A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.


A friend (I’ll not get anyone in trouble by mentioning names) was prescribed Adderall for his ADHD and was raving about how it allowed him to concentrate more and become more focused… really, to do more work in less time.

I read about it on Wikipedia and decided to give it a shot. What really interested me was that it was described as an “overachiever’s drug.” Adderall is often taken by college kids to cram on an exam, for instance, due to the fact that it allows you to focus on even really boring subject material.

I was interested to know what it would do to take it, and since it’s not addictive, I bummed one off my friend and took it this morning. I took a 10mg (blue) tablet. The results? Well, this is unlike any other drug I’m familiar with.

I let the “buzz” for the first hour wear off while I was getting my car an oil change. Then I headed to lunch. However, I was itching to work and ducked out of lunch after eating a salad to try my hand at staying focused.

I typically tend to ignore things that I don’t want to deal with or that take too long to do, but today, I was burning through work. It was really unbelievable. All of those little things that had been nagging me for a while (small things, mostly, but all of them little details that had just been piling up on my desk) suddenly got brought out into the light. All of a sudden, I did not want to do anything else. I wanted to get all that crap cleaned up.

And clean up I did. I sent email after email, setting up billing for clients, emailing a resolution for a long-standing billing dispute, and sending a detailed email to a customer who wanted advice on a hosting solution. I aggressively ripped through my inbox, replying to email after email, ensuring that Things. Got. Done.

I also noticed that I was a lot more mellow around the office. I engaged employees in conversation. I smiled a lot. I was less concerned about myself and more concerned with making sure that other people were satisfied. (This was, in fact, the same thing that prompted me to get all of those outstanding issues resolved. I felt that my integrity was on the line in all cases and decided to get things resolved to make my customers happy.) This, I feel, shows an important part of my life — making sure others are happy and making sure I clear up issues so that people are proud to have me in their lives.

I am amazed at the productivity level that I’m having today, but I notice something different. I’m sure as heck focused, but I feel like my vision is narrower. Adderall forces you to focus on NOW. What is going on NOW? Typically, my thought process is about the future. Right now I don’t care about the future… I just want to get some work done. And while I can tell you that this is extremely valuable to have once in a while, it would ruin my business were I to do this every day, because I would not be able to be a visionary and think about where I want to be in 5 or 10 years.

But boy… to just be able to so aggressively attack all those things I’ve been putting off… well, that’s an amzing feat in and of itself.

So why did I decide to post this on my blog? Mainly because I want you to know what Adderall is like should someone you know be on it, should you want to take it, or should you have kids and someone recommends Adderall for them. I can say right now… please, I beg of you, do not put your kids on Adderall every day. It is great for routine work and terrible for visionary creative moments. But when you need to stop being so future-focused for a day or two and just really focus on clearing up all that stuff that accumulates in your inbox while you’re out there being an awe-inspiring visionary… yep, go for it.

Summary: Adderall 10mg
Good effects for me: Increased focus and concentration; increased calm feeling; more relaxed and able to interact with others; getting busywork done instead of letting it pile up
Bad effects for me: Sweaty palms; dry mouth; creativity and visionary abilities gone; no ability to focus on the future, just NOW
Recommendations: Take every once in a while when you know you need to clean things up or get busywork done, but don’t have the motivation to do so. Do not take or recommend to anyone who needs to be creative.

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