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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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May 18, 2022

Miles Mendoza is an author and freelance writer living in New York City. His writing often draws upon experiences as a veteran and various other emergency service roles he’s occupied. His poetic essay, “Escape From Harlem,” was published in The Void magazine’s December 2020 edition. Another, “Exotic Fruit,” was featured in the AT THE PITH art exhibit at the Nook Gallery in Oakland, California. Most recently, the author collaborated with artist and Professor Tiffany Lin to develop a satirical news story highlighting workers' rights issues (www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg). In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog. His work can also be found on his Instagram account: @mileswrites. Today he’s sharing about hyper-vigilance, a different- maybe more observant side/speed of the ADHD brain, and advice on how your anxiety can kind of direct you towards being more efficient, if not productive. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Miles discuss:  

 

1:17 - Intro and welcome Miles Mendoza! Ref: “Escape From Harlem

3:20 - What’s it like to be a freelance writer and be working on everything all the time & have ADHD?

5:49 - Ref: Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD

6:09 - When were you diagnosed?

8:00 - upon joining the military

9:20 - What did you learn in the Marine Corps that you still apply to your daily routines?

11:00 - Ref: FTN episode with Jack Walston

12:25 - on processing everything at the same time

12:33 - on processing speeds

14:05 - on hyper vigilance

15:10 - about the effectiveness of flash cards

16:24 - Tell us more about how you processed the Will Smith slap?

17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: [17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: www.MilesWrites.Blog  Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA 

18:21 - Thank you Miles! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

18:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

Oh, hellooooo-Ladies and gentlemen my name is Peter Shankman and this is Faster Than Normal. Welcome to another episode! I am your host. I said that already. I am exhausted. I flew in last night from Montana. Boy are my arms tired. It was a three-hour delay on the flight. Um, I got home around 2:00 AM. I had to be up at six to get my kid to school. Um, oh. And by the way, I'm in the middle of an 120 hour water fast. So I am about 60 hours in and I am just exhausted. So don't come near me. I will kill you. But that being said, we have a phenomenal guest. 

Y’know.. there are some sites out there on the internet that are just amazing in terms of knowledge and things you can learn. And then there are sites that are just cesspools of filth and depravity. And I was on the cesspool side of the coin a few a month ago or so, and I was on Reddit and I was reading about it. It was right around the time of the Chris Rock Will Smith slap. And I was reading an article about it or a story about it, and I read it and I saw this quote that came from a guy and ran into his quote, said, dude, I have ADHD. So maybe this is just a me thing, but do you know how many of my day-to-day interactions slash reactions are autopiloted while my brain is working on a delay to process what was actually said. So.. what that told me, first of all, the brothers from another mother type thing, but what was amazing about that is that there really are two types of ADHD. There's the ADHD that says, oh my God, someone's not even halfway through their sentence, but I know I have to respond. I know what they're gonna say. And let me just respond right now and lemme interrupt. And then there's the other half. That says I'm just going to watch this because I, my brain has to catch. Everything is moving so fast and my brain moves so fast. But in this situation, I'm going to catch up and make sure I know all the facts. That is what our guest was talking about on Reddit. His name is Miles Mendoza and Miles is an author and a freelance writer. He's living in New York city. We met on Reddit. He lives like 20 blocks for me and his writing draws upon experiences and various other emergency service roles he's occupied. His poetic essay Escape from Harlem was published in The Void magazines’ December 2020 edition. And another exotic fruit was featured at the, At the Pith Art exhibit at The Nook gallery in Oakland, California. He's from the Bay area. He lives in New York city and in September of 2021, he published his first book Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever: Poetry & Essays, which is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes. Trauma and creativity; pretty much sounds ADHD to me. Every single theme in that, in that, uh, book of short stories is something that we've all dealt with as ADHD and that whole brain thing- we're in talk about it. Miles. Welcome. Glad to finally have you on the podcast, buddy. 

Nice to meet you.Thank you for having me. 

So talk let's let's go back. So you live in New York city. You're married. Um, you're a journalist slash a freelance writer slash author. Let's talk for starters about what it's like to be freelance and to be working on any given thing at any given time when you have ADHD. 

Well in many ways, it's great. You, um, you're working on a bunch of different things. Your brain is stimulated on a bunch of different subjects all the time. I wouldn't be able to do this 10 years ago though, because I had to develop a bunch of different skills that I.. like to overcompensate for what would have been a very messy approach to business. So I, I, I work off of, I think I have multiple to do lists every single day and in a lot of those to do lists, uh, have to do with like, Take my dog out for the second time today, you need to go up three times. So I need to put that on the list. You need to go up three times. So every single, I didn't hear everything from like haircut to have lunch is on this to-do list. And if there's not enough yellow check marks on that list at the end of the day, I know I did a bad job. Uh, so, but then there's the great thing of like, I get to research different subjects which is. Essentially, I've tried to commodify what I did with my days anyways. So I I'm the kind of person who falls into, um, an obsession on a new subject every other day, I'll fall down rabbit holes. So I try to like, to really kind of take that momentum and just try to commodify it. And, uh, for my own business, it has worked to a certain degree. Um, I do get myself into a lot of situations where I am, uh, I over-packed myself at work because I feel best when I don't have any idle hands, idle parents for at least myself, as some of the ADHD tends to lead to trouble. And, uh, and that's what I was kind of writing about. Um, I wrote a, uh, an essay about, um, what it's like to live with a wife who does not have ADHD in any way, in fact, a very, she's a great student. She's about to finish her, um, nurse anesthesiology master's program. And when she picks up a book, that's what she's going to read until it's time to put it down. Whereas I have hundreds of books I've read most of them, but I have not finished..most of them, you know, that's, that's just kind of how my brain works. 

It's funny. You mentioned that I wrote, uh, one of them when I was going through my divorce success at 16, one of the most read articles I published on medium was, um, Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD. You know, it was, it was the whole premise that, you know, there'll be times when I have this great experience and all I want to do is share it with the person I love and I'll call and they'll be in a meeting, but they're not answering their phones so obviously it's because they know that I'm calling they don't want to talk to me and they hate me and in my mind I've already broken up gotten divorced moved on with my life um, you know, and then they call me back and they're like, you know, th’f*ck's wrong with you? So yeah, I totally, I totally get that. But. When were you diagnosed?

