Pros and Cons of Being Self-employed When You’re on the Spectrum

Musings of an Aspie

This is part 3 in a 4-part series on self-employment for people on the autism spectrum

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In business school, one of the first management skills you learn is how to do a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The idea is that by identifying internal (S and W) and external (O and T) positives and negatives, you can then set realistic objectives for a project or business.

Predictably, I have an issue with the way a SWOT analysis frames the “harmful” aspects of the model. I’ve found that weaknesses (and sometimes threats) can be just as helpful in achieving an objective as strengths. If you see a weakness as an opportunity to adapt, compensate or innovate your way around a problem, then that weakness is going to be helpful in the long run.

For example, because of my weaknesses in executive function, I’ve created…

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