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Faster Than Normal

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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Now displaying: August, 2020
Aug 26, 2020

Andy J. Pizza is an American illustrator, podcaster and public speaker. His explosive color drenched illustrations have brought hope and smiles to clients like The New York Times, Nickelodeon, YouTube and Warby Parker. He is the founder of the Creative Pep Talk podcast, a mostly monologue show with occasional interviews with creatives like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Poet and Lettering Artist Morgan Harper Nichols.

Creative Pep Talk has been featured by Apple, BuzzFeed and Vanity Fair and has over 5 million listens.”  Today we talk about how he found his first artistic path, how he manages creative deadlines as a neurodiverse individual, and why sometimes red means green. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Andy J. Pizza discuss:

1:00-  Intro and welcome Andy! Check out his great podcast www.CreativePeptalk.com

2:15-  So was Art always your thing; your way of ‘getting in trouble’? 

4:10-  On trying so hard as a kid to outwit or out-will his ADD/ADHD

5:00-  On lessons from his Mom, trying to pass as neurotypical

7:00-  On how/why he finally went into illustration

8:15-  On realizing you’re not broken, but also learning how to articulate that.

9:07-  Are you also colorblind or Red-Green deficient? Check out these glasses! 

9:45-  Peter found solace in computers; Andy found some control in Illustration… 

11:40-  Once you found your thing- how did you turn that into a career? What did your parents say?

13:15-  On strategic thinking and reverse engineering how to find your creative path/career. Check out Andy’s CreativePeptalk podcast

14:34-  Please talk about how you handle “creative deadlines” client retention, and your ADHD

15:38-  This is how Andy keeps his work week, happening, productive and on schedule! 

16:20-  On keeping it simple and keeping your creative SuperSelf healthy. 

16:54-  Knowing your power hours! Ref: Molly Fletcher’s book “The Energy Clock” here

17:32-  On knowing the things that set me at my best, at my worst, etc.  Ref: Jim Collins’ Study thyself like a bug. Other recommendations here also! 

19:00-  Find Andy’s podcast at www.creativepeptalk.com Find Andy @ AndyJPizza on INSTA Twitter and the podcast at @CreativePepTalk on Facebook and on SoundCloud

19:22-  Thank you Andy! 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.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

19:50-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

 Welcome to Faster Than Normal, the ADHD neurodiversity podcast that is slowly but surely changing the world. We're also working on a cure for COVID. We're not actually doing that, but you never know. I mean, it can't be any worse than what's currently out there. It's good to have you guys back. Thank you again, as always for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. 

 

Our guest today who's illustrations you've seen. He works with clients ranging from NY times, Nickelodeon, YouTube, Warby Parker. I actually saw him in Scholastic. I think reading a book with my kid. I mean, his stuff is everywhere. He's brilliant. Brilliant. He’s massively ADHD and was diagnosed as an adult, he’s the founder of the creative pep-talk podcast as well. It's a mostly monologue show with occasional interviews with creators like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Broad City’s Rusty's Abby Jacobson, who I'm in love with, by the way, poet and literary artists, Morgan Harbor Nichols. Um, It is awesome to welcome Andy J Pizza.

Andy. Welcome. 

 

Thank you so much for having me Peter.

 

It's awesome. I love seeing brilliant people doing brilliant things. Um, and, and, and, and being able to try mean just some of the stuff I was looking at. Um, I mean, my God, you've done Nickelodeon, um, the book So Many Sounds, which, which I've seen. Um, I'm looking at some of the other stuff that I'm, that I'm familiar with coloring books, right.

I mean, it's just all of the charts and it's gorgeous. It's so brilliant stuff, mental floss, it's brilliant stuff. I mean, it really, really is incredible stuff. So it's great to have you on really appreciate it. Living proof that. That ADHD is a gift not a curse time. So tell us about where you are always attracted to drawing where you like.

Was doodling your, your, your, your go to, to get in trouble with, in school or, you know, tell us your story. 

 

Yeah. I'd love to jump in there. I am going to say real quick, uh, one warning is, and I'm sure you understand this. Anytime I, when I'm talking to somebody who doesn't have ADHD, I find myself able to sometimes, somewhat pass as neuro-typical. Uh, but when I talk to someone from who has ADHD, it's almost like when you put two mirrors in front of each other and it just goes on until infinity and refracts and tangents, like that's how that's what happenes. So I'm just warning you up top, this whole energy and everything is going to bring out my, my, uh, my weird self.

 

I call it ADHD-dar you can always tell the other people that have it as well. 

 

100%. Okay. So I'll tell you a little bit about. Uh, he may grown up and all that good stuff. Um, yeah. So, you know, ever since I was little, I was always doing creative things and I, uh, you know, honestly I think of it like, um, you know, I don't think a lot of people think of ADHD as a, primarily being those people are driven by boredom, but that's what I like just.

Obsessively not wanting to do boring things or mundane things. And I think creativity was really born from just the cure for boredom. How do we, how do I make any circumstances even now, today? You know, if I'm on a bike ride and I'm bored or I'm going, you know, have to take the kids to the doctor or whatever, I just find weird problems to solve in my head, be it for the podcast for a kid's book or whatever. I'm just always. I'm driven to do those things just to, at all costs, avoid being bored. Does that resonate with you or do you know.. 

 

Makes perfect sense. There are two roads you can go down with that, you know, as, especially as a kid is a positive road, a negative road.

 

Totally. Yes. You know, I was actually the kind of kid who really wanted to be a good kid. Like I really wanted to. I wished that I could do all of the right things. And I tried I really, and that was kind of probably part of why I didn't get diagnosed for a long time is that I was just always trying to perform. I was trying to out-will myself to do all the things and just beat myself up and shame myself into making all the deadlines and getting everything right. And all that. And it, you know, you can go so far doing that. Um, but you know, at some point, you know, I, I had a, I learned a really important, um, from my mom who I believe has undiagnosed ADHD. And, uh, she, you know, she gave me a really huge lesson by showing me not what to not do. And I, you know, when I was really little. Everybody in my life would constantly know my uncles, aunts, grandparents, whatever would constantly be like, you are just like your mom. And I'd be like, that's amazing. My mom was the coolest person, like, yeah, my mom wasn't around. Uh, I didn't grow up. You know, I didn't grow up in her house. She, my parents split when I was really little. So I didn't like that. You know, I didn't get to see her that much, especially because I was just totally, I just thought she was the coolest person in the world. She was always drawing.

She was loud, was weird, wwas funny, you know, all of that stuff. Um, and so when people would tell me, you're just like, did your mom, when I was little, I was like, yeah, man, keep it coming. Keep it saying that I love her. She's the coolest person I know. But then as I got older, her life just continually kind of unraveled over and over until things just become, you know, tragedies compounded on other tragedies. And by the time I was in high school and her life has just completely fallen apart. I bet those words that were told to me when I was a kid became this like prophetic a message of doom over my life of this is what happens to people like you you're just like her. This is what's. This is what the world does to people like that. 

 

It's like seeing as opposed to having a parent, an alcoholic parent. Right where you see that and you’re like I can't let that happen. 

 

And what I did it, maybe I didn't have words for it at the time, but what I saw was this is a person who has all of this, like everyone that meets her, she's there, she's charismatic and funny, and she's got all these talents and she's doing all this stuff, but she constantly tried to pass as neuro-typical she tried to just be a secretary, just be a waitress, just be, just be the thing that normal people are. And she never bet on her weirdness. And so I saw from early on, I was having, you know, she would be a waitress and she'd miss do the, you know, miscalculate the change and have so much shame that she'd like walk out on her first day and she, you know, she just could not hold a regular job. And when I started, my parents made me have part time work and I could just feel I was losing money. I was doing things wrong. It didn't matter how much I tried to be normal. it wasn't working. And so from that early age, I just realized that normal is never going to work for me. And I watched my mom. That's what I learned from her. I watched her spend a lifetime of going against the grain for herself. And so that was the thing, the plan I had for 99 or 99 people out of a hundred, like I just knew there's no way that going to work for me.