You know, interesting story on that. I, uh, I came, I come from that generation where like, it seemed like every other kid in the class was diagnosed, uh, right about right about when I was in middle school. So what was that; in the late nineties, early two thousands. And I was already. I clearly had it, but I don't think it was just coming into the national conversation um, so, you know, I, I did well on tests. I was a nice enough kid with my family. I just didn't do my homework. I’d either forget about it or just could not get up to the point of performing it. And as I got older, that became more and more of an issue. And so I think that somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, I went to a doctor. And that was a pediatrician, but the problem was that I was? able to keep up with  conversation with him. He put me down in like the lower range. He was like, if he has ADHD that he's like, I, I can give you the prescription, um, on the diagnosis, but he's on the lower range. And so I remember getting Ritalin when I was a child and it, it, I, it didn't react well with me. I, I don't know if you've ever seen the episode of the King of The Hill where Bobby gets a Ritalin. 

Oh my God favorite show! 

Yeah, exactly. So like, it was pretty much that I was like, I was just sitting, staring at a wall. My parents freaked out. They were like, no, get him off of this. Uh, so I never really thought about it too much.I kind of knew that I had, it was in the back of my head. Um, but it really didn't become an issue for me because, uh, my approach to school was all over the place, but, uh, it didn't become an issue until I impulsively joined the Marine Corps. And then suddenly having your ducks in order is very, very important. And yeah. And there were a lot of moments where to this day, I think back to bootcamp, I, I'm not a religious guy per se, but, uh, I almost turned to Jesus in that sense, because there were these moments where. I did not know, like you have to have your things, like, they will tell you, you need, you know, here's the 10 things on the gear list and you have to have them when you had asked for. And I was like, cool, I've got my 10 things. And then there would just be nine things and like, okay, now w where is it? And like, I need this right now. And then something would just appear. So I, I, I remember at one point I was like, there is a supernatural force looking out for me. I now realize it was probably some dude next to me going, I got to help this idiot. But, yeah, so I thought 

I want to stop. I let’s stop and talk about that for a minute. 

Of course. 

So you joined the military, [[microphone rustles across entire frequency spectrum]] and I have said multiple times on this podcast that if I was smarter about what was actually going on in my brain when I was younger, because ADHD didn't exist when I was a kid. Right. You’re disturbing the class did.. and I have a feeling that if I had been smarter about this and been more knowledgeable, I might've done the same thing because today my life is entirely based on rituals calendars alarms, set ups, do this, then do this. Then, you know, when COVID hit and I had, I would give a speech on zoom and then have the three days of travel that I'd normally be traveling busy to do nothing it was, it was hard, right? The calendar had to be full. So it seems me like Tell me what you learned. I'm fascinated by this. Tell me what you learned in the military that you were able to then apply, especially in the Marines, they were able to apply to life everyday. I mean, is that where you got the concept of the to-do list and the calendars and all that?

Yeah, exactly. So what the military does is it creates like a huge amount of consequences for when you screw up. So suddenly you're kind of always in a fight or flight reflex, and I'm not just talking, I'm not talking about combat or anything. I'm just talking about day-to-day life about living in the fleet is you need to, you need to be places 15, sometimes 30, 45m early. And so you start building buffers into your life and you start realizing like, okay, I don't want to spend my weekend on duty, or I don't want to get my ass chewed out by a staff Sergeant or something like that. So you start to like build in all these things, so you can live a decent life and not everything comes out of the military with you. You do relax a bit. I certainly relaxed quite a bit, but, um, And you do keep these certain things. Like I have like internal timers that tell me like, Hey, you're getting close to that meeting per se for like for today, I knew I had to be at a certain place to do a certain thing. And I started having like internal alarm clocks go off before and it's like, you should be ready 15 minutes beforehand, because what if, you know, you get mugged on the way back to your apartment and you're, you know, now you're late for the worst thing possible is to be late. And you start to worry about how you appear to the world around you because that perception and military.. is often “perception is reality”. 

Right? Wow. Okay. Interesting. We do a lot of the same things and, and it, it, it, it.

Back in 2001, a former Navy seal who's since passed away a man named Jack Walston, I've had him on the podcast. Very, very, influential man in my life, he started a course, uh, for civilians, uh, where he'd come to.. he was based in Houston and he'd bring it to New York for two weeks or two weeks, four times a year where you'd basically just go and play in central park from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM and get your ass kicked. Right. It was basically bootcamp. And, you know, for someone who you know, up until the early two thousands, you know, only ran by pressing X on a joystick, um, you know, and to the store for cigarettes, like wanting to do this and actually enjoying it and needing it in my life and doing it like 15 times was massive for me. And, you know, they're totally unexpected, but I get it now. And then the more I talked to the people like you, the more, I totally understand it. You, these rituals, these things that, you know, I'm a free spirited, are actually what ground you and what allow you to be creative because you're not worried about, okay, I'm going to miss this meeting or that miss this appointment or go down this rabbit hole.

Uh, absolutely. It's uh, to me, I, I think we live in a pretty anxious society and I I'm sure part of that internally. Uh, but I it's like weaponizing your anxiety. Like let that anxiety kind of direct you towards being productive, or at least being efficient. 

Very cool. So let's talk for a second about sort of that slower brain.  Do you think that the concept of ADHD is faster than normal? It's faster brain? The, the, the, the premise that we are always thinking 20 steps ahead and, and that's what we need to control because otherwise, you know, we're going to crash into a tree, um. In your, from what I'm hearing from you, you're actually sitting and processing the reason you might have a, you mentioned something that, where you said, uh, you know, there'll be times when when you know, you've been called out or you're about to get into a fight and you don't, you don't even flinch and everyone thinks that oh wow, he's so, he's so brave, but no, you just haven't really processed what's been going on yet.

Yeah. So for me, it is still an issue of like doing too many things too fast. A lot of times when I'm having a conversation, I, I have like, uh, I've been diagnosed with hyper vigilance, so I'm paying attention to everything in the room. I’m listening to conversations next to me. I'm watching people walk into the room. Uh, and, and I know that that sometimes comes with ADHD. You don't necessarily have to have like, Uh, trauma necessarily to spark this, but it is, it's an over-processing, it's like more Ram than, than hard drive. It's operating with one and not the other. So it's, I am, I am paying attention, but it is possible that I may have rehearsed inter-reaction already. So like, I mean, you know, I'm going to go meet with a friend for lunch. Uh, I know how long it's been since I met that friend. I know the questions that I should ask. I am then applying like I am, I'm now deploying that social plan or that social plan while interacting with them.  And then as I'm doing that, I am also getting dragged, congratulating myself for deploying that correctly and not listening to the answers. It's not that I don't want to; it’s not that I don't value what they have to say; it's just that my brain is sometimes applying more focus on some background things that are going on as well. 

Well, I think that happens in, in terms of, you know, we're constantly, when you're able to see a lot of what you're doing also is figuring out what the next question you ask is what the next, where the conversation is going. Um, and I've noticed that happens to me when I meet someone for the first time and I ask them to name right as they're about, tell me the name I’ve already moved on to think about what I'm gonna say next and I will never remember the name. Ever.

