How I Run My Business With ADHD

Show Notes

Today, I’m sharing about my ADHD diagnosis and how it’s become my superpower - especially in my business. 

Even if you don't have ADHD, listen in because this episode will give you some insights about the challenges other people in your life face.

Listening to this might even sound familiar - ADHD is very common in entrepreneurs and widely under-diagnosed in women. 

So here’s what happened for me. My son was in daycare. They suggested that we get some occupational therapy for him to help with challenging behaviors.

We did six months of OT, got some supplements and spoke to a child psychologist. The day before Christmas, we had our last session with the OT and she signed off, "I have a feeling. I think he... he might have ADHD." A light bulb went inside me, "Oh, my God. He totally does."

I started reading stuff about ADHD and following more accounts about neurodiversity. I realized that everything I read was like looking in a mirror. So I went to see my doctor and got a referral to a specialist. 

It took eight months, but even just realizing that my brain is different was such a relief. Maybe I'm not just a procrastinator. Maybe I'm not just lazy. I started seeing everything through a completely different lens. 

I was really nervous leading up to the appointment with the doctor because it felt like everyone was getting diagnosed with ADHD. I'm surrounded by so many entrepreneurs who most likely have it too. I had massive imposter syndrome. 

Getting diagnosed was like getting a badge!

My ADHD was so overlooked in my childhood.

As a kid, I was an obsessive reader; I felt really uncomfortable without a book. The world was too loud. Everything was overwhelming. I hid myself in a book as a soothing mechanism. I read six to eight hours a day. 

In class, teachers let me read because if I didn't, I’d be disruptive. I’d talk, blurt stuff out, tap dance under the table. I’d get up and drift around disturbing everyone else. 

When I got to high school, a lot of my coping strategies fell apart. I wasn't allowed to read in class. 

I felt incredibly uncomfortable in my body. I developed some unhealthy habits, like twisting my hair into massive knots and ripping it apart. 

I needed something to fidget with. Or to know that’s just how my brain worked.

I started losing things and doing everything last minute. That serves me well now as an entrepreneur, but as a kid, I was always in fight or flight. I felt like I was unprepared. I didn't have the right calculator. I was wearing the wrong uniform.

Everything fell apart for me again during the pandemic because I wasn't traveling. A lot of my coping mechanisms were curtailed. Suddenly, I was at home all the time, alone with my brain. And my brain was hurting. I felt overwhelmed. 

I didn’t know why – I thought I was depressed.

When I realized it was ADHD, it helped me understand and put things in place so I can thrive. 

Now I feel like I have permission. I can create systems around me to help me. 

Everyone who is neurodivergent needs different things. I'm just learning what I need. You have to create your own system. Find what works for YOUR brain. You do you. 

Now I see it as my superpower - I can do things last minute. I can improvise and think on my feet. I’m good at hyper-focusing and batching things. 

But also my brain doesn’t function the same way as everyone else’s and I'm no longer beating myself up over it.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How I had imposter syndrome around ADHD
  • How it showed up for me in childhood
  • My coping mechanisms
  • Why I became a pool shark at college
  • How ADHD has become my superpower in life and business



About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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