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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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Nov 10, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of shelpful, the instant accountability service that pairs you with a real-human buddy to help you build good habits (they nudge you and hold you to big habits like getting exercise, or small tasks like taking out the trash on time). Prior to starting shelpful, Sharon was a startup executive for 15 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. Today we learned how she started her super helpful company Shelpful, how she learned that for her, exercise is medicine, and how she was using her ADHD as a superpower, even before she was diagnosed. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Sharon Pope discuss:  

2:17 - Intro and welcome Sharon, founder of Shelpful 

2:50 - What prompted you to come up with this kind of idea?

4:12 - It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires getting to numbers of scale, right?

5:20 - Tell us about what kind of tasks people are using this for?

7:15 - What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes?

8:17 - Is there an accountability/human trust balance happening here?

10:10 - Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves the same respect that we give to other people? 

11:35 - As this grows do think that you can find a category for pretty much anything?

13:07 - Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work?

13:48 - So if you are a shelper you're basically on call like full-time?

14:50 - What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD, that has helped change your life?

[How can people find you?] @shelpful on TikTok  INSTA  and Facebook and of course via www.shelpful.com

16:25 - Thank you Sharon! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

16:57 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. We are going to be talking about ADHD in all forms of neurodiverse today on this episode. And I am thrilled. That you are here. I have recorded an episode of in about two weeks. It has been a while. So it's great to be back. It is a, I don't know what day it is. It's Thursday. I believe it was a gorgeous day, outside, a little cold here in New York city, but still beautiful. And, uh, it is lovely to be with you today, wherever in the world you happen to be including Portland, Oregon, where our current guest is from.  Let's just say hi to Sharon Pope. Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of a company called. Shelpful It's an instant accountability service that pairs you with a real human buddy to help you build good habits. They nudge you. They hold you to big habits to get you exercise, and small tasks like taking out the trash on time.  5 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. I love the idea because it's well, well needed and way overdue. Sharon, welcome to Faster Than Normal and first off, tell us what prompted you to come up with this kind of idea other than just finding another thing to do during COVID.

Yeah. Thank you. It's really great to be here Peter. Um, yeah, I started this to solve my own problem. So I was, I think for my whole adult life, um, I'm 38 now. Um, was 37 when I started Shelpful. I I've really struggled with this kind of 10:00 PM feeling of  Looking down at my to-do list and realizing I did everything for everyone else, including work, and my two kids and all the “me” completely just fall off the list. So, you know, I to work out for like 20 minutes and that just got blown off because an email came in and that just drew me in. And so, I mean, after struggling with it forever, I tried to build a bot for it, like in 2018 and it sucked, I had kind of a fever dream one night and I was like, oh my gosh, we could do this with real people. So I put up a site overnight, convinced my friend to do it with me and that same week we launched the first version of Shelpful, um, to just try to answer that problem for everyone else, that people kind of needed more support and could use a real human accountability buddy, kind of sitting on your shoulder and saying, Hey, you said you were gonna work out at 8:00 AM. It's time to work out. I'm gonna ask you in 20 minutes, if you did it or not. And that kind of thing was what I needed desperately. And I felt like I wasn't alone. 

I love the concept. It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires, um, uh, getting to numbers of scale. Right. You know, if you don't have enough people willing to be the accountability buddy then you gotta problem.

Right. And so we have our own, we're kind of structured more like an Uber. So we find the accountability buddies. We train them. I mean, we've found some amazing people who. Are way better than I was in the early days. Uh, just having strong empathy and note-taking, and following up with you and we have them, we staff them, um, you just have to sign up and we put you with them. And honestly, as I dug more into this and looked at what else is out there, everything else requires you to just go find a friend. So you either find a friend in your real life, or you ask your mom to tell you to do something, or you go to Reddit and say, or Twitter or Google and say like somebody, please be my accountability buddy! And the answer is silence. And so that's kind of why we feel like this is working because the people who really need it, get it fast and you're instantly within a day you feel support like you've really never known. 

Tell me about, um, what kind of tasks people are using this for? Cause for someone with ADHD, I mean, this seems like an easy and easy way to, to, to kill a lot of birds with one stone. What are people primarily using it for? 

Right. So the thing that I was solving mostly was the health stuff, right? Like getting movement in and like planning my lunch instead of freestyling my lunch. For instance, when we saw people signing up, the first things were those things, for sure. But also things like. Help me remember to pay my bill. Um, can you remind me to take my trash out on Tuesday nights? Um, like the small, like kind of any range of things that falls off your list you could ask for help with; also just the habit of making it to do list in the first place. Right. So make sure I do my to do list every night before the next day, so that I can go into the day with, with fresh eyes and a clear idea of what I'm gonna do. Um, when we saw people starting up, we left, we left it really open-ended and now we have a bit more structure because we've seen what people ask for, but the open-ended thing we still get to this day. If people writing in saying I have ADHD and I could use a help with this because I forget to drink water. And I forget to do really simple things that may seem easy to other people, but aren't easy to me. Um, and I think as I, as I told you, that was really eye opening to me because I thought this was a problem that I kind of uniquely had. Cause I was quirky. And when people started saying that, it was this big ton of bricks that hit me, that I realized I actually had ADHD or I, you know, at that point I kind of had all this flashback of me asking doctors throughout my life, why I have to wait to the last minute to do things. And, and they just said, oh, well, you're good at your job, or, oh, you get good grades and you just don't have, you don't have this. Um, and so it was really eye opening to me because my mentors actually ended up kind of telling me that this was working for them. And it was because of the same reasons it worked for me.

Tell me why, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Um, why couldn't someone just, What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes? 

It's a really good question. I have had a notification on my calendar to meditate since 2017 and I've done it once. Um, I think that we, I mean, especially, I mean, people have ADHD. We have a million notifications and snoozing them gives us zero guilt and makes us think zero seconds about it. It's gone. I snooze the notification and it's out of my life and I'm going back to whatever else I was doing. It's really different when you have a real person on the other end. So if you have a shopper, you know, Chanel, we call them shelpers our accountability buddies, you know, she knows asking you, Hey, did you know, have you drank water? Like how many ounces are you? If you ignore her, you feel kind of guilty, but the guilt kind of works in your favor because it's fueling your own habit, right? 

Is there a, well, that was my next question. Is there sort of a, I don't wanna say, I don't wanna call it guilt cause I don't want to put it down. Cause having to kinda build it out is not sensitive to be embarrassed, but is there a word I'm looking for a, a…. I don't want to disappoint my accountability. Like, you know, I. Have a trainer at the gym at five 30 in the morning, because I'll probably go to the gym if I didn't have one, but I might not work out as hard. 

Right. 

Right. And so he makes sure I do so is it? And if I don't, he calls me on it and I don't want to, you know, I don't want him to think that I'm a loser and not doing it.  So is there, is there that level of, have you seen that at all? Have you seen people like, oh yeah, I love this. Because again, for lack of better word, it shames me into making sure that I'm doing. 

Right. I mean, there, I shame, shame, disappointment. All those I think are, are mixed in with even just the word accountability, right? Somebody is waiting for you and asking you, and they're just there on the other end. Just kind of like hanging in the balance until you answer them, or you show up at the gym or you show the evidence that you did your to do list. So the fact that it's a real human, I mean, This is something we can all relate with, right, If somebody, if you're doing something for somebody else or in, in community with somebody else, you're much more likely to do it. And I can relate with you, Peter. Like I, the best and healthiest times in my life were admittedly. Pre-kids when I had like a, every single morning workout group that I went to and if I was late, everyone would be delayed in getting like the run around the block that we started out with. I, that, that fear of letting someone else down. Was yes. Maybe shame isn't the greatest word, but it works and it, and I felt good at the end of it. And it wasn't something that stuck with me and made me feel sad. It made me feel good. Cause I got the energy I needed from a workout. 

In this case and not in a negative way, but why don't you think we place other people's feelings and not wanting to hurt their feelings or, or, or not show up and disappoint them above our own. I know that if I wake up every day and do an hour of hard workout for 10 minutes on the treadmill or Peleton, whatever, you know, it's going to be beneficial to me. Right. But I don't give myself the same. I don't offer myself that same ability, uh, to, to not disappoint myself that I might offer it to someone I'd have to meet someone else. Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves that same respect that we give to other people? 

Right. If only I had had the answer for that!! I feel like that's what, I've the question I've been asking myself for a decade, right? Like, and I, that's what I think that. That's that's why shelpful. That's why we created Shelpful, because it's the fact that there's somebody else invested in your personal health and habits on a daily, hourly minute level basis. It, it, it triggers that part of your brain wants to do something for others or that, that get stuff down because somebody else's depending on you. And I mean, that's, that's, you know, for me, a thousand percent why I would get something done over just the fact that it's good for me. Um, I know it's good for me. I could tell you the calories and pretty much any food. I know, I know workouts to do, like I know how to work out, ..but the question is, do I do them just because they're good for me. And that's what I've always struggled with. 

Do you think that, um, as this grows, I mean, the categories you have right now are pretty much anything, you know, you can find me accountability, buddy, for virtually anything. Are you breaking it into certain sections or certain, how does it work? 

Yeah. So we started out thinking, okay, let's start with health. Right. Cause that was my personal thing. And um, it felt like from my marketing background, like start with a niche and expand and we found really, really early people were clamoring and kind of yelling at us like, well, the reason I don't get my workout done is because this happens that I also need help with. Right. So we're not just the reason we don't get things done. Isn't because we are bad or just go sit in front of the TV. It's because the life happens and makes the other things not work. So we ended up just kind of blowing it up and within like a week of launching and making it just be like, well, you tell us what you need help with. Um, any habits that you want to form our buddies, our shelpers can hold you to they're really. Uh, limit and it's almost, self-limiting like, so Peter, if you came in and said, I want help on 20 things. Well, the shop would probably say, well, let's start with a few so that you don't just snooze me and just put me away or turn off your phone. Like let's kind of start working through it. But once you get a few things established. You could always add on, like while I watched, after I washed my face, I want to like, some people have skincare as, as a goal, right? So after I care for my face, I want to do 20 squats. So you can kind of just keep layering on habits to the ones you've already established a few, and it really is limitless.

Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work?

Yeah, it's monthly. We have a weekly option too, um, like as, as low as $13.75 a week. And then for month it's a little over $50. Um, and it, yeah, I mean, it feels, people are feeling like it's a really good value cause you get, um, Monday through Friday, basically unlimited access to your shelper so you're kind of just text them and anytime you have an update, they usually respond pretty quickly. And then they nudge you along based on kind of habits that you've established. So you want to work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 8:00 AM you're going to get a ping from them saying hey, time to work out, um, and a follow up to make sure you did it. Um, so you.. and then weekends are a bit quieter because shelpers are human, um, so they kind of recharge their batteries on the weekends and then hit it full force again on Monday. 

So if you are a shelper you're basically on call, it's like a full-time. 

It is, it's a really, it's a flexible gig, right? So they, um, they end up working. I mean, depending on how many have just a couple hours a day. Um, but they are able to, we have technology, we're a technology company, as well as the service. So we have helpful technology that helps them plan and, um, take notes and get things organized. So they're not having to be glued to their, their phone, but they have. The ability to work from their mobile phone. Um, so people who are shoppers are people who really appreciate flexibility. So, um, you know, imagine caregivers stay at home moms, um, hairstylists, we have a few, so people who are- it's a gig, but they're just these naturally empathetic people who are, who care a lot and have great memories and are skilled note takers and they, they really make it happen for their members. 

It sounds fascinating. A shelters.xom?  www.SHELPFUL.COM  Sorry. My bad. I meant shelpful, shelpers the people who work at ShelpFul. Awesome. 

What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD that has helped change your life?

Wow. Um, I think so.. starting, I started this company in March, kind of had the lights go on in my head that this is something I had in, I don't know, April and by May I had a diagnosis in my hand. Um, I now know that for me, exercise is medicine. Um, it's not something that's optional for me. It actually changes the whole way my day goes. Um, and so now that I'm able to look at it as that I've actually been able to be successful in making it happen. Um, and I, I’ve joined a shelpful group, which is, we also have a group product. Um, and that allows me and I have group and they hold me accountable to it too. So I have what, you know, I'm trying to put a focus on making sure that I have that fuel that I need. Um, and that awareness of ADHD actually helped me just reframe how I looked at that. 

What an awesome answer, thank you Sharon. Very cool. 

Guys. You've been listening to Faster Than Normal, our guest today is Sharon Pope. She runs a phenomenal company that I'm falling in love with more & more called Shelpful, and I am definitely check it out. You can find it a www.Shelpful.com you can find me @petershankman and @fasternormal and on www.FasterThanNormal.com anywhere you grab your podcasts, the book. On Amazon. It's actually, I think it's fourth printing, which blows my mind. I get emails every day that people really liked what they were reading and I helped them and it just makes me so happy. I love, I love that. So I will keep doing that for as long as I possibly can. Guys, that feel free to reach out, say hi, tell us any guests that you'd like to see on the show. We'd love to hear you. Anyone who sends me any info tells us of the guests, whether we use them or not. I will send you a shank point, uh, for those who don't know. Uh, it's a long story. I'll tell you another time, but I say anyone who sends guest info to me, I will send you a brand new shank point is currently trading around 10 bucks a coin. It is a cryptocurrency, and it's a lot of fun for some of the ADHD. It's fun because you have to stop yourself from watching everything.

Oh, it's up? It's down. Okay. Anyway, squirrel!! Sharon. Thank you again, guys. Thank you for listening. We will see you next week. Have a wonderful week. Stay safe, stay happy.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 20, 2021

Sally Willbanks, Founder of ND Renegade, a contemporary apparel brand that shines a light on neurodiversity. She is an award-winning Australian artist who made a career change when she decided to start this clothing brand, with the intention of instilling pride in the neurodivergent population, including her two children.  Sally is the creator of all of ND Renegade's designs. Sally is also a neurodiversity advocate and speaker, presenting at schools in NSW with to educate faculty in ways to help neurodivergent students. Today we learn her story. This is awesome- enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Sally Willbanks discuss:  

 

1:47 - Intro and welcome Sally!  

2:42 - So what prompted the start of your fashion brand ND Renegade?

3:42 - The concept of starting a company is not foreign to those of us with ADHD. Did this seem natural and usual to you and your children?

5:08 - These are so smart and AWESOME!!! Ref:  Designs at https://www.ndrenegade.com

5:37 - What have your reactions been to the messaging? 

7:26 - When and with what were your children diagnosed?

8:00 - What are the conversations you are having with your young children about it all?

8:56 - How are you children involved in the business?

9:92 - What makes an item “sensory friendly” -what goes into making those?

10:15 - Pardon my American-ness, what is “Takiwatanga” and what does it mean?

11:28 - How old is the company now?

11:45 - What do you want people to know about the reasons you’ve done this and what are your goals?

12:56 - How can people find you? https://www.ndrenegade.com and @ndrenegade on INSTA and @ @NDRneurotribe on Facebook

13:25 - Thank you Sally Willbanks! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:00 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

What's up guys, Peter Shankman at Faster Than Normal. We’ve got an extra special 10 minute episode this morning with Sally Willbanks. So most people, when they have ADHD this, you know, at ADHD and. Maybe I'll I'll I'll get some help, but I'll figure out what I'm doing. I'll I'll adjust some things. No. Sally decides to start a renegade contemporary apparel company called ND Renegade because that's what people with ADHD do. So we write books, we start clothing companies, we started other companies it's just who we are. So she's the founder. She's an award winning Australian artist who made a career change, which she decided to start this clothing brand with the intention of instilling pride into the neurodivergent population, including her two children. So there's the creator of all of the ND renegades designs. She's a neurodiversity new university advocate and speaker. She presents at schools in New South Wales with the ability and the desire to educate faculty in ways to help neuro diversion students. I love everything about that. Sally, welcome to Faster Than Normal.

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. 

So you decided out of the blue, I mean, it wasn't as much out of the blue, but what made you make that change? You said, okay. I have two children who are neurodivergent; I'm just going to start a fashion. 

Yeah. Um, well, I'm a, I'm an artist, I'm a painter and that requires long, long hours in the studio And, uh, I was just not spending too much time with my family and we homeschool and I wanted to show the kids how to run a business, but I needed them to be more involved. So. Um, I put down my brushes cause that's, it's really solitary. It didn't involve them very much. Um, I had the thought of doing a clothing brand that just for neurodivergent people, just to bring pride to themselves And once I had the idea, I couldn't let it go. So I literally wrapped up my show, uh, within a couple of weeks and designed a website, uh, designed the logo, got the name and, uh, we'd sold a first item within a month of me having the idea. 

I love it. And, you know, the concept of, um, uh, sort of starting a company, or doing something like that it's not that foreign to people with ADHD because that's what sort of we do. We sit there and we say, okay, I have this idea. And 30 minutes later, you know, we've sketched it out and we have a website up. All right. We don't, we don't do focus groups. We don't do a panel testing. We just sort of go for it. So did you find that it was sort of the same thing? Like, okay, we're just going to go for this and, and, you know, you're teaching your kids sort of, sort of, this is how we do things and it's a faster sort of lifestyle as it were.

Yeah. You know, basically if I, if I'd known how big it was going to get. And I, I, I wouldn't have done it like a, like if I'd seen the big picture, I don't know how I would've gotten there, but just taking one step at a time is what made it work. So I just thought, okay, I've got to get a logo, got to get a name, got to get a website, got to start designing. And it just kind of grew. So if I had, if I had seen what it was going to be and all the steps that took, I D I think I would have backed out to be honest. Um, so it was really about. Not thinking too far in advance and breaking it down into small doable steps. And, um, yeah, it just, it just clicked. It just worked. There was nothing else out there with this idea. There's other, there are other clothing lines out there that do, neurodiversity stuff, but it's more like to let people know that there, their kids are autistic but it's nothing about pride. So I wanted to change that. 

I love what I'm seeing here on the spectrum and off the hook. Um, these are, these are, these are amazing. I love it. The nerd, my favorite is a neurodiversity, uh, shirt with like 15 different, uh, different types of, um, uh, chords, accessory chords, the Aux cord, the USB cord, the,\, this is so smart. I mean, this stuff is, I think that what I, what I like about this is the premise that, that.  You know, we're in a time right now where, you know, 50 years ago, obviously no one talked to well forger about neurodivergency, we didn’t talk about anything having to do with mental health. Mental health was a secret. We didn't share it. We didn't talk about it. If you remember, I'm always affected that, that scene in madman where, um, where Don sends Betty to a psychiatrist and, you know, she. The psychiatrist sends him the bills and the updates and the status reports. And doesn't share it with her know, even though she's the one in treatment. It doesn't share it with her. And that's changed the point where today we actually, you know, we, we represent this as pride. I mean, I have my t-shirts, I have countless ADHD t-shirts and, and, and I wear a wristband that says faster than normal and, and all of these things. And, you know, so you're in a, sort of a good place at the right time. Right. Um, we're trying to change that conversation from one of shame to one of pride. And what has been sort of the reaction that, that you've received have, have you had, I'm assuming it's mostly positive. Have there been any negative reactions? Have people told you this is something we shouldn't talk about or how, how, what what's talk about that? 

Um, it's actually been really positive reaction. There were a few designs that I had, I've had a few issues with, um, as far as like, like an asby design, um, we've been asked to take that down, but then I got. So many people are asking me to keep it up. So I've got a disclaimer on the website and, um, you know, an educate yourself page as to why some people don't like the term Asperger's. Um, but other than that, it has been overwhelmingly fantastic. I get emails from people thanking me. I get emails from people telling me that they're using their clothing to come out to their family as neurodivergent. Um, it's just been, it's been overwhelmingly positive and it keeps me going. So, I mean, pretty much every other day I'd have something in my inbox. Saying, you know, thank you so much for doing what you're doing. Which is great. 

This really is good stuff. And, and I think that, that, so, so when your children were diagnosed with, it goes to the ADHD or?

Ok, so my son was diagnosed first as autistic, and then my daughter was diagnosed as ADHD, and then she was diagnosed as autistic and my son has since been diagnosed with ADHD. Um, so it's just that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s,??you know what I mean? 

How are old are they?

My son is eight and my daughter is 10. Tell us about what you tell them. Tell us about how, I mean, obviously they, they, they understand that there are benefits to this as well. Um, what are the conversations you're having with them? Are they having, you know, do they, they, they ever look at it as, as a, as a, as a curse, as opposed to a gift or how. 

Right. Um, my son does, sometimes, he is a tough cookie. He's got anxiety disorder as well. So he gets quite angry a lot and he feels shame, uh, with his anger, but he still tells me he loves his brain because he wouldn't get to do the things that he can do. Like he can spell any word, he's been reading fluently since he was three, he can type like you would not believe on a computer. Um, and my daughter is nothing but positive. She is so stoked to be neurodivergent. She loves being Autistic. She loves being ADHD, and I just hope it stays that way. You know, she seems invincible at the moment and I know she'll have some setbacks, but I just, I love that she's so positive and she's becoming a great role model for other kids in the community as well.

Um, How are your children involved in the business?

Sure. They both have a couple of designs, believe it or not, on the store. Yeah, it is. I'm really thrilled with it actually. Uh, so I just took the drawings and turned them into t-shirts and they sell really well, which is great. And they actually partake in the giveaway videos that we do. And my son doesn't love being interviewed, so he hasn't yet, but my daughter and I do interviews with her about the different diagnoses and we do Instagram Live’s and things like that. So she's really quite involved in the advocating side of things on Instagram. 

Um, I'm looking on the website. I see sensory friendly hoodies. Talk about what makes an item sensory friendly?

Uh, basically the tag fray and as soft as we could find. So, um, the tag is the big issue. You know, people, people with ADHD and autism have sensory issues and particularly that scratch irritating tag. And even if you cut the tag off, you still have that little nub of, you know, the seem where the tag is. So we've made sure that our clothes, um, uh, tag fray and a soft and comfortable as we could find. So we just did a lot of testing on products and found the best one. So I have a whole slew of my own clothes because they're the most comfortable ones that I own. So I'm always walking around with brand and branded clothing on. 

I can tell there's definitely the artist's flare in here because the website is just stunningly beautiful. It's just so, so simple. And so, so clearly designed, um, tell me, uh, you know, this is, I think the American in me, what is “Takiwatanga” and what does it mean?

Uh, that is one that we've actually come under a bit of fire with lately. That is, um, it's the Maori word for Autism and it means “in his home, my own space and time”, and it was coined by a man called a PI who basically wrote the, the mental health, like medical dictionary for the Maori language. And, um, I'm actually, I've got Maori ancestry, so my great-grandparents were Maori. Um, And I just think it's a really, really beautiful word. And I, I think that it is a way of looking at Autism that needs to be shared. So I've got that on a t-shirt so that people ask, what does it mean? Um, because the definition is just amazing. I mean, how, how, um, perfect. As it, in, in his, her my own space and time, it kind of encapsulates everything may, that autism is. 

Oh, it really does. I love that. Oh, it obviously works. Cause I asked, you know, these are, these are really, really beautiful there. The website is ND renegade.com.  [[https://www.ndrenegade.com ]]And how old is the company now? 

It is, it started in January of last year. So what's that about? 20 18, 20 months old, something like that. 

Phenomenal. It's great to see. It's great to see that that taking sort of your, your talent and your putting it to such a use like this. Um, what do you want people to know about the reasons you've done this and what do you want people to know about, you know, what you're goals are? 

Yeah, well, our goals are to spread neurodiversity pride into every part of the world. So we want people who have these differences to stand tall and know that that people are proud of them and that they don't need to hide because the more these people kind of hide and feel shame and mask their differences, they're going to, they're going to just disappear. Their lives are going to be, you know, spend at home, not, not being in society, not making the changes that they can make because they've got amazing brains. They have fantastic ideas that neurotypical people don't have. Um, the innovation that they can, that they can create in the workspace is incredible. And we need these brains. And if we don't show them that they, that they should feel pride and that they are loved and respected, they won’t be using those incredible brains to help our planet. So we just want them to, we want me to know that they should stand tall. Differences are awesome. 

I love it. Talking to [Sally] Willbanks NDRenegade is the website.[https://www.ndrenegade.com] I love it. I just signed up for your Instagram. I'm on the whole thing. Um, yes, we'll definitely have you back. Definitely keep in touch. And when you do new, new, um, items, you have dropped your drop notifications and you let people know and everything?

Yup. Yup. I do. I usually, uh, run a few test, uh, stories on Instagram first and, you know, make sure people like what I'm doing and give them a couple of options and, uh, yeah, drop em on Instagram. 

Very cool. Well, we'll definitely have you back. 

Thank you so much for taking the time you thank you for having me. 

Of course, you're listening to Faster Than Normal. If you're wondering why my voice is a little lower today. It's cause it's just about four in the morning here. And her being in a, uh, on the other hemisphere, I decided to get up even earlier than normal to get my workout in before or right after we interviewed. So this is me before my workout. If I'm a little calmer now, you know why guys as always you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love you for being here and we will see you next week. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. As is all neurodiversity. Stay tuned. See you again soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 13, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

E. J. Wenstrom believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so the left side can walk. She writes dark speculative fiction for adults and teens, including the young adult dystopian novel Departures and the award-winning Chronicles of the Third Realm War series (start with Mud). When she isn’t writing fiction, E. J. Wenstrom is a regular contributor to DIY MFA and BookRiot, and co-hosts the Fantasy+Girl Podcast. Start the Chronicles of the Third Realm War series for free with the prequel novella when you join E.J.’s newsletter. Today we learn the specific techniques with which she wields her ADHD superpowers, maintaining a career as a multi-genre creative author! This is awesome- enjoy!

In this episode Peter and EJ Wenstrom discuss:  

2:17 - Intro and welcome EJ!  Ref: Start “The Chronicles of The Third Realm War” for free with a link HERE

3:42 - Thank you Lori for introducing us!

4:00 - So you are ADHD yourself, when did you get diagnosed & what was life like before it?

6:56 - As a professional writer; how are you managing your deadlines, especially working on your own?  Ref: @5amWritersClub on Twitter

10:56 - So tell me about how you're getting your dopamine, especially when you get up at 5am and get pretty much straight to writing?

12:08 - How do you switch roles from say..writing for a PR firm, then for Fantasy Fiction. What’s the switch in your brain’s mindset?

13:56 - Tell us about your novel Departures! And what was/is your process!?

17:35 - How can people find you? https://www.ejwenstrom.com or at @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook and newly on TikTok And links to all of her books are here

19:00 - Thank you EJ Wenstrom!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

19:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

Okay. Everybody, Zoom's little computer woman just told me that recording is in progress, which means that we are here for another episode of Faster Than Normal. Thank you so much for joining me. I am in a super hyped up mood today. Uh, what wound up me being like starting, just to take my daughter to school this morning, we somehow wound up walking the three miles to school, uh, with the dog, and then I dropped the dog off at doggy daycare.. or storage as I call it, and I walked back. So I'm six miles in this morning and a high as a kite from that. So enjoy this dopamine fueled episode of Faster Than Normal!

We have an amazing guest today, I know I said it all the time but this person, this is really cool. EJ Wenstrom is here. She's an award winning author. Why is she an award winning Author? We’ll we'll talk about that but Listen to this: “One, girl, one angel three, God's determined to keep them apart! A stormy and seductive novella that will draw you into an elaborate fantasy world.. and it's a series. This shit is awesome. Reviewers love her: “Mimicking the brutal and strange of ancient mythology alongside the high fantasy and gut wrenching actions”, says Reader’s Lane, while Literary Hill says: “In the third realm, perils await, but anything is possible and readers who venture, there will find a rewarding escape into a very creative and fully imagined world.” EJ believes in complicated heroes, horrifying monsters, Purple hair dye and standing to the right on escalators so that the left side can walk. God bless you for that. Yes. She writes dark speculative fiction for adults and teens, including the young dystopian novel Departures where the lead character or one of the characters has ADHD. I think it just gave something away. And the award winning Chronicles, a third realm series, starting with Mud when she isn't writing fiction. Ed wants some, she’s just regular contributor to DIY MFA and book riot. She co-hosts the fantasy girl podcast. Start “The Chronicles of The Third Realm War” for free with a link HERE:  We're going to put down below with her prequel novella, but holy cow, it is exciting to talk to you. EJ, welcome to Faster Than Normal! 

Thanks so much. I'm excited to be here! 

It was awesome- we got connected to our friend, our mutual friend, Laurie, who I've known for like 25 years has known me through the good and the bad of the last 25 years of my life, pre-diagnosis and post-diagnosis so I assume at some point she looked at you and said, holy shit, you're a female Peter! You guys should really meet. So it is wonderful to have you on the podcast. You are ADHD yourself. When did you get diagnosed and what was life like before it? 

Yeah. Yeah. I was diagnosed in high school, which is pretty typical, I think, especially for girls because we… differently.

Typical nowadays- when I was in HS it was called sit down you’re disturbing the class disease. 

Well, yeah, this was, this was late nineties, early two thousands. So, yeah. Yeah. But, um, but yeah, so before my diagnosis, I had gotten through most things perfectly fine because I was that quiet kid who was just not a problem. And, you know, To myself, in the corner. While other people were maybe going crazy over there. And, uh, so teachers loved that. You know, I got pretty good grades for the most part. Um, until about middle school when I switched, you know, where I was going to school and the format changed and everything else. And all of a sudden, some of the grades that I was getting in my best subjects, like Math, were just plummeting. They were just disastrous. And then around the same time I was getting like migraines. Cause you know, like your hormones are all changing. And so for a while there, we thought that the two were linked and it was kind of scary. Weird stuff going on, you get kicked around from doctor to doctor, to doctor. No one could quite figure it out until one person finally, the doctor said, have you gotten tested for any learning disorders? And it was a huge game changer. So that took place. I think it was my sophomore year of high school. And then all of a sudden we started looking at these symptoms for ADHD after my diagnosis. And it was like, uh, uh, like it was just, it was comforting honestly, to suddenly understand what was going on because the problem was never that I didn't know the material; the problem was.. turning in homework assignments and remembering what chapter I was supposed to read for class and just things like that. And, you know, look at my planner at the assignments were there was everything written out crystal clear, I just got mixed up somehow and did the wrong one. And it's, there was no explanation for it, but it just kept happening. And so it just made everything make so much more sense. Uh, we tried a few medications, which I stuck with through high school. And then since then I've actually gone without, and just found other ways to cope with my strengths and weaknesses and, uh, you know, kind of cover myself. But I, you know, I also did a little bit of ADHD coaching around that time. Did the whole section 508, all that, all that. And so, yeah, it's just. You know, crucial to understanding myself and then also a big part of my identity, honestly. 

Now let's talk about. Okay, so you're ADHD and you, you, you found ways to manage it. You're also a writer. Okay. And when you're writing these books, you have deadlines. So let's just dive right into it. Tell our listeners who are dying to know this; How are you managing your deadlines especially working on your own? 

Sure. You know, it's funny because with the Fiction I've actually lucked out so far in that my publishers have been very kind to me. I've not actually had to work on a hard deadline for a Fiction publisher, but, you know, I work in a public relations firm. I work, you know, I've done freelance writing before I've done all sorts of writing across the gamut, and yeah, stuff has deadlines and. You can't change those deadlines. You know, you've made commitments to clients. You've made commitments to, you know, people on your team, you can't change that. And, uh, you know, I think that really the, the ADHD and the way that my brain works with that has helped with deadlines or maybe the deadlines helped me and then, you know, having multiple plates spinning at once can be easier for me than just having one, uh, something about the pressure of it. As long as it's not too much, you know, there's always an edge to things, but having a little bit of pressure helps with the focus and it helps to be able to have a few things, to give attention to it once deadlines.

Deadlines, themselves help. Because if you don't give me a deadline, I don't feel the same way. If you don't give me a deadline, I'll start working on whatever you want immediately until the next big thing comes along. And then that becomes the most important thing. 

Yup. Yup. And sometimes it's easy if there's not a deadline to just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper and never reach an end point because you just get lost in the, you know, like the exploration itself.

So I've been working on something since 1987, but yeah, sure. 

Yeah. But, um, but the deadlines can really just help kind of lend that focus, but I've also learned a lot over the years about how to best use how my brain works. So I wake up at 5:00 AM in the morning, it's called 5:00 AM writer's club. You can check it out on Twitter.  It's an amazing community of authors who are all up together writing before they do absolutely anything else in their day. 

And so you're, you're you're .. you're writing before you say exercise and before you anything else?? 

Yeah. Yeah. I, I wake up, I walk my dog quickly and then I opened my computer and I start reading whatever manuscript I'm on. And I check in with my author buddies on Twitter. There's a little bit of support and accountability to that. Also very helpful. And then I just get to work and I, I write for about probably an hour and a half most mornings, um, around that time. And it's really nice because I know that my brain is a little bit slower when I've just woken up. So it's easier to have just one thing that I'm trying to do. And especially when it's something that's a really long tail goal, like writing a novel, uh, that tends to take me about a year, maybe year and a half to do so it's not like you get that instant hit of gratification of checking something off of your list. It's, it's a nice time to be able to just sink into something as opposed to jumping task to task like I do, you know, later in the day and it gets me thinking creatively before my brain is tired from having been at work all day or going for a run or whatever else it might be. 

How are you getting? So tell me about how you're getting your dopamine when you're, when you're.. for me, if I'm writing, if I'm doing long periods, writing has to be in a confined space, like I'm on an airplane for 14 hours on my way to Asia, or I've just worked out, or I've just done a long run or a ride or whatever, and then, or a skydive. And then I have the dopamine in my system to, to, to go to town on writings, but you're doing it at 5:00 AM the second you wake up, that's amazing. 

Uh, yeah. Yeah. And I definitely do things to manage my energy. Like I, I hear what you're saying with that, but I do it in the evening. So I'll usually go for my run at the end of the day when my brain's tapped out. But I'm starting to feel like physically a little fidgety, so I'll eat dinner and then I'll head out.

And, you're able to get your. My thing is if I don't, if I wake up and have to think about working out, I'm going to come up with a reason not to. So I, you know, I sleep in my running shorts. I wake up I'm on the bike or I'm on the I'm on the train or whatever. So I don’t have to think about it. So you actually have the ability to, to think about it all day. No, you have to do it and still manage to do it. That's actually pretty impressive. 

I mean, I got to tell you, I don't even think about it until I shut my computer at the end of the Workday. And then. Yeah, and I mean, it's not perfect. It's not perfect, but it's so important to me to make writing the priority, to make sure that I do it every single day. You know, I used to run in the morning and decided I had to make a choice. And so that's the choice I made. Um, but yeah, I do a pretty good job with running all the same. So I usually get out the door and go for a run three to four days a week on, on weekdays and then once or twice more on the weekends. So it adds up to a pretty reliable routine. 

Awesome. Tell me about switching roles. So, you know, at. during the day your at a PR firm or advertising, whatever and then you come home and you're writing Fantasy Fiction. How what’s..[???] And then you go to PR [..ah, here is is..} What's the switch in the brain’s mindset to go from one to the other?

That's a good question. Um, you know, I think there's maybe a difference between like when I'm writing Fiction I'm letting my brain wander. So it kind of taps into a lot of what, you know, especially having Inattentive ADHD. It’s what my brain wants to do anyway. Whereas when I'm at work, I think it taps into some similar creative things, you know, working in PR a lot of it really does come down to what's going to be a compelling story to tell, but it's a much faster turnaround. So I'm hopping from one thing to the next, the next to the next, you know, often, many times an hour even, and so. It hits. I think there's a way to tap into that ADHD thing- where you want to just jump on everything at once. And it works really well for what I do at a firm. Uh, basically everything is happening all the time at once anyway. And so it becomes a real strength to be able to exist in that and be comfortable with it. Um, and so that's kind of where I get that. I mean, you talked about dopamine before. That adrenaline hit almost of like checking multiple things off your list and then kind of jumping around and getting that fresh project to tackle, uh, every half hour or so. 

Let's change topics. Tell me about Departures, because let me, I want to guys, I want to read you. I want to read you the, uh, the sort of, um, the, the blurb here for her for her novel Departures: “to get along in the directorate, just seek control, track your metrics and die when scheduled. That's where Evie went wrong”.  

So, okay. Number one, I'm going to go out and get this immediately cause this looks really pretty good, but tell me about the book.

Sure. So I, the books started with the idea of a girl who just as the description, sounds like she wakes up in the morning and she's in a total panic because she was not supposed to wake up again. This was her departure date, the day she was scheduled to die. And so many of my book ideas come from that initial seed. So it's either like a character voice or like this was kind of like that initial hook for the that you, uh, start out with and then everything else has to be built out from there. And so I kind of tackle that sort of project very slowly over time and then layer things in. So at first I thought that was going to be that opening scene where the book would go and then I started to slowly. I wrote that scene, figuring it out the best I could. So like a skeleton version of the scene. And then from there, it's, it's called like a zero draft where you kind of write out the beats, capture what you can, as you go. Cause you kind of hit that creative flow. So you might hit full sections of dialogue or description or something where you get really deep into it. And then other sections are still just like, I don't know, I'll come back and figure this out later, something happens here where they make this discovery and.. you kinda get what you can out on the page, because then it's out in front of you and your brain space starts to open up for more. And so through that sort of process, I started to get into this world where it wasn't just about death dates, but everything about it was very carefully optimized, very carefully structured, so that everyone lived their best possible life by this particular government's definition. And so for them, that meant removing all pain, you know, kind of putting optimal, optimal levels around, you know, when people sleep, what people eat, uh, how much stress they allow into their lives, providing everybody with a fitness routine that helps them optimize their lives. And so over time that started to create a system where people live extremely long lives. And everything is very, very carefully managed on their behalf. And I, so when something goes wrong within this world, it's catastrophic. Um, and Evie, even though this meant for her that she was now able to live a longer life. You know, one of the really interesting points that came up over and over again is I was sharing this manuscripts with different, uh, critique partners with different editors and agents, was that people were struggling because Evie at first was more panicked about being alive than she was relieved. But I it's something I examined over and over again. And he really came to the conclusion that when this is kind of the doctrine that's embedded within you, your entire life, I think that rings true. You know, everyone's relying on the system to work all of the time and be, have their best interests in mind. And so if that doesn't work out, then what's going to happen to everyone. Uh, and it, it made for a really fun world to create and an even more fun world to break. 

It's very, very cool. Where can people find you and follow you? Cause this was, this is fascinating. I wanna have you back at some point, but we do keep the podcasts at 20 minutes, because you know, ADHD, um, so how do people find you? 

EJWenstrom.com or @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  TikTok and you can sign up for the first novel of the Fantasy series Departures here! 

So you can find me at. 

[ https://www.ejwenstrom.com or at @EJWenstrom on Twitter  INSTA  Facebook and newly on TikTok] and links to all of her books are here

Or at AEJ Wenstrom on Twitter, on Instagram. Uh, I've just started playing around with TikTOK. So you can find me there too. Uh, and yeah, you can sign up, like you mentioned at the beginning and get the, uh, the first novel in the fantasy series I wrote before Departures, you can also find a purchase in that whole other series on Amazon and, uh, other major books.

Love love, love. We will throw the link into the show notes guys. This was.. God.. this is awesome. We do thank you so much. I'm totally going to.. EJ what's the age on the books? I feel like my daughter would love it, but she's only eight. Would she love it or should I wait a few years? 

Uh, you know, you might, it's kind of a parental discretion thing. Uh, for Departures, it's definitely written for you, a young adult audience. There's maybe some romantic themes that are a little bit advanced for an eight year old, but she also may not pick up on it. That would be your judgment call to make, but I would say it's written for like a 12 to 16 year old audience. 

Well, she came home yesterday and told me the three boys in the class asked to marry her so we’re there!! 

Awesome, guys. This was phenomenal. EJ, thank you so much EJ Wenstrom everyone on Faster Than Normal today. Great, great interview. Thank you so much for your time. 

Guys, as always, we love that you're here. It means the world to me, we are close to 300 episodes and I can't even believe that that's almost as, as weird to me as thinking they haven't, I've almost had a dog for a year. So things get crazy up in this, up in this, uh, uh, pandemic bitch. It's just, it's been an insane year. We've had this podcast running since 2000… god since late 2016 or 2017, I think, so we are going on strong, our 300th episode is coming up. It's gonna be pretty amazing. Stick around for that. Thank you for listening. I'm at @petershankman on all the socials, the website, is FasterThanNormal.com the on Twitter and all the, all the socials there. Anything we can do for you. If you have any guests that you think were as cool as EJ Wenstrom or have the same color hair, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast as well. We will see you next week with a new interview. My name is Peter Shankman. You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal, where we understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. I want you to understand that too. Talk to you guys soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Oct 6, 2021

Aron Croft appeared to have it all when he got into Harvard. But that was the beginning of his demise. He struggled nonstop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage, failing out of his first 7 jobs and businesses. But after getting a Master's degree in Coaching Psychology and a diagnosis of Inattentive ADHD, his life changed. He built a successful Fortune 500 career consulting to companies such as Marriott, Deloitte, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, KPMG, and United Healthcare. He also got remarried, and most importantly, discovered how to get sh*t done with a neurodivergent brain. Now he’s on a mission to raise awareness about Inattentive ADHD, how it goes under the radar, and how to rebuild your life post-diagnosis.  Today we learn how his ADHD diagnosis at 34 led him to recover from being broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage to a successful Fortune 500 career, and turned this Influencer’s side hustle into his full-time job… Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Aron Croft discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Aron! 

3:14 - So you got into Harvard and things were going great- what happened?

4:28 - Ref: FTN “The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton 

5:15 - How did you feel when things started going off the rails and you didn’t know why?

6:24 - What was it like when you finally got diagnosed; and the year prior when you rented half of a bed?

8:32 - And just when things were turning around with Aron’s new job… 

9:42 - So how did you pull out of that situation?  Ref:  At the time of publishing Seinfeld is now on Netflix  

11:25 - Aron on Adderall akin to the scene in Limitless with Bradley Cooper on NZT 

13:58 - On those ‘waking up’ moments and for the first time realizing you’re not a total loser!

15:40 - So you get diagnosed and things begin changing- then what happened?

16:52 - When did you give up the Sweet Tarts and come to the epiphany that you were unfulfilled?

17:49 - On finding Dopamine via other sources

18:48 - See, podcasts ARE fun! 

19:22 - How can people find you? https://hiddenadhd.com  @aroncroft on Twitter  @HiddenADHD on Facebook  INSTA  YouTube and hidden_adhd on TikTok

20:33 - What is it with TikTok anyway?!

21:03 - Thank you Aron!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. I am thrilled that you're here. It is a great day outside, probably one of the last warm days we're going to have this year until like, I don't know, sometime in 2022, but it is a good day, there is good news on the horizon. Life is good. Everyone is happy. I'm happy. I hope you're happy. 

So who do we have today? We have someone who was pretty happy. He got into Harvard and he's like, holy crap. I got into Harvard. I'm pretty sure he was happy then. But as he told me, when I talked to him about coming on the podcast, he said that was the beginning of his demise. After getting into Harvard, he proceeded the struggle nonstop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, earning minimum wage bailing out of his first seven jobs and businesses. I'm talking about Aaron Croft. It is great to have him on the podcast because- after he got a master's degree in coaching psychology and a diagnosis of inattentive ADHD, his life changed.

He a built successful fortune 500 career consulting to companies such as Marriott, Deloitte Johnson, Johnson, McDonald's KPMG and healthcare. He got remarried. Most importantly, he discovered how to get shit done with a neurodivergent brain and now he's on a mission to raise awareness about Inattentive ADHD, how it goes under the radar and how to rebuild your life if you get a diagnosis of the same. 

Peter. Thank you. It's so awesome to be here. And I do have to say that it's actually a really shitty day in Chicago. It's just been raining and everything. 

So, uh, probably that means it'll hit us probably in about 24 hours, 20, 36 hours. That's usually how it happens so we will enjoy it while we have it. But I have no doubt that later in the week, we'll be crap on a stick, anyway. Good to have you here, man. It is great to finally talk to you. I know your story. Um, so you grew up, you weren't diagnosed and you're just like, Hey, going through life and you wind up getting into Harvard and you're like, man, I'm the shit. And then you, in fact, as the announcer would say, in fact he was not the shit. Tell us what happened. 

Yeah. I mean, I had, I was a really just naturally good test taker. I had this great support structure growing up. Like, I mean, I had parents that were pushing me. I had older sisters who paved the way for me in school and built a good reputation with teachers and I just had really smart, ambitious friends that would invite me to study with them and that sort of thing. And you know, all those factors converged and I pulled off, you know, an amazing heist of sorts and somehow managed to graduate number one in my high school class, get into Harvard like woo hoo! My life is set like que que the trumpets and, uh, yeah, it turned, it turns out it wasn't. When I got to Harvard, the wheels just fell off. Lack of structure. And honestly Peter, you know, what I used to get through high school was just massive amounts of procrastination followed by minor heart attacks, followed by getting my work done. And by the time I got to Harvard, you know, I had freedom for the first time in my life. I was like, I don't, I'm done with that. I don't want to do that. 

What I find interesting is that you're not the first person. Uh, on this podcast, who's gotten into Harvard and realized holy crap, nothing is working. Um, we actually had someone, uh, several years ago named Rachel Cotton. Uh, she was doing her PhD at Harvard and, uh, she had been, she got through undergrad and her graduate degree by uh, mainlining Adderall and no.. no not Adderall, NoDoze and mainlining, uh, uh, caffeine pills. And, you know, she finally had good healthcare at Harvard and she went to it for physical induction and the doctor asked if there’s anything else there's anything else they should know and she goes, yeah. I drink about, you know, 14 cups of coffee a day, and take about nine, nine NoDoze. Um, and she just said it nonchalantly and the doctor goes to that's that's, that's, that's probably not normal. And that was the beginning of her diagnosis. So there's something about Harvard, but, um, you know, so you get into it and, and shit starts going off the rails and talk to us about how you must've felt, because I'm assuming much like I did when things would go off the rails for me, you know, it's obviously 100% entirely my fault. I'm the fuck up. It's obviously there's nothing else that could be wrong with it. It's totally me. Um, how could I be such a horrible. 

100%. Yeah. I mean, I feel like you just put my brain on loud speaker there, Peter, so thank you for that. Yeah, no, I completely, I mean, so I didn't get diagnosed until my mid thirties. And so this is all like under the radar, undiagnosed and you know, the only explanation that I had was the one that my mom had, which was Aron thinks you better than everyone, that he doesn't have to play by the rules. And he's just lazy and, you know, it's sorta like, well, I'm cutting all these corners and I'm getting away with these last minute saves, like, I guess she's right. And I mean, you know, to this day, I'm still piecing back together my self image and self confidence from all those years of misinformation. 

What was it like when, tell us about the, the, sort of the great reveal moment when you finally got diagnosed and, you know, you'd been gone for 15 years how, and if I get diagnosed, like, holy shit, there's a name for this and it starts to make sense.

Yeah, totally. Um, let me, let me tell you that. And let me just tell you, uh, what happened about a few months before that, just to get an idea of kinda where, how we got here, because when we go from Harvard we sort of have to paint the real picture. So, uh, A year before I'm diagnosed. Uh, I, I've got all of my possessions, all my belongings in a few suitcases and my wife's just basically kicked me out of the house. So we're getting divorced and I'm broke and I'm earning minimum wage. So anyway, so I'm carrying my two suitcases up the stairs of this shared house, uh, that I'm now going to share with four other acquaintances and I'm in, I'm in the room and I'm unpacking my stuff in the closet. And then Billy this 26 year old tech support agent from Vietnam comes and flops down on my king size bed. Kind of starteling me and I'm like, Hey, Billy, what's up, you know, but he looks really comfortable and that's when it hits me. He hasn't flopped down on his, on my king size bed. 

Oh no. 

He's flopped down on his half of OUR king size bed because renting half of a bed was all that I could afford at that point in my life. 

Wow. 

That's that's, that's only a bump. It was, it was such a wake-up call, right. 

Did he at least smell good? 

I mean, you know, I mean, I think it was, uh, I think it was, uh, Obsession, you know by CK, it was pretty, pretty delightful, you know, it's kinda musky. Uh, and yeah, so anyway, so of course the, the heart attack of that experience got me into action. I got a better job. And then. And then from that better job, which I only was at for seven months, I was able to move into a new company and get a raise. And I'm like, oh, this is great. Like I've, you know, I've rebuilt my life, blah, blah, blah. And anyway, so I'm three months into that job and it's all like high fives and backslaps everyone loves Aron and, uh, then history repeats itself. All of a sudden I got a call from my manager saying the client doesn't like your work. They think that it's subpar and you need to stay late for every night this week and maybe every night next week, if you don't get it done and redo all the work you've done the last few months. And you know, it doesn't mean you can't get done everything else you have to get done this week and you can't charge, you know, bill the time to the client more or anything. And like, Peter, I literally just freak out. Like, I mean, I'm thinking like I'm already, I mean, I'm already taking NoDoz and you know, I'm already at the edge of, at the edge of my bandwidth. Like I don't have another gear to stay late, you know, and redo work that I've already done in addition to a full day job. Like no way. 

And, uh, yeah, go ahead. No, this is what happens. So, so you're sitting there in the, you know, probably like deer in the headlights type thing. W what was the next step? 

Total, total deer in the headlights. And like, you know, like people say, like, when you die, like your whole life flashes in front of your eyes, there's something in slow motion. Like for me, It was kind of flashing in front of my eyes at that point, because what I was seeing was this whole image of rebuilding my life was going to be gone. At that point I was effectively a 34 year old divorce, a living with my mom. It wasn't technically living with my mom because it was living with my mom's sister, but it’s basically the same thing. 

And I'm reminded of the Seinfeld episode where, uh, you know, George, is that when we look to you should go talk to her. Yeah. Because balding middle-aged men with no job who live with their parents have a really good success rate there, 

Love it, love it. Right. And those, and you can't see this at home, but Peter and I are chatting and I've got the nice bald round dome. And, but what he said is totally true. I'll, uh, George Costanza. And so anyway, like I see my life, I see my life just falling apart for my eyes. I freak out and a friend had mentioned his ADHD and Adderall. He mentioned that socially, like going out drinking, but all I knew because I'd never tried Adderall even really paid any attention to it. But. He said it helped him stay up late to go out drinking. So I'm like, dude, I need to stay up late for this like thing! Or I'm going to get fired and live in my mom's sister's house. 

That's how Pfizer originally marketed Adderall is. “Hey, here's the stay up late going out, drinking a drug, right?” Yeah. I totally can imagine. I can totally imagine him saying that. And that's what, what you glom on. So I totally get. 

Yeah. And like, exactly. And, uh, and then, yeah, so, so anyway, so I get to work that Monday and like, I go through the day and then kind of midday, cause that was sort of the, the advice that I got like that I could take it and it would get me through the night or through like, you know, staying until 9:00 PM or 8:00 PM. So about mid day I take it anyway, I walk around like I walk around and just kill some time and I come back and I sit down at my laptop. And, you know, it's like in a conference room because I'm a consultant. There's like other people and distractions. And I'm like, of course, working on some super boring shit, like PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets. And, uh, I sit down, I do some work like for a few minutes and then I look off and I look back at my boring stuff and I keep working on it. And then I look away for a little bit. Like, a minute. And then I look back and I keep working. I was like, holy crap. I'm working on this thing without stopping, even though it's not exciting and interesting, like.. is this book people have been talking about this whole time when they've said, Aron, just sit down and work on it!?!