Absolutely. Uh, the names, uh, spouses names. If I, I I'm sorry. A lot of my friends is, uh, third spouses.. I probably will never truly know their names. I will always be asking other friends or my wife, what is that person's, uh, girlfriend or boyfriend's name, you know, or before we even get there. 

That's funny. You're very fortunate to have a wife who's a, who’s got your back like that. 

Oh, she's incredibly tolerant for someone who just learns.. that's what I've noticed is that, um, a lot of ADH deers are, I don't know how we describe ourselves. Um, we, we absorb information. We can interact with it very intensely and then five years later, have no idea how to do that again, like our brain dumping abilities are quite impressive almost. Uh, and, and. 

No. It's funny, many times I remember in school, one of the things that was was, you know, I hated tests and things like that, but when I had one, I would sit down.. once I discovered flashcards, right  my life changed. I'd sit down. I've learned it. I get tested on it, I’d pass and then puke it up. It's gone, right? 

Right? It's like, it's like your brain does a deep fragmenting and it just like just tosses it and there might be shreds of it there, and you can fall back on it. But for me, I, it, it meant that I needed for a career to rely on internal skills that were actual, like baseline talents that I would always kno. For me, that was always writing so I that's what I, what I ended up going to ultimately, I also have, had I had a very adventurous personality. So for a long time emergency services for EMS, all of that, I loved it because I was just excited to be out there on the street and see what was going on right now that I'm, I'm calming down a little bit and I want a little bit of a safer career choice it’s I had to go back again to the thing that never left me. It was my ability to write, edit and whatnot, but, uh, learning actual new skills and then just holding onto them for years at a time. Never really been my forte. 

Interesting. Tell us about more about the slowing brain. You, you can use Will Smith as an example. You're watching it happen in real time and yet  you weren't processing. I, I think in all fairness, millions of us watching in real time didn't process it. 

Uh yeah.. It's one of those things where it's like, I, I identified mostly because like in real life, when, when events like that happen, they don't, they don't make sense. And they don't make narrative sense. If you're making a movie, the first thing you're going to do is show Will Smith, like getting angry at the joke. Right. But in real life, yeah. He's going to laugh with you. Uh, people react to things illogically sometimes. And I just identified with that for me. When I, when my wife's telling me a story, I sometimes I I'm trying to process and keep in mind everything that's going on. And it makes what her words coming out of her mouth it's a little like watching a washout VHS tape. And it's you kind of, you know it because you've seen the, you've seen that video so many times, but you're not getting grasping all the details in the weight of everything that's going on. So you kind of have to say either stop or say that to me again, or in my case, I often am able to replay back events. So I'm just operating on like a 15 to 22nd delay before I fully understand what's going on. 

Very, very interesting. Tell us, uh, I know you have a website that I mentioned earlier. Tell us again, tell us where people can find you things like that. 

[17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg ] 

In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog.]

Oh, uh, Myles writes DOB blog is where I post, uh, I try to curate the best of my material at the mind, poetic essays, um, poetry, uh, some fiction I write in a broad spectrum. And then, uh, you can also find me at miles writes on. Instagram, uh, which is where I usually, that's more of my, my rough draft contents are, you'll hear me scream about some political opinions here or there, but for the most part, you can find all my best material on mileswrites dot blog right. 

Awesome. Very cool. Well Miles, thank you so much for taking the time! 

Guys. You've listened to Miles, man. I really appreciate you coming in and being so honest and you know, that's, I guess that's the one, my one, you get one shot a year where you find something worthwhile on Reddit. So I guess that was it, um, for this year. So I appreciate you taking the time, man. Thank you so much.

Of course, thank you. 

Guys, listening to Faster Than Normal as always you know the drill. If you like what you hear then leave us a review. If you want more info or advanced a dog just jumped in my lap oh hello Waffle. And we would love to know more, feel free to share uh what you're thinking. We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. Stay safe, stay well.

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

May 11, 2022
Camille Roney is a certified Academic Life Coach whose work has appeared in the New York Journal, Quizlet, MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. She empowers students to earn competitive grades while actually ENJOYING the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. You can learn more about how Academic Coaching can transform your high school or college student at her site: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching. Today she’s sharing ways you can identify within yourself, via the use of a data, how to identify your, individual, best learning techniques! Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Camille discuss:  

0:57 - Intro and welcome Camille Roney!

1:28 - How do you get kids to enjoy it no matter the subject?! (i.e. Math) 

4:18 - Ref: Yerkes-Dodson law

5:15 - On being in the zone of focus/flow

5:30 - Q&A for Peter about how he gets into and stays in the zone/flow

6:52 - On teaching students to be bored

8:26 - Tell me about first time college students and their study habits?

10:10 - Success leaves clues. These clues may present as follows…

11:38 - Give us some quick tips. i.e. I have a test tomorrow and I haven’t started studying, what can I do?

14:13 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook

14:26 - Thank you Camille! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:23 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey everyone, how are you doing? My name is Peter Shankman, you are listening to Faster Than Normal the internet's best, number one, most listened to podcast on ADD & ADHD and neurodiversity and it's because of you. I'm glad you're here. Thank you for that. Makes me happy. 

We’re talking to Camille Roney today. Camille is a certified academic life coach whose works appeared in New York journal Quizlet MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. Here's the thing she empowers students to be to earn competitive grades while actually enjoying the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. I’ll repeat that: she teaches kids to enjoy learning. All right. So Camille, you're obviously lying, um, welcome to Faster Than Normal. It's good to have you! 

Thank you for having me Peter!

So, so you teach kids to enjoy learning the problem with ADHD is that when you enjoy something. You get dopamine from it. If you're interested in it, you get dopamine from it when you explore it, if you don't enjoy it, you don't get domaine from it. So when, you know, if it's English class or something that I loved great, all the dopamine in the world, math or science, not so much. So you're telling me that you figured out a way to get kids to enjoy no matter what the subject let's talk about that.

Absolutely. Yeah. I'd love to, I'd love to dive in. Um, so in my experience, There's a few different ways that we can approach it. One is how we're approaching studies in general and the expectations that we have around it. So many students. In fact, I would say the majority of us humans come to school with the expectation that we're about to be bored out of our minds.

