Trying Not to Fly By the Seat of my Pants

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Adjusting to life—and especially work—with ADHD has been a bizarre experience. In fact, it has been a complete paradigm shift.

Apparently, it’s not unusual for ADHDers to gravitate toward owning their own businesses. This is also true of INTPs, which makes me wonder if there’s any correlation between Myers-Briggs Type Indicators and ADHD, but that’s another distraction story.

For many years, being “self-employed” meant doing freelance consulting work. It gave me the freedom to seek out and pursue things that were intellectually and otherwise challenging, and could therefore (hopefully) hold my interest.

But after about 12 years of operating that way, I came face-to-face with a brutal reality: I could only work so hard, for so many hours. And this limited my earning potential.

So, little by little, what started life as my solo consulting practice became a small digital marketing agency. With a team.

The problem?

Managing people—particularly when it means delegating my own responsibilities to them—doesn’t happen to be something I’m skilled at. Even worse: setting a trajectory and sticking to it long enough for anyone else to adjust to it.

I love Dr. Dale Archer’s “friendly” way to describe ADHD:

“One easy way to think about ADHD is having a low boredom threshold….”

Dale Archer, MD, author of The ADHD Advantage
in ADHD: The Entrepreneur’s Superpower (Forbes)

So it hasn’t been entirely unusual in the history of our business for everyone else to be trying to settle into a rhythm, while I’m off re-inventing everything about what we do and how we do it.

It’s been hard to adjust to resisting the urge to fly by the seat of my pants. After more than a year of hard work, things are starting to improve—thanks in no small part to some fantastic help from Dana Rayburn, my ADHD coach. But it still takes a lot of conscious effort.

Photo by Kevin Bluer on Unsplash

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