You had the Bradley Cooper NZT moment in Limitless, where he sits, where he takes the pill. He sits down, everything becomes clear and in color. 

Like, it was literally as if like you'd given a blind person site and it was like, it was like, oh, this is what purple looks like. Like I didn't realize whatever I was everyone was talking about. 

That is spectacular, but it's entirely true. Everyone who's been there has had that. I call it that Limitless moment. If you haven't seen this film, dude, go out this afternoon, stop what you're doing and go see this film. He literally, he takes his pill of NZT, which gives him quote, unquote access to the other 90% of his brain. And, and he there's the scene. It's a stairway scene. He walks in the stairway and it goes from black and white drab to super high Def color where every single sound like the ticking of a bicycle, he hears the ticking of the wheel of greatness every day. And he's like, I get it. Right. And, and, and the, the landlord lady who is like, who's like on his ass to pay the rent, you know, five minutes later, he's sleeping with her. Right. It's just. That thing where he's just like, everything makes sense now. Yeah. We've all had that! 

Right. Exactly. And if you, if you take Peter's suggestion and you go and see the movie, uh, I also look like Bradley Cooper- so that's like a bonus as well. 

Hey, I'll, I'll, I'll sure, why not? 

Don't don't look at the show notes! [And you’re totally reading the show notes now aren’t you- Aron’s picture is on the main page ;)]

But you know, it's, it's funny because those moments, everyone talks about this one, right. And he talks about the sort of those, those Zen moments, those wake up moments. I think the thing that people don't mention the most about those moments is that it's the wake up call is not only, wow- look at all this shit I can DO, but also holy crap, I'm not the complete loser that I thought I was. 

Wow. So, you know, what's amazing about that, Peter, um, is.. I only came to that realization like a week or two ago, because I was putting together this like nine minute TED talk that ADDA is putting out, uh, next month as part of ADHD awareness month. And that literally is the theme of my talk, but I didn't make that connection until I wrote it. And you just like, I should have been just talking to you because you just said it so perfectly clearly.

We've all been there man. That's, you know, that literally comes from years of, I remember, you know, back in high school, I remember back in college, like my fourth day of my freshman year, I said something stupid. And I, you know, my, my social acuity didn't kick in and I said something stupid. And I know that's it, I just fucked up 4 years. I remember, I remember screwing up four years ago. I think I was just stood up for his college and it, it, it, why am I just so different? Why am I such a loser? Why am I, and, and. It's amazing how you, how you see that. Um, in people who haven't been diagnosed and they get diagnosed, they under, it's not even so much the diagnosis, you break your leg, you have a, you have a bone sticking on your leg. You pretty much know you've broken your leg. This isn't, this is a secret, this is a secret disease. Right? And so you, you get diagnosed for the first time. You understand it, right. You didn't have a bone sticking out of your brain. You couldn't tell that there was something wrong with you. That could be fixed. So that's it's yeah, it's a massive wake up call. So, all right. So you're diagnosed things, start changing. Now what. 

Uh, yeah, so then, then I live happily ever after, and shit just works perfectly. Um, no. So then, then I get medication and it's like a game changer, right? Right, so I go and get diagnosed. The week, like as soon as after, as I could, and then I get medications, it’s a game-changer and I go from being an under performer where to like an average and then an above average performer a nd I was like, this is great. Um, and it was really the first time in my adult life that I performed in any meaningful capacity, because as you said, I failed out of my first seven jobs in businesses and it was just like shit show after shit show. And, uh, so I then did what any responsible 34 year old does that's living on his own? I got home from work every day, broke out the weed, played video games and ate freaking sour patch, kids and sweet tarts like every effing day. 

I love it. How'd you come out of that? 

Uh, well, it was about a few years later and I was like, crap. This, this like hedonic pleasure of doing all that isn’t fulfilling. Like, yes, I enjoy it in the moment, but it's also, it's also not making me happy, deep down and you know, my social relationships weren't thriving because of it. Um, and. You know, I also wasn't achieving my fullest potential, you know, like Abraham Maslow, ‘what one can be one must be’. And that was creating like an internal lack of fulfillment and dissonance. So I finally just said that, Hey, maybe holding down a job, isn't my biggest achievement that I can have in life. Maybe I could have something bigger and do something more and make a bigger impact. And so that for me, I finally said, okay, I stopped finding dopamine in those artificial pleasures, if you will. And I started discovering, I could find dopamine through achieving personally meaningful goals and striving to be better, and to constantly improve myself. 

What happens when, uh, how many times have you had that moment where you're like, I can't believe I'm getting paid to get this high, essentially the high, the high being, what you love to do. Cause I come off the stage every day and I'd have to shake whenever I speak, as it was to shake my head and be like still, they still don't know. They still think that I'm, you know, I'm still getting paid for this crap. Unbelievable. I still get that. 

I think, I think about that. I mean, I think of that in my coaching sessions with clients, like, I love to talk about this shit. Like, you want to talk about how to like improve your life and be productive or like strategy!? Like that is candy, even podcasts, right? Like, like, I mean, obviously I’m not getting paid directly on this, but, this is like the most fun thing in the world. I get to hang out with someone awesome, we get to talk about the shared interests, which, you know, we're both so passionate about and we had to make a difference, like, yeah, same. Yeah. Like you hit it. I love, I love how clearly, uh, and I don't mean this as a knock against anyone else I've talked to, but I feel like there's a clarity of not purpose, but a clarity of thinking, and how you've processed so much of this stuff. That is just a level above. 

Thank you. I think a lot of it comes to comes to the point where you're just like, you know what? I know what works. I know what doesn't. I know how I got here. Fuck it. I'm just gonna, I'm gonna say how I feel. Um, tell us, I want to keep it to 20 minutes, I wanna be respectful of your time and the audience's time; cause it's been 20 minutes, you know, ADHD and all that. Um, how can people find more of you? Because there's a lot more that we will discuss next time I have you on but where can they find you? Where can they, where can they learn more about you? Because you have some interesting backstory and some interesting future story. And I think that our audience will want more of that. Tell us. 

Yeah, absolutely. So, um, the future story stuff that Peter's referring to, just so we don't leave people with a complete view of me as a fuck up. 

No, obviously I told you in the very beginning, you know, you're doing, you're doing fortune 500 coaching now you're doing tons of stuff, you know? So obviously you, you figured it out. 

[19:22 - How can people find you? https://hiddenadhd.com  @aroncroft on Twitter  @HiddenADHD on Facebook  INSTA  YouTube and also at hidden_adhd on TikTok]

Okay. So then we don't, we don't need to go into it. So I would say then just, uh, just Google hidden ADHD. Uh, so the “hidden” is kind of like a nod to a bit of the inattentive going under the radar and you'll be able to find my TikTok with over a hundred thousand people and you'll be able to find my free downloads and stuff. I’ve got some cool ADHD one-on-one and productivity guides and stuff. Uh, so you can get all that. And, uh, I would love to connect with you. 

Awesome Aron Croft yeah, his TikTok’s pretty off the charts you should definitely follow that. I'll give you that. I, you know, it's funny. I've been trying desperately. I tried to get into it, I just, I couldn't, I couldn't fall in love with it. I, I, I fell in love with Twitter. I fell in love with Facebook. I fell in love with Instagram. I couldn't, I still can't fall in love with TikTok, maybe because I know the company in China and I've been to their headquarters in China and it just scares me, but I just, I still can't fall in love with TikTok. I'm trying. I just can't make them a, B, 

Maybe you can't. Maybe you can't have more than three loves, like maybe. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, like, you know, your heart's full. 

My girlfriend would argue. I can have more than one, but no, I see where you're going with that. Um, all right, cool guys, you’ve been listening to Aron Croft! I love this guy who's shit is awesome. Definitely check him out. You've also been listening to Faster Than Normal. That's me. You know how to find me. I'm not going to waste your time. I'll be back next week with a new episode. My name is Peter Shankman.  I appreciate you listening. I appreciate you taking 20 minutes of your day. I know that's a lot. And for those who actually listened to this on anything less than 1.25 times speed; you're my people. I thank you for that! See ya soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 29, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Cynthia Hammer was born in raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. Graduated college with her Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been married for 52 years, and has three wonderful sons. About a year after her middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician diagnosed Cynthia with ADD.  It was 1992 and she was 49 years old. After connecting with a few organizations, she founded the non-profit organization, ADD Resources, with a mission to help other adults with ADD learn about the condition and get diagnosed.  The organization sponsored yearly conferences with the most well-known ADHD clinicians as presenters—including Drs. Hallowell, Ratey, Dodson, and Amen along with Thomas Phelan and Thomas Brown, PhDs as well as sponsoring workshops for teachers and a special weekend for women with Sari Solden.  She left the organization in 2010 and trained to be an ADHD coach, but never got beyond offering her services pro bono. After some time away and inspired by the isolation imposed by Covid, she wrote a memoir about her life with ADD—“The Circular Staircase, Living with ADD.”  In getting reacquainted with ADHD research and literature for her memoir she learned that those with Inattentive ADHD continue to be significantly less-often diagnosed than those with Hyperactivity.  Wanting to change that she started a new non-profit in March, 2021 with a mission that children with Inattentive ADHD get diagnosed by age 8 and adults with Inattentive ADHD are readily and correctly diagnosed when they seek help. The new website is www.iadhd.org.  She is creating a social media presence, blogging, appearing on podcasts, and submitting articles for ADDitude magazine, spreading the message that Inattentive ADHD exists—it is different from ADHD with hyperactivity, and it is harmful to individuals when it goes undiagnosed. For ADHD Awareness month, which is October, people who share her commitment to spread awareness about Inattentive ADHD can download letters from her website to mail to school principals and physicians in their community.  They can find the letters by clicking on Spread Awareness. https://www.iadhd.org/adhd-awareness-month Today we learn more about how Cynthia continues to break social stereotypes and get folks the help they need -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Cynthia Hammer discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Cynthia! 

2:57 - You got diagnosed at age 49. After you got diagnosed how did things go?

4:22 - On not believing she would have a ‘whole new life’, even though her doctor said she would.

5:04 - On her first ADHD “group meet”

6:53 - On how she started her first non-profit for ADHD  Ref: The Adult ADD Reader  Dr. Hallowell  

9:15 - Ref:  Driven To Distraction by Dr. Hallowell 

10:50 - Let’s talk about your recent memoir! “The Circular Staircase” (not yet published)  Ref: Reedsy website

14:30 - Ref Additude mag

15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter 

15:40 - Thank you Cynthia Hammer!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. It is great to have you. It is a Tuesday here in New York and beautiful day, little warm, little hot, little Indian summer going on. It is very. I want to introduce our guest today I think you will enjoy; got someone who's born and raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. And after her middle son, she has three sons. After a middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician, diagnosed her with ADHD, whether they, it was 1982 and she was 49 years old. So. What do you do when you're ADHD and diagnosed at 49 years old, you start a non-profit. She created ADD Rescources https://www.iadhd.org It's a mission to help other adults with ADHD, learn about the condition and get diagnosed. They sponsor yearly conferences, including Dr. Hallowell, Randy Dodson, along with Thomas Brown, all the good ones, all the ones you read about in the books, all the ones whose books you've read. She left the organization in 2010. But then when COVID hit, she wrote a memoir there, a lot of stuff to cover here today. Welcome Cynthia Hammer, Cynthia. It is great to have you on the podcast. 

Thank you. 

So you got diagnosed at 49; prior to that what'd you think was going on? 

I really didn't take anything was going on.

Okay. So you just sort of lived your life and you're like, Hey, whatever, you know, this is, this is what it is. So after you got diagnosed did stuff started making a little more sense to you? 

Well, I can't say that because I was very, very sad to get diagnosed. And when I was diagnosed, actually it was after I got, um, evaluated where I worked. And my supervisor had a grandson with ADD. So she was the first one to suggest that to me. And because of my son had inattentive ADD, occasionally I said to myself, I do that. I do that, but I never took it seriously. But when she told me, she thought I had ADD, um, at the next appointment with the pediatrician, cause I'd go with my son; I said to Dr. Klonsky. I said, do you think I have ADD? And he said, you do. So then he took me on, I was his first adult patient and I started to take Ritalin. It made a big difference. And what he said to me was- I envy you, you're going to have a whole new life. And I didn't believe him because I was just so sad about having it. Um, but I say with time it was a whole new life. 

Tell me about it, why was it a new life? 

Well, I went to the first ADD conference for adults. It was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I'm sorry, probably it was about 1992. And when I came home, I decided to start a support group for adults with ADHD. So I went around and got, um, a hospital to give us a room and I got, um, flyers I put out in psychiatrist's office. And then when the group met, it didn't work out too well, because there was such a range. There always is a range of people with ADD and some of them were on dis um, Medicaid, or they weren't working and others were entrepreneurs and being very successful. So we'd have about 10 people at a meeting and then at the next meeting it would be different people. And so we never got to establish trust with each other and everyone was coming to tell their story from scratch. So then I decided, well, this isn't working and we switched and got a large auditorium, not, not large, but enough to hold like a hundred people. And I started, um, to have the meetings with a  professional in some area of ADD where people would want to learn more and we would, we're easily able to get people, psychiatrists and counselors, people in areas that impacted people with ADD to come and present. So that worked out much better. Although we still had problems of people in the audience wanting to interrupt the presenter to ask questions, and we took care of that. And then we'd have people in the audience that when it was question and answer, they would monologue a long time before they would ask the question. So it's still. It still took, um, some structure, but in that process of setting up the monthly meetings, I found other people with add that were functioning well enough to be helpers.  I guess at some point in there, I just decided to start a nonprofit and I can't remember why. But my mother had sent me $2,000. She never, ever done that before, and I just decided, and she lives in Massachusetts and I'm living in Washington state and I decided to use that money to start the nonprofit. So besides learning on my own, how to create the nonprofit, I found a book in the library that helped me to do that. Then. The other thought I had was to create a booklet called the adult ADD reader because instead of, I didn't the only book at the time that was out there was by Lynne Weiss. She was a PhD and her book was adults with ADHD. That was the first I'd heard of it. So we put it together, this adult ADD reader and I got approval. I don't know where I was getting the articles from, but I wrote to all the people like Dr. Hallowell, Dr. Ratey, got their permission to use their article in the adult reader. So it was like, A hundred page booklet with lots of articles it by all these professionals. And so then we started having a membership and with the membership, you could get the adult ADD reader and we created a lending library with, um, videos and books and back then it was audio tapes. And people, no matter where they lived, we would mail them materials and then they would mail them back. And at every meeting that we had, every month in person, people that were members, we had a Cardex and if they were members, they could borrow things from the lending library at the monthly meeting. And then from that, I don't think that cost much money, but we were going to move forward and have conferences. And the first one we had to come to speak was Dr. Hallowell. And he came to speak both at the auditorium where we had our monthly meetings and also at an auditorium in, uh, the junior college in our town. And it was so coincidental because that was the same week that, um, Dr. Hallowell was on the cover of time magazine. I think he had come out with, uh, Driven to Distraction. So that was kind of fun. And, and when Dr. Hal arrived, he said, uh, how much are you? How much are you charging? How much are you paying me? When I told him, he said, you should have asked for more. Oh, he should have asked for more. That's what I mean. Um, so I stayed in the position of the Director, I guess, for 15 years. And. Only for the last three years was I paid a salary because before that we weren't, we were making enough money to rent a room. I mean, yeah, an expanse, so we had two rooms for the office and I hired a secretary. And then in Washington state, they have a program where you can hire students that are on scholarship or students that are on financial assistance. And if you're a nonprofit, you can hire them and the state will pay 30, 70% of their salary. So we got, we got some, uh, and that's still available now. So we got a really good, um, student to come and help us in the office. And I think that there's always a good thing is to have that mix of the ADD people with some neuro-typical people. 

Let's talk for a second. Let's talk for a second about the memoir about, uh, ADD to circular staircase.

Well, I wrote it during COVID shut down and I know I never would have gotten it written if it hadn't been for the shutdown, but I just made a commitment to myself. I'd worked on it every day, which I did. And I, I have never written anything before. I mean, I wrote articles for the newsletter we had was add resources, but it was kind of, it was like, you know, new learning. It was really fun in a way to have all this new learning. And I found this website called Reedsy where you could, um, what to upload your, whatever you wrote. And there are all these parameters where it would improve your writing. It would show you where you use the same word too often, or show you, um, if you put in a, ‘so’, or ‘really’, or a very telling you that the new way of writing, you know, put those superlatives in there. It does, it really enhance things and changing from passive voice to active voice. Um, a lot of things like that. And so I kept thinking I was improving it. I was improving it and it ended up being about 60,000 words long. And I thought it was pretty good, but I thought I need someone who, um, is in this field. And I was reading online about this kind of editor and that kind of editor. It just sounded so confusing, but there was one website that recommended this other guy is a developmental editor. And so I hired him. And he read the manuscript and know the things like what, all the adventures that we had were like TV moves. So it's down the manuscript and 40,000 words. And he said it was, he was changing it so it was a story about my, my ADD. So the things that he didn't think were related to that were there, and I finished, we finished the manuscript in March and then. I sent it out to like 75 agents and publishers and no one responded except this one company that I'm still waiting to hear the associate decide by the end of September [2021]  And. Yeah, I, so I guess my new learning after this will be how to promote a self-published book. If they don't, they don't decide to publish it and if they do it's, um, It wouldn't come out for a year, you know? So I I'm, I'm just learning a lot about how this world works and attending sessions to learn about how to, how to proceed. That's. So in the meantime, 'cause I got back into learning about, ADD because of the writing, the memoir and just reading stuff to make sure my, what I was saying related to ADD was very true. I read an article, a blog, post, in Additude.mag by a girl who was 21. And she said that she's been told to just move on, after she got her diagnosis, but she said, I can't, I am just so angry. She was angry that even though people saw that she was struggling and she even, I guess, asked someone if she had ADD and they said, no, you you're too smart to have ADD; and so that just, just motivated me, I guess, to start a nonprofit with the focus on inattentive ADD. And so that's where I am today.

Awesome. How can people find more about you? Do you have a website or are you a lot on social media somewhere? [15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter ]

Awesome. Well, we will definitely post that in the show notes. Cynthia, I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the podcast. All right guys, we're listening to fast, the normal as always. We love that you're here. Stay in touch and reach out @petershankman or @FasterNormal. And we will see you next week.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 22, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Morgan Dodson is a life coach for people with ADHD. She helps them go paperless, and digitally organize their lives into simple tools they can use forever, not Pinterest perfect strategies that fall flat after a few weeks. In 2018, she started a professional home organizing business, but after hiring her first life coach, losing seventy five pounds, stopping drinking, being diagnosed with ADHD, and overcoming her hyperthyroidism, she decided to become a coach herself. Ever since then she’s been working online with ADHD-ers from all over the world to simplify their lives by going paperless for the last time. Today we learn about her journey and how she’s now helping fellow ADHD’ers -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Morgan Dodson discuss:  

2:35 - Intro and welcome Morgan! 

3:50 - How Morgan got her start and her back story

4:40 - How she started her own coaching business

5:40 - On the concept of using paperless systems to work your ADHD

6:44 - What to do when we can’t go paperless

9:35 - What else are you helping people with other than becoming paperless?

12:00 - On prioritizing 

12:23 - What are some of your other go-to tricks?  Ref:  Apps Trello  Asana  Notion

16:50 - How can people find you? https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list HERE

[At the time of taping Morgan does not appear to be on any Social media other than @morgandodsoncoaching on Facebook]

17:04 - Thank you Morgan Dodson!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

17:35 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

Heeey- Faster Than Normal you're here, I'm here. Our guest is here. Everyone's here. Which for someone people with ADHD thing, you know, I'll take that as a win. My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We love when you were here and it makes us very, very happy. It is a grey gloomy afternoon here in New York city, but we are persevering and pushing through my daughter is back in school. I'm hoping that will last. That gives us some freedom. Uh, I was all, we were all like, you know, worried about the tears this morning when I dropped her off. Not, not so much from her,, rather from me. Uh, uh, it turns out she was happy to get rid of me. So, you know, Hey, everyone wins. We are talking to Morgan Dodson this morning on America’s number 1 ADHD podcast. We're going to welcome to faster than normal. I will give you a, I'll give you a second to say hello, and they will give you, I'll give you the audience are your bio and all of that cool stuff going on there. So welcome to Faster Than Normal! 

Amazing. Sorry to hear that it's gloomy. I'm experiencing a very bright Southern Illinois day, so it's just starting to feel like fall down here. But, um, thank you for having me. I have to tell you first, a, um, a quick story years ago when I found your podcast. I remember just listening to one after another classic, you know, binge consuming, a podcast, ADHD style. And I said to myself, I will be on his podcast one day; and it was, it was, and I don't even remember, like if I was a coach at that time, but I just knew I would be here someday. I didn't know how, I didn't really know but here I am. So that's super fun, but, um, 

Manifesting your dreams. Well done. 

Exactly, exactly. Nailed it. So, yeah, so I'm sure you will have read my bio by now in the podcast, but my name is Morgan Dodson and I am a digital organization coach for people with ADHD. I would say if you will. I suspect you have ADHD or you have it, and you're anywhere on the planet with the internet and a pulse. I can coach you.

So, uh, growing up, I didn't even know I had ADHD until age 22 when it kind of fell in my lap. Um, my therapist casually mentioned, Hey, I think you have ADHD. And I said, no, I don't. That's ridiculous. Cause I was so organized at the time. Right. So growing up. Kind of to navigate and kind of to compensate and accommodate my, my undiagnosed ADHD, which I thought just was the normal to have a very, very fast brain. Right. I would obsess if we organize everything because I was a hot mess. Right. Like even growing up, everything was so messy. Growing up and even into college, you know, I learned a thing or two about organizing. And after, after college I used none of my, my agricultural communications degree that I just graduated with and I started a professional home organizing business, which has evolved into what is today, which is just online. COVID. Right. So instead of going into people's houses, which was difficult because I could work with them and they would get the result of, you know, an organized kitchen or closet, but then it wouldn't even be maintained. You know, I'd come back a couple of weeks later and really be frustrated with them and maybe frustrated with themselves, but throughout my own journey, with, you know, therapy and then kind of outgrowing the therapy model, I found coaching life coaching and using those tools too of course, to learn about my ADHD and navigate all of that and to lose over 75 pounds and stop over drinking and completely change my whole life. So. I definitely believe in those tools after really having to change my mind about them. You know, I used to believe a life coaching that's cute. Right. Get a real job. Right. And so after being a product of that product, like I said, I had to change my mind. So here I am today and I help people with ADHD go paperless. And really we focus on three main areas of calendaring and following. Project management and all of the scheming and saving of all the things..

 I'm going to interrupt you just because I want to, I wanna make sure we cover as much as possible let's turn to the concept of paperless. Right? So one of the things that's given us is the ability to almost no, almost entirely go paperless. That, uh, one of the things I dread now in my life is actually one of the mailbox, right? I'm getting, you know, 99% of it. I live in an apartment, unfortunately in our building we have a recycle bin right next to the mailboxes because, you know, we dump all our junk down there. And maybe once a week I have to actually bring something upstairs. And then I look at it like, what the hell does this have to go? Right. I sit at my desk and do whatever. So paperless is a wonderful thought. It's a wonderful idea. You know, real-world scenario in a practical scenario, we can't all be paperless all the time. I'm sitting here looking at a tax bill, um, you know, a quarterly apartment tax bill that I have to pay and, and it doesn't, you can't go tax, you can't go paperless in New York state. Right. So talk about for a second as basically its competitors in many ways as possible. Talk about what we do or those points where we can’t. 

Yeah. And I think that's an important thing to mention too, right. Is like even in my life that living in very rural Southern Illinois, where I think a lot of places are lagging in the option to go paperless. Right. And I think it's important just to know that it's not about going paperless for paperless sake, right? It's about how can I save all the information in my life, all the data in my life, to where I have systems to maintain them. Right. Versus. You know, getting rid of paper, isn't the problem. I think it, a lot of times it comes down to a lack of systems problems. Right. And even for me, like, I still purposely keep a good amount of paper. Right. Like it's more about, do you know your reasons for keeping it and do you like them? Right. So always on my desk, I have this just boring and plain notepad that I dump ideas in and it's kind of just like my inbox. Right. And then I also journal on paper.  Right. And so I know how those tools give me value versus I wouldn't just, you know, not, you know, like without really considering my reasons for keeping lots of paper. Um, does that make sense? 

It's way more about, do you know your reasons, unlike your reasons, right. That, you know, a lot of people find is that they get used to a certain way. Like for instance, in, in, you know, most of the stuff that I do, I can go pay for this in so many ways. And then when something comes in that doesn't allow that when something comes into that, that, that messes with that. Uh, sort of rhythm. 

Yeah. Yeah. And I can relate to that too. Especially, you know, with the example of, you know, auto billing and even just having the bill emailed to you. Right. And it's like, oh, this is so annoying. Even for me, like my insurance, my health insurance is a cost share insurance. So it's not like, regular insurance. So they have to reimburse me with paper checks in the mail. It's like one of the few things I actually get in the mail now. And I'm, it literally does throw me off a little bit when you know, I'm budgeting or doing any kind of money things. Right. It's like it would, it would make too much sense. Right to do it electronically, but nonetheless, I think it's more, you know, for me about how can I accommodate this way of doing things that they have allowed for and not making it a problem that they do this right. Cause that could be mad at them and like begrudgingly cash, this check and, um, thank God for, you know, having a bank app that can let me deposit it. Right. You know, or it can just not make it a problem and, you know, I have everything else as digital as possible. And I know that that makes it easy for me. And also I can accommodate those other things that maybe hasn't quite caught up yet with the digital life that I want to live, you know?

Yeah, I think at the end of the day, it really is about balance and finding out, you know, sort of what works and how to make it work. What else, what else are you helping people with other than paperless? Because I know that as much as, as much of a bonus is to go, you know, to make your life easier and that there's still a lot more.

Yeah. Yeah. So we talk a lot about calendaring, right? There's kind of two sides to it of it's one thing to put some plans on the calendar, right. To map out all the things you want to do and get in any given day in any given week, but then it's a whole nother side of things to follow through. Right. I can't tell you how many times when I was trying to transition from my paper planner in college too and the grudgingly transfer from a paper planner to iCal right. A digital calendar and I'd have all the best laid out plans and then come time to do it, I could not get myself to do it. So a lot of the work is figuring out the right those reasons and those obstacles you have to yeah. Putting the plan on the calendar and then to follow through on it. That is a lot of what I coach on that. And then project management, right. Those are kind of like two sister skills of it's. One thing to put things on the calendar, but. To have a place organized enough kind of like your external brain where I can put my ideas in. And I know exactly where this kind of idea would go or this to-do list or this thing I need to buy. Right. And then having that kind of personal database to pull from, to then put your whole life on the calendar. And really, I love thinking about it. Like if I can map out any project or goal into doable chunks and put them on the doable calendar. And then if I can follow through on those things, even if they suck, even if they're like, I want to put my eyeballs out or it's scary. If I know I can overcome those obstacles and do anything on the calendar, like my dreams are as good as done. 

Right. I totally understand that. And that definitely make, you know, it makes it interesting to one of the things about ADHD. I find that is if you can block things out into small manageable chunks, as you start giving them. You know, the dope mean kicks and the adrenaline kicks in and you start wanting to do more of them. As the adrenaline and dopamine kicks in And so sometimes getting that big project done is as easy as just getting the first small one. 

Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense. And I used to kind of begrudgingly like almost get mad at people who gave me that advice of eat the frog first thing in the morning. It's a no. Right. So even in the mornings, you know, on any given day, I will do certain small things kind of just to get them out of the way and to get some momentum going, but even with small goals or, or even big goals. Yeah. Like you said, like you kind of have to get the ball rolling in that way and do some small things and get that dopamine going. Y’know?

Definitely. What else do you advise people to do? I mean, what else, what else are some of your go-to tricks?  

Yeah. I mean the one main thing I always start clients with is, and I see this a lot too, because it also used to be me, right. Of people, whether, you know, in Facebook groups or people coming to me and saying, what apps should I use? Right. Like, what are the best apps for organizing or for ADHD in general? And I'm like, listen, You can digitize and organize your entire life. Even for us ADHD’ers. Right? We like the, we like the fancy apps. We like the ones that have all the bells and whistles. Right. But you can digitize your entire life into three simple apps and they don't have to cost a lot of money. Right. They could be free if you wanted them to. Right. So I always recommend, instead of kind of just looking at all the apps like a buffet, and then you can pick all the ones you want. Right. Just pick three. And I always recommend in three categories, right? You pick a calendar app. It literally doesn't matter which one. Right? Pick a project management app that is a little bit more robust than just the notes app on your phone. Right? Some popular ones are Trello, Asana notion, those kinds of ones, [[ Trello  Asana  Notion]] and then pick a place to store your files. Right? Some people love Google drive. I personally use Google drive. You know, you can use Dropbox. It literally doesn't matter, pick one in each of those categories. And then really the magic is A- you have to pull and kind of take inventory of all the other apps you have. Right. Okay. It turns out I've got three Dropbox accounts, two Google drives. Oh, I have this other, you know, Reminders list at like there's all kinds of apps we have stuff in. Taking that into account, consolidating into these three places, and then taking all of the physical paper and data you have and putting it in those three things. And I will tell you, like, this was magical for me to kind of finally figure out for myself, because if I'm going, looking for something, whether it's a file or a picture, it doesn't even matter. I'm not looking across 12 different apps. I know for sure it's at least in one of those three. Right. So then that completely constrains losing things. I can't tell you how little I lose things now, just because of that simple structure for it. And that, you know, that kind of protocol for laying things out.

I think one of the interesting things about, about, um, you know, what I've discovered in terms of keeping things online digitally is your work in the ecosystem you enjoy. Right? So for me, I'm, I'm both in Apple and Google. And so across my phone are spread out the apple and Google apps that allow me to get to whatever I need based on wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.  You know, it seems like, oh, use, use this one. I use that. And I'm like, well, if they don't live in the ecosystem, I'm already in, that's an extra step. Right. And what we're trying to do is eliminate those extra steps, right?

Yeah. And I think you brought up a good point. It's like, yeah, you have Apple stuff on your phone. I would guess you maybe have an iPhone. I do have an iPhone. I'm an Apple girl. Generally. I use I Cal. Right. But I also use a lot of different things that Google offers. And so not making it wrong if you're like in both camps. Right. And a lot of times I find that clients and I used to do this too. Right. So I'm totally guilty of it, of kind of using the indecision and the confusion about, oh my gosh, which apps should I choose? Which ones are right? Which ones are wrong? Like and using that as a distraction to not necessarily avoid digitizing things or organizing them. But I think it's more so about, I think unconsciously, our brains know if we are organized, if we can find things and have an organized to-do list, and we know we can put it on the calendar and follow up through our brains thinks that means we actually have to do things that might be scary or uncomfortable. And I think a lot of times we use the, the kind of distracting confusion of in, you know, not deciding on which apps to use or, or you pick them. And, oh my gosh, I don't know how to use it or let me go. Look up for hours on YouTube, right? I used to do this, like scrolling up and down YouTube, Pinterest, whatever of like, best way to use Evernote or what are, what are the best ways to lay it out? And really it's more about how can I use this system and make it simple. And then how can I get to work doing work that matters, right? That's what it's all about.

Definitely. Awesome. How can people find you if they wanna learn more? Yeah. So there's a couple of ways you can go and find my podcast going paperless with ADHD, and you can also go to my website, which is Morgan Dotson coaching. 

https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com 

Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq 

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list here: https://morgandodsoncoaching.ck.page

 

Awesome guys, you’ve been listening to Morgan Dobson on www.FasterThanNormal.com My name is Peter Shankman. Thank you so much, Morgan. Thank you so much for taking the time and we will see you next week. We're going to have you back at some point in the future. Definitely. One-hundred percent! This was a lot of fun! Guys, ADHD is a gift, not a curse, you know, that make sure you are telling your friends about that. Make sure you were standing up for who you are, what you believe in and in who you are and understanding that you have the, both of you be the best you can be. Don't listen to what anyone else says, except for us because we know what we're talking about; ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you next week, byee!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 15, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

——

Dr. Read is a very experienced Consultant Psychiatrist, with 30 years experience in NHS, most recently as Lead for ADHD at a large London teaching trust. She has many years of experience with neurodiversity, both in ADHD / ADD and ASD, and their many comorbidities.

Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Her psychodynamic and cognitive understanding and strategies really help in the journey of self understanding, and formulating a treatment plan that will actually work! Dr. Read has a special interest in rejection sensitivity and other emotional issues which are so often part of these conditions. Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Read has ADHD herself, as do her children. Her advice, support and experience to parents is first hand, reflecting the often difficult family journey she has taken, with many difficulties, and many successes along the way. Dr. Read's lived experience of ADHD means that her treatment plans are from the inside… She lives in London where we find her on this rainy Thursday morning. Her private practice, ADHD Consultancy, specializes in neurodiversity. She’s been through it and is doing the good work- enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Dr. Read discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Dr. Helen Read!  Ref: Comorbidity

3:20 - How did you get involved in ADHD/Neurodiversity research, treatment & education?

9:00 - How do parents become better advocates for their kids?

11:22 - How is the UK in terms of embracing the awesome things about ADHD and Neurodiversity?

13:00 - How do you educate/re-educate parents about misconceptions/falsehoods & bad info about Neurodiversity in general?

15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook

17:05 - Thank you Dr. Helen Read!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm thrilled that you're here! It is a gray and gross a Thursday morning here in New York city. But that's okay because by the time this airs, hopefully it will be sunny. Again, it was the first day of third grade for my daughter. I dropped her off at school. And in essence, I guess the rain was good because it hit the tears. Obviously I'm talking about my tears, not her. She was thrilled to be rid of me. So thrilled that you guys are here. It's another episode today. We're going across the pond as it were. We were talking to Dr. Helen Reed. Arlene is a consultant psychiatrist, 30 years experience in the NHS. Most recently as Lee. For ADHD at a very large London teaching trust, tons of experience with neurodiversity, both ADHD ADD and ASD. And there are many co-morbidities I just learned I was 48 years old last year when I learned the word comorbidities and I learned it, of course, because of COVID. Um, Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in cognitive analytic therapy or CAT or psychodynamic and cognitive understanding of strategies, helping the journey of self understanding formulation and treatment treatment treatment plan that will actually work. She has a special interest in rejection sensitivity. We're going to touch on that because I have a feeling that I have that other emotional issues. And literally, as I said that my dog had got up and walked away. Oh my God. I'm not even kidding. Dr. Read, welcome to Faster Than Normal, fantastic to have you! 

Thank you so much for having me on. Um, wow. Uh, it's very, it's a great honor to be on the protocols and of course. It's a talk to someone who's such a leading light in the fields of ADHD difference, not deficit. Um, as I understand your approach to be an, I would say I'm all about that as a general principle.

Difference, not deficit. That is our headline. No question about it. Oh and the dog came back. So I feel better.  How did you get involved? How, what, what's your background? How did you start in this? Tell us, tell us. 

Uh, well, uh, I started as a doctor, 

I mean in regards to ADD, ADHD, that aspect of it. 

So it was basically, it was my eldest son being diagnosed actually with autism um, 21 years ago when he was three and it was such a shock to me, it was unexpected, he didn't seem kind of that child, as I understood it to be at that time, you know, he was chatty, intelligent, loving, all that sort of thing. But, um, he was referred by the nursery and part of the assessment was a speech and language therapy, uh, appointment. And she said to me, then she said, he's a lovely talker, but he often can't understand quite a bit of what you're saying, you know, he receptive language processing issues. And, and really from that moment on, I was thrown into neurodiversity because I don't know how it is over in the states, but in the UK, I think particularly what we used to call high functioning-Although I know people don't always like that label- there's not a lot available despite good will all around. So, you know, you're, you're, you're well on your own kind of trying to get what your child needs. And we knew, I knew that he was bright, but he couldn't understand what was happening in the classroom. And so what to do. And it was really as that journey that I really came across, um, the whole language processing issue. That seems to go across neurodiversity for an awful lot of people, which is quite a surprise finding. But anyway, that was how I thought that, you know, we need to get this child, some ADHD medication, my personal decision from that point of view so that he could really tune into what's going on. And actually, you know, his first day on Ritalin when he was 11 and you know, not only about medication, but in, in my son's case, it made a very, very big difference was when he came home from school and he said, mum, I can understand what the teachers are saying. And I can understand what the other kids are saying- And, you know, I, I knew it would help, but I didn't, wasn't prepared for that much of a difference. Um, and it made me think, gosh, you know, there's so much in this. And of course the process of getting that Ritalin involved, um, having the second diagnosis of ADHD, which, you know, is, is it, I don't know what you guys think, but I don't feel it's entirely separate from ADHD though clearly. It's not exactly the same thing, but you know, he, um, with the support, you know, it's a constant fight. So I think in this country, and from what I hear about the U S it's not so different and it's a constant fight to get them what they need to represent their points of view and all that sorts of thing. So I emerged quite battle scarred, but you know, my son. You know, it got a, two-one degree in law and these are very successful, very charming, very handsome, very lovely young man today. And, you know, bless his heart. It would have been too difficult for him. I think he obviously would have done well. He's a great guy, but I just think that, you know, the specific thing about being in the school room, you know, about having to deal with a very auditory curriculum about having to focus when it's boring, we all know what that's like. And all of that kind of really mitigates against our children. Sometimes, either achieving their potential, which I guess is what it's all about. So from there, um, That's what got me started. And, uh, I, I, up until that point I'd been really particularly interested in psychotherapy, particularly with more crisis kind of groups, women's power, you know, and anywhere where the action was, that's where I tended to be. And, you know, I loved that work, but I did find, you know, with my own therapy and also with the therapy that I was giving to my patients, you can get so far with it, but often times we were ending up with, uh,  I can compassionately see why I might be finding things difficult because of certain aspects of my childhood, but hey, I'm just watching myself compassionately, continuing to screw up and exactly the same way. So I sort of thought that there's gotta be more to it here you know, it can't just be explained by such difficulties as it to be. I don't know anyone that hasn't had some difficulties in their childhood, although clearly there are differences in degree, but you know, it's the human condition to have a less than perfect life, I think at all stages. And particularly if you’re neurodiverse um, so I think I was looking for something more and I couldn't help noticing the overlap. So y’know you get to know your patients and we're talking about depression. We're talking about anxiety, job problems, life problems, relationships, all these kinds of things, but you know, then you get to, well at school, I could never focus. You know, I was disappointing. My exam results were disappointing, I’d dropped out of university. You know, I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I've had many false starts with my kids. You know, these things, you just hear time and time again and at some point the penny sort of dropped you know; hey, this isn't different from ADHD. And you know, sometimes. It dropped that I had ADHD myself, um, obviously as, as a very successful person, but you know, like many people will say, um, who have, you know, the experience of being what they call high functioning. It's not about not being able to do things it's about having to work harder, smarter, you know, you always have to get up in the morning before the neurotypical people and have it all planned out on a whiteboard, et cetera, et cetera, you know? 

Let me, let me, let me stop you just for a second and ask the question. One of the things you mentioned, um, it sounds like you, uh, became a champion for your son at a very early age, and you were advocating for him for the needs, for his needs and for the things that he required, you know, in, in, uh, the U S at least the concept of advocating, it's not as.. I mean, it's starting to get there. Right. But parents don't often have the tools or the, the knowledge to advocate for what their child needs once their child is diagnosed. You know, what are your thoughts on that in terms of how do parents become better advocates for their kids? 

Well, uh,  it's worth knowing that, um, this is a slightly difficult thing to say, and I don't want to upset anybody, but it's not remotely unusual, um, for a child with ADHD to have, um, some family history and it's remarkably common for one or other, or even both of the parents to be diagnosed. Sometimes it's about either recognizing; he may be just like everyone else in the family, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have problems. So I think a lot of the journey is accepting it ourselves because you know, the cohorts of people who I was going through the same experience with all those years ago, you know, some of them got with the program, others were like, you know, he doesn't do it at home. You know, he's not like that all the time. No, no, no. He can do better than that. Almost like they were arguing giving their kids out of any possible support that they might get. And I feel that, that, um, it's not really that it's very understandable. Obviously it's clearly understandable, but it isn't always very helpful for children if we ask ourselves are in denial about how difficult things can be for them, particularly in the classroom. So I think first of all, we got to know. We've got to read out. We've got to become knowledgeable about this and try not to be defensive. I mean, it's hard, isn't it? When someone says you're a little precious lamb, your little genius, you know, your, your precious child could possibly have a thing going on with them. The natural thing is to go, no, they don't. They’re just like me. No, they don't. But I think we probably need to get beyond that. If they're struggling, obviously, if they're not struggling, we don't need to advocate for them, but if they are struggling, they need our help and they need our help to probably get the help that they need because if we don't know what they need, how on Earth is anyone else going to where they need? 

How has the, how is the UK in terms of embracing ADHD and looking at it as, not necessarily as a, as a curse, but rather as a gift? 

Uh, I would say no where probably, I, I don't know. I think, um, I, I think as a docter, it's it interesting, and I do have some neurodiverse people in my clinic. I have more doctors in my clinic than some people would think could be there, but you know, doctors with ADHD in the UK tend to keep a very low profile I'm out there. You know, my patients know that I have ADHD myself and they appreciate that because they, that they must say appreciate the inside feel for what everyone's going to say. But I think generally, no, it's a condition with the doctors. You know, the patients, you know, you sit back and I will tell you how I am going to cure you of this terrible thing that you have going on, which means that you'll never achieve anything. It's terrible though. Y’know I was just reading the other day, a very, I'm going to say it. It's the Royal College of Psychiatrists. If you ever feel like going on there and having a look article about ADHD, it's like:  “Go on and give yourself a pat on the back. Nope. Really? Because you are trying and it doesn't matter if you can't do anything, don’t worry, you sit back, stop shitting yourself”.  Do you know, I just want to go and punch someone when I read that stuff, because that's not where it's at I don't think, you know, maybe it's for some people, but that's not where it's at for me, my family, my patients, you know, and, and no patients I've ever met; that's where it's at. You know, everybody wants to move forward. Everyone's fighting. Yeah. 

That brings up a great question. What are you telling parents who are getting this sort of information into their brain? How are you, how would you explain to them sort of, you know, what are next steps for them? How do you convince them, you know, hey it's okay- your child is not broken, here's what we can do! 

Yeah, well, I mean, I am now I left the NHS, Peter, in 2020 in may it really just because, uh, it's, it's, it's quite difficult, you know, when you sort of become aware of this kind of thing and, and, and, and, and really what we should be doing with ADHD versus what we actually do with it. There's the Gulf is so wide that it becomes quite difficult, I think, to sort of practice in that context. So I did set my own private practice up, um, and that took off immediately, uh, and is very successful fortunately, and, um, not just because of me, because there's such a need, you know, I mean, it's, it's desperate over in this country, how it is. So the people who come here, I don't see a lot of children. I tend to see children of my patients and I as over fifteens now because I can't treat kids, but because you know, Th the ideas that I have about treatment are not 100% in line with current medical thinking. And clearly I don't want to get myself into any sort of situations with, uh, people who just don't get this stuff, which I think to be fair is anyone who doesn't have ADHD. I don't know how you can get it if you don't have ADHD. I just don't think that people understand how we feel when we can't function. So what do I say to parents? When, of course they're coming anyway, they were approaching me. So they already have quite a lot of this under their belt. And they're looking for diagnosis. They're looking for help. They're the fortunate ones because they can afford to pay. And, you know, unfortunately I do what I can for other people, but yeah. It's really hard because it's a tough battle. So, you know, I don't think that you can convince someone else that they, or their child, or their spouse or whatever that they have, ADHD. It’s kind of a journey that people need to come to a little bit by themselves. And I think that goes to parents, it goes for spouses, it goes for everybody really. Because in as much as like either you can look at me and say, yeah, there's ADHD there- she has the symptoms; you can also look at me and say, oh, well, she's very lazy you know, you know, she's probably a bit thick, you know, maybe that's why she has to work harder. You know, perhaps she's just, you know, not bothered to organize so properly, and that's why she has to have things be written on the white board, you know, you could see what you want to see ready with ADHD I t's quite, um, in a way nebulous. And I think it's nebulous because you're talking about a different kind of personality rather than a person with something wrong with them. But clearly there is a mismatch between what we need the world to be like and what it actually is like, and that causes significant disadvantage, I think and nowhere more so than at school and in education. Does that answer the question? I might've rambled on a bit. 

A hundred percent. That was perfect. We're we're bumping up on time. How can people find, uh, find you? How would you find more about you and where can they find you? 

Well, my company is called ADHDConsultancy so if you went to Google, www dot ADHD, consultancy.co.uk. Um, so one way I am on Twitter, unfortunately I've certainly forgotten exactly what my Twitter handle is cause it's quite a new one because I locked myself out of my old one and I finally discovered to be registered, but it's basically, if you put my name in Dr. Helen read, that's basically what my new Twitter handle is. [15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook]

So I'm on there. Um, and, uh, yeah, I'm not hard to find just drop me an email. Um, and you and I love to hear from people, particularly people in the U S is, you know, I look with envy, um, on your situation over there. It seems to me that you're so far ahead of us in terms of, of exactly what you're speaking about this movement of, you know, don't abort us just make some reasonable adjustments first, just accept that you can be intelligent unsuccessful with ADHD. Doesn't mean that everybody is, but, you know, try not to make things so difficult for us I think is, is what I would really say. 

Exactly. Well, awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Read. We really appreciate it. Great to have you. We'd love to have you back again in several months. 

Guys, as always, even listening to faster than normal, and we appreciate that you're here. Uh, you can find us as www.FasterThanNormal.com and I'm @petershankman. We will see you next week and we will remind you that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll talk to you soon. Stay well, stay safe.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 25, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

——

Steve Shane is the team leader for rapidly growing real estate team Porchlight Florida in Jacksonville FL. He has been a real estate and small business coach for over 5 years having been an affiliate coach for Tom Ferry and Keller Williams. Through his love of coaching and personal development, Steve found that research into brain science and how his brain was working lead him to create a systematic mindset ritual to keep him in a fulfilled and productive state. When his friends started to use the system during the pandemic to deal with their various mental health challenges, they all found relief through the program. That is how the GIVE ALL Neuro Journal was born. www.GiveAllJournal.com After reading Peter's book "Faster Than Normal," Steve also came to realize the program he built for his "mindfulness" was actually treating his potential undiagnosed ADHD. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Steve discuss:  

 

2:20 - The song Peter is thinking of was probably the basis for this Pumped-Up remix 

 

2:38 - Intro and welcome Steve Shane!  Ref: www.GiveAllJournal.com 

 

5:50 - So the premise of your journal is to have a system to keep you on track, or a “pre-scribed” routine if you will?

 

7:00 - What does it take to get you out of a rabbit hole?

8:18 - About the results of the first thing you don’t do in the morning/On unstructured time

 

9:48 - What is one example of when your feelings won control of your routines/rituals/systems?

 

11:21 - Resolutions fail, rituals succeed. What’s next for you?

 

12:44 - How can people find you?  www.GiveAllJournal.com. and @thegivealljournal on INSTA and @The Give-All Neuro Journal on Facebook and of course via AMAZON

 

13:12 - Thank you Steve Shane!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

14:14 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

Yo yo, what's up everyone, Peter Shankman with Faster Than Normal. How are you today? I am great. I hope you are too. A whole bunch of drama because the Iron Man that I've been training for it for the past, God knows how many months, years, decades, lifetimes. It was postponed yet. Again, thank you COVID!!! Wear a mask. Just, just where you can still go to Walmart without a bra and in your underwear, I just, just wear a mask. Okay. Anyway. Things are good. I'm have my health. I have my daughter, I have my dog. That's really, I'm just breathing in and out. And another six months of training, you know, maybe I'll lose even more weight, so I'm trying to stay calm, but I'm glad you're here.

Welcome to our episode. I have a cool guy named Steve Shane. Here’s what it is.. systematic mindset ritual. Whenever I hear systematic, I think of it. Wasn't to unlimited. Who was the, it was a group Mars. Remember, uh, M a R R S Mars needs women. Um, I'm totally spacing on the song that a Mars needs needs. Anyway, they use the word systematic, and I always remember that when I was like 2019 or something. I need help. Anyway, Steve Shane is the team leader for a rapidly growing real estate firm in Porchlight Florida in team Portside Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. He's in a real estate in small business coach for five years and through his love of coaching, he found research into brain science and how his brain was working, and that led him to create the system. Mindset ritual. To keep them in a fulfilled, productive state. That's when you realized….. in my book. And that program had created for his mindfulness was actually treating his faster brain, and it was potentially undiagnosed. So we are going to talk to Steve, Steve. Welcome. Tell us about, well, tell us about you first and then we're going to talk about a systematic mindset ritual. Cause that sounds like a lot. It sounds a lot like elimination of choice. So I'm curious to hear it welcome to the podcast. 

Thank you. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me, uh, when I found your book, um, obviously I listened to it instead of reading it, because me sitting still holding something, it was very difficult. Um, and as I was listening to it, it was like hearing somebody like open up the rest of the windows in the house and all of a sudden I could breathe better. Cause I finally heard my story and I was like, oh, that's me, this explains so much. Um, and so I've been in the real estate industry for almost 10 years now, previously I was a musician and living a life of an artist really makes being, having whatever this undiagnosed thing I have is really easy cause nobody has high expectations of you as an Artist. And then as I entered into the business of selling residential real estate. I realized that my, my busy brain was getting in the way of me making money and being a good partner in a, in a, in a relationship and being a good Dad. So I started diving hard into the personal development world, um, and that really helped me get control of my busy brain, which I did not realize until your book was kind of add ADHD. And part of that I got became a small business coach coach, a lot of real estate agents and a lot of small business owners using the knowledge I was getting from those personal development books. Um, and. Really into Joe Dispenza, Dr. Daniel Amen. Um, a lot of the stuff that Tony Robbins talks about and it's about understanding how your brain works. And as I started developing my own little program, uh, for a relationship that was failing, my marriage was failing and I needed something to keep myself in a prime state, so I could continue to go make money and take care of myself, I built this little program out just for me, just so I could be okay. And then I bumped into a friend who was having a hard time and I was like, Hey, this is working for me. Why don't you try it. And it worked for him and he shared it with a friend and that friend liked it and it was positively impacting people in my community. So I was like, eh, maybe on to something. So we developed a, what is called the Give-All Neuro Journal, um, using brain science and using it; this idea of wellness and making it a system. So every morning you can wake up or afternoon wherever you want to do it can put you in a prime state of, uh, fulfillment and productivity.

So the premise is essentially having something, having a plan, having a system that you follow. So you don't fall off the rails or fall off the tracks. 

