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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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast








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Now displaying: April, 2021
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, 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!






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 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! Website: 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 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



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  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. 


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 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  because I'm actually a fan of it. Um, why don't you give us, for those who don't know what  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, um, 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  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   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   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.


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 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, 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

Yeah. That's awesome. So it's  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  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 I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at 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,, 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!



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:  @JeffThe420Chef on Twitter  INSTA and a bunch of goodness on his YouTube page HERE   


18:56  -  Thank you Chef Jeff! 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 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



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 He's the author of the 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  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 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 anywhere you look.  So it’s that's our website, um, on Instagram, if you want to see all the fun stuff we're creating. Um, then we have  for some, you know, some of my thoughts and comments and stuff, um, that you can reach out to me through  or you can also reach out to me through a DM’ing on Instagram. Um, so just, you know, and also, 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 um, that was Jeff Danzer with  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   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 I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at 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!






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  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 is pushing, and response thus far


8:51  -  On the future plans for


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: 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 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



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 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 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  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 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….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 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 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 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, 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 ?

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 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 ? 

Yeah, they can find more  It's spelled as 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 or   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 I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at 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!



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:  His number in India is:  91-9949-211399 or via email: 


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 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



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 and he sent me something called the 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' 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, again,

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 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 I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at 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.