 

And therefore we have, we create the evidence to support that. And a lot of us are just thrown content at regardless of whether it has anything to do with anything that we as individuals care about at all. So what I like to do is invite students to consider what's important to them. What are their personal values, their interests, what are they into? And then there's a few different approaches that we can back; that gives us a bit of a compass with how to approach the studies. Do we need to integrate aspects of those into school? Um, what, you know, relating those values back into the, what the content that they're learning. So if they, um, decide that let's say peace wellbeing, global, um, like global warming global wellbeing. If we're approaching that with say social studies, we can say, okay, how was this really? How did this stuff that happened way back? How could that have impact a global warmingm, or how could that have impacted global wellbeing? How did this impact the wellbeing of others- that kind of invites us to get creative with the content and play with it because some content you really, really have to get creative with- how am I going to make this interesting? And if you, if you assume, let's say a student sits down for physics class, and the first thing that runs through their mind is I suck at physics. It's going to be awful. Rightfully so. But if you can say, if you're thinking throughout the course, um, man, I can't like I’m mesmerizing these formulas so that when I sit at the dinner table tonight with my family, I just get to brag about it and man, I will look so smart and like that we'll feel good. That's their motivation. That's totally fine. That's great. Also, um, you're you, are you familiar with the The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Performance? 

No. Tell us.

Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful. Imagine that this charge, if you will, on the, this graph on the X axis, you have stimulation. So low to high stimulation; and on the Y axis, you have performance. If this bell curve shape and on the left-hand side, we've got like, so you're under-stimulated therefore your performance is low. You're bored. You're not having fun in the middle the peak stimulation level you've got focus. Engaged energized, genuinely having a good time. And then on the far end, you've got anxious, stressed, restless. I like to consider both internal stimulation and external stimulation and considering how the classroom itself plays into that curve. I also like to invite students to consider. And I'm curious what your answer to this here is Peter; what's an example where it's a case where it's really easy for you to get into flow. Like you just, you don't even realize how much time has gone by, you're just your blinders are on your in the zone and it's just, it's amazing. You're completely in flow. 

When I’m on an airplane.

Gorgeous. Tell me more. 

So when I get on the airplane, I'm flying to Asia. I have 14 hours with nothing but my laptop in front of me and I started working. Next thing we've touched down 14 hours later and I, I mean, I wrote my last two books entirely on airplanes. 

Okay, cool. Can you give me another example with a completely different example of when you're in flow?

Umm… looking at the dog park and there were other dogs playing. I can, I can go to work for a while and let the dogs just have fun and get lost. 

Gorgeous. Okay. So what are, what are some of the common themes between those scenarios?

Headphones. Allowing myself to focus on the task at hand. No distractions.

Beautiful. How can you apply that to your school? Work life, something that you don't want to do? 

I would assume to get into the same zone when I'm doing something I don't want to do. But of course, the problem is, is that the problem is, is that you get bored with it. And then you wind up looking for distractions.

Is there something wrong with being distracted? 

No, there's nothing wrong being distracted. Unless it leads you down a rabbit hole that then prevents you from doing the work in the first place. 

Yeah, exactly. One of the most incredible skills that I wish we were taught in school that took me  just way too long to do, to figure out, is I teach my students how to be bored. We're often taught that boredom is like this awful negative experience. When in reality, it's just one of many human experiences that we have and there's nothing wrong with it, reframing it from negative to a positive. And what I see in so many of my students is that where again, when you approach school with the expectation that it's going to be boring. Yes- we create that. If we come with the expectation that it could be fun; that shifts things like a bit. We can actually create different behaviors so that we are enjoying the experience more. So let's say, um, to sit down to study a student suddenly starts bringing their favorite drink every time, some type of like fizzy soda or something that they genuinely enjoy, or like this pen that just like it glides so smoothly on the page that you think that you're going to die. Like, it’s fun. Like enjoy the experience. It doesn't have to be awful for us. Like honestly, if you want to. If coming to school and like a Hawaiian shirt and a wearing a lei and sunglasses, if that helps you like have more fun in school, that's a win, right? 

No, that makes sense. I mean, when, you know, when you think about it, does it make sense in terms of how you.. It's essentially what you're saying. It's a different way of looking at things.

 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the college student, who's in college for the first time and is on their own for the first time. And you know, whether they're neurodiverse or not, and all of a sudden they don't have a parent watching over them and then no one watching over them and they never, they never really learned that study to learn to do it. Now they're stuck in a thing where it's like, oh, no one can tell you where and when I can go out; no, one's going to stop me and they get kicked out, right?

Well, let me first say, there's nothing wrong with going out. I encouraged students to enjoy the college, the university experience, like what a magical time in someone's life. But when else are you going to be surrounded by so much diversity of experiences and people? Fantastic. What I like to suggest is. sorry, let me, let me take a step back. What I often see is people falling into this trap of, oh shoot. The expectation suddenly skyrocketed on my performance levels in academia, but I haven't, we haven't like we haven't had a class called how to read since like the third grade, yet the expectations of our reading skills are completely different since then. So what I, the tracks that I often see students in is they look around I what everybody else is doing and they just do that. So they're copying word for word what's on the lecture slides at the cost of not paying attention to the lecture. They're apt to suddenly sit still in a class for three hours at a time, which is a huge shock for a lot of students transitioning from high school. They've got all these things on their plate. And frankly, it's too much for a lot of people when you just try and do things the way everyone else is doing. What I like to say is success leaves clues. So let's look at the data, look at your information completely objectively, something that is so fantastic about academia is you do some work and you get a result. You get a specific number grade. So what you can do is take track, like keep track of as much data as you, as you feel comfortable with such as, um, how much sleep did I get before a test? Was I hungry while I was studying? What methods did I use? How many, how long did it take me to read this content that I read every word, consider the data and then look at the results of those yields because, but students often, like what I often say to my students, if you've mastered a very specific way of doing things. And you now have, are starting to collect the data of what type of result that yields. whether you like it or not is up to you. But this is a fantastic time to experiment and try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. And the key isn't to do everything. The key is to do what you know, works best. Finish all the rest. You don't have to, like, you can get through your entire degree without taking a single note. If that doesn't work for you, stop taking notes. You're wasting your time. Use it in another method for studying and really comprehending information. I think give your brain a break! 

Makes sense. It does make a lot of sense. Tell me about, um, give us a couple of quick tips. Um, other than the ones that you've given us are great. A couple of quick tips. I have a test tomorrow, um, I haven’t started studying, what can I do? I'm not saying that's what they should do every time, but. 

Right. This is such a good question! Okay. What is your favorite- to go from short-term memory to long-term memory for this specific type of content, because you should be studying, you know, how you study for Calculus, for example, should it probably looks very different from how you would study an English class. So that's my first question. How you go from a short-term memory to long-term retention. Just do that. If you get time to do anything else, that's gravy. Fantastic. So, um, I like, I get really into things like techniques, like speed reading or different memorization techniques. The high yield thing is to, sorry. My recommendation for you is strictly focused on the high yield content. Master that. Use your course syllabus or, um, a professor teachers outline on what's going to be covered on the test, how that, how the content is going to be tested matters, like how you study for a multiple choice problem. Uh, exam, it looks different than how you would study for an essay exam. So again, that's a matter of data collection. What works for you for that specific type of content and work with that. Um, my, if I had to give you just one, one quick takeaway from this is: As you're reading your textbook, never go beyond a single paragraph without asking yourself. How would Mr. Jones test me on this content? 

