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How to run a business with ADHD, Woman running a business with ADHD

Hey there, lovely readers! Today, I want to open up and tell you a bit of my journey with ADHD and give you some tips and insights on how you can run a business with ADHD.

If you're an ADHDer, you're in good company. Did you know that adults with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own business? That's according to The Davinci Method by Garrent LoPorto.

In January, I got diagnosed with ADHD after a lot of research on ADHD symptoms, ADHD traits and seeing a psychologist and ADHD Coach. I finally went through the NHS (National Health Service in the UK) and was diagnosed after an eight-month wait.

Following getting an ADHD diagnosis, I’ve been reflecting on how on earth I’ve managed to build and run a business with ADHD. I have been running my business for 5 years and have managed to replace my previous income as a Marketing Manager and enable my husband to cut back his hours at work.

But running a business with ADHD has its ups and downs, literally! So let's dive into this rollercoaster world of entrepreneurship and explore how you can thrive in your business despite the challenges ADHD might throw your way.

Can Someone with ADHD Run a Business?

The short answer is, yes absolutely! Having ADHD actually means you will have amazing ideas and inspiration while running your business. It definitely doesn't mean you're incapable of being a successful business owner. There are so many hats for business owners to wear; as you will know, one of the ADHD traits is the need for variety and to avoid boredom! Also, people with ADHD have good problem-solving skills and often have high energy especially if they are hyperactive or combine type of ADHD. These ADHD traits can be fantastic for generating new ideas and pushing outside-the-box thinking when it comes to what your business can achieve.

However, it's also important to acknowledge that ADHD can present some challenges when it comes to organisation, focus, and time management. Some of the things we can really struggle with as ADHD business owners are:

  • ADHD Paralysis

  • Overwhelm

  • Emotional Dysregulation

  • Processing information

Let’s break a few of these ADHD symptoms down:

ADHD Paralysis - Have you ever felt frozen in one place? You’ve got all the things to do but can’t process which one should be done first. So you do nothing, but your head is screaming at you to do something! This is exactly what ADHD paralysis feels like. You may have been experiencing this and being so hard on yourself then someone comes along and says you’ve been lazy! If only they knew the screaming in your head and the whirlwind of emotions and pain going on in your brain.

ADHD Overwhelm - This can lead to ADHD paralysis but it isn’t necessarily the same. ADHD overwhelm is when you get a sensory overload from tasks on your to-do list, people that you are talking to, it might be people at a meeting all talking at once. ADHD overwhelm also could be that your day was too long the day before or you had to show up too much on Zoom or on camera, then you have extremely low energy levels the day after and need time to rest (preferably in a dark room, speaking to no one!) ADHD overwhelm can be really debilitating if it isn’t accounted for or prepared for with flexibility in your business.

Wow, it’s even emotional writing about this! So let’s touch on…

Emotional Dysregulation - This is not just mood swings! Emotional Dysregulation is when you have an emotional response to something that is more extreme than how other people show or process their emotions. Your emotions are valid even though they look bigger than others. You might have been told not to take things so emotionally when this happens. I know I have! The emotions here are not just sadness. They are a whole range, i.e. confusion, anger, happiness, boredom, disgust and many more. Emotional Dysregulation can affect your business if someone triggers your emotional response. It has a knock-on effect on your day as you process your emotions about a situation or what someone has said. People with ADHD can react differently to others as our brains can process things differently. This can lead to impulsive decisions and behaviour, or it could make you avoid emotions and shut down to numbness.

Discovering and understanding our challenges as ADHD business owners can help us recognise when it is happening and give ourselves grace and compassion. Plus, we are more able to communicate with others so we can navigate running a business with ADHD more successfully.

But fear not, fellow ADHDers! With some tailored strategies and support, you can overcome these hurdles and create a thriving business. Firstly, I want to tell you others understand you and support you. We have an ADHD Women Entrepreneur Support Group on Facebook that I’d love you to come and be a part of.