Yeah, absolutely. I've found personally really, even more so recently, um, that I need a recipe. I need a prescription for everyday tasks that normal people do without issue, like waking up in the morning and I need a ritual and I need a routine and I don't hang myself up on the cross if I mess up, cause that's going to happen. We're going to have days when our brain is going, go go down the rabbit hole. I was thinking about our call today and I was trying to think of like, there's this specific type of bee and it has this hole and then as I'm thinking about this, be 25 minutes later, I'm way down the rabbit hole on a Google search. Um, and all I've tried to do is figure out what kind of worker bee goes out and explores the world. And, and it has these ADD entrepreneurial, um, characteristics to it. But if I didn't have a routine to say, okay, now I've got to get back on the beam. I could have gotten lost for much longer than 25 minutes.

Yep. So tell us, tell us what that is to get you back because that, you know, that is the rabbit hole. You know, I talked about it, the book, you know, you're looking up one thing and then you're six hours later you're investigating Roman sewage canals from the information times.

Yes. Um, so for the GiveWell journal, it's, it's, it's an acronym. Uh, G is for gratitude. I intention, V for visualization, E equipped, a appreciation L learning. And finally the last L is love. Um, and all these things are are treating certain neurochemicals to be released in your, in your head and, uh, in your body. Um, so that is designed just to kind of get you in a place where you're calm and still in your focus, on the right stuff. And so the, the elimination of choice that you mentioned before, it's not so much the elimination of choice; it's just a railroad track for me to get back on when I get off the beam, and when I get off the beam, that's when I lose that productivity. And then if I lose that productivity, then the shame spiral starts. And then the shame Spiral starts, then I'm, you know, going hard on the sugar and the candy and all the things that I'm using as coping mechanisms. All of this is just designed for me to not fall off the railroad track. 

I love that. It's interesting because you know, one of the things that, that you see all the time is that it's not so much the first thing that you do that knocks you out. It's the result of the first thing you do, right. Okay. I didn't work out this morning. Okay. You know, in a normal person, we, you say, didn’t work out on this one, I missed it. Screw it, I’ll do it tomorrow. You know, somehow OUR not working out in the morning, you know, ends with 18 slices of pizza and a bottle of tequila and we have no idea how that happened because it was started off pretty easily. I don't even work out.  No, you know, I joke that it's like, it's like one mistake for us is like summer, right? June 1st comes out our it's awesome. Next thing I know, how the hell did it become August 23? 

Yeah. The worst thing in the world for me is unstructured time.

Yep. 

Um, if I have the opportunity to have all the choices, I never make the choice that is going to make me either feel good later or a help me move forward towards mine, my objectives and goals I will without fail find myself in front of a. Netflix marathon or, you know, on my sixth cup of tea when I really didn't have anything to do anyway, now I'm, over-caffeinated overstimulated and trying to, you know, get back on the beam 

and that's where it starts going down hill.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. But then, then those feelings kick in and the feelings for me, um, that's where I get into trouble because feelings turn into actions. 

So just for kicks. Tell us one of those. Tell us one of the action stories, where the, where the feelings kicked in. What did you tell us? Something that you did that you, you know, that you looked at and okay I'll never do that again because now I have this system. 

Honestly really recently in the past four or five days, I've had to create a nightly routine for myself. And I sat down with a pen and paper and wrote down what I'm going to do every single night. I'm going through a divorce. So I'm spending a lot more time by myself right now than I have in a long time. Um, And my evenings are full of scrolling. Um, you know, Facebook marketplace looking for a, a motorcycle or, you know, playing that 13th level of candy crush for the evening, like it, and I just felt myself. Like knowing that there's no reason it's 1230 at night. There is, I'm going to wake up at 5:00 AM in the morning because that's my routine. I got to go to the gym at five so I can have a good day. So I was ruining my 5:00 AM routine by not taking care of my 9:00 PM routine. 

Yep. 

So recently I've just literally in the past few days, and I'm starting to call them recipes or prescriptions. I'm not exactly sure which catchphrase I'm going to use, but I need a prescription for basic tasks. Um, and I need a recipe for basic tasks. So I created a basic task thing where I'm, you know, pull out my computer with plan the next day, do a couple pushups, you know, read a book. I spend five minutes meditating, these little things so I can go to bed at a decent hour and my next day can start on time. 

Yup. No question. And I think that one of the things, you know, as the more we do this, the more you really. That you know, it's not that hard once you adapt to the system. I always say Resolutions, fail, Rituals succeed. Right. You're building those rituals to continue on and on. So what's the next step for you?

Right? 

Are you, are you. Obviously, this works for you and your friends uh, what’s next for you?

in the, the, the journey of a journal or the journey with my, my newly found ADHD?

Both

Um, well, I'm, I'm going to continue to use ritual, uh, in my life. Um, that has really been the leveling up tool I've used in everything. The minute I get something on a calendar, the minute I get it on paper, now I have a plan. And then the thinking process that gets me overwhelmed and distracted and, you know, out of the way, if I can jump on that, on that plan, I, I will perform on that plan every single time. And I will do it faster than the average person. Um, And then for the journey of the ADHD, it's just understanding that this is now a part of me. It's not defining me and it's not, um, you know, I've made it 39 years without knowing what my life is. You know, what this tag was. Um, now what does it mean to live with it and use it as a superpower? 

Yup. Awesome. How can people find you cause I have a feeling that some people are gonna want this. 

[[12:44 - How can people find you?  www.GiveAllJournal.com. and @thegivealljournal on INSTA and @The Give-All Neuro Journal on Facebook and of course via AMAZON]]

Um, definitely check out, uh, give all journal.com.Uh, if you're on the Instagram, we are, uh, at the give all journal, um, and come check us out. We're also on Amazon too. Um, prefer if you guys go through the website, uh, cause fulfillment's easier. I'm doing fulfillment for my living room too. So. 

There you go. Why, why give I give just three more cents to go into space?

Awesome. Very cool. Steve Shane, thank you so much for being on Faster Than Normal. This is awesome. I love the concept. The concept of having the routine, it really, really does work for ADHD. There's no question about it. So really great to have you on, I'd love to have you back in about a year or so. Let us know how it goes. 

Thanks. I appreciate it. Thanks for making time today. 

All right guys, as always FasterThanNormal is for you. Let us know what you like, what you hate. Uh, and if you're in New York and you want to hang out, let me know that too, by my, you know, my travel schedule, which was, you know, 300,000 miles a year has obviously shrunk a lot. I’m doing a lot of virtuals and that gives me a lot of free time. So I'm scheduling everything In. So if you want to hang out, go to shankman.com. Let's meet up. Let's chat. Let's go for a run. Let's go for a cycle, a bike ride, whatever, as long as we're not sitting at a table. And, and, and, and you know, both being bored, I'm happy to walk around with you exploring New York City. Anyway. Thank you for listening to Faster Than Normal, reach out anytime. That is why we're here. Uh, I'm @petershankman on all the socials. Steven Byrom @stevenbyrom is our wonderful, wonderful producer, and he's just a God; he saves me every week. We will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening. And remember ADHD. It's a gift, not a curse as is all Neurodiversity!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 18, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode! 

——

Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi, and a brunch enthusiast. She also has dyslexia and ADHD. After spending her career working in leadership development, she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads so that they feel supported and are able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating Cape-Able Consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities/ ADHD by reminding people what they Cape-able of. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Alex discuss:  

3:42 - Intro and welcome Alex Gilbert!

4:00 - On why Alex started her business

5:40 - When were you diagnosed?

6:50 - On how the extra tools we’re given in school don’t really work in the real world

7:50 - What is the number one request you get from your clients?

9:53 - How there is no “quick fix” for those of us with ADHD, Dyslexia, and so on

11:26 - A little about Alex’s coaching techniques and how they’ve evolved

13:00 - About why it’s important to stop looking at yourself as if you’re broken

15:00 - Sometimes having Dyslexia and ADHD makes you the only good candidate for a job!

16:00 - On not eating the entire elephant at once/seeing the longer solution-solve/big picture

16:57 - How can people find you? https://www.capeableconsulting.com  @iamcapeable on INSTA @CapeAbleConsultingLLC on Facebook and Cape-Able Consulting LLC on LinkedIN 

17:11 - Thank you Alex!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:56 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ and grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hellooo everyone, I am thrilled that you are joining me today for another episode of faster than normal. If I sound like I've just been punched in the mouth. Well, I'm not that far off. Dental work this morning. And so I am going to be drooling and slurring some words, and we're just gonna have a lot of fun. I can not currently cannot feel the upper part of my mouth, but that is okay, it should be a lot of fun anyway, and Hey, you get to laugh at me. So there's a bonus even there. Um, I am glad that you're joining us today on another episode of Faster Than Normal. It is exciting to as always to not only have the wonderful guests we do, but the audience that really makes this podcast what it is, and it means the world to me that you continue to download these episodes and listen to them. It really, really. And I am really, really grateful. 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

We have a fun guest today. We're going to be talking to Alex Gilbert. I love the first line of her bio. Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, Mets fan, a Yogi and a brunch enthusiast who also has dyslexia and ADHD. So with the exception of the Yogi part We're we're, we're very, very similar people. I have been a long suffering mess fan all my life. 

Funny story. I was a, I've been a Mets fan. I've publicly been a Mets fan since I moved out of the house, uh, moved out of my parents' house back in like, I guess in 1990, uh, my father was born and raised in Brooklyn and my mother was born and raised in the Bronx. So until I moved out of the house, I wasn't allowed to have a favorite baseball team, but it was secretly the Mets. And I remember watching game six, uh, give a shout out to Michael Sergio, uh, who is a, who's a skydiver. You probably know, as a skydiver who jumped in to game six with a sign reading, let's go Mets and scared the hell out of Keith Hernandez landing about two feet behind him. So I met him at the ranch during one of my jumps, really, really cool guy and holds an incredible distinction. And he also spent some time in jail for that because he didn't give up the pilot who flew him there. So he's not a rat, so he's a really good guy. 

Anyway, we're gonna be talking to Alex. She is pretty awesome. She spent her career working in leadership development and she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. And God knows that is a well needed business. Her business is called Capeable Consulting, but she spells it CAPE - A B L E. So cape-able was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads. They feel supported and able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating capable consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities and ADHD by reminding people of what they're capable of. And that's the part that really got me excited to talk to you. Welcome Alex. Great to have you here. 

Thanks for having me. I also love that Mets intro it just, you can't see my face, but I'm glowing. I just, I love Mets talk. 

So, you know, it's interesting. I was just talking to someone; it's really hard if you go through life being told you're broken and being told that all your positives are really negatives. It's really hard to accentuate your positives when you grow up because you don't believe you have any. 

I mean, I think that's really why I've wanted to do this for so long is because I was told so often as a kid, by teachers and other adults that I was stupid or less than, and I never really believed it and I really, I owe my parents for that. And it's an amazing resource from teachers that I had who were really supportive of me and could see me for who I was outside of testing and scores and other things like that. You know, there are so many abilities that people with a learning disability or ADHD have that I want to help people embrace and understand that they're so unique and special. And that's what we should be focusing on rather than all of the downfalls of the pitfalls, because everybody has things that they're not good at but for some reason, if we don't fit in the box of quote unquote, normal people are the first to jump and say, well, you're not good enough. And I hate that. So that was part of why I started my business.

When were you diagnosed? 

So I was really privileged to be diagnosed at eight years old because my parents thought to get me outside testing and I had resources pretty much all the way through college. But when I graduated from college, all the resources that you have in school don't exist in the workplace. So the tools that you use in school even apply to anything, the workplace. So I had that foundation early on and I'm really grateful for that, but that didn't really help me in my career. 

It's a really good point. You know, we, we put a lot of kids on medication and we, we give them, you know, sometimes we give them these, these extra tools, they can get extra time on the test, things like that. But the real world, uh, it's a little different, right? And the, one of the big problems is you have kids who are on medication, all their lives. And then when their insurance runs out, you know, they get off their parents' insurance and they got nothing left and they're like, well, now what they've learned nothing. 

Right. Right. And that was, I, you know, I have a lot of friends who are resource teachers and in special ed. And I remember talking to them about how I was starting this business. And they said, well, you know, we really hope that you would know what to do once you graduated. And I think that's the problem, you know, it's like 18 years old, you're good. You're cured, but there's no real cure. And even thinking about some things. Things that you mentioned about having extra time on a test? I can't ask my boss for more time when he dropped something on my desk and says, I need it two hours. Right? That's not realistic. And the mindset and the mentality and the anxiety that all stems through those conversations of do I share that I have a learning disability or ADHD, will they think I'm not good at my job? Will they fire me for those things?You know, There's so much that is stimulated from those and spirals out of control and no one prepares you for that. 

What do you, what is the number one thing you get from clients that you work with? What's what's, what's the overwhelming, uh, thing they want to fix for lack of a better word, and it takes the bad word, but the only thing they want your help with.

I think people come in asking for someone to fix everything for them. And I think you using the word word fix is really important because I think that's what people are looking for. A lot of, especially ADHD. People are looking for something that's quick, you know, we're, we're usually hyperactive and want something that you can just check off the box and be done with it. But that's not how life works in a lot of ways. And a lot of people have come to me, say, They're disorganized or they don't know how to talk to their boss or they're really burnt out. And I really want to take a step back from all of that and start where they are, because we can't really solve any of the problems that they're coming to me with, unless we actually know what the root of that is. And so I start with the, uh, with my one-on-one coaching clients, I do something called getting to know you package. And we really start from the basics, because you had mentioned earlier about being put on medications and not having any of those tools when you get older and now you don't have any, you know, you can't afford the medication, what are you supposed to do? You don't know how you think. You don't know how you learn. You don't know how you organize and everyone has those abilities, but we've been trying to fit into somebody else's box. That's not realistic. And so I really tried to take a step back and say, okay, what part of your day do you feel your best? What part of your day do you feel you're struggling with? You know, and we really work backwards to get to know themselves. 

Excellent, uh, answer, you know, I think that one of the big problems, um, is exactly what you mentioned. And then I am, I'm, I'm angry at myself now for using the word fixed, but the premise that there's just this one thing that can fix me, right. That can. Right. First of all we’re not broken, so the fixing is, is ridiculous to begin with, but the premise that, and especially it's, it's sort of twofold. It's, it's a double edged sword. We go in eight. The concept of ADHD is that, especially like, you know, for instance, you have an argument, right. You in this argument. Okay. I want to, um, I want to clear the air and fix this problem and let’s.. I'm sorry. Let's move on. And, and people that are usually often can't do that and which usually people where they usually look at those people. You know, god, why won't you let this go? Because they can't, they need to be, to process their own way, as opposed to us just says, you know, and then, so that that's that's that in itself, you know, is the quick fix that we're always looking for, but, but for ourselves, we can't offer a quick fix to ourselves. We have to, uh, it's a lifelong process. Just like you said, it's, it's similar in any way, in any way to, um, to, to in many ways to other, for lack of a better word diseases, you know, the concept of you're not cured of being an alcoholic. Right. You're not cured of things, so you're not cured of being ADHD, but you can learn to utilize it to your advantage. And so that I think is the first lesson. If people aren't coming to coaches or doctors to be cured you, you, you, you, you build to get cured of a disease that can kill you this disease. And I hate again, stop using that word. This is something that if we learn to use it, Can help us. And so I'm assuming, you know, when you, when you tell us your advisors to me to get that, that sort of first mind blown moment there, right?

Yeah. A little bit. And the thing is, it's kind of why, like my coaching practices and philosophy is what it is. So I coach based on the theory of best practices versus best principles, because best practices. Which is a common term that's used all the time, assumes that everyone could do the exact same thing and end up with the same results, but that doesn't work and that doesn't work for anybody, but that especially doesn't work for someone who has ADHD. So I really try and go with best principles, which is we have the same goal in mind, how we get there, is going to be up to you and that's the best way to move forward because that's, what's going to be sustainable and help you thrive as you move forward. And to really go through that emphasis of figuring out what your strengths are. I think a lot of people don't necessarily know what their strengths are because they've been suppressing everything else for so long, because again, they've been trying to fit in somebody else's box that's not realistic to them. And you know, that's something I want to really help people figure out is all of those amazing skillsets that they have because they have ADHD or a learning disability. 

I would ask the question of that. It's a hard thing to teach because when, when you're drilled into, um, this whole, oh, I have, you know, I'm broken. Probably an example to, to relate it to something that I could deal with- I did this long bike ride this weekend and I have new new handlebars and the, the, I guess they need to be adjusted because the way I was holding it, I, my left finger left index finger went numb and it's still three days later. Right. And so I'm hoping that it stops being numb, but you know, if you, I was holding it there for five hours and the result was no, it's numb. If you're told your entire life that you're broken, you have a hard time believing you're not. And even harder time thinking that, wow, this stuff that everyone's not broken about, maybe that might not be broken. Maybe there's something I could do with it. And so the hardest thing I think for you as a coach probably is changing the mindset before you even implement the rules, changing the mindset of stop looking at yourself like you’re broken. 

Oh for sure. But I think that's, that's a lot of what comes into play is people feel broken. I mean, there's such a high correlation between people who have a learning disability or ADHD and struggle with mental health. I mean, all of that horrendous language and all that demeaning and demoralizing language that's been used on you for years is there, whether you go to therapy and talk it through or not, I mean, I had written on my blog this piece about my anxiety, my origin story, talking about my fourth grade teacher who would call me out and yell at me in front of, you know, the rest of my classmates. He would pull me outside and scream at me in the hallway. And I wanted to miss school all the time, because I didn't understand why when I asked a question, he constantly made me feel stupid. So, you know, and called me stupid in front of my classmates over and over and over again. So, you know, yes, all of that is there, but it takes a lot of time to build forward and say, not only am I not staying, but there are so many things that I'm good at- really, really good at! I mean, I did last job that I had, um, before the pandemic I was working basically in a campaign role and I was offered this job six times. I turned it down five times, because I thought this was too overwhelming of a job. It was not the right fit for me, but the reason they were seeking me out was because of my dyslexia and ADHD. That I was the only person who could do this job because I could see the big picture and the little details all at once. I could simply. Everything that they were asking people to simplify. And I came up with it within five minutes. That's unbelievable. And not everybody can do that. And that's the kinds of things that I'm trying to help people point out is, you know, there are, there are things that are under your nose that you don't necessarily know that you're really good at, but let's find them. Let's help build your confidence in that. 

I think the key of, of, of explaining to people, you know, again, I always go back to this analogy. It’s eating the elephant, one bite at a time, right? You don't need to change your entire world. Your entire world will change as you start changing things slowly. Right. 

Yeah. It's small changes every day. And the thing is, that's what makes it sustainable because if you, if you're taking something and bake, bite-size pieces of it, you're not looking at everything all at once and I think that that's, what's so overwhelming for someone who has ADHD is they have this analysis paralysis. There's too many decisions. There's too many steps. There's too many things to go and I'm not, I'm not asking anybody to do that. It's like, can we just take this one step in front of you? How does this feel? Let's analyze it. How does it. How does this go moving forward? Is this something we can continue? You know, it's just, it takes a lot of steps. And I think that people who are looking for support and looking for, help me to understand that this is a whole picture; that this isn't something that's a quick fix and we shouldn't look at it as a quick fix. Because it, you didn't even develop, you know? Yes. In some ways you develop different skills of ADHD differently throughout your lifetime, but it's always been there, but that doesn't mean that it has to be fixed, quote unquote the same way. 

Yup. A hundred percent. How can people find you? 

Sure. So I am my website. As you mentioned, I spelled Cape C a P E capable consulting.com. Or How can people find you? https://www.capeableconsulting.com  @iamcapeable on INSTA @CapeAbleConsultingLLC on Facebook and Cape-Able Consulting LLC on LinkedIN 

Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. We really do appreciate it. Sorry to you and my audience if I slurred or spit, well, you can't see me spitting all over the keyboard, but that is I've been drooling all morning. So looking forward to having you back at some point, and that was great guys. Thanks for listening. I appreciate it. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to the audience. You guys are the reason that we have this podcast, so that we'll keep doing it. So please reach out if you have any guests, you'd like to see, we would love to know who they are and tell us about them and we'll get them on the podcast just like we did here with Alex guys. Thank you for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. We will see you next week again, on Faster Than Normal. Have a wonderful day!

 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 11, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Aubrey Hirsch is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, a short story collection. Her stories, essays and comics have appeared in The New York Times, Vox, The Nib, American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. You can learn more about her at www.aubreyhirsch.com or follow her on twitter @aubreyhirsch.  Today we’re talking with Aubrey about Imposter syndrome, embracing criticism, and enduring the word “no”, amongst other sweetnesses of the creative life. This is a goody, enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Aubrey discuss:    

2:14 - Intro and welcome Aubrey Hirsch!!

3:35 - Tell us about growing up, how you became a writer, and how you learned to embrace hearing the word “no”.

5:40 - On becoming a professional writer.  Ref:  Duotrope

7:40 - One is a number. Oh yes it is! 

8:00 - How long have you been a full-time writer? Ref:  Aimee Bender

9:15 - On how it’s still sort of a “This is how it’s always been done” society. Ref:  “Black Boy” by Richard Wright 

11:03 - On getting over the Sophomore jinx

11:52 - On her teacher Maureen McKeil’s contextualizing rejection and keeping perspective

15:50 - Illustrations on Imposter syndrome 

16:50 - How do you deal with rejection and Imposter syndrome?

19:24 - The story of Peter’s first condo purchase

20:40 - On the battle between yourself- and You yesterday.

22:57 - How do you let yourself enjoy the successes you have achieved?

24:52 - What do you do to shut off, get away and unplug?  

How can people find you?  @AubreyHirsch on Twitter  INSTA and via her website www.aubreyhirsch.com  Her book “Why We Never Talk About Sugar” is OUT NOW!

26:11 - Thank you Aubrey!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

27:13 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ and grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hey guys, Peter Shankman welcome to our episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you've been enjoying the summer. FTN has taken a bit of a break uh, to really just sort of get our brains back and do some travel and, and, and, uh, get outside and get some fresh air. It feels like about 16 months since we've gotten some fresh air. So it's nice to have done that, but we are thrilled to be back. And so glad that you stuck with us, although you probably just, this probably just auto downloaded and you didn't really have a choice as to whether because I mean, who knows how to unsubscribe to a podcast, it's the most annoying thing on your phone; they just show up and you dismiss them because come on, we don't have time for that. 

 

Anyway, either way. I am still thrilled that you're here and I want to welcome our guest this week. Aubrey Hirsch. Aubrey. I found Aubrey on Twitter because she's actually very, very funny. And she's one of the few people on Twitter who make me laugh without rolling my eyes and that is a feat of, uh, no small regard. So Aubrey is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, which is sort of story collection and she's right. And she is a graphic artist. Her stories, essays and comics have appeared in the New York times, Vox the Nib, American Short Fiction, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. She lives online @ www.AubreyHirsch.com She is on the interwebs @AubreyHirsch, and Aubrey is joining us today from California, where hopefully the weather is better, actually. It's getting sunny out. All right. So maybe the weather is the same. Welcome, Aubrey. 

Thank you for taking the. Thanks for having me on.

No. Cool. I was amazed. You responded, you responded so quickly to my, I was, I was DM-ing you? Um, when I, when I say to the DMS that, Hey, I'd love to have new podcasts. I was actually on the Peloton bike and so my endorphins and everything were like sky high, which is why I sent you like seven messages in a row. Each one continued just a little bit more info, as opposed to just sending you one with everything. So apologies for that. Um, but yeah, you responded really, really fast and I really appreciate you taking the time. Um, so w we're going to dive into imposter syndrome. The, the, the, the, the, the, our conversation is going to center on that, and I'm entirely in that.

 

It's going to be some of that. Tell me about your sort of growing up, becoming a writer per se. Writers and, and are right up there with salespeople as, as being, as at learning the word, no at a very early age and learning to deal with it. So, you know, I'm assuming you were in school when you were pitching and you were, you know, getting out of school and you sort of writing, you sort of pitching your stuff and you got, uh, When I was doing it in college, I'm probably a little older than you, I would get at least a courtesy of a reply. Cause we had to do these by mail. Right. We'd have to send out pitching for weeks by a mail. Now it's just email. So, you know, the, when they don't respond to, they say no it's much quicker and in your face and more hurtful. So talk about, uh, what it was like starting out and how you sort of learned to embrace it.

Sure. Yeah, those were definitely some hard learned lessons for me. Um, like you, I started in the mailing era and how I got started is in college. I was actually was a chemistry major for the first couple of years and I took a writing class. Um, as a core requirement and for the final project of that writing class, our professor made everybody send a short story out to a literary magazine. So we had to learn the process. We had to put the cover letter together and we had to put it on an envelope and give it to her. She would look at it, you know, give us our grade and then she put them all in the mail. So I waited patiently as you do when these things happened by meal and definitely expected to know, you know, she told us everyone will get rejected, but that's how you are going to learn to get your first rejection. But, uh, I actually got an acceptance in the mail and was like, oh my God. You know? Well, this was like six months later. So it's like a different school year. And I told my professor and she was like, oh my God, you know, that's never happened before. That's so exciting. And so now of course, I feel like I'm some sort of genius, like who sells their first story that they've ever submitted. Like obviously, um, So, uh, I changed my major. I decided, well, maybe I hadn't better be scientists. I got some advice about, uh, getting an MFA degree, which is a degree I'd never heard of. And then of course I headed into like five solid years of nothing but rejections left and right. Like, not even like a positive thing where you get the rejection slip, but it appears that a human hand has touched it. There's like a little bit of ink on it somewhere. Or like, it's like the corners slightly bent and you're like, oh my God, like someone, uh, put this rejection and thoughtfully. No, it was all just like, we hate you. You have no talent. We wish you were dead. Don't ever talk to us again. It was like that. For many, many years, um, until I kind of figured out how to get like a little bit more strategic with it. And I found, um, do a trope, which aggregates statistics from writers who are accumulating rejections. And they'll tell you about like, Acceptance rates from different magazines and things like that. So I started targeting ones that had really high acceptance rates, figuring it'll just be good to have something in my bio because nobody knows these magazines. Like nobody knows them. All right. They don't know like one small literary magazine from another. Um, so as long as you just have something to say in your bio, I think that's helpful. I also started publishing poems. Um, because they're shorter. And so they take up less room in the magazines and magazines can publish more of them. So I published a couple of those. And then when I had a bio that started to look like maybe I was actually a writer, it became easier to get like generous reads, I think from staff. And then, you know, you can, like, I can remember seriously creating a course called pitching the strategy because that is. I've never. And I think that's probably the science side of you, uh, that, that comes in and looks at this as a, you know, as a, as a, as a, as an experiment, like, all right. My, my thesis statement is this, I'm going to test this.

 

I love that. But you went and looked at who has higher acceptance rates, and then use that. I remember. When I turned 30, uh, as I say, years ago, I wanted to, um, throw a party and I convinced a company, one company to sponsor it. And then on that strength, that one company, I send emails out to 100 different companies and said, I have a number of sponsors on the premise that one was a number and that's what you have to do. Right. And so, so it works. 

That's awesome. It is. 

So how long have you been to, how long have you been writing now and, and calling yourself a writer and, and pitching and getting kind of gets easier. I mean, over time you start to develop the relationships with the editors and things like.

Definitely. Yeah, it gets easier. And people start to like, know you a little bit and you start to have people who ask you for work. Um, which is great. I, that's a good question. I mean, I, I always liked to write when I was little. I think I just, I thought, you know, because in school we, we never read writers who were alive. You know, until I got to college. So I kinda thought like, saying that you want to be a writer was like saying one should be like a blacksmith. Like, it would be fun, but you missed the window, right? Like that's, that's done now. The books have all been written. So you have her find something else to do and no more books to write, sorry, that's it it's over. And then when I was in college and I read like Aimee Bender and so I was like, oh, damn, like, oh, okay. Like chicks do this. Oh, that's cool. And then like, you could do this now and you can do it like, so it sounds like more interesting. And you're talking about like more, um, current topic. Like I know that like, sweet. Uh, so it started in like a more concerted way then, like in college. And then I went right from college to my MFA, which is a funny story also. And then, um, you know, it kind of went on. I think that's one of the problems that you've, you've touched on the problems is that is that we are still very much a that's the way it's always been done type of society.

 

Um, you know, I can list every single book that I was required to read in junior high or high school. And then on a much shorter list, I can, I can remember every single book I was required to read in junior high or high school that actually touched me. Um, you know, and I remember, uh, the, the one that did and still to this day does, was Black Boy by Richard Wright.

And I have probably read that. A dozen times since I had to read it in high school. And, you know, I mean, I love Shakespeare and I read ByroN and things like that. But, but to look at, um, the stuff that we were sort of forced to read it, put, I think every student has, it's very rare to have a student that doesn't get that bad taste in their mouth because they're forced to do it.

Right. And they're forced to do it. People that died 300 years ago. Any words that aren't spoken today? Um, you know, I remember, uh, when I was, I think it was in college when, uh, Bosler, mins, Romeo and Juliet came out with Claire Danes, Claire Danes, who now is the mother of my daughter's school friend, which is just weird shit because she's two and nothing else, but I'm in my head but you know, I remember watching that movie and hearing Leonardo DiCaprio speak in, in Shakespearian. Okay. Okay. Now it makes sense, right? Because when you're reading something by a 400 year old dead guy, everyone in there, no matter how, you know, Juliette was 13 by, she sounds like a 400 year old dead woman and so it takes that, you know, you have to sort of look, I don't think we're smart enough at that age to sort of put that into perspective. So, so you have been doing this for years and let's, let's move on. Let's talk about the concept of rejection because you said, yeah, I got my first hit and then nothing for fighting.

 

I mean, that's actually, I went out on my own for the same reason. My first job with America Online was fun. And when I got laid off from there, I got my second job, assuming it would be fun. And every job after that sucked and like, that's okay; you, you experienced the, not the norm to begin. So that knocks you around a bit because you're like, wait, this is supposed to be easy.

 

It was easy. The first. Yeah. Yeah, I definitely did have the, the very, very, very deep seated fear that like, oh, maybe I just only had that one bad story in me. Like, did I, did I peak? Did I write my one good story when I was 19? And then that's it. That's all I got. I got nothing. Um, and that, that was hard, you know, it didn't feel good, obviously. Luckily for me, I had a very, very good undergrad professor Maureen McKeil a science fiction writer. She's the one who had us do that final project to send out a story. And because she wanted to get out in front of it and insulate us from the terrible feelings of rejection, she put it into perspective. In a way that when I was teaching, it was like my only goal as a professor was to do that same, give my students that same gift of like contextualizing the rejection to say, this is not personal, this is not a comment on your talent, this is not a prediction of the future. This is one particular reader on one particular day. And that one particular magazine took a pass. You know, it's not that deep and you shouldn't take it like it is. That was incredibly helpful for me. And I think it allowed me to like kind of power through all those years. And I also think those years are really important too, because when I wrote that first story, I didn't have any foundational fiction writing education. I was just. Writing it, you know, I was just writing a thing that was in my brain and I put it on the paper. Right. Then I had the unfortunate experience of getting a lot of creative writing education.

That were like you no, no, no, no. Showed on towel. Like, no, no, no. Not with that. You know, like this is too fast, this is too slow. Um, and also this like constant. Forcing into us of like the quiet domestic realism of the stories that you read in graduate school. Right. Of like the, the man at the bar smoking and like the, the guy in the unhappy marriage, uh, at home breaks his glasses. And that's the huge, like pivotal moment of the story, like the broken whiskey glass, you know, or whatever the thing is. And that was just not, I think what I was supposed to be writing, but I was trying, and it was not good. So it wasn't until after graduate school, when I kind of like. She was able to shake that off and no longer had to give my manuscripts to 10 other students who were in the same class and think about, you know, what they were going to say. It's like, you can almost run the workshop in your head and you're writing to those people. I was just writing it, you know, for myself that I kind of rediscovered the kinds of things that I wanted to write about. And that was when I started getting published. Freer. I mean, a lot of what I remember. 

Uh, you know, when I first started, cause I have, I have a journalism background as well, I mean, I, I went to BU as a Journalism major, and I remember that a lot of what I was dealing with at the time was writing things in a very specific way that they wanted to see them, even if it didn't feel right. And when it didn't feel right, I had a really hard time getting it on paper. Um, I have my editors now for all of my books and they're like, We we know exactly what you want to say, we just need to clean it up a little bit, but you know, how did you, how did you come to the point where you just got it down? I'm like, I literally just, I, I booked a flight somewhere, sat down for eight hours and rode, I vomited out for eight hours and here's, here's the result. Um, but yeah, you, you, you are, you're taught, I think the same thing also as a kid in like math class. Showing my work was always horrible, but I was never going to show you my work, but I could get the right answer in my head and that should be worth something that's going to, if I ever start an education, like a cult, it's going to be even not having to show your work; that's something I think, um, talk for a second. So, so, you know, getting, and I'm sure you still get rejected from time to time, right? We all, we all have that, um, you know, going after a speaking gig, someone else gets it. I wanted it, whatever. So the teacher gave you that brilliant, brilliant insight, the concept of not taking it personally. And I wish someone had told me that the same way. I mean, it's still, uh, it still stings, right? It doesn't sing anywhere near as much. And I've worked really, really hard. And I, you know, with a wonderful therapist for like 20 something years, I'm about nine you're saying, but the concept of imposter syndrome is all too real no matter what you do, it is an existing thing. It, it exists. It's there. Um, It is. I find it's very easy. Uh, when it comes to imposter syndrome to go down a spiral where, you know, you start with one thing and then you happen to notice another thing and you happen to all of a sudden you've, you know, it's like when you see a red car and then you see 50 red cars, all of a sudden you've seen every single, uh, insult or, or, or response to a tweet or whatever. Um, you haven't seen any of the positive ones because you're not looking for them because you're so now focused. On the negatives and assuming you're the absolute worst person in the world. Right. So, and, and, and for guys, you got to see what, what, what, what Aubrey tweeted? Um, a couple of, I guess we, couple weeks ago it was from money Python. It was the, uh, oh, it's just a flesh wound. It's the, guy's getting his legs cut off in his arms, cut off. It's brilliant. And it's exactly that it is how you feel, but you get enough of those slush wounds and, and you're gonna die. Right. And so what do we, so what have you learned. That you can share with the audience in the world? How do you deal with it? Because you know, as talented as you are sometimes, we are not going to please everyone. Definitely. 

 

I mean, well, like, first of all, for clarity, I definitely want to say it still feels terrible, you know, it's, it's always painful. It doesn't feel good. And I think especially now, like in the age of Twitter, you're on there for five minutes, get consumed with professional jealousy. You know, it's like here here's, everyone's like publisher's marketplace screenshots and oh, look, I'm an indie bestseller. And like, oh look, I'm a finalist for this award that you have never even heard of. And like, can't wait to go into my writing residency. Yeah. You know, whatever fancy it's, it's really hard. It's just, it's all in your face all the time. And of course not enough of us are talking about. The rejections alongside of those things. Like, it's not like here's my one tweet about my birthright writing residency, and here's my 15 tweets about the ones that rejected me for all these years. And some people do. And I always love seeing that, but you know, we have to like, keep that in mind for context also, I think like it's helpful to. I always think about the most insidious part of imposter syndrome being the kind of like moving goalpost. I did a panel at AWP one year about imposter syndrome and one of the questions they asked us is like, when did you start to feel like you belonged there? And I was like, um, I'm still waiting. I don't know. I remember going, I remember going there like as a grad student and being like, well, I, you know, I've only published one thing, so obviously I don't want it. Then once I'd published many things, it was like, okay. I post many things, but like, I, I don't have a book. I mean, you got to have a book. Right. And then I had a book and it was like, well, it's short stories. It's not a novel, you know, I haven't published a novel, so I don't really go on here. It's like, I have a teaching guide, but it's not tenure track. It's like, well, okay. I have a tenure track job, but you know, I'm not like the fit and you can't, you'll never get it. Like, it's always, the next thing is. I'm going to make you feel secure in your identity, your professional identity. And I think like the sooner that you can come around to that idea that it's not real, the easier it is to kind of live in the feeling of your professional identity that you have now. Um, and that kind of like makes me feel more comfortable.

That’s a brilliant way to think about it. It was funny when I sold my last company. Um, I've never told this story before, and I can tell you because you'll, you'll appreciate that reference. Um, I sold my company around the same time that someone, the person who owned media bistro sold hers. Um, and we all know who that is. Lovely, lovely person invited me. I had just sold my company and it was about a year later and I had just bought my apartment and we were in touch and she invited me over to her house or her apartment in the city was she had just bought as well. And I was all excited cause I had this, I bought this two bedroom condo and man in New York city a two bedroom condo means you've made it! And I walked in and she had bought a floor. And the top floor and it had roof access and she's like, oh, you gotta look at the outdoor shower… and when I got home I remember walking in and saying I hate this fucking apartment and just three hours ago it was the greatest purchase of my life. Yeah. And that is literally what we do. And, and, you know, I had someone, a friend of mine said, dude, there's always gonna be a bigger, yeah. He goes, where is the apartment you're in now bigger than the one you're in 10 years ago. He's like, start there, you know? 

 

And that's, that's a good way to think of it, but you're right. There's always going to be someone. And, and what you mentioned about seeing everything online, of course, no, one's going to post their crap days. 

I, you know, I'm training for a big iron man triathlon right now. And I post, you know, after every run, I, I post a great run with a great times as opposed, to the eight fucking two times I used to even stayed in bed all day. You know, we don't share that stuff. So I think that the battle has to be between you, and you yesterday. Between you and everyone else. 

Yeah. I think that's a great way to look at it. And I also think we describe other of people's successes to like their talent and hard work.And we just, we describe our own successes to like a lucky break or like a weird, like, I remember when I would always read Modern Love in the New York Times and be like, oh my gosh. And I would see people Facebook status, like. I would be like, oh my God, I'd be like consumed with like jealousy and burning inside. And then I published a column in Modern Love and I felt very much like, oh man, I don't know how I snuck in there! Haha! Like, like no, and people would be like, oh my God, I'm so jealous. And I'm like, really? It's like, it was nothing, you know, it was just like a weird, random, like lottery draw. Right. But of course, when it's you, it feels like that when it's everyone else, it doesn't feel like that that's phenomenal.

I mean, the story that I tell to everyone is every morning I wake up and I'm sure that today's gonna be the day that the New York Times has a front page story on how I'm such a fraud. And it's all love every day when they don't well obvious, obviously, because I'm not important enough because you know, time to do a front page story. It is literally every single day. And, and, and somehow we wake up and we put on the face and we, we, we, you know, Get dressed and we get out there and we do it again. But yeah, it is, it is brutal, um, in that regard because it is very, I think that the more success you have, the easier it is for imposter syndrome to reel its rear its head, because you just get there, the more success you have, the more you're surrounded by other successful people. And if you're believing that yours is the only one who's fake and everyone else is real, it's constantly become, why are they letting me to this club?

 

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And there's always going to be the thing that's going to, you know, prove it to yourself. And then when you achieve that thing, the next thing is just right there. Just out of reach. So talk to me to two more questions. Talk to me. Number one about how do you let yourself enjoy the successes?

 

Yeah. Oh man. Yeah. That's that's tough one. I don't know. I mean, I definitely do. I definitely do enjoy them. You know, like whenever I have a piece go live, I get excited. It feels really good. You know, like I tweet it and then I, I like very excited to watch my notification. To get that sweet, sweet internet validation that we all need. Um, you know, I have gotten to a place like where I really truly hate to say this out loud because I sound like an asshole, but where I can kind of like see it for its own thing and feel good about having made it, you know, like all be like- I'm proud of myself because I made this thing and it looks really nice or like, oh, my drawing skills are getting better or like I'm getting faster. You know, that's the thing I've been working hard on too. It's like making a comic in a shorter amount of time and having the quality of it. And it's kinda, it's like a nice place to be where you can get like a little bit and, you know, don't worry. Like I still definitely run on Twitter likes, but I have like a little bit of, uh, internal validation happening.

 

That's phenomenal answer. 

 

You know, it's the ones that I post that I don't, that I think are just whatever that wind up getting, you know, 15,000 likes. And then it's the ones that I really worked hard on to fight you. People are idiots, this is gold all the time. Totally. You can't predict it. Like there'll be a comic 30 hours making it and like, I've researched it like crazy and I think it's like so good and brilliant. And it's like 18 likes and two stars and then it's like you post a selfie in the car where the light is really good and it's like 3000 likes. You're like, what the fuck? What are we doing here? 

Last question I want to ask you; I want to respect your time. Um, tell me about. What you do to shut down? What do you do to shut off? Where do you go? How do you get away? Cause it's it's it does seem like us like me like that. You're you're, you know, you live online. So when you shut down, when you shut off, where do you go? What do you do? How do you make that a part of it? 

 

Hm. Um, yeah, that's a good question. Well, I don't have a ton of time to do that because I have two small children and as I'm sure, you know, there's still childcare crisis going on. Um, but I do like, I'll play like dumb games on my cell phone just to kind of like spend some time associating or I will, um, binge watch, terrible television. I have watched. I'm not too proud to say that I have watched two full seasons of Bachelor in Paradise from beginning to end, the whole thing I've watched. Um, yeah, it's really not. It's really not. Or like, I'll watch a movie that I've already seen before, you know, that's just like a comfortable place to be. And I know that I know exactly what it's going to do to me emotionally. It's not going to, there's no surprises there. You know, I can just like fold laundry and like, let that kind of wash over me. 

Very cool. This has been a lot of fun. I really appreciate you taking the time.. 

 

Guys talking to her Aubrey Hirsch. She's the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, a short story collection. Uh, you can find her at www.AubreyHirsch.com and she's on Twitter where I found her @AubreyHirsch  She's a very quick responder, I'll give her that already. Thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. This was wonderful.

 

Thanks so much for having me. Next time you have something to promote. You have a story out. We'd love to hear. Awesome.

 

Guys is always Faster Than Normal. If you like what you heard, we'd love it if you left us a review, everyone does, you should too. You don't want to be the one person who hasn’t done it, but you can find us on www.FasterThanNormal.com you can find a single podcast. You can find us on Spotify on Amazon. You can even find us on Alexa. You can literally say Alexa, play fasterthannormal.. Crap. My Alexa is just totally gonna play that now click on the.. cancel!@ but it'll do it. And any way you want. And if you have a guest that you think would be as cool as Aubrey, let us know, you can send me an email. Peter@shaman.com DM @fasterThanNormal or @petershankman and we will get that guest on the air. Thank you so much for listening. Our producer is Steven Byrom. He is awesome. We love him. [He loves We too even though this transcript may not be 1million percent perfect]. Have a wonderful day. We'll see you next week, ADHD, and all neurodiversity are gifts, they are not a curse keep reminding yourself of that! Talk soon.

——

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jul 7, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Jessica Heimsoth is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD moms (and dads!) stop putting off their dishes, devotions, and dreams. Her 1-1 coaching practice, Every Thought Captive Coaching, utilizes a “triune” approach (get it?) to achieving any goal: faith, mindset tools, and structure/ADHD strategy. When she’s not helping clients build side-hustles, manage overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids, and deepen their relationship with God, she’s living a blissfully introverted life with her husband and two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a good long run, a wine-tasting class, or a karaoke contest.  She loves German Shepherds, white chocolate, a liberal use of sarcasm, and anything caffeinated.  Today we learn what led her to coaching and how she manages her ADHD life. Enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Jessica discuss:  

1:54 - Intro and welcome Jessica Heimsoth!

2:36 - Are you ADHD, or do you just help people who have ADHD?

2:58 - What made you decide to go to therapy & figure out what was going on? 

4:05 - What kind of problems are most of your client base having/what in common?  

3:38 - Therapy is never a waste; unless perhaps your therapist throws items at your head.

4:05 - What kind of clients come to see you?

4:45 - On having ADHD, the tendency to bucket things, and how not everything is wrong just because one thing might be heading in that direction.

5:52 - What are some of your client’s biggest issues when it comes to finances, etc?

6:51 - On the stigma of ADHD and the false picture of being broken. If your clients are believing they are, how do you make them understand that they are not?   

8:40 - On getting stuck down the rabbit-hole; the false belief that if you have ADHD there’s nothing you can do to make things better; how we are our own worst critics.

9:10 - On undoing years of mental programming/conditioning.

10:30 - On assisting/teaching clients to get out of their own headspace of being broken, or their worst critic and to leave that “all or nothing” mindset, and coming back from that ledge.

13:20 - Planning time to question during productivity/ to avoid paralysis via analysis  

14:10 - What’s your #1 piece of advice you give to those with ADHD?   

14:45 - How can people find you?  @everythoughtcaptivecoachinG on INSTA  Facebook and via her website https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoacH.com/ 

15:09 - Thank you Jessica!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:18 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hi everyone, welcome to the Faster Than Normal podcast. My name is Peter Shankman, I'm thrilled to have you here on another great episode, with another fun guest we're gonna be talking about and looking forward to learning from. Let's say, welcome to Jessica Heimsoth who is a life coach who helps Christian ADHD Moms and Dads stop putting off the dishes, devotions, and dreams. She has a one-to-one coaching practice.  https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ utilizes a triune  approach…. and I probably said that wrong... to achieving any goal, faith-mindset, tools, and structure, ADHD strategy.  She…. let's see, when  she's not helping clients build side business hustles, managing overwhelm, stop yelling at their kids and deepen their relationship with God, she's living a blissfully introverted life with her husband, two young daughters. When possible, she ventures out into the world to enjoy a long run, a wine-tasting class or karaoke contest, and she's a fan of German Shepherds.  Okay, that’s good to know. Welcome, Jessica. How are you? 

I'm good. How are you doing today? 

Doing OK, so tell me, um, are you ADHD or do you just help them with?

I'm definitely ADHD. I didn't think I wasn't for a very long time, um, because I was one of those good students that flew under the radar. Um, but adulting was where I hit a very big brick wall and then, um, and then here's the events that made me, um, seek a diagnosis. So I definitely have ADHD. 

OK, and what kind of stuff was going on with you that made you decide to do it.

Um, almost every aspect of my life was at a really low point. I was struggling with my marriage. I was, um, I was not writing novels, which is what I thought I wanted to do.  I was, um, damaging my health with energy drinks and staying up late and a lot of risky behavior. Um, my relationships were crap. Everything was kind of in the toilet and my faith was as well. So, like if you do one of those little life wheels you've ever seen people evaluating a life, all of mine were at like a two.  Um, and I was seeing a therapist, so that is where I was when I found out about this, 

Yeah, most, most, uh, I find a lot of people who are surprised or at least who can  put a name to what they have, usually happens in a therapist’s office. 

Yeah.

It did for me having a ton of other people that I know it's like, okay, well this explains it.  I literally had my therapist throw a book at me and say, you should read this. I'm like, I'm like, okay. As I wondered if other people have therapists throw things at them, but you know, 

Mine didn't, but I, I wouldn't have caught it if she had, 

I’m special.  Um, tell me about the kind of clients that come to you, right? What are they…. what kind of problems are they having?  

A lot of the clients that come to me, it's their…. the general theme is I, I know what I want to do, and I just cannot do it, like, it's very simple what I should be doing with my life, and I can't make myself do it. And, um, that almost everyone thinks that... is there just something wrong with me?  Like, I know I have ADHD, the ADHD meds or articles are not helping me. Why??? Like…. am I…. am I just doomed to be doing this for the rest of my life. Am I doomed to be, um, feeling broken and unable to achieve what I want? So that's what I see a lot of.

And, you know, when they come to you and they're asking, you know, I get a lot of people who email me on a podcast or the book and they say, you know, I'm, I'm, I just can't do anything right  I think... I think that when you're ADHD, you have a tendency to bucket things, right? You know, it tends to, to, to put things into buckets and say, well, if this is wrong, uh, you know, everything is going wrong, right?  And I think one of the first things I've learned to do….explain to people, no, not everything's going wrong, right? This one thing is going wrong

Yeah, and, and, and like even looking at it as this one thing is going wrong, as opposed to this one thing is not going exactly the way I want it to, but there's a reason for that, and I could discover what that reason is and I could improve it, right? We label it as wrong, and then what happens beyond that deeper than that is we decide that  only is it wrong, but we are wrong, like the whole,...your whole personhood, everything about you is just wrong because that one part of your life you've decided as wrong. 

I heard a great quote once, um, that I've actually used on my daughter. I said…. she says I had a terrible day….Like did you really have a terrible day or do you have five minutes that was terrible and you're milking it. 

Yeah. 

24 hours. Which one? 

I like that.

But it's true. It's really, really true. What are the biggest things that, that your clients come to you with? I know that a lot of people with ADHD have serious issues with money, right? Saving, budgeting, planning, right? Not so much our fortes.

Saving budgeting, planning, not so much. A lot of my clients actually tend to have someone else doing that for them, like their spouses. And they don't love that. Right. They feel like the child in their relationship, they feel like their spouses carrying the bulk of the, um, unpleasant tasks and they want to change that.  Um, they will have, um, issues managing their household feeling like they want to do more tasks at home. Um, engage more with their children, maybe start a side hustle, um, or, or even just love their life. And they're just not happy, and they're wondering if that's, you know, the end, I just have to keep going like that. Um, so there's a wide variety of, of questions and just general, how do I get better at whatever I'm trying to get better at. 

Do you find that, um, a lot of your clients or all of your clients, some of your clients, when they come in to you for the first time, there's a, there's a stigma behind ADHD and is one of the things that I've been trying to change, you know, since I started this podcast and wrote the book, but it's still very much out there and it's still very much a, I am broken scenario and do a lot of your clients come in and feel that way, and more frequently, what's the first thing you tell them, how do you… work that, so that they understand they're not?

Yeah. I love that question. I think the, the way that I go about my practice is by showing each client, that what's...what's stopping them, what's impeding them from whatever they want, is not them, it is what, the sentences that they're thinking in their brains. Essentially, a lot of people are coming to me saying, I can't… and fill in the blank, right?  I'm broken or I can't do this. And what's super interesting about that is that when we offer a thought like that to our brain, when we say I can't, what our brains are designed to do is to take that and prove that it's right. Whatever you say, whatever you believe your brain is, is like, I got it. I'm going to go make sure that everything, all of the evidence that I find for you supports this theory. So everybody's coming to me and they're saying I can't, and what they don't realize, is that… that statement in their brain, which they believe is making them feel like ass. and then from that point, they're going, and they're not being able to follow through with things. They…. they're actively teaching themselves that they can't do things. And it's starting in their brain with this thought that they have. So that's where we begin, is we figure out what is it that you're thinking that your brain is trying to prove true to you, and how can we start to learn to believe something else about you? Because there are so many more wonderful things that are also true at the same time. 

Yeah, totally true. And I think that we know what the big thing is, is that it's very easy for us, especially because the majority of us have been told so long that there's something quote/unquote, wrong with us, right? I think it's so easy to believe that. and to sort of go down that rabbit hole and say, there's just nothing I can do. There's nothing I can improve. There's nothing I can make better. You know? And, and we sit there and we wonder, uh, you know, how is it that I'm so broken when in fact it's not as bad as, as it's never as bad as we see it, right? We're our own worst critics always.