That’s really good!!

And you would think that that takes you longer to get through the content, but because we're strictly focusing on the high yield content, you're not reading every word in the whole, you know, in the assigned reading and because you're really giving yourself that time to get curious and play around with the content. Oh okay. I can see this being a multiple choice question. What would some of the potential answers be? And like really getting curious and creative with the content. Chances are, you don't have to review at all before the test. You've taken the time to really master it the first time, bringing it from short-term memory, to long-term retention, applying it based on how it's going to be questioned, know quizzed or examined on. And then you move on. 

Excellent. I love it. Very cool. Um, Camille, thank you so much. How can people find you? [[ Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook ]]You can find me on Instagram. I'm at the learning mom or on my website, a non-trad accelerator.com. 

Awesome. We will definitely link to all that. We will have you back. There's a lot of fun. Camille Roney, thank you so much for taking the time! I really appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, as always Faster Than Normal, we try to bring a new and interesting different ways to learn and think about, ADD and ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity, as well as fun stuff. I know recently we've had some interviews about. We interviewed someone who, um, works with drug addiction, we talked to an accountant to is helping people with ADHD   in their math. If you know anyone who you think might be a good interview for us, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast. You can find me at, at Peter Shankman. You can find past episodes at FasterThanNormal.com or anywhere that you get your podcasts, including-“Alexa”. I have to say her name very softly, because if I say her name..And if I say it three times Jeff Bezos appears in my apartment and tries to sell me something. So thank you guys for listening. We will see you next week. Camille, thank you for being here. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neurodiversity, stay safe and stay well. —

Guys you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love when people come to us and say, Hey, I would like to be on the podcast, or when they have a great idea for a great story. And they have a great story themselves. If you're that person who knows someone who has let us know, we're always trying to find new people. We have a plethora!! of new episodes that we've recorded that are in the can that are coming up. The next three months are already filled but if you have someone to let us know, we'll record you and get you on the podcast as well. And you can find me at Peter@shankman.com  The podcast is FasterThanNormal.com on iTunes on Stitcher, Google play anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for listening and remember that ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon!

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

Apr 27, 2022

Lissy Abrahams is passionate about helping people create healthier lives for themselves, as well strengthening the connection for partners in couple relationships. She is a leading psychotherapist who has dedicated her career to helping her clients navigate life’s obstacles and challenges. When our lives or our couple relationship goes off the rails, for whatever reason, we can all feel distressed and anxious. Lissy helps her individual and couple clients not just get back on track but also to thrive again. Lissy believes we all have the capacity to improve our lives and couple relationships with the right knowledge and skills. Her mission is to help as many people as possible transform their lives by creating happier and more connected relationships. Lissy completed her Masters at the internationally renowned Tavistock Relationships, a unit of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London. She has held positions on the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors (BSCPC) and was Vice President of the Couple, Child, and Family Psychotherapy Association of Australasia (CCAFPAA). Lissy is available for speaking opportunities on podcasts, radio, television, expert panels, webinars, and corporate wellness programs. Lissy runs a Sydney-based therapy clinic, Heath Group Practice, and works therapeutically with clients here and around the world via online sessions. She has recently launched an online course, ‘Learn to skillfully communicate with your partner and decrease conflict’. The course explores the real reasons why couples fight, provides guided activities for participants to identify why they are having difficulty communicating, and teaches the vital skills needed to break repeated cycles of conflict. Today we're going to talk a little bit about balance and a little bit about strengthening the connection for couples who are trying to find that balance, as well as a few tips on more effective verbal communication in general. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Lissy discuss:  

1:25 - Intro and welcome Lissy Abrahams!

2:55 - As ADHDer’s, we’re a bit trigger happy in our communication(s). What advice do you have to manage that fire? Ref: Rejection Sensitivity

3:15 - Sometimes when we don’t feel we’re being heard, we raise the volume.

5:12 - Sometimes we’re present but not really ‘there’ with our partners. How do we stay present and how can our partners help? 

7:00 - We can be a little like the Road Runner to be around from time to time.

8:10 - What would your advice be on verbal communication & amount of content therein in our relationships?

10:50 - Is the basis of your relationship good verbal communication?

11:50 - A basic tip for better communication

12:10 - Our ADHD brains are usually going super fast; what is your advice on how to calm down for better communications?

13:39 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.lissyabrahams.com and on the Socials: @AbrahamsLissy on Twitter,  @ lissy-abrahams on LinkedIN and @LissyAbrahamsCourses on Facebook and get her FREE E-book here! 

14:04 - Thank you Lissy! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

14:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman.  Happy Monday, wherever you might be. It’s probably a Wednesday when you're reading, when you're listening to this, but it's a Monday here. It is a gorgeous day in NYC. A little cold, but finally starting to warm up into what we hope will be two days of spring before we get into 90 degrees and humid for the rest of the summer. Anyway, we are going to talk today about healthier lives. Now I say that as someone who has two speeds, as most of us with ADHD do, which is either eating tremendously healthy or eating six pizzas and a box of wine. So knowing that we're going to talk a little bit about balance and a little bit about strengthening the connection for couples who are trying to find that balance as well. We're talking to Lissy Abrahams. She believes that all people have capacity to improve our lives and relationships with the right knowledge and skills. She completed her masters at the internationally renowned Tavistock relationships, even of Tavistock Institute of medical psychology in London, she's held positions on the British society of couples, psycho psychotherapists, and counselors, and was the vice president of the couple child and family psychotherapy association of Australia, Asia CCA, F P AA That must be a lot of fun to say. Lissie runs a Sydney-based therapy clinic, a therapy clinic called health group practice and works therapeutically with clients there and around the world by online sessions; she's launched an online course called learn to skillfully, communicate with your partner and decrease conflict. Welcome to the podcast. 

Hi, thanks for having me. 

Great to have you. So one of the key things about add and ADHD is sort of that we because we only have two speeds. We, I think one of the things we need the most work. Okay. Sort of decreasing turning down the volume. When we get into an argument, get into a conversation, it's hard for us to just listen. It's hard for us to just, you know, we hear something we immediately want to respond and if we respond and it's not the response that someone expansion that there's not someone wants and may con they come back with it, we feel like we weren't heard. And that's what causes massive fights for us. So I think the first question, you know, in terms of creating a healthier life and sort of allowing our brains to chill and to calm down so we can actually hear the other person.. when you're ADHD and you're up against that times 10. What are your thoughts there? Right? From the beginning? 

