Emma SpencerWhile there is a lot of focus on the challenges faced by neurodiverse individuals, it’s important to also look at some of the strengths that adult ADHDers bring to the workforce.
Walt Disney, Sir Richard Branson, Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad and aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman are all well-known entrepreneurs with ADHD1 (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder).

Several research studies have connected entrepreneurship and ADHD2 and according to Emma Spencer, CEO and Principal Clinical Psychologist at Spencer Health there are a number of ADHD traits that are also celebrated in successful entrepreneurs.
“The ADHD brain is recognised as being extremely creative which is so useful in generating the ideas that characterise the entrepreneur,” says Emma.
“The impulsiveness experienced by most ADHDer’s means that they are quick to action, creative ideas are not “left on the shelf”! For those ADHDer’s who are working within an area of passion, their tendency to hyperfocus on these kinds of tasks means that they become recognised specialists in their field, possessing knowledge and skill at superior levels,” says Emma.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is not a medical condition, but a neurodevelopmental disorder. The development of the brain or nervous system in a child with ADHD is different to what is ‘typical’. This means different parts of the brain don’t communicate in the way we would expect them to. The exact cause of ADHD is still largely unknown, however multiple people in a family often have ADHD which points to genes appearing to be a ‘risk factor’ rather than a cause of ADHD.

Why is it important to get diagnosed?

“Understanding that you have ADHD related brain differences can be really helpful for lots of reasons, but primarily many ADHDer’s state that they always felt “different” from everybody else and understanding the underlying reason for this feeling has allowed them to go through a process of self-acceptance and understanding,” says Emma.
“It has meant that they have been able to accept support in the areas they have felt they have been struggling and facilitated effective decision making around things like job roles that play to their strengths. Whilst many people shy away from “labels”, by and large the ADHDer’s I have worked with have found this to be empowering and started them on a journey of self-discovery and understanding”.

Skills and strategies

How can someone with ADHD maximise their strengths and manage their weaknesses? Many entrepreneurs credit their ADHD for their ability to think outside the box and come up with creative and innovative ideas.
“Knowing what your strengths are and giving yourself permission to develop these leads to feelings of mastery and a sense of purpose and esteem in ones abilities,” says Emma.
“For many ADHDer’s, it is the secondary effects of ADHD such as shame, guilt, confusion, low self-esteem, that actually get in the way of them leading a rich and meaningful life. Understanding one’s brain differences and working with these moves a person away from these secondary effects and promotes good mental health and a positive sense of self.”

Understanding your ADHD brain

If you are an adult ADHDer who would like to better understand yourself; or you suspect you, a child or family member may be ADHD; Emma will be delivering a free online workshop on the 3rd November 2022 from 7pm to 8:30pm. The information seminar will cover topics such as:

  • How is ADHD experienced by ADHDer's.
  • The brain related differences associated with ADHD and how these differences can create challenges in everyday life.
  • Develop an awareness of how mental health vulnerabilities can develop in ADHDer's.
  • Understand how to adjust your response to your ADHD or your response to your ADHD child's behaviours from one of shaming to championing.
  • Learn some skills and strategies that can be utilised to help your ADHD brain perform to its potential.

To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/understanding-your-adhd-brain-tickets-433422246607


1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/dalearcher/2014/05/14/adhd-the-entrepreneurs-superpower/?sh=35252b3d59e9

2 https://www.additudemag.com/entrepreneurship-adhd-business-research-traits-stories/

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