Yeah. Yeah. And it's not even a question of good or bad. It's honestly just a, that's just an interpretation. And you nailed it when you said, like we've been told this for so long, because most of us have had somebody at least hint, if not directly tell us when we were very young,  like you can't do this, or you'll never amount to anything or why don't we not like maybe we should just do a tech school? Not that there's anything wrong with tech schools, but if your dream was to be something else, right? Um, and so somebody has told us a long time ago, you're disorganized, you're this you're that. And we started to apply that thought to the rest of our lives and that's all that we’ve…. that’s all that we believe since then, and it's  very automatic for us.  It FEELS true, it’s not true at all, um, if, if we start to look at what, like the skills that you actually have in your life, but because it's an automatic thing in our brain, it's difficult to change it.

Yep, it really is. And I, you know, how do you work with, how do you teach people to, to get that out of their brain? Because a lot of times, you know, again, being our own worst critic, we're, we're the worst… uh, person in our own heads and, and, and we sit there and we take up space in our own heads that could be used for good things, but you know, one small failure, one small back step, oh, wow, that's it, I blew it, I'm never doing anything, I'm done. You know, I gotta move. I remember what's the joke is the, uh, I once raised my, I saw someone across the street who was waving at me. I waved back, but it turns out they weren't waving at me, and I was so embarrassed. I just kept my hand up, hailed  a taxi, went to the airport and moved to Bolivia, start a new life.  [laughter]  Right?  But it's… you know, we tend to go out on that, out on that limb, we tend to go it's either all or nothing for us. It always has been when you're ready. 10:41 - So, so how do you bring people back from that ledge? 

You start, you actually start to look at the gray area, right? So you said we're, we're very all or nothing, which we are, and part of that is just because it's easier to be all or nothing, right? If, if you're one or the other, your brain doesn't have to work as hard. The grey area is harder to maintain, but what you want to do, is to start to investigate the grey, and you do that by asking questions.  Not like high pressure questions, like what's wrong with me, but questions that make you feel really curious about what might be going on or, um, where.. like where, if you're, if you're believing well, I'm super disorganized, well we might say, OK, well, which parts of my life are organized? Where is it that I actually reveal a lot of organization? Um, or no one likes me. Well, how is that true? Have I met everyone? I haven't met everyone and do.. I have... they all told me they don't like me, um, so you start to ask yourself questions and this actually changes your brain chemistry.  I Googled this. last week…. questions to release serotonin and dopamine in your brain. And if you spent any time on https://www.additudemag.com/...you know that those neurotransmitters are a little bit wonky. 

Have you ever listened to my Podcast? 

{laughter} 

I have. Yeah. 

I mean live on dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. .every single way to get it….

That's it…. questions are like a very cheap drug for you, Peter. 

No question about that's true. It's fascinating when you think about it, because it allows you to get exactly, there are so many ways that you can get exactly where you need to be. in your brain, right? Understanding sort of what you have to do to get those chemicals in a positive way. And, uh, it's anything I could add questions to the mix as well. 

Yeah. Yeah. I'm guessing that you do a lot of that. Um, maybe consciously, maybe not, but when you're, when you are investigating a new business endeavor or, um, or even back in your past when you were like, I wonder what's possible for me, could I do that? And you've probably naturally gravitate towards questions for yourself and, and just allow your brain to explore. Would you,

I would say yes. I think outside of that is, you know, there's two sides of that. The first one is that I also tend to really go fast… uh, when I come up on, uh, you know, I want to run with it immediately, right? And so the questions tend to come later. Um, I find that the biggest issue I have is, you know, sometimes moving too fast.  For me. It's the, the, the problem is if I start asking myself questions, then I start going down rabbit holes.  Rabbit holes, then nothing gets. done.

Yeah, so that, that's a good example of, so the question helps you get into the grey area and then what we all need to do is have, have hard stops for ourselves. Like have, uh, um, one of the things that I'll use is like you get a certain amount of time to think about something and then that's it for the day, right? Like then.. then you get to plan for that thinking time tomorrow or, um, or that decision making time tomorrow. So we can set up our lives with structure. If we have a habit of running with something like that.

That's a good idea… that’s a really good idea.  Yeah, I mean I think the…. again, the  biggest problem is that you're sitting there and you're like, okay, this sounds really interesting, let me look at it. As I say, joke, you know, I’m looking up something about how to fix a toilet and it's been six hours and I'm, I'm still researching, um, you know, Roman sewage canals on Wikipedia and how they were started. So, yeah, it's, it's difficult to sort of let yourself think of that much. You have to have that, um, that ability to shut that off and then scheduling those a great is a great way to do that. 14:10 - Um, what's your number one piece of advice you give to people that ADHD? 

 

My number one piece of advice is that if you will just start with the possibility that you can change and improve, that is all you need. Um, it's just that belief..  it is, it is possible that I could get better at this thing that I want. Um, and, and then let that take you, like live that belief in your life and go after it, because what you will find is you don't always know exactly where your life is going to take you, but as long as you believe that improvement is possible, you're going to find something amazing.  I just believe that, and I want you to do that as well. 

I love it.  Jessica Heimsoth, How can people find you? 

You can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/everythoughtcaptivecoaching/ and you can find me at my website, which is https://www.everythoughtcaptivecoach.com/ you take off the “ing”on that last one. 

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much Jessica, for being on Faster Than Normal, we do appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, you know what to do. Leave us a review, shoot us an email, send us some guests or anything you want to do. We're glad that you're here and we'll see you next week. Thanks for listening, have a wonderful day. ADHD is a gift, not a curse, try to remember that. 

——

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 30, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/login/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Today’s guest is a Gen-Z’er who has accomplished more in her short time on this planet, than most of us have by age 40! Myah Master has used her ADHD powers to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director, (before age 24), of a Non-Profit 501(c)(6) that manages four other non-profits all centering around:  access, research and education on/about Mental Health. She’s published 3 books and is working on her memoir which will become a guide for any other 20-something’s navigating their quarter life crisis, wanting to get their life together and be successful. Today we learn how she’s been using her ADHD superpowers. Enjoy! 

——

In this episode Peter and Myah Master discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Myah!!

2:51 - How old were you and what made you seek a diagnosis in the first place?  

4:06 - On the positive side of being diagnosed so early, and never having the idea of being broken enter your thought process, but using it as a way to move forward with positivity.

4:27 - On being a fighter.

4:55 - Have you ever taken a break?

5:54 - On now knowing how to relax and take personal time

6:30 - On finding joy

7:15 - How do you hit reset?  

7:57 - On taking the great advice you give to others and applying it to your own life.

8:28 - Do you have any particular triggers, that signal you to take a break?  

9:42 - Have you ever noticed a drop-off in work productivity when not taking time to take care of yourself? Tell us about what you’ve found, avoiding ADHD impulsivity and how you avoid burnout(?)

11:09 – Balancing goals versus time spent

12:20 – On physical setbacks sometimes being a needed wake up call 

13:07 – Advice for the younger demographic, being diagnosed w/ ADHD, or being neurodiverse for the first time; what is your advice, what would you say to them?

15:14 - Thank you Myah – real fast, tell us about your books?

I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis. I decided to procrastinate and publish three self-published poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, the second addiction and the third book on affirmations. The third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry & prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day. They can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

16:04 - How can people find you?  @ChaoticGoodest on Twitter  myah_master on INSTA and via her website:  https://www.myahmaster.com/

16:28 - Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

16:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here. It is a gorgeous day here…. it is…. we're recording this on June 16th, which happens to be our guest's birthday, also my Mom's birthday, so random, random birthdays today, but, um, it is lovely to have you.  Today is a Gen, I don't know, a Gen Z, I guess, episode... today's episode, we're talking to a 20-something, who has done more in her few short years on the planet than most of us have done by the time we're 40, so there's benefit in that. We're talking to Maya and Maya tells me that she's used for ADHD as a power to fuel her creativity and ambition to become the Administrative Director before 24 years old of a 501-6C non-profit, that manages four other nonprofits, all centered on access,  research and education on mental health.  She's published three books, she's working on her memoir. I don't know how big a memoir can be when you're in your mid twenties, but I'm looking forward to seeing it. It's a guide, and she’s working on a guide for any other 20- somethings navigating their quarter-life crisis… that's a thing - uh, wanting to get their life together and be successful.  Maya, welcome and Happy Birthday. 

Thank you so much,  I'm happy to be here. 

Glad to have you. So, so…. I'm guessing you're one of those people who, when you got diagnosed were like, well, shit, let's just use this and do everything we possibly can. But what was it like when you first…. well, first of all, why were you diagnosed?  How old were you and what were the sort of the negatives that brought you into the Dr. in the first place? 

Yeah, so, um, I don't have a ton of insight because I was actually very young. I was six. So the ADHD life is mostly all I've ever known. And I think part of that is why I have never really had this mentality that it was holding me back.  It was just always a part of me so I learned to adjust at a young age and I had, you know, I was taught different tools on how to organize and, and I had to learn that for me personally, I had to hyper-organize myself, just to  manage daily life without completely falling apart. So I instilled that from a young age and just, I mean, it was just such a part of my life that, uh, it wasn't until adulthood when I started...people really started talking about ADHD and the struggles that came with it, that I realized that the struggles I had, weren't actually personality traits necessarily, they were symptoms of my ADHD and I felt a lot less guilty for places I faltered, but also a lot stronger for the adversity I overcame through it.

Yeah. I mean, I think that one of the big things that happens is when people realize, um, you know, when they're first diagnosed, when they're a little older than you, their first thought is, um, okay, I'm broken, you know, and the brain is able to take that and turn it around. Usually it takes some time. So the fact that I guess that you were diagnosed that young, you pretty much grew up with, okay, here's who I am, and here's what I’m gonna do. 

Yeah. I mean, I've always, it's, it's kind of a fight or flight thing and I always was a fighter. I, I have never, um, had a moment without adversity, even beyond ADHD, so it never really occurred to me to stop going. I think part of that has just been, uh, I didn't... I didn't feel like I had a choice, so my entire life I've just been constantly running uphill and sprinting because I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped.  

Right, no, I totally get that. And, and... and have you ever, has it ever come to a point where you... where you felt comfortable enough to say, okay, I can relax, I can take a break? 

Uh, maybe one day, I don't think I've ever had that moment.  I mean, you know, I think maybe other people with ADHD feel this.  You’ll hyper-focus and you'll set a goal and you, your entire life, even momentarily revolves around this thing that you're focusing on and chasing, and then once you accomplish it or you get to that point, there's this one moment of…. of “cool, I crossed off the task.  I crossed off the thing on my to-do list.”  And then at least for me, I'm almost immediately like, okay, what's the next thing. Let's go. Let's go. Let's go. I don't know how to slow down and I think that's something that I should probably work on and, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I mean, so far it's really worked for me, you know, never-ending goals….

So it’s interesting you’re mentioned that because when I sold my first company back in 2001, um, I've said take a year off, and I went to Asia, and bummed around for about two or three weeks and then my third weekend or,  end of my second weekend, whatever, um, I went back to Tokyo airport and flew home and I called my Mom from the airport and said I'm flying home. And she's like, why {indistinguishable} you never taught me how to relax, and I think that was a good thing,  {indistinguishable}  okay, I'm getting really smart. But over time, I've really learned that I need to relax, I need to take time for me, whether that's, whether that's, you know, skydiving or going on a trip or doing whatever.  Even just being on a plane on my way to a business trip with eight hours of uninterrupted time on the plane is relaxing, but you gotta to do something. If you're not taking care of yourself, you're gonna, you're gonna drop. You're not gonna be able to do as well. 

Definitely.  I, I don't have big…. I think there's always these goals in my back of my mind, but I do at least probably in the last year, that's something I've been working on and actually finding things that bring me joy, and I think that’s part of my writing, which then turned into more of an ambitious goal, but, uh, my writing is my therapy. It's my place away from the world where I can put the jumbled mess of thoughts in my brain on paper. And that was a huge coping tool that I learned with ADHD from a young age. And I've been writing as long as I can remember, because it was the only thing that calmed the choas,with organizing my thoughts, whether personal or professional or whatever it be, and so one thing I do is I'll run off into the woods literally and, uh, take a journal and I turn off my phone and I, I just go out as far away as I can from society and write, and, um, that's one thing that just that I think allows me to take a step back from… the goal-chasing.

That makes sense. And are you, do you find yourself sort of rebirthed with that or, you know, reset I mean for me, my skydiving is my reset. 

Yes, it's, it's an, uh, being out in nature and just going back to my most authentic self, just me and myself and a pen and paper is an automatic reset for me, and, um, it definitely works and I should probably do it more often these days.  

It's, it's hard to, to, um, sort of what you teach other people is hard to teach yourself on occasion. I mean, it's, it's the monkey see me, you know, do, as I say, not as I do, but I've been in that same situation.  

I'm great at giving advice, not great at following it. Then I started realizing that your words have more weight when you lead by example.  So I've been trying really hard to do that with self-care and work-life balance and setting more boundaries, even with myself against myself. 

What do you find, um, do you have any triggers that sort of say, okay, you know what?  I need a break.

I think when the stress gets to the point, when my, when my stress turns physical, I'm used to mental anxiety and kind of all that that encompasses, but once I reach a certain level of stress, where it's physically manifesting and, you know, jaw popping, and my, you know, I have fibromyalgia, so with chronic pain, the worse my stress gets, the worse my body hurts, and I think it's rare for me to not go, go, go. It's so instinctual that the moment I feel myself unable to like... have that fire in me, I realize that I’ve very literally burned out. And so right now I've been practicing, um, being more mindful before I actually reach the point of burnout, because in the past, the only time I ever stopped to relax, is when I absolutely have to, when I can't possibly move another step and I have to go reset. And so I'm trying to keep myself from doing that because the highs and lows are just not manageable and, and aren't necessary. If you can be self-aware enough to just take a step back before it goes too far. 

 

That makes sense.  What about, um, you know, have you, have you noticed, has there ever been a point where your work has sort of tried to drop off or you're seeing it, you know, a, a, a, a lesser effect in your talents because you're not taking care of yourselves. I know that's a big deal for a lot of our…. a lot of our listeners.

Oh, yeah, oh yeah, and it's part of that burnout because I'll, I'll go see it. It's kind of like a it's part of the highs and the lows. I'll go so hard that I burn out and then there's a day or two or three even where I'm at half speed, and then I feel anxious because, uh, and guilty because now I'm moving much slower than I normally do, and I'm not even at regular power, but the week before I was at 150 - 200%, and so then it's this ebb and flow and then I'll kind of recharge. And then I go even harder to make up for the time I've lost and it's... it's definitely a balancing act that is a constant, daily, mindfulness practice I think, of learning your limits and I'm the type that works that, you know, 10, 12 hour days.  And sometimes that brings me a lot of joy, but then in the aftermath of burnout, it's kind of, I've been telling myself every day, make a decision today that your future self will thank you for, stop with the instant gratification with impulsivity, like ADHD. Impulsivity is huge, and I struggle with that a lot.  And so I'm like, I need to start making decisions that my future self is gonna thank me for 

No, that's a great line. That's, it's very true. I think alot of it, you know, a lot of times, especially in this world we live in, where everything's so go and go, and internet-connected and everything like that, it is very easy. It's much easier to think about, okay, what's going to give me the most joy in the next five minutes, versus what's that….in the next like five years.

Exactly. I've, I've always had like a 1-3-5-year plan, but I get, you know, and part of it is why I've reached the success that I have now, because I'm so impatient. I'm like, I mean, yeah, it's realistic to make, let's say VP or an executive role five years from now, just like last year, five years from now, that's a, that's a reasonable and still very ambitious goal.  Then I said, nah, I don't want to wait, so, I just, I fought and I fought, I fought and. I, I got myself so stressed out last year that I got a strep throat three times in three months, had  to get a tonsillectomy, which forced me to sit on my back for two weeks sick and recovering. And that was one of the first times I realized, which was that physical manifestation of this is what happens when you go too hard.  And now you've, you've set yourself back much farther than if you’d just taken two days off in the beginning. 

I think even, even, it's crazy how many people have realized that the moment they realized they needed to chill is that moment when they're like, okay, um, I have no choice. I have to sit on my back.  I'm I'm, I'm injured or I'm whatever, you know, and that's sort of their wake up call in that regard.  

It was I'm... I'm a very big believer in everything happens for a reason. And, you know, hindsight is 2020, and sometimes it's very difficult to see why things, why obstacles get put in your place. But I started realizing that more often than not the obstacles put in my place are gifts, and even though I don't always see it, it later on down the road, I realized that that slow down was so important for my health. And it's such a wake up call, like you said, to realizing that what would happen if I didn't take care of myself, 

 

What do you say to someone a little younger than you? Because a lot of our guests are older and, and you know, you have a voice now and you have a platform right now with, Faster Than Normal... to tell kids who are maybe 9, 10, 11, getting diagnosed for the first time, different than slash/broken.  Here's your, here's your chance? What are you saying? 

I would say that life is all about perspective and, you know, we create the world that we cultivate. So if you were only looking at the bad or even just looking at your circumstances in a bad way, it will always feel bad and you'll never feel encouraged to move forward.  If you can take the things that make you feel broken, and make them see, make you see them as uniqueness as something that sets you apart, and yeah, you're different, but all the greatest minds were not the typical people you'd meet in society and that your brain fires differently, works differently, and if you look at it as being broken, that's all you're ever going to see. But if you'll take these things and you self examine, and you go through the practice of mindfulness and just testing out your own strengths, you'll start realizing that those things are strengths, and what sets you apart is uniqueness can cultivate success when you set yourself apart from everyone else. So I learned, uh, I learned early on, that if I just allow myself to be beat down, I would only ever be beat down. The only option you have is fight or flight. I wanted so much for my life that I just chose to look at things differently. And it's an everyday struggle to make sure that you see things in a positive way, but if you affirm yourself and, and you take that gift of hyper-focus and you learn to guide your hyper-focus on positivity, then you will be the most positive person in the room. You’ll be that person that feverously chases happiness and true, genuine joy, and that hyper-focus that you have on the good. outweighs what a non ADHD brain would. 

That is awesome, what a great answer, I love that!  Uh, real fast, tell us about your books.  

Uh, okay. So, uh, ADHD, I started writing my memoir, which is about, you know, a guide for a 20 something, um, overcoming their quarter-life crisis as a means of therapy to overcome my quarter-life crisis, and, um, I decided to procrastinate and publish three self published, three poetry and prose books. The first on anxiety, uh, the second addiction and the third book of affirmations. And the third is the most recent that I'm most excited about. It's essentially, uh, a short, maybe 35 minute read of poetry and prose that anyone can pick up on a hard day, that they can read the words and let me do the work for you until you make it, and that's the title https://www.amazon.com/Until-You-Make-Myah-Master/dp/B08ZW3JPWH …. so  affirmations is to read yourself and get you through the hard times.

I love it, Myah, how can people find you?

Uh, you can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/chaoticgoodest?lang=en, um, you can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/myah_master/?hl=en, and at my website, https://www.myahmaster.com/. 

Very cool, Myah Master, thank you so much for taking the time, we  greatly appreciate it and we're glad that you're part of our lives here. Um, we'll definitely have you back. 

Thank you so much. I hope you have a great day. 

Awesome, guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal, as always, we love that you're here. If you liked what you heard, leave us a review, drop us a line, let us know who else we should have as a guest, we would love to hear from you. My name is Peter Shankman. You can find me at  www.petershankman.com .  Steven Byrom is our producer, we love him, he’s awesome, and  anyone else who is listening to this podcast, and might not be having the best day,  let me tell you something, you're awesome, and it only gets better. Talk to you guys soon, thanks for listening.

——

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 23, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/login/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Sivan Hong's career spans over two decades in several industries and professions, including holding esteemed positions as a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and former partner at The Bridgespan Group. Today, Sivan authors and illustrates the children’s book series The Super Fun Day Books, including “Benny J. and the Horrible Halloween”, “George J. and the Miserable Monday” and “Emily D. and the Fearful First Day”.  Her inspiring books focus on neurodiverse children, who overcome their challenges with perseverance and bravery.  Sivan also occupies seats on the Board of several foundations and non-profits. When she’s not working, Sivan enjoys being a wife to her lovely husband and a mother to their two wonderful children.  They have a dog and cat and live a quiet and contented life in their home in Connecticut. Today we learn what caused her to make such a drastic career switch and the inspiration behind her newfound love as an Author. Enjoy! 

---------- 

In this episode Peter and Sivan discuss:  

2:10  -  Intro and welcome Sivan Hong!!

3:04  -  So how in the world did you go from being a Professor at NYU Stern and a partner at Bridgespan, to writing children’s books for neurodiverse kids?   

3:34  -  Why Sivan changed careers

4:00  -  What did Sivan do over COVID?

5:05  -  On the ever-changing definition of neurodiversity. Tell us how your experience has been getting the “ADHD is a gift! “message across to people, which is not always something people want to hear.

6:27  -  On the challenge of undoing ‘social programming’/branding

7:21  -  On Peter’s struggle when his book first launched. 

8:26  -  Though we’re trying, not everyone considers neurodiversity, or even being ‘not the same’ truly a gift, not a curse. How do you teach your children about it?

10:03 – On playing into your strengths and using them as superpowers, as opposed to focusing on any negative.  

11:05  -  Tell us about your books and more about how they were inspired? (Links to ref’s below)

13:28  -  Where can everyone find you, and buy your books? 

Benny J. and the Horrible Halloween  George J. and the Miserable Monday  Emily D. and the Fearful First Day. You can get them, [above], on Amazon and also via her website  https://sivanhong.com/  Sivan on the Socials:  sivan_hong_author on INSTA  and @sivanhongauthor on Facebook

14:00  -  THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BOOKS LIKE THESE! Awesome work & thank you Sivan!

14:12  -  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:29  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

Hey everyone, Peter Shankman here, and this is another episode of Faster Than Normal, but you know that, ‘cause you subscribed and you're listening, and what else would you expect?  Anyway, glad to have you here, great to be coming to you today, again from New York City in a rainy New York City, I don't think it's ever going to be sunny again. But either way, it is a lovely day when you're up and awake and you know, a little rain into every life, little rain must fall, so good to be here. We have a guest today who somehow managed to go from being a Professor at https://www.stern.nyu.edu/... to author and illustrator of children's books for neuro-diverse children.  So we're going to talk to Sivan Hong, and we're going to figure out how one goes from being a professor at NYU and a former partner at the https://www.bridgespan.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwiLGGBhAqEiwAgq3q_tuyxlwvwXJvl6cltkhHAbTye-zgYPQfad_79-Fp8jqPIQ6QI4y0nxoCbDwQAvD_BwE to authoring and illustrating children's books, which is pretty cool.  She also sits on several non-profits and does a bunch of stuff and lives in Connecticut and says... says she has a lovely husband and is a Mother to two wonderful children. They have a dog and a cat and they live a quiet and contented life, in Connecticut. How…. uh, we’ll talk later about how it's possible to be content in Connecticut, cause I've never, I don't understand that, but either way, Sivan, welcome to Faster Than Normal.  

Thank you so much for having me Peter. 

So, okay, so, you know, just living your life, professor at https://www.stern.nyu.edu/ the partner at https://www.bridgespan.org/…. and one day you just wake up said, “Hey, you know, I'm bored, I’m gonna start doing children's books for neuro-diverse kids, sort of exactly how it happened?”

Exactly how {laughter} exactly how it happened. Um, no. I had this fast track career. And then I became a Mother of a kid who was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, nd I realized that I couldn't have this fast-track  career and give him all the attention that I needed to give him. And then I had another kid with ADHD and so I set up, OK, I did the career thing. I was a professor, I was a partner. I did all of this other stuff, right now I'm going to focus a lot of my attention on being a Mom, um, which is very kind of 1950’s of me, but I'm totally at peace with that.  And over COVID instead of making sourdough bread and, um, and doing all those other things that people were doing, mm, my undiagnosed ADHD came out and I wrote three children's books about neuro diversity. And so my hyper-focus was on that, because I realized as my kids are growing up and they're still young, they're seven and nine, there weren't a lot of books out there that highlighted how cool it was to be neurodiverse and talked about characters with neuro-diversity and showed how successful they were in the problems that they faced.  And I felt like this was something that I needed to do. I am a big proponent of the fact that neuro-diversity is a gift, right? Like my kids refer to themselves as X-Men and that's what, um, I wanted to share. So that's how I went from professor to children's book author. 

I love that X-Men, that’s very very cool.  Tell me about, you know, it's interesting, so the concept of neuro-diversity it is changing, right, and podcasts like this and, and books like yours, things like that, we're starting to figure out, sort of the fact that it’s not so much a diagnosis, right? There's….there's a gift to it, um, if you understand how to use it.  What has been your experience, um, trying to get that message across, because it is a difficult message sometimes that people don't necessarily wanna hear.  

So it's interesting. I think you look at it from a couple of different directions. So in beautiful Westport, Connecticut, where I live, there is a separate PTA for special education parents. And you have a group of parents in this town who say, you know what, we're going to embrace the differences in our kids and we are going to do everything we can to advocate for them and to create this community where, when a parent get a diagnosis for their kid and it can be super isolating and really, really scary… this group of parents is there to kind of show them the way to be like, no, you know, there's a path to move forward and it's such a kind of cross to bear. What struck me as really interesting, and I'm fairly new to social media, which is embarrassing, but true. Um, when I started to post a lot about being, um, proud proud of your neuro-diversity and showing it as a gift, there were some people who really took offense to it. 

Oh yeah, I believe you.

There were people who were, you know, who are like, no, it's a disability or no, it has to be this deficit, and the world needs to view us as people with a deficit. And, uh, I'm so taken aback by that way of thinking, right? When you step back and you think about the incredible geniuses that we have in this world today, and then frankly, that we've had in the past, we could not be where we are as a society today without neuro-diversity.

No question about it… and it's so true what you say though... because, you know, for whatever reason, some people are stuck in this opinion that, oh my God, it's a curse, and you know, it's a negative diagnosis and it, it goes against, uh, the good and, and, and, and you're broken. I remember when Faster Than Normal came out, the book... when the book came out... actually wasn't allowed to post, I got banned from the ADHD https://www.reddit.com/subreddits/... on https://www.reddit.com/... because they don't look at it as a gift, and they're like, oh, well, you know, he, he thinks that it's positive and it's really not. And, and, and we don't want to, have this conversation. I'm like, you guys, you're being so obtuse, it's incredible. 

Well, and it's a huge disservice to our kids, right? Like I don't want my kids walking around feeling like there's something wrong with them, in fact, my seven-year-old said the other day, he's like, “Mom, I'm not telling a lot of people that I have ADHD because I don't want to brag.” And I'm like….

Ah, I love it!

…., that is the right attitude. That is what we want our kids to feel, right. Because that's the only way they are going to capitalize on the gifts they have.  If they walk around feeling terrible about themselves, because they're different, and that their brain is wired differently, they're never going to succeed. They're never going to be able to achieve all the things that they should be able to achieve. 

That is awesome. I love that. I don't want to tell people, cause I don't want to brag.  That's wonderful. Have there been…. talk about the negatives. Um, cause I'm, I'm assuming it hasn't been, uh, uh, you know,,,, perfect the entire time. So what is your, what is your kid has had to learn and adapt to? 

It's not perfect, because any elementary school kid, frankly, middle school and high school kids, they want to be the same, right?  Like... different isn't a good thing, and, um, my kids are bi-racial, so they look different to begin with, um, and then I'm adding this additional layer of complexity around their identity, um, and, and that causes problems right?  In the same way that my nine-year-old has said to me, I wish I was white. There have been times where he said, I wish I was normal, right?  And, and he's like, you know, his autism impedes his ability to be the kind of athlete that he wants to be, you know, like he dreams about being in the NBA and he'll say things like, I think my autism is going to prevent me from being in the NBA. And in my mind, I'm like, it's pretty much because you're half Jewish that's going to prevent you from being in the NBA… {laughter}  ..., but in that kind of mentality is, is the heart breaking part. But it's our job as parents. It's our job as a community, it's a job as society to turn it around and I'm like, you know, you may not be an NBA player, but one day you have the opportunity to own a team and that's way cooler. So like how do you turn it around and make it a strength even when they have those heartbreaking moments?

Yeah, no question about it. And you know, it's, it's, it's interesting because the, um, I mean, sports is never my thing either, uh, uh, but you know, I discovered acting right and then discovered singing, other things that I love to do. I'm being on stage. I mean, I get paid now to speak in front of thousands of people, and I'm amazed that every single time I do it, that, you know, that it works so well and I enjoy it so much, but it's, it's exactly that it's, it's playing into it, the strengths, right?  And not looking at the negatives, but focusing on playing into the strengths.  

Right, and the same way that there are differences across the board in people, you never want to focus on the negative side of those differences.  You recognize that it's there, but that's not what the focus is supposed to be on. The focus is supposed to be on, what do we do to succeed, right?  And if that means that you have to wear headphones because you have a sensory issue and loud noises is a problem, so you wear headphones, but then you move on and you succeed right? That's what we need to be focusing on.

No question about it. Tell us about the books.   

So, um, the two that are published already, one is called, um, https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Horrible-Halloween-Sivan-Hong/dp/B08W7DWJ8Z and it's a true story of, my now... nine year old being terrified of being in the Halloween parade in kindergarten., and, um, the true story is, is that he didn't actually go..  Like it, it felt way too overwhelming for him to participate in something like that and so the following year with the help of his special education teacher, we came up with a plan and he found a way to do it, and now he loves Halloween. And so it's, it's a book about kind of overcoming your challenges, and what I love about it, is that you do see a character in this book wearing headphones, right?  I have yet to find a children's book with that kind of illustration and it totally normalized the difference. And then the second book, um, is really kind of the story of my seven year old with ADHD who every Monday, hates school right?   And has this incredible school anxiety, because as we know, it can be overwhelming. It can be hard, everything could possibly change and the things that he does in order to overcome and turn those Mondays around to being a good day. And then the book that's coming out this summer, it's called https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Fearful-First-Super-Books-ebook/dp/B094S9RSJ3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=emily+d+and+the+fearful+first+day&qid=1624048339&s=books&sr=1-1 and that one's about, you know, starting a new class and, and that character also is neuro-diverse. And now I have to kind of slow down writing and illustrating these books because my publicist is like, no, no, no, no, you can't release a book every 3 months, but, but I, for me, I'm in introvert and I meant, um, I'm fairly positive that I have dyslexia and ADHD and actually, today, I'm going for my neuro psych evaluation because my kids were like, we did it, you should do it, Mom….

… there you go….

and I was like, yup, I'm all in. I'm all in. Um, but it's really easy to step back and just hyper-focus on this. Um, but I realized that in order to be a, uh, an author that you have to take some time to market your books and, and talk about them and do podcasts like this, which are really, um, cool.  So that's where my focus is on right now. 

Awesome. I love it. So let's, uh, tell me, then tell us the name of the books again and where can people find them,,, I know one is https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Horrible-Halloween-Sivan-Hong/dp/B08W7DWJ8Z and then https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Fearful-First-Super-Books-ebook/dp/B094S9RSJ3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=emily+d+and+the+fearful+first+day&qid=1624048339&s=books&sr=1

Right, and you can get them on Amazon and you can get them on my website at https://sivanhong.com/ and then, um, you can follow me on social media at https://www.instagram.com/sivan_hong_author/  um, on Instagram and then on Facebook as well. 

Awesome, Sivan Hong, thank you for taking the time to be on Faster Than Normal Sivan, I really appreciate you’re…. you’re you're doing great stuff that the, there are not enough books out there that explain to kids that they are not broken, that they're gifted, and so I love the fact that you're doing that and you're, you're filling it very, very needed uh, niche. 

Thank you so much for having me, Peter, this was a blast.

By all means.  Guys as always, you're listening to Faster Than Normal.  If you like what you hear, drop us a review note, uh, leave us a note, drop me a note, let me know you're out there. It gets lonely here in my apartment sometimes, so always happy to hear from everyone, but that being said, thank you for listening, we'll see you again soon. 

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 16, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

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Today we visit with the man who single-handedly brought the automobile industry into the world of social media, and the founder of Scott Monty Strategies. Scott Monty was the 2nd person we ever interviewed on Faster Than Normal and he and I go back many, many years now. With a voice that can still melt butter, he’s continued to do great things and we’ll catch up today, but for starters:  Scott Monty is a strategic communications & leadership coach and advisor who helps the C-suite embrace better communication with timeless and timely advice. A Fortune 10 leader whose background in classics positioned him to see through the shiny objects, Scott can drill down to understand the common human needs from throughout history that still drive us all. He was ranked by The Economist as #1 atop the list 25 Social Business Leaders and Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, called him "a visionary." Scott spent six years as an executive at Ford, where he helped turn the company around with an uncanny ability to merge technology with humanity. He served as a strategic adviser across a variety of business functions, leading the company's global social media strategy. He also has a another decade and a half of experience in communications and marketing agencies. Scott's clients have included companies such as Walmart, IBM, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and Google. He is a trustee of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a past board member of the American Marketing Association, and has advised a number of tech companies. He writes the Timeless & Timely newsletter, to help leaders make sense of today with lessons from the past, and hosts the Timeless Leadership podcast. We’re happy he’s back to visit with us today. Enjoy! 

 

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In this episode Peter and Scott discuss:  

2:13  -  Intro and welcome back Scott Monty!!  (You can hear Peter’s first interview with Scott here)  Ref:  Our Storytelling/Public Speaking course is here

3:13  -  What have you been doing Scott?  Ref:  Chameleon’s Collective

3:49  -  So is all of your family back to “normal” now? 

4:10  -  What have you been doing to keep sane during the pandemic? How do you see public stages in the near future, do you see any of that coming back right away?

6:11  -  On being in the current post-quarantine mode of how/when will it all be back to some sort of normalcy and getting not only remaining vigilant health-wise, but getting our brains OK with things going back to the way they were pre-pandemic.

7:30  -  Let’s talk masks & vaxxs across the world

9:00  -  On trying to stay sane during throughout the pandemic, and methods you’ve used to keep yourself and your mind busy.  Ref:  Timeless & Timely newsletter. All things Scott Monty here

12:41 – On social audio content.  Tell us about where you see it going and your involvement in that arena. Ref:  What is Clubhouse?

14:21  -  Where do you see social audio fitting into our future?  (Large conferences vs. smaller but w/ extensions of virtual visits for after-conference discussions, breakout rooms, etc) 

17:17  -  If you’ve never been to a CES, or a Mobile World Congress show, it’s kinda an ADHD person’s dream!

19:14  -  On avoiding home distraction. What do you do, what are your steps and advice on keeping focus when you keep getting interrupted, etc?

23:00  -  Where can people find you?  Website: https://www.scottmonty.com/  Like myself, has has a crypto coin called the Timeless Coin: https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ and the symbol is https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/   Our Storytelling/Public Speaking course is at: https://shankman.lpages.co/scott-peter-speaking-early-access/ and we’re talking about it here and on the Socials: @ScottMonty on Twitter  Scott Monty Strategies on Facebook and via Email: scott@scottmonty.com

24:09  - pon·tif·i·cate

24:55  -  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. I got an email from someone just a couple of days ago, who said to me, let me see if I can find it, um, I probably can't of course, but I got an email from someone who said that they were just so incredibly thankful that of all the things that uh, and here it is. Okay.  “Hey Peter, wanting to click you a message to say thank you.  I don't know how I went through 24 years of my life not knowing I had ADHD, but listening to your new book and the podcast had me in tears. I knew I was different, never understood, why but I'm so excited to learn how to live my best life. Using my ADHD positively. I have an hour and a half to go, an hour and half into your book and can already tell it will be life-changing for me, thank you so much.”  Guys, we get these all the time and they just, they never stopped making me happy. So please continue to shoot us a note. Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

26:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe from every walk of life, in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage.  To build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who attributes a lot of his success to his inability to sit still, Peter Shankman, 

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman welcome to Faster Than Normal. We were, we were… turning on the…. zoom and got a recording in progress, I thought, which I've never heard a sound never heard before…. that was interesting, but it is lovely to be back. And it is a Monday morning here in New York City, almost almost Memorial, that is the week before Memorial Day… so people start, uh at a hundred percent, and by Thursday they just don't give a shit anymore, and then they go into the long weekend and they come back and that's pretty much it for summer.  So we should be, we should be good. So we'll see you guys in September. All right…. good show, anyway…. the person I have joining me today, I think it was my third or fourth interview back when Faster Than Normal first started, Scott Monty is an old, old friend. A great, great guy, I met him eons ago, about 400 years ago when he was working at Ford Motor Company, um, probably when I was still running heroin, uh, we stayed in touch. We've been friends ever since he is out on his own. Now he is a writer. He is a storyteller galore. He and I have put together a storytelling course. We launched several months ago, which has done really well. He does a bunch of things. He lives somewhere near Detroit.  I believe has a really cool family, has a pension for bow ties and he wears them with aplomb. Except today he's not, but anyway, it is lovely to see you, Scott…. welcome back. 

Thank you, Peter. This call is being recorded just for your awareness. 

Oh, lovely, lovely to have you back. 

It's been a while since I've been here.

Indeed. We've done some other stuff, but I haven't had you on a podcast in a while. What have you been doing, man? What's been going on?

Oh, you know, the usual just living my best pandemic life. Um, you know, this, obviously the speaking business shifted quite a bit, uh, so I threw myself in the more consulting, but then that's been fine, um, I recently signed up with a, a collective of individual consultants called the https://chameleoncollective.com/ and basically we all remain independent, but we have a bunch of a hundred or so people to call on if we need other people to round out projects that we're working on, or if we want, offer ourselves up to their projects, so it's a, it's a nice arrangement. 

Very very cool, so you're all back? The whole, family's all back, you're all set with that alright? 

No, every... everyone except the, uh, the seven year old, yes.  

Right.  Yeah. I'm in the same boat. My eight year old is a, apparently no one cares about the, about the kids from age zero to age 12. But, um, hopefully at some point in the next several months, that will, that will happen. 

Absolutely. 

So what have you been doing to keep up yourself sane? I mean, you had a, almost as crazy travel schedule as I did back in the day. Um, have you seen any of that start to come back or have you seen anything come back in, in... on public stages?  I mean, I did my first speech a couple weeks ago, what about you? 

Well, I was never quite as a travel weary as you, but I, you know, I, I probably spent at least a quarter to a third of my time on the road.   And I mean, did you just at a certain point in your life, you just, you get a feel for it and it's like clockwork and when it stopped, it was really, really weird.  Okay. The, the benefit for me is we, we have all sorts of routines here at home and the kids in particular needed to keep their school up, even though school was shut down. So, you know, there, there was a rhythm to every day. It wasn't completely random, so I think that helped. A great deal is having some sort of pattern, some sort of regular routine, uh, to go on. And now that they're back in school, you know, I drive them every morning. Uh, so it, you know, I get a chance to talk with them. I get a chance to unwind on the way home, listen to a couple of podcasts, so it's a nice rhythm and I'm having a real difficult time trying to imagine going back to the way things were back to... quote unquote... normal, before, because I think it's going to be really difficult to reclaim the world as it was, but we're not going to remain in this kind of limbo that we've been in over the past year, either.

I think, I mean, there will be definitely a point where we say, okay, it's as normal as it's going to get. I mean, I was at the gym this morning and they've relaxed the mask rule, right? I mean, I was still wearing one, but they, there were, half the people there with no masks on, so I think, I mean, I think we're getting there. I was in, you know, (indistinguishable)  last week or two weeks ago was in Texas, um, you know, fortunately, uh, the 300 people in the audience, no one was wearing a mask because, you know, I guess, you know, COVID never actually hit Texas, so that was good. But, um, it was a, uh, iIt was weird. It was weird to be in that, in that environment, and so I think that that two things have to happen is that, is that one, it has to be safe enough to do it, but the second thing, our brain has to be okay with that. It has to be okay with, you know, you don't realize 16 months, 18 months of hunkering down as it were. Um, it's kind of hard to fully open your eyes when they turn on that light. 

It really is, and for me, the first trip I went on after not having traveled for over a year, it was weird trying to pack…. for one, I'm like, I've lost my muscle memory, muscle atrophy, and I'm like, oh, okay. Do I have everything in my, in my toiletry kit? And have I packed enough underwear and all the rest, but, you get to the airport and it's kind of dystopian, you know, first of all, it's not as crowded as it usually is, you look around and everybody, alot, at that time, at least everybody was wearing masks and you're like, what hell hole have I just emerged from and into? And, and as we get back, as we gradually get back, we're going to see this mix. I don't think, uh, I don't think masks are completely going away. And you think you've traveled in Asia quite a bit, right? They... they've been wearing masks when they travel and when you see them in the airport all the time. Um, and to me, it's actually makes great sense because it's great hygiene. I haven't had a cold in the past year. I wonder why that is, you know? 

That’s the amazing thing that I've always said is America has no idea how unbelievably stupid it looks on the world stage, right? And the amount of times I've traveled to Asia in the past 15 years where everyone's wearing a mask to the point where they give them out at the hotels, right? And, and I remember in December of 2019, I was in Bangkok and I got sick. I got violently ill. I had been in Abu Dhabi and then came home for like two days to see my daughter and then flew right to Bangkok and just the travel has got me down and it was December of 19, and I walk into this hospital in Bangkok, um, uh, a phenomenal one of the top hospital in the world I walked in and I'm like, Hey, I think I just have some sort of, uh, bronchitis or something. They're like, oh, no problem, sir, to step right this way. But please put on this mask, right? And it was like the most normal thing in the world, right? And when you realize. I think the problem was that we, we made, uh, we made putting on the masks about helping others, we should have convinced people that it was about helping themselves. And then everyone would have worn one, right? If we just said, oh yeah, if you wear this mask, you know, people will think you have much more muscles and everyone, everyone would've worn it.

Have you heard the latest thing with trying to get people vaccinated? The, uh, somebody from the CDC or one of the government agencies and doing a public call, said people who write that they have been vaccinated on their profiles are 14% more likely to match with a date on Tinder and match.com and these other services.

Yet. It's just yet another reason I'm so glad I don't have to be on any of those dating sites. What have you been doing to stay sane? You know, for people like us who do a million different things, part of the way we stay sane is by doing a million different things. And for a lot of the time, I mean, you know, you and I, you and I combined it let's do a course together because, uh, what the hell else are we going to do, right?  So what have you, what else have you been doing to stay sane and how has it been working? 

So being able to create something that, you know, we're both passionate about that we love that we're pretty good at and being able to share it with others, people, you know, just that, that brought me a lot of energy.

Right? and, and, and focus, you know, because we knew there was something that we, there was a specific outcome we were going for and, and you, and I, you know, kind of pressuring each other on a, on a schedule and a timeframe, and, um, eventually getting a really nice course out, um, you know, I've been, I'm not a huge exercise fanatic uh, certainly not to the degree you are, but, um, I've been taking walks every day, particularly with my seven year old daughter.  She loves to go out and explore, and we live in this wonderful little neighborhood where there's... there's parks and ponds and wildlife and everything, and, and she loves to walk the dog, so we go out and we make that part of the ritual, okay? Aside from that, like professionally, um, I've been creating a lot of content when I do https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html      newsletter, that comes out twice a week, once a, in the middle of the week for everyone, that's a free version, um, a Friday version that is just for subscribers, where they get extra content, uh, links and a recommended book and a recommended podcast, and then what I've been, I've been doing a couple of other things with audio, but before I get to that, I want to say, I, I always get these other ideas. You know, a lot of times when I'm out walking or when I'm doing other stuff, I have these ideas that I want to write about, but they don't fit into, the, the broader cadence of what I want in my newsletter, so I.... I created kind of a little branch off of the newsletter, so the newsletter again is called https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html  and I've created this other little branch off of it called https://www.timelesstimely.com/s/bonus, and it's just random thoughts that come to me, things that I think are inspirational, things that I think people might want to read, right. Uh, and I just published one on Saturday. Now I normally, normally don't publish on Saturday, but it was about the, uh, the habits of happy and successful people. And that has been one of my most popular newsletters posts of all time. People have just gobbled that up. So I feel like I'm onto something there and it makes me want to do more, okay?

You should, yeah….

Um, no, I mentioned audio. So what I've done with, uh, the public newsletters, I've, I've done an audio version of it. So I basically just read it, into the microphone and distribute that to my, subscribers, because there are some people that just prefer audio, they don't have time to read or they don't like reading, and I don't know if they put me on double speed or one and a half speed or whatever, so I sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks, but hey, whatever... you know, I'm giving people options to consume content the way they want to, and I like audio. I mean, I've been doing a lot of stuff with https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 and moreso with https://www.firesidechat.com/ and https://racket.app/ you know, some of these social audio things, um, and I started a new podcast on https://www.firesidechat.com/  called https://firesidechat.com/scottmonty where I bring on a leader every week and I interview them about one virtue of leadership, one habit of successful leaders, whether it's humility or optimism or resilience or, you know, one of those kinds of big type things, and I explore with them how they actually express that virtue in their daily and professional lives. 

Very cool. Tell me about, so let's talk about audio for a second. I, you know, so many people I've been on https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 ... I've I've, I was one of the first people to get an invite. Uh, our mutual friend Serina sent me an invite back in like November of last year or something was still in beta, and, um, I remember getting on and, and my first thought was, this is great, I don't have to be on video so I don’t have to devote a lot of my brain power to it, I can just listen. And then the more I used it, the more I found it was actually the complete opposite. I had to actually listen, right because, you know, if you miss 10 seconds and someone calls your name, you're like, I have no idea what you're talking about right?  And so for me, for the ADHD side of me, it kind of drove me crazy. We're moving towards audio, there's definitely gonna be a part of social audio that will exist and continue to exist. I don't know if so many of the, of the, the apps that are out there now are gonna are going to survive. But, you know, I sorta think it's a step above podcasting, it's interactive, it's both ways. Um, but it really, you know, you come on, you have to do an hour on this thing. It really requires your attention, and I'm wondering, at what point people are just gonna sort of throw up their hands, and say okay, I can't do that, right? I can't give you, you know, right now, sure. It launched at the perfect time, what the hell else are we doing with our lives, right? We were sitting at home all day so of course I'll go and listen to a six….and getting bottled a six hour chat on audio why not? I don't have to go to the bed. I could be naked doing it, and I'm gonna have to, you know, put on pants. But I think that as we evolve, whether it's to doing more, getting outside more things like that, I think audio is going to have a place, but it's not going to be anywhere near as, Oh my God, everyone needs to write about https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294  now for the next 30 years type thing that it was. Where do you see it sort of eventually, uh, fitting in. 

Well, first of all, when you mentioned being in a https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 room, and someone calling your name and you're not paying attention, you know, flashbacks to school for me, you know, where I'm just daydreaming and suddenly called on, I'm like I missed the last….

exactly….

….three minutes of what you were talking about and, and, you know, bright students like you and I um, know enough to be able to BS our way through and answer and sound like we know what we're talking about, even though we weren't listening. Um, you know, th th that, that happens all the time and, and your point is well-taken.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294  and the live social audio platforms require attention.  Look at the show we're on right now, is, is this really right for this audience? Well, look, here's, here's the deal. If you're really interested in something, you know, this, you get hyper-focused right, you, you dig down and it works really well. And when you don't have a lot of other distractions around you, particularly in a pandemic, um, it's perfect, but when we go back to a more, uh, where we approach a more normal kind of life, what we used to know, um, I think this we'll see a bit of a slide off, and we've already seen the adoption curve waning on https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 where their, their installs have, have dropped, and I'm even seeing statistics that, uh, room numbers are lower, not as many people are participating. And here's the thing, for the majority of people, the vast majority of people, they would rather listen than talk. They would rather be an audience member than on the stage, and that's fine, that's completely okay. And not everybody has time for that. And to me, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 has replaced the big conference, right?  All of these in-person events that we couldn't go to, where you see people up on stage where, whether it's a keynote or a fireside chat or a panel discussion, that's what https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clubhouse-drop-in-audio-chat/id1503133294 feels like. And as we get back to these in-person events, as we begin to open up more, I think a really strong use case for these social audio apps, particularly the live ones, are akin to breakout rooms or after conference follow-ups, where you can have a room of 20 people and it doesn't have to be this mass audience. You can have a room of 20 people and say, Hey, let's talk more about what we just saw at the conference. Let's take the sales team and make a custom presentation for you.  I think there will be all kinds of applications coming out of in-person events, where you go, let's grab a clubhouse room together and discuss this further. 

I think that that, isn't it, because in the beginning you said, you know, it's replacing the conference, which we can’t go to, and then you said no, it’s replacing sort of the... after-conference events, and that's the part I agree with. I don't believe in any choice of the imagination does the, the, uh, conference world is going away. Um, it'll shift, but I'm losing my (indistinguishable)  and I hope to God that it doesn't, because for people like us, you know, for those listening to the podcast, if you've never been to a huge event, like a https://www.ces.tech/ show or, or, um, https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/attend/registration?gclid=CjwKCAjw2ZaGBhBoEiwA8pfP_mkMO14toxgCeDnMzPaPdD0J4yqwK7PdpC6uE04-CwE_UMF4C6gbcxoCOJoQAvD_BwE in Barcelona or anything like that, it is an ADHD person's dream because you can go in and you can sit down for a two hour panel on, you know, why 5G-Level 14-AB spec one, is better than 5G-Level 14-AB spec 2.0, and get all the info you want, or, you can just walk the floor and collect t-shirts right?  It’s literally the perfect experience, so I don't see that going away, but I do see that our attention spans are going to have to be directed to other places when we can't get to all of you. I think that the concept of going to all of these conferences, right, is going to be put to the test. I don't think we're going to be in that many... as we used to be. I think there are going to be, you know, a couple that we still do every year, but I think the majority of them are going to be, um, are going to be either digital or virtual or in some cases audio. so I think that for people with brains like us, we're going to have to come up with a way to sort of understand and utilize those conferences or those, those audio rooms or those video rooms, wherever the presentation in the best way we can. I was talking to a company who's planning on doing a…. who's playing on doing virtual rooms at conferences, so you have a team of 200 people instead of sending 190 of them to the conference, you’ll send 10 of them to the conference and they will have their own virtual room where they can have meetings and bring in other people who can then meet with you back in your office in Detroit or LA or whatever…. virtual. So I think in alot of different ways that this is going to, this is going to evolve, but I do believe that audio, is one of the good benefits, is, is one of the good benefits. Um, what are you doing to avoid home distraction? Um, I mean, I saw just, even on the call, like at some point someone came into the room, I’m not sure If it was Katie, your wife, whatever, someone, someone barged in and, or you went on mute really fast. It's like, what, what are you doing to allow yourself those times when you’re like, when you have to write  https://www.scottmonty.com/p/newsletter.html   those are not.... small newsletters, those are like probably the longest newsletter. I don't subscribe to many long newsletters and is part of the longest newsletter I subscribe to.  I remember it's like, it's a Curb Your Enthusiasm, as (indistinguishable) you have to write that you can't just sit down and do it again, you have to sit down and commit to that, right. 19:39 So what are you doing to avoid the distraction? 