I think the biggest gift we can give ourselves is a pause. If we could just take a moment to, even if it's just two seconds to pause before we react, because we're so trigger happy as ADHDer’s, we are so quick to just become little firecrackers. So one of the things I tell all of my clients with ADHD is that just taking a breath and pausing is our best friend. If we don't, we're just going to get ourselves in so much trouble. We we're quite a sensitive group as well. Um, a lot of us have rejection sensitivity as well, so we can very easily feel slighted. So. If we can just slow things down. So in fact, as speeds, slow and fast, we could do really well with that. But I think just slowing it down and breathing; because so often we'll jump in before someone's even finished a sentence and we're not even necessarily grabbing the full context and content of what they're saying, that being a firecracker, we can get ourselves into quite a bit of trouble with that. 

Um, most definitely. I think one of the things also is that, you know, when we, when we're trying to talk and we're consistently, we need to feel heard. Um, and so we're not feeling heard. We raised the volume, which doesn't help. 

It doesn't help at all and one of the things that happens there is that our partner can be quite confused and they often don't know what to do with that volume. Whereas someone with ADHD they're quite, they can be quite used to it. It's not as startling for non ADHDer’s who don't have that register necessarily. It can be quite a shock to their system and they, that cause a lot of defensiveness on their side and they'll come in and be quite triggered in return. So I think that level of that volume that we can, we can project can be quite frightening at times. 

Definitely. Definitely. What do you, um, so how do you work with people when, you know, a lot of times I remember when I was married, um, and I'm still, you know, very close friends with my ex, but when we were together, one of the things that she, she, she comments on a lot was that I was, I was there, but I wasn't really there. I never had any, you know, if the house was burning down, you wanted me there. I would, I would take control of the situation and fix everything, but the day-to-day stuff. You know, I had more of a problem dealing with the, the, for lack of a better word, the boring stuff. 

That's a really common one that day, but not there. And the way I see that is that we can become the person with ADHD becomes quite a tantalizing figure when someone's physically present, it's an invitation to connect with them. But if they're not really there in their minds and somewhere else, it's a, they become tantalizing and quite elusive at the same time. So it's a confusing proposal for a partner to, to know whether to do with that because they are wanting the connection. But then the message that's often given off is I'm in my own world and I can actually stay here quite happily thanks. 

I think that, that one of the things that you learn, um, as you're going through that. And it goes back to what you said about a pause, is that anything can really be sort of fixed if you're just able to give it time and stop and listen and think. 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I don't know. Did you get, you get the cartoon Roadrunner? 

Of course! 

Yeah. Yeah. That's the way I, I, I think of ADHD, I think a Roadrunner who buzzes around and beep-beeps and there's all that dust. And I think that if if ADHD is and I'm one, so I totally relate to road runner. If we can remember that we are causing a lot of dust at times as well. So we might be really confusing in the sense that we run and scurry around and beep-beep over the place. But then there is that other part that you're talking about, but we can leave our partner out and get so much into our own zone. And when we've got our hyper-focus on, that's incredibly compelling for us to stay there. So w we can be a bit of a confusing partner at times. And, uh, and really quite rattling. I mean, I know in one of my, with one of my couples that I see when Trump came in, there were four years of that there but not there experience because this person was so obsessed with Trump and what was going on, watching every video that came up and every news article was read and attended to, it caused so many problems in the relationship, but that is the power of the hyper-focus. So it, it, it is a confusing picture because that there but not there is really not there at times. And this went on for four years. 

Yeah, definitely. Very good point. Um, talk about communication. So a lot of times I think that the, you know, the best relationships are the ones that have free communication and yet, no matter how much you love a person or how much you're, you're, you're involved with the person you're close to the person. Sometimes talking to them, especially when you're ADHD becomes difficult, right? Whether it's that you can't get the words out or what you're trying to say, or in the case of study, what can you tell people who might be going through communications issues? You know, I know that that, um, There's sometimes there's so much stress in a daily relationship, right? Just this day in-day-out that the concept of talking and really just having a conversation that doesn't revolve around: Oh, did you make the kids' lunches or, oh, you know what time is the play date?” You know, it sort of goes out the window.

It's a really good question about that one! The difficulty in communication, it can, it can be that they either don't know what to say or how to, how to speak to their partner or what to communicate that difficulty in it. But it could also be that there's an excessive amount of content. You know, if you're, if you're in your hyper-focus, I don't know about you, I can, I can go on for quite a while when my ?height and stuff that I'm really, really interested in. And sometimes I actually need to just check in with my partner to see if I'm just bombarding him with information. I mean, he also has ADHD, so he can come along for the ride to a certain extent, but sometimes I can say, you know, the eyes are going darting around because it's too much information and my intensity and excitement might not be matching where he is at times. So that's another form of it. Um, but I think.. if looking at the other side of what I often say in couples and communication is, you know, what you were saying about the kids and you know, that the logistics and there's also a very critical component that happens in couple relationships and I think that's what really gets into part of the problem communicating; because the person with ADHD has often really annoyed their partner, especially if it's been undiagnosed. And there's a lot of.. the partner can be quite, uh, um, they can complain a lot, they can be critical, they can nag and nitpick because they feel that their partner with ADHD isn't pulling their weight. I mean, they often don't know how hard they're really trying. Um, but the, the communication is really tainted I think if the ADHD isn't well-managed between the two of them. 

Most definitely. I think that it's a lot of, you know, it's not something that you go e., you know, you don't think about going into a relationship knowing that you have to talk. 

A-hah!

I think that's been a problem. You know, everyone's had that at some point, they go into these relationships and they don't, you know, you think, okay. Yeah, I'll be a good guy, I’ll bring flowers. You don't realize that that, that the entire basis, most of the time is based on communication!

Yeah. And I guess the thing is when we first meet somebody it's less on, it's not always necessarily around the talking because we can always take off another tangent into the sexual arena whenever and it's all so compelling in that area too. So yeah, I guess there, there. I haven't come across as many people who struggle with the talking part so it's interesting hearing you say that 

I think it’s combined with the listening. 

Okay. Yeah, definitely the listening part. And of course, it's very hard to get somebody's attention all the time. And that's where it's important for communication to show; I’ve got a rule that you've got eye contact telephones down, I make a rule that I don't talk to someone who's staring at their screen because I know they're not listening properly. So. Try not to do that as well. Um, cause we've yeah, we can't, if we're not attending, we're not going to hear anything so it doesn't matter what’s actually said. 

