Flourishing in entrepreneurship | Embracing ADHD as my catalyst for success

By Sarah McCaig, founder of Olive Owl

As I reflect on my journey from floristry student to business owner, I can’t help but feel proud of how far I’ve come in the past decade.

2024 marks a significant milestone for me, both personally and professionally. What started as a passion for flowers and colour blossomed into Olive Owl, my independent wedding floristry business. Along the way, my ADHD diagnosis at the age of 31 became the unexpected catalyst that helped to propel me towards success.

Here are four ways having ADHD helped me convert my creativity into profit over the last ten years.

Harnessing hyperfocus

My journey in entrepreneurship began with a passion for floristry. But, little did I know that my ADHD diagnosis would shed light on my unique ability to hyperfocus on tasks that ignite my creativity. This ability to hone in on certain activities has been instrumental in driving Olive Owl’s remarkable growth, helping us to increase profits by 200% since 2020.

Thinking outside the box

Sometimes my ADHD supercharges my creativity. Embracing my neurodiversity has helped me diversify Olive Owl’s offering, from crafting bespoke wedding floral arrangements to delivering fun and innovative workshops like the ‘Wreath and Rave’ – one I hosted earlier this year.  I’ve always strived to push the boundaries of traditional floristry.

Embracing adaptability

As an entrepreneur, adaptability is key to navigating the ever-changing landscape of business. My ADHD diagnosis taught me to embrace uncertainty and pivot swiftly when necessary. Rather than viewing it as a limitation, I’ve learned to leverage my neurodiversity as my “secret sauce,” staying agile and responsive to people’s ever-evolving needs or wants, particularly when it comes to changing wedding trends.

Cultivating creativity

Creativity isn’t just a skill—it’s a way of life for me. My neurodiversity fuels my imagination, enabling me to approach floristry with a fresh perspective and bring innovative solutions, using colour. By understanding the concepts my clients bring, I can help transform their vision into vibrant floral arrangements that truly resonate with their personalities.

It doesn’t all come up roses…

However, it’s also important to acknowledge that although ADHD can be a superpower, it can also be a struggle and it would be unfair of me not to mention some of these. Sometimes I can struggle to focus if I’m not in the right frame of mind. It can also make me very unorganised, and I often flit from one thing to the next, very quickly which means I can become quite easily overwhelmed.

For anyone who identifies as neurodiverse and is running their own business, I know it can be hard, but use that different way of thinking to its advantage.

As I look ahead to the future, I’m filled with excitement and optimism for what lies ahead. My journey with ADHD hasn’t always been easy, but it has taught me invaluable lessons about resilience, creativity and the power of embracing my own unique strengths. As Olive Owl continues to evolve, I’m grateful for the opportunity to inspire others to embrace their own neurodiversity and pursue their passions. The best is yet to come, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next.

About the author and Olive Owl 

Sarah McCaig successfully founded wedding florist Olive Owl in 2016. She knew early on that an ‘ordinary job’ wasn’t for her, so she harnessed her passion for flowers and colour and successfully converted her creativity into profits. Her ADHD diagnosis in July 2023, at the age of 31, later helped her understand why a different career path was the right choice for her.

Since then, the floral entrepreneur has successfully supported hundreds of newlyweds with unique floral designs for their wedding day. No ordinary wedding florist, Sarah specialises in colour combinations to ensure weddings don’t compromise on character or elegance, blending both beauty and colour for unforgettable florals on a very special day.

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