ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: ADHD as an Entrepreneur’s Superpower | John Torrens | TEDxSyracuseUniversity

ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: ADHD as an Entrepreneur’s Superpower | John Torrens | TEDxSyracuseUniversity

Here’s Great Tip: ADHD as an Entrepreneur’s Superpower | John Torrens | TEDxSyracuseUniversity


Here is Something You Should See…


In a sample of highly successful entrepreneurs, an astounding 62% identified as having traits consistent with an ADHD diagnosis. Is this a coincidence, or is there more to the story? In his talk, John Torrens, an entrepreneurship professor at Syracuse University, as well as a founder and president, analyzes recent research and his own personal experiences to highlight how ADHD can quite possibly be a “entrepreneur’s superpower.” John Torrens is a Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). His Talk explores his experience as an entrepreneur with ADHD and research showcasing that ADHD is quite possibly an “extrepreneur’s superpower.” He hopes to spread his message that even though ADHD is considered a disability, there are ways that it can be an advantage in the context of entrepreneurship. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

43 Replies to “ENTREPRENEUR BIZ TIPS: ADHD as an Entrepreneur’s Superpower | John Torrens | TEDxSyracuseUniversity”

  1. Exactly, learn to harness it. Makes the world more colorful. I am sure that it is disability to a small few, but yes, need to start education for ADHD kids to see it as a good thing with struggles. ADHD is a square that the system tries to force into round peg. Tools, acceptance, support and key people to encourage and support.

  2. “What if, instead of thinking ADHD is a disability, why don’t we consider it just a different ability?” Wow. Beautifully stated. I was diagnosed at the age of 29 after years of believing I would never make anything of myself out of my inability to fit in academically with my peers. I’m still struggling to find my way, but I’ve come to understand myself more in these few months since my diagnosis, and I feel incredibly empowered, even if my family doesn’t understand what it’s really like for me. Great speech!

  3. our goal shouldn’t be to make ADHD kids look and act like everyone else. society should adapt to encourage the strengths of ADHD and accommodate the weaknesses. same with all disabilities

  4. I have real narcolepsy from the real "medication" and am living with it every day for a few months bc of how bad the products are. How bad is someones condition if its not that bad it isn't schedule 2.

  5. Interesting to see how connected he is with so many other ADHDers and his level of success. I'd imagine he was able to be so successful throughout his life becuse he was very attuned to other people and able to connect with the correct people he needed- that is a MASSIVELY important skill.

  6. So he said that a trait of ADHD was being impulsive and also able to make decisions without overthinking. Is this considered a common ADHD trait? As someone who is probably through the roof on an ADHD scale, I overthink CONSTANTLY. It seems like my mind goes full auto and shoots out every possible outcome or pro and con and then I get paralyzed beyond belief. Anyone else have this? Or are ADHDers usually more quick and decisive?

  7. ADHD is a spectrum. This man can speak fluidly throughout his presentation and some of us can’t even focus enough to watch it. I wish tests determined a high/mid/low category.

  8. Omg. I appreciate your work and this talk. I am actually startled about you calling it your super power while so many of us who have ADHD ARE JUST STRUGGLING.

  9. I have ADHD , 52, graduated high school with honors but flunked out of college in 8 months, have held 37 jobs since, create content for the longest running 24/7 streaming channel, and finally started my own successful street food business. I somehow ended up here from a meme on FB, lol.

  10. We are the 5 procent of the population that are most sucessful if we get out of the 9-5 squirrelwheel.

    It is a superability AND a disability.

    Saying it is not a disability is irresponsible.

    Its like wrestling an invisible giant everyday on your way to a task like getting coffe by the coffemachine.

  11. I have ADHD and I am an ex-police officer, current private investigator, founder and director of a new non profit organisation to help kids with early intervention and screening in school for ADHD working collaboratively with health and education in Oz, I am The ADHD Whisperer on FB and have a great, quickly expanding following to help support ADHDers, I am about to publish my first children's book on ADHD, have written a second book in the series, which is in edit and started my third book. I have made a 5 minute video about ADHD tragedy for awareness, I have started to work collaboratively with many ADHD experts in the psychiatry and psychology fields. AND, of course I wish to take over the world with my ADHD awareness and support by connecting with all ADHDers and bringing them up with me, showing them the short cuts and not having them suffer the stigma, myth and learn things the hard way.

  12. Wow this guy nailed me to a tee! Owned 5 businesses always get fired from jobs, and currently working on another project, and want to start another one getting bored with this one! He’s 100% correct!

  13. This is such a frustrating "disorder." The number of times I've gone to a new job just to lose it or lose interest is well into the double digits. So, then I start businesses only to get distracted and go down rabbit holes all day while things get attempted at 25% instead of completed at 100%. I wish I experienced this super power, because all it's been for me is years of struggle, frustration, and disappointments.

  14. I want to become an entrepenuer, whilst starting my compeny now, i feel like sometimes i can work for a whole week, then just completely forget about it for a month and it repeats. Anyone else?

  15. Ok, I hear what your saying BUT, what about the poor or middle class. I cant afford to do a start up. I cant even afford insurance. I'm very successful in the career that I'm in and have been doing it for 18 years. Due to an accident I cant afford insurance because of "pre existing conditions". Now wtf do I do. I've been self medicating and I'm tired soooooo tired of drinking all the time. What about folks like me. Just saying. Ted talks are awesome but it seems they are for the insured or the wealthy.

  16. You need to be extremely lucky and/or persistant to end up in an environment that works for you. Starting a company is not hard, everyone can do it on a whim. The hard part is maintaining it. You'll need help organizing the paperwork and finances. Doing it alone would be nigh impossible. Finding the right people to work with would be very important, but it obviously can be done.

    What most of these speeches seem to fail mentioning is that there's a huge difference between coming up with the idea for a company, and actually maintaining it. People with ADHD are just more impulsive, thus more likely to start companies. It's not an actual trait for success.

    These "studies" prove nothing unless they're deemed empirically relevant. Just the fact that someone has failed to put units of measurement on his graphs, make them highly questionable. How many companies did this study include? What were the differences between the competing companies in terms of location, number of employees, lifespan etc.? You can't just throw similar companies in a pile and compare them. It's not possible, you'd need to compare hundreds of almost identical companies in order to get a decent statistic.

  17. I’m ADD, Inattentive Type, I do industrial automation and controls. I find problems and solutions to make systems work better. My novel brain has helped me very successfully.

  18. Would like to hear more about specific methods to manage the downside. I'm well aware of the upside but struggle with completion of projects and allowing minor priority tasks pull me away from major ones. I find that I already know the solution to my problem, if someone else had the same struggles, I could advise them. So it seems that I know I'm off course, but am driven to keep going down it and so I waste a lot of time and my priority tasks are delayed. I would like to learn about methods to stay on course in the face of unlimited distractions.

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