And so I started to think early on thinking about, you know, what. Kinds of things. Could I do with me weird stuff. And that's why I'm into illustration. 

 

And I think that, you know, what's interesting about what you're saying is that even at a young age, you knew, you know, something's not something's amiss.

Yeah. And the problem is, is that at a young age, it's hard to put that into words. And so you start thinking that you're broken.  

 

100% and I, you know, and also I grew up in the South of Indiana and there wasn't a lot of talk about mental health. Right. And they're, you know, there's just a lot of stuff, stigma around that.

And I think that the words that they had for my mom growing up. Uh, they weren't words like ADHD and kind of the same for me, they were words like lazy, you know, or a mess or forgetful, you know, whatever disease. 

 

“Sit down you’re disturbing the class” disease.

 

Yes. That, all of that. And so, you know, I think that, uh, um, I didn't have words for, it took me forever to even be able to articulate to my dad like, you know, kind of the perspective thing of like, you're seeing blue, I'm seeing red. I don't know how to sh I don't know how to show you that, you know, um, that's just a metaphor. I'm also color blind, but illustrating the story line. Yeah. I'm not fully colorblind. It's red, green colorblind. But I think that probably contributes to my weird color choices, 

 

Which is funny because a lot of the people I've talked to who have neurodiverse brains are also red-green deficient. I wonder if that.. sounds so weird I wonder if there's something there. 

 

I bet on it. I bet on it, but I, that I desperately want. 

 

They're very cool. They really, you really can see a difference. 

 

That's really cool. Yeah. I w I want to do that. Um, but yeah, I didn't have the language for it for a long time. 

 

Let’s talk illustration. So for me as a kid, I found solace in computers. Right. I grew up in the, the early eighties. I was, I was, you know, age 8 to 18 in the 1980’s. And so I discovered and I had an Apple 2E, and all of a sudden I code and if I coded and I made a mistake, it wasn't so stupid. Right. It wasn't because the kids didn't like me. It wasn't because I open my mouth and say, there's something wrong and I could fix it. Right. So I was able to get a, a level of control through that. I'm assuming you found the same thing through illustration. 

 

Yeah, I'm trying to, I, you know, illustration was weird because as you know, I've since kind of moved over into storytelling and illustration is serving that I think the 

 

Japanese arts or creativity, whatever, you know, the term being, I'm not forgive me for getting it wrong, but no, 

 

I call myself and that's primarily what I do, but it's just evolved over time.

And I think, you know, illustration, when I first started getting into band posters and stuff like that, for me, I think it was just the first path that I saw to not be a complete screw up. I've just like, I. That those are people that have, instead of like repressed their weirdness, they've crystallized it into a style and to a voice and, and, you know, and they did it through the medium of illustration and, and it was kind of just like a yellow brick road into a future that I actually wanted to go into. Um, so that was just the first one like that. But as any ADHD person can probably testify, I, that I can kind of see, like, those hyper-focused obsessions kind of last from anywhere from five years to a decade, like the full.. and I kinda, and I think at the end of, by the time I was about 28, I think I was like, okay, I have illustration. I can do that. It'll serve all my other things, but now I'm interested in storytelling. Um, I don't know if I answered your question.

So 

 

You most certainly did. I think that, you know, again, one of the things about ADHD, you find. That thing. Yeah. And you go full speed with it. The problem is not everyone finds it once you do, you know, then you really have to have something there. So how did you, how did you turn that into a career? And when you went to your parents and said, here's what I want to do.

What was the reaction there? 

 

Yeah, I mean, their reaction was, well, you know, my dad and my stepmom. Uh, they knew they didn't understand me. They knew they didn't like the path that I chose. Cause I was, I always had, I never planned on getting a job. Even when I went to college for illustration and design, I kind of told them, like, I'm not doing this to go get an entry level Graphic designer position, I'm doing this so that I can work for myself. And the truth is, is that that's really where that thing for my mom kicked in is just, it didn't matter what they said. They didn't like it. They didn't think it was a good idea that, you know, when I graduated, they were constantly telling me like, you know, the newspaper has a graphic design position and I was like, I'm not doing it. There was no part of me that has ever entertained the normal path ever, ever since I watched my mom's life go up in flames, I was just like; you can say whatever you want. I know if I take that path, it's going to lead to destruction. It's not gonna, you know, it's not gonna work. So, um, but how I turn into a career, that's kind of been uh, the second, the second half the, of my career has been talking about that on my podcast, Creative Pep Talk. And I, and I did it in a very strategic way. So I, you know, I have a lot of frameworks and strategies around how to break into your, uh, niche of choice and, you know, I studied a lot. I did a lot of strategic thinking, you know, first and foremost, one of the things that I talk to people about is we always. We always think that your talent is something to do with your ability. And I would argue that it starts before that, not things that you can do, but how deeply you can receive. And I have this whole spiel about that, that I guess I could go into if we want to go that direction, but essentially it starts with collecting all of the things that move you in the deepest way, you know, reverse engineering, both the mechanics of how they're achieving what you love and reverse engineering their career paths and looking for patterns, um, and that's kind of all of the things that I explore on my podcast, creative pep-talk, which is about building a creative career, but also it's for anybody that has to approach “career” creatively, where the normal path just isn't going to get you there. 

 

I do encourage you to subscribe, to CreativePepTalk. I like it. It's a, it's a, a very useful podcast. I strongly encourage everyone listening here, to listen to that as well. Talk about. So when you're on, when you were, when you were illustrating drawing stories on whatever, uh, for clients, you're obviously doing it on deadlines, talk about the secrets that you're using to keep your ADHD at bay or make it work for you, so you're not missing those deadlines and being fired. 

 

I've learned, you know, first of all, uh, I'm lucky enough to be, I was always looking for an agent. I was always good at; getting work. So I never needed an agent to go out there and get me work. Uh, but I was looking for an agent that would help me be a manager and help me to stay on top of that. So part of staying on top of all that is just outsourcing, you know, staying in your strengths zone and outsourcing your weaknesses. Um, now early on, I wasn't able to do that, but I got habits like, um, just some, you know, when I look at a calendar uh, Google calendar, Apple iCal or whatever. It just does not compute. I'm not exactly sure why, but it just is, um, it's it's information overload. It does not help me stay on task. And all of the, you know, all of these project managers, none of that works for me. I have to do a much simpler approach. So what I do, I use the calendar for the stuff that I knock it all in there, but then at the start of the week, every Monday, I create a little Monday through Friday schedule. I've start by adding all the days of the week. Then I block in all of the appointments, so I, you know, things like this podcast are in there and then I work all and then I put the deadlines in. And then I work backwards from there of like, this is how I'm going to spend my work week. Um, and that kind of simplistic approach to managing my time has been a lifesaver. 

 

I imagine that that keeping it simple, um, allows you to put your energy, your creative energy towards things that actually matter. 

 

100% and I, yeah. And you know, that's a, and then the other thing, yeah. On that topic I've learned, you know, I think a lot about like my creative self care diet, and I think about, you know, what are all the habits that I need to be doing in order to be my creative, super self?

What are the things that, you know, things like running, things like a quiet time things like, you know, there's I have all of the, I've also learned like Molly Fletcher. Yeah. This book called a what's it called energy. I can't remember if I, well, I hate it, but I can't remember that, but it's, it's all about, it's all about, um, knowing when your power hours are like, what, when are you?

Um, I think it's called THE ENERGY CLOCK. Yeah. It's all about knowing when are you at your best? Because for me, and even this has gone into my diet and everything. Just knowing that like my willpower just dramatically diminishes throughout the day. And so there'll be.. 

 

You gotta be aware of yourself.

 

You've gotta be aware. You've got it. You've got to be hyper aware of what are the things that I do that me at my best. And what are the things that diminish me? For instance, I, for the most part, during the workweek, I won’t eat bread for, for lunch because as soon as I do my brain's foggy. So just weird things like that, and it kind of, uh, Jim, I'm getting all my names are all over the place right now. Who's the massive business, uh, writer, Jim Collins, Jim Collins talks about, he talks about how one of his professors told him to study himself like “Jim the bug”. So it's just this idea. He has this massive Excel spreadsheet where he's over the years, studied himself like a scientist, studying a bug, just noticing all that, what are the, all the little things that you do? Oh, when I do this, it ends in that when I do that, I get this. And so, yeah, that, that hyper awareness of my ADHD, what triggers it? What helps it, when do you know there's times where I want the ADHD to just fly. You know, when I'm on stage, I want it to go let it go.

