How to build a successful business with ADHD & dyslexia

This week is Neurodiversity Celebration Week, which provides a great opportunity to notice and celebrate the many gifts that come with having ADHD and dyslexia.

After many years of believing that both my ADHD and dyslexia meant there was something ‘wrong’ with me – I came to understand later in life that they were gifts. I have unique quirks and characteristics which when I learnt to fully embrace and harness, led me to build Kaylo – a flourishing business and community helping people to heal and thrive so they can live happier, healthier, more harmonious lives.

Embracing my own diagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia encouraged me to embrace neurodiverse minds and multi-dimensional characters within my business, which has helped it grow to the success it has today. Havard Business Review reveals that neurodiversity provides a competitive advantage in the workplace - which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Many people can feel disempowered by their diagnoses, but the truth is, we need diverse thinkers in order to create a fully-rounded, successful company which also understands how the rest of the world works. Nobody is better than another. We all have unique gifts to bring to the table.

Natalie’s tips to build a successful business with ADHD & dyslexia

#1. Tap in to your mission

People with ADHD have an amazing ability to hyperfocus on things that interest them, which puts them in an amazing position to fuel their energy towards their passion and purpose. An ADHD brain can ignore surrounding distractions more easily and focus for an extended period, boosting focus and productivity. To maximise this ability, focus on what lights you up, get clear on your mission and remind yourself of it daily. This will help you fuel your energy in the right direction and help you create a business that’s deeply aligned with your passion and purpose.

#2. Nurture your emotional intelligence

One of the biggest strengths of having ADHD and is your capacity for emotional intelligence. You’re able to see the bigger picture, recognise how people are feeling, create a healthy, compassionate, and communicative work dynamic which inspires and nurtures the people you work with. Neurodivergence is key to a successful company. It’s important to have a range of diverse thinkers with diverse skills on one team, so nurture your natural skillset because yours will be a KEY cog in the chain for creating a successful business!

#3. Commit to your own personal practice

My personal practice has a huge impact on the success of my business. It’s important that I let off steam and channel my energy through moving my body. I love starting my mornings with Jivamukti yoga – it combines breath, movement, and Dharma – helping me to tap into my truth, remain clear-minded, grounded, present and focused for the day ahead. It’s important to craft time to replenish and recharge your battery so you’re working productively in ‘working’ hours. The time taken out to ‘switch off’ from work is just as important as the time taken focusing on work. I don’t touch tech in the evenings or on weekends and spend lots of time in nature and connecting with my family, allowing my brain and body to fully replenish so I’m ready to go again when I start work.

#4. Outsource admin support

Organisation isn’t one of my strengths – which is quite normal for anyone living with ADHD. One of the easiest ways to create a business that runs smoothly is outsourcing admin support. If you let things get messy, you make a mess for the whole team. Ensure you seek support for the areas you’re lacking. It may seem simple, but someone helping you organise your diary, or ensuring the company has a rigorous filing system so people can find documents easily, means you – and your team – will be much more efficient and productive.

#5. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses

Kaylo wouldn’t work well if we were all clones of each another. There’s no point pretending to be an expert at everything – because it’s not possible! Get honest with yourself about your weaknesses so you can either work on improving them, or request support where you need it. This doesn’t make you ‘bad’ at your job, just human. Learn to recognise and really own your strengths! The more you lean into your strengths, the higher and further you will fly. Personality tests or quizzes (Human Design or 16 Personalities) can be a useful place to start if you’re unsure of your strengths and how to harness your unique attributes in the workplace. It’s important to be mindful of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so everyone can support everyone and bring the best possibility to get the best out of your team.

#6. Embrace neurodiverse, multidimensional characters

We were all born with unique gifts to offer the world. We all have different ways of thinking, perceiving, learning and being. Embrace these differences! The more diverse a team, the more creative potential. Some people might be brilliant brainstormers with the ability to think outside the box, whilst others might be able to distil a brainstorming session into a succinct paragraph. Some people are quick off the mark, others are more considered in their approach. Some are thinkers, others are do-ers. You need both and everything in between!

As a leader, it’s about helping your team members recognise and harness their own unique area of genius and encouraging them to use it.