ADHD Adults, one thing you’ve probably never been short of, thanks to your adult ADHD brain, is ideas 💡
Ideas for your business, ideas for an endless list of new businesses, ideas to implement in your businesses, products to create, problems to solve.
In fact, you’ve probably had more ideas in a week than most neurotypical people have in a lifetime.
If you’ve always had a ‘normal job’ with a salary the thought of earning $1,000,000 in a year can seem unimaginable when you’re starting a business. Some ADHD entrepreneurs go into business because they can’t hold down a job or find a job that suits them.
Like most ADHD adults, do these struggles sound familiar?
- Time blindness (constantly late, anyone?) ⚠
- Missing deadlines ⚠
- Inability to prioritise ⚠
- Struggling to take orders ⚠
- Being too defensive and sensitive to any kind of criticism ⚠
- Growing bored with repetitive tasks ⚠
- Playing pranks / doing anything to keep yourself entertained and stimulated ⚠
- Struggling to follow rules ⚠
- Getting into arguments with bosses or colleagues ⚠
Some of the problems relating to being angry, hostile, or defiant towards authority figures can be symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) in adults. Around 40% of patients diagnosed with ADHD will also have ODD according to researchers.
ADHD in the workplace can have a massive effect on every aspect of your life and struggling with things like the above will eventually take its toll on your self-esteem.
Maybe you’ve deemed yourself unemployable after bouncing from one job to the next for the whole of your working life, or you just have a deep desire to build your own business.
Turn your business idea into a workable plan instead of losing interest and moving on
The problem with having so many ideas is following through on them.
Without knowing how to turn your ideas into reality and without the concentration and focus to stick with an idea and be consistent enough to make it successful you’ll quickly find yourself losing interest and moving on to your next big idea, leaving you with yet another unfinished project.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Starting and growing a successful business is difficult. The creativity and enthusiasm that powers you can fizzle out if you become bored or get overwhelmed after the initial excitement.
A lack of progress can knock the enthusiasm out of you and that positive bubble around you can pop, leaving you craving to move onto something else and start the whole cycle again.
So many of us have amazing ideas thanks to our imagination. We come up with huge plans and we already have the knowledge to achieve them. Despite this, many of these amazing ideas never see the light of day.
“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” – Greg Reid
How many things did you imagine or dream about doing when you were younger?
Did you start a new hobby, take up a sport, or start learning something new, only to give up after a while or put it ‘on hold’?
Having an endless list of things you’ve started but never finished and things you need to start at some point but never get around to starting is so frustrating. Time carries on, years pass and you’re still exactly where you started before you know it; No progress, no sustainable business.
You can keep consuming knowledge without ever putting into action. Paying for courses, joining free webinars, attending events, hiring a coach, and more. But as time moves on and you’re still consuming everything and putting off getting started, you’ll be left feeling like a failure because you’re still nowhere near where you’d imagined you’d be right now. Not even close.
Is it ADHD or is it just laziness?
Are you too lazy to get started? Should you scrap the dream and just stick to a ‘real job’ like most people? Probably not. That isn’t to say that entrepreneurship is for every adult with ADHD.
Some ADHD adults find the perfect job for them. A job they can enjoy and thrive in, and many have no intentions of ever starting a business.
For most entrepreneurs with ADHD and aspiring ADHD entrepreneurs, getting started is the hardest part. Not knowing how to turn your dream into an actionable plan can derail your dream indefinitely.
How to start and grow a business when you have ADHD
Start with the end in sight 🔭
If you don’t know where you’re heading, how can you possibly get there? If you don’t know what you want to achieve in the long-term, it’s going to be impossible to take steps towards getting there.
Think big, like REALLY BIG. What is the best possible result you would love to accomplish if everything goes perfectly? Really think about where you would love to get, not where you think your business should get. Not everyone wants to end up with a huge company and thousands of staff, others want exactly that.
