Entrepreneurs' Excessive Needs for Energy

March 10, 2023

In the TV mini-series “The Playlist,” which is inspired by the book “Spotify Untold,” there is an episode on the process of creation. In this episode, there was a comment made saying that 10% of entrepreneurs have a mental condition. These conditions could range from the spectrum of attention deficit or hyperactivity syndrome. It is of note that the comments also said that in entrepreneurs creating their tech start-up companies, the percentage goes from 10% to 30%.The question is, why is that so? Why do entrepreneurs have this apparently high percentage of some level of autism or of the ADHD syndrome?In my experience of watching entrepreneurs work, entrepreneurship, which means creativity, requires a tremendous amount of energy. That’s why when we do something very creative, we are exhausted, and that includes solving a problem. That’s why it is said that mental work is more tiring than physical work.Because it requires a tremendous amount of energy and because energy is finite, creative people, by and large, try to control where the energy goes. This translates into why many artists, innovators, and top entrepreneurs are considered Prima Donnas. They want everything to be done their way. They want to control everything. They are also called self-centered and egocentric. All of this is for what purpose? To ensure there are no distractions that impact their focus which requires an unusual level of energy. They need all their energy to be available to them in their creative processes.If you observe people with attention deficit syndrome, they also have the same phenomenon. They cannot concentrate, but when they do concentrate, they ignore everything around them. You can talk to them, but they don’t hear you. They are totally and completely focused on what they are doing. And the same with autistic people.So what does it mean? We need to stop criticizing and try first to understand.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes