A new study from the University of Bath in the UK found that the challenging symptoms of ADHD, such as impulsivity and restlessness, can be advantages in business entrepreneurship.
The impulsivity of people with ADHD, the researchers say, leads to the courageous business decisions that they intuitively make. The hyper-focus, their ability to concentrate to the exclusion of the rest of the world in what interests them, is also a quality that helps the business world. In addition, many ADHD patients need only a little sleep and work long hours effortlessly as long as the work interests them – which also helps them to promote their business initiatives.
In the study, the researchers conducted extensive interviews with 14 entrepreneurs diagnosed with ADHD. Based on these interviews, they reached conclusions about the unique suitability of the entrepreneurial lifestyle to people with ADHD. Most of the interviewees said they chose to start their own business because of the boredom they had experienced in the workplace, and that they were especially pleased that they could set their own working hours.
Professor Dimo Dimov, one of the authors of the study, said: “Successful entrepreneurs often report that they have ADHD, so it is interesting to examine why this is so.” Our study found that ADHD was a key factor in the interviewees' decision to start a business themselves, and it positively influenced their abilities as entrepreneurs.”
“Impulsivity has a special role to play in business,” says Professor Holger Patzelt of the Research and Entrepreneurship Institute at the University of Munich, who is also involved in the study. “People with ADHD live at peace with intuitive decisions and bad results. In stressful situations like meetings with important clients, they usually feel energetic and relaxed. Their impulsivity also allows them to function better in unexpected circumstances without getting paralyzed or anxious.”