It's a spectacle. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad, at least people are like, what the heck is going on? Mmm. It's something to behold. So yeah. Yeah. That self awareness studying yourself like a bug. That's something I've been dedicated to for the past decade, at least.

 

We're coming up on 20 minutes on the podcast. People can find wherever you find a podcast probably CreativePepTalk but where can they find you? 

 

Probably the best place is Instagram at AndyJPizza. Um, I'm pretty active over there. 

 

Awesome. Andy, I think we're going to have you back cause I want, I want to dive more into sort of getting to know yourself. So we're going to definitely have you back on next couple months, but guys, Andy, first of all, thank you so very much for taking the time. I really appreciate this was, this was fascinating. We're going to have you back.  

 

Guys, you're listening to fast than normal as always. If you like what you hear, drop us a note. Leave us a review. Reach out to me on Twitter, Peter Shankman on Instagram, Twitter at fast and normal. Um, whatever you do say hi, have a great day. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay home. If he can wear a mask and we will talk again next week. Thank you for listening. And remember the ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you later. 

This has been Faster Than Normal as always, my name is Peter Shankman. I thank you for listening. Please leave a review on anywhere that you download this podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher. We will see you next week with a brand new episode where we continue to press the notion of ADHD and all sorts of their diversity is a gift and a curse. 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 19, 2020

I met today’s guest around three years ago when I was invited to join Adobe’s Influencers Group and I’ve been just in awe of her ever since! Rani Mani is the Head of Global Employee Advocacy at Adobe and helps teams with Influencer Relations. She's passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others to do the same. She is currently working across Adobe teams to drive understanding, excitement, and advocacy among the global workforce in order to enable and empower all employees to be the company’s biggest brand ambassadors. Nicknamed “The Velvet Hammer” Rani’s mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her humor, grace, and passion. When she’s not asking provocative questions and making declarative statements at work, Rani is making magical memories with her husband and four kids as they continue to visit the many wonders of the world. Today we talk about how helping others can be it’s own reward, the value of diversity in thought, and helping employees to embrace and believe in themselves, and so many other really great topics- enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Rani Mani discuss:

1:11-  Intro and welcome Rani!

2:27-  So you have been an advocate for employees’ diversity in the workforce for as long as I've known you, what prompted that to become your passion?

3:18-  What is the biggest change that you've seen in terms of employee advocacy and how people look at diversity as a whole, not just at Adobe but like worldwide?

4:30-  Do you find that employees as a whole are starting to sort of embrace their diversity as opposed to some that used to have to be hidden?

5:48- In terms of diversity what have you sort of taught Adobe? What would you say the top things are that a company, big or small, should definitely be doing without question?

7:00-  On the concept of top down structuring/leadership

9:22-  On the diversity of thought

11:08-  It amazes me that a company as big as Adobe can have all that done so well; to the point where it seems seamless, and I'm curious as to why so many other companies have a problem following suit. I wonder what the different, secret sauce is…

13:50-  On employee advocacy and “how can I solve this by helping the other person win?”

17:00-  On the importance of leading with “how can I help you?”

19:20-  On how helping others can even become physically addictive

21:00-  What one piece of advice would you give to someone who you work with to understand the value of diversity? I mean, it seems like an easy question, but like I said, a lot of people don't get it.

23:26-  How can people find you?  @RaniMani0707 on Twitter and Rani Mani on LinkedIn

23:44-  Thank you Rani! 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.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

24:09-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT: FTN_195_Rani_Mani

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you are here as always, good to have you! Today's guest needs no introductions, but I kind of have to do it anyway because you know, it's a podcast. I first met Rani probably almost God, two years ago, no maybe three through an invitation I was given to join Adobe as part of their insider's group, Adobe influencers. And I have been in awe of her ever since. And I want to read your bio cause it is, it is pretty damn impressive. Ronnie Mani is the head of global employee advocacy at Adobe. Okay. What does that mean? She helps teams and influencer relations as well. She's passionate about cultivating and nurturing communities and coaching others do the same. She works across all Adobe teams, right? So all around the world to drive, understanding excitement and advocacy among the global workforce, in order to enable and empower all employees to be the company's biggest brand ambassadors.

I love her nickname. It's the velvet hammer. There's a lot of fun. So talk about that. Ronnie's mantra is to make the impossible seem possible through her grace humor and passion. When she's not asking provocative questions and making decorative statements at work, she's making medical memories of their husband and four kids.

One of whom I believe is somewhere on his way, back from India, as they continue to visit the many magical wonders of the world. Ronnie, welcome to faster than normal. I'm thrilled that you're here.

 

Thank you so much. So happy to be here. 

 

So you have been an advocate for employees, diversity in the workforce for as long as I've known you, what prompted that to become your passion?

People are my passion. Right? I feel like people are amazing and they need to know that they're in me willing to unearth their potential and truly be, I believe it's my calling in life. Pray to really help people understand who they are and what they have to offer and to draw that out of them and make them believe in themselves if you will. So it just seemed like a really natural fit. 

 

How long have you been at Adobe now?

 

12 Years at Adobe and 5 years in this role. 

 

Wow. And what is the biggest change that you've seen? I mean, in terms of employee advocacy, you know, I've seen a massive shift in how people look at neurodiversity, but diversity as a whole. What have you seen? Uh, what, what change have you seen since when you started? Not, not just Adobe, but like worldwide.

What change have you seen when you started and between them and now, referring to diversity or employee advocacy. 

 

Let's start with diversity. Well, so diversity now it's no longer about tokenism, right? It's no longer about just representation, but the concept that it's diversity and inclusion- I think people are catching onto the inclusion and that inclusion is not.

Something that can be really quantified per se, but it's a feeling right? It's do you feel included or not- and I think the focus there is the biggest change that I've seen. Whereas when I first started in the tech world, it seemed far more about, you know, what percentage of which underrepresented group do you have and is that acceptable and what are you doing to move those numbers, and there wasn't much talk about inclusion at all. I find. 

 

Do you find that employees as a whole are starting to sort of embrace their diversity as, as opposed to some that used to have to be hidden? I'm finding that at least from the, on the ADHD side, in the neurodiversity side, I'm seeing that, are you seeing that as a whole?

 

Very much so. I mean, I'm thinking that I think people are really recognizing that it is a superpower- much like to your preamble at the beginning here, you know, that the seed of the blessing, not a curse, it is a gift. And I think more and more of us are really believing that as we're invited to bring our whole selves to work. And more and more companies are realizing that they're leaving far much at the door on the table by not inviting people to bring all of themselves to work and encouraging them not to compartmentalize like we used to have to, right. It was considered unprofessional to bring your background and all of the glorious parts of who you are beyond just the professional to work. And now it's considered a, you know, it's not just in quiet, encouraged, but it was required for you to excel and succeed.

 

Well, let me ask, okay, let me ask you this. In terms of diversity, what have you sort of taught Adobe? What would you say the top things are that a company big or small can do one of the things they should definitely be doing the basic things they should be doing without question, that should be no brainers?

 

Well, so we get our pipeline and, and, and, you know, making sure that you are recruiting from these underrepresented areas of populations within the community, right. That you're actually going and seeking and recruiting from those buckets of people and keeping yourself casting as wide a net as possible. I think that that's first and foremost. Right. And, and, uh, I don't know that I would say much more than that, Peter, because I don't want to overcomplicate things. Right. It's like the right folks in the door first and foremost, just to have the conversation. And then from there. You're bound to find the right debt. But if you only go and look at the siloed areas, you're just missing out on a huge population of the industry of the world. If you will. 

 

One of the things that I've seen is it's something that has to be embraced from top down, right? If you don't have top down, buy in from this, all the hard work you do is irrelevant.

