Find a therapist or coach who understands ADHD to work with you.

ADHD Business Tips - Find a coach

As a business owner with ADHD, I know the unique challenges we face all too well. The constant barrage of ideas, the struggle to stay focused, the tendency to jump from one shiny project to the next – it can be both a blessing and a curse.

On the one hand, our out-of-the-box thinking and ability to hyper-focus gives us boundless creativity and drive to turn our visions into reality. We can easily dream up innovative products and services that solve real problems. 

But on the other hand, our ADHD brains don’t exactly mesh well with the structures and processes of running a successful business. The administrative tasks, endless meetings, meticulous planning required – they can be like kryptonite for our wandering minds.

I can’t count how many times I’ve found myself paralysed by overwhelm, unsure which of the thousand ideas clamouring for my attention I should pursue next. Or sat revving my brain for hours, unable to focus long enough to power through an important but boring task.

This vicious cycle of intense passion followed by complete burnout and discouragement can feel all too familiar when you have ADHD. Keeping up levels of motivation and momentum to successfully run a business is a constant battle when consistency isn’t one of your core strengths.

That’s why working with a coach or therapist who truly understands adult ADHD can be a transformative for entrepreneurs like us. Someone to help us co-create the structure, systems, and accountability we so desperately need, while embracing and leveraging our creative strengths.

The risks of an uneducated coach

Investing in a coach without experience or extensive training in working with adults with ADHD can be a risky proposition. Here are some potential dangers of using a coach without expertise in ADHD if you’re a business owner with an ADHD brain:

Lack of Understanding of ADHD Challenges

A coach without ADHD training may not fully grasp the neurological root of the struggles ADHD entrepreneurs face. They could wrongly perceive issues like forgetfulness, procrastination, and hyper-focusing as laziness or character flaws instead of biological realities. This lack of understanding could lead to ineffective or even counterproductive advice.

One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Generalist coaches often take a standardised approach to productivity, time management, and goal-setting. But what works for neurotypical entrepreneurs may completely miss the mark for those with ADHD. An ADHD brain requires a customised approach tailored to the unique neurological wiring and cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Outdated or Harmful Techniques 

Without specialisation in ADHD, a coach may employ outdated techniques that have been found ineffective or even harmful for those with ADHD. For example, strategies centred around rigid scheduling, enforcing strict deadlines, or harsh accountability could backfire spectacularly by inducing panic, shame, and demotivation.

Missed Opportunities

An ADHD-ignorant coach is likely to see only the deficits and miss opportunities to leverage the incredible creative strengths of the ADHD business mindset. An ADHD-savvy coach knows how to help you better harness your hyperfocus, out-of-the-box thinking, and passion for innovative problem-solving.

Emotional Toll

For someone with ADHD who has likely faced a lifetime of negative judgment and criticism, being coached by someone without understanding of their neurological reality can take a serious emotional toll. Feeling constantly misunderstood and inadequate can severely impact self-esteem, motivation, and potential for success.

In many cases, the guidance of a well-meaning but ADHD-inexperienced coach could end up doing more harm than good for the ADHD entrepreneur. Working with someone who has in-depth expertise coaching the specific cognitive profiles and needs of those with ADHD is truly invaluable.

How an ADHD-savvy coach can help

An ADHD-savvy coach recognises that forgetfulness, avoiding tasks, hyper-focusing and mood swings are not character flaws – or a result of simply not “wanting it enough” – but biological facts of how our brains work. With deep expertise in ADHD, they can provide customised systems, strategies and compassionate support tailored for the way we think.

They are well aware that suggestions to use planners, follow productivity hacks, or “just be more organised” are not helpful, and that shaming and drill sergeant-style tactics rarely work for the ADHD brain.

Someone who appreciates the root cause of our challenges is best placed to help us find the answers and strategies we need. They know that there is no silver bullet when it comes to jumping the hurdles that ADHD can throw in front of us. We have unique needs, strengths, and ways of operating optimally and it’s important to work with someone who truly sees and values that.

More practically, an ADHD-savvy coach can equip you with tools and methods designed to work with your specific challenges, like:

  • Restructuring and gamifying tedious tasks to make them more engaging.
  • Managing overwhelm and prioritising the right things at the right time.
  • Improving executive function and behavioural flexibility.
  • Getting clear on goals and creating realistic plans for achieving them.
  • Structuring your days and environment to minimise distractions.
  • Helping you better see the big picture as well as the finer details.
  • Finding ways to leverage natural periods of hyper-focus.  
  • Improving emotional regulation and self-awareness.
  • Building ADHD friendly habits and systems.

That probably sounds a bit magical I know, but these are just some of the things a great ADHD-savvy coach can help you with. Having someone in your corner who intimately understands the neurological underpinnings of your lived experience as an ADHD business owner is invaluable. Not only can they customise practical solutions for you, an ADHD-savvy coach provides irreplaceable emotional support and accountability when you inevitably get derailed.

But how do you find one?

Finding a coach

The easiest way to find prospective coaches is to search one of the many online coach directories like ADHD Coaches Australasia or simply searching for “ADHD business coach Australia/near me”.

When vetting potential coaches or therapists it can be extremely helpful to look for someone with lived experience. This is because it can be incredibly difficult for those with more neurotypical wiring to genuinely comprehend and appreciate the many and varied challenges of a brain like this with the sensitivity and compassion necessary to avoid unknowingly triggering shame or stress responses.

If a coach doesn’t have lived experience of ADHD you don’t need to write them off, but I do recommend ensuring that they have extensive, up-to-date training and experience working specifically with adult ADHD. Don’t settle for a generalist coach with an interest in ADHD or whose main exposure to the condition has been through parenting a child with ADHD.

The coaching relationship is a very personal one, so you’ll want to make sure you truly vibe with your potential ADHD coach. In that sense, a good rapport is one of the key elements to look out for when speaking to potential coaches. Having that supportive, non-judgmental partnership in your corner can be a game-changer for your journey with ADHD.

It’s a good idea to ask about their approach and methods for working with ADHD entrepreneurs like yourself. A good coach will be well-versed in the latest research and able to help you create a customised game plan for your unique brain.

Most coaches offer free chemistry or discovery calls, which are a great way to get a sense of their philosophy, personality and if you’d be a good fit working together before committing.


If you want to see how a coach can help, without having to sit through a sales call, you can book a Next Step session with me now. This is a one off, no obligation, pitch-free session where we’ll focus on whatever’s giving you the most grief at work right now. Use the code BIZTIPS to take a whopping $200 off the price! (Or, if you prefer you can book a free Intro call instead).

An ADHD-savvy coach understands how to find ways for entrepreneurs to work in harmony with their unique neurocognitive profiles, rather than constantly fighting against them. Even if you’ve had a million moments where you’ve questioned if you’ve got what it takes and almost thrown in the towel, know that with the right support in place a business owner just like you can soar to new heights.

Have you invested in coaching before? I’d love to know how it was for you!

I’ll see you next week!

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