On Being Self-Employed and ADHD:

As I outlined in this post and this post, ADHD people aren’t very good at being employed and one of the best jobs for us is an “entrepreneur”. An entrepreneur is a pretty vague description but it essentially means self-employed.

In my family, there are 5 businesses. Yes, ideally we could combine some of them into one company but to be honest they’re all so different. We have two property development companies, although one is more in the buying and selling and one is an actual carpentry and building service. One person is a seamstress, one runs a hardware shop, and one is a writer (guess who that is).

So we’re a family of “entrepreneurs” you could say. Although, I think the only entrepreneur is actually my Grandpa who owns two of these businesses. The rest of us are just bad employees.

I found slipping into being self-employed quite easy actually. All the times I tried to work in an office I was so unsure of myself. I would ask everyone’s advice before I breathed let alone wrote anything or heaven forbid, sent an email.

As a self-employed person, I’ve got all the confidence in the world in what I’m doing (most of the time) so I’ve got some advice for fellow ADHDers looking to go it on their own:

  1. As much as you want to, DO NOT be honest about just starting out. I know you just want to be straight with your clients but don’t. They’re not interested in building a newbies portfolio.
  2. Know that whatever you do you’re good at it. If you’ve started a business with it, it must be good. Stop beating yourself up about little mistakes, take a deep breath and assess the situation before you approach it.
  3. Do not jump at the first person who offers you money. I know your impulsive nature means you want to make the money now, but working for Β£5 an hour isn’t why you went freelance.
  4. When you get frustrated and consider packing it all in, do something business related that you enjoy. I usually blog when this happens, so I can write what I want and not what I’m paid for.
  5. Before you reply to every client email, read it out loud to someone or save it as a draft and come back to it later with fresh eyes. We tend not to think about what we’re saying and how it could be perceived so tread lightly.

There’ll likely be some more advice in future based on my experiences as a self-employed person but I have to work out how they’re structured. For the time being though, don’t freak out too much if you’re ADHD and planning to be your own boss.

After all, who knows you better than you?


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