 

That's right. That's right. Absolutely. And it needs to come top down and bottom up as well. Right? I mean, the folks, your peers need to be bought into it as well. It's not enough for it to be a leadership. Embracing it, but the folks that report to you that are your peers, it has to be a three 60 kind of a thing for it to fully take a fact and to have traction, but you're right.

I mean, in terms of fundamentals, if it doesn't come from the top down, it's not going to go anywhere. Yeah. I've seen companies in the past, not see. Sort of they're sort of shooting themselves in the foot and the respect. They haven't seen the value, you know? Oh, we're, we're a diverse company. We, you know, we, they, they wind up being diverse as it applies to the, to the ADA, right. The American disabilities act. And they sort of consider themselves on point, but it feels more like it's course. And what I've found is that when that happens, it's you see right through that. 

Absolutely. I mean, if you're doing it to be a chapter and the buck to get appropriate funding to be politically correct, but so obvious.

Right? How long have you been at Peter for the outside world? So obvious for employees, right. And then not going to get any kind of passion. You're not gonna get any kind of retention. You're not going to get employees to actually advocate and be ambassadors for you because they know they know you're not being authentic.

You, they know that the words and the deeds are not matching. Um, and there's nothing more tragic than that, right? Because you're going to actually mobilize your employees to be your biggest brand ambassadors. You've got to be authentic and they got to believe in you and they got to believe in what you stand for.

And they want to, they got to want to be a part of it. 

Interesting that companies that, uh, the rewards that they reap from. Pulling pushing forward on diversity right now, even, not even just trying. Right. But when they actually do it, they find benefits and rewards that they didn't even know existed, but they weren't even seeing about.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, think about the diversity of thought, right? If you, first of all, if you've got a group of people that are mirroring or a workforce that mirrors their customer base and the communities that you're trying to serve, they're going to be able to bring ideas to the table in terms of consumer buying habits are what, what experiences customers and community members want. Right? They're going to be able to problem solve, but make credit products be more innovative, right? I mean, the philosophy at Adobe is that if you feel appreciated and included you are going to be more creative, innovative, and ultimately more successful what we call our belief and we named that hashtag Adobe for all, right? But I tell you, Peter, it's not a hashtag. Right. It's not solely the lifeless, nameless hashtag. I've been at Adobe for 12 years and you know, that's unimaginable in tech. Right. But I stay there and I we're always tell people someone's going to have to really walk me out the door for me to leave just because the company embraced stays so fully and, and you see it pretty much in every action, right? Every summit, every product, every tough conversation we're having in terms of our numbers, in terms of complete employee surveys. It's a real joyful thing. I mean, by no means have we arrived. There's tons of more work for us to do as will be the case at any company but effort the actual passion and the commitment is unmatched. I have yet to see something like this. 

 

You know, at such a huge company like Adobe. I mean, you guys are, you guys are a monster you're massive. And yet it's almost second nature in that the diversity of inclusion within the company is automatic.

Right. And it amazes me that a company that big can have that done so well. Right. So to the point where it seems seamless, and I'm curious as to why so many other companies have a problem following suit. I wonder what the different secret sauce is.

 

It’s hard to tell Peter, but I would say from an inside out perspective, I think.

There's this like intimacy at scale at Adobe, for example, one of our MVPs recently retired. Here's this senior, senior sales, exactly who reports to our CEO and this gentleman, I mean, he's flying the world. He has a massive organization that he's leading and yet, Peter, there has not been a single day that he's run across me at the elevator or wherever, calls me by name knows something about my children, knows something about what's going on in life, you know, and of course you may feel like, Oh, that's specific to me, but then I've seen him do that to employee after employee. And I feel like it's that like small mom and shop feel that the company has continued to hold on to, even though we're 24,000 strong worldwide.

So there's that real, you know, there's that real investment in people and truly, truly believe that our workforce is our biggest asset. And so I think from that fundamental, like innate embracing of that, then you scale, right? Which is why I'm calling it an intimate at scale. Get into bed and get up close and personal first and then put the operational rigor in place to expand and scale, but start with that relationship first. I think it's the same in  our insider's program, right. We have a real tight knit group of people who would probably go through fire for one another, but we're doing things at a massive scale, but I think it's because we prioritize the relationship first.

 

When, I guess, I guess I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this. One of the things that I've always found interesting about you, and I want to switch over to it to employee advocacy for a second. One of the things I've always been thinking about you is that you, from the first time we ever taught, I found that you approach things from the perspective of how can you help, um, the other person win.  I’ve always seen that you look, you look for things in terms of how can I help? How can I solve this by helping the other person win. And think it's a trait that connects into advocacy in that if you are, if the employees believe that they are working at a place that cares for them and respects them and values them, they become advocates sort of by default. ]Naturally] I saw that at America Online when I was working there in the 90’s and that, and that they really let us work the way we wanted to as long as we got the work done and that translated into us having a better sort of work life quality. But the interesting thing is that it only takes one employee, who for whatever reason, isn't buying into that to ruin it, you know, for a lot of people. If there's one bad and if there's one employer, one manager who, for whatever reason, isn't on that same page that can trickle down and cause a tremendous amount of drama.

 

Yeah, but I also might.. that if it's indoctrinated into the culture, the community will course correct. And that individual will stick out like a sore thumb and will naturally fall off. Because they just don't fit. So I think that's the other secret thoughts of how we do it at Adobe that this notion of we care for you we invite you to bring your full self, we need, we appreciate you. We value you. We are looking at what they had for you like for employee advocacy. For example, I don't lead with. Here are five really important pieces of Adobe news. Please go amplify it. That's not how I started the conversation, right? I start the conversation with clearly in the 21st century, you need to have a social footprint. Let me help you develop your social personal brand. Let me give you access to tools that will cure rate, but high-impact content at your fingertips. Let me show you how you can grow your social network by 10x over a year. Right? Because all of these things are transferable, wherever you go. And you know, there's so much research out there that says that the more active you are from an advocacy standpoint, the more your career gets accelerated. Right. So I lead with, what's in it for them. And by the way, should you do this, the company benefits, right? So it's a total gift to get process. 

 

I've seen that a lot though. You know, I think that the smartest marketers, the smartest communicators, the smartest people are the ones who lead with, how can I help you?

Right. And it turns out it winds up being a, a, a, a win-win in that, you know, every email I send out my mailing list, you know, winds up becoming a, um, help, and not a sales pitch. 

 

That's right. If you, if you have that mindset, you will never have to sell at a single day of your life. Right. You will never have to sell. And it's just, it's unfortunate that so few people understand that the person who helps the most wins period, there's no like there's no conversation about that. 

 

It blows my mind. It blows my mind that people still don't seem to get that, you know, I can't tell you how many times I'll get an email from someone I haven't heard from in five years and, you know, Hey, how's everything going?

Listen. So I'm looking for a new job. I'm like, where the hell have you been? Right. Right. I told you two and a half years ago and you weren't looking for it to call and say hey, how are you doing? Right. Right. You know, and, and just, even in this day and age, I just don't, you never even really to convince people. Some people just don't get it.

And, and, you know, but that goes back to the whole concept of the customer experience is so low, right. In that, in that the bar is set so low, your interaction and it's things like that, the approval suck slightly less. That's right. That's right. Because that bar is so low. There's not a lot. You have to do.

 

That's right. That's right. But I would think for, for no other reason than the sheer gratification that you get from seeing somebody else's thing and knowing that you had a fingerprint on that, like you would think that that would be enough to drive, to drive people to do this, but I guess not, right? Like, I guess not enough endorphins have been released or how dare you try to bring common sense into this. What's wrong with you? 

 

You know, this is we’re currently in a country that believes that injecting bleach will cure coronavirus. So let's not, let's not start dragging common sense into these things, but I think, I think that, I think the interesting point though, is that it does become addictive. Oh yeah. Becomes a, a very, you know, you like helping people and it becomes a, a passion. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Right. And you want, you want more of it? It does release don't mean it does release a serotonin. It does become a physical thing and you want to keep doing it, It is. It's very addictive. 

 

Oh, yeah. I can tell you it physically manifests you, right?

