attention deficit disorder fuels her creativity (sadly story’s been removed) and has boosted her business success.
She gives examples of how ADD effects her, i.e., forgetting to put in some ingredients in a birthday cake, fidgeting in business meetings, and stopping in the middle of one task and getting diverted to 4 etc.
“I know, I know,” she said. “It sounds like I’m totally wigged out, completely dysfunctional.”
Gerdes is founder and co-owner of Creative Kidstuff, a highly successful, well-organized business with six stores in the Twin Cities. Local publications repeatedly name Creative Kidstuff “Best Toy Store.” The national toy industry also praises it. Annual sales are more than $10 million
Now she has a new mission: Present a positive side to ADD.”
She talks about how the creative aspect of ADD has helped her business prosper, the ability to multitask well (running 11 programs on her Mac at a time) and the ability to hyperfocus on a task. She wasn’t that good at math and hired a chief financial officer to take care of that.
Here’s a great example of someone who has ADD, and acknowledges and manages/delegates the things she’s not that good at and focuses on the strengths of ADD, the things that she is good at. Too often people (ADD or not) spend too much time trying to deny, hide or fix their weakness. In doing so they don’t spend enough time focusing on and developing and leveraging their strengths. That’s where you’ll find your greatest rewards, both materially and otherwise.
Cynthia also tries inspiring others with ADD. For example when she noticed her child’s friend seemed to have ADD
“Are you ADD?” she asked him.
“So am I,” she said.
The boy’s face lit up.
“You could be a great entrepreneur,” she said. “Those are the people who have good ideas and can do a thousand things a day.”
Being an entrepreneur is a natural fit for many ADDers. Lots of variety, constant stimulation, creativity is rewarded not punished, extra energy for those long hours, and the ability to hyperfocus on a problem to solve it. Some examples are the CEO of Jet Blue Airlines David Neeleman has ADD so does the founder and ex CEO of Kinkos Paul Orfalea.
If you have ADD, do you realize the strengths associated with having it? What are yours? How do you inspire other with it to see their gifts and potential?