Tips for the Female ADHD Business Owner

1. Create Structure

It’s quite strange that we need structure because, obviously, one of the ADHD symptoms is impulsivity. However, another ADHD trait is anxiety. So creating structure gives an essential clear plan for your working day/week/month. Establishing routines such as doing the same thing at the same time every week helps to bring familiar working environments, which help us avoid ADHD overwhelm. It’s a good idea to break tasks into smaller parts and set deadlines to help you stay on track. I find half my brain is contained on my Google calendar and my project management system! - UpBase (Affiliate Link)

2. Delegate and outsource

Recognise that you can't do everything yourself. For my life, I have chosen to outsource household tasks first. I have a lady that does my ironing and I have a cleaner, plus I have an Ad Hoc P.A (Personal Assistant) now too. In my business, I have an accountant and I have partners that host some of the networking meetings in Gossip Gals. Delegating tasks can free up your time to focus on the things you're great at, like brainstorming new ideas and building relationships with clients. Outsourcing can also mean using software that automates tasks for you. I teach how to use Email Automation (I use Mailerlite, this is my Affiliate link, Let me know if you sign up and I'll give you a free walk-through) in my Gold Plus+ membership for solo women business owners to learn social media and online business strategy and tech.

3. Prioritise self-care

Running a business is demanding, and it's essential to prioritise your well-being. We need to remember to eat! And schedule time to just rest and do nothing, exercise, and even go for a massage. (Massage is my fave self-care activity!) I've just bought a muscle flow massager so I can do some massage at home, it's really good!. I know sometimes our brains wake up more in the evening and it’s so hard to switch off before sleep, but when you start to track things, you notice lack of sleep is detrimental when you need to be successful and run a business with ADHD. I recommend having an alarm to tell you to go to bed, with two reminder notifications on it! And listening to brown noise is a key thing I do to help switch my brain off at night. You can get this on Alexa or YouTube.

4. Join a support network

Running a business can be tough and even more challenging when you have ADHD. Make sure you have a support network around you.

This can include friends, family, and professional networks who understand the challenges you face and can offer support, encouragement, and advice. As I mentioned before, you can join us in the ADHD Women Entrepreneur support group on Facebook and there is also lots of signposting to other services in there too.

5. Plan Ahead

On a Sunday evening, I plan ahead and absorb all the tasks I need to complete for the week to run my business successfully. I look at what’s coming up and schedule reminders for people in my memberships (and for yourself!). I prepare for presentations and meetings. And I make sure I have food in the house for my lunches so I don’t get to 3pm and I haven’t eaten, then it’s the school run time and I end up with no food and snacking on rubbish before dinner! I often will have my left overs from the night before for lunch. I find getting Gousto meals (affiliate link - get 65% off!) really useful as it's always there every week and I can pick the 10 minute meals or 5 minute prep meals that just bunge in the oven.

I’ve designed a WEEKBOOK for myself and released it recently for my ADHD Women Entrepreneurs Support Group to buy too. It's had great feedback so I've added the the shop on the website. It’s just £7 and can be used again and again to get organised for your week. You can grab yours here.

My verdict on being able to run a business with ADHD

I love running my business but I couldn’t do it without putting the above tips into action. I hope they help you too! Running a business with ADHD can be a wonderful journey, especially with the support of other ADHDers who understand you. Before I ran my business I would flit from job to job but now I'm thriving! It can also be wild! But with the right strategies, support, and mindset, you can definitely overcome the challenges that come with ADHD and run a successful fun business.

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As a woman in business, it can be challenging to balance your personal life with your career aspirations. However, setting business goals that are achievable is essential for your success in both areas. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of setting business goals and how to create them in alignment with what you truly want in life.

woman in business setting business goals aligned to a life you want to live
woman in business setting business goals aligned to a life you want to live

Why are Business Goals Important?

Firstly, I want to tell you the reason, I’ve been inspired to write this blog and this has really instilled the importance of setting business goals for me.

