Do You Have Entrepreneur ADHD?

by / ⠀Personal Branding Startup Advice / December 3, 2012

With all of the new technology, niches, and internet for entrepreneurs to explore, it’s not too difficult to come down with a case of entrepreneur ADHD.  Much like small children in amusement parks, entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of prioritizing where their focus should be.

In my early days, I simply could not get enough of all of the opportunities out there.  In my experience consulting for business owners, I have found that a major reason for their start-up (or expansion) failures is due to a simple and basic component-focus.

Let me give you a short example of a small business owner I recently consulted for, a professional photographer.

Here’s what he was doing: He was sending out flyers to prospective clients and was getting zero responses, and wanted to know why.

Here’s what I found: He had entrepreneur ADHD; he was doing too much himself.

Allow me to elaborate…

Before he even sent out the mailings, he was doing the jobs of:

Once he had shipped the mailings, he was doing the jobs of:
Telemarketer (for follow-ups)

As you can see, even though what he is PITCHING is only a single service, he is trying to do MULTIPLE jobs by himself.  Now, I’m not saying a bar owner can’t sweep his own floor, but, as a business owner you have to put a value on what you do.   In this example, he is a great photographer with fantastic work, so he should keep his focus on photography.

This is what he should have done:
1. Hire a researcher to provide quality & targeted leads that ARE LIKELY TO BE INTERESTED in his service
2. Hire a copyrighter and designer to write up a VERY high quality sales letter
3. He can probably do the packaging & shipping in his spare time (if he’s not too busy, otherwise that’s an easy job to hire for)
4. Hire a salesperson to close deals/perform meetings
5. Hire a telemarketer to do follow-up calls
6. He, the photography expert, then performs the photography servicing duties

This would be a more feasible way to succeed for him, even as a one man show. I mean think about it…
He was the new guy in town, the best photographer with the best ideas for Christmas photos that nobody knew about, (but everybody would go crazy over if they did), and he sent out flyers explaining how great his work is and how he has a fantastic deal if you come on in and give him a try.

From his perspective, there’s NO WAY people wouldn’t want that, right? I mean, he is a fantastic photographer with great people skills, he is the real deal.  Not so fast…

Now, let’s look at it in a realistic way. How many of those people that opened the flyer took it seriously? (Some people just don’t need photography done by a professional, for starters). After that, how many of them would just head to their local photographer that they bought their last photos from and check it out there? After that, how many of those people simply couldn’t afford it? How many does that leave? Not many, not many at all.

How could this be fixed?
Quite simply, by having him keep his focus where his strength is, photography.

Here is what I advised him to do:
Hire a professional researcher to provide researched leads that are absolutely targeted to his product.  This meant throwing away the idea of saturating the new area with his flyers, but allowing the experts to do their job.   This led him to getting leads within his area that were extremely targeted to him (i.e. newly weds, families with young children, high school juniors, etc.).  These are what I call qualified leads.

Then, I advised him to commission a designer and copyrighter to create a custom sales flyer for his business, and, they came up with a phenomenal design that tied in the local sports community and gave his new business “brownie points”.
Lastly, I advised him to bring on a salesperson to handle the appointment setting, follow-up, and sales calls.  He was reluctant, at first, so he brought on a person part-time and hourly to reduce costs.

What has that resulted in for my photographer friend?

With the new additions, he has been given the freedom to focus on what he is great at, photography.  The rest was in the hands of experts, and, has paid off.  In the months since, he has dealt with such a demand that he has brought on another photographer to handle overflow, hired his designer/copyrighter part time to continue to bring value to him in running specials, discounts, and promotions, and has hired his assistant full-time to handle his phone calls.   Everyone is happier than ever.

How can you apply this to your business?

There really isn’t any science behind it, there’s no pill for entrepreneur ADHD.  Just write down everything that you are currently doing, then, make it into a prioritized list.  Once you have the list, stick to the top 1 or 2, and let the experts handle the rest.  Once your focus is in place where it belongs, the rest will come together.

Dana Derricks is marketing and business consulting expert.   He is the owner of Advertise Business Online ( and has spent the past 6 years creatively marketing and consulting for businesses.

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.