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Hyperactives Are More Likely to Become Entrepreneurs



Usually the label ‘hyperactive’ is intended and taken as a derogatory term, but a recent study has found an unusual link between the behaviour usually categorised in such a way and incidences of business ownership and entrepreneurship.

Hyperactivity is best known as being one of a number of symptoms that present in sufferers of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) but during this study, in which hyperactivity is taken as a behaviour rather than a symptom of an underlying condition, hyperactivity is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, nor is it always undesirable whether or not is it present due to ADHD, another diagnosed condition or simply as a personality trait.

The study, conducted by Ingrid Verheul and her team, from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), looked at some twenty thousand people in Sweden and Norway and found that, contrary to popular misconception: hyperactive behaviour is not an indication that the sufferer is doomed to lengthy periods of unemployment, not a sign that that sufferers will struggle with work.

Instead, the demands of entrepreneurship (coming up with a new service or product, the lengthy process from drawing board to readiness for that first sale, the drive for funding, research and the endless tinkering to get everything just right) are best served by a high-energy hyperactive person. This feeds into the sometimes obsessive interests of ADHD sufferers, but transforms it from an issue in the classroom, when one’s attention must change from subject to subject in fifty-minute windows, to an absolute positive in the workplace.

This study is timely: there has been an increase of some 43% in the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses in young people in the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Brazil – instead of a cause for alarm, perhaps this indicates that before long there will be a new wave of entrepreneurial ventures across the business world, from industry to technology to eco-friendly processes and products.

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