different pieces for each platform. I also created templates that I could use over and over again.
Always Be Learning and Improving Your Craft
Back to that point about messy action – you have to let yourself be a beginner and and get the reps in so that you can get better at that craft. This year, my two goals were to hone my craft of content creation and my craft of coaching.
On the coaching side of my business, not only did I complete all of my training and all of the requirements behind it, I also got my ICF certification, which was a big milestone for me. I feel a lot more confident with my coaching skills moving into 2023, and I’m excited to keep honing that craft.
Now, the challenge when it came to my coaching, is that I have a real aversion to having things on my calendar. I have some OCD-tendencies around meetings , because I’m so invested in my customer and client experience, I don’t want to let anyone down. That stress tends to drain me, even though I’m fine once I’m actively engaged in the call. It’s the lead up to it that exhausts me!
So I’m still trying to figure out the right rhythm for me, which leads me to my last takeaway for ADHD Entrepreneurs….
NEVER Give Up Finding Your Own Way to Do Things
Expect that whenever you try something new, it’s not always going to be a perfect fit, and just because it’s not a perfect fit doesn’t mean it’s not for you. We tend to default to certain ways of doing things, just because everyone else does them that way. This is dangerous for ADHD Entrepreneurs, because our greatest success is found in our unique way of doing things.
For me, that looks like looking for ways to minimize my coaching appointments in favor of more asynchronous coaching over messenger apps, more group coaching experiences, and limiting my coaching availability to one or two days a week.
Approach Your Business with a Minimalist Mindset
Behind the scenes, I’m being really mindful of how much complexity I allow in my operations and my offerings. I have carefully crafted the experience someone has when they come into my ecosystem, whether they sign up for my email newsletter or they sign up as a coaching client.
From my client’s perspective, I want to ensure that nothing seems confusing or weird, but also from my perspective, when somebody comes into my ecosystem, I need to know exactly why they’re here, how I can help them, and what their next steps will be.
To that end, I have approached my business software usage as a minimalist. This way I’m not overwhelmed with learning a bunch of different technologies, and it keeps my costs low and manageable.
I also don’t have a ton of different offerings. Clients can sign up for coaching, or they can purchase my ADHD Notion Template, or my Distraction to Action Productivity Training. That’s it!
Keeping your business offerings targeted and streamlined is so important as you start out in business.
So that’s my lessons learned from a full calendar year as an ADHD entrepreneur. I hope these nuggets were helpful, and if you want more entrepreneur content, please drop a comment and let me know!
Thanks for reading!