Well, first of all, the, uh, the reason I went on mute is because my seven year old came in here to use the electric pencil sharpener, homeschooling, uh, and God bless my wife for, uh, being a teacher for the last year, um, I couldn't have done it and I couldn't have done this without her either. Right. So, I mean, you learn to live with it, you know?  We make rules around here, you see the doors closed, then you don't come in. I've actually toyed with putting one of those neon on air signs. uh, up in the, I've got a transom over my, uh, my office door here, I was going to put a, a neon sign up there so people outside could see it. They don't care. They'll still barge in any way. So, uh, to a certain extent, you just kind of resign yourself to it, you know, OK, I need to live with this, um, but I find quiet times during the day when I know I won't be interrupted for me, uh, indelibly it's after everybody goes to bed, I do some of my best work at night, I'm kind of a night owl anyway, although I love mornings, I can be a morning person if I get to bed early enough. Um, so it's either getting up early before everyone is up. I don't like waking my wife up with my alarm if I get up early, um, or it's staying up late when everyone else is in bed. Um, every day on my calendar, I have carved out two hours of quiet time of writing time.

Now whether I actually write or not, you know, I could spend two of those hours doing reading, and for me, reading is a really important part of writing because it inspires me in terms of the ideas I get the source material I quote, and it's like walking right, you, you, you remove yourself from the thing you're supposed to be focused on and you end up getting more inspired along the way, and then you just find the time to, to jot something down.  I keep a notepad on me, or I put it in my One Notes on my phone, um, and I get back to it later when I can delve into it, right? 

No. I mean, that makes sense. I think as long as you have, I mean, for me, you know, uh, being a recent, newly, newly, recent dog owner, um, you know, the concept of taking him to the, to the dog run because it's New York City, I can't just let him off the leash anywhere, but I can take him to the dog, run a few blocks away and, and let him sort of, you know, go crazy, and, uh, I'll sit there with my, with my, uh, my phone or whatever, and I'll, I'll read or I'll even, I'll even dictate, you know, and get some ideas down and then come home and, and, and open the computer and write them down, so, no, definitely. Um, It's definitely, uh, it's produced new ways. I went to my, my office space the other day, you know, I kept an office, a Regis space, and I went there for the first time  in like two months, right?  And I had  one whole piece of mail and, um, you know, but I was throwing stuff out because I'm getting rid of the space when...when the lease ends in July, and it was just like, I remember when I used to have to come here and that was the only place I could work, right? I couldn't because my kid was younger and now my kids at school all day, right? So I have at least from 9-3 to be able to get stuff done, um, and, and I'm finding that…. as travel starts to come back, now, I'm going to South Africa, June 1st and I have, or July 1st,  (indistinguishable)  I literally have a, a list of 14 things I want to write over the course of a 14hr non-stop flight from New York to (indistinguishable). And so I'm, I'm, I'm almost at the point where I'm putting stuff off, so that I will have nonstop, uh, time, so I'm, yeah, I'm excited. I'm excited for what's to come and hell, you know, saving $1600 bucks a month on an office space is not a bad thing, you know? Um, so you're still at https://www.scottmonty.com/  um, you, as like like,myself, have a crypto coin, um, your coin is, uh, what is your coins name? 

Uh, https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ and the symbol is https://rally.io/creator/MONTY/ on https://rally.io/

So you can find Scott’s coin on https://rally.io/ and I'm sure that if a few people reach out to you, you'll drop them a few points. 

Absolutely.

Scott's coin like mine, and like the rest of the cryptocurrency world is currently on sale and incredibly working like a lot cheaper than ever will again, with any luck, and should be, and go... go grab some, some coins from anyone on the, on the Rally network, but, um, Scott. Thank you. I appreciate, I appreciate the time and guys, you should sign up for Scott's newsletters. It's one of the few newsletters that I actually take the time to read. It is... it is a well-worth, worthwhile read and it comes out a couple of times a week and he has a free version of papers and I subscribe to the papers and it was worth it, so Scott… as always a pleasure to have you on the podcast, man. It's good to have you back. And, uh, you are a shining example, like many of us that, that ADHD can benefit.  One thing I love about Scott is that he's a shining example that ADHD can benefit you, and it doesn't… there are cases where you don't have to speak 400mph.  Scott is one of the calmest and most pontificational, that's not a word, but I've made it speakers I've ever met in my life. You sit down and listen to him, it’s like you're listening to a graduation speech, uh, produced by someone who was raised in the Taurian Era, and it's just amazing.  It's amazing to listen to you, Scott has a phenomenal speaking voice and a great storyteller, um, I'll put a link to the storytelling course in the, in the, in the, in the comments as well…. in the show notes as well, but Scott, thank you for taking the time, always a pleasure to talk to you. 

Thank you, Peter. And I think you and I are like the ying and yang to each other when it comes to ADHD because it's a great reminder, there is the inattentive type, and then there is the hyperactive type and both can be as debilitating as you allow them to be, but both can also be as foundational and constructive as you want them to be, if you know how to use your superpower. So thank you, Peter, for allowing me to use mine. 

A hundred percent ditto.  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what, um, the responses and the notes that we get from you. I got an email from someone just a couple of days ago, who said to me, let me see if I can find it, um, I probably can't of course, but I got an email from someone who said that they were just so incredibly thankful that of all the things that uh, and here it is. Okay.  Hey Peter, wanting to click you a message to say thank you.  I don't know how I went through 24 years of my life not knowing I had ADHD, but listening to your new book and the podcast had me in tears. I knew I was different, never understood, why but I'm so excited to learn how to live my best life. Using my ADHD positively. I have an hour and a half to go, an hour and half into your book and can already tell it will be life-changing for me.  Thank you so much.  Guys, we get these all the time and they just, they never stopped making me happy. So, so please continue to shoot us a note. Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, we’d love to know  leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts. And if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime at https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ or at @petershankman on Twitter and all of the other socials. We will see you next week as always, thank you for listening. We'll talk to you guys soon, stay safe.

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 9, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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A little about our joyful couple/team today!

Shauna M. Ahern is a writer, teacher, and lifelong believer in people. She loves to help others find their joy. Shauna built a huge online community through her food blog, Gluten-Free Girl. She and her husband, Daniel, taught culinary getaways in a villa in Tuscany, appeared on The Food Network, and won a James Beard award for one of their three much-beloved cookbooks. 

After writing Gluten-Free Girl for 14 years, Shauna followed her gut to shift her writing work to something more vulnerable. She wrote a brave book about her childhood trauma and how she unraveled herself from it, to help others.  That book, ENOUGH: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It  was recommended by Brené Brown, The Washington Post, and thousands of readers who say the book has changed their lives. Shauna is humbled by the many awards she has won for her writing and teaching. But her biggest joy is helping other people to see the best in themselves. She has guided hundreds of people to see their place in the world more clearly, through her writing workshops and coaching. The best of all these experiences was the joy of creating and being in community

Daniel Ahern has spent his life working to give people joy in the belly.  Dan, along with his wife Shauna, created three much-beloved cookbooks. Their first cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, was named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by The New York Times. Their second cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, was awarded the James Beard award in 2014. And their third cookbook, American Classics Reinvented, was nominated for an excellence award in 2016 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Before crafting cookbooks, Dan cooked in restaurants around the United States, including Gramercy Tavern in New York and Papillon in Denver, as well as Cassis Bistro and Impromptu Wine Bar in Seattle. When he was 14, he found his passion in the kitchen, which was his place to serve others for decades. Now, Dan is cooking and serving in a new way, with a recipe newsletter called Joy in the Belly. Diagnosed with ADHD at 50, Dan is starting to understand his own mind and his quirks in the kitchen. No longer in the restaurant business, Dan is now sharing what he has learned about his ADHD and how he is working with it joyfully now, instead of worrying he isn’t good enough. He shares tips about working in the kitchen with ADHD, being kind to yourself when you forget to do the dishes, and some kickass recipes. Dan lives on Vashon Island, in Washington State, where he is happy and learning, with his wife, his two kids, two cats, and two bunnies. He thinks he might never cook rabbit now. Maybe.  

 

 

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In this episode Peter, Shauna and Dan discuss:  

  

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Dan and Shauna!!

 

3:14  -  On being diagnosed with ADHD at 50. Did it all just suddenly make sense?

4:23  -  The writing process when you’re ADHD and have a super spouse.

5:11  -  The importance of movement as relates to the creative process

6:00  -  To hell with “The Rules” post-pandemic. On finding the best solutions for what works!

 

7:00  -  On the importance of FUN / Shauna’s newsletter Finding Joy in Enough

 

9:21  -  On being married, and making the relationship work with living/working together. Do you ever want or need a chance to get away from each other; how does that work?

 

10:45  -  Their home is not on the same island where Michael Douglas lived in the movie Disclosure

 

11:05  -  When things get crazy, how do you prioritize and still make it work?  Ref:  Shauna’s book “Enough”

12:30  -  Peter is referencing a super interview we had with Chef Jason McKinney Thank you again Jason!! :-)

13:19  -  On dealing with the lure of drugs/alcohol/addiction within the food industry.  

15:18  -  On the benefits of living in a neurodivergent household.

16:41 -  What advice would you give your 15yr old self, just starting out in the restaurant business; that might help yourself find the right path?


19:22  -  Thanks Dan and Shauna - how do people find you?

Yeah, Danny has a newsletter now, which is all about having ADHD and becoming  a home cook after years of being a chef, and it's called https://joyinthebelly.substack.com/subscribe and mine is https://findingyourjoy.substack.com/s  Soon there'll be a website called Practicing Joy, that's really what I'm working on is reminding each other to find moments in the day to focus on joy, because that's really the whole point of life. You can also find the Ahern’s on the Socials Dan is at: @DanAhern68 on Twitter  Shauna is at:  @practicingjoy on Twitter  and at shaunamahern on INSTA

20:00  -  Thank you so much Shauna and Dan! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

Ref:  Peter references this episode with Siri Dahl  Also- we’re pretty sure his last name is still Shankman, not “Shenkins”, but if anything has changed, we’ll be sure to tweet about it right away ;-) 

 

20:56  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe from every walk of life, in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage.  To build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the only man who squirrel??? (indistinguishable)  Peter Shankman

1:42 -Yo, yo yo what’s up guys? Peter Shankman here, thank you for being here. It is a gorgeous day in May. I don't know how the heck we're in May already, but it's a gorgeous day in May of 2021, where we are producing another podcast for Faster Than Normal, live on the 56th floor in Manhattan with a dog running around, under my legs, everywhere named Waffle.  We have some fun people on the show as always. We're going to talk to Dan and Shauna Ahern.  They've created three hugely great cookbooks. You might know the biggest one, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Girl-Chef-Tempting-Recipes/dp/1118383575/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_1/136-2006629-0721943?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1118383575&pd_rd_r=8e3aaf43-e37c-41e0-ba3c-6b5edaba1cf4&pd_rd_w=J2PrH&pd_rd_wg=jwtLB&pf_rd_p=a0d6e967-6561-454c-84f8-2ce2c92b79a6&pf_rd_r=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ&psc=1&refRID=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ ...which was named one of the best cookbooks, 2010 by the New York Times, excuse me, I live a block from the NY Times, they have never named shit of mine, uh, one of the best of anything, but whatever.  Their second book, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Every-Shauna-James-Ahern/dp/111811521X/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_0/136-2006629-0721943?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=111811521X&pd_rd_r=8e3aaf43-e37c-41e0-ba3c-6b5edaba1cf4&pd_rd_w=J2PrH&pd_rd_wg=jwtLB&pf_rd_p=a0d6e967-6561-454c-84f8-2ce2c92b79a6&pf_rd_r=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ&psc=1&refRID=P2KNSK8NDVM3NCC85XNQ ... was awarded the James Beard Award in 2014 and their third cookbook, https://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Girl-American-Classics-Reinvented/dp/0544219880 was nominated for an Excellence Award in 2016, by the https://www.linkedin.com/company/international-association-of-culinary-professionals/ I got up and worked out this morning. so, you know…. hey, we're, we're both great. Anyway, I am thrilled to welcome Dan and Shauna because Dan got diagnosed with ADHD at 50 years old, so we're going to talk about that, and we're going to talk to Shauna about what that was like, to sort of wake up one day and say great, everything I know has changed. Welcome guys. 

Thank you, Peter. That's pretty darn accurate actually.   

So, you know, obviously having ADHD and being diagnosed at age 50, obviously didn't, uh, didn't really mess you up if you were able to get, uh, three incredible cookbooks, um, you know, and all these accolades for them. So talk about, Dan I mean,  you started off, you were cooking in restaurants all around the US, you were at https://www.gramercytavern.com/...you were athttps://www.papillonbistro.com/  as well as (indistinguishable) to  www.impromptuwinebar.com in Seattle, which I've been to, um, you've been doing this for decades now, right?  So, I mean, when you got diagnosed, was it sort of like, okay, yeah, that makes sense, and that totally clears out why I do what I do, or was it, was it a shock?

No, it made total sense. It made me kind of think back, you know, restaurants are full of odd people and there's probably a lot of people in there with ADHD and they don't know it and it just it's an adrenaline fix and then I can really like hyper-focus on what I'm doing with cooking and getting into the whole groove of the bit, the job. 

It made total sense. I mean, when I, frankly, the diagnosis, this was the last part we both started researching, I started researching... I'm the researcher, sorry, um, I started thinking right away when he was in restaurants, he made total sense, but as soon as leaving restaurants, like when we started writing our cookbooks, there were parts of his brain that fascinated me, but also puzzled me. Um, in fact, when we wrote our first cookbook, the very first day that we sat down to write a recipe, we had a brand new baby, maybe three months old. Um, I said, okay, sit next to me on the couch with a laptop, and you talk, I’ll type... and let's talk about that chicken dish. And he was tongue-tied, and I kept thinking, wait, what, you know what, maybe he's overtired. Um, so let's leave it for tomorrow. And the next day I was working on, we used to write a website called Gluten-Free Girl... for many, many years. So I love those for that and said, Hey, what was that recipe that we yeah, and he was playing the Tiger Woods Golf game on the Wii, so he was moving and I, and he just went okay, ¼ C chuck, da, da, da, da,  immediately all came back and I thought, okay, wait, hope, let me get that recipe from last night, open up that file and said, tell me about... keep playing golf, and he had all of it as muscle memory in his head, and I realized at that point, everything he'd ever done in restaurants, he was moving. So you remember those things, if he was moving. So we wrote entire cookbooks with him, video games or cooking while he was talking. 

I love that story. You know, I, I will not take in-person regular, boring meetings anymore.  All my meetings, if I can, if I can help it have to be, um, walking meetings. 

 

Yep. 

I joke that I have a very Aaron Sorkin life right. In, in that I have to have a walk and talk at least once a day and they have to be a lot of corners and we have to make a lot of turns. And, you know, it's, it's phenomenal. It's literally the opening scene of the first episode of the West Wing.  And, um, uh, but it works, it works so well, and it's so much more productive than sitting down at a desk and trying to do whatever it is you have to do. 

Well, that's been the biggest lesson for both of us and especially for me, and I think special, especially this year of COVID, yeah, we realize now that all the rules that we were so host to follow, were all made up anyway, it all came tumbling down during this, and so the hell with success as is normally defined in America... for both of us, the idea of success is doing work. we love, feeling content while we're doing it.  And that's a completely different model than, you know, you must rise the corporate ladder, or you must do this thing and win these awards.  We love the accolades we got, but it was more that the people who wrote to us and told us we had helped their families and they had joy in their lives because they thought their four year old kid got diagnosed with celiac and he'll never have a normal life, and they started making our recipes and thought, oh, this is no big deal, and we helped them feel better. So for me and for Danny both, it's just what works. My motto is find a solution. I don't care what it looks like, just find a solution, so it works well, and you feel good. 

I think that, that you really hit the nail on the head. A lot of, you know, I've been an entrepreneur now for God….24 years and, um, that's really scary and, um, happens literally half of my life, and, um, I find that, that I am a huge fan. Not only professionally, but personally as well. If it's fun, do it. If it's not fun, either figure out how to make it fun or do something else. And I'm never gonna understand people who look at work as something they have to do so they can have fun when they're not doing…. I'm like you should be having fun while you're working as well, and if you're not, there's a problem there. 

Absolutely. I mean, a lot of my work now, I don't write Gluten-Free Girl anymore, and I do write, um, this newsletter called Finding Joy in Enough because my work now is all about joy. Especially after this last year, we survived this year. We have a 12yr old and a 7yr old, and we decided early on, like, let's just make sure there's just as much joy in the day as possible.  So we watched all of the Avengers movies, which were absolutely (laughter) we're also, um, you know, we just started eating in the  living room instead of the dining room, because everyone felt more comfortable, whatever tiny thing we could choose, they gave people some joy in this moment. That's what we’ve chosen now, it's the work I do.  And that's what I see is there's no joy in standard America. It's not a culture built for joy, and especially for those with ADHD or  neuro-divergent minds, you know... you're supposed to try everything you can to be neuro-typical, and this is boring as hell. 

Yep, and I think that also in that same vein, that makes it difficult for a lot of people to have personal relationships, you know, I know that that when I was married, it was very tough.. and we're great friends now, probably because we don't see each other every day, but it was, it was very tough, you know, I'd come home and I'd be wackadoodle excited about something I did, right? It was the greatest feeling in the world. Oh my God, that’s awesome, and of course the first thing I have to do, um, you know… OMG, I gotta tell her everything about that, oh my God. da-da-da-da-da-da,,,,and, and the ADHD in me, wouldn't let me think about, well, maybe she's had a shit day or maybe she's tired and maybe she's maybe she's feeding the kid or me, you're gonna, maybe she doesn't want to hear me come in and, and, and, you know, explode…..over everything, and that took a long time to learn and it took a long time to learn. And I think that, that…. when you're ADHD, it just seems normal. Why wouldn't everyone want to share everything amazing all at once in the first...brain debit in the first second that you get, you know? And, and no, that's really not how people work, um, not all of them, and so, so there's a lot of learning, I think, in, in the, uh, in the world of, of, of when one person has ADHD and the other person isn’t, um, yeah, I think that's really important. And so, and so the fact that, um, that you guys are able to play off of each other's strengths… 

yeah.

 It's phenomenal. But so here's the thing.  You, you are married, 

uh-huh….

you work together…

uh-huh….

 you live together…

uh-huh…

Tell me that you're able to get away from each other every once in a while. And how do you do that?  

Hotel nights in the city! 

(laughter)  

We live on an island off of Seattle, about a 20 minute ferry ride and every once in a while, we'll just look at each other and say, I think I need a night.  

Yeah….

….go book on Priceline, a cheap hotel or whatever the app of the day is, and then one of us will go and the other will take the kids. 

I love that. 

Last time we went, I took three books and I read three books in 24 hours. Really? We've got a 12 year old, a seven year old and there was no time to like, luxuriously read a thing I want to read, so yeah, and we don't care what the hotel is, as long as it's clean, we just do, but yeah, he goes, and then I go….

We order take-out, go back to the room.  

Oh, I love that so much. And, and I need to do….I need to do an ADHD segue here, completely unrelated. Do you guys live on the same island? That was, um, that Michael Douglas lived on... in the movie Disclosure.

No, no, we live in rural lovely place. It's the same life as Manhattan and two miles wider. And they're 10,000 people here. 

Oh my God

Yeah, it's pretty awesome. 

That must be beautiful, that must be incredible. I'm sure. So tell me about… it can’t  all be…. uh, sugar canes and plum ferries,,, there has to be some craziness.  How do you guys deal with it? 

Uh, Danny?  

(laughter) 

Danny, why don't you step into the minefield, go ahead. 

I just go into the kitchen and start cooking. (laughter)  

I think, I think we, you know, we've been together for 15 years now and I am astonished every day that we get a chance to do this. And for me, really, there are two points of life taking care of each other, and joy, that's it. And so for me, having a chance to really take care of Danny and my kids, while also at the same time taking care of me, I didn't get that as a child. Um, I wrote about it in my book enough, I had a very, very difficult childhood, and so I came out of it as a full grown adult thinking I'm going to do better, I'm going to have boundaries and I'm going to have kindness, and when we fight, which is very rare, it's always about the dishes.

(laughter) 

Yeah. So I'm so I'm just telling you, like, you know, to putting them in the sink, and calling it good and letting someone else do it.

 They're used to handing them off to the dishwasher at the restaurant….

I do….is doing kind of a half-ass job, at cleaning up,,, but 

 I want to ask you something. Cause I, I interviewed someone yesterday just randomly, because I guess there's like food week on Faster Than Normal, I interviewed someone yesterday with ADHD who worked at French Laundry and, um, and he started his career like tons of small restaurants (da-da-da) . And, um, one of the things that….that we were talking about is the, the, the, the less, uh, top level restaurants, like, but not that, not the Michelin rated ones, the diners or whatever, there is a massive, uh, from what everyone tells me, there's a massive drug problem in the kitchens. And did, I'm curious to know. If that ever affected you, Dan, in the respect of that, when you're ADHD, you tend to be drawn to things like that on occasion, right. Or until you learn about yourself, right. 

Oh yeah….

….anything that gives you Dopamine, and you're like, holy shit, I need this forever, right?  And so... I'm curious if you're comfortable talking about that. If that, if you ever saw that or that or affected you or anything like that? 

Um, well, the, one of my first, uh, restaurant kitchen meetings. I, I was 15 years old and I got to the meeting and thought, okay, this is going to be interesting. And the, the manager of the restaurant said, okay, guys, we've really got to cut down on the cocaine use this year. 

OMG,,,,, 

holy Jesus, here we go… this is going to be interesting. Um, I, I saw a lot of drinking in restaurants and a lot of drug use, but I'd never. And the restaurants…. that was my life, that was what I wanted to do, so I didn't want to affect it like that.

right….

You know, I'm, I'm, you know, I'm guilty as the next guy, of… you know, drinking on the job or going into the workroom really fast, but I had not, not to the extent that I've seen a lot of people just destroy themselves with. 

Yeah. There's no…. with Danny, I should say how proud I am of him, he's a recovering alcoholic. He has been so screwed up,,

God Bless….

Um, so, the willpower, you had to quit that.. and cigarettes, while still being in a restaurant was amazing.  Um, but we've talked about it a lot there. There's definitely a lot of, um, ADHD and Dopamine hits... the being on the line itself is an adrenaline rush. Yeah. Um, when Danny was at Impromptu, it was a very small restaurant in Seattle. And one time his, um, assistant step, you know, she didn't show up for work and he called me and I was pregnant, he was like, I’m sorry, can you step in? Cause I'm totally out of like, of course, and being on the line with him, just like, okay, we needed this and sort of preparing salads, little things, cause I know food, I wanted to have a panic attack. I'm like, but there are like 28 things, orders in, I have never seen him so calm for him.  He was just like, we're going to move here and we're going to do this and he didn't talk, and he just commanded it. 

Yeah, well, that's what they say about people with ADHD is that, is that... this is the person with ADHD is the person you want when everything goes to shit, because they will, now that being said on the flip side, you know, they're not necessarily the best at handling taking out the trash on Wednesday on one, on a random Wednesday afternoon.

(laughter) 

I don’t know what you’re talking about….

Oh sure, I get the trash out…

We, I mean, with, with kids, and knowing Danny's brain as well as I do, and then our daughter is also diagnosed with ADHD. She's 12, um, we think our son is too, but he didn't have enough school this last year….for a teacher to be able to write those evaluations. You know, I just, we just run a neuro-divergent house, and so I'm really good at making the schedules and the structures, and I know how important they are.  Our kids love routine, and so I'll say, okay, at 7:15 we're doing this, and it's 7:30, we're doing this and it's time to get going, and… uh, that helps a lot. Um, and I have friends who say, God, I would never be able to do all that, you do so much for them, but for me, I also know how much I love them, and I want them to feel at ease in the world and whatever his brains to make it muscle memory, so they don't have to think about it. 

I would, I would suggest also that, that you guys seem a little more self-aware than, uh, your average parents, so I think that's awesome. I think your kids are very, very lucky in that regard. Um, I will, I will close it with, with one question, cause I want to be respectful of your time, and every episode’s only about 20 minutes cause you know, ADHD, but, um, what….exactly…..squirrel, um, If you could tell... 15yr old you... who's just starting work his first time in a restaurant, what it's going to be like, or, or one piece of advice that would benefit him, or you as well.  So if you could give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say, to um,, sort of put them on the right path in the beginning. 

Um, stick with  it, if that's something that you really want to do, stick with it, there's going to be ups and down days, and you're just, there's one da  you're going to be feeling like everything is just ticket and everything's on fire, and everything's perfect, and then the next day, you, you, you, your heads so far up your ass, you don't know where you're going.  (laughter)  and….. you …. you have those days... where you look at the clock, like  oh crap, it's only 5:30, good times... but no, you just gotta work at it and stick to it and come up with a plan of how you're going to do things. When you start, when things start falling apart and come up with and just…. cooking is so you get, you get, you get in a tunnel and that's one, one of my problems sometimes, cause I get very hyper-focused profession, but you just got to stick to it and...

 follow your dreams 

and follow what makes you happy. 

And that's what, that's what I would say to my 15…. go ahead, sorry. 

No, everybody... I want to have you guys back, um, at some point in the future, because I think that we could do an entire show just on sort of the tips and tricks that you've learned from working the lines and things like that. And, you know, the concept of focus.  There's a, um, I've wanted to do this for a while and I'm actually excited. I finally found someone who's going to allow me to do it. I'm going to shadow, um, a short order cook this summer for a, for a week, um, for no other reason than I just really, I, when I asked the guy, the, the owner of the diner, he goes, uh, son, you have a good career, why the hell would you want to throw it away and become a short-order… I’m like , no, no. I'm like, no, don't I don't want to become a short-order cook, I just want to learn how to do it. And so I'm going to shadow someone for a week and I'm really excited about it. He said, you know, I said, any tips before I get started? And he goes, the one thing, you know, he goes, prep is everything, and so I would love to do an episode with you guys at some point in the future where we talk about, you know, the tips and tricks you've learned that from cooking that you can apply to your life. So we'll get definitely gonna have you guys back, and I really, really appreciate you both taking the time.

Absolutely, it's such a joy to talk with you.

 

 Guys let's, uh, give a shout, if it were….. to Dan and Shauna.  Cookbook authors,  chefs, parents, ADHD, neurodiverse, and this is….. it doesn't get any better than this. This was a phenomenal interview, we're definitely gonna have you guys back. Thank you so much.  Real fast, do you guys have a website? How can people find you? 

Yeah, Danny has a newsletter now, which is all about having ADHD and becoming  a home cook after years of being a chef, and it's called https://joyinthebelly.substack.com/subscribe and…. 

awesome….

Mine is https://findingyourjoy.substack.com/s  ...soon there'll be a website called Practicing Joy, that's really what I'm working on is reminding each other to find moments in the day to focus on joy, because that's really the whole point of life. 

Very very cool. joy I love it, guys, thank you so much for being here, we're definitely gonna have you back.  Guys, you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal, as you know , every week we have a new episode full of really, really, really super cool people like Shauna and Dan and others, um, tune in next week.  If you haven't listened lately and you're just sort of coming back because you were, I don't know, you know, in quarantine for the past year or whatever, um, we had…. last week, we had Siri Dahl who is an adult film star with ADHD, and she's also a powerlifter and she talks about what's going on in her world. I strongly recommend checking that interview out, that was a lot of fun. And ironically, it took an adult film star… my producer let me know that, the adult film star interview was the first interview where I didn't curse once. So I don't know. I don't, I don't know exactly how it happened, but all of a sudden we didn't have to. He's like, yeah, we don't have to put the, uh, the mature themes, uh, logo on this episode. I'm like.. with the porn star, tThat's really strange.  So make sure you check that one out and we will see you guys next week. My name is Peter Shankman, thank you for listening to Faster Than Normal, take care.  ADHD  is a gift, not a curse, we'll see you soon.  

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Jun 2, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a  It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to XXXXX rab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

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Named by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Dean Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days. He’s run across Death Valley in the middle of summer, and he’s run a marathon to the South Pole.

On ten separate occasions he’s run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His list of competitive achievements include winning the World’s Toughest Footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, and winning the 4 Deserts Challenge, racing in the hottest, driest, windiest and coldest places on earth. A NY Times bestselling author, Dean is a frequent speaker and panelist at many running and sporting events worldwide. We’re thrilled to have Dean with us today- enjoy!  

 

 

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In this episode Peter and Dean Karnazes discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Dean Karnazes!!

4:32  -  On the concept of “the runner’s high” and what is Dean’s and how does he feel after he runs

5:46  -  On learning the chemistry behind the runner’s high and what do you have to do to obtain it

8:02  -  On the 100 mile races you’ve been involved in – tell us a little more about those. 

8:42  -  On training for such long runs,  what’s your process? 

11:36  -  On keeping yourself occupied during races that don’t allow headphones or music.  Do you do anything specific to pass the time?  

12:08  -  On whether or not you are literally thinking “step, step, step, step?” 

13:48  -  On what you tell yourself on mornings,  or even days when you get up and just aren’t feeling it?  What do you do? 

14:31  -  On confirming that it’s 50 marathons in 50 days?  

14:45  -  On the logistics of that kind of extensive race.  How do you prep for it? 

15:05  -  On what the 50th marathon city was. 

16:48  -  Dean, I'm so excited to have a chance to talk to you. I definitely want to get you back on here.  Guys, the book is called https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500  but Dean Karnazes is the New York Times best-selling author of author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , and Superhuman…. [laughter] I love this, Good Morning America,  “a superhuman athlete writes love letter to runners.” This is, if it's anything like your last book, it's going to be inspiring as hell and I can't wait to read it. Dean thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. I really appreciate it, man. It's great to see you again.

You can find deal on the Socials @DeanKarnazes here on Twitter  Facebook. @Ultramarathon on INSTA and via his website www.ultramarathonman.com 

Thank you so much Dean Karnazes! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

17:15  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal.  I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet, and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe from every walk of life, in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage.  To build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the only man who goes skydiving to calm down and focus, Peter Shankman

Hey guys, Peter Shankman look, another episode of Faster Than Normal. This episode actually really is faster because we have someone on the podcast today who I have been fortunate enough to meet in the VIP tent of the 2006 New York City Marathon, and when I talk fast and when I talk, uh, determination, this guy always comes up in conversations I have with my running buddies, my travel on buddies, talking to Dean Karnazes.. And, and if you have ever run, or thought about running, or ran by pressing X on a joystick, you know, this guy. Uh, he is pretty incredible. He has written several books on running. His latest is called  https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 Um, but he's a New York Times bestselling author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , which I’ve got to tell you, Dean, what sticks out at me, always about that, was the time the part of the Ultramarathon Man, where you just decided you want to get back into running, and so on a whim, you ran something like 40 miles and called your wife and said, Hey, um, can you bring me a new pair of sneakers, some Taco Bell and my health and my, uh, my health insurance card, cause I think I have to go to the hospital. And that is totally something someone with ADHD would do, they just start and 40 miles later, they'd be like, yeah, that was, that was a mistake…. so well to the podcast, man, it's, it's amazing to talk to you again. 

Yeah, it's good to be with you again, I got to preface and say that I was drunk during that episode, so that got even better. [laughter]

Spectacular.. I love that. So, OK, so let's talk first about the book, uh, the concept of ,  https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 right? So I started running, I was taken out for a run by one of my employees back in 2000, and prior to that, I'd never run, right?  I ran... like to the store for cigarettes, right? I went to a performing arts high school, we didn't run, we sang.  We, we, we fulfilled our gym credits in, in, in, in, in other ways. And my, this woman who works for me, Rebecca, she took me out for a run. Somehow convinced me to go on a half mile run with her, like a five mile run that was only….but I only lasted a half a mile, but I remember going over to half a mile, probably took like six minutes or so I nearly died.  Like, I look at him like, oh my God, I'm gonna die. And then 15 seconds later, I had this feeling of euphoria that I've never had before I'd never had before in my life. And that was entirely my runners high, right? Now I know that your book,   https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500 is about your entire life and as a runner in motion, and all that, but you know, for someone with ADHD or someone with any sort of neurodiversity, runner's high is one of the closest feelings to God you're ever gonna get, because we live our lives perpetually denied dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline. And when I tell people and when people learn that it is literally as easy as going for a run or a bike ride or a swim or walking up 20 flights of steps to get that back for a certain amount of time, they're blown away. And so tell us about your runner's high, tell us about what, what you feel after a run. Now, mind you, when I say after a run for you, I mean, you know, it's not the same as a run for me, which is, you know, five miles you go, you know, to the next state or whatever. But tell us about, tell us about how you feel after a run and, uh, tell us about yourself as well, I'm really excited to be talking to you, so I have to shut up now. 

Yeah, no, that, uh, what you just described happened to me when I was six years old. I mean, I'll never forget it. I was….I was in kindergarten and you know, I'm a young boy and they tell us to sit still and pay attention and whatever your six year old wants to do is run wild and not pay attention, right?  That's our, that's our, our nature as a six-year-old. So I, I just remember, you know, chewing the back of my hand off until the be…..the bell rang, and I was free and I would run home from kindergarten. I'd run a mile home from kindergarten. And that was the only time I felt whole Peter.  When I walked through the door, I just felt like a different person when I got home, and that's how I discovered the runner’s high and the power of running to really quiet the mind and just give you that peace and that, uh, It's profound. I mean, you and I both come from the same place, you were just a little bit older when you, when you learned about that place.  

At what point did you realize sort of the chemistry behind it, of what it was, you know, runner's high, the actual, uh, chemistry that produces it or, or, or, or what you have to do to get it?

You know, I mean, the chemistry is interesting, right? Because we thought it was endorphins. We always attributed a runner's high to endorphins, but they've recently done some experiments where they gave people a drug that blocked endorphins and they went running and they still got to runner's high, and so now they think it's Endocannabinoids that are responsible for the runner's high, and we, you know, just the name suggests, yeah… but, um, it's, I think it's profoundly chemical. And when I talk to other runners that say, I've never felt the runner's high, I look at them, that's it, you're just not paying attention, because that's impossible you know, I think it's your body's reaction to, I mean, you had this reaction to pain and a lot of way that, that half mile that you ran with your coworker back in 2000, it must have hurt like hell…

totally….

where your body responds, by numbing the pain in  a lot of ways.

Well the problem was, was that the first time, you know, the first, that first half mile, I joke about my running buddy now, David, that first half mile is a bitch. I’m gonnna be 49 this summer, everything hurts that first half mile, right?  But as soon as it's like, it's like a, it's like a, like a stopwatch, the first half mile ends. It's like I've turned a corner, boom, let's go through like, you know, eight, 10, 12 miles. And the crazy thing is, is that, you know, I'm a single dad here, right? So the only time I can really run is super, super early, and so fortunately, David is as crazy as I am and we do our long runs, we'll start at like 3am, um, actually you might know this story, I got arrested in Central Park for exercising before it opened several years ago, I was with that was that guy who was on the front page of the Daily News holding up a summons, cause I have to stop, stop, and he's like, what are you doing?  I'm like, what do you think I'm doi….? you know, I'm, I'm trading sexual favors or crack. What do you think? You know, wrong thing to say to a cop, but yeah. So, um, you know, but that early morning high translates for me. I'll hold that all day, right?. And I know people who realize that. 

Yeah, and you've done some of the longer races.  I mean, when I run an ultra marathon, so when I run a hundred miles nonstop, I mean that high, it can last for two weeks, Peter. It's amazing, yeah, you still feel it. And it…. it actually gets more pronounced after about four or five days. 

That's that's I mean, I'm just, I'm stuck on that, on a hundred. Tell us about the endurance races.  Tell us about the hundred milers.. 

Yeah. I mean, the first time I heard about this, I thought it’s just trickery, right? It's… no human can run a hundred miles nonstop. I mean, there's, there's hotels along the way, or, you know, you hop in a car, but then no one's looking. But, um, the guy said “ a gun goes off and you start running and you stop when you cross the finish line” you know, you try to do it in under 24 hours.  And I thought, I hate driving a hundred miles, like how, how is this possible? And I went out and did it, and it was just the most amazing, expansive experience I've ever encountered in my life, and I've been doing that same sort of thing now for almost three decades. 

How do you train for something like that?  Is it just constant long runs? 

 

I get up like you do. I get up at 3am I might run a marathon before breakfast, you know, fix breakfast for the kids and get them off to school and the same sort of thing. You know, you, you, you train when you can and I'm opportunistic any chance I get, I train, I don't do something that you're doing right now, and we got a camera on people. That's how I know Peter is sitting. You can tell him standing. I never sit down. I do all my book, writing all my emails, everything. I mean, I have a very profound case of ADHD. I've just never been diagnosed, but to quiet my mind, the only time my mind is quiet is when I'm running.

Well that's that goes without saying, but beforehand, I want to say the guys, I'm now proud to say I've been, I've been sit-shamed by Dean Karnazes, so I'm going to take that to my grave. Um, but you know, it's really true that the concept of quieting the mind, I mean, I do two things for that. I exercise and I'm a skydiver, right?  And, and I talk about the fact that when I know I have to run a 10 mile training run, or I know that I have to do 50 miles on the bike, either outside or on my Peloton, you know, that is, it's sort of a given that's what I have to do. And, and when my trainer gives me….  when my coach gives me my, my weekly plan, I can't deviate from that, and it's the same thing with skydiving. When I jump out of the plane, I have two options, open the shoot and live, or not open to shoot and die. I don't have any other choices. And I think that the great thing about exercise, about running... about, you know, is that, is that when you're tied to a schedule of, you know, Hey, the race is into, they're not going to move the race, right?  It's in 20 weeks and four days, and they're not going to move that. So here's what I have to do to be ready for that. It eliminates the ability to choose other things and that, and the elimination of choice is something I preach. Cause that's that quiets the mind more than anything else. If I only have A or B, I'm making a decision, but if I have A through M right… forget it. 

Yeah, no, and I think running an ultra marathon is very much a binary experience. I mean, you make it to the finish line and you succeed.  You don’t, and you fail. I mean, the rules of engagements are black and white and when you're running a hundred miles, it's so intense of an experience, it so commands you…

….that your mind can't wander. I mean, every thought has gotta be on, how am I going to get to the finish line? You’re very focused on the present moment of time, the here and now,  you don't reflect on the past. I mean, it, it requires that you be entirely present to get to that finish line, when you’re... you know, doing Ironman in Kona in October, you know exactly what I'm describing here.

Yeah. Well, it brings up an interesting question.  What do you do, um, to keep yourself occupied? I find that so on marathons, I can listen to my music. They don't, they don't stop you. They discourage it, but they let you wear your headphones? Right. And Iron Man it's, it's a, it's a disqualification if they catch you with headphones, right? So my first half Ironman I ever did, like 2008 or nine or something, I remember. I…. I literally recited the entire scripts to Back to the Future and Midnight Run, like word for word. and that got me through, right?  Do you do anything specific to, um, to allow yourself to, to, to pass the time? I mean, it’s a 100 miles.

 

I try to be in a present moment of time, so it requires a lot of discipline because our minds are active places. I mean, your mind is intensely active, and to come back to center and just be in the present moment, the here and now, really requires discipline and requires, uh, you know, you to make an effort because you can control your mind and it can wander very quickly, so I don't let my mind wander. I bring it back to my next step. 

Well that was my question, are you thinking... are you literally thinking step, step, step, step 

{indistinguishable}  it's almost like you're, you're meditating in a sense, and I can be there for six or eight hours where the only thought is take your next step to the best of your ability, take your next step to the best of your ability. That's all that’s going  through your mind. 

So I have a quote on my, uh, well, in several places in my life. I believe it's in my, on my Facebook quotes section, but I've also said it to myself countless times, and I believe it's attributed to you, uh, run… run if you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, but never ever give up.  And I believe you said, yeah. And I have taken that. I've taken that. If you're wondering if your first book affected me dude, I've taken that with me for years now, for years. Um, 

I’m glad you’re still liking it…

and you know, I'm planning on, oh God, I'm planning on taking that into Kona as well. You know…..Tell me about so-so. How, how do I ask it?  So the past year there have been two types of people over the past, like 14 months. There's been types of people who say, okay, I'm going to use this, this virus, the virus, the shutdown and everything, and the quarantine as a way to get out and exercise every day and run. And there’s the kind of people that say they’re going to do that and they don’t do that, right. And so there’s two kinds of people, both of them say they're going to do it, only one of them actually does. Um, my rule is I have to exercise immediately upon awakening, or I won't do it. I'll come up with some excuse as to why it shouldn't be running the meteor around Pluto, Pluto might go out of orbit and it might hit the earth and, you know, whatever it is, I'll come up with a reason for it.  Um, so I, I get up super early and I just, I just don't think about it right?. I sleep in my bike shorts, I'm on the bike and I'm out the door. Done. Don't think about it. What do you tell yourself? Or what do you do or are you so super human that you've never had this experience? What do you tell yourself when you wake up and you just don't freaking have it? 

Yeah. I know, and people say… you know, it’s incredible you know, do you ever not want to run? And yeah, there's a lot of days I don't want to run, but I use this concept called Forward Projection. so I just project how much better I'm going to feel post run, than I feel now. And I know that I'm inevitably going to feel a lot better if I can go for a run, and the thing is, you know, once we get ourselves out the door…

Everything changes, right? 

Yeah. It's just, it's just putting your shoes on, getting out the door is the hardest part, but if you can get out the door, it's on, you're almost on autopilot at that point. 

 

Last question is only respect for your time… 50 marathons in 50 states consecutively, right in 50 days. 

50 day… yeah. 

So, I mean, I guess the first question is dude, what the actual F but I'll, I'll leave that, um, Logistically that must've been a bitch.  

Peter, I don't, I won't profess to doing logistics. I work with the agency that they coordinate the Olympic torch run across the country.

I let them do it because I was, I, there was no way I was going to figure that one out. Yeah. 

And what was it that…. remind me again, that culminated with, your 50th was New York or DC…. where was your 50th, I don’t remember? 

It was New York. We met each other in the…

…. that was when you, that was the last one of your 50 my God!

yeah, 2006, yeah. 

Amazing. Amazing. And I guess the, the, the concept of that is, I mean, I do a 26 mile 26.2 mile run and. I can't go down subway steps the next day. And you proceeded to do it for 50 days in a row. 15:35 How does your body, I mean, what, what do you do for your body to, to not, you know, I don't know, die the next day or the day after, or the day after.  

Yeah. I remember at Marathon 19, I couldn’t crawl out of bed in the morning and I'm like, I can't, I can't get out of bed, how am I going to run a marathon today? Let alone 31 more and 31 days on top of that. And I stopped counting at that point. I used that same technique as it just, just get yourself to the hotel sink and splash some water in your face. OK, just make it over to that. In-room coffee machine and have some  horrible coffee, put your shorts on one leg at a time. Just get to the starting line. Okay. You're at the starting line. Just take your first step of the marathon, and, you know, I finished New York… that was my fastest of all.  I finished in 3hrs: 30 seconds, which was pretty decent for New York. And that was with 49 consecutive marathons {indistinguishable} prior.

Jesus, yeah, I was a 22min, I was 28min behind you, I was a 3:58:03, my fastest marathon before or since. So now I'm kind of at the point where it's…..how old are you?

A little bit older than you. 

Oh, I hate you…. just, just on principle. I don't like you. I really, really dislike you... but that being said, Dean, I'm so excited to have a chance to talk to you. I definitely want to get you back on here.  Guys, the book is called https://www.amazon.com/Runners-High-My-Life-Motion/dp/0062955500  but Dean Karnazes is the New York Times best-selling author of author of https://www.amazon.com/Ultramarathon-Man-Confessions-All-Night-Runner/dp/1585424803/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=ultra+marathon+man&qid=1622464092&s=books&sr=1-2 , and Superhuman…. [laughter] I love this, Good Morning America,  “a superhuman athlete writes love letter to runners.” This is, if it's anything like your last book, it's going to be inspiring as hell and I can't wait to read it. Dean thank you so much for taking the time to come on the podcast. I really appreciate it, man. It's great to see you again.

Thanks for having me run by. Haaah-yeah!

——

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

May 26, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to  https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

Jason got his start in his home state of Georgia at the Sea Island Resort as Chef de Tournant before moving to Napa and working at The French Laundry. While working as Chef de Partie and poissonnier in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the restaurant’s award for Chef of the Year. From a family of self-starters, Jason has always had the desire to start something of his own. Today we learn how an incredible chef recognized ADD in Jason and helped set his life onto an amazing path! This is one of the best stories, (not to mention success stories), we’ve heard in a while!  So glad to have Jason with us today- enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Chef Jason McKinney discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Jason

2:34  -  On Jason’s background and when he was diagnosed, when did the ADD come to fruition and tell me how you use it to your advantage.

3:37  -  On self-medicating, the importance of choosing correctly, as there are two -aspects of medication, a positive and a negative.   

5:59  -  On acknowledging how lucky you were to have such an amazing mentor and someone that recognizes your ADD/ADHD and supports and offers ways and solutions to succeed in what you want to do.

6:41  -  On taking advice of keeping personal items (phone/keys/wallet) in same place, as a good starting point to develop habits that would help you succeed in conjunction with your job

7:44 -  A chef with ADD walks into The French Laundry

8:09  -  On the chef term, training stage – tell us what that is?

10:43  -  On whether or not your plans worked out – did you get hired on the spot?

12:40  -  On the restaurant world, and are the stories of drug use/access to drugs, a true statement for the places you’ve worked in?  How did you cope with that?

14:13. -  On any experiences you’ve had that might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you’ve learned from.

17:08  -  On the variety of knowledge and ideas in terms of things people can do in terms of utilizing their ADHD.  What’s going on with you now?

21:02  -  On taking the worst situations and making something positive out of it

21:36  -  To do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef, it's always a lot of fun.

22:11  -  Thank you so much Chef Jason McKinney! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

To sponsor an episode of FTN, head over to sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a It is a lot cheaper than you think!

22:52  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I'm glad you're here. I want to introduce you today to Jason McKinney.  Jason got his start in the home state of Georgia as a chef…. as the Chef do Tranauneant . I have no idea what that means, we're going to find out... at the https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE, but the thing moved to Napa and he worked at  https://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl  If you've ever been to French Laundry, I don't need to tell you anymore.  If you haven't been to French Laundry, you kind of need to go to French Laundry. While he was working as a Chef de Partie, and I don't even know what these words mean… it looks like poisoner…. I'm sure you weren't a poisoner in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the Restaurant's Award for Chef of the Year.  He's a family of self-starters,  massively ADHD, welcome Jason to Faster Than Normal... let's talk food. 

What’s up Peter, thank you so much for having me here today. 

Good to have you, man. So tell me about your background and tell me about growing up. When were you diagnosed when the ADHD coming to fruition?  Um, tell me that whole story and tell me how you use it to your advantage. 

Absolutely, so. you know, my Dad was ADD and, you know, he started his own business. And so it didn't really affect him as much as I think it affects a lot of people. Cause you know, he kind of did things on his own terms, but then in school there was always just very difficult for me to pay attention... for me to really get anything done, and so from a very young age I got diagnosed, but what was really kind of different about my diagnosis from what I hear from a lot of people is that, you know, God diagnosed, they prescribed the Adderall or Ritalin or whatever it was at the time, and I took it for about a year, and then at some point my parents were just like, listen, if you want to keep taking this, go for it.  If not, no problem. And so like, as like a seven year old kid, they'd put the decision in my hands and I decided to not take the medicine and always looked for ways to kind of figure out how to self-medicate. 

Tell me what it was like. Uh self-medicating because there are two aspects of medication.  There's the positive and the negative, and a lot of people find themselves going down the negative path without even realizing it, until it's too late.

Well, so up until I was about 16 or 17. There was really no self-medicating. I just did horribly at school and I had a lot of.. kind of hobbies, so I don't think my parents were too worried about it. But then when 2008 hit, my Dad literally lost his entire business. And so we went from, you know, a well-off family to truly completely broke, and so as a 16 year old kid, I got two jobs, I started going to alternative school and as soon as I got into alternative school, I started being able to work at my own pace. And I literally did all of high school in six months. 

Wow. 

So once, once I was in a position where I could really just hyper-focus on things, I was able to get through school a lot faster, and then I went to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ and then I worked at Disney for a little bit. I actually made a fake college resume to get into the internship program at Disney. 

Oh my God. 

And so I was there, but I really wanted to cook, you know, I loved cooking and I really wasn't cooking at Disney, so eventually I got this apprenticeship program and I was at https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE  and I was working at their nice, the nicest restaurant they had there, was a five-star restaurant and there was one night where the Chef asked me to clean the freezer, right?  And in a really high-end restaurant, you'll have some pretty expensive items in the freezer, the truffles or,  the Wagyu items like that, the visually they have to ship in, you know, I was cleaning out the freezer and I literally only cleaned half of the freezer and I just got so excited and just stopped, got distracted, and stopped the job halfway through the chef came in the next day and was just pissed at me.

Oh my God. I can imagine. 

And he, he took me out into the dining room, which is where the really bad roastings happen, and he was like, listen, you have ADD, you have ADD very badly and everyone in the world is going to tell you that you have a problem. He was like, I'm here to tell you today that if you can figure out a way to manage this, you can be unbelievably successful.

Wow. How lucky were you to have someone tell it to have someone to notice that and tell you that my God. 

Unbelievably so, you know, and, and he, he looked at me dead in the eye and he was like, everytime I sit down, I put my phone right here. And then I was like, you know, what, where do I, where do I get started to really work on this?  Cause this was the first time that I truly was like working on my passion or my career, or I needed to figure out a way to manage it. He  was like, the first thing you do is every day you go home, you put your phone, keys and wallet in the same space, and until you do that, you don't shut off. You do that. You turn it off, you focus on your next thing.

That's really an interesting point. Cause that's kind of like, that's a, that's a trigger. That's almost like an off button for you, right? You do that, and you've switched environments. 

Yeah, and it, it truly, it helped me out a lot. And then I went from there and I went out to, I flew from, from Georgia to California and I was fortunate enough to get a position at the French Laundry, I literally just showed up with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and asked for an opportunity to work hard.. and they gave it to me. 

Wow. and this was in California...French Laundry? 

French Laundry,,, yeah. 

You show up at the French Laundry with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and said I want to work for you, and they gave you a job?

I had an, I had a resume done with golden bossed letters, and then I had a backup plan. Actually, my backup plan was that if they threw me out of the restaurant, because I literally just basically walked into the restaurant in the middle of service, I had a, a life-sized version of my resume that I was gonna torpedo into the restaurant, and I figured if I left that there, somebody would look at it. 

That is unbelievable. And, and, and in the middle of a service, they, they, they didn't kick you out. Walk us through exactly. Walk us through exactly what happened. 

Yeah. Flew out there. Uh, I was in California for about 11 days. I had seven stagiaires lined up, which are like what you do when you're trying to get a position at a restaurant. And I was on my second day in California. 

What is… what is a stagiaire/stage,? Tell us….

