October is ADHD Awareness Month. In celebration, I return to the blog I have neglected for exactly one year now. Knowing how my ADHD brain works, I knew I would abandon this blog even before I began it 😏
Long neglected blogs notwithstanding, the constellation of traits we call ADHD naturally lends itself to entrepreneurship. Being less risk averse and able to hyperfocus for long periods on specific interests and problems makes ADHDers 100% more likely to found a business (Small Business Economics, 2019).
On the flip side, folks with ADHD struggle mightily with executive function, i.e., the ability to plan, prioritize, and direct our focus. This makes managing and scaling the businesses we found enormously challenging. Now eight years into my entrepreneurial journey, I've learned success will not come to me in the conventional ways.
In traditional business models, growth and profit come about via "horizontal scaling". Scaling horizontally means increasing volume, production, and customer acquisition. By contrast, "vertical scaling" involves increasing quality and deepening relationships with existing customers and communities.
A mix of both models is needed, but up until 2019, I leaned heavily into the horizontal model. (It was all I knew.) That year, I launched into wholesale and doubled HF revenue in just 12 months. But profits dwindled, quality suffered, and worst of all, by year's end, I hated the business I founded.
In 2020, with the opportunity for reflection provided by the pandemic, I imploded the wholesale business. Today, I'm much more focused on vertical growth. I limit the time I spend in production and management and maximize the time I spend creating and communicating with all of you. The former drains my energy; the latter is fuel to my ADHD brain.
The journey of this "intentionally small" business continues with the opening last November of our 300 sq. ft. storefront in Boyertown, PA. (Thank you, Building a Better Boyertown for incubating us!) Along with a showroom for my perfumes, the storefront offers a space for a custom blend bar where I can facilitate your creation -- something I find tremendously rewarding. The shop also allows me to curate botanically-inspired products made by others' hands, the sale of which supports me in my craft 💖
Onward and upward (less outward)