Having a clear vision is one of the most important things you need to consider before anything else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already started or you’re planning to launch a new business, have a good think about where you want to end up.
Without knowing where you want to go in the long term you’re never able to map out your route towards it. By being clear on this you can make sure you’re doing the right things to keep on the right path towards getting there every day, week, month, and year.
Set Milestones 📈
With your end goal in sight, you can come up with a rough plan to get you there, mapping out the small steps you need to take on the way.
By creating and reaching small milestones along the way it’s easier to stay focused on what you need to do to give yourself that much-needed dopamine hit your ADHD brain craves.
Let’s say you want to build a business that allows you to take a month or two off every year to travel. You’re going to need to have a few things in place to get to the point where you can take a decent amount of time off without having to worry about money or your business:
- Processes in place so that your business can run smoothly
- Staff to carry out those processes and manage your business
- Recurring revenue coming into your business every month
- An income that pays for your lifestyle
By knowing what you want to achieve, you can start to work backwards, creating milestones to know where you are. If you know you’re going to need to generate enough revenue to afford the lifestyle you want and you’re currently bringing in $50,000, then realistically you need to be aiming to generate around $350,000 each year according to an entrepreneur journey report by Dent Global.
$350,000 isn’t a massive sum, even if it seems like it now. For most businesses $350k is the magic number to aim for if you want to be profitable, enjoyable, and effective, with a small team of staff.
Doubling your revenue over the next few years is going to be hard work and getting there will be a fantastic achievement, but it’s not unrealistic to set yourself these income goals to earn in the next four years:
- Year 1: $50,000
- Year 2: $100,000
- Year 3: $200,000
- Year 4: $400,000
Having these milestones set out from the start makes it easier to understand where you’re at and what you need to do to get to where you want to be. You can break your annual income goals down by setting monthly and weekly goals.
Set Small Goals for Little Wins 🎯
Going from a set income to scaling your own business to one million dollars sounds overwhelming and unrealistic, but break it down and it’s not so scary or unachievable.
Having one product or service isn’t going to make you a millionaire in most cases.
For your businesses to be scalable you need to offer a range of products and services for different customers. You can offer ebooks, subscription products, membership sites, templates, workbooks, masterclasses, courses and so on.
You can build your product eco-system over time, adding products you can build once and sell multiple times, creating multiple streams of income for your business.
“Products don’t make money, product eco-systems make money. Splinter products, high ticket items, consumables, subscriptions, memberships, one-shots. There are lots of different product types to sell to your customers.” – Mike Killen, Sell Your Service
To get to that magic $1,000,0000 you need to get:
- 10 customers to pay you $100,000
- 100 customers to pay you $10,000
- 1000 customers to pay you $1000
- 10,000 customers to pay you $10,000
“Check-in with the bigger strategic goals you have (you do have those don’t you?) — and home in on what you need to do today to move you towards those long term goals. Clarify the big stuff you need to do — and the smaller but necessary stuff too.” – Leigh Ashton, The Sales Consultancy.
Moving your business forward to a growing successful business is perfectly possible with the right processes and plans in place. Your ADHD brain gives you some amazing abilities to try new things and take risks, but don’t fly into your business without a plan, and don’t let your own perception of money and success limit what you can achieve.
By breaking your income goals down into yearly and then monthly steps, weekly, and even daily steps, you can figure out exactly where you are and what you need to do to hit your targets regularly.
You don’t need to get working on building a vault of different products right now but you can start to gather any existing content you do have and any future content you create so that you have it ready to repurpose and repackage into different products quickly and easily rather than having to start from scratch.
What do you need to do to get your business to where you want it to be? How can you reverse engineer your ideal future so that you can create manageable and realistic milestones with achievable goals, and then break those goals into tasks you can work towards every day, week, and month?
Once you’ve worked out exactly where you want to be you can start working your way there. And when you’ve figured out how to break down your dreams into achievable goals you can achieve absolutely anything you set your mind to.