One final question. Um, give us, you know, our ADHD brains are usually going 500 miles a minute. Give us two or three really quick strategies to help us calm down. 

So the first one is to pause. That one is the most important one because our brain really won't deal with anything if it loses the capacity to think so, once we're triggered we're in trouble. So that's the first one. The second one is really about breathing. I think if we just do 5, 5, 5 breathing that's five seconds in- and you can either hold it for five seconds or not hold it for five seconds and then just breathe it out for five seconds, just very slowly. And repeat it five times. F or me, that is the absolute game changer or ADHD is. And I would say that's one of my top tips actually, um, for calming down. And then the other one is to just be able to go into a place that's just your own. And to really go inside your own mind, join up, what's upset me, what is it about this that's triggered me and to be able to do the work because it's so easy just to blame our partner for what they've done to us or in that moment. But actually so much of what we get upset about is actually our own stuff. So it could have been childhood stuff that we could have been told that we were lazy or selfish as a kid or misunderstood, whatever that was but it doesn't mean that our partner is necessarily saying it in the present, but it often has more impact because of what we've gone through as kids undiagnosed or diagnosed. Yeah. 

Very cool. This has been great. I really appreciate you taking the time Lissy, and, and, and more importantly, giving us your advice and valuable advice on this. Um, how can people find you?

[[13:39 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.lissyabrahams.com and on the Socials: @AbrahamsLissy on Twitter,  @ lissy-abrahams on LinkedIN and @LissyAbrahamsCourses on Facebook]]

Uh, people can find me at my website. It's you see Abraham's dot com and I've got some blogs on there and I've got my course on there as well. And I've got a book coming out in August, so feel free to contact me!

Awesome. Very cool. Lissy Abrahams, thank you so much for taking the time! Guys, as always, we want to hear what you think. If you like what you heard, leave us a review. If you have anyone you think would be a great guest, shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com We would love to hear who that might be and get them on the podcast. We are Faster Than Normal. We believe that ADHD and all neuro-diversity is a gift rather than a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and have a great day!

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

Apr 20, 2022

Corey Berrier- The Sales CEO has over 25 years of experience training individuals and teams on high performance sales processes. The Sales CEO is a boutique coaching firm specializing in sales development with a focus on ADHD. Using his ADHD superpower Corey has developed systems and processes that allow business owners to maximize employee experience and revenue. Corey uses a proprietary system to guide businesses to higher sales results, focusing on every aspect of the process. A hands-on approach is used, with feedback provided throughout the entire process, which helps clients to achieve results faster. Our proven results have helped hundreds of professionals across multiple industries achieve improved sales results. Corey is a Keynote speaker, International Coach and Consultant and hosts the Top Rated podcast “Successful Life Podcast” and he co-hosts the only ADHD Sales Podcast in the world called “ADHD SALES LEGENDS', with Callye Keen. Corey is writing a book on ADHD Sales and Entrepreneurship that will be out later this year. Today we learn how he’s begun using his ADHD superpower, better. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Corey discuss: 

1:40 - Intro and welcome Corey Berrier!

2:16 - Corey, why..why why why are companies so stupid?!

5:30 - How can you now better things for clients via your, and possibly their, ADHD?

7:20 - Tell us what it was like growing up as a kid, where you’re from, when you were diagnosed?

9:15 - After a few minutes into an interview, do you ever ask clients “so.. are you ADHD too”?

12:21 - On rejection sensitivity

14:04 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? www.CoreyBerrier.com and on the socials @CoreyBerrier on INSTA  Facebook YouTube and https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreysalescoach/ on LinkedIn Also via his podcasts: Successful Life Podcast” and ADHD SALES LEGENDS

14:54 - Thank you Corey! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

15:25 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

Yo, yo, yo what's up! Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. This is the one day a week, but I try to do as many interviews as I can because ADHD. I don't know, interviews and in the middle of that, and I'm answering emails. I get an email from someone who says hey, sorry for the slow reply. Um, we're pausing for now. So we'll be in touch. This is a client, this is a company who I've been trying to hire, not to give me money. I wanted to give them money, right. And after like two weeks, three weeks, four weeks of back and forth of contracts and everything, Hey, we're pausing guys. If you're an entrepreneur and you run your own company, there's absolutely a reason you can make money. All you gotta do is be slightly, slightly better than idiots like this. What I'm trying to give you upwards of 500,000. And you're gonna pause. You're a moron. Okay. I got that in my system. Anyway. Literally it just happened like 30 seconds before I started this call so hey, got it out of my system with apologies to Corey Berrier who's our, who's our guest today who did not sign on to hear me ramble, Corey- thank you for being here.

Corey started his business coaching in 2014. When he got tired of business, struggling to make sales and not have the ability to offer solutions. It's all shit. I have a company you should probably talk to; I just got off the phone with them. Anyway, Corey, working with his training clients who owns a small plumbing company and the owner asking you to talk with the sales team. That led to where he is today. He's based in Raleigh. He was diagnosed at age 8 and his services extended to wherever he's needed, whether it be online on the phone. Corey has excellent guidance and excellent coaching and he is going to talk about his ADHD journey starting right now. Corey welcome! Sorry about that random intro, but oh my God. Why are companies so stupid?

So it's a great, great question. Peter you're so right. You have to be a little bit better, right? You just have to be a little bit, so you're you're right. Your company does need to talk to me because they're making very bad decisions, but a lot of companies do that. Peter. I’d love to start this out by tying this to exactly why we're on the call, which is, you know, I've, you know, the thing that you ran out about me is changed just a little bit. So I don't work just with plumbing companies now I work with, well, I work with a lot of different companies. I work with consultants all over the world, and I also work with a lot of trades companies, but here's the. Really the biggest thing that I want to drive home. And why I'm on this call with you is, you know, about five months ago I realized I had no fucking idea what ADHD really meant for me. And I've been taking medicine Peter for 36 years, 36 years. And so I just, I had no idea that, you know, I forget shit all the time. I, you know, I lose stuff; my phone's in my hand and I'm looking for it. Like all the things. I you thought that, you know, I burnt my brain up doing drugs years ago or drinking. That's the truth. That's what I thought for years. And so when I, so one of, in one of my entrepreneur groups, I noticed, I noticed a guy did a post in the word he used the word neurodivergent. I have never seen this word in my entire life. And when I saw it, I'm like, damn, that is such a cool looking word. That was the first off. And I'm like, I got to figure out I'll let me just ask the guy what it means. Well, he didn't answer me. And so I'm not certainly not going to wait for him to answer me. So I just went and figured it out myself. Of course. Yep. So I Google it and it takes me to YouTube. So I like, okay, well I'll just watch one of these videos and see what it is. This guy is literally talking about me! And I'm like, holy fucking shit. What the fuck is going on? How I just, how am I just now understanding this. And the truth of the matter is, is guess what he was like. I didn't have a reason to look at. I didn't know. I didn't know. You know,

you never put two and two together, right?

