work life balance clock concept set at 6pm

Why Your ADHD Brain Should Embrace the Self-Employment Life

Last Updated on

July 16th, 2023 02:23 pm

Self-employment is a perfect career choice for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who possess an entrepreneurial intention and desire to succeed. The innovative personality traits that come with being neurodivergent are the very reasons that Ingvar Kamprad designed Ikea to be one of the most ADHD-relatable retail experiences we know today.

That said, many self-employed individuals find it an attractive career option that’s daunting at first. In particular, people with a neurodevelopmental disorder often struggle with their attention-deficit symptoms. Their reduced ability to manage their time, focus on work, and avoid distractions can lead to a negative relationship with colleagues and loved ones alike.

But when tailored to the individual, these are the very reasons that make self-employment careers an attractive career option. In particular, that’s the case for anyone who wants to work with their talents to achieve the best life outcomes possible for everyone. So let’s take a closer look at some reasons why being self-employed is the perfect career choice for anyone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

1. Increased Financial Independence

As a self-employed individual, you have the ability to control your finances and income. It’s easy to take a break from work if something stressful or overwhelming arises, without worrying about the financial impact.

If you make the decision to quit though, it will be your decision and not someone else’s. You can also choose how much time you want to spend on your business, which is especially helpful for people with ADHD who seek more structure.

Financial independence is all about choice. When you decide to become self-employed, you gain the freedom to live life as you see fit and make the right occupational choices. For some, that means stacking up money in the bank for a rainy day. For others it means reducing their monthly outgoings to work the bare minimum due to other commitments in their life that they value more.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. But it’s important to understand what your primary motivator is if you’re looking to unleash yourself from the shackles of your current employer not understanding your ADHD and achieve entrepreneurial success.


2. Scheduling Flexibility for Childcare or Future Studies

People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder often have difficulty staying on a schedule and following the daily routine. Self-employment allows for flexibility in scheduling because you control your own hours and can work at home, in the office, or anywhere else that helps you feel most productive.

Your schedule is flexible. You don’t have to worry about being at work by 9am every day. You can decide when you wake up and go to bed, and you can work whenever you want. And, you can allow flexibility for future studies that may even help your career in advance.

This is especially useful if you have a condition such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Many people with ADHD find that their attention-deficit symptoms are worse at different times of the day. Many are unable to stay awake until 9am, and they would rather sleep in and work later. This is also true of those who need to study for exams or complete assignments.

You may be able to get more done during the day than someone without ADHD. If you’re not sure how much time you’ll need each day, it’s best to overestimate so that you won’t run out of time before finishing what needs to be done.

If you have ADHD, you may find that one of your biggest attention-deficit symptoms is that you have trouble getting started on tasks. If this happens to you, try starting small. Start with one task at a time and see how long it takes you to finish. Then add another task to the list.

It’s important to remember that you will never be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes. Just keep trying new things until you find something that works for you.


3. Independence From Co-Workers and Clients

People with ADHD are often highly motivated and enjoy a challenge. This works well for self-employment, where you can set your own deadlines, meet your goals, and work when you want with minimal to no supervision.

Self-employed people have more control over their work environment and don’t have to worry about annoying co-workers or clients. Also, if you’re not a people person, or you struggle with autistic masking, then self-employment is a great opportunity to be yourself without fear of judgement.

The freedom to work when you want is one of the greatest benefits of self-employment. If you need to get out of the house early in the morning, you can leave earlier than usual. Or if you prefer working late into the night, you can do so too.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean you should be irresponsible. You still need to follow all laws and regulations regarding employment. But it does give you some flexibility.


4. Durable Income to Support Your Family or Another Business Venture

One advantage of self-employment is the ability to make a sustainable income. And while you may have to work especially hard to get your business off the ground, that work will pay dividends in the long run.

Startups can be risky and often take an extended period of time, but people with ADHD can make a significant contribution earlier on in their self-employment careers. They might not ever let themselves fall into debt, because they know that in order for their business to succeed, they need freedom from financial burdens.

That seems counter-productive since one of the biggest attention-deficit symptoms is impulsivity, especially spending. And, though it may seem like self-employment is just as difficult as working for someone else, it allows people with ADHD more flexibility and control over their lives than traditional employment does.

In turn, a happier life leads to reduced impulsivity, especially when it comes to emptying the bank account!


5. Control Your Own Hours and See the Positive Effects of Your Labor

Self-employed people have the freedom to set their own hours when pursuing self-employment careers. They’re free to spend as much or as little time on their business as they want.

Putting in a maximum amount of time during certain hours is important for productivity, but you can also focus on your business during the times when you want to. This allows self-employed people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to work when they are most productive, and this is often evenings or weekends.

