When an Entrepreneur Overcomes ADHD

Entrepreneurship, BiogeniQ, ADHD

19 September 2016

Do you know Christian Genest?

He launched Sushi-Taxi 15 years ago from his apartment; he sold it sold last March. He’s repeating the recipe with a second company that will launch soon: Buddha-Station, which will offer healthy lunch bowls for people in a rush. A midway between a salad and a protein bowl; customers will be able to order their meal online or picked up at local merchant partners.

Christian has been successful in business; he also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD.

In order to become an outstanding businessman Christian had to overcome several obstacles. He first had to get past the feeling of failure that he felt when he was diagnosed with ADHD. At the time Christian was a competitive 17-year old finishing high school and playing multiple sports.

His first reflex was to concentrate all of his energy on sports and physical activities to clear his mind; he didn’t want to take any medication. Eventually though, even the simplest tasks became difficult: reading, watching a movie without falling asleep, staying calm during his classes. His lack of focus created numerous incidents: misplacing his keys, losing his passport, or even getting into car accidents.

As an athlete, Christian had the opportunity to meet a sports psychologist to help him prepare for his competitions. The topic of ADHD eventually came up. At that point his psychologist became a life-coach and mentor: among other things, she helped him understand that given his circumstances that medication could be beneficial for him and his mental health.

A trial and error process to choose the best treatment began; Christian had to change medications a few times and adjust the dosage based on his progress. His doctor was extremely helpful, and his own judgment played a role in the success of the treatment. During this process he kept track of the changes in his concentration and his attitude in relation to the medication that he was taking.

For Christian, medication is not the only success factor. He works out five days per week, meditates every morning, and very rarely drinks alcohol. Sports and his lifestyle allow him to concentrate, to calm himself and to put things in perspective.

Advice for People Diagnosed with ADHD

Ultimately, he says that he would not have been successful in his two ventures if he had not taken any medication. “An entrepreneur has a tough path to go through on an emotional and structural level. In my opinion, people who choose not to take any medication are creating additional challenges and obstacles for themselves and delaying the achievement of their goals.”

People diagnosed with ADHD still have to face many horrible taboos and stereotypes. But Christian encourages them to keep going forward:

“Go ahead! You have as many - or even more skills - as anyone else. The future ADHD entrepreneur has flair that regular people do not have.”