If you are happy and you feel like you are contributing to other people's success, it just, it just boueys you up, you know, you're my word is singing, but someone goes a lot of physical challenges. I found. Peter, the more I lean into what have I done for someone today who say prayers in my answering? Like the more I make that focus, it's like all my aches and pains just kind of go away. It's pretty miraculous how that happens too. And now, you know, when you are in the service of someone else that you kind of take attention away from what's going on with you and that's been nothing short of life changing for me. 

 

That I've definitely found that. I think when I, when I, when I am upset, when I am like depressed and I'm going through some tough times, I tend to head over to the animal shelter I'm here for a bit.

And then that is not only a wonderful feeling, but I mean, let's also be honest. It's okay. Uh, just, um, uh, uh, You know, being surrounded by fuzzy little animals always makes everyone feel better. Well, oxytocin there for everyone. 

 

What would you, what one piece of advice now I'll close it on this one, I wanna be respectful of your time.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is, uh, in a position to either be able to help? Or what have you advice would you give to people that, who you work with? To try and get them to understand the value of diversity. I mean, it seems like an easy question, but like I said, a lot of people don't get it.

 

Yeah. Yeah, maybe, maybe it's, uh, saying to yourself, you know, maybe it's putting out a problem that you've been wrestling with for awhile and rather than go to your tried and true folks that you normally go get opinions from, or, you know, whoever serves as your normal cabinet of advisors, um, your lifeline, right, your call a friend. Really pivot and go tap folks to her fundamentally different from you who are fundamentally going to give you that other perspective that you normally wouldn't have any, we all have those people in our lives. Right? We all know if I, if I were to add the, as you know, if you have a bright idea, Who are three to four people hold that you kind of don't even want to talk to about these ideas, because you're a little afraid about what they might say, just because, you know, you fundamentally don't agree.

I would say, push yourself to go present whatever that is to those three to four people, because chances are that diversity of perspective and diversity of thought is going to just make whatever you're working on 10 times better. I I've seen that. I've just seen them play out time and time again. So, I mean, maybe it's not necessarily that you're seeking out diversity in the ethnic, religious, sexual orientation way that we typically think of a diversity. Maybe you just go down the path of just diversity of thought and people that you know, that you typically don't see eye to eye on and, and be humble enough to seek out their opinion. I think that would be a good start. 

 

Diversity of thought what a great phrase and what a great way to end that. I love it!

 

How can people find you? You know, Twitter, Twitter, and LinkedIn. So RaniMani0707, and then just RaniMani on LinkedIn. I think those are the two best ways. I love it. I love it. Guys, follow this woman. She is brilliant and she will give you brilliant advice and your life will be better for having her in your orbit!

 

This has been fast to normal as always. My name is Peter Shankman. I thank you for listening. Please leave a review on anywhere that you download this podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher. We're pretty much we would love it. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode where we continue to press the notion of ADHD and all sorts of their diversity is a gift and a curse. Thanks for listening. You've been listening to the fact of the normal podcast we're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play. And of course at www dot  dot com. I'm your host, Peter Shankman. And you can find me@petershankman.com and at 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 performed by Steven Byrom and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Aug 12, 2020

Today’s guest Katherine Kendall, is an actress most known for her roles of Dorothy in Jon Favreau’s “Swingers” and The Counselor in the cult classic “Firefly”. She is also a photographer and an artist. She was one of the first women to come forward about being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein in Jodi Kantor’s article in the New York Times on October 10, 2017. Since then she’s been interviewed on CNN and several other news outlets, as well as documentaries. She’s been a keynote speaker, and participated on panels about emotional and sexual abuse around the country. She is currently hosting her own podcast called “Roar with Katherine Kendall”. It focuses on stories of courage and resilience. Today we talk about the lessons she’s learned that enable her to run a busy & healthy life as an actress, and as an advocate. Enjoy!

 

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Katherine Kendall discuss:

1:03-  Intro and welcome Katherine!

2:20-  When were you diagnosed?

6:00-  On learning how to prepare for work and the benefits of hiring out for help

9:40-  On setting reasonable expectations and standards for your ADD or ADHD self!

11:30-  What advice would you give to someone who is trying to come forward about something, but is afraid of what other people are going to say?

13:50-  On “what other people think”

14:20-  On the importance of good friends

14:40-  Tell us about your podcast “Roar with Katherine Kendall”!!

17:00-  On keeping it real on Social Media

Speaking of which; find her podcast here: Roar with Katherine Kendall and @roarwithkk on Twitter, and roarwithkk on INSTA and on Facebook

17:20-  Thank you Katherine! 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.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

17:45-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, Peter, Shankman welcome to this episode of Faster Than Normal, thrilled that you are here as. Always good to have you. It is a hot and muggy day in New York city. It is early August. We're actually recording this the day before my birthday. Uh, I will be turning 48 years old tomorrow and could not care less. So with that said, we have a fun, fun guest on the podcast. I met Katherine Kendall. Probably two years ago, maybe even two and a half years ago, we were both speaking on a panel about, I believe it was right at the beginning of the, when the me too movement first started gaining traction. She's an actress most known for her, at least I knew her from her role as Dorothy in John Primroses’ “Swingers”

And she was also the counselor in the cult classic “Firefly”, which let me tell you, we got some Firefly people on the spot who love this podcast and they're going to freak right now. She's a great photographer and an artist. She was also one of the first women to come forward, being sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and Jody Kanter's article in the New York times back in October of 2017, since then she's been on CNN, several other news outlets, documentaries. She's a keynote speaker, she's participated on tons of panels about emotional and sexual abuse around the country. Um, I, I follow everything she does. She's currently hosting her own podcast called “Roar with Katherine Kendall” and focuses on stories of courage, courage, and resilience. So live from LA.

Hello, Katherine. How are you? 

 

Hi, how are you? It's great to be here. 

 

I am so glad you're here today. It is great to see you again. Um, yeah, it's, it's, it's, you know, being a podcast with ADHD and ADD; I know that you have ADD as well, and you've had it all your life as well. And I'm curious let's let's just sort of kick this off- were you as a kid, you weren't diagnosed until you were older, right? 

 

Yeah. Not until I was a lot older. And I think that what helped me as a kid was I was a ballet dancer. So I had this place to put myself like physically is where I excelled. And, um, you know, I was always the kid that didn't want to sit down in a desk for very long. I never could sit at a desk and do my home and my homework, like I had to walk around the house, go, you know, just, I mean, you know, like even memorizing lines as an actor, I have to walk to memorize them. It's just, it's really hard for me to, uh, just, you know, sit, sit still and, you know, just be like a good student. Um, and it was, but I didn't know that it [ADD] was a thing until I was older, um and some of the ways that also gets it happens for me is I'll get like confused on, on dates or organizing things. I have to work extra hard, you know, my calendar. I have like reminders everywhere and I'm the kind of person they'll be like, no, it's Wednesday, it's Wednesday.

And we're like, no, it's Thursday. I'm with it. I'm just not, you know, always the organized part is not always, I think, I think online for me. 

 

That definitely affects a lot of people. I mean, we see that all the time. I can't tell you how many people I've interviewed or even myself, you know, when I absolutely positively 100% intend to do something it's in the calendar and 14 reminders. And the next day I'm like, crap. I think I was supposed to do something yesterday. 

 

Do you have that too? I know that it affected my confidence later in life. I was like, this is not me that, you know, because people think it's, it's something you're doing unconsciously cause you don't really want to do it or it means something. And when you're sort of thinking now it doesn't mean anything; I really genuinely forgot. And then you feel like you're not smart or something and that's the worst- cause then your confidence starts to spiral. 

 

There is and huge connection between ADHD or add ADHD and imposter syndrome, where you pretty much assume that the majority of the things you've done where you've been successful have, obviously you've just gotten really lucky. It's all been a fluke, right. And there's no way you'll ever be able to do that again, because look at me, look at who I am. 

 

Totally, that's so true. 