A stagiaire/stage is basically an interview, but it's a working interview. So you go stagiaire/stage in the kitchen and you can tell a lot from a chef on whether they’ll be successful or not. It's truly just from how they walk and work in a kitchen. And so I literally woke up one day and was like, if I don't drive up to the French Laundry, I was in San Francisco at the time, if I don’t drive up there, and try to get a job at this, I'm going to regret this for the rest of my life. And…. drove all the way up to Napa got to Yountville, which is where the French Laundry is and turned onto Washington street and was driving down the street, and. If you've never been there before every building, there's a couple of buildings that looked like they could be the French Laundry, and I got so nervous. I finally saw the restaurant and I literally just kept driving. I was so nervous. I couldn't do anything. And I kept driving and I, I got to the little store at the end of the road and I walked inside. I'm from Georgia, and so when I got inside that there's all this wine, right? And I've truly never seen this much wine in it, such a little store before, so I popped over and I was just looking at it and I was like, I was looking at all of this one bottle, just poking out, and there was a https://www.wineaccess.com/catalog/2017-shafer-vineyards-relentless-napa-valley_e90dfce7-146e-42cf-a893-81eace39129d/?rtype=s&chan=cpc&src=google&cmp=&grp=&ver=522290450879&kw=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwna2FBhDPARIsACAEc_UqwcZWX-Ml3IevgXqdOqc4UNVUViKyT7n6QJmkng83aLeAiZ5juIcaAhO6EALw_wcB   and it was $75. And I had about $106 in the bank and I still have to be in California for five more days. And I, I was like it’s now or never. And I, I bought the bottle of wine, I drove back to the restaurant and Plan A was walk in,  and ask to talk to the Chef. Plan B was, they kick me out. And then I, I had brought this life-size version of my resume just in case, you know? And so, I had the bottle of wine, I'm in a full suit, I got my resume, I walk in, I opened the door to the French Laundry and I, a server  walks past me, and my gaze... follows her, and then when she walks away, the Chef de Cuisine, David Braeden is standing right there and something in my head was like, Jason, you have to say something, otherwise you just broken, entered into the French Laundry, and I was like, yeah, and I was like, “Chef, may I request a moment of your time?” and he looks at me, he looks at the wine, he looks at the resume in my hand, he looks at my suit and I think he was just kind of curious, you know, he's like, “absolutely, follow me this way.” And I was like...

Unbelievable. 

What? And we sat and chatted, and what was crazy is that the chef that trained the chef that  that helped me with my ADD, originally actually trained the Chef de Cuisine in the French Laundry too, and I didn't know that at the time. 

Oh, wow. That's an incredible story. And, and so you hired you on the spot or how did that work? 

Basically, he said, come, come back Sunday at noon to the gold door in the back, and to be honest, I thought I was getting framed, but then I came back and there, the door to the kitchen at the French Laundry is polished gold, and I stagiaired/staged for the day and an official stagiaire/stage, and then at the end of the day, he offered me a position and I went back to Georgia. I took on two more jobs. I worked, you know, about 110 hours a week to save up the money, to move to California, and then moved out to California, spent, um, four years at the French Laundry. I got named the Core Award winner, which is like the chef of the year for the restaurant ….the whole restaurant group and that was a massive honor. And while I worked there, it was kind of the next phase of like, all right, either you can medicate, or you can figure out a way to self-medicate, and so for the four years I worked there, I literally, I listened to your book, right? I would ride my bike and I started doing like a hundred mile century rides, and then every Wednesday I literally went to a Zen temple and I would, Thursday was my day off, so I would meditate Thursday morning and then come back to the restaurant and the whole time I had this goal of not necessarily like rising to the top of the restaurant, but just being the best chef that I could. And I always wanted to be like a, I always wanted to be a chef that was calm, riight? That that could take on anything that was calm, and before the French Laundry, I wasn't that chef. I was like this sporadic chef when I first got there, the porters had a nickname for me and it was toques , which means like, like I literally just got like electrocuted. and at the end of it, I finally with some very strong mentorship from the people there. I finally achieved my goal…. goal of becoming a really calm chef and I was... I became proud of who I was as a chef and I never medicated the entire time I was there. 

That is an incredible story. I love that. Now here's an interesting question. I've read a lot. I have a lot of friends who worked in restaurants and I've read a lot about restaurants and I've been told that, uh, in the kitchen of the restaurant, it is basically almost every restaurant in the world. Probably not so much French Laundry, but almost every restaurant in the world, there's a drug problem there, right? In that it is very easy to get your hands on, uh, pretty much anything you want, and I would think that for someone, with ADHD, who is, uh, you know, we're sort of behind the eight ball to begin with, did you ever experience that at any of the places you worked and, and, and was the temptation ever there to, you know, to be able to sort of clear your brain go faster or whatever, and how did you, how did you deal with a place where, you know, the foods there, the alcohol…

You know, the French Laundry and honestly, Sea Island does a very good job at this, but the, the French Laundry truly operates at such a high level that you can't, there's no abuse there. You have to be so on point it's like the, um, you know, it's like truly like being like a Navy seal. And so my Dad actually was a drug addict that never recovered, and so I... oh, wow, he, he dealt with it very bad you know, it started as a….you know, cocaine and then into a meth addiction, and so I watched my Dad never recover from that, and so I, I always just completely stayed away from it 

That must've been…. I can imagine how that would just completely be a wake up call to you to, to, to be safe and to be aware.  14:13  Tell me about…. so you, obviously, the cleaning of the, of the freezer was a bad experience. Tell me about some other experiences that you might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you've learned from. 

Well, you know, Peter, I'd love to tell you what I'm doing now. I think you'll be really proud.

We got plenty of time. So, so, so give us one story and then tell us what you're doing now. 

Nice, and so at the, what I, what I truly learned through practicing Zen and at the restaurant and the chef put me on a station called being there's a fish butchering station right? And the French Laundry is a really interesting restaurant. I mean, literally you can, one person can work, you know, like 15, 16 hours a day, five days a week to process all the fish, right? Cause they get so much lobsters, caviar, shellfish. And so I got put on that station and it gave me an opportunity and I was there. I was on the station for two years. Um, and. I, I learned how to utilize my ADD as a superpower by micro focusing on things like super focusing on it, but then writing down the key items in that moment to not forget, and then putting that somewhere where I could go back to. So almost like a great example is we went from being in the French Laundry kitchen and they did this massive renovation, and during the massive renovation, we're working out of these shipping containers and there's about a month period where I actually ended up being the fish butcher and in charge of all the AM… which is like all the prep crew. So every new person in the restaurant and, that was a big accomplishment and achievement on my end that I was always really proud of. And this is actually what led to me getting the Core Award, and I would go in in the morning, I'll get all the fish butcher stuff going, right? And I really learned to… take a project directly to the whole.  Never pretend like, Oh, I'll get the last five minutes of that project. I'll do it in a couple of days. Cause I knew I would forget.  I would 100%, 100% forget, so I  learned to just have that discipline to get a box of fis in,  break the fish down all the way, then put it in the fridge. Put a label on it. It's done. And then when I got put in charge of the —??—what I started doing. At first, I would tell three or four people to do the same thing, and then I would have everyone just running in circles, you know? And then I learned that if I broke it out, literally by the hour, right. And almost down to the minute I could take a list and literally put deliveries coming in at this time, dinner is at this time and I would write everyone's name on it and I'll give everyone direct projects where I could do my projects and then I could manage the entire brigade. And for a long time, we had trouble getting the commis out before 5:00 PM. And then after I set that system up, literally the commis always finished at 5pm, and that's still the same system that they utilize today at the French Laundry.

That's an awesome story. I love that we're getting, so this is probably one of the most powerful interviews I've done in a while in terms of just the amount of, of, uh, con you know, um, and the knowledge that we're getting in terms of what people can do to, to utilize their ADHD. Tell us what you're doing now.

So I left the French Laundry and I had a goal of, you know, rising to the top, but truly just becoming the best chef that I knew I could. And so The French Laundry is the kind of place where you kind of go in, you, you learn as much as you can. I love Chef Keller and he gave me an awesome opportunity. Have to have a reason, gave me an awesome opportunity, but I wanted to create something of my own and watching my Dad in business, I knew how much kind of power there was to being in business, right?  And so you take any restaurant in the world, no matter how high, how hard you worked there and how far you work up the chain. But then you leave that restaurant, you're literally at ground zero. When you start a business, you'll have equity that could be worth something and an athletic career, you have your kind of your, what you're known for, but in a, in a restaurant, truly like you leave and you either have to go get all this money to open up a restaurant. And then by the time you open it, you don't own the restaurant anymore, or you go run someone else's restaurant. And so watching my Dad build his own business, I found it very peculiar, you know? And so I was like, what if we start a business instead of a restaurant? What if we somehow figure out how to start a business instead of a restaurant, becomes successful than they are, and then use that money for one day, start a restaurant, and so I left the restaurant, I took a job working for a guy named Mitch Rouse, who I was on his ranch in Wyoming when we talked and I was, I was still trying to put the pieces together and what exactly I was going to do. And I ultimately decided to start a business called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences . And so our goal was to help chefs source sustainable truffles. And so we started the business. I took all the money we had saved up, which came out to literally 10,000 euros and I got it out in cash, strapped it to my buddy's chefs and sent him to Italy, and had him start sourcing truffles and send them back to me. and then I would literally sell the truffles. And so I started it with my wife, Sarah, and then Tyler, who I worked with at the French Laundry, and we started basically the business hustling truffles to teach ourselves business, and we had this idea that if we sold like 500 pounds of truffles, right?  I don't know if you've ever sat down and done like the preliminary forecast on a business. And you're like, wow, this has been a, we're going to be loaded, and so we started out like that and starting 2018, 2019, we actually landed a deal with https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ for our product line, and we're getting we're ramping up for this and all of a sudden COVID hits. And so when COVID hits, we had 20 pounds of fresh truffles on hand, we had our entire 1000 square foot apartment was stacked floor to ceiling with cases upon cases of truffle salt and truffle, honey that we had made by hand. If we didn't do something, we're going to go, we're going to literally go out of business within like four or five days. And so we launched a virtual cooking class,,, of black truffle risotto. And the first one we did when, uh,—?— within three hours, we completely sold out. And then by the time we did that class, we had thousands of people on. Watching us. And at this time we truly are e-commerce business. We only had like 40 customers and we did this live cooking class where we sent everyone all the ingredients, including the truffles, and we got to see people at home cooking together and in the past, since then, and since that day, that was in March and in the past 12 months, we've actually been able to go from a team of six individuals to now we're a team of 50.  We’re on track this year to do 15million and we actually, three weeks ago, got a deal with https://markcubancompanies.com/  on https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank 

Spectacular man. That is amazing. And you know, it's funny you took, uh, probably the worst possible time, and you turned it into something that really is a highlight of ADHD. That's awesome. And good for you. What a great story. Tell us, um, I'm sorry. 

I had to give you a shout out. Everyone that works with me, I give them a copy, of um, of Faster Than Normal, and I’m  like, this will help you understand what is going on in my brain. 

That makes my day. That's awesome. Thank you, man. That's great. Tell me this. How can people, how can people find you? Where can they go? 

Uh, to do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences  we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a…. a dope company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef,, it’s alot,and it's always a lot of fun. And we'd love to do one with you and your team and your company. And as a gift for me, Peter, just be an honor. 

 

Oh, wow consider it done, man, that goes without saying. Guys, this was an awesome interview. I'd love to have you back Jason, at some point in a few months, see how you guys are doing, how about that?

Absolutely, we’d totally love that. 

Cool… cool... guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. I appreciate it as always. If you liked what you heard, drop us a review. If you have anyone as cool as Jason, let us know, we'd love to have them on the show. My email is https://www.shankman.com/ and don't forget, you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal.  All you have to do is go to the link below that our wonderful producer, Steven Byrom will put in the show notes and you can sponsor using cryptocurrency even... you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal. So we will see you next week. Thank you all for listening, thank you Jason for being here, guys, take care, stay safe. ADHD is a gift, not a curse… so always, always remember that. 

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Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

May 19, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to shank.mn/sponsor. It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to shank.mn/sponsor grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Eliza Orlins is a Manhattan public defender — the only public defender running for District Attorney. She is an outspoken advocate for New York city’s most vulnerable. For nearly a dozen years, she has fought courtroom battles representing over 3,000 New Yorkers who otherwise would not have been able to afford a lawyer. Every day, she sees firsthand how Manhattan’s criminal legal system functions one way for the rich and connected, and another way for everyone else. Eliza has earned a reputation as a relentless champion for the underdog. She has taken on the toughest of fights for the very people our system is most rigged against, including our Black and Brown neighbors and those in lower-income communities. In 2020, Eliza announced her candidacy for Manhattan District Attorney, running on a platform designed to take on the inequities in our system — transforming the criminal legal system in New York in order to make our city safer for everyone. And yes, you guessed it, she’s ADHD too! How does she keep it all together? That’s what we’re talking about today. Enjoy!  

[Eliza’s photo credit:  Juan Patino Photography]

 

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Eliza Orlins discuss:

 

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Eliza

 

3:06  -  On what prompted Eliza to take the not-so-easy path of running for office in NYC and championing those unable to afford even basic services that most take for granted

 

5:58  -  On working for the Legal Aid Society and handling the pace of doing 147 different things at any given moment 

 

9:38  -  On the secrets and advice of keeping your sanity when you’re being pulled into so many different directions, which for those with ADHD isn’t the most ideal situation 

 

11:35  -  On coping mechanisms on a more calm day/downtime.  How do you keep sane?

 

13:11  -  On understanding strengths and weaknesses and how that’s a sign of using your ADHD to your advantage

 

14:08 -  On taking control of helpful devices/tools at your disposal, (phone, calendar, Slack, texts), and which routines are helpful in preventing yourself from getting distracted/staying focused.

 

15:46  -  On the advantage of turning off Notifications

 

17:12  -  On whether or not Eliza is getting any sleep..?

 

19:03  -  How can people find you?  www.ElizaOrlins.com  @ElizaOrlins on Twitter  @EOrlins on INSTA  and @ElizaOrlinsForNY on Facebook

 

19:31  -  Thank you so much Eliza! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

 

20:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal.  We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode!  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k  to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor  grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it. 

——

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here, another episode of Faster Than Normal is coming your way. Do you remember when we interviewed the mayoral candidate guy who was running for mayor in Boston? Probably in 2016 or 17, totally spacing on his name now, but he was in, like Episode like 5 or 6 or something like that, and he was really awesome, and he talked all about how he handles ADHD and, and, and managed to still mount a successful, almost successful campaign for, um, Mayor and I was shocked. Uh I'm like how can people, uh, who have massive ADHD be in politics? It must be so ridiculously difficult to stay focused and to stay organized, and as such, uh, we have another one.  We're talking to Eliza Orlins who is running for public defender from Manhattan District Attorney.  Eliza, thank you for taking the time, I appreciate it. 

Oh, thanks for having me, and thanks for talking about these issues. 

No, no question about it. So, you know, it's, it's fascinating because I was, I was doing my homework on, on, on you as I do on every guest, and you know, you as a public defender, um, you know, you've represented countless New Yorkers in a city that, for lack of a better word, and I say this as someone who was born and raised here, isn't necessarily the kindest and/or the fairest to those who find themselves in the position of being unable to afford the basic services that many of us take for granted.  What… so let's start there. What prompted you to take that track? Cause I know you…. I know you went to Syracuse and you did law school. What prompted you to champion issues like this to begin with? 

All I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a public defender. It was the reason I went to law school. It was the only job I applied for, and it really was something that felt like the most important job, you know, to really fight for people who were treated so unfairly by the system who were treated, um, you know, who were de-humanized to were,,,, just really had the least available to them, and these communities that I've spent my career representing are people who truly are predominantly black and brown people, lower income people, people who are LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and I've seen how the criminal legal system just disenfranchises and marginalizes them and treats  them so unfairly, as opposed to those who have wealth and power and connections. And so I've always wanted to stand up on behalf of people who couldn't necessarily afford to hire an attorney or, you know, even afford services or treatment or other things, and really fight to, um, change. 

One of the things that I've seen, uh, in New York City specifically, and, and then, and I want to get onto the ADHD aspect of this, but one of the things I've seen in New York City, uh, you know, growing up here, I remember I was in high school in the 80’s.  I went to Performing Arts on 65th street, and I remember getting mugged my freshman year or sophomore year of, of school, and um, It was, you know, it was by the kids next door, right. There was LaGuardia was right next to, or still is right next to a…. a lower income housing community. And it was, we were aware of it. And I remember that...I remember going back into school after it happened and, and, and finding the Dean and, and telling him what happened, and I needed to, they took my bus pass, I needed to get home or my train pass and stuff like that, and I remember saying to him, and that this will always stick in my mind for the rest of my life, his name was Mr. Cooney. He was the Dean at Le LaGuardia. I said to him, I said, you know, why didn't they just ask me?  I would have given him money to get home. And I remember he said to me, he goes, that's not what they were after.  They were doing it because they had nothing else to do. And I thought at the time being 15 years old, he meant they were bored. Oh, you have nothing else to do, right?  There's nothing good on TV. What he meant was that was the only lifestyle they knew, and I realized that years later, and it, that was really when I started taking a look at New York City in the light of I'm lucky to live here.  What can I do to improve it for those who don't have the same fortune that I do. And so I love the fact, I love your background, I love your history. Um, tell me about working for  the Legal Aid Society, I imagine, must have been incredible and insane at the same time, because it was probably, you were probably doing, I'm guessing off the top of my head,  147 different things at any given moment. 

So your story of helping people, um, and realizing that from a young age and why we kind of have these different privileges, um, was much more coherent than the one I just told, but it's, it's really true.  It's like, you know, from a young age, this was something that I did recognize. Like I remember, you know, my Mom, I grew up in Manhattan and my Mom would walk me to elementary school and I would see, you know, this was obviously in the, in the, in the early eighties, and I would see people, um, you know, who were experiencing homelessness on the street?  And I would say to my Mom, like, where... where's their home? I don't understand, like... why don't they have a home?  And she said that it was something that I would get so upset almost to the point of tears, that I didn’t get why some people just didn’t have a place to live, and it was something that impacted me from a young age, in understanding that even having a roof over your head, was just a massive, massive  privilege.  Then there were other things in my life, including  having an adopted sister, that made me understand the privilege of having white skin, um, and not, you know, my sister experienced a great deal of racism growing up and, and has throughout her life. Um, and so I recognize the privilege of even just being a white person in New York and in society as well.  Um, and I've seen that throughout my career as a public defender. So yes, working at Legal Aid was, was amazing and has been, um, you know, and that was my dream job, but  really, it's just seeing this system that is cruel, that's unjust, that's racist that doesn't necessarily provide, um, you know, the help and services that people need, but really also doesn't work for those who are survivors of crimes, it doesn't do anything to make people whole, again, it doesn't provide accountability. It doesn't, you know, all the, the, the system has, is a hammer, and so everything looks like a nail.

It's funny you say that. That was when COVID started on and the gym's closed down, II bought two kettlebells and that was my quote.  Uh, when all you have is two kettlebells, it's the same thing. Everything doesn't look, you know, you start doing exercises just because you have literally have nothing else, nowhere else you can go to do, let me, let me ask you this. My Mother and Father were both public school teachers, um, in New York City schools, my mom spent 30, ah, years, uh, teaching in the South Bronx, um, at a junior high school at a public junior high school, IS139  and from a very young age, he'd take me up there on days that I didn't have school or whatever and I would watch her and the one thing I always was amazed at was how she was able to do so many things at the same time. She clearly does not have ADHD. Um, she gave birth to someone who does, but she does not. And the one thing that I always noticed about her was she had a black book and she carried it everywhere she went, and this was, you know, pre-Palm Pilot, pre-cellphone, everything. She carried this book, and every time she finished a project, whether it was helping a student or teaching a class or whatever, she'd written it down in her calendar and she crossed it off with a black pen with vigor, like ripped the hell out of that, uh, you know, just crossed it off  til there was nothing there, and that I came to learn was her... uh, um, that was how she kept her sanity, right? When she had 50 things to do in a day, plus direct a chorus, plus give a concert, she would cross these things off when they were done, and that was how she kept her sanity.  As someone who is self-proclaimed ADHD as we just talked about, um, you are, you have always been in, in, in working for the public good. You are in that same situation, not only where you are doing 150 things, but you probably don't have all the resources you could need or all the resources  you could want, less than you need. What are your secrets? What are your, you know, to our audience? Who are everyone from adults to kids, to students, to, to teachers, to parents with ADHD?  What can you tell them? What advice can you give them for how to keep their sanity when they are being pulled in a million different directions, which is not necessarily the best thing for someone with ADHD. 

Well, I think I’m…. first of all, I, I would say that as these things go, I'm extremely lucky. I was, um, diagnosed at 16 and that is pretty young. I know a lot of people don't necessarily find out that they have ADHD until later on in life, and it's something that they struggle with. But there are still things that I'm learning on a day-to-day basis as to ways in which my ADHD manifests. Um, but I think that one of the most important things that I have found, and that really enables me to, you know, enabled me to do my job as a public defender for the last dozen years and enables me to be a candidate for office, is finding something that you have a passion for, because I think without that drive and desire, any task would be extremely difficult for me. And so really having something that I have, like this deep passion for, that my motivation and focus is there knowing that I'm fighting on behalf of the greater good and that this is urgent, that there are people's lives at stake. You know, I think I have friends who are, who have ADHD, who are trauma surgeons, who are, you know, who, who are in these high intensity, high paced jobs, but that ones that they feel extremely passionate about, and I think that that's something that, um, that works well for, you know, at least for me as, as a coping mechanism.  

I feel that... that I've heard that a lot.  We are...ADHD people are the ones you want next to you when the room catches on fire, but when the room is not on fire and it's just a calm, normal day, sometimes that's what screws us up. So what is your sort of go-to coping mechanism when you're not running around? What is, what does your Saturday look like?  What does your early morning look like? Are you, uh, are you a workout person? Do you get your dopamine from that? How do you keep yourself sane when you're not being pulled in a hundred million different directions? 

I don't know… what, what do you mean not being pulled in a hundred directions? Is that a…. I'm not, I don't, I'm not familiar with that phrase.  Um, if you could define, um, no, but I mean, these days, uh, I'm, you know, just over a month out from election day, so I am constantly being pulled in a million directions and the thing that has been so incredible about, uh, being a candidate, is that I don't have to do the thinking about certain hard things, like figuring out my schedule, Oh, when should I do this?  When should I do that? And I have other people who just make my schedule and it's like, Eliza, do this, do this, having something that's ultra structured is really helpful for me saying, okay, now it's time for you to work on this., now it's time for you to talk to this person, now it's time for you to do this interview, and I just have to be the person who shows up and does the thing I think is. Really actually, it turns out great for me with these clearly defined tasks, with a specific workflow, with a routine, um, that is, is I think a great way to handle it. 

Well, if you notice, you know, I didn't book you, right? I turned that over to Megan because 14 years ago she took write access away from me, from my calendar, um, literally I went to schedule something and it didn't work, and I said, hey, it's not working. She's no, no it's working for me and that was the last time I ever was able to put anything in my calendar, but you're right. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses are the sign of someone who, how, who... who's able to use their ADHD to their advantage.

Yeah, I completely agree and I think that, you know, being someone who has this creative, you know, my mind is always racing. I'm always thinking of ideas, but having people around who I can just  you know, Slack the idea to and they’re like, okay, we'll take it from here, Eliza. That's a great idea. But like, we'll now execute it.  um, because I think sometimes the... the challenge that I've had is like really, um, like I'll, I'll, I'll have a great idea. It'll take it to a certain level and then, It's that procrastination with actually completing projects. 

 

Last question, because this is... actually brings up an interesting point. You mentioned I'll Slack it to them and they'll take care of it.  Do you find that the, how, how do you let, how should I phrase this? How do you let the tools you have at your disposal with  phone, your calendar, your Slack communications, texts. How do you make sure that you are controlling those devices as opposed to letting those devices control you? For instance, you know, when I am sitting at my desk and working my notifications on almost everything are off, the only people who can get to me are my daughter's, Mom and my parents, right or, you know, at my daughter's school, um, I don't allow the dings and the, and the, and the beeps because I'll never get anything done. So in, in a completely on... 24/7 world that we are in, what's your, what's the routine that you use to prevent yourself from, you know, okay, I'm writing this piece, I'm doing this, I'm having this interview.  It's great, oh look, something shiny. How do you prevent the shiny?

Well, thankfully I have an amazing team and they, they are very protective of my time and they schedule it and they say, okay, you know, between this time and this time you can do X, but yeah, it's, it's completely true. There are things that pop up and I get distracted easily and, and, you know, really think about, I'm like, oh wait, I should, I really want to do this, or, oh, this message came in, and, um, so yeah, I do have the, I have all social media notifications off, um, on my phone, on my computer, I check plenty. Um, so I'm not actually going to miss something and I find that those notifications, even if it's a dopamine hit in the moment, are incredibly distracting., so I don't have any of those notifications on, um, and if people need to reach me, they can reach me. I'm still always checking everything, but, um, but really making sure that the time is protected, um, so that I can get the tasks done that I need to get done.  

And I would suggest if someone running for Manhattan District Attorney can do that... to my audience, there's absolutely no reason why you can't shut off your notifications. 

I know I, no, but listen, it is, it's certainly a challenge in being controlled by your device. I mean, this is something that now that it's work now that like being on social media sometimes is part of the, you know, being a candidate and making sure that things do get up and that they're posted and that I'm engaging, etc., is part of the job, it actually has become less, um, of something that's like a temptation to just sit there and waste an hour scrolling through Instagram, for example.  That used to be something that I found myself doing mindlessly, and now, because it's work, it's, it's like I don't have time to do that, and it doesn't tempt me as much, if that makes sense. 

No, it makes... it makes perfect sense, and I think that at the end of the day, you know, we have to set our own parameters because if we don't have those, we just, you know, there’s…. there's too many it's, it's elimination of choice in a lot of ways. There's, there's, you know, I have, um, uh, two, two sides in my closet, right?  One says office and they're literally labeled one, says ‘Office/Travel” and it’s T-shirts and jeans, and the other says “Speaking /TV, and it's a button down shirt, jacket, and jeans, and that's it, right? Everything else is in my daughter's closet, cause if I had to go every day, Oh, that sweater. I remember that sweater, I wonder….Michelle gave me that, how is she doing? I should look her up. Three hours later I'm on Face., looking on Facebook, naked, and I haven't left the house. So you have to sort of put those rules into play. So you're a month out. Let me ask you the final question then we'll cut it. Are you getting enough sleep?

No, no, definitely not, that's always been a challenge for me. And, um, now even moreso, and so I don't have good advice, you know, everyone says, don't sleep with your phone in your room. I've done that, but I've never stuck with it. Um, they say, you know, don't be on the screens for the hour leading up to bedtime.  Obviously I don't stick with that. Um, you know, there are a lot of things that I think I could be doing, which I am not. Um, so I am not the model on that. Uh, but I do think that, you know, for, especially in these short periods, um, even though I've been doing this for the last year or so, it's, uh, it's been very intense, but I do think that there are ways to, um, to do this for a short period of time, and then hopefully, uh, post-election, I'll get a little bit of rest, um,, before the general, but you know, after, after spending my entire career as a public defender and representing thousands of people charged with crimes, and I'm really seeing the way in which that.. who your District Attorney is, impacts the lives of so many people, I know just how important this is, and so, you know, I'm, I'm more than willing to forego sleep. Um, and I, you know, a lot of other things to make sure that we don't end up with another career prosecutor who's going to continue to lock people up with reckless abandon, um, and destroy families and ruin lives, uh, and just perpetuate this cruel unjust system.  Uh, so that's, that's what I'm fighting for and I know how important it is. 

So yeah, this last, this last little push is, is so critical. 

Understood listen, Eliza Orlins for Manhattan attorney. Best of luck in, in the last few weeks remaining.  I do hope you're able to get a little sleep and, uh, we will be following.  We'd love to have you, regardless of what happens, we'd love to have you back on after the election and talk about what you learned. 

Of course, of course, and people can, can, you know, make a contribution if they can, every dollar matters, we're running a grassroots campaign. Um, they can go to https://elizaorlins.com and if not monetary, they can donate their time. We need volunteers, we need phone bankers and tax bankers and people to join us, and we're doing virtual and in-person volunteering.  

Looking at the website right now.  Eliza, thank you again so much for taking the time. I appreciate it.

Of course, thank you!

Guys...Peter Shankman, Faster Than Normal... as always another episode every week, we appreciate all of our guests. We'll be making a donation to a charity... in, on her behalf, of the New York City Mayor's office for, uh, animal, uh, protection and help get some homeless pets off of the street. So thank you for that Eliza, and have a wonderful day everyone, we will see you all next week, very soon. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neuro-diversity, try to remember that, see you soon. 

 

 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week.   [Eliza Orlins photo credit: Juan Patino Photography]

May 12, 2021

Siri Dahl is an AVN Nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Daily Beast. Originally known as just "Siri," she took a five-year hiatus in 2015, before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020. Siri is also a powerlifter, Twitch streamer, podcast host, and proud mom to two very spoiled black cats. She splits her time between Louisville and Los Angeles. Enjoy!

---------- 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Siri Dahl discuss:

1:41  -  Intro and welcome Siri 

3:32  -  Where you grew up?  When did you get into the industry and how did all that happen?

4:50  -  On what prompted your 5-year hiatus

7:45 -  On the increase in numbers of people being on Only Fan sites, and showing their own content.  Do you think it has democratized adult content in any way?  

9:25  -   On your income being 75 to 80% sourced by Only Fans.  Is that still accurate?

11:45  -  On legitimation of the adult entertainment industry

13:19 -  On any concerns of buyout versus traditional earning forms   

15:40  -  How did you get into NFT’s and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps 

17:00  -  On NFT’s (what they are, etc)

20:04  -  On back-up plans of how to reach your fans – another avenue besides social media, to get in touch with them

21:20  -  On what makes you the happiest in life?

23:00  -  On running your own business and staying on track

23:50  -  How can people find you?  Check out her After Adult Podcast here! Website: www.SiriDahl.com Socials:  @therealsirips on Twitter  @therealsiri.ps on INSTA  and SiriDahl on Twitch

24:06  -  Thank you Siri Dahl! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

25:12  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. If that's the normal, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet. And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode.  Head over to shank.mn/sponsor  - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton. We've had  Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week. So head over to shank.mn/sponsor.  Grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you. Thanks for listening.  Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it. 

You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe from every walk of life, in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis and use it to their personal and professional advantage.  To build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who usually can be found singing in the gym at 5:15 AM Peter Shankman. 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman here, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. This one is going to be a little different.  What I have found in my life of having ADHD, and then in the past five or six years of talking to hundreds of people who are neurodiverse, is that among other things, we are incredibly passionate. We are incredibly passionate about what we do. We are incredibly passionate about how we do it, and goddamnit, we are not going to stop until every single person around us knows why we're passionate about what we do and how we do it. So every once in a while, we bring someone on the podcast who is not ADHD or ADD or neuro-diverse, but all, but who is passionate in some way or another. And I find fascinating, so I am thrilled that today's one of those episodes. I want you to meet Siri Dahl. Siri is an AVN, and if you don't know what that is, that's adult video news...  is an adult video news nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star, who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has,  get this... has been featured in such publications as  The Atlantic, the The New York Times  and The Daily Beast. I came across her when I was reading The Daily Beast, one of the, one of the like five or six things I have a paid subscription to… get a paid subscription to, The Daily Beast their content is really good, and I was reading. I'm like, I happen to know her PR person. I reached out to her PR person, and I'm like, dude, you, you, you did a great job ghostwriting. And he's like, no, she wrote this. I'm like, damn, she's good. So she was originally known just as Siri. She did a five-year hiatus in 2015 before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020, get this she's a powerlifter.  She’s a power lifter.  She is a Twitch streamer, podcaster host, podcast host, and proud mom of two very spoiled black cats.  She splits her time between Louisville and we all know my thoughts on Louisville, thanks to the 2014 Ironman…. and LA. Siri., welcome to Faster Than Normal, it’s great to have you.  

Thank you for having me.  

Awesome, so I want to get into sort of the things you do and how you do them, but let's start with your backstory.  Tell us where'd you grow up? How'd you grow up? When did, when did you get into the industry? Tell us in, you know, your 20 words or less bio, how'd that happen? 

So I'm originally from Minnesota,  was born in Minnesota, lived there about half my life. Uh, well it's no longer half cause I'm 32 now, but I lived in Minnesota till about middle school age, then moved to the suburbs of Ft. Worth, Texas and I lived there from basically until halfway through college. Uh, and then in 2012 is when I moved to LA, started working in the adult industry, and I was active in the adult industry, uh, from 2012 to 2015, then I retired and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, um, which I was very, uh, I hid that for a long time.  It was like, I don't want anyone to know I live in Louisville, but in the past like year I've been like, okay, I, I just say it. Well, cause I'm proud of it because it's a great city and I like it here despite what you think Peter.

It was a great city, until I was there at 104 degrees, racing in an Iron Man, you know, I'm drinking a bourbon…... and……. bats and yeah, but no, it was awesome until, until, until the 140 degree day.  All right, so you took a five-year hiatus.  What prompted that? 

Uh, well, actually it's funny cause you, or your podcasts, you talk about neurodiversity and while I... I've, I've never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. I've had a lot of people close to me in my life, some who have ADHD be like, yeah, you probably have. Who knows anyway. Uh, but I, I was, I've always been a depressed person. Like I've always dealt with like clinical depression. It's a thing that just runs in my family pretty, pretty strongly. Um, and it was kind of a combination of things in around 2014 and early 2015 that led me to retire, and probably the biggest one was that I was, uh, I used to be married. I was in a very bad, like, uh, just like a toxic relationship, that I needed to get away from, and due to the stigma of choosing a career in adult film, my relationship with my family was really rocky, and I basically didn't really talk to most of my even like immediate family members for about three years. Um, and I really needed to figure out a way to like, fix all that. So it got, it led me to a place where I was very depressed and the only way I saw that I could really try to make things better was to just kind of like, hit a reset button. 

Yep. 

So I left adult, I got divorced and I moved to a totally different state that I'd never even lived in before all at the same time 

So did you just literally like, throw a dart at a map and say, oh it landed on Louisville, let's go?

Uh, kind of, like I had some family here. 

 

And I know, I know it’s Louisville. Not, not, not Louisville. Um, all right. So let's, let's fast forward. So. The past 16 months of hell that we've all been in, um, has given birth to several new industries, and I would even argue, legitimize several new industries. Um, you know, I can tell I, I'm pretty sure that there are thousands of people around the country who, four years ago said, there's no way in hell I would ever own a Peloton. And here we are, um, you know, on the flip side, um, Only Fans and they say, they say that they say that to build a billion dollar business. It's, you know, 1% a good idea and 99% being in the right place at the right time, right? Only Fans was in the right place at the right time, and it didn't originally start with adult, but much like much like everything on the internet, you know, it, it, it sort of gravitated toward where's the, where the money was. I mean, hell, JPEGs and animated gifs started because of a dog. So, you know, sort of shockwave and almost everything you can pick up,  um, you have been a very vocal proponent of Only Fans, and, uh, people using it. Now you are granted, uh, one of the top, whatever percent, I'm sorry. I don't know your... your rank on Only Fans, but I know that there is, there is a, there is a, uh, I know a couple of other adult stars who are in the top...

It’s pretty high, I don't advertise my rank….

2 or  3% or whatever it is, um, and with that, there are, there are thousands of men and women on, uh, joining Only Fans and using Only Fans and, and, and showing content every single day. Do you think, I guess the first question I'd ask is, has it democratized adult content in any way?

Uh, yeah, a hundred percent like, and, and it's, I have such an interesting perspective on this, I think because of having been retired and, uh, you know, I'm not sure precisely when Only Fans kind of became a mainstream thing as far as like adult performers wanting to use it. Um, but I know that it was popular among adult performers before COVID, you know, it's just that because of the nature of what COVID has been like for everyone it's really exploded a lot in the last year. Um, but I, I, you know, it's been crazy for me having, like retired in 2015 and I just like walked away from the industry and I didn't really like have anything to do with anything else. Like, I was very much not in the public eye and then just kinda like springing back into it in 2020 and seeing, uh, how much things have changed, and a lot of it is because of Only Fans and there are similar platforms to Only Fans that have a hand in it as well. But like Only Fans is definitely the biggest one. Um, it has essentially put the power back into the hands of the content creators who are, you know, the, the performers themselves, as opposed to us relying on some giant studio to hire us, right?  Like... I, yeah, it Only Fans is the reason that I can live where I live and I don't really have to depend on going out to LA for work. Like I do go out there, but it's when I choose to, right? 

Yeah, exactly, you told the Rab?? 75 to 80% of your income is actually coming from Only Fans.  Is that still accurate? 

Yep. So yeah, it's, it's accurate. It's exciting, but it's also scary. 

I mean, you're putting a lot of eggs in one basket for lack of a better term. Now what's interesting about that is that a whole series of performers, um, have launched their career on Only Fans, and I guess they're kind of at a point where it's like, okay, what's the next step from there, right?  So, I mean, I'm not talking about, I'm even talking about the concept of, of legitimizing adult entertainment. You know, I, before, before porn was put unquote free on the internet, one of my first PR clients in 2003, it was a company called, um, New Frontier Media. Um, they….

I know, remember that's an older company…

There’s, you know, and they were based out of Boulder, and I remember, uh, getting them under the cover of, of, of Forbes magazine, you know, and it was this, it was this phenomenal. So I was, I would go to the Wall Street Journal and say, hey, I have this client who's kicking the crap out of their biggest competitor and you know, like an 80/20% margin, you should really talk to them. Oh, wow. That sounds amazing. What do they do? They're an adult entertainer. Wow. We can't, we can't do that. You know? And I'm like, but if it was furniture you'd have no problem with it, so I'm not really getting the hypocritical vibe here. And so, I…. do you think that Only Fans and things similar to that has sort of even more so legitimized adult entertainment as a, not only a viable, I mean, because look, let's face it, adult entertainment's been around forever. It's it's, it's how it's talked about versus how it's used is an entirely, you know, unrelated. I used to have great stats back when they back when New Frontier would, would sell to hotels, right? Exactly what percentage of hotels, uh, what percentage of, of, of revenue hotels were making for a dollar entertainment and it was literally was more than room service, it's crazy. Um, you know, back then. So, so I think it's in a way Only Fans legitimized adult entertainment in, in more than anything else ever has because everyone has the ability to do it. You don't have to go to LA,  you don't have to worry about being taken advantage of by a shady producer, none of that no longer exists. So tell, talk to me about that. Talk to me about the concept of, of legitimization. 

Uh, it absolutely has legitimized it in a lot of ways. Uh, I know that for example, you know, just the willingness of people to join and Only Fans, like back in 2012, if you like Google, like Siri, Siri, pornstar like, I mean, you're going to find a lot of adult stuff, but like I did a lot of writing for the website Quora back in like 2013, I was actually one of their best writers in 2013.  A lot of the stuff that I wrote had to do with like, anti-piracy like, and the concept of like paying for your porn and back then in 2013, 2014, like that was just, I mean, you know, this is like at the height of like PornHub and tube sites and PornHub back then had no monetization options for models, so there's been such a massive shift in the mentality of even just fans or people who follow adult performers, or like, honestly, just content creators in general, because you've got, you know, a website, like Only Fans where it's like, people can subscribe to me for like, just over $6 a month and that seems a lot more tolerable than the old model of joining a porn website, and it's 20, 30 bucks a month. And like, you feel like you're giving your credit card information away to some trading company, a lot of the time, right? So it's absolutely like, made it feel more mainstream, you know, nothing about, and Only Fans is clever about the way that they advertise, like on a corporate level, they do not actually advertise or own the fact that they are an adult related company. You know, if you ask them, they would say, we're for content creators, we don't specialize in porn, but like, we also know that most of the people on there are right. 

So does Tumbler….

Right. 

So that brings up an interesting question though. Um, do you get concerned about the fact that one day, Only Fans might say, you know what, now granted it's suicide for them to do that, right, but assuming there's a buyout or someone wants to own them and build something else and they just come out one day and say, you know what? No more adult. What happens to essentially an entire economic ecosystem?

Yeah, I think that that's not only likely, but it's probably inevitable that that would happen because it's happened, And it, it, honestly, it happens just about to all websites that become super large, that do, at some point accommodate adult performers. It's like, it will, it will flip over to where they don't welcome sex workers anymore, and that it's, terrifying to think about. I honestly, I just bought a house with mostly... with my Only Fans income, so I'm trying to not think about it. Cause it's, it's a scary thing to think about. Uh, but you know, I've got to do it. All the other people who survive off only pans have got to do, which is, come up with a contingency plan, right? Um, yeah, like most of my eggs are in that basket, but that's not really by choice.  That's just cause that's where the money is and that's where the fans want to be, so until something else comes along, that's even remotely comparable, that's kind of where all my businesses, that being said though, like, I'm very mindful about the fact that like, Ooh, okay, this is great right now, but it probably won't last because the adult industry sees this type of churn constantly with like, you know, the new website that is great while it lasts and then either via legislation or like outside attack, you know, something happens. And sometimes it is just the company itself being like, Oh, we sold now, now we're kicking you off. Like, that's what Tumbler did, you know? 

But you're looking so, so what's interesting about that is that you've sort of, I guess in a lot of ways, you're, you're looking at this long-term perspective, like you did just buy a house, um, and I read that you, you moved into an NFT. So you're looking towards the future. What do you see as the future of adult entertainment Um, with the assumption that something like Only Fans or whatever, cause, you know, look when, when Only Fans does... decide to do that, you know, that 97% of the people Only Fans haven't even talk about what they're having for lunch today, let alone that far into the future, right? Yeah. So it would seem that you're sort of putting together those contingency plans to begin with.  So how'd you get into NFTs and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps? 

Um, well, crypto in general, I'm glad you brought that up because crypto, I think is going to be a huge benefit for the adult industry, like there's been a push a lot in adult to, start integrating crypto more since 2013, but it still hasn't really like fully taken off. Um, but I think the biggest reason for us as an industry to go in a direction more toward crypto is just because we're, we’re very discriminated against by financial institutions and that's not going to end any time soon. You know, we already saw the MasterCard and Visa halt their payment processing for PornHub back in December, that's still not back, like we still don't have that capability, which is that's about $2,000 a month out of my pocket. As soon as they stopped doing that, yeah. And that's not even what I like depend on to live, but for a lot of people, it was.  So that was a huge blow, losing, uh, PornHub payments, and at any point, MasterCard and Visa could do the exact same thing with Only Fans. So if Only Fans goes down, it might not even be because they sell to another company. It could legitimately just be because MasterCard just., and it throws the hammer down on them.

You have you, I saw the NFT for those who don't know, then an NFT  is a fungible token. It's essentially, uh, you're creating a digital piece of artwork of any kind and someone owns you can purchase the right to that. If you all know the, the, the meme of the girl looking behind and smiling at the fire. She sold that original image, uh, the rights, that original image for half a million dollars, so not bad for a four year old at the time. Now she's 18, but, um, 

She's an adult now….

 ...that brings it, that brings up a secondary question. Um, right now, there is a lot, you know, look you have, you have, you have Elon Musk go on SNL and don't get me started on Musk, but you have him go on SNL, and he, he, he makes a joke about Doge and the, the, the, the, the crypto currency drops, you know, 40%, right?  And then you having him say the next day, oh, but it's OK, because we're going to, self-fund a satellite by a Doge and send that to, to space.. and it blows up again. I mean, I, I own Bitcoin. I started buying it at a hundred bucks a share. We had a hundred bucks going, granted. I sold it a thousand bucks a coin I've yet to get over that, and I'm fine. But, um, yeah, thanks. But, um, yeah, I'm not looking for your pity, but on the flip side of own, like going for years, I'm going to theory for a while. So, I mean, I believe in it, however, If we're still even just what I said, right. I bought it at a hundred bucks a year and sold a thousand bucks. I'm still comparing it to, in order to compare it to anything, you have to compare it to the dollar, right? You don't say that I bought a thousand dollars and it's worth 14, uh, camera lenses. Right? You, you, you don't compare the dollar to anything. You have to compare crypto still to the dollar and companies or countries, Wall Street… they don't, they're not huge fans of people deciding to create their own economies, riight? They lose understandably. Yeah. There is. There's been talk, I've talked to several people who work, who deal in a lot of crypto, like I do with my own coin and you know, we're like, well, what happens if the US decides to ban it? Do we leave, right?  I mean, it's a global economy, you can't say, but what happens is, you know, what happens if, if, if you start accepting, you know, let's say you have your own coin, uh, your own creator, coin, uh, Siri, or Dahl or whatever. and all of a sudden you have X hundred thousand dollars in it, and you're no longer allowed to take it out in the US right? So I think the issue is, I agree with you, the crypto is the future, but I think it's as scary if not more so than what you're dealing with. Only Fans right now, because. It's, you know, I understand why drug dealers deal only cash. Right? I get that now, you know, um, 

 

a trust issue, 

 

it is a hundred percent the trust issue, and, and if, if all of a sudden that goes away, right. Everything you've worked for is gone. Um, I always tell people who, you know, they build up these massive followings on Facebook and Twitter. And I go, guys, if you don't have these people's email addresses, Facebook or Twitter can easily one day say we don't like you and you've just lost everything you've worked for for 10 years. Right. So, so in terms of a backup plan, there, you have a ton of fans and Only Fans. Do you have a way to get to them? 

Um, Only Fans doesn't really provide us that, so, yup. That's another, it's like Only Fans is a great platform, but there are some serious downsides. One of them is lack of data, lack of insights into….I don't know, who's subscribing to me, you know, I don't get it. I don't, I get way less insights than any other social media platform. And it's, it's one of those things where it's like kind of silly that Only Fans does it that way, but they do it that way because it benefits them, but not the creators. So, uh, and, and yeah, um, like, I feel the same thing when it comes to, it's funny that you mentioned that like the, the fact that like at any moment, you know, if your account gets deleted on social media, like I have, you know, 570,000 Instagram followers. and if I get deleted, what, you know, now the closest thing I have is like, I have, uh, my, my main website, Siridahl.com, which is really just like a merch store, but like I have a mailing list that people can sign up through, through there, and then I also have my own discord server that I started as a way to like keep in touch with my Twitch subscribers, to let them know when my streams are coming up and stuff. But now I'm just allowing anyone to join it because it's a fantastic, like fail safe in case I lose access to any of these other channels.

What makes you that... let's completely switch topics here because I want to be respectful of time, we have about four minutes. What makes you the happiest? Um, other than your two cats, obviously.

Yeah, um, just like being able to create my own daily reality. It’s what makes me the happiest, it’s one of the reasons that I really love what I do for a job, it's like, you know, it's I, you, you read my Daily Beast piece, so you know what I say in there, but like, a lot of people look at someone who's in the adult industry and they think, oh, you just have sex on, on, in front of a camera and then you get paid, and it's like, that's literally, I like almost never do that. Like, like the last time I flew out to LA and was on a professional set, was over two months ago. The last time I actually filmed like a sex shoot on my own even was about a month and a half ago. Like I, most of what I do is. More akin to like, um, just general content creator stuff, or even like customer service, like, cause I, I respond to a lot of messages from fans on Only Fans. So a lot of the time I feel like I'm just, you know, being paid to just like shoot the shit with people, which is fantastic. And I love it, but I love being in control of my, what I do every day. What time I wake up, what time I go to bed? Like my own schedule. It's all under my control, I'm a business owner, that's great. 

That being said. And as the last question, what keeps you, from going off the rails like for instance, if I don't, I have to I'm in the same boat as you. I can go do whatever I want today, right. I could go sit on this couch and watch 14 episodes in a row King of the Hill. I probably shouldn't do that, right? So I have rules in place that allow me to be productive. You know, I get enough sleep, you know, I try to eat healthy. I,...I have to work out every morning, things like that. 23:00  --  What are your rules that keep you from, you know, when you do work for yourself and no one's telling you, Hey, you have to do this or that. What's keeping you on track. 

Um, well, powerlifting is the biggest one. Uh, for me that's been power lifting is the biggest one. I started seriously powerlifting, powerlifting in general, about five years ago, but I got really serious about it two years ago when I hired like, like a, a really good coach. Um, and so I've done a couple of competitions, but that's something that it's like my, my, my week, it feels totally off kilter. If I don't have access to a gym, if I can't actually go do a proper, like, you know, training schedule. Um, so that's honestly like the biggest thing. And other than that, like, I. I, uh, I definitely have a huge issue with like procrastination. So it's very easy for my life to go off the rails if I'm not being extremely careful, um, I just, I just set reminders. I have so many reminders of, I have to like remind myself to like literally do everything. I love to set a reminder to take a shower, otherwise I'll forget, so technology helps. 

I believe it. Well, listen, Siri, thank you so much. Uh, siridahl.comYep. Siri, Dahl.com 

 

And you’re on Instagram, you're everywhere, follow her guys, she is phenomenal. The stories she tells, the content she creates is, is over the top grade. And I'm a huge fan and I love, I want to see more of your writing. I hope that you will continue to write op-eds, they are so good and they are so powerful. The things that you're saying are just so needed to be said. So I think it's great. Uh, stick around after we say goodbye. Guys, my name is Peter Shankman, this is Faster Than Normal. I really appreciate you listening as always. And as I mentioned it to you earlier, or you probably heard earlier on the ad, there is a way for you to sponsor this episode. If you go to shank.mn/sponsor you can pay for an ad in cryptocurrency, and it's actually a lot easier than you think, so I encourage you guys to check that out. We will see you next week as always. Thank you for listening. I love you guys, ADHD and all forms of neuro-diversity are gifts, not curses, treat them as such, we'll talk to you soon. 

 

 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Apr 28, 2021

Will Henshall is a Los Angeles based tech entrepreneur, inventor and music producer. He was the founding member and main writer in the UK pop soul band Londonbeat. Their massive early 90s hit ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’ reached #1 in the Billboard chart and was the top selling single in all major territories and won him BMI/PRS songwriter of the year. In the mid 90s, he founded San Francisco based audio tech company Rocket Network. The "DigiDelivery" media transfer system, now part of ProTools 12 Cloud collaboration, is a standard tool used everyday in pro audio production for TV, movies and music. He sold the company to Avid in 2003. His most recent start up is www.focusatwill.com, a science driven instrumental music streaming service (2m users) that helps people at work and study reduce distractions and be more productive. He holds 5 patents, and has a new one in the oven! Today we talk about how anyone who isn’t boring probably has ADHD! Just kidding, sort of, enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Will Henshall discuss:

 

   :50  -  Intro and welcome Will!!

3:15  -  So you moved from the Musicbiz into Tech?  Ref:  Avid Cloud Collaboration

5:44  -  About how www.focusatwill.com came to be

8:40  -  Ref:  Dr. Ned Hallowell  Dr. Evian Gordon

13:05 -  On the percentage of users that are either ADHD or ADD or other?

16:16  -  Ref:  Left Field Labs 

18:35  -  How do we continue to prove to people that this works!? On next steps for Focus At Will

21:52  -  How can people find you?  Write to him! Will@FocusAtWill.com Website: www.FocusAtWill.com Socials:  @focusatwill on INSTA  Twitter  Facebook

22:39  -  Thank you Will Henshall! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

23:08-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter Shankman.  Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal.  I’m thrilled that you’re here, as always, we tend to make ADHD a gift, not a curse, and we want you to see that as well. You know, it's funny every once in a while, when someone asks, “Hey, can I come on your podcast?” Is it, they have a good story? And I say sure, that sounds great, and  I have my assistant collect their background, and their bio and their, and their headshot and all that, and because of ADHD, I usually look at it in about four seconds before the interview. And, um, I had, I'd known about my guests and about his project called  https://www.focusatwill.com/  I had known about him for a while. It's a…. it's a,  it's a science driven, instrumental music streaming service with over 2 million users, it helps people work and study.  It reduces distractions, and be more productive. But what I didn't know about Will Henshall, until I read his bio and literally, pardon my French lost my shit. He was the founding member and main writer of the UK pop soul band, London Beat. And if you don't remember London Beat, perhaps…. Will is going to play a little, a little clip of London Beats,  their number one song that you will, you will totally remember…. that blew my mind.  So at some point, at some point, Will,,, you will play?  

