Entrepreneurs with ADHD in the World of Managers
Entrepreneurs have lots of ideas and are full of enthusiasm. They take risks to go, go, go, but they aren't so good at following rules or listening to advice. Meetings, budgets, paying bills are boring. Communicating with others is a big challenge. Managers write policies, procedures, and enforce the rules, keep the house in order, but change is really scary.
Charlie and Martin were best friends in high school in spite of being as different as night and day. Charlie was volatile, full of ideas, always on the go. College was boring, anyway he already had one patent to his name and was developing more ideas. Martin was staid, some said boring. He did a business degree in college, and finance was his favorite subject.
Charlie was really excited about one of his ideas; he was sure it would sell. He proposed to Martin that they form a business together. Martin knew Charlie's ideas were good and liked the idea of putting into practice what he had learned in Business School.
Martin wrote a business plan. With Charlie's idea talk and Martin's finance talk they persuaded a banker to give them a loan. They were in business.
Charlie soon had more ideas; he started two then three more projects. Martin urged him to complete the production plans for their first product. When the first product was about to go into production, Charlie suddenly decided that it must be modified or it wouldn't sell; more money, more delay.
When the sales agent wanted to talk to Charlie about promotional material, he wasn't interested. "You do it". When the agent had printed up some draft versions, Charlie didn't like them. He went out and spent lots of money on fancy camera work and printing without discussing the expense with Martin. He said later that Martin was too afraid to spend any money and without some expenditure they would get nowhere.
Charlie talked such a good spiel with customers that they had lots of advance orders, but now customers were demanding to see results or threatening to cancel. The original credit was exhausted.
Martin had to drag Charlie to see the banker. Again Charlie talked persuasively about his ideas. The banker listened and then said "I think you guys need more than money. You need a coach for Attention Deficit Disorder. We'll talk more about money after you talk to this person"
The ADHD coach explained to them that brains of people with Attention Deficit Disorder are wired differently and that understanding why one behaves the way one does is the first step to modifying one's behavior. Charlie protested "I'm the way I am, and I can only work this way." Martin also protested " If I don't have control of the finances, there'll be no work for you to do."
The ADHD coach said "Those are your current belief systems and right now they have led you into this mess. You can change your belief systems and the way you work, but only if you choose to do so. I can not train your brain for you. Current thinking is that the brain is like a muscle, it grows and strengthens according to the way you use it. It's your choice. Stay the way you are and go out of business or train your brains and give your business new life."
Charlie and Martin, needless to say, took the coach's advice. With the coach's help Charlie learned to be aware of himself and others and to let others do their jobs. Martin learned to loosen his hold on the purse strings without losing control. They gained new respect for each other and worked out a modus operandi which defined who was responsible for what.
Their first product went to market and sold like hot cakes.
If you suffer or know someone who suffers from ADHD, ADHD coaching is an effective approach. To learn more about ADHD and coaching click here.