 

So I assume that as an actress, that must be difficult as well. When, you know, you're constantly going up for roles and, and, and, you know, there's always that, that potential that you're going to get turned down or, you know, and, and that, that must ha how do you, when you're ADHD, when your ADD a lot of times, you, you are constantly way too hard on yourself, how do you deal with it um, in that role where you con you know, you might get turned down into 10 times. 

 

Yeah. I mean, that's been a, I feel like being an actor has been some kind of life lesson to help me deal with, with exactly that so that I've had to teach just myself not to take things personally or what to take personally and what to work on and what to absolutely not take personally. I mean, with parts, you know, they're not always hiring the most talented person or, you know, There's sometimes they're hiring the person with red hair or blonde hair, or who's tall enough or who's the right age to be the mother of that girl, or, um, and you have to kind of know that there's so many other things that go into what gets you the job um, that have nothing to do with how well you did, you can only like- your part is that you can, you can control the work you do before the audition, but the rest of it, you have to learn to say it isn't personal and it's difficult, but it's a good lesson to learn. Cause it's a, it's a life lesson, like not taking things personally.

 

And is it something that you're constantly struggling with? I mean, have you mastered that or is it still..?

 

Yeah, I'm so much better. I mean, it is, it's really remarkable. Um, I don't think I had any concept of that when I first started acting and everything was personal, it always hurt and things still hurt don't get me wrong, but I'm much better at sort of having a Teflon sort of skin about things. And, um, I also, I think. Yeah. The, the, the way I talk to myself about things is better. One thing I do the ADHD part also for me is the memorizing of lines. I'm like, yeah, they're getting all that ready for the audition.

I, I, I really need to get myself more time than the average person, even if I'm in an acting class, I'll ask for my, my, my scene ahead of time so that I can really, I need more time to memorize, um, so that I can do my best job. So preparation-learning to prepare is so been the hardest part. Cause, um, if I think I can do it at the same rate that other people can, um, I'm kidding myself and I'm setting myself up to fail.

 

That's an interesting point because a lot of times. People in the workforce are afraid to step up and say, Hey, I need some extra accommodation here, but in the end, the extra accommodation allows you to do your best work, which allows the employer to thrive. 

 

It really does. I mean, I'm, I'm still learning it, but when I see other people do it and they do it effectively, I'm like, Oh, that makes so much sense.

I remember I did a job and this guy had, he had an assistant, which I had not even heard of at that time, who literally just ran lines with him. And I was like, you know, that's crazy! I didn’t know that you could do that! And I thought, well, that's worth it; I would pay to do that. Like if that's my issue and I need that once I'm on the, on the job that that has to be there, or you can't waste people's money and time by not knowing your lines. Yeah. Why not get an assistant, why not hire that out? And I was, so I kind of admired him for just calling it what it was and taking care of himself that way. So he could be awesome. 

 

One of the things that I've seen, um, that I've found to be just 100% true. Um, everything I've done lately, since, since I was diagnosed, is that if I can hire it out, if I can farm it out, if it's something I'm terrible at and I can pay someone to do it, who's better at it than me.

That is always good money spent. 

 

I think so too. I think there too. And I think it's fair to not hold ourselves to this standard of this person who can do everything themselves. Um, I don't know who that person is. Well in my life is my mom. She can do that, like a perfect person who can do everything. Like she's never, she doesn't have ADHD, she can read a book, you know, without having to put it down ten times, you know, she's just, um, Can focus. She can all those things that I've had a hard time with, but if you don't compare yourself to her and I joke with her about it, you don't compare yourself to someone or some, some person who has sort of abnormal standards. Like, the rest of the world is, is flawed in the rest of the world is doing what they have to do so they can do their best. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we make it so difficult? Why are we trying to be like these wonder people that can do it all? I don't know what that is. Do you think that's like an old idea from, from our parents' generation or something that you have to do everything yourself?

 

I think it's partly that. And I think that it's also the fact that we look around us and we tend to only see everyone else's highlight reel. We never see their day to day struggles. Right? You know, you don't post the crappy really bad at you post the you know, the best parts and you have to learn that that's not reality. You know, it's what I heard a quote. Once don't don't compare your chapter two to someone else's chapter 10. Oh, that's good, right? Yeah.

I'm sorry. Go ahead. 

 

I was just going to say everybody has something that they can't do, you know, like even doing all these Zoom meetings now and stuff, my mom is like, wait, I don't know how to do my hair and makeup. I don't know how to, I have to lead a meeting and we're, I don't even know how to set this up and how, Oh, you know, she can't do everything, you know, it's like, you gotta remember, like, there's always an area where somebody is not their thing and you might have a thing where you shine and you can help them. I 

 

I'm I'm I, what am I really good at? I'm really good at like riding my Peloton bike a lot, but anyway, let me, yeah, throughout the past five months, this of his nightmare that we're all in. Let me switch topics for a second. When you came out in, um, uh, October of ’17 Jodi Kantor article about Harvey Weinstein, which was before his fall from grace, right. He was still king back then, um, perceived to be. And that was, uh, a really risky moment for you and, you know, personally and professionally, and, and, and I've read, I think I've read it somewhere where you talked about being scared to do it, but you did it, and, what advice would you have for people who are trying to come forward about something or just trying to tell their story and are afraid aren't doing it because they're afraid of what other people are going to say?

 

Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I would say that for me at that time, part of it honestly, Peter, is being the age that I am, that I was, you know, I'm.

I was 48, I think at the time or 47. And I had lived with this truth about what he did to me for so long. I really didn't care anymore. What Hollywood thought or what my friends thought. I knew that people that I knew in my close circle loved me and cared about me. And that's all I really needed to know. The rest was just the truth, which is that he did it. And if it was going to help other people that helped me, like, I don't know if I would have done it in a vacuum all by myself with the New York times, just me, Katherine Kendall, talking about it. But knowing that I was backing up other women that think my story was so similar to theirs and they needed it that did help me, but also knowing that, knowing in my heart that it was wrong, and then not caring, living too long to care anymore about where those pieces fall, because you know, if it's like, if you don't like me because of it, I just don't care. I know it's wrong and I can't make it right. I can't make what he did. Right. Um, I've tried to do that for 20 years and it's still wrong, so I can, I can have that courage to know that like, um, that kind of emptiness, that the quote comes to mind, like the truth will set you free. In that moment I knew there could be a lot of backlash and I knew that, but there was that feeling, that small voice within me was like, yeah, this is right, this is the right thing to do. 

It's interesting. It's kind of, yeah, no, go ahead. Just listening to that little voice inside the quiet voice. The one that actually says, yeah, this is right, you know, drowning out all the noise and all the things, because I don't always think that, you know, going to the press about everything is the right thing to do- in this moment with this situation, this was right. 

 

It's interesting that you bring that up because one of the things that I discovered about my own ADHD when I was going through it and realizing that I did things differently than other people is the second I stopped caring about what other people thought was the moment I was free. And it's exactly what you said. There's that trusted circle. I have my parents, I have my daughter. I have, you know, my daughter's mom, girlfriend, whatever, people like that, who are, whose opinions are important to me and everyone else, you know, I had someone, someone once told me: “Do they help you pay your mortgage? No? Then fuck’em”. 

 

Yeah. And with me, like, you know how people say like believer or whatever, I don't really care if people believe me, the people I know in love, believe me, you know? And, and I know, you know what I mean? So you have to be willing to let it go, I think. And, and like, yeah, completely just not care about what other people think when you're really standing in your truth, what other people think does not matter.

 

Incredibly brave, incredibly brave.  We have a couple of minutes left, please tell us about your podcast “Roar with Katherine Kendall” 

 

Yeah. So, uh, I, I kind of fell into it. Actually. One of the other women, her name is Louise Godbold. She runs a trauma center here in Los Angeles. She's also a Harvey Weinstein survivor. She was putting on a huge conference with a bunch of different experts and trauma survivors and she asked me if I would do a podcast interviewing like 12 of them. And so I started that and then I kept doing it and then I really found it to be so.. I love it. So I get so engaged and I, and I, I really find it fascinating. Maybe my ADHD thing is probably like my ADD, can I get for a half an hour? I was like super me, um, and I love bringing out and highlighting other people's moments of courage and other people's moments of resilience and think that, and there's so much still to learn on this subject. And so I want to, you know, I'm going to be interviewing someone who wrote a book on consent for addicts, teach it to children and teenagers, you know, I think these are important, these are important times because there are different times. It's not what we had when we were growing up. So we have a new framework and we all have to sort of learn some new rules of the road here. And it's just an interesting how if I can help bring that along then, it's, it's fun.