If you have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or are showing depressive symptoms where you can’t seem to get anything done, then self-employment might be the perfect option for you.

You will have control over what hours you work and how long you work, so it’s easier for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to take that break for themselves when needed.


6. Work-Life Balance for Mental Health

When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to balance your personal life and career. If you have children, you can still manage both responsibilities. You can even work part-time and full-time.

You can take breaks throughout the day to care for your family and avoid depressive symptoms that come with working from home. Plus, you can always come back to work refreshed after spending quality time with them.

It’s possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance when you’re self-employed. People with ADHD can often juggle multiple priorities and commitments, and with the right support, can do so successfully.

The key is to prioritize your needs and understand what makes you happy. When you’re self-employed, you have the choice to say “no” to certain obligations or activities that aren’t essential to your success.

As a result, you can better manage your time and energy, and you won’t burn out.

work life balance alarm clock

7. Businesses Save Time and Money on Commuting

Many people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder struggle with commuting. When you work for yourself, there are no commute costs, which saves money. It also means that you can work from wherever you want, whether that’s your house, coffee shop, or another location.

Of course, that still includes some element of commuting. But the important thing to remember is the freedom and occupational choices that come with being able to choose where and when to work are priceless.

Being self-employed gives you the chance to save money on gas and car repairs. It also means that you can work around your schedule instead of trying to accommodate others.

Having the freedom to choose where and when you work means that you can work outside of normal business hours, too. For example, you could start your business early in the morning and end it late at night. So if you did have to commute, public transport might be cheaper, or the roads might be clearer resulting in reduced travel times.


8. Choose Your Own Clients for Entrepeneurial Success

You choose who you work with. You can pick your clients based on their needs and interests. For example, if you love animals, you could start a pet-sitting service. Or if you have experience in graphic design, you could offer freelance services to other businesses.

There are endless possibilities for what you can do when you’re living the freelance life. The only limit to your entrepreneurial success is your imagination.

Choosing your clients is one of the biggest benefits of being self-employed. As a freelancer, you can choose your clients based on their personality, their needs, and their budget. For example, you could work with a small business owner who wants to improve his website. Or you could help an artist create artwork for her next album.

And for most people starting a freelance business, there’s no obligation to commit to a client beyond your initial contracted agreement. So if you work on a project-by-project basis, you don’t need to feel obligated to work with that client again if you feel you value your mental health or another client more.

9. Tailor-Made Work Environment to Calm Hyperactive Symptoms

Working from home (or your own office) means you can set up your work environment in a way that suits you. You can use anything from sensory lighting to textured pillows to create a space that makes you feel comfortable. You can also use your creativity to decorate your workspace.

You have full control over your sensory stimuli. So if you’re the sort of person that works more productively with no distractions whatsoever, you can soundproof your entire office and black out your windows. But, if you prefer to work in a bustling environment with a big open office space of like-minded individuals, you can do that too!

The great thing is you have freedom and flexibility to try different methods of working to see what works for you. If you find one method doesn’t suit you, you can easily change it without having to worry about moving offices or negative relationships with clients. This also goes for your workflow as well where you have flexibility to use dedicated digital accessibility tools should you wish.

If you are looking for a new job, this could all be an advantage. Many companies now offer flexible hours and remote working options. This means that you don’t need to move away from where you live just because you want to start a business.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to combine both worlds to achieve entrepreneurial success. For example, you might choose to work part-time at your current job while running your online business on the side. Or maybe you’d rather spend all day working from home but would still like to meet with clients once a week. The choice is yours.

Self-employment Isn’t For Everyone

It’s important to note that self-employment isn’t a choice for everyone. As for work/life balance, self-employment is a great choice for people with ADHD who have the right set of circumstances and the right skills to achieve entrepreneurial success.

Self-employment, despite being an attractive career option to many, also has its drawbacks. Those dealing with chronic conditions like ADHD or depressive symptoms can struggle with the amount of time and energy required in order to be successful. If you have a partner that also works from home, then spending too much time together can create a negative relationship in your personal life, too.

It’s important to remember that self-employment requires more than great ideas and entrepreneurial success; it also requires perseverance, creativity, and hard work.

Consider Self-Employment Today

Despite the struggles that come with working for yourself, many with ADHD find themselves moving into the exciting world of self-employment as an attractive career choice that removes stress and commitments that come with working for someone else.

With the flexibility to run your own business your own way, there’s never been a better time than now to consider working for yourself as a self-employed individual. Why not sign up for a service like Fiverr today and dip your toe in the water to see if this attractive career option is right for you!

Keep reading for more inspiring neurodivergent content!

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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