By Morgan Hancock
I’m Morgan Hancock, and I attended Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 2012 pursuing my Doctor of Law (J.D.).
Since childhood, I’ve known my mind worked differently. I was more impulsive and venturesome than my peers. I was the head of the academic team and yet, the class clown. I was class president, then a high school dropout. I could not do anything at half-effort—for good or bad.
I’ve been labeled obsessive, reckless, immature, delusional, and even selfish because I have a cornucopia of grandiose ideas and passions, and I act on them.
About five years ago, at age 31, a psychiatrist suggested that I might have ADHD. I rolled my eyes, holding the misconception that those with ADHD were lazy, unmotivated, and underachievers. By contrast, I consider myself hardworking, laser-focused, and successful. As I researched ADHD, I was surprised to learn that a disproportionate number of successful entrepreneurs have ADHD.
I came to realize that not only do I have ADHD but that my ADHD actually pushed me to be an entrepreneur.
The three main traits of ADHD are:
- Constant novelty-seeking
These traits are all connected to a genetic mutation of the DRD4 gene. This mutation inhibits the production of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Consequently, for us with ADHD to feel good, we need stimulation. If we can’t find it, we create it for ourselves, sometimes with negative consequences. But I’ve learned that I don’t always have to resist the inclinations caused by ADHD. Instead, I can lean into and harness them toward entrepreneurial endeavors.
Conversely, the three biggest hindrances to becoming a successful entrepreneur are:
- Hesitation to act
- Risk aversion
- Contentment with the status quo
Fortunately, my ADHD brain produces the opposite behavior. I am literally genetically hardwired for entrepreneurship.
Since my ADHD diagnosis, I’ve become a more self-aware, confident, and resilient entrepreneur.
I shifted my focus from what I lacked due to my disorder, and I focused on what I have in abundance, which is, ironically, the first word in the acronym ADHD: attention.
The name ADHD can be misleading in that people with ADHD actually have a surplus of attention—not a deficit. We pay attention to so many things all at once.
However, through the help of medication, lots of checklists, reminder apps, and accountability partners, I’ve learned how to manage and direct my abundance of attention to achieve my entrepreneurial dreams.
I’ve come to recognize the traits of ADHD I once viewed as weaknesses are not only strengths for an entrepreneur but also requisites and perhaps even superpowers!
Morgan Hancock is a commercial real estate agent, Founder of Bourbon with Heart, US ARMY veteran, mother-of-two, bourbonista, and passionate advocate of the arts.
Follow her on IG @MorganBrookeHancock.
Learn more about her non-profit at BourbonWithHeart.Org.
Photo Courtesy // Morgan Hancock //