 

Very cool. 

 

It's surprising. But it's also fun to do during the pandemic; 

 

I would say that's a given, right? I think if I have, you know, let's talk on zoom and no, please, let's not, um, how do we find it? Anywhere we get podcasts?

 

Anywhere you get podcasts! “Roar with Katherine Kendall” and yes, I want you to be a guest too! 

 

That'd be awesome. 

 

And ask you your, your, your stories of resilience and courage and which I know you have a lot. I mean, it's, it's courageous of you that you put yourself out there on social media and the way that you do, like you're, you've done such an amazing job with all of that. I think that's admirable.

 

Thank you…

 

I don't think it's easy to put yourself out there. 

 

It's not, and it's also not easy to censor, you know, I don't want to share the things that bring people down, I just wanna, you know, again, hit the highlights, the good stuff, right? But you gotta be honest about that either, either honest or it's fake, you know?  You gotta be, if it's not real, what's the point. Right? 

Right! 

Katherine Kendall, thanks sooo much, [this has been amazing]! I really appreciate your taking the time! Guys, as always, if you like what you heard.. you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. Every week, another amazing story from amazing people like Katherine today! We will be back next week, stay safe and healthy. Just wearing the mask. Stop complaining, wear the goddamned mask, and we will see you guys soon. Thank you so much for listening, we'll talk later. 

Aug 5, 2020

Today’s guest Rachel says:  I was a distraction. I could be disruptive. I used to think this was the way it was always going to be.  I used to believe the labels that had been assigned to me through my life were who I was. My brain was like popcorn and would work at four million miles per hour. I really thought this was my identity and who I was. I had allowed myself to be defined by the labels and experiences, rather than using them to shape me. I believed I would never be good enough because ‘that’ was who I was, and you can’t change …. Or can you? Powered by a supercharged ADHD driven mind. I am sharing the motivation, inspiration and perspiration from the university of my life. 

 

I’m Rachel Young, I was put on this planet to make a difference to people’s lives and to get people moving, both physically and mentally. I am a highly motivated (and very easily distracted) character.  Simply put, I love the fitness industry and I love nothing more than helping others to become the best version of themselves.  I have over 30 years of experiences, stories, highs and lows from my adventures in the fitness industry. I am driven by people but results are key and that is what I deliver. I’ve worked around the world in exciting, high profile roles and love nothing more than meeting new people and enabling others to achieve their true potential. 

I am passionate about fitness, health and wellbeing; physical, mental and emotional - you can’t be truly ‘well’ unless you focus on them all. This passion is backed up by my knowledge and expertise in all things programming, training, education, products, member experience and retention. I am an innovative motivator who thrives on rising to any challenge; I love a challenge and the thrill of the chase. I am ferociously committed to sharing my experience of refocusing, rewiring & redefining myself, my personal development, my life experiences and my life in the fitness world, with the intention of making an impact on you. My videos and stories are underpinned by my personal story of self development, acknowledging my ADHD traits and how, by harnessing these, I have been able to make dramatic change in all aspects of my life. I have had incredibly dark times in my life as I am sure we all have. I have worked through these and have grown to understand and appreciate how our brains works, especially in challenging times. This journey has been an incredible roller -coaster; it hasn’t been an easy ride, but it certainly is worth it! Lockdown forced the extrovert to look in, there were no distractions or excuses to make - its was finally time to bring all the learning together and launch my website: https://www.areyousupercharged.com/ 

 

Today we’re learning about physical, mental and emotional health. Enjoy!

***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Rachel discuss:

:55-  Intro and welcome Rachel Young!

1:29-  Tell us your story!

4:08-  When you are labeled in school as “one of the naughty kids” it almost becomes a self fulfilling prophecy doesn’t it; let’s talk about that.

6:58-  If you could tell your 14yr-old-self something from what you know today, what would that be?

7:33-  What do you think we’re missing or leaving out when we talk to kids about neurodiversity today?

8:44-  On the ADHD “Now” and the “Not Now”

9:26-  How do you handle people in the workplace who are not neurodiverse like us; how do you handle deadlines, schedules and so on?

10:40-  What’s a-day-in-the-life like for you Rachel?

12:07-  How do you bring yourself back, if you fall out of that “zone of focus”?

14:52-  What is your other superpower?

Find Rachel on the web at www.areyousupercharged.com and on Socials @ChargedAre on Twitter, areyousupercharged on INSTA, @AreYouSupercharged on FB and on YouTube & LinkedIn

15:25-  Thank you Rachel! 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.

STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!

15:56-  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

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!

We have a new sister video cast called 20MinutesInLockdown! A video podcast devoted to learning fascinating lessons from interesting humans all around the world, all in 20 minutes or less!  20 Minutes in Lockdown was born in early April of 2020, when we were in fact, in lockdown, and couldn’t do much of anything. Realizing that more than ever, people could benefit from learning from people outside of their comfort zone – people with interesting stories to tell, people with good advice, people with useful ideas that could help improve lives, we started hosting short Facebook video interviews, and we grew from there. (Plus, you can actually see my hair colors change before your very eyes!) Check it out:  www.20MinutesInLockdown.com

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of faster than normal. I'm thrilled that you're here. We took a couple of weeks off this summer when all around the world explore and had lovely dinners.  No we're not going any of that crap, we're still in a little pandemic. Wear your masks! But that being said is great to be back and we get a great guests. 

Today we're going all the way to Nottingham England to welcome Rachel Young, Rachel is a director of business development in the fitness industry, and she has had ADHD pretty much all her life and she realized what used to be a horrendous challenge has moved her to what she calls a supercharged, ADHD, driven mind, and she shares what innovation, inspiration and perspiration. From the university of her life. So welcome, Rachel. Good to have you. 

Thanks very much for having me Peter, I’m pretty excited to be here today and to be able to share with you.

Love it. I love it. Tell us your story. So you were never formally diagnosed, but tell us your story about how you discovered it, how you discovered it. You see, what was it like as a kid? Tell us the whole thing.  

As you said never formally diagnosed, but I was kind of mislabeled and misdiagnosed at school and fell into the naughty kid brackets and actually wore that incredibly well. Um, I was the one that was easily, easily distracted. Um, the one that I couldn't pay attention put outside class because you weren't in zone and you weren't focusing. So then you put outside of class, you're kind of hanging out with all the other naughty kids. And you almost fall into that category of, of misbehaving. Um, I always thought that, you know, the constant noise and chatter in my head was, was what everybody had. And there was journeys throughout my life where I'd been incredibly successful, but in spite of myself, and I didn't understand what was going on. And so I actually threw myself headfirst into. Lots of kind of self management and thriving on the stress, thriving on life, working horrendous long hours to almost self medicate, clearly throwing yourself into alcohol and the wrong things. But then finally sort of was able to appreciate that it was probably better than the circumstances, better than what was going on. And it was actually locked down and been on a bit of a journey, you know, throughout my life , knowing that I had to recognize this. But actually locked down is a, is a tiny I've actually thrived upon irrespective of, you know, the challenging circumstances. And as a, as a natural extrovert, I was forced to look in. There was no distractions. There were no excuses. There was no reason to focus on anything else. Apart from looking inward and looking at myself and going actually. How do I stop this noise that I intermittently stopped over the years? How do I focus on making myself the best version of me? And I have to admit, to be honest with you. I was pretty scared. I was pretty scared at the beginning of lockdown, not for health reasons, but I was actually scared what was going to what I was going to find by looking in. How I was going to be able to manage it and deal with it. And I kind of appreciated over the journey that the things that I've learned through my life, the learnings that I dipped in and out, all of them in terms of trying to study, I could actually leverage by just focusing a little bit differently. The first port of call I went to was kind of a meditation. 

