Is Adult ADHD a Liability or an Opportunity?

7 Oct

adhd-symptomsI don’t know about you, but focus is not something that I wake up with in the morning. My level of focus can shift throughout the day according to the work that needs to be done. Focus is not a gift. It’s something that I work at and search for…continuously.

Quite a few of my clients have told me in the last few months “it feels like I have ADD”. They say things like:

  • “I sit down to focus on a task…and I just can’t concentrate”
  • “I get so wrapped up in my work that I forget about everything around me. Even my family.”
  • “I feel like I’m spread too thin!”

My clients’ challenges prompted me to do a little research that confirmed something I read a while ago.

You probably have heard that students with ADD, dyslexia and Asperger syndrome are absolute GENIUSES in other areas. In fact, some of the top business minds across the country have ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and other types of “learning disabilities”. So if you find yourself struggling to focus and it feels like a chronic problem, just know you’re in good company.

link between ADHD and entrepreneurship has emerged sighting that many entrepreneurs from the Baby Boomer generation or earlier didn’t realize they had ADHD until their children were diagnosed. There are a ton of successful entrepreneurs with ADHD.

  • David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue Airways
  • Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin empire
  • Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA
  • Walt Disney
  • Michael Phelps
  • Michael Jordan
  • Jim Carrey
  • Will Smith
  • Albert Einstein

These entrepreneurs, executives, and celebrities turned learning disabilities (what others considered a weakness) into a personal strategic advantage. They turned their limitations into opportunities.
Limitations are barriers. Boundaries. Some are designed for our protection. Others are meant to be crossed. But weaknesses imply that nothing good can come out of them until they are finally converted into a strength.

Sales trainer and author Blair Singer advocates for playing to your strengths, sharing that “it takes a lifetime to overcome weaknesses.” And you know what – Blair is right.

I have found ways to compensate for my weaknesses while working to strengthen the ones I can. And then there are some weaknesses (like being able to focus on technical details for a long period of time), that I will never be great at. My point is that thinking of weaknesses as limitations accelerates your goals.

Shift your thinking to figure out what external conditions are presenting you with barriers, obstacles and limitations. What conditions are creating boundaries around you?

What do those strengths allow you to easily achieve? What do the weakness and limitations stop you from achieving? How can you begin to turn your areas of limitation into opportunities? Creating opportunities for others also creates opportunities for you. Sometimes directly and other times indirectly.

My tip this week is to reframe your internal weaknesses.

Reframing weaknesses as limits helps you to explore other possibilities. I want to assist you in turning your limitations into your opportunities. Remember you are not in this journey/process by yourself. Let me help you find strength in your weaknesses and create great successes in your business, life or organization. Coaching helps you to reframe weakness as limitations and turn limitations into opportunities. Find out more information on the website at or email me at to schedule a strategy session.

Talk soon,

Thomas E. Anderson, IIThomas E. Anderson, II is a vision development coach who enjoys motivating and equipping individuals to pursue personal, professional and organizational goals that lead to a more fulfilling life. He specializes in life focus, vision development and goal acceleration.


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