Recently I lost my Grandma and have been through the sadness of grief and felt like I lost part of my heart with her too. When I sat at the funeral and in the week running up to it, I was thinking very much about how my grandma had inspired me and how much I appreciated all the things I learnt from her. This made me realise some of the business goals I have been working towards were not actually aligned with what I aspire to be or want to achieve in life.

With this in mind, I personally have looked at my goals and ambitions and asked the question, Are these really MY goals? Or are they someone elses? Could it be that I think society wants me to achieve this? Could it be that I think I will make people proud if I achieve something? BUT is it what I really want?

A funeral can be a powerful thing to make you reassess, can’t it? When I looked at the mass of people sprawling to the back of the church at my grandma's funeral, I saw her impact on many during her lifetime. Listening to the eulogy my uncle delivered for us made me realise all the things for the community she did, even before I was born.

Of course, during the funeral, I was all consumed with grief and loss, but in the days after, I thought, what do I really want in life? When it’s my funeral, what do I want people to say about my life? Have you thought of this before?

Reviewing and setting business goals helps you stay focused on what you want to achieve, both in the short term and the long term. Goals provide a clear direction for your efforts, allowing you to prioritise your tasks and make informed decisions. Moreover, setting specific and measurable goals gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation as you make progress towards your objectives.

For example, I’m getting more focused on my goal of buying a holiday home and making an impact on my wonderful community of women in business networking together in my facebook group.

So for the holiday home goal, I am cutting down on expenses and concentrating on profits, of which, a portion will go into a dedicated savings account for my holiday home.

And for the community impact goal, my business services are becoming more streamlined with my focus on my community membership - Gossip Gals Gold which can lead to Gold Plus+ for women who want more guidance on running an online business and gain leads through social media.

Creating Business Goals Aligned with Your Life Ambitions

It's crucial when setting business goals that are aligned with your life ambitions. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, it can be challenging to stay motivated and focused. Therefore, take the time to think about what you want in life and how your business goals can help you achieve those desires.

Start by defining your purpose and values.

Sit with your thought and jot down what comes to mind when you ask yourself the following questions:

What motivates you?

What are your core beliefs?

How do you want to make an impact in the world?

Once you have a clear understanding of your purpose and values, you can create business goals that align with them. For example, if you want to create a better world for future generations, your business goals may involve developing sustainable products or services.

Part of my purpose is to positively impact and build togetherness with the online community of women in business. So with this in mind, one of my business goals is to strengthen the community with Gossip Gals by providing more connection opportunities and platforms for supporting each other.

Next, set specific and measurable goals. Your goals should be specific so you know exactly what you want to achieve. They should also be measurable, so you can track your progress and celebrate your successes. Use the SMART criteria to create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. You can have a SMART sheet set up for each business goal you have. For example, I have one for community building and another for saving for our holiday home.

Lastly, create an action plan. Identify the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and break them down into smaller tasks. This will help you stay on track and make progress towards your objectives.

My suggestion is to have the SMART sheet on one side and the action plan on the other so you can clearly see your goal and steps beside each other. It would be good to stick this on your wall in front of your desk or maybe stuck in the front of the notebook you’re currently working with.

Setting Business Goals: The Bottom Line

Setting business goals is essential for women in business who want to achieve success in both their personal and professional lives. It provides direction, motivation, and a sense of accomplishment as you make progress towards your objectives. By aligning your business goals with your life ambitions, you can create a fulfilling and purposeful career and business that makes a positive impact in the world.

I would love you to be part of the impactful community we have built for Gossip Gals. If you would like to be part of a thriving, supportive group, please hop over to our Facebook group - Gossip Gals Networking for women in business. And you can always book in a chat with me to talk through how you can make the most of being part of the community and how it can boost your business brand awareness, business connections and bring in new customers. Please book a call with me below.