First of all, thank you for that fantastic introduction. Second of all, yeah. (plays clip of song…) I've been thinking about you too, Peter.  (plays clip of song…)  This was number one all over the world in the nineties. I was the guitarist and I was the white guy. 

I can’t… oh my God. I……

I wasn't even, so, I mean, that was the thing. I looked at your picture and I'm like, wait, I can swear everyone in that group was black and I watched the video again and surely enough, there you are. 

We always took photographs in a way that the skin tone wasn't particularly obvious. 

Oh my God. I mean, I remember that sounds like it was yesterday.  It's still one of my all time favorites. It's on my it's on my running mix.  I'm going to go out…. I'm going out for a run after this, uh, after this interview, and ...he's pulled out the guitar, here we go. 

Um, yeah, for viewers at home, uh, without, people listening (plays guitar) Yeah, it’s a solo, not particularly well played, cause it's early in the morning for me. 

 

It is indeed, and I appreciate you taking the time to come on this early. You know, it's funny. I, we, we could spend it if we don't, if we don't switch topics, we can talk all day about how much I love that song, but don’t,,,,, that was your thing, OK, you did that, and then, and then you went to, you went to tech, right? So you had a company also that you, you, um, uh, let me, let me, let me see if I got this right. You had Rocket Network. Yeah, was, was, became part of ProTools. 

Yep. 

And then Pro Tools was sold to Abbott... 

Uh, yes, not quite in that order.

OK, something like that.

Avid, done Pro Tools and then Rocket Network, which is a company I founded in 94. We raised just under $50 million in the 90’s, um, Paul Allen and Cisco, and a bunch of other investors, and we created something that is now https://www.avid.com/pro-tools/cloud-collaboration so if anybody knows Pro Tools or media editing tools, they're the kind of the standards in the entertainment business, for making media and, um, yeah, you're probably using our tech. The first projects that used the technology in the back in the day were Eric Clapton, Prince, and then, uh, Peter Jackson's new movie. Um, and, uh, I think Harry Potter's first….

So, no one's special is what you're saying...

Yeah, and it was very cool, it was a system that, um, shipped around the component pieces of professional audio, various securely, so that…

Unbelievable, if I remember correctly, Avid…. actually, it started out as a company called Diva and Diva was just Avid, uh, spelled backwards. And they had a group who started DIVA, started in Boston.

That's right. 

And I worked… I interned for them. I helped them, uh, create, uh, like their first logo, one of their first logos back in like 92.  Yeah. My RA, the RA, my dorm, uh, worked for them and, and he's like, Hey, you know, you know, computers, come, come make a logo. And yeah. Yeah, definitely. Ridiculously small world. 

Yes, I come from a, you know, yeah., you, you, you mentioned.  Yes. I was, uh, uh, a musician and we had, we had, uh, uh, many hits over the years as the best known one. Um, I quit the band in ‘94 and I come from a long series of British inventors.  My brother was an inventor….... my Dad's an inventor, my Grandfather, my Great-Grandfather and, um, so it's kind of built in. I remember always like my Granddad saying that door handles in the wrong place, or you know, that this is not yeah. who designed this can opener, you know? Uh, so it's kind of in the brain and because I was always interested in digital things early and particularly digital audio, it led me perfectly into a place where I met Matt Mueller and a couple of other guys, and we founded Rocket Network. Actually I've got five patents, my name's on five patents, which I'm very proud of. 

5:44 It is very cool. Yes, yeah. alright. I want to, I…. I can talk about this all day. Let's, you know, there's a podcast for the neuro-diverse let's talk about https://www.focusatwill.com/  because I'm actually a fan of it. Um, why don't you give us, for those who don't know what  https://www.focusatwill.com/  is, give us a description of it.  And, um, then I’ll tell you why I love it.  

Thank you, Peter. Well, this is a unique music service and it is a library of material you can't find it anywhere else. That is, uh, uh, delivered to each user in a very unique way and you... you could think of it as, um, you know, ADD by the way, is close and dear and close to my heart.  I am myself, most of my friends are, I find anybody who isn't boring and it just means... 

Steven, Steven there's, there's our subhead. Anyone who wasn't boring, has ADHD….

That's of course not. Um, It just means as my understanding of ADHD is it just means that you've got to be able to focus and concentrate you need to have a lot of stuff going on at the same time, so we are the people that are good in a crisis, right? We are the people that have got like a TV on over there, a game on over here, a talking book on over here, some music here, and then we're able to sit and relax. So I didn't discover this until I was in the band in, in, um, the Rocket Network company. And the reason why I learned was I went from running a band and being very active to inventing this kind of networking audio technology to ending up when we sold to Avid, to actually sitting in a cubicle  (laughter)

Welcome to the new world... 

And I tried to say, I was the boss before and now I sold my business, I was reporting to some middle -level managers and I was like, listen, “I….I know you guys have a policy of people being in the office, but I can't get anything done here.”   Well, you gotta be in the office. I'm like, where's your deliverable, William. I'm like, ah, I'm sitting here staring at the walls. So I started to try and find music that would help me block out the sound of everybody else, and it was impossible for me. It was not, I just couldn't find it. And then people would say to me, Oh, you're kind of hyper. Why don't you just find something to chill you the F out and be like, I've listened to this.  (plays music)  It's intuitive to the public. That if someone is kinda hyper, like all my favorite people, you play them something to chill them out, or maybe something like this. I'm playing some things on folks that will buy though in the background,  the answer is (buzzer sound)  that won't work at all, as you and your listeners know, umhttps://drhallowell.com/, who I'm assuming, you know...

I know Ned very well,  he wrote the foreword for my book. 

Yeah. Yeah, um, I met Ned in about eight years ago when he called me up. Now I’d heard of him and read his book called https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307743152ed  his bestselling book on Amazon., he's he's written a few best sellers, all about ADHD and why it’s the learning difference, not a disorder. And I get this call and this voice goes to “Hi, I'm Ned Hallowell. I can't do his voice, I’m Ned Halowell in that Boston kind of voice, and he goes, “are you Will from https://www.focusatwill.com/   and he goes, I'm Ned from Focus on Ned, and he said, I have been listening to your music to write my new book, which then was called, Driven to Distraction at work. And he said, I've put you in the book. And I was like, wow, that is, wow, this is from the horse's mouth, right? This is Ned himself telling me that. So we got...I invited him to be on our science, uh, board and got to know him very well, and with his help, and with another scientist that’s in our book,  Dr. Evian Gordon from https://www.totalbrain.com/about-us/   in San Francisco. With the two of them, we started honing into the idea in the same way that, um, stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin and drinking so much coffee. Over clock, the ADHD brain and calm you down.  We started to work on the idea that there are energies in an audio stream that'll do the same thing. 5% of our users in folks that will 5% listen to this channel that I'm just about to play, it’s called ADHD Type 1, and they listened to this.. 8hrs a day, 5 days a week. It's actually just warming up. Here we go, so to anyone that doesn't have ADHD, that sounds like an incredible noise, but if you actually do have ADHD or ADD, right, this will help you enormously. 

Yep, no question about it.  

What it’s doing, is overclocking the brain, and, um, Ned explained it to me in a way that I've never heard it explained before he said, William, your brain... all of our human brains, it doesn't matter where you come from... gender, it doesn't matter. We're all wired the same, this clock, the back of your head, about every four times a second, it goes, talk to Peter, talk to Peter, talk to Peter,  talk to Peter. He said, it's like the cocks on the rowboats, you know, there's the person that’s like going “PULL!”, right? And you go pull like this four times the second. And so those of us with ADHD by the way, Hallowell himself is insanely ADHD. That's part of the reason why he does the work? I think he said, what happens is that clock is running slowly. So it goes, talk to Peter, and then my consciousness is like, Whoa, what's that over there?  And then, then it goes, talk to Peter, right?   And so what's happening is it's like the kids in the backseat are always going crazy cause they haven't got something to do. And so we, uh, we started experimenting with different types of audio that clock the brain to speed that clock up. I mean, the irony is as you and your listeners know, the reason that we have ADHD is that clock is running slowly, not fast.

Right? 

If you play some music slow, it's going to make it worse. 

Right. Right. It's an interesting…. it's an interesting take on it because I know that for me, uh, you know, we started this off by fanboying about how much I love that song, but the the fact that it is it's one of those songs with a fast beat, with, you know, powerful hook, powerful melody that allows me when I'm exercising to focus as well as I want and focus on the run and run faster and train harder, and music for me has always done that. Um, and so the concept of, of, of. audio as a whole to keep the brain focused is, you know, the funny part is, is that when we were growing up and ADHD didn't exist, it was sit down, you're disrupting the class disease. Um, when I was dealing with that, I remember I'd come home, I'd start my homework, I'd put on music, and my parents who were music teachers, that was the irony, they were both public school music teachers. nope, you shut it off, you've got to focus on, we're going to pay attention to school, and I was dedicating attention to the score. The music helped me do that, and now of course we know the difference.  So what percentage of your users, if you have any idea, uh, would you say are using this, are neuro diverse are ADD/ADHD, um, I mean, you said 5% listen to that track, but...

Yaah, um, it's about 20% and, uh, I prefer instead of using terms of just neuro-diverse or I just say my favorite people. There are probably and objectively many, I mean, here, here's the real question. Peter, why to human beings? Why did we evolve to have a percentage of people like that? Well, the answer is we are good in a crisis. We are the kind of people that can do highly stressful work, such as, um, air, traffic control, battlefield surgeons.  Um, uh, how about, uh, how about fifth grade teachers? Um, right. Police work. These are all things that when this, a lot of stuff going on we’re very calm, and if you and I were back in the day, we're in the, you know, we are like thousands of years ago and we're in the, in the encampment with our tribe, and there's arrows coming over the top.  You or I, and people like us, the neuro-diverse people, we are the people that are going to go... I got this. 

Yep, exactly. 

As everyone is running around like a chicken with its head cut off and we're like, nope, I got this.

The problem is, is that, when there's a crisis, we're great. But for the now, for the… we have to sit there and focus on expense reports or in your case, sit in that office and get that work done, it's not as easy. 

So to answer your question about, uh, how, how many people are there, I can actually answer it with audio. I played you that, uh, crazy ADHD music, um, about 30% of the rest of our audience listened to uptempo.

I like that. 

So this is, it's kind of an, an uptempo transit channel. It has, it has thousands and thousands of tracks, but the tracks, they don't have DJ drops, right? they don't have, um, vocals of any kind, and there's some very specific things about the speed and the pulses within it. Um, it works for people who are kind of veering towards easily distracted, but not really. It kind of doesn't overlap. And then about another 30% or so of our audience, um, this is now as you can tell, nearly 70%, uh, listen to this. (plays music)  This is called Alpha Chill. And this is a typical track, speed is a little lower.  It still keeps you going, but it's not quite so intense, right? So to answer your question specifically, about 20% of our users are in that higher energy date they are. So we did a, I do a lot of surveys in the business and we have, um, we have, uh, an enterprise product where, you know, companies get this for their, uh, their employees.  And we just had a company called  https://www.leftfieldlabs.com/ in LA. They're one of the Google, internal Google, um, ad agencies, and, uh, they had like just over a hundred users and they bore out something that we found a lot. We… what we do is we give a hundred accounts to them and then they come back to us and tell us how many of their employees use us all the time... of that, how many are interested?  And the answer is usually about 25%, 20, 25% of any given company. You find this and go, wow. So that's part of our sales pitch. Here's the thing, I know the CEO and I called him up and I said, Hey, that's fascinating. Would you mind telling me who the 20% are? Is there a pattern then he laughed and he said, yes, it is my C-suite.  It is my most valuable players, it is my employees, the MVP, it is, uh, the people who are kind of difficult to deal with. And I said, If you looked at your kind of payroll costs, what percentage is this core group? He said, they're my most important people. And it represents 80% of my payroll.

I believe it. 

So we found this often that about 20% of the population who are usually the most talented, the most productive, the most valuable, are also the most easily distracted. Definitely.

My people. This is the entrepreneurs. This is the… there's the people who make things done. If you, I tell people who are not in this world who are not neuro-typical, who doesn't understand, you know, non-tibial people.  I go, Elon Musk. He defines someone who is hyper hyper, hyper. I mean, good brief. I mean, just watching him talk. I have to just go.And then you think about a lot of other well-known fairy capable, productive people, Steve Jobs, Oprah, Allen. 

I write about, I write about all these people in the book, the Faster Than Normal the book, and we interviewed a ton of them as well. I have friends all over the world who are the exact same brain as me. Um, tell me, cause I wanna, I wanna be respectful of your time. Tell me about, so, so it's Focusatwill.com, and it's, um, I mean, I, like I said, I love it. Um, where are you, where do you see it going? I mean, first of all, I'll take it a step back.  How do we convince more people that this actually works? Because I think that a lot of, you know, we're seeing, I think the pandemic has pushed us into being able to try new things and being willing to try new things, um, without as much backlash as there used to be. So are you, are you continuing to pitch for, um, for consumers or are you starting to look towards, uh, the enterprise aspect of it?

Actually, we have about half consumers, which is individuals purchasing and then half, um, enterprise sales. Um, the pandemic was, was interesting. We did well because if you are stressed, and under pressure remotely working for the first time, remember a lot of people with ADHD like this, we'd like to go into an office because the bustle that kind of helps us.  And if all of a sudden you're at home on your own delivering things, and this has been an absolute godsend for a lot of people. So our business went up actually, uh, during the, during the year., and. It's the new normal, right? There's a lot of people not going back to work. And what are, uh, what of I get a lot of mail from being artists.  I've got a couple of million users. And one of the things that they've said is that the system has a timer on it. So you can figure out how long your perfect session is. Most people it's about, it's between 25, which is one session minutes, and right through to quite a lot of people have set it at 80 minutes.  So you're doing 80 minute work sessions. You can get, you get a lot done. And they say, if you have a pair of noise canceling headphones, and you have this app, it becomes like your, blankie, it becomes like that’s what they do, to get...stuff done, right?

it  becomes like a cocoon

I mean, that’s the premise of most people with ADHD find, is that they get into some sort of zone, they figured out where that zone is. For me, it used to be on an airplane. I’d fly to Tokyo to give a speech, I'd write for 14 straight hours. Yes, it was, it was amazing. Um, and so, so having to find that new place, so no, you, you put those headphones on, you shut out the rest of the world, you shut off the distractions and you do that, whatever way works for you.  But what you're doing is you are allowing yourself essentially putting on horse blinders, and you're focusing on that, which you need to focus on without the ooh, what's over there. 

Well, yeah, something I didn't talk about yet, which I'll just mention quickly is that all music is not the same. If you listen to music with vocals….music that's designed to entertain you, which is pretty much anything out there, that's why it's successful, It's engaging. Um, it is gonna... you've replaced one problem with another. So. yes. You can't hear all the noise around or you're trying to get in your zone, on the other hand, you're singing it. 

You're singing the song, exactly. 

Snoop Dog,  whatever you like to listen to. 

It's very true. 

So the focus music is designed and the system has an onboarding, uh, quiz that if you take it at it's 17 questions and it has about an 80% accuracy of, um, determining which genre of music on the system will work best for you, and we find 85% of the people that use our system when they find their genre, each, um, each channel has a, a low, medium and a high setting., so there's really about 36 channels on the system, 85% of our users when they find it and they dial it and they go in on it, they never change because it just...works.

Yeah. That's awesome. So it's Focusatwill.com  How do people find you? Are you, are you online? Are you on Insta,  so what's your, what's your story? 

Hi, first of all, I'm fascinated with productivity and ADHD. It is my life, and I love to hear from people, so anyone listening, just, just write me, tell me how he found the system, what works, um, I'm at  focus@will.com.  That's and um, as I said, I'm, I'm always super interested and, uh, remember, there's a channel on this system called ADHD Type 1 which if you've got to get stuff done today, will really help you. 

I love it. Will, we're going to have you back again, we'll have you on the podcast in a couple months, again.  Thank you so much for taking the time. It was really, really appreciated. And what a pleasure to talk to it, to talk to you, it's truly great. 

22:40  Guys, as always Faster Than Normal is for you. Let us know what you want to hear, let us know who you want to hear, let us know if you want us to play I’ve Been Thinking About You, some more ‘cause we can do that too. Again, that has to be a cue, you’ve got to cue it up one more time. I'll just cue it up here. It is.

This is a very bad choice to listen to when you're trying to work. 

Oh, without question, but for exercise, you can't beat it. It's different, right? Yes. 

All right guys. See you next week. Thanks for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. 

 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Apr 21, 2021

JeffThe420Chef, author of The 420 Gourmet: The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine is the creator of “Tasteless" canna-butter and canna-oils and the inventor of Culinary Cannabis, cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon. Using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed. 

Dubbed “The Julia Child of Weed” by The Daily Beast, and a legendary cannabis chef by Cheddar, JeffThe420Chef, works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does. He has been redefining the cannabis consumption experience since 2012 with a mission “to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream”. In 2014, he pioneered "layered micro-dosing”, and created the popular "THC/CBD Calculator" app to help home cooks and chefs determine the approximate THC and CBD dosage of the edibles they make. Jeff is also a culinary instructor and teaches a series of classes called "The Art of Cooking with Cannabis" in medical and recreational states. The goal of his class is to help people understand the value of both cannabis and hemp as an ingredient, the power of THC and CBD as ingredients, how to gauge and manage the potency of edibles, and how to dose those edibles properly. JeffThe420Chef and his recipes are continuously featured in numerous high profile publications including the High Times, Cheddar TV, MerryJane, Emerald Magazine, The Forward, Culture Magazine and Edibles Magazine. He has also been featured on TruTV with Margaret Cho, Bakeout.tv, Vice, Business Insider, WeedmapsTV (soon to be released), Elite Daily, The Daily Beast, The Boston Globe The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and more... I learned a LOT! I hope you do too- enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Jeff Danzer discuss:

 

   :42  -  Intro and welcome Jeff

 

3:29  -  How did this become something you wanted to pursue? 

 

5:25  -  On becoming a more accomplished chef/moving forward while learning to create tastes people like

 

7:22  -  On being ADHD and achieving acclaim & success. What type of systems did you put into place to partake and not fly off the rails? 

 

9:38  -  On scheduling while working on all different projects, keeping it all in line

 

10:45  -  On cannabis, and how it changed your relationship with ADHD

 

11:44 -  On certain situations where it made sense to work while high, and what to do when it’s time hyperfocus

 

12:53  -  On feeling in control of a situation and taking care of business as far as negotiating, doing what needs to be done, etc.

 

14:45  -  On advising people who might be fearful of partaking in either cannabis or hemp in the hopes of it helping with their ADHD

 

17:56  -  How can people find you?  Website: https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  @JeffThe420Chef on Twitter  INSTA and a bunch of goodness on his YouTube page HERE   

 

18:56  -  Thank you Chef Jeff!  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

19:41-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday wherever you happen to be.  It is in fact, Wednesday here as well when we are recording this and it is a gorgeous day in New York City, a beautiful, beautiful day, uh, more and more people are getting vaccinated and pretty soon, we will all be able to go outside and start licking things again, as if there was no other care in the world.  Hope you’re staying safe. We’ve got a fun guest today who is going to talk to us about, well, I'm gonna let him tell you what we're going to talk about, but needless to say that it's going to be a lot of fun and it might make you change how you think of, well, cannabis and weed and who the hell knows. Let's just see. Jeff Danzer, otherwise known as https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ He's the author of the https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/cookbook The Art of Elevated Cannabis Cuisine, is a creative tasteless canna butter and canna oils, and the inventor of culinary cannabis. Cannabis flower that mimics the smell and taste of familiar herbs and spices like oregano, rosemary, thyme and cinnamon using a secret process rooted in molecular gastronomy, which I've been to molecular gastronomy restaurants and  oh my God, that's so much fun. Jeff, Chef Jeff has been able to create cannabis ingredients that are simple to use and precisely dosed.  He's been dubbed the Julia Child of weed, by The Daily Beast and a legendary cannabis chef by cheddar Jeff.  The 420 Chef works with cannabis in ways that no other cannabis chef in the world does.  He's been redefining the cannabis consumption experience in 2012, with a mission to make cooking with cannabis simple and easy for everyone, and to bring the cannabis consumption experience into the mainstream.  He's pioneered something called Layered Microdosing, created the popular https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/calculator  It's an app that helps home cooks and chefs determine exactly how much to put into the edibles they make. He's a culinary instructor, he teaches a series of classes called... what else? The Art of Cooking with Cannabis in medical and recreational States. Jeff, you've been all over the place you've been mentioned in countless media outlets.  I am so thrilled that you took the time to be on the podcast.   Thanks so much, man. 

Thank you so much for having me. I love what you're doing and your podcast is pretty awesome. So you've got a fan on this side as well. 

Thank you. So, you know, over, over time, I've heard a lot of, we've had several guests on the podcast who swear that cannabis and edibles and things like that have really changed how they handle their ADHD and how they handle their ADD.  Um, it has, you know, it has benefited them in so many ways. Um, we're really sort of entering a new mindset in terms of cannabis and in terms of weed and pot and all that, uh, you know, especially in New York where, where last week we just passed a law to make it legal. So, you know, talk to us, first of all, but how'd you, how'd you get involved in this?  How, how did this become a thing that you wanted to pursue and then, and then we'll move into, uh, what it can do? 

Yes. I mean, I say, you know, uh, like many people, I also, um, have ADHD. I don't say I suffer with it because it's literally helped me get to exactly where I am today. Um, but I did, you know, way back in the day I used to smoke weed and it would totally calm me down and focus me.  Um, I didn't have to take any more Adderall, you know, I was literally able to focus with cannabis because it brought me into that state that I needed to, um, and it works for a lot of people in the same ways. And I was really just smoking for a very long time until, um, about 2010, um, a family member was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, and, uh, another person, um, one of my best friend's mothers was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer, and they both wanted to medicate with cannabis, but didn't want to smoke and wanted edibles. And at that time I was in the fashion industry, but I was always a really good cook and chef or so they say, and these people had asked me if I could maybe make them some infused, um, cookies or brownies or whatever, just so they could medicate with cannabis, you know, to make life a little easier, you know, towards the end of their journey here. And, um, first thing I did was go back to my college days and I made 'em brownies and cookies and they tasted terrible. Uh, they, in both of them said, well, it works, but it doesn't taste right. So, you know, thanks, but no thanks. Yeah. You know, it's like, they just hated the taste of the weed in their food. So basically I was challenged to take out the taste of the cannabis from the, um, uh, from the edibles.

Interesting. So, so... you had a whole goal of, okay. I know how to cook now. I'm going to make it taste like something that people would actually want. 

Right. You know, so, you know, it took me a long time, took me about 18 months to figure it out, and, uh, unfortunately neither of them really got to experience it, you know, they got to experience along the way, you know, uh, how far I had gotten, but at the point where I actually finally figured out how to remove the taste from my edibles, unfortunately they were not able to, uh, you know, to enjoy it. Um, but since then many other people have, and I cooked for a lot of sick people.  Um, that's where it really started this. And you know the thing that I realized that people that are seriously ill, terminally ill, is that, you know, they want to enjoy as much of life as possible, not knowing that they're medicating. And a big part of it was, you know, if you're going to taste the weed in your food, they know you're medicating when you're eating and that just makes it even worse.  So if you're already nauseous and feeling really bad, you know, from their medications or the chemo or whatever else that you're getting, the last thing you want to do is put something in your mouth, you know, it's a try to eat, that's going to make you feel even sicker. So, you know, we try to make, you know, great tasting food, that they didn't, they didn't have to eat a lot of that would, you know, make them feel good, maybe increase their appetite a bit. And, um, Uh, yeah, get them to that point where maybe they might have something that they would enjoy. So, um, like I said, it took me about 18 months to get to that place. I finally figured out how to do it, and from there on, um, just, I mean, uh, I met with a guy from The Daily Beast, gave him one of my cupcakes... a week and a half later an article came out, said “meet the Julia Child of Weed.” Newsweek did…. Newsweek did like a, I think a four-page thing on me in their Weed 2.0 Edition, and uh, things just skyrocketed from there, to the point where I literally left my fashion career in New York, closed down my business and moved to California to become a cannabis chef.  And in the interim, um, I got a book deal with Harper Collins to write The 420 Gourmet. And I had been approached by alot of really well known chefs out there through Facebook, because at the time that's all we really had to communicate and they're like, listen, can you teach me how to do what you do?  And I said, oh, sure, you know, but you would have to teach me some skills in return. I didn't charge them any money for it, but I asked for skills and before I knew it, I became an award-winning cannabis chef. And then the rest is history. 

Now, you're ADHD. So talk to us, talk to us about how you've managed to achieve this level of success.  Uh, success and still be ADHD. Is it, is it strict from cannabis or, you know, what, what sort of systems we put into place to live your life and do it in such a way that you're, you're not flying off the rails? 

Well, the crazy thing is that I was always all over the place with everything that I did, but, you know, I came up with this mission way back when, when I started... to make the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone, and everything that I do, falls within that, but there's many different things that I could do. So instead of having to focus just on one thing, I was able to focus on the cookbook and I was able to do classes and focus on those. I was able to take small pieces and actually create little businesses around these small pieces.  So when we have catering, we have, um, education, we have, you know, the cookbook. We have, um, obviously all the PR stuff that I do out there, we have a new company called https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/scarborough-fair-market which as you mentioned earlier, we have cannabis, that's culinary cannabis, which mimics the order and tastes of herbs like oregano basil, thyme, cinnamon and, etc. Now we're doing the same thing with hemp, so I've been able to take all of that and create little, um, I guess, spinning a silos. And each one of those only takes a small chunk of my time every day. So I'm able to do all these different things that I enjoy and that I can focus on for a very short period of time before I move on to the next thing.  And that's always been, my problem is that, you know, I... I've, I can focus on something for a short period of time, but I can't focus on it for a long period of time. I could only imagine being ADHD, how difficult it was to write that cookbook, right? But again, I broke up the cookbook into different parts.  First, I did the recipes, then I explained, you know, on the head notes, what they were.  But then I went to a whole new, uh, version of it where I was telling you how many milligrams are in each serving of everything that you make within that cookbook. It was a whole different project that I was then able to incorporate into that cookbook. So for me, being able to take everything in small little pieces and then sew them together to meet that mission of making cooking the cannabis for the cannabis consumption experience, simple and easy for everyone was how I did it and how I used my ADHD to create all this. 

 

Did your schedule at all? I mean, was everything did you have to schedule the times like, OK, from 9-10 I'm going to be working on this aspect from 10 to 11 we're working on dosage from the, you know, how did you put that together? 

Yeah, loosely and I still do it that way, you know? So like, you know, I know that, you know, for example, in the mornings I will work from full. I started around 4am, 4 or 5am, so for 4 or 5am, I answer my emails, do whatever I can get all this stuff out of the way. And yeah, it's done. Then all of a sudden I'm like, okay, I have a dinner party coming up. So I've got, you know, an hour or two to start working on the dinner party, get those emails out of the way, get my list together, get my shopping list together. And then on to my next thing, you know, the next thing might be, you know, with the culinary cannabis, working on packaging, then we'll, you know, I'll call my packaging guys. I'll get my guys and say, Hey, let's do this. You know? And it's a whole different thing. We have a website business, um, you know, that's running on one side selling the culinary hemp now, uh, we have, I mean, all these different businesses and I've got some great people, you know, they're helping me, you know, spearhead this, but literally I'm able to do everything by taking my time and maximizing it in chunks.  So I do schedule, but I would say I loosely schedule because I know that sometimes I go over, sometimes I go under. 

How has cannabis in, in a few words, how has it changed your relationship with ADHD? 

Uh, I think it's calmed me down a lot. I will tell you that when I wrote my book, um, I was bong hitting on a constant basis and I started doing edibles just because it allowed me to just sit there and focus on what I was supposed to do. Um, but on the other side of it, you know, some of this stuff I really didn't want to be high when I was writing, for example, you know, the headnotes was fine, but when you're talking about a recipe, you really need to be focused on that recipe, and I wanted to make sure that I had all, everything, all the ingredients and all of the, um, the measurements, etc, needed to be precise, you know, so to do that, you know, when you're cooking, especially the equivalent weight, it's easy to just throw it over to this and throw a little bit of that, and, but in order to really be able to, um, uh, to focus on what actually the actual ingredients were, that's when I really didn't smoke or,,,, but I didn't have cannabis. 

I find it interesting in the respect that, you know, what was it, uh, what did Hemingway say? Write drunk, edit sober?  Yeah, that's very true, so the same principle, the same premise.  Um, tell me about, uh, situations where, you know, it's not necessarily prudent to be working while high, right? And what is, what happens when you need to focus or you need to do something about your ADHD?  Uh, you know, you can't. A microdose, do you can't, you can't eat an edible or something like that because you need to be always there.

Wait, you definitely don't want to be operating, um, any equipment or heavy machinery machinery, you know, that's for sure. Yeah. I also feel that, you know, if you really need to be engaged, um, a little bit, a little bit of cannabis  is actually a really good thing, you know, for me when I have business meetings and stuff, and I really need to be engaged a lot more on when I've taken an edible about an hour before my business meeting, and I can literally sit there and engage and my personality. It just, I think it, it, it almost like blossoms more when I don't have, when I, you know, when I don't have cannabis in my system, you know what? I haven't had an edible or smoke. Um, I'm a lot more tense. 

And you feel like, you feel like you feel like you're in control, you feel like you're not like you can go in and negotiate or do whatever it is you have to do?

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I feel like I'm, I'm in a lot more control as a matter of fact, let's say an interesting story. When we, uh, we, we got our license to open up one of the first cannabis edibles restaurants in West Hollywood. And, um, part of that process was also going up in front of the business license commission and speaking on behalf of the other, uh, lounges and restaurants that, um, wanted to open up and giving them, you know, the prompts and actually supporting them, and I remember right before one of these meetings, I was testing some of my culinary cannabis and I made a, um, uh, a dish called Stuffed Shells. Now I had had that, those stuffed shells at around three o'clock in the afternoon. And the BLC meeting was at 6:00 PM. I get there at 6:00 PM and I am flying. I mean, I was super high, I didn’t realize how potent this this edible was, I mean, that's actually one of the more potency tests. And I was like, Oh my God, like I should be done with this, but I just kept getting higher and higher. And all of a sudden they call me up to speak on behalf of this company. And, you know, thank thankfully, you know, I had written out my notes on my phone, so at least I had something to look at, but I literally looked at my phone, glanced at the notes, put my phone down and then just spoke on behalf of this company to the point where everybody who is in the audience, listening, you know, like in the, I guess they call it the, um, the gallery or whatever, just started clapping because it was that intense and passionate. It just came straight out. And like, as I walked back, my business partners, from the lounge were like “damn, that was crazy, I hope you do that for us.”  And I was like, dude, that was the culinary cannabis. So I mean, it definitely helps for me, you know, it definitely helps, you know, in certain business settings, other ones, you know, as when I'm creating, I love being high, right. But when I'm doing a dinner party for people, I'm not. 

What do you say, um, to someone who, uh, has maybe never tried or has tried pot once, like in college and, and has heard from people though, that it can benefit ADHD, , or you know, let me, let me rephrase that. What do you say to me….. who is someone who has tried pot like once or twice in his life and has never has never thought about it as a way to manage or control my ADHD?  Um, you know, there's a part of me that's a little scared to do it, right? How does, how does one start in that regard? 

Well, for starters, cannabis today is very different than it was back in the day. Right. So I've been smoking cannabis for God 44 years. That's a long time. I'm 58 years old. 

Yeah I was going to say, I assume you're not like 45, right?

Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm actually 58, and although people think I'm a lot younger, cause I guess my, my energy is a bit younger. I blame that on the ADHD too, which is great. Um, but you know, at the end of the day I've been at this for a long time. It's different today. And there are a lot of, uh, we'll be called canni-curious people out there that either like yourself had tried it once or twice back in the day, and they're maybe afraid of it.  Now we're learning to what does he know with all the fuss is about now and they want to check it out. They may want to check out hemp CBD, but you know, they still want to feel what a high feels like, etc. What I would say is this, first of all, make sure you get clean cannabis from somebody. Also, you should try both, um, smoking and or vaping and also edibles, cause those are two different feelings and no matter what you do start very, very low and go very, very slow. What does that mean? So if it comes down to an edible, a low-dose edible, is about two and a half milligrams of THC. Most people who are new to this, they'll feel two and a half milligrams of THC, but it's going to feel like they maybe had half a glass of wine.  If you want to feel like you had more than half a glass of wine, a five milligram edible is probably the most that I would suggest for somebody just starting out. And that'll probably make you feel like you’ve had  about a glass. to a glass and a half, depending on how your body processes it.  Some people have five milligrams and they're like, Oh man, this is too much, so that's why I say start with two and a half, but you know, if you want to go higher, you can. Um, I never take anybody above 10 at our dinner parties, unless they've proven that they're what they called a decca-doser. So people are just starting out just a very low and very slow when it comes to smoking.  If you're going to smoke something to make sure you're getting clean cannabis from a legal dispensary, and I would only do one hit. And see how that makes you feel then about five minutes. So it's got a quick onset time. Something else you should know with edibles is that with the exception of the culinary cannabis, that we're now getting ready to put out there into the market, most edibles take about two hours to kick in.  So you can have a gummy or you can have a bite of a cookie and be like, Oh, this tastes good. If I'm not feeling anything, I'll try more. Don't do it. Wait two hours and see how you feel. You know, it's one of the biggest problems people have is like, Oh, I eat the whole cookie. Cause I didn't feel anything. And then all of a sudden, two hours later they're flying kite.  

You know, I've heard stories, you know, 

I always say go low. Yeah. So you've got to really go low. You have to abide by the rules until you understand what it's all about, how it makes you feel. But two and a half milligrams, you know, a bite of a cookie or, you know, a half of a gummy bear or something like that, you know, that's a five milligram, you know, make sure you know the dosage and get it from a legal, reputable dispensary. 

 Amazing. Amazing. What cool stuff. How can people find you, Jeff? What, where can they go? 

Well,it’s  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ anywhere you look.  So it’s https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/ that's our website, um, https://www.instagram.com/jeffthe420chef/?hl=en on Instagram, if you want to see all the fun stuff we're creating. Um, then we have https://twitter.com/jeffthe420chef?lang=en  for some, you know, some of my thoughts and comments and stuff, um, that you can reach out to me through  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  or you can also reach out to me through a DM’ing on Instagram. Um, so just, you know, and also https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4c5MriI1vcHd45S5O2ntbA, we have a really great YouTube channel, right? Teach people how to do things at home. Do-it-yourself became really big this past year. And this has increased five fold this year, our, in our online business, um, where we actually sell products having to do with cooking with cannabis, um, that business has increased five fold.  Um, my classesI do virtual classes, those have increased scale tremendously because people want to learn how to do things in home. And cannabis was an essential business, so they had the weed, but they didn't know how to, you know, how to, how to work with it. So, you know, things like that have been doing really well, and then you can reach me those ways. 

Very cool. Uh, all right guys, this, this was….. eye opening. I learned a lot about this. This is really cool. We're going to have to have you back. We’ll have to do a follow up on this side a couple of months. Most definitely. Guys, you've been  listening to Peter Shankman and https://www.fasterthannormal.com/ um, that was Jeff Danzer with  https://www.jeffthe420chef.com/  who, uh, yeah.Um, Wow. That was pretty cool. Thank you for that. I appreciate that. Um, guys, if you like what you’ve heard, drop us a note, let us know. Uh, Jeff came recommended, um, as a guest by someone and, uh, we would love more recommendations. So if you have anyone you think should be on the podcast. Please tell us we would love to have them on as well.  Shoot me an email atwww.petershankman.com   or @petershankman on all the socials. We will see you next week. Keep safe, stay healthy. And remember, your ADHD is a gift, it's not a curse. Thanks for listening, we'll talk to you soon.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Apr 14, 2021

Jason Hsieh is the founder of LakiKid, a growing company who provides quality and affordable products that help neurodiverse children with their daily challenges. LakiKid is an eCommerce company that helps kids with special learning needs like Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, education, and products. In 2013, Jason's son, Keanu, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at  the age of 2 while they were still living in Japan. They decided to move to Seattle, Washington because they just could not find the help their son needed in Japan. In the winter of 2017, Jason then founded LakiKid with a mission to help kids with Autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder by providing support, advice and products that will reduce anxiety and improve attention span, improve sleep and inspire confidence in interpreting their senses. It is his mission to help neurodiverse kids live a life full of possibilities. LakiKid runs an online support group with 2400+ parents and weekly educational video podcasts. It has helped over 20K+ kids with it’s products since its inception in 2017. Their products are also being used in 300+ locations including NBA Arenas, Football and Baseball stadiums, Aquariums and Zoo’s across the United States as part of  KultureCity’s Sensory Inclusive Initiative program. Jason appeared on 6 podcasts (ADHD Support Talk Radio, SPED Homeschool, Become A Fearless Father, Silent Sales Machine Radio, Ecomcrew, and  Once Upon A Gene), and has also been a keynote speaker at the Selective Mutism Summit. Today we talk in-depth about what led him to start LakiKid  Enjoy!

 

---------- 

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Jason discuss:

 

   :53  -  Intro and welcome Jason Hsieh!

 

1:55  -  On the difficulty of finding adequate resources in Japan to deal with any kind of neurodiversity 

 

3:11  -   On the stigma around getting help & support, then talking about it, especially as a parent

 

3:47  -  On an actual diagnosis at age 2 in Japan. What caused you to move to Washington, was there just zero help available in Japan?

 

4:50  -  Is Tokyo also progressive when it comes do neurodiversity?

 

5:47  -  On how Jason started https://lakikid.com/  and what prompted him to start it

 

6:56  -  On the company itself, the products offered

 

6:55  -  On the advantages of not only helping children in the home environment, but more of a global, general public service.

 

7:32  -  On the sensory inclusive movement like www.kulturecity.org is pushing, and response thus far

 

8:51  -  On the future plans for www.lakikid.com

 

9:05  -  How has the response been to your partnership?

 

10:38  -  On the possibility of partnering with other schools, or districts 

 

11:11  -  On how his son has adapted to the “new normal” w/ COVID, homeschooling etc.   

 

12:00  -  On more & more parents realizing that they too may have ADHD, after a child’s diagnosis

 

12:11  -  How do people find out more? Website: https://lakikid.com/ They have a monthly video block that they partner with occupational therapists, as well as different educational materials that people can check out. Lost of free materials!  Follow them at @LakiKid_Sensory on Twitter  @LakiKidSensory on Facebook and HERE on YouTube

 

13:14  -  Thank you Jason! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

13:42-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hi everyone. Peter Shankman and you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal, which is always nice. It's great to have you guys. I hope you're enjoying your day, wherever in the world, you might be. We're going to Washington state today and we're going to talk to Jason Hsieh, who's the founder of https://lakikid.com/ a small and growing company that provides quality and affordable products that help neuro-diverse children with their daily challenges.  They're an e-commerce company and Jason founded it. They help kids with special needs like autism ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and they provide support education and products. In 2013, Jason’s son Keanu, best name ever, was diagnosed with autism and ADHD at the age of two, while they were still living in Japan.  They moved to Seattle Washington because they just couldn't find the help their son needed back in Japan.  We're going to talk about that,  In the winter of 2017, Jason founded https://lakikid.com/ with the mission to help kids with autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorder….processing disorder by providing support advice and products that will reduce anxiety, improve attention, span, improve, sleep, and embrace confidence for the kids.  It is his mission to let neuro-diverse kids live as full a life or a life full of possibilities as possible. Talk to me, Jason, welcome to Faster Than Normal, thank you for being here. 

Hey, good morning. How are you? Thank you for having me on your podcast. 

Definitely tell me about. So I've heard from other people that in Japan, it is very hard to get the resources needed to deal with any kind of neuro-diversity.  Is that true? 

I would say a 100% true and that it's not just in Japan... and I'm from Taiwan. My wife's from Japan after we got married, we moved to back to Japan, but that's also the case for Taiwan as well, because I think we, in alot of Asian community and Asian countries. There's a huge stigma around mental disabilities that people tend to avoid talking about it.  Pretending it doesn't exist. What does try to hide it?  So that's kind of that kind of mentality in the society lead to lack of resources and lack of openness to openly talk about those kind of issues. 

I imagine it would be difficult if there is a stigma around it that that getting help and getting support and then coming out and talking about it in itself would just be difficult.

Of course for sure, and that's something I also struggled with when I first learned about my son's diagnosis back then, and I actually went through almost six months of denial. I refused to accept that there's something wrong with my son because we, my family does not, no one else to have mental disabilities.  Like how can this happen to my son? Just doesn't really make sense, and I think that's a process that… alot of the parents, especially Dad’s, I think goes through a lot more than a Mom, because I think we don't interact with the kids as much as the Mom’s do, and that tends to kind of create some kind of barrier.  And also as men, we tend to try to fix stuff, but Autism, ADHD or something like that is not something you can fix. That's something you need to create. Well, I guess, make it better and make improvement, but you couldn't really fix that kind of thing. 

 

And you said your son was diagnosed at age two in Japan.  So when he was diagnosed, what did the doctor say? You know, I mean, he told you, OK, your son has, you know, a central processing disorder, ADHD. Um, did he…. was there...,  was there help available?  What... what happened? I mean, cause you obviously moved to... you moved to Washington, you moved to Seattle. Um, was there just nothing available?

So, um, that's actually a perfect example for this is we didn't even find out about it until my wife pointed something out was kind of strange because every time she would take our son to the playground, he doesn't play with any other kid. He tends to play in his own corners for the whole time, for like one or two hours straight.  He doesn't even look at any other kids during the whole time. So that sounds really strange to my wife and that's where she brought up, uh, the proposal. OK, maybe we should have to have him take a beat, take a look at, and the first thing we got half of after we talked to the doctor in Japan is like, OK, this is a potential issue.   But unfortunately in the area that we used to live in, which we live in Tokyo, one of the largest metropolitan areas  you can imagine you have almost as much population, as the city of New York, but we can only go to 2 therapy centers that provide any kind of services for our son with the kind of symptoms that he has.   So that is not a good situation to being in, to living in the city was population over 10 million people, but you can only go to two locations to find help. 

That's pretty amazing when you think about it, that that's all that. Um, is available at, out of, you know, you look at, uh, Tokyo and, and, and, and cities like that, and you think that they're so progressive, when in fact it's actually very the opposite. 

Unfortunately that's a 100%t true, even so, they are very technology-wise, they are very advanced, but when you come to mental disability and kind of services that you can get, I think they are of these 10 year behind the United States and a lot of the Western countries.

Hmm. So let's talk about https://lakikid.com/  You moved, you moved to Seattle and you realized, okay, you're just going to start a company that will help these kids because what, there was nothing available. I mean, there was obviously a lot more support available here. So what prompted you to start the company? 

I think it's really just by connecting with other families that also have kids with special needs, and also at that time, the biggest struggle we have, is the insurance that we initially got. When we moved back here, it doesn't cover ABA therapy, which is an intense one-on-one behavior therapy that a lot of the kids with autism will use. And I was also trying to find out additional ways to supplement our family income.  That's why the idea of creating a business and helping other families, kind of similar to ours, that's where the idea was coming from, and also by talking to other families that also have similar issues, but they couldn't really find a lot of affordable products and solutions that can really help their kids, that's... that's where the idea originally come from. And we have since grown to something a little bit bigger than that, which I can talk a little bit more. . . 

 

Yeah. tell me, so tell me about the company. Tell me about the products, tell me about what you do, talk about it. 

For sure. So https://lakikid.com/ as a company, we are quote “mission is to empower support and educate kids with, uh, different sensory issues.”  And we partner with, um, different non-profit organizations. One of the biggest non-profits that we partner with is called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/….start with K.  Uh, they have, uh, one of the, um, they are an international non-profits. They have locations in both US, Canada, Canada, Australia, and UK. I see  right now, they have over... 500 different locations, uh, inside one of the biggest programs called https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/and I'm just honored that we are able to partner with the non-profit and by providing sign of our product into their program and what their programs do, is still go into locations like zoos,  aquariums, NBA stadiums, football and baseball arenas, and they'll do, they'll do three things  for all those locations.  First, they will provide staff training so the staff is aware of the sensory challenges for the kids that have ADHD or Autism will face when they go to a public arena like NBA stadiums.  Second, they will provide a physical tool that's free to use for the family, they call a sensory bag.  Inside the sensory bags,  we have noise-canceling headphones, fidget toys, and a weighted blanket, which we designed for  https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ for them to use. Our weighted blanket is unique in the way that we make it.  A, the material is different that kids can write on the blanket itself, use a water pen, so it's a 100% interactive, and last but not least, is they also help those arenas and locations to build sensory rooms, which is essentially a quiet space that a family can go to in case the kids is having a meltdown now, uh, while attending those kinds of events.

Interesting. So it's, you're thinking more of a bigger picture in that regard, it's not just to, to help the child, you know, when they're at home when they have it, It's, it's, it's, it's more of a global thought. 

Of course. I think we, uh, at our core, we believe in the sensory inclusive movement that https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is pushing, and it's all about creating a more accepting environment, not just at home and classroom, but also in the public, in the public, the general public as well.

What's the response been?  

Oh, https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ and us, um, I think collaboration has gone a long way and the response has been very positive and of course, um, like everything else, uh, we all get affected because of the COVID situations, because all the location, I just mentioned almost every one of them got shut down because of COVID and including our business, because we do a lot of, uh, um, transaction with  school, and as you know, majority of the schools, oh gosh, shut down at the same time last year when the COVID situation happened, so it has been a very tough year for us last year, and we are kind of struggling right now, trying to recover from, from the, from the fallout of that. But hopefully this year will be a much better year.

 

Cool. So tell me what you have planned for the future for https://lakikid.com/ ?

Yeah, so one of our biggest programs that originally were planning to launch last year, but because of COVID, we didn't happen, but we have a new program we're working on called Sensory Inclusive Classrooms, which the idea is to implement what  https://www.kulturecity.org/sensory-inclusive/ is already doing in the NBA stadiums and all the different locations I mentioned earlier, but inside a public school environment, by providing a similar kind of training for the general education teacher, for the parent educators, and also help them provide some of the tools, like sensory tool that the teacher can use in the classroom and also helps out of the school to build sensory room if they have the budget and the space to do so. 

Awesome. Are you... are you looking at partnering with, uh, other schools or districts or things like that?

That's one thing we're working on. We do have a pilot program here in Washington that, uh, implementing before COVID, but because of the COVID situation, everything kind of got shut down. We are kind of waiting to see…. some of the schools are already starting to reopen here in Washington, but not all of them. So kind of waiting to see what the situation is going to turn out and how the vaccination roll-out is going to be before we decide what we’re going to do with the school program again. 

What has, uh, how has your son, uh, adapted with, with COVID and with homeschooling and all that? 

I would say that was one of the biggest struggles.  That's very common for the parents in our community, in myself and my wife included because it's very hard to focus even in-person, I mean, let alone saying remote learning because you're just staring at the screen and that’s something my son definitely still struggles with, um, focusing and, um, like being able to pay attention in class because he has not just Autism, but  ADHD as well. 

So yeah, totally. I could see the... the biggest problem for me was the lack of movement, you know, running around, running around and around and everything just stops, you know, and move... movement is living for someone with ADHD.  So not being sort of just being stuck at home and not really doing anything has been brutal.   

For sure, and that's one more thing I want to share that I actually didn't realize I had ADHD myself until I was doing all the research and all the study for my son and the more research and the more study I was doing, I realized I was checking 9 out of the 10 boxes for…. that was ADHD myself.

More and more, more and more parents, more and more parents get diagnosed because their children get diagnosed and they realize, wait, this looks really familiar. 

Exactly. Yeah. It's, it's kind of, it kind of explained my, my childhood story because I went to five different high schools myself, because I sweat a lot during school and I couldn't really pay attention, and I didn't know why. Then I was just keep on being told that I was, I wasn't a very good student, but now with the diagnosis... is kind of explaining a lot of the things that happened to me when I was young. 

Yeah. Jason, how can people find more, uh, what's the website for https://lakikid.com/ ? 

Yeah, they can find more https://lakikid.com/  It's spelled as lakikid.com. We have a monthly video block that we partner with occupational therapists, and we also have different educational materials that people can check out our product. And most of... most of the, um, we have a lot of free resources that we're trying to provide to the families as well.

Awesome. Jason Hsieh, thank you so much for taking the time to be on Faster Than Normal, I really appreciate it. 

Thank you so much for having me. 

Definitely.  Guys, thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, drop us a review, leave us a note, we'd love to know more.  We'd love to have, if you have any guests you think should be on the podcast, tell us, uh, send us an email at https://www.shankman.com/ or   https://www.fasterthannormal.com/   or  @petershankman  ,  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) • Instagram photos and videos  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) | Twitter all the socials. We would love to hear it. And, uh, we'll try to get your guests on the show as well. This podcast is for you and it's about you. So thank you for listening, have a great day.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Apr 7, 2021

YK is unique business coach and strategy consultant who focuses on turning around the companies and help them with all round growth. He found his strengths and uniques strengths after working in corporates for 2 decades. He runs unique boutique business coaching and consulting firm called Neostrategy. Based out of India but serving Globally. Today we talk about his NeoPlanner and how he uses his ADHD to bring new and unique ideas and solutions to his clients. Enjoy!

---------- 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & YK discuss:

 

   :40  -  Intro and welcome YK

 

1:40  -  Tell us what prompted you to understand your ADHD, learn more about it, and discover ways to help others.

 

4:00  -  On growing up with ADHD, getting bored easily and your family dealing with those differences

 

5:14  -  On the corporate working world and learning how you didn’t quite “fit in”.

 

6:53  -  On taking the leap of faith to start your own business/path –  family pushback/support

 

9:58  -  On continuing issues w/ ADHD, adjusting to them & other things that might be frustrating

 

11:26  -  On the importance of a daily routine   

 

12:45  -  On getting off track and getting back on the right course

 

13:30  -  On explaining ADHD to neuro-typicals – a process that works 

 

14:35 – More on how to advise people who don’t understand issues with ADHD- 

 

15:53  -  On the Neo-Planner and what it is/how it works

 

18:45  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you?  The best way to find me is in within WhatsApp  He’s on LinkedIN and YouTube His website is: http://neostrategy.in  His number in India is:  91-9949-211399 or via email: YK@neostrategy.in 

 

19:26  -  Thank you YK! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

19:50-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Okay, everyone. Another episode of Faster Than Normal is coming your way and it is sponsored by absolutely no one. I don't put ads on most episodes, so you can get the full enjoyment of the episode itself.  Welcome to Faster Than Normal, my name is Peter Shankman. I am happy to have you here, as always today, we are talking about ADHD, about productivity.  We're talking about how everything can be a gift if you just learn to use it well, and we're talking about it with a man who's calling us in from India. His name is Y K. Honestly, his initials for names, he's just like VIN diesel or XXX, Madonna. He is a unique business coach. He's a strategy consultant.  He focused on turning around companies and helping them with all around growth. His strengths come from working with companies internally for over two decades, and he runs a fun little business consulting firm called http://neostrategy.in/neoplanner/http://neostrategy.in/about-yk/ and he sent me something called the http://neostrategy.in/neoplanner/ which is a pretty cool planning and productivity book, we’re gonna talk about that. He comes up with unique ideas to help himself and his clients, that's his super power. Welcome to the podcast YK, good to have you. 