Let's stop for a second. Let's go back to what you were saying about school. You know, it's really interesting when, when you are labeled as one of the naughty kids and almost as a self fulfilling prophecy, right? In the respect of, well, if you labeled that way and you're not in class, you're going to get into trouble.

Yeah, 100% and you almost, you wear those labels. So it was my, my identity and I, it was who I became. And during those times at school, you know, the rest of the group were. Almost looking to me to be the joker. And actually I became the cool kid. So I was, you know, I had loads of friends, but I wasn't, I wasn't very well popular with the family when my school reports would come home. And actually more recently I've looked at all my old school reports and I read them and I, it was a real eye opener, that things like a disruptive, the less said the better, um, I want those labels really stuck with me. I remember one in particular. I remember the conversation with my dad when my score report came home and it says, has not reached her full potential. And I was, I was devastated. I was very, very upset by it. But the funny thing was my dad was saying to me, this is brilliant. You're only 14. You know, if you'd reached your full potential, now I'll be quite upset then. But he can joke about it now, and I can make humor out of the most situations. But when you look back and see what was written, that had a dramatic impact because I wore them, I wore those tags.

That's the thing is that, is that you, you find that when you're labeled something, you have two roads, you either accept it or you fight against it. 

Yeah, I accepted those ones. And I would always use them as I kind of refer it, refer to them as my comfy pair of slippers. So when I was, you know, almost ending kind of as sort of throughout my career, I've been really successful. And as I have been successful, there was a part of me that was tapping away at the shoulder going. But you're disruptive, you're distracting. You're never going to advance a much, you know, and all of those reports would be almost my comfort zone that I would slip back into until honestly, until recently when I've had the, I guess, the courage to be authentic about who I am. my experiences managing my, my superpower, learning how to learn. I was always told that I wasn't going to be, you know, amount to anything because I couldn't learn, I couldn't pay attention. So I would almost have a fear of picking up a book or trying to learn because I didn't want to fail. I didn't want to be bad at it.

What do you think? Um, if you could tell your 14 year old self something now, knowing what you know today, what would you tell her? 

I would say that you're capable of great things and that the biggest muscle and the best muscle in your body is your brain. Don't be constrained by anybody else's hashtags and be accountable to the man in the mirror. You know, my dad used to always say to me, remember who you are and remember who you are. And the value of that is it's all about, it's all about you. 

What do you think we're missing when we talk to kids about ADHD and neurodiversity today, what do you think? What are we not telling them that we should be?

That it's okay. That it's okay to be able to talk and to speak out. It's okay to share your feelings. Um, you are not alone in this constant noise and brain chatter. Um, and. I think it also goes not only to the communication to those kids, but it's also to the rest of the kids, around them to get a bit of an understanding of who they're dealing with and how to, you know, my, one of my biggest learnings about me was being more accepting to other people and more, you know, it's a two way street, isn't it? So either you're on the ADHD side offense or you're on the senior, the path they'll roll parent's side of the fence. And that's a big understanding. You know, when they won't answer the phone and you've got something really exciting to share. Like I'm, I'm the most important person in the world, but you know, you've got to realize that perhaps that person's, you know, busy or doing something right now. And if they do busy, you, it's not because they're not interested. 

And that I think is one of the basic thing that people don't realize is when you're ADHD every day, there's two types of time there's now and there's not now, and that's it, right? The concept of waiting or taking time out either it doesn't really exist in our world. And we need to sort of come to terms with that and figure out ways to deal with it. 

So then when the now and the not now, sorry, the now and the not now is a big thing for me. And I think that's how I, I would never say no to anything. So throughout kind of my, my, my professional career, I would take on every single project and I would probably complete them not to the best of my ability, but I would just say yes to everything. So even in the middle of a project, someone goes, do you think you could consider taking this on absolutely. Now. 

What do you think about, talk about what you do in the workplace and how you handle deadlines. How do you handle working with people who are not all the way we are?

Um, made sure that my, my work station and my environment is set up well, so conducive to me being productive. So no distractions, I would have a windows shop. Sorry, curtain shut. So I can't actually look out the window. I made sure that my technology is tamed and my notifications are turned off. So there are no directions, sorry, distractions or incoming. Unless I'm in control of that. I find that when I go into a meeting, I have to set the room up and structure it. So I want to sit with my kind of back to the window and focus really hard on it. I'm paying attention to that room. I think. The biggest, the biggest thing has been the meditation and creating the brain space for me or the mind space, not to just react, just jump, just get distracted. And it is, it is a full time job. That's what I didn't appreciate managing, managing me as a full time job.  That's managing you as a full time job. 

I like that! “Managing me is a full time job”. I need have a tee shirt made with that, um, Talk about what, what kind of things you do at work or talking about, you're talking about your day. I mean, talk about, uh, you know, when you wake up, do you exercise? How do you get the dopamine? Things like that. 

Yeah, 100 percent. Fitness has always been a massive part of my life. I'm in the fitness industry because it's the fun business, it's the entertainment business. Um, and you know, I believe we're in a place where we can make a dramatic difference to people's lives, both physically and mentally. So I'm on stage all the time, irrespective of what we do wake up in the mornings and I will always work out. I have to work out first thing, um, because that gives me now the absolute clarity of thinking, um, and almost tired body for the rest of the day. Um, I work out work with my zone. I workout with, um, part kind of heart rate tracking that rewards your efforts and I've found that by using this, it really helps me focus on my, uh, my control, my discipline, uh, my ability to learn. So I can do a workout where you're lifting weights, um, but I can also do I call it brain training as well. So I'm sitting on the bike and I'm out of a podcast or a book that I'm listening in listening to and I get into a certain zone. I stayed at my body is occupied it's not going to get distracted. And my brain is focused on what I'm going to be doing and learning. 

How do you bring yourself back if you fall out of that zone? 

But that's really interesting because I'm now able to, or, you know, sometimes I go down a rabbit hole and then, but I'm aware of the rabbit hole and I'd go, I kind of go take it back to that sort of mindfulness. I'm very focused on what I'm doing. And then there will be a point and you go, I can actually say- you're getting distracted. Yeah. And, and that's something I've never been able to do, but that's with the consistent practice. This isn't just a, you know, you know, it's not just a book or something you implement for one day, you know, one on bicep pull does not maketh guns. You know, this taming us an absolutely relentless daily daily process. 

I think that's what a lot of people don't realize is that it's not something you just put into play and then forget about it. You have to constantly. Be aware of your ADHD or it will get the best of you. 

Yeah. And it's exhausting. I think it's exhausting.. And massively rewarding because my, I have no idea of my capabilities in terms of what I'm able to learn because I've, I've learned so much and being able to adapt recently, but it truly is a superpower because I'm not just reading these books, I'm able to read, understand, feed it back, process it, apply it to my life and that's where it gets really exciting. And, uh, that's probably the, the next stimulant is now I'm addicted to brain training.

Well, that's the thing, as you learn more and more about what works for you, it creates a feedback loop. Right. In that you enjoy it. You want to do more of it. There's negative feedback loops of positive feedback loops. It sounded like you found the positive feedback. 

Yeah, sure. And then the, the other great benefit of it is, you know, I started this all started to really come out to be visible during lockdown and as I said, I, you know, I started with a massive amount of fear about how I was going to personally cope and lock down. And I made myself a. Um, a Facebook live video just to hold myself accountable. And then, and as I started to do that, you know, people in my network and this one really was not the intention fed back to me and when now that story really resonates with me or God, I can't concentrate, do you, does that really work? I've tried to implement this. So it's been a real journey of kind of almost, you know, self-discovery on so many different levels. And accountability and tracking through, you know, videos or apps or anything has really helped, you know, what gets measured gets done. Yeah. As they say, as they say 

No question about it. Um, last question I have for you. What is your other superpower assuming you have let's let's assume we all have two. ADHD is one. What's your other one?

My super power is I have an innate ability to get the best out of people. And I have no idea where that comes from or how it happens, but I managed to get people to buy into an, understand the vision and get on board and to go with it.

I love it. I love it. What a great way to end. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time on fast to normal, and I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you Peter!

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