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Een bedrijf runnen mét ADHD.... Dom idee of niet?

Is that okay, running a company with ADHD?

ADHD is often thought of as the busiest boy in the class. I get it, I have one at home. So yeah, I was thinking about that same little boy. But it manifests itself very differently in girls and women. This is one reason that so many adult women are now diagnosed with ADHD. The complaints that we presented to general practitioners, psychologists and other care providers were pushed aside for years under other disorders and syndromes and were dismissed as isolated problems. For example, I have been told several times that I was suffering from burnout, depression and that my panic attacks would go away with certain therapy. None of the counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists have ever mentioned ADHD. Or thought that all my mental suffering could fall under a different heading.

An explanation

If you, with ADHD, only think of that little boy, here is a brief explanation. Because ADHD is so much more (and often different) than bouncing. In short, people with ADHD have a natural deficiency of dopamine and norepinephrine. Difficult, because that substance is exactly what your brain needs to focus, to motivate you, to concentrate and to ensure a good mood and productivity.

What effect does this have? People with ADHD often suffer from inattention, concentration problems and hyperactivity. Certainly a thing of course, but even more difficult when you have to run a business. Do you give me verbal instructions about a route, for example? I'm not going to arrive at my destination, I'm just not going to save it. Have we discussed a workshop idea by telephone? I may come back to you again to discuss the details. Of course I immediately forgot about that.

Even more difficult

But it gets a little more complicated. Because the dopamine deficiency can also mean that I really want to do something, see myself doing it, but I can't bring myself to actually do it. Even though I still like it so much! Like blogging, I like writing (blogs). I've even thought about writing a book. But I can't bring myself to do it. So I don't think it will be a book, it would take me 30 years. I would be very happy when this blog is finished. And then I want to put one online per month…. What do you think, will that work? Even wrapping presents, which is what I enjoy most, sometimes proves to be too much of a challenge.

Nice and impulsive weather

Another thing that, as an ADHDer, bothers me a lot; impulsiveness. I am very good at spontaneously saying yes to things that I genuinely like at that moment and that make me very happy at that moment. Unfortunately, I often only realize afterwards that, for example, the distance for that workshop is actually too far to get anything out of it, or that those nice purchases do not actually suit my target group at all. You understand that these are not exactly useful factors if you want to make any profit at all.

A planning of licking session

And then another stumbling block for me, as an entrepreneur with ADHD... Plan! I don't mean (just) planning fun dates with friends. I mean planning and organizing my various activities within Bi Happy. Such as ensuring that a newsletter is sent out every 2 weeks and that social media posts are planned weeks in advance. That I have enough time for my administration, writing blogs and, for example, tidying up my work area (tidying up, another thing like that, I will come back to). Make good planning in advance, so that I don't have to run around like a headless chicken during the busiest months. And in the quietest months I have something to hold on to to make the most of my time. Just a quick summary of how this has gone over the past few months: shit! So from September to December I was that chicken. I was constantly chasing the facts and my life was a big, chaotic mess (literally and figuratively). Of course, from December 25 there was not an ounce of dopamine left and so I literally did nothing anymore. It's a shame. Then again, I must have needed it. I know what I need, a strict plan, something to hold on to, deadlines and a clear schedule. But creating this turns out to be quite a challenge.

What a mess!

I just mentioned it. Tidy…. Or better said, keeping it tidy. They sometimes say: A messy desk is a sign of a creative life. And it is true, it really is true, especially with ADHD people, because they are often extremely creative. But the problem with ADHD is that clutter causes extra anxiety in the mind. At the same time, we often can't find the dopamine to do anything about it. In fact, we let it get worse and worse. Until at a certain point we no longer see the wood of our desk. You understand, overload of unrest in our heads. A true vicious circle. And I can tell you, packing orders becomes a big challenge when you can't find the items and you have no place to put any boxes at all.

And if you think it can't get any worse...

Then there are the enormous contradictions when you have ADHD. You need peace and regularity more than anyone else. But you are always looking for challenges and change. You do very well with a tidy house and tidy workplace, but you are unable to immediately put your things where they belong. Result: chaos again within a week. When it comes to work and entrepreneurship, you always want more, more, more. But then you become completely overstimulated and burn out, after which you can no longer do anything at all. You talk everyone's ears off when you don't like it, but then you become completely overstimulated when others don't keep quiet when you don't like it. In any case, the same stimuli that we seek out ourselves often quickly become too much. We don't have a filter, so everything comes in. Where “normal” people can have a conversation during a dinner with only the person next to them, we follow all 7 conversations at the table, 3 conversations of complete strangers around us and we also see the waiter making strange gestures to the waitress. Then try to have a nice chat again.

Bad idea, isn't it?

Does this mean that entrepreneurship as a woman with ADHD is a bad idea? No absolutely not! It's spicy, sometimes too spicy. But I'm learning a lot and I know better and better what works and what doesn't. ADHD also has many nice aspects, it is not without reason that many call it a superpower. My diagnosis also helped a lot. That label also gives peace of mind. Some things I just have to learn to accept. It also offers help, because there are many tools available. By applying these tricks, letting go of what I cannot change and using what does work, doing business and life in general becomes easier and easier. With baby steps, that is.

To ask? Ask them, please!

Do you have questions about ADHD or doing business with ADHD? Reassure them. Are you looking for reliable information, do you want to talk to someone or are you unsure whether you may have ADHD yourself? Contact your doctor. Don't let this put you off either. Insist that you want to see a specialist. It can really help you a lot.



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