Hi Peter, thank you. 

Glad that glad to have you here, man. So tell us what prompted you to understand your ADHD and, and learn about it, in such a way that you realize you could actually help people with it.

Yeah, sure. This is a topic I'm really, really passionate about. Uh, so this goes back like, uh, probably a decade or even before. Uh, so I always, it's almost like, I would say since childhood. I felt that there is something different and unique about me, but I never could understand what is the difference, OK?  So growing up in the career, I worked in a lot of IT consulting companies, so I was doing all right, but, uh, the more and more, uh, you know, as I was growing up, I could see that there are some things, uh, are unique with me. Like for example, that I'm sitting in a group of people, um, the way everybody thinks versus the way I think used to be different, but then I always used to, uh, you know, uh, shy away, stay back thing, thinking that maybe what I'm thinking is not right. But apparently what were the thoughts that I was getting later? I could come out. Uh, I can see that somebody else is, uh, you know, bringing them as ideas. So I used to get a lot of ideas, thoughts, and try to be unique and even in, from childhood, right?  So I'll give you an example. So the subjects, which are very easy for everyone, I used to get bored. OK things like mathematics physics, which used to create a lot of interest in me. So I used to solve them and they used to get a lot of interest. So I was always curious, there's something wrong with me, or there's something different with me, uh, which is not usually with the group of people.  OK so that is what actually led me into more and more, um, and sometime, while I was in the US for around eight to nine years period, I’d  gone through little bit of a down period. That is when I started reading, I considered different people, like could not get the right answers. Then slowly I realized the whole game that I was going to is dopamine game.  OK, iIt took unfortunately a decade of time for me to figure it out, figure it out on my own. Uh, but then I'm glad that I found that. And, uh, later I realized after I realized that this is what I have and I went on and find my own strengths, what I'm to get. And that's where my journey started.

Let me, let me ask you a question though, because wasn't that, um, you know, growing up, being different and getting bored, didn't that get you in trouble? Weren't you, you know, did you have, like, parents were like, why can't you just focus? Why can't you pay attention? You know, that's a lot of our, a lot of our listeners that talked about that, being a huge problem.

Yeah, that's interesting. But in my case, what happened was, um, I, I, I grew up from a very small village in India. And I was for that village. Uh, you know, I was the, in the school, I was the topper, but then what people never realized was let's say if my capability would have been a hundred percent for the effort I was putting, I was only getting, let's say 80 or 75.  OK, so obviously used to think that there is a, there is a, there is a gap between what I could do versus what I'm able to do that under it underachievement or the missing achievement part was there. But since I was, I came from a very small village. Uh, my standards there itself was very high. So people thought I was a super, uh, uh, I was doing very well, but then inside of me, I knew that I am a lot more capable than than what I was delivering. You see what I'm saying? 

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. That does make a lot of sense. So as you, as you grew, and as you became an adult and you started in the, in the, in the corporate world, you know, in, in, in, in getting a job and everything, were you at any point working for a company where you're like, I just don't fit in this doesn't work for me.

Oh, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So that is the pull together, right? So actually this is what, so in United States for around  eight, nine years and the UK who is a UK Australia. And so while I was in the customer facing roles, while I was doing the more of a consulting sales kind of roles, I was doing fine.I was able to feel that I was fitting there, but then around 2010 ish, 10 time, I came back to India and once I came back to India, I was actually, uh, you know, uh, {indistinguishable} refers to do rules,???which are more like, uh, you know, near the more of a things which needs a lot of attention to details. And a lot of, uh, you know, uh, very detailed work, which is not my strength, OK,  I had to struggle a lot. That is when actually I started really, uh, you know, talking a bit, uh, saying that this is not, I'm not, I was, I was totally, every year I started feeling that I was not fitting into the culture, I was not fitting into the kind of work. And one of the other things was, I don't know if this is common with all the people with ADHD type of a brain. Uh, freedom is one of the top notch value systems for me so the more I was growing in the corporate world, the lesser I was getting the freedom, OK, so that combined with the, the misfit of my strengths with, to whatever the work was given and, uh, and the, you know, misalignment of my freedom, and that was completely knocked me off, that is when I actually discover my strengths and they started my own consulting firm called Use Strategy. That's been my happy journey or my real true self, uh, started, uh, coming out.

Makes sense. Um, when you went out on your own, did you receive any pushback? Um, I know that when I started and a lot of people who started realize they just had to do this, uh, if they didn't have a family that was used to that, or, you know, didn't come from an entrepreneurial family, you know, it, it was difficult.  It was, you know, how are you, how are you, what are you going to do? How are you going to survive? This is not what we do. Did you encounter any of that? 

Yeah, yeah, fortunately actually in my situation, it's the other way around because my wife is actually very, very supportive to me and she has seen me very closely and she always wanted me to be happy and she thinks that I have a lot of capabilities, but I never believed in, so honestly, uh, so she was very supportive. And, uh, and at the same time, since I kind of scientifically know about my strengths, I did a good amount of a piloting and experimenting before I jumped in fully, OK, one of my strengths is called strategic. So I used my own strategic in my career transition and I did a lot of pilots, before I actually made some money, uh, you know, I made some money before I took the final decision. So it was like a good, good amount of experimentation I have done. And I got the confidence. Of course I did go through a little bit of anxiety and stress, but from a family point of view, there is a complete support to me, so that was, I was lucky enough in that way.

Makes a lot of sense. 

And actually what I feel, uh, Peter is that, uh, I... I feel doing this is much easier for me now instead of continuing in  my corporate work. So I feel now because I'm playing to my complete strengths and then living my values of freedom am completely, you know, really cherishing every day, and I do a fantastic amount of, uh, I feel so, great work, at least I feel for my clients. So it's every day is a looking forward day. You know, I, I don't have any  {indistinguishable}or anything, so I'm really enjoying what I'm doing. 

Well, I think that's one of the benefits is that when you finally do find it, not only when you love what you do, but when you realize that what you're doing, um, benefits you and other people, it just changes everything.  It makes you feel so much better. 

Well, absolutely, absolutely the best. I think, see, this is one thing I will tell you, Peter, so lot of for ADHD people and, uh, you know, people say that know your strengths  per you have two strengths, but I think the challenge is most people do not know how to find the strength scientifically, OK In my case, I could go through the process scientifically. I really know what I'm good at. And I puts... it took a lot of time and once to latch on to your strengths, I think you'll supergift. So until then it could be struggled. So that is one of the, my key message. Uh, you know, the point I wanted to share with people is that, and I think for it specifically for ADHD, people, strengths is the only weapon they have, OK, because the moment you try to focus on the gender things, you lose the game. So you should, we all should know how to find our own strength scientific way so that we can play very, very powerful game.  

I think, obviously, as great as it sounds, you know, there's always, uh, it's never perfect. Right. So tell us about sort of the, some of the problems that you have or how you adjust them or the things that you know, drive... still drive you crazy.

Yeah, I think so. One thing I can tell you is that, um, I don't know about others, but I have figured out on my own, the whole crux of the, the formula. Okay. Uh, in fact, I'll share you sharing my one other . I have. I have found with this whole dopamine magic and the game a little ahead of the game. So basically I have a neat  a very nice diagram called Viagra.  There's a left side of the V and there is a right side of the left side of his V the destructive way of getting the dopamine through addictions and all those nonsense, the right side of the, uh, viz, the, all these good things like exercise, meditation, yoga, uh, you know, doing great work creative or problem solving those things.  So. I started, uh, you know, mass mastering the whole art of Dopamine very well. So. As long as I'm managing my Dopamine very well. I don't get into any issues. Okay. The days or times when I actually miss my document management, that is when I will, I will know that I've. So no, uh, I would say that I'm pretty consistent, uh, uh, Peter with my routine.  I know I do regular, uh, meditation and regular exercise, some form or the other. So these things will keep me my Dopamine, {indistinguishable} almost like this every morning I fill my Dopamine, and then I play my game. So the days when I don't feel my Dopamine, I know that it's not going to be great day.

Tell me about your, um, daily routine.

Yep. So I basically wanting it is almost like from last one and a half year been pretty consistent. I wake up at 6, and 6:15, I have online yoga, yoga. So it goes for, for, uh, one hour. Uh it's...it changed me in life really very well. The consistent yoga practice, then I do 45 minutes of, uh, meditation. I think I cost close to 550 or 600 hours of meditation now.  So it's, this is consistent. And during weekends I go for long runs, a little bit of weight training, but almost all seven days, the first two hours of my day, between six o'clock to eight, o'clock it just. Uh, goes into my schedule. Then I do my new planner. I sent you, right. I do 10 minutes of new planning, uh, because that, that really keeps me on the track. Then what I do is the basically divide the day into two parts. Okay. Two parts is basically one is the strategic zone. The other is the operations zone, the strategy zone is the zone where I create, like, basically I'll be working on business, like creating intellectual property or doing some design or creating some, offering, creating some methodology after that, the negative to my consulting and coaching calls. That's the way I divide my day. 

Okay, and what happens when things go off track? Because you know, like I said, it's not always perfect. So what happens when things go off track? How do you get yourself back on the right course? 

Yeah, it's a good thing. Right? So I have a lot of hacks, and one of the hacks  I follow is that I wear my shoes and go for a jog for a 5… 5K. So I know as I told you, right, my, the whole trick, is I know there is nothing I need to blame or look for or analyze that thing all I know, is that  the moment that things are not going well,, I know that my Dopamine is getting imbalanced, I just do some kind of an exercise and I’ll get it  back. How do you, yeah.

And I'm sorry, go ahead. 

Yeah, exercise is one of my hack. I get back, um, uh, to, to the class. So basically refill my, my Dopamine, either, it is exercise and meditation, and then I get back to my track.

How do you explain to people who might not have ADHD or understand the things that we go through? Why do you... do some of the things you do, or do you just simply not care?

No, I don't care, actually. So this is interesting, right? So this is in fact a frustration and I'm an, I'm a person I'm not so much keen on making a social moment on these things, but then I, what frustrates me, I'll tell you again, I it's, it may be different in different countries, except for example, in, um, in India or even not just in India, in some of the other places also, thatI speak about ADHD, right? Uh, in fact, I was talking to somebody, someone, one of my client today with ADHD. The first thing that they say is that, Oh, it's for kids, you don't have ADHD. They don't understand what ADHD is. Second, they think that, oh, this is some attention problem. The third thing they say is that, yeah, everybody's distracted.  So I feel, Oh my God, you can, you have no idea what you're talking about. So kind of what I realized, uh, Peter is that, it is very difficult to explain to a non {indistinguishable} person about ADHD. 

OK, so what do you wind up telling them? 

Okay. I mean, normally I don't tell them anything, so I just tell them that if at all, if somebody is that, why are you doing all these things? Uh, I mean, why do, why do you need to be so particular about rituals? You don't, I don't take certain things and all those things. I just say I have a different kind of a brain. I need to just manage it. Okay. It's not a disease, it's not a disorder, it's just the creative. It's the creative gene. It's like I say, it's a hunger gene, so that gene needs to be managed {indistinguishable}

I like that. It's not a disease. It's not a disorder. I like that.  

No, it’s not a disease, We can see the thing that what I, uh, what I always still I'm still trying to figure it out is I sometimes ask that by nature, the knee did, the nature has actually created this kind of a brain and structure. Or is it not… because it, if the nature has not created that kind of a structure, I'm not sure whether this much of this much innovation and creativity would be possible in the world. I sometimes feel like I take it as a by design. Some people are, are, are like this. I think we should accept it. Try to manage the simple metaphor I have is, it is today,,,, I call it, the roses with thorns. You need to manage how to, uh, you need to manage the thorns and appreciate about a rose. We are like a roses with thorns. 

That's a great, that's a great, I love it. That's a great analogy. Talk about your Neo planner. 

All right. So this new planet, I honestly, I had created because of my own, uh, this whole focus and, uh, you know, the, the distraction issues.  I was looking for a lot of, uh, uh, planners, uh, a to-do list, kind of a thing. Uh, Peter. So I bought a lot of, uh, general planners and they tried a lot of apps, these that, but no way, actually they did not know where they gave me a comprehensive way of managing myself. Okay. So what I meant is that. So then when we talk about the productivity data, right?  What is the people who will say it, say, Oh, you have a task and you do it. But I never build the concept because it's not about tasks, right? I can come, I can wake up and finish five tasks, but that's not just the complete thing, rght? So this is where I designed the concept. Okay. After researching so many of them, I got really frustrated because I was not getting what kind of planning planner I want.  Right. I went, created the framework. You can see that in the planner, it's there on pyramid. It is called neo-productivity. Neo-productivity is basically a full layer, uh, uh, you know, uh, productivity management tool. Basically you have to manage your life productivity. What is life productivity? Life productivity is about having the right values, right beliefs, right? Purpose for your life. Those things, all the other natures land belief system you should have because you... maybe you'll be doing a hundred great tasks. What if you feel that a value system is completely screwed up, right. That's... that's not productivity, right?  So you cannot just measure a person's productivity, just by a number of tasks.  So one, iis the life productivity then comes to the mind productivity, your ability to do deep work, your ability to create... to create, to work. All those things has pumped into the mind productivity. Right? How, how, how much might your mind is focused? We'll do a report. Then it comes to the strengths productivity.  This is where all of us, we are born with some unique talents. Right? So you need to basically see how much of your talents or strengths are you able to leverage? That's what strengths product with it. Once you attack in the life, productivity, mind productivity and strengths productivity, then comes to the task productivity.  If you manage the first three layers, task productivity become very natural. You know, subs and phenomena actually OK, to be taken care of, so, whereas the entire world talks, talks about only task productivity. So that is when I created this structure and they designed this. In fact, honestly, I created this for myself later on.  A lot of my clients, uh, used it and they found it very useful. That is when I kind of created as a product. So it is really beneficial. Um, it really, I would say it's, I don't remember the word, but definitely one of the, one of the first planet, which comprehensively oxable your life, mind strengths, task productivity.  It is a complete, uh, handle of your whole life. That that's the, that's the beauty about this planet. 

(18:45) I love it. I love it. Awesome. YK,  how can people find more about you? Where can they go? 

Yeah, the best way is you can WhatsApp me. I'm the most active person on WhatsApp. I'll you? My number it's I'm in India, so code is 91…. 91-9949-211399- a little bit again, 91- hyphen 9949--- 211399, or they can also reach me on yk@neostrategy.in, again, YK@neostrategy.in

Awesome. Very cool. Well, thank you so much for taking the time, I appreciate it. 

Thanks, thanks. Thanks for having me take care. 

Bye guys, you're listening to Faster Than Normal, thank you so much for listening as always. If you like what you hear, drop us a note, leave us a review. We'd love to have you, uh, if we can answer any questions, shoot me an email at https://www.shankman.com/ or Tweet me, Facebook, me, Instagram, me, whatever I'm everywhere. We will see you next week with all new interviews. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, ADHD is not a curse. It is not a condition, it's not a disease, it is a gift, we just need to learn how to use it. See you guys next week.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Mar 31, 2021

Taylor Jacobson is the founder of Focusmate (www.focusmate.com) a remote coworking community where people get things done, together. He's a trained executive coach with clients like Yale, Cornell, and Wharton, a wannabe adventurer, and a recovering pizza addict turned holistic health aspirant. He's been featured in The New Yorker, CNN, The Guardian, BBC, and more. Today we talk about, unscheduled downtime, accountability, our zone(s) of focus, anxiety, and how we Get Sh*t Done.  Enjoy!

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Taylor discuss:

   :40  -  Intro and welcome Focusmate founder Taylor Jacobson  [Thank you to Lisa Marks for introducing us!]

2:46  -  On Focusmate – what it is,  how and why you created it.

5:08  -  Did you find this type of focus tool was something you needed, and was that why you created it?

9:02  -  On societal (go-go-go) mentality and how Focusmate taps into the concept of accountability without being overbearing, hitting the sweet spot of good middle-ground

12:56  -  On sense of pride upon completion of a project/reward, and for Focusmate’s repeat customers, how it becomes a lifestyle tool to stay organized and accountable

14:46 -  On Focusmate session completion and the positivity that goes along with it

15:02  -  On advantageous results from frequent use of Focusmate sessions

16:00  -  On the concept of scheduling, and it’s vital importance for people with ADD/ADHD 

18:01  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you?  @TaylorJascobson on Twitter or LinkedIN   People can head over to www.focusmate.com to sign up. Follow them on twitter @Focusmate 

For subscribers of this podcast! You can sign up and enter coupon code:  FTN  for your FREE month of Focusmate Turbo! 

19:15  -  Thank you Taylor! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!

19:38  -  [Hey thanks a bunch Peter! It’s true @stevenbyrom is totally looking for more work]

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

20:44-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey, Hey, what's up everyone.?Happy, happy day. Hope you're having a wonderful day, my name is Peter Shankman and you are listening to another episode of Faster Than Normal. We believe that ADD, ADHD, anything in the neurodiverse world, can be a gift, if you know how to use it.   That doesn't mean we don't have problems, it doesn't mean we don't want to throw things against the wall alot of times it doesn't mean our brains aren't incredibly weird creatures that seem to have their own wants and desires, no matter what we try to do, that all still exists, but we don't believe that neuro-diversity is as bad as for instance, the people on Reddit make it out to be. I personally think that neuro-diversity is pretty cool. So I want to welcome you to another episode. I'm glad you're here.  Again, my name is Peter Shankman.  I am joined today by Taylor Jacobs. We're going to call this the “Get Shit Done,” episode or GSD episode, and we're going to talk to Taylor Jacobson, who founded a company called https://www.focusmate.com/.  Focusmate is a remote co-working community and we'll let him tell you all about that, but I love the idea, shout out to my friend, Lisa Marks, who I'm pretty sure Lisa introduced us, am I right? Yeah. Shout out to Lisa Marshall, who I also found out it was just, she gets some sort of a, I'm totally going to screw this up, she got some sort of award today. She was listed as one of the, I don't know, some designer to watch or something,  I don't know, she sends me texts all the time and I read them and then I kind of forget about them, but I do want to congratulate her on winning some sort of, uh, Women in Design Leadership Committee and Advisory Council there, I looked up the text.

Congratulations, Lisa, and thank you for turning me on tyo Taylor. Taylor has, is a trained executive coach. He has clients like, yeah, Cornell, Wharton. He's a wanna be adventure and he calls himself a recovering pizza addict, turned holistic health aspitant.  I hate every single one of those words, dude. I am, I am I, you don't recover from pizza, pizza gets you. And it's just, it just, is, so we're going to talk about that. It's all bullshit. There has no, no not okay. He's been in the https://www.newyorker.com/ ,   https://www.cnn.com/ ,  https://www.theguardian.com/us ,   https://www.bbc.com/  and more.   Taylor, welcome to Faster Than  Normal. 

Thank you, Peter. 

I am thrilled to have you. I love the concept of Focusmate. Tell us before you, I mean, tell us a little about what it is that... I want to find out how you created it, because it seems like something that everyone needs beyond all conceivable belief.  So tell us, tell us about, tell us about it and then tell us about why you created it.  

Yeah, so we'll give a quick overview of what it actually is. So we, we call it virtual co-working, but, but basically you and a, motivating buddy, an accountability buddy, get on a 50 minute video call where you hold each other accountable and you keep each other company while you each work on your own stuff, your own projects.  Um, so, you know, our, our, our application online. It's, you know, you basically schedule anytime you want to get work done, you just book an appointment. There's people available all over the world, 24/7.  Um, and you get matched up with somebody awesome, and when your appointment starts, you greet each other and really in like a minute or less, you share what you are planning to work on, and you might write it down in the chat to be a little extra accountable, and then you just get to work.  Most people mute themselves. Um, and your partner is there. You can see them. Um, I, for instance, I’ll put my partner on a second screen so I can see them while I'm working on my main screen, and you just do your work and you might update each other.  “Hey, I just finished you know,  my first task. I wrote my to-do list and now I'm moving on to outlining this blog post.”  And, but you're not talking, you're um, you're just sitting there quietly working sort of side by side, if you will. And at the end of the 50 minutes, a bell goes off, um, and you come back to say hi to your partner again, and just say, “hey, how'd it go?”  And you have this moment of reflection and it's not meant to be punitive or anything like that.  It's really just checking in and, and, um, and hopefully celebrating a little before you go on your respective way. And, and, you know, we do 50 minutes. That's the only format we offer at the moment, um, but one of the nice things about it is a lot of people do Focusmate sessions back to back. Um, so it sort of builds, builds in a….break. You can go get a snack or whatever, and then get back to it. So I'll leave it there, but that is what Focusmate is, in a nutshell.

I love the concept. I mean, I, first of all, I imagine, I imagine the person on the second screen, sort of watching it from above like, “Oh, look, God's here.” I love the concept, you know, for, for a lot, because I run a mastermind and, and it's, I’ve…. I've stopped calling the mastermind of late and started calling it an accountability group because that's really what it is.  No guys, I need to make sure that I do “X” - someone make sure by Thursday that a... bug me on Thursday that I've done “Y” right?  and I love the concept of doing it in real time. That is, that is brilliant. Um, what did you, was it something that you found that you needed and that's why you started it? 

Yeah. Yeah.  So, absolutely, yes, um, you know, I started working remotely 10 years ago and, and I had a job at the time and, uh, you know, my, my commute got really far, so I basically begged my boss to let me work from home and overnight I went from being, I think, a pretty high performer to just absolutely useless, really, really struggling.  I just, and I, and I,  I didn't, you know, I didn't quote/unquote get fired, but it was about as close to getting fired, you know, as you can get, I was shown the door very gently, thankfully, but, um, you know, it just shows you, I couldn't cope with the lack of structure, um, of, you know, I didn't have a place to, I didn't, I didn't have to take a shower in the morning and put real people clothes on,  and be somewhere at a certain time. And, um, so the lack of structure and that just the lack of having people who could look over my shoulder and see if I was on, uh, on Facebook or just, just the thought that somebody could take a look and see if I was working, and, and so I really, really struggled and I, I did not figure it out for a really long time. And that, that struggle, it really thrust me into, you know, first it was shame and then depression, and then it just, you know, thankfully it really lit a fire under me to delve into the study of productivity and, and behavior change and, and all these things.  But I just experimented with everything that I could find and, and, a few years ago I was talking to... this is while I was executive coaching, which that, that whole career was really born out of this struggle of like, oh my goodness, it's so hard to just be who I want to be, uh, to do what I want to do. Um, I was talking to a friend who was also working from home and, and, you know, we were intimate enough friends, that we were just being very vulnerable with each other, and, um, it was in fact him that was procrastinating worse than me at the moment. But, um, I just sort of had this spur of the moment, you know what I'm going to tell my  friend, Jake was his name, I'm going to tell him like my dark fantasy of what I'd really like, what I'd really like, you know, in terms of a support structure.  And honestly, I felt kind of silly and a bit ashamed telling him about it, cause I, you know, we just have all these narratives about, kind of how we  you know, is it the sort of fierce, you know, rugged individualism of American culture and, um, all the language that we use around productivity, which basically likens us to machines and all this stuff.  So anyways, I was like, you know, Jake, here's my fantasy. I want to get on a video call and I want to, I want to tell, you know, to break this stuff down into specific tasks and, and, and just keep each other company and check in on each other, so Jake was down for that. And so he and I did the first quote/unquote Focusmate session about five years ago now, and you know, it just, both of us had tried everything under the sun, and then we had this, just magic moment where like,  “Oh my gosh, this really works!”  Uh, and you know, it just clicked like, Oh, there's gotta be millions of people who aren't so different from us that would really benefit from this same technique.

No question about it. And you know, what, what I find interesting, uh, I think the most is about it, is that, um, you know, we are a society that… and you said it yourself, we thrive on that whole, oh, we have to work, we have to work, we have to work, you know, and, and, and I've always been of the opinion that we're killing ourselves, you know, we have these, of these, um, you have these, uh,  I hate the term called  “gurus” right?... on Instagram, um, specifically one who has a three-letter last name who talks about, you know, make sure you're hustling, you're gonna be hustling. And if you have nine hours, you know, if you have 24 hours a day and 18 of them are working and you know, you'll leave to see your kid for 30 minutes and just make them dinner and put them to sleep, but it works the more, you know, sleep 20 minutes, like, what are you doing? you're telling  people to kill themselves, you know? And so the, the premise of, of having to always be on is a, is definitely a societal thing, right? It affects us in America, it affects a lot of Asia. Um, hell the UK has it, they have it nailed down!  right,  OK, we’ve worked a week, time for six weeks off! But,, but on the flip side of that and what I love so much about what you’ve built, is that when I sit down to work, it's time to work, right?  I might not work 20 hours a day, I don't work 20 hours a day, right?  I try to strive... strive for that, I used to... I strive for that balance now, but when I sit down, it's like, okay, go  go, go and for me, the worst thing that has happened over this past year, and I think this episode is going to air about two months from now, but, but the, the… we are talking, we are having this conversation, you and I, on the Monday of the, of the one year anniversary of when everything shut down, right? This is the week that everything truly went to hell right?  A year ago with Covid, and for me, uh, my work, work place was on an airplane, and to no longer have that, to have that just taken away from me, you know, was, was brutally difficult. And so I think that something like this, even though it's not my preferred workplace, which is up in the air, you know, put me on a plane, 14 hours to Tokyo, and I'll write you a book, but, but which I've done like four times, but the, um, knowing that someone is there, to keep an eye on me without being sort of overbearing. I think you might have tapped into that perfect middle ground there. 

Yeah. You know, it's not so different from the, you know, sit on an airplane for 14 hours. It's, it's a shorter time duration than that. But, um, yeah, it really, it goes back into this idea of like, you know, we're not machines, and so what is a support structure that just works for us. And, and, and I, I love the philosophy that you talked about in introducing your show about. You know that our neurodiversity can be our gifts. And, and I think the can be... is for me, is about, do we really embrace them? Do we really lean into them and just celebrate them and just say, okay, well, like how much can I learn about how this thing works so that I can tap into the awesomeness that's actually, um, You know, it's, it's two sides of the same coin. So for me, yeah, Focusmate is not about grinding ourselves into submission more, it's... it's about just saying, Hey, this is how we are, and if we embrace that, um, you know, what's going to work for us and this, you know, you could talk if you're interested, uh, we can dive into maybe why that's the case, but it's just a support structure that, that clicks for, you know, human beings, the way that we are. Um, and yeah, like you alluded to, it has this awesome side effect of yeah, when you're on you're on, and then like, there's nothing better than getting to the end of your last Focusmate session of the day and being like, all right, I'm done. And you know, for me, and for so many of our users, it really creates that like finitude, and sort of a celebratory finish line where it really empowers you to be switched off when you're off too. 

I think that there's, there's also the aspect of it when you're done and you've completed it, there's a sense of pride, and studies have shown that pride... sense of pride, where you do something and you get it and you nail it, actually leads to dopamine,  leads to dopamine,  leads to adrenaline leads to serotonin, and so it could be a wonderful feedback loop in that regard. Okay. I know I'm going to work for four hours now and I'm excited about that, cause I know where I’m going, I know what my reward… then we get the mental reward and the stimulus reward going to at the end of this, which starts the process or even earlier.  So like, okay, let's sit down and do this. And I know that again, I, I linked back to the plane. When I get on that plane, I'm excited to work, right? I'm excited to take off, here's my Diet Coke, OK, let's rock this. You know, and there's that, there's that, uh, I think that, you know, normal people have, um, more normal ways of getting excited, but for me, this works, you know, but, but it it's, it's the thing that, okay, let's do this, let's get this done.  That's, that's a, that's a wonderful feeling. So I would assume that I would assume you have pretty high retention. I'm assuming that people who... who use you, tend to come back. 

Oh, a hundred percent, yeah. It really becomes like a lifestyle. Um, yeah, I was just looking at some, some tweets, uh, in preparation for this of, of, you know, ADHD years who, who use Focusmate,  and, um, yeah, you know, people just, uh, it's like, I use this every day to start my day. All right. You know, I do two sessions a day every day, um, yeah, cause it just, I don't know, for me, it's like the metaphor I use, is it's like getting in an inner tube and floating down the lazy river as a way of getting things done, and, you know, if you have the right environment, it's really easy, you just float to your destination, hopefully. Um, so that's kinda how it feels. Um, I think it’s, you know, book…. book some  Focusmate  sessions when you want to be getting stuff done, and you can almost like relax into that, and know that you're going to get where you want to get to. 

It's actually an interesting concept, because I look at it as the other thing, you know, you're, you're when you're, when you're on, you're on and you compared it to the lazy river, I get that, I mean, I get that you're just going to get your…. I think the end result…. what you're trying to, you're going to get there, right?

Yeah. I think both metaphors, both metaphors are true in a way. 

Yeah. I love that. Now tell me, um, when you, how often are you on it? I'd be like, do you use it? Do you use it religiously as well? Now that, you know, I know when I was, when I was running my company, it's like, you know, I started it, because I needed it and then, you know, you're, you're running it and it doesn't help as much, or you're like, “Oh God, I have to do this now.”  But yeah, I could see that. It's still, I'm guessing it's still pretty useful. 

Yeah. Well, you know I’m  like in my job, I find that I have a lot of meetings and I have stuff like this, and yet I obviously want to get things done as well, and, um, you know, you can block us time to do deep, you know, so-called deep work, but nothing works for me the way that, um, actually booking a Focusmate appointment and saying this time is sacred. Um, so there's a few days a week,and, and at least a few hours every day, where I just block off time for Focusmate co-working and that, you know, and then I, and I schedule my meetings around that. So it actually really, really helps, um, yeah. 

I find that, um, when you have, uh, the scheduling, the concept of scheduling is, is without question the ultimate, um, sort of necessity for anyone with ADHD. If you're not scheduling things, if you're not putting things like for instance, one of the, one of the things about COVID is that, you know, I can give two keynotes, maybe I was giving five keynotes a month, um, before COVID hit, I was on a plane all the time. Now I can get five keynotes in two days. Um, you know, I can do one in Tokyo at 7:00 AM and one in Bangkok at, at, at 9:00 AM, and, um, you know, then I'm home and I haven't left my apartment, right?  Which leaves a lot of free time, and when your ADHD free time is kind of the kiss of death, right? Unscheduled downtime is... is kind of the kiss of death because, you know, scheduled downtimes is OK,, I'm gonna play with my daughter, I'm gonna go outside, I'm gonna go swimming, I'm gonna work out whatever, but unscheduled downtime as, you get it, I have an hour to kill, and nothing to do.  Maybe I'll start a company, maybe I'll try that. You know, it's like, there's no, there's no middle ground there, right? It's all or nothing. Um, when, when, when, when you're, when you're ADHD, and so I would imagine that unscheduled downtime could be perfect for, OK, you know what? I'm going to work on that thing I've been putting off and I'm gonna, I'm going to do a Focusmate session to do it. 

Yeah, I actually, I really relate, like I feel anxiety when I see unscheduled downtime, like, Oh, for sure. I'm going to screw that up. Like go way off the rails, and I'm going to alternately nap and eat pizza and watch TV and, you know, wake up, two days later. 

What is your, I have to ask, what is your, uh, what is your go-to, uh, OK, I just finished it and now I'm going to start again, uh, series on Netflix or Hulu, or whatever it is.  

You know, I don't, I don't, I haven't yet repeated any series. 

Really? Yeah, OK I mean, I watch a lot of new stuff on the bike. I don't allow myself to watch new series, if I'm not on the bike because otherwise I just won't ever work. I'll like, just that'll be my entire day, but when I'm, when I have some time to kill and I just want to lay on the couch and not think about things, I tend to go back to King of the Hill a lot. 

Nice. 

It's a classic, but, uh, so tell us, so, so how can, um, people can head over to www.focusmate.com, and they can just sign up. I see that, that you're given that you get three free sessions a week. 

Yes. We actually have a free plan that is forever free, no credit card. You can use it on the free plan indefinitely. Um, and our paid plan is to have unlimited sessions, uh, and that's currently $5 per month. Um, so, yeah love to, you know, have anyone who's interested, just give it a shot. Um, let us know what you think.  

Guys, I can tell you that, that, um, you know, I don't often recommend products on podcasts, but we will link to it. It is Focusmate, it is one of those things that it's just, it's such a no-brainer to use. It makes such perfect sense for people like us, because it's literally exactly the kind of stuff that we have to deal with, and this is an answer, a solution for that, so strongly recommend it. Uh, I can't thank you enough for coming on the podcast. This was truly phenomenal, Taylor. I really appreciate it. How can people find you? Are you, are you on the socials? Where are you where people can impart more of your wisdom? 

Yeah, I am, um, you can find me on Twitter or  https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylorjacobson/ My Twitter is https://twitter.com/taylorjacobson?lang=en. Um, so yeah, love to connect with folks, uh, on the socials. 

 Awesome, awesome, Taylor, thank you so much for taking the time. We want to know what you want to hear. Uh, do you have a guest that you think might be awesome? Could you be as cool as Lisa Marks and recommend someone as cool as Taylor to come on the podcast? Let me know, shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all the socials or @FasterNormal  We would love to hear your suggestions for who we should have on, um, wanting to give a shout out to Steven Byrom, who is our wonderful producer, who makes me sound good, which isn't necessarily the easiest thing in the world because as I'm interviewing people, I'm also doing a million other things. And so he gets rid of all that background noise, all of all the stuff you don't hear. Chances are, I'm doing construction right now and you won't hear it! Because we have an amazing producer named Steven Byrom @stevenbyrom on Twitter . {thank you Peter}  If you need a Producer, I know he's looking for more work. [Always! Reels, library samples and resume at www.byroMMusic.com]

Um, thank you, Steven and Taylor again. Thank you guys. We'll be back next week and we hope to see you. Then. My name is Peter Shankman. This is Faster Than Normal! ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse, we’ll see you soon! 

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Mar 24, 2021

Dr. George Sachs is the co-founder and clinical director of Inflow, the first science-based digital program built exclusively for people with ADHD, by people with ADHD.  Inflow is an app-based program that is grounded in the proven principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and their mission is to help every person with ADHD reach their full potential by providing sustainable, accessible, and cost-effective support. Alongside their core seven-week program, Inflow offers a safe community space and a range of supportive tools, from ADHD-specific meditations to live events and personalized journaling. Dr. Sachs has committed most of his life to helping others with ADHD. He was diagnosed later in life and is a licensed child psychologist and adult psychologist. He is the author of four books on ADHD and the founder of The Sachs Center in New York. Half the team at Inflow have ADHD, and Dr. Sachs is passionate about promoting neurodiversity in both the workplace and wider society. Inflow will be available for download on the App Store or Google Play Store from April 2021. Enjoy!

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Dr. George Sachs discuss:

0:57  -  Intro and welcome Dr. Sachs! 

2:30  -  On trends, explosion of cases with ADD/ADHD in the past 10 years  Ref: Dr. Sachs’s practice.  Ref:  Executive function

5:15  -  On the concept of your app, InFlow.  What is it, how did you come up with it and what does it do? 

7:58  -  On technology being used as a helpful tool and not a hindrance. Benefits vs dangers

9:03  -  On the challenge of getting resources to everyone who needs help

10:10  -  On focusing on moderation w/ an ADHD mind that’s not necessarily wired for moderation

11:22  -  On finding balance/‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’/meditation & mindfulness

12:58  -  On how people are handling the lack of rituals, habits, stability, consistency during this past year + of the pandemic, specifically 

14:21  -  Advice for restoring rituals, daily habits, and building back. “external motivation”

15:57  -  On replacing willpower with scheduled routine/built-in structure and accountability 

17:33  -  How do people find you and learn more and reach out to you? Get the App on April 5th in the Apple Store HERE or via Google Play. Find out more about and how to directly contact Dr. Sachs via his website https://sachscenter.com  His books are linked there too!

18:11  -  Dr. Sachs, thanks so much for taking the time being on Faster Than Normal, I appreciate it.  Guys, as always, Faster Than Normal, if you liked what you heard drop us a review.  We appreciate you guys being on the podcast, we appreciate people listening. We are, as far as I can tell, one of the top, if not the top ADHD podcast out there, so I love that, and that is all because of YOU guys, and I am eternally grateful. If you have a guest that you think might work, or maybe it's you, someone you know, You can always reach me via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. We would love to hear from you guys, uh, it thrills us to no end when we get notes. Also, one final thing, if you have the book, if you've read Faster Than Normal the book, go on to wherever you bought it https://www.amazon.com/ or https://www.audible.com - whatever, drop us a review, you'd be amazed at how those reviews really, really help. As always, thank you for listening. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We are looking forward to seeing you next week, you guys take care.

18:29  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits!

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, I'm thrilled that you're here as always. It is a grey day in New York City here on this Monday, but at least it's not raining, so that is always a plus. Good to have you here, I hope you had a great weekend. I don't know when you're listening to this airs on Wednesdays, that doesn't really matter, but anyway, hope you're having a great day. Want to introduce you today to Dr. George Sachs. Dr. Sachs is co-founder and clinical director of Inflow, the first science based digital program for managing ADHD, and we're going to talk about that because some of our best guests ever, uh, Dr. Emily Anhalt, Dr. Rachel Cotton, all those people are all science-based and they usually give us the best interviews. So I am psyched for that. Dr. Sachs is a licensed child psychologist and adult psychologist, uh, especially in treatment of ADD,  ADHD, autism, spectrum disorders in children,  teens and adults. He did his clinical training in Chicago at Cook County Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the child study center.  He completed his internship postdoc work at Children's Institute in LA, where he supervised and trained therapists in trauma focused CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  TF, CBT,  see, every day there is another version of, of CBT that I am  forced to learn. All right. Cool. Dr. Sachs, welcome to Faster Than Normal, it's great to have you,

Thank you very much, it's great to be here. 

I was just saying in classic ADHD style, I didn't have you on my calendar and we don't know who’s at fault, but that's okay, that’s we do. 

Right, that is the challenge with ADD and having my own ADD, uh, sometimes I, you know, we never know who's at fault, but in this case, uh, we cancel each other out.  

We make it work, exactly. So, so it was funny. Cause I remember when, uh, when I first you mentioned, you knew Dr. Hallowell, when I first interviewed him for an episode #1 of the podcast all the way back, like, four... four years ago now, um, I remember that I showed up at his office an hour early, um, and he thought the interview was an hour late. And so it actually worked perfectly on time. 

See, there you go.  

Um, but yeah, it happens. So tell us about, um, your, you focus, especially as an ADHD… tell us what it's been like over the past… let's say 10 years, right? What trends have you noticed in ADD & ADHD? Has it, have you noticed, I mean, a lot of people have said they've seen an explosion in new cases, an explosion in diagnosis. Tell us what you've seen from, from a clinical standpoint. 

Well, obviously, uh, okay. So, I’m a Clinical Psychologist. I have that practice on 78th, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, specializing in, uh, the, the testing and treatment of children, teens, and adults with ADHD. I also focus on Autism,  ASD and Asperger's, um, although that is not the term used anymore, but, um, uh, that is the one I prefer. So, yeah, so I've been working with ADHD for a long time. I myself have ADHD and have had it my whole life, uh, but only realized it in my thirties, I'm now 52, um, but I think the biggest change really is this focus from away... from attention problems or focus problems to Executive Functioning deficits.  And Executive Functioning, uh, really is, includes a lot of different areas, organizational deficits, time management problems, uh, self control, impulsivity issues, emotional dysregulation, uh, so those are just a few, but it, uh, decision-making and organization. So... it really affects a lot of areas of our lives. So I, I, I, I see that as a big focus and change that, uh, I'm working on and that's what we're working with, um, Inflow on, bringing, um, information and tools and techniques on how to overcome, uh, executive functioning deficits.  Uh, so yeah, so that's a big change I've seen.  Also, I have to say that another big change…. change is the, is the, um, is the interest in neuro-diversity, and I think this is wonderful, this idea that, you know, 10 years ago, ADHD was up, a problem to be fixed and a disorder and there was a heaviness to it. But now I see, you know, the culture and society moving towards an acceptance of neuro-diversity and that's wonderful because I think people with neuro-diverse, uh, minds can really add to, and change the world.

I totally agree. And you know, it's interesting because I'm, I'm a lot of the work I do is with companies and corporations and sort of how they're learning to, to embrace the neuro-diverse, uh, employee, they're realizing that it's, it's, it's a value. There's a, there's a value there, to hiring people with different brains and that they do benefit. So it's, it's nice to see that there's, that you're seeing that in other areas as well. Um, let's talk,  let's talk science, let's talk about, uh, the, the concept of Inflow. What is it? How'd you come up with it? What does it do? 

Well, um, Inflow is a science-based learning program on the mobile... on the mobile phone, it's an application to help people with ADHD reach their full potential and myself, and as the clinical director teamed up with two amazing entrepreneurs, uh, one from England and one's from South Africa, and together we have built this, uh, amazing program for people with ADHD. It's interesting cause it's for people with ADHD,  by ADHD, by people with ADHD and myself included, but the entire team really, uh, I would say 50% of us, uh, the greater larger team here has some form of neuro-diversity, so we really understand, uh, you know, the problems with ADHD and the, the learning modules are not just a formulaic, you know, information about getting another plan or things like that, it's really things that I've found effective with my clients , and….work for myself, so they're really creative solutions to managing some of the difficulties of ADHD. The program is based on CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. So what's unique about the app is that we not only do we give psycho-education in this unique way, creative, unique solutions for people with ADHD, but we have, uh, challenges.  So each day you're…. you're provided with a challenge in, and you have to apply that in your real life. For example, we, we coach in the app, something called the launching pad and that's kind of a bowl or a dish or a place near the door where you put your keys, your wallets and things like that, so that you don't have to scramble for them in the morning, and then the, the challenge is you have to actually use it. And then come back on a daily basis to the app and swipe that you've, you've got it, and of course over time it becomes habitual… and  a new tool is learned. 

Interesting. What, how... talk about how you believe that technology has helped people with ADHD?  You know, for me, just before we started, I shut off my, my, my living room thermostat by, by asking, you know, my computer to do it, right automatically, and so what happens, uh, in a world where technology is so ingrained from kids as young as you know, birth, right? I mean, my daughter is almost eight, and she, uh, especially with everything going on with COVID, you know, is as, almost as computer savvy as I am right? And so, so how does tech, how do we make sure technology is a help and not a hindrance, right?  What do we say to parents who are saying, “I can't, you know, my kid is on Zoom all day, and then on his iPad,or his phone all night and you know, I, more stuff, you know, how do, how do we, how do we make that differential between beneficial and, uh, dangerous, for lack of a better word.  

Well, that’s  a good question, and I get that a lot in my practice, particularly from parents of teenagers and children, but adults, uh, can also struggle with this, this balance, and it really is a balance because I think technology can really be an amazing tool. Uh, I myself have grown tremendously with Google and Google calendar and Gmail and the integration of all those and in my phone, so I think for people, which by the way is amazing as well. So, um, my point is it can be an amazing thing with, uh, in moderation and, and, you know, I see, you know, uh, um, uh, not tens, tens, yeah, maybe a hundred people, um, you know, a year at my practice. I don't know. It's, it's not, it's not as many as we, as the app can reach. And so, that was one of the exciting things about doing Inflow, the app, is that now I can, you know, teach and coach as many people as download the app and that, and we're, we're providing it to all over North America, Canada, Australia, UK.  So, as you know,  you know, therapy and group therapy for ADHD and even ADHD coaching can be very expensive, and the research I've done, is that there's 33 psychologists per 100,000 people, and 9 psychiatrists per 100,000 people in the United States.  So, you know, the challenge is, I mean, technology offers us an opportunity to bring uh, real tools, ADHD learning, to as many people as possible, so I think in that way, it's very positive, but yeah, I mean, if you're taking your phone to bed and you're up until two in the morning, it's going to impact your life. 

Well, here's an interesting question because you said that, that, you know, it's fine in moderation, but yeah. ADHD, we're not known for moderation, quite the opposite.  We're known for, you know, all or nothing  you know, we don't, we don't moderate and eat two slices of pizza, we eat the pizza, right?  So we have to learn ways around that. So how do you focus on implementing moderation to a brain that isn't necessarily able to accept it as easily as, uh, you know, other brains

Well, these are things that, um, I coach in my practice and are also in the app and there's a couple of tools that we use, but I mean, I think out of sight, out of mind is one of the easiest and, you know,  if we see something we're triggered, so I think in many cases removing that from your eyesight is something that will reduce, you know, the, the, the trigger to eat more.   

 

So do you put a time limit on it, as it were?  

What’s that?  

Like, a time limit?  

No. I mean like physically removing it from your refrigerator or like there's foods that I want, but I can't buy, because I'll just say in the entire, 

But I'm talking about specifically... is electronics, right? If, you know, you mentioned that you have to put a, uh, put a sort of, uh, limits on your electronic usage, right?  But that's easier said than done most of the time. 

Well, um, I mean, it can be as simple as removing the app from your, uh, your home screen, you know, something like that. I mean, that's the way, at least for me, when I, you know, I may miss it for a day or two, but then it's like gone and, and I, and I don't miss it.  So, I mean, there's, there does need to be some boundaries set and, some um, um, you know, personal limitations put in, but I think you know, that concept of out of sight out of mind is really important. Um, the other one, which is harder to develop, but I think the best actual treatment for ADHD, is mindfulness and meditation.  And some people say, well, I can't do that, that's, you know, I can't sit for any period of time, but what we, um, one of the modules in the Inflow app is on mindfulness. And it's just, I mean, it's really just creating a sense of, of being in the present moment and slowing ourselves down so that we can make better decisions about whether to indulge in that thing or, you know, impulse buy that thing. So I mean, this, these are the two things that work for me is #1, is to, is to literally remove it from my site, and #2 to slow myself down and practice mindfulness on a daily basis, to...to be able to make better decisions. 

Yeah. That makes sense. I mean, the premise that, you know, it's, it's the, for me, if it's not, again, same thing with the food, if it's not in the fridge, I’m not gonna have it,, right?  If the, if the, if the app to order the delivery is not, on my phone, um, you know, it's gonna be harder to use, um, talk for a second about, uh, the last year, right? I mean, we've been in just a crazy time and, um, I know that for me, you know, all of, a lot of my rituals and a lot of the things that I use to sort of keep me, uh, focused and working and beneficial have really gone out the window, right? I'm not on a plane anymore, uh, three, you know, two or three times a week. Uh, it's been very tough to sort of build that back. Um, what have you seen. Uh, you know, between... with your clients and, and, and with what you've heard in the industry, you know, what have you seen in terms of how people are handling that?  Cause it's, it's, it's tough for anyone, but I think when you have ADD and ADHD, and you're very set on rituals and routines to just sort of be thrown into, not even, even now, right? I mean, you know, school is open for a week or two, and then someone catches COVID and it's shut down for two weeks, you know, there's no, there's no stability anymore.

 

 

Yeah. I mean, I, you know what, it's really interesting. It's been a year, I think, and about a month ago I started seeing people really crashing and particularly teenagers were really suffering because they need that social interaction, and kids too, um, but with ADHD, yeah, we need the, we need the, uh, the script, but we need the, the rituals, we need the… the outline of how we're going to go, and not have to think about it. 

Um, so any tips or recommendations on what, what kids or even adults can do to sort of get a little bit of that back when it's hard to find? 

Okay, well, this is a big, um, a big tool that I like and I call it “Externalizing the Motivation” and most people with ADHD struggle, uh, to get things done and to do things because as Dr. Barkley says, one of the gurus in the field, he says that the internal voice of willpower in people with ADHD is weak, so we actually have to externalize it. And for me, that means. I really put everything on, um, anything that I struggled to do, I externalized. Um, and so if I need to do some writing, if I want to do some creative writing, I'll join a creative writing class. And if I need to work out, I, I. I will, you know, there's a tennis court near me,  I'll, I'll take a class. So I, I I've accepted my ADHD, which by the way, is the first step. And if we accept it, then we realize we can't really do things by ourselves, and we have to find external support, a class, uh, an accountability buddy, a teacher, um, a program. And so anything like that, and you, you know, in your book, you talk about swapping, um, um, cleaning duties, which I thought was really interesting.  So I, I think if you're struggling to get things done, it's important to think about what can I do outside myself to get motivation. And that might, that generally comes from other people. 

So I think it also, I found for a lot of people that I've talked to with having the podcast, it also comes from sort of, again, those rituals, the concept of, you know, uh, creating situations that allow you to get up early or to start your day or whatever, that you don't have to think about. I think that the willpower is, uh, uh, a silent or, you know, a quieter voice, but when you don't have to think about it and you just do it, right?  So, you know, the concept of, of sleeping in your gym clothes, like I mentioned, right, we're getting up early and just, you know, you're on the bike or whatever it is. So I think there's a, there's a, a couple of, of, you know, I agree that I am more apt to get, uh, to the gym when I know my trainers waiting for me, but again, you know, not necessarily something we've been able to do recently, 

I mean in your book at, again, you talk about your running partner, you know, like who met you in the park at 4:30 in the morning?

Still does. Yeah. That's very true. 

And still does in this, this is the perfect example of externalizing, the motivation and something like that is really, uh, you know, focused on in our Inflow app. So, you know, You have to be creative in different ways to approach that, but back to the old whole idea of a morning routine or a schedule.  Yeah, we, it takes cognitive energy to, to think about what I'm going to do next and what I'm going to do next, and by having a schedule, a routine, you know, we can go on autopilot, save the cognitive resources for later in the day when we really need it to get things done.  So, you know, it is important to have a schedule and also the external accountability from a friend or some other support systems.

 

It makes sense to me. Dr.,  how can people find you if they want to learn more or reach out to you? 

Well, they can, uh, find me, you can download the app, uh, at the, at the GooglePlay store or the, um, the Apple store. You can look for Inflow ADHD, the app will be available in April, April 5th, and you can find me, uh, just Google me, George Sachs Physchologist, ADHD, and you'll find my practice here in New York City. 

Very cool, that's nice. Thank you so much for taking the time, I truly appreciate it, and, uh, we will, we will definitely have you back, I'd love to hear how the app's going and we’ll have you back in like six months or so, and then talk some more. 

Okay, thank you very much.

Guys. As always, Faster Than Normal, we appreciate you being here. ADHD is a gift and not a curse, as long as you know how to use it, use some of the ways Dr. Sachs has talked about, let us know what works for you, and doesn't.  Leave us a review, if you'd like to shoot me a note at www.petershankman.com or  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) • Instagram photos and videos  Peter Shankman (@petershankman) | Twitter all the socials, and either way, we'll see you next week, and we thank you for listening.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

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