Saturday, January 7, 2012

Autism and Entrepreneurship

One of the complaints I often had lobbed at me while I grew up with autism is that I wasn't conforming, that I didn't like what the other kids did, or that I wasn't wearing the same fashions.  Conformity was and to a lesser extent still is something alien to me, and once I realized the fallibility of authority this extended into challenging social norms outright.  I would often ask why something had to be the case and more often than not I could not find an answer that suited my curiosity.

Naturally, this lack of conformity can cause strife in social situations, including a traditional work environment.  However, one must remember that true innovation often comes from people willing to take risks and buck the status quo in order to pursue their dreams.  Autists, with this lack of conformity and obsession with a subject of interest, are perfect entrepreneurs.  Granted, the social and economic aspects of running a business may escape them, but a great many companies now focus on HR and accounting for other companies; the autist need not take those aspects into their own hands anymore.

I personally have found great joy in going into business for myself; the idea that ultimately I have full creative control of where my business goes is a relief, even if it is slightly pressuring at times.  I would encourage anyone with a child or young adult with autism to help them follow their dreams; if an employer or investor is willing to hear them out, so much the better, but if they have to break out on their own, support them all the way; after all, they might be the next great innovator.  Above all, enjoy life and all the crazy twists and turns it gives you.

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