Author and Content Creator
David Greenwood is an author and content creator with ADHD. Currently, his career is “going down two roads” because he is running a small content firm as well as writing a second book about adults with ADHD/ADD (his first, Overcoming Distractions, was published in 2016). On any given day, he could be ghost writing for someone, creating a video for a company, or working on his book. Although he never went to school for PR, having ADHD helped develop his exceptional ability to communicate, relate to people, and think creatively, which allowed him to be successful in the field. For Greenwood, it was better to utilize these skills in the real world rather than trying to scrape through a degree because he “couldn’t wait to get out of school and just do something.”
Growing up, Greenwood was a very hyper, unruly child. He began to take Ritalin as a young boy, after being so frenzied and unfocused that he ran through a glass door. This is when his mother decided to take him to the doctor to get some help managing his energy. Greenwood says that, as a child and young adult, “I never liked school, but was always trying to fit in”, and that “I had my share of bullies”. However, he also says that, “you find a lot of people with ADHD are very good communicators…so I think I used my ability to communicate to gain new friends.”
In learning how to overcome the obstacles of ADHD, Greenwood says, “getting out of school was the best thing for me”. Getting out and working in the real world helped him become more self-aware, which helped him figure out his strengths and weaknesses. He says, “I don’t think it was something I was particularly conscious of at the moment, but I think a large part of me coming into adulthood and having some success in business was just being self-aware, and that would include the positive and negative traits of just being a human being, and of course, of being a human being with ADHD”. For Greenwood, knowing your strengths and weaknesses is a huge key of being successful, especially as someone with a Learning Difference.
ADHD still affects Greenwood today, and he says, “you have good days and you have bad days…you have days where you come into the office, and you just can’t get started”. However, he has found ways to manage his ADHD symptoms without taking medication, including always getting enough sleep, exercising consistently, and making structured schedules for himself. He also likes to “batch” his work, so he groups similar projects together in his schedule so he can get into a “zone” of working on similar tasks, which for him is easier than working on many different things throughout the day.
As far as the positives of having ADHD, Greenwood believes it is a huge advantage in being able to think creatively in many aspects of life, and to see things that others do not. His ability to communicate, as well, made him more successful in getting press coverage while working in PR. He says, “it was my ability to see where things were being done wrong, how to improve on them, as well as create relationships with busy reporters” that made him so effective.
Greenwood advises younger generations with Learning Differences to find a career that they love. He says this makes life easier for anyone, and specifically for people with ADHD, “if you get up in the morning and hate your job…all the symptoms of ADD are going to come out” and you will be more likely to procrastinate, wake up late, and not stay focused. He also says not to be afraid to change your career over time. It is beneficial to follow your passion, but that does not mean your passion can’t change. Greenwood himself has had many career changes in the past, following his passion from owning a karate school, to owning a restaurant in Boston, to working in public relations for the Special Olympics, all of which led to his current work. The biggest thing, he says, is to keep a “solid foundation” of things that you know help you manage the symptoms your Learning Difference. This can include sleep, exercise, even having a good mentor. Just finding what works for you, and what you love to do, will help you become successful.
To learn more about Greenwood, you can visit his website: http://davidagreenwood.com