My business has ADHD, but that’s OK!


Who decides what’s normal? ADHD is just a synonym for Brain 2.0

This story is about running a photography/online -business, diagnosed with ADHD and the fact that I like it.

I started this blog because I needed a place where I can be completely honest. Without filters, proofreading, sales pitch or anything keeping me from writing what I want.

With that said, this is not an ADHD blog where I write about my personal life. I will get into the details how I work, what tools/services I use, methods and tricks to increase productivity.

Photographer, Online Business Entrepreneur, Father and diagnosed with inattentive ADHD

I would like to tell you a short story about a 32-year-old photographer, moving to another part of Sweden for family reasons, took his business with him, got diagnosed with ADHD and at the same time, he builds an online business. Now, a few years later he starts a blog on that focus on getting things done. Quite the opposite what he should do with that diagnosis of his.

Getting things done is something that can be hard, especially with ADHD. Sudden changes can make you fall off the horse, and it is not easy to get back up. I get excited when new clients phone me and want to hire me for their wedding or another assignment, but at the same time, I get some level of performance anxiety. I don’t feel I have full control over the situation, and the fact that I’m not comfortable in social context give this fear extra fuel.

I’ve learned some things though. When you do something with assertiveness even though you don’t feel confident, it may be possible to fool the brain to feel confident. There are a couple of scenarios where I feel confident even though I probably shouldn’t.

  • Playing guitar in front of a crowd of thousands is something I did for a while, and when on stage I get into the role of a rockstar. I do not fear; I do not hesitate… I deliver! *blink*
  • Holding presentations/demos for people more experienced than me would have been terrible if I did not learn to get into a role of my listeners master. Even though they are more experienced than me -they don’t know that.

I’m not an expert, but wouldn’t the thinking-uplifting-thoughts technique go hand in hand with that weird form of therapy where you force a laugh and fool your brain to release endorphins?

Well, there is a lot to tell about running a business with a diagnosis like ADHD. These problems are most obvious, to me:

  • Pushing deadlines on stuff that is tedious, like accounting and boring government papers I need to handle.
  • Challenging to keep stuff in my head. For instance, if a client gives me the dates and specifics for a shoot, I will not remember it if I do not take notes.
  • Deal with the wrong things, even though I know it. For example writing this post even though my list is full of stuff I should do first.
  • A simple phone call feels like a hike over Mount Everest

I fight with this stuff every day. For someone without ADHD it’s easier just to do the stuff that is important, but for me, it’s almost like these dull things are filtered and stuffed somewhere deep inside my head, for later.

Photo: Johan Pehrson

Before I knew about my diagnosis, I didn’t realize that some of my biggest problems — when it came to behavior, was because of this diagnosis.
Now when I know why, I realize that, knowing — that’s a good thing.
It is very satisfying to know that a lot of my problems — those I had in school as well as other social contexts — was because of my ADHD. And it is equally pleasing to know that things I do wrong now are not just me being lazy, it’s my brain playing me some tricks.

Forget about ADHD. You just have another type of brain — Created to do amazing stuff in other ways. Who decides what’s normal? ADHD is just a synonym for Brain 2.0.

I’ve learned more about myself the last year than I’ve learned in my whole life. There is so much about me that I don’t want to change, and I’m not sure I would have a better life/business without ADHD!

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About the author

Johan Abelson

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