How to Decide On A Business Idea When You Have ADHD - Phil Drinkwater Coach

Find out how your ADHD executive function challenges impact you

How to Decide On A Business Idea When You Have ADHD

You're ADHD, but you still have to make a decision on a business that you'll focus on. But how!?
What we'll cover
As an entrepreneur, especially one with ADHD, the plethora of business ideas racing through your mind can often lead to indecision. Finding the right business idea to pursue can be confusing and overwhelming. Indecision is a real problem for people with ADHD, so let’s understand it and explore strategies to help you take definitive action.

Understanding the Roots of Indecision

ADHD and Decision Making

The amazing thing about having ADHD is that you’re a machine that produces endless creative, innovative ideas. But, all these amazing ideas present you with an essential problem: which one do I pick? This type of decision making is especially hard for people with ADHD, since it’s more difficult for you to sit down and explore the potential of each idea, which can usually take 6 to 18 months.

Imagine trying to do that for one idea, when you know that you have 50 more good ones sitting in the background; talk about anxiety! Acknowledging this challenge is the first step in addressing it and working towards a solution.

The first step in addressing this problem is acknowledging that your flight of ideas are an asset to your business. Write your ideas down and come back to them when needed.

Personality Types and Indecision

Certain personality types, such as those who are highly analytical or perfectionists, may struggle with indecision more than others.

These personality types love to gather information to make informed decisions, but taken to an extreme, it can get in the way of making a decision at all. Your fear of making a mistake or failing cripples you into indecision, leading you to a cycle of more analytics and information gathering.

Take the time to recognise your personality type and how that might contribute to your decision making. It’s important to look at yourself as a human outside of your ADHD, and personality is a huge part!

The Power of Decision Making

We may not realise it, but decision making is part of every minute of our day. When you wake up in the morning, you usually decide what to eat for breakfast, and what clothes you’re going to wear. Decisions have power over our lives.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Why even bother making a decision to focus on an idea? It’s probably not going to do anything.” Well, there are plenty of good reasons why simply making a decision can have a powerful impact, so let’s get into them.

Increased Likelihood of Action

We usually overlook the power that making a decision has over our motivation. When you consciously decide that you’re going to take a certain course of action, your mental and emotional capacities align towards that action. It provides a sense of direction and purpose, driving you towards achieving your business goals.

Reducing Cognitive Load

Making a decision also reduces cognitive load. By choosing a single business idea to focus on, your mind puts other resources and ideas on hold to focus on your decision. You suddenly may find that you have more energy and motivation towards your chosen idea over the others, boosting your productivity.

Strategies for Deciding on a Business Idea

So, even though you now know the value of making a decision in general, you still might be feeling anxiety about how to actually pick one. This is completely normal, and there are a couple things to consider before you choose to pursue a certain business idea.

Evaluating Your Passion and Skills

The first thing you need to do when deciding on a business idea is to evaluate your passion and skills. Which idea excites you the most? Which aligns best with your skills and expertise? Passion is a powerful driver, and having the necessary skills can significantly impact the success of your business.

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When you aren’t doing something you love, you never do it as well. Your passion and skill towards something often drives motivation and endurance, so if you aren’t passionate about it, don’t do it.

Assessing the Market Need

The second step is figuring out whether there’s a need for your service or product. To find this out, you have to do market research. You need to find out what your target audience is. What are their likes and dislikes? In what way can your business idea meet their needs?

This is one that many ADHD people don’t love doing, so as long as you can describe your idea in decent detail, you can likely delegate this task to someone else. How can you do this? Well, ask yourself where your target audience hang out. Go bug them for a bit and ask questions.

Balancing Your Needs

Your life matters. You matter. How can you demonstrate to yourself that you matter? You can focus on yourself and your needs above others.

So how do you know what you need? Well, I have a list of needs to help you. Go through this and work out which needs would be met more and less, leading to greater overall happiness.

Consider Outcomes, Criteria and Attributes

We all want something in life, and these can be listed down in three categories:

  1. Must haves
  2. Preferables
  3. Nice to haves

To get the initial list, consider what your perfect day or days would be like and think about your environment; your colleagues, your family and friends, your work. Visualise these in detail and make a list of outcomes, criteria and attributes.

Place each of these into one of the three, and focus your attention more on the business ideas which meet a larger amount of those criteria which are most important to you.

Conducting a SWOT Analysis

It might sound very formal, but conduct a SWOT analysis on your remaining ideas.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis can provide you with a comprehensive view of each business idea, helping you understand its potential for success.

Now, SWOT doesn’t only work for the idea itself, but also for you as the business owner. Consider your own strengths and weaknesses as well as the idea, and examine opportunities through your own eyes as the founder. For example, if you’re an SEO expert and your business needs online traffic, that’s an opportunity.

Decisiveness as a Path to Success

Embracing Imperfections

Understand that no decision is perfect. There will always be risks and uncertainties involved when creating a business. This is a commonality for everyone and it’s not exclusive to you.

Self-compassion is important to understand that just because something didn’t work out as you thought it would doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Embrace these imperfections and view them as opportunities for learning and growth. Which leads on to…

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Having the right attitude, or a growth mindset, is a huge asset to how you navigate your new business. View challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as obstacles. This mindset can help you overcome setbacks and keep you motivated as you work towards your business goals.

In conclusion, deciding on a business idea to focus on involves understanding your tendencies towards indecision, leveraging the power of decision making, and using strategic methods to evaluate your ideas.

It’s important to realise that there is no such thing as a “perfect” decision. No matter what you decide, there’s going to be setbacks that you can overcome by utilising these steps.

I know that deciding on a business idea can seem like an impossible task. But trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

My Own Journey In Deciding On Businesses To Work On

Around five years ago, I found myself in the grip of extreme indecisiveness while trying to decide which business idea to pursue. This led me to my current role as a coach. I noticed that my mind, in an attempt to help me when I’m uncertain, bombards me with a flurry of new ideas, only exacerbating my confusion!

However, I’ve found the antidote to this lies in conducting a comprehensive assessment of my personal needs and desires, and envisioning what each business option would look like.

Once I’ve done this effectively, my mind seems to relax. It then starts to flood me with a multitude of ideas, not about different businesses, but about the one I’ve chosen.

While this can still be overwhelming, it at least channels my energy in a direction that allows me to move forward!

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