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business women at networking meeting
business women network event for doing business at

Now we've entered 2023, I feel there is a real surge of wanting connection, community and a business women network. It's been a funny few years for the world, hasn't it?

Here's the rundown of the last four years for our business women network - Gossip Gals:

2019 - We were hosting six women in business networking meetings across Lancashire a month. Getting regular attendees and new ladies coming along. Selling out venues and opening up new ones to accommodate the people wanting to attend.

2020 - We took the networking meetings online for women because of the lockdown restrictions. Initially, this didn't work so well as we'd had the business women network happening in person for so long. That's just what people were used to. Many had never even heard of Zoom never mind using it regularly for business networking opportunities!

2021 - Gossip Gals Networking events online were in full swing. We had opened up to the wider world of business women wanting to network across the world! We had people from America, Australia, Portugal, and Barbados, to mention a few places people were logging in from. The buzz of online connections had saved a lot of business women networks from being lonely when working from home.

2022 - Growing the business women network was going from strength to strength and people were making bonds outside of the online meetings in the Facebook group and beyond. Even meeting in person going for coffee together. We also had a tentative attempt at re-starting the Lancashire networking meetings in a very informal way by meeting for lunch at a local cafe - The Mill at St Catherines Park, Preston.

It was lovely to catch up over lunch and build lasting friendships as well as talk a bit of business together. These were not official business women networking meetings but a fun way to connect. Unfortunately, not enough people were coming to make it worth carrying on doing. They were free meet-ups in a cafe so quite easy for people to cancel last minute.

2023 - This year, it's like something has switched and women's business networks are back with a bang, ready to make connections IN REAL LIFE! It's such an exciting time! So already I've been to one in-person meeting in which I was the spotlight speaker. I've got another booked in soon AND in February, I have booked a room for our very own Gossip Gals business women network meeting!! I cannot wait. Already it's half full, so really looking forward to seeing more of the ladies who came prior to the lockdown.

Why am I so excited for this breath of fresh air for business women networks?

Networking can be a powerful tool for business women to expand their business opportunities and increase their circle of influence. Through the process of networking, women can meet new people and create relationships that will help them learn about new business opportunities, gain access to valuable resources, and build their reputations. Women in business have the power to use networking to their advantage, and when done correctly, it can be a valuable resource for any woman looking to advance her business success.

For example, I was sat with a friend I've made from our business women network last week and she said, just coming to the meetings she picked up 2 pieces of advice that changed her business for the better. Things she didn't realise she didn't know. Now she's implementing the tips and seeing more activity happening in her business!

When you discover the power of networking it can really make a difference in boosting your business growth. I love hearing others say they recommended someone to their colleague or friends and family. That is a powerful thing!

Below is a list of some business women networks you might want to look into. Of course, you're more than welcome to join ours at Gossip Gals!

Business Women Networks to note:

1/ Gossip Gals Networking

Meetings 3 times a month, £10 per month to join or pay as you go from £7 online. Now available in-person networking meetings in Preston Lancashire.

2/ Tribe Networking

Meetings twice a week, £45 per month. No extra cost for meetings. Meetings are all online. The occasional in-person meeting in Bristol

3/ Women in Business Network

Meetings weekly across the UK in person and online. £275 a year to join plus £28 per meeting (includes lunch)

4/ Pink Link Networking

North West UK based networking meetings. £27.50 a month for 2 monthly meetings or pay as you go for £20 a meeting.

5/ Wow Web Networking

Online networking for both men and women. Two meetings a week on a Monday and Wednesday. £40 a month including some LinkedIn training benefits.

These are some of the best women’s business networking events that offer unique formats and opportunities for business camaraderie and growth. By attending one or more of these events, you can connect with other women and develop your business skills while growing your network.

It would be great to see you at one of our friendly meetings either online or in person. As I say, I'm super excited about our first in-person Gossip Gals Networking meeting in 3 years! So definitely check out coming to that on Monday 6th February 11 am -12.30 pm.

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