Yeah. And so the reason that I believe I am so much better in my job now at working with these companies is because you know] this; most people are ADHD. Business owners, most people that are sales, right? Those are the two people I worked with. So imagine how much more money they're going to make. If I can shore up those areas where they don't even see the problem. In other words, if they've got half her and she's not following up well, you and I both know the reason for that, but he may not. He or she may not know the reason for that. And if they do know that. What's that going to do for their business. Holy cow. Right?

It might, it blows my mind. It really does. No, you look at, and then look, there there's two types of, of, of, of sort of companies that are mistaken, right. Because the type of companies just take it because exactly what you said, they don't understand how to better target their brain, how to better use the functions they have. Those are the ones that you can help. Then there are companies that are just stupid because they're idiots, right. And, and they just don't see the value they are leaving on the table. And Unfortunately, I think it's a lot, a lot more of them, a lot more out that they're just run by idiots. But no, I think that, you know, one of the things when I went out on my own as an entrepreneur, probably 20, 20, whatever years ago now, um, you know, I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew there was something I could do. And that's, I think a key thing that.. like, you realize the same thing right. In that, in that you're not sure what it is, but there's something out there there's some way that you can better things. Right. So give us some examples of that.

Well, I think this, I feel like this is the example, and I'll tell you, Peter, for years, I've been, you know, I've owned multiple businesses and I've done great, but some of them, and I had failed miserably with some of them. And at the end of the day, like here's the deal. I went through all of those businesses and all of those things. To lead me to where I am today because I can serve the people that I work with at such a higher level, because I understand the things that they're going through. I understand I can look at somebody. I can ask, you know, this people, you can ask somebody one or two questions and, you know, If they're not just like you are not right; by the way they answer. And so that's where I feel like my superpower lies is that I've taken my love for sales. I've taken my ability to connect with people and to connect people with other people, collaborations and harnessed that into I guess you would say the 88, I guess you would say that I use my ADHD to yeah, to better serve the people I work with because I can see things they can't

Tell us about when you were diagnosed. Tell us what it was like growing up as a kid. How, how did you grow up in South Carolina, where are you from?

So I'm from North Carolina. That's a great question. I'm actually from Mayberry, Peter. Yep. Yep. Good old freaking Mayberry going up, you know, I didn't have a bad childhood. I didn't, um, And in ADHD, where now looking back where it affected me was, you know, I made terrible grades. I hated school. I would rather be doing anything other than that. Outside of that, I mean, I was never put into a special ed class, which I've, I've interviewed now. I'm writing a book about this, uh, ADHD sales and entrepreneurship. And so I've interviewed, um, close to 50 people now that are professionals in the field. And. And what I'm finding is there's a lot of people that do get put in special education classes, they get put in, you know, they get labeled and I'm sure I got labeled, but I never got labeled quite like that. And so you didn't really ask me that- you asked me how my childhood was, was pretty good. I mean, I think it was a good childhood. I got into a lot of trouble. I mean, I was constantly doing something. But, you know, but I'll tell you what, I think one of the things that I think would have helped me more than anything I think is probably if they, if, if teachers then could have understood what they understand now, I think, I think my journey with school would have been a little easier. I think. I don't know that for sure.

No, I believe it. I believe it. There's definitely a, a, you know, there's a level of, I sort of the same way and that in that, you know, sit down and you disrupt the class disease was not what I had, but it's, it's what teachers knew. It's all the teachers. Right. And, and, and to, to an extent it's crazy as it is, it's something important. Unfortunately, it's still going on that way. Right. There's still, it's not as, I mean, there's a little bit more understanding, but it's not as big as it ever was.

You're right, Peter. So let me ask you this. You're a perfect person to ask this question to. So when I bring this up to people, um, you know, when I, when I'm talking to another entrepreneur or business owner that I'm starting to have conversations to work with, how would you, you know, if you've noticed this about somebody, is it something that you would bring up in that setting?

Well, you know, I can tell immediately if someone's ADD or ADHD and I call it ADHDdar, right. It's similar to Gaydar. Right. I, I also believe that, um, you know, there are a lot of people who don't appreciate it to the same level that I do. I have this, you know, I love my ADHD. Right. I think my ADHD is the greatest thing in the world and I love what it can do for me and how it can help me. (I didn’t get the entire phone ring removed). But there are a lot of people who have not had that experience yet. And so they sit there and they're kind of like, uh, this is the worst thing in the world. So I don't necessarily bring it up unless the conversation brings itself or lends itself to that. I think a lot of times there, you know, until you know, that answer. Until, you know, that answer. I tend to be a little quiet.

But not labeled probably because there is, I mean, you know, this was a lot of into negative labels around ADHD and delight you because I understand my ADHD it is a super power because I understand what I really suck at. I'm getting what I am just not going to need no matter what, the reason behind it, there are certain things, Peter, I'm just not going to do period.

No, a hundred percent. And I think that we get used to what we know and used to what we're good at. And, and we learn to be what were we learned to do what we're good at better and ignore, you know, or, or in this case pass off what we're not good at.

But you know, so my wonder and I'm, like I said, I've interviewed a lot of people and I, I found, and this is just my observation, that a lot of people in a lot of people that I interviewed, just feel like that the information they have about ADHD is really not worth a whole lot because they have ADHD themselves. And I think it's a common misconception also outside that with salespeople is same thing. Right? A lot of people think that salespeople are shady or shitty or are slimy or whatever you want to call it, but that's just a common misconception. That's just not the truth.

Well, except, I mean, there are certain, there are look there's there's truths to every reality and there's false. There's falses in every reality right? There are a lot of people there a lot. I've met a lot of sales guys who are incredibly slimy and I wouldn't wanna work, but I've also met some of the nicest people in the world. So I think it's the same thing with ADHD. I mean, I've met people who use ADHD to their advantage and they’re still assholes. I think people use. Right. So it's, you know, there's two sides to every single conceivable coin in the world. I think that that labeling people in any capacity, right. Call me ADHD, but I'm so much more than just that. Right? I think everyone is so much more than just that. So at the end of the day, you know, I don't know if the labels help.

I don't know either, but I tell you one label that did help me and you'll find, you might find this interesting is; when I uncovered what rejection sensitivity meant. And I didn't know that that's not even a, I saw even a medical term. I don't believe, uh, I don't think it's in. I don't think you would know the answer to that. I would not. I identify with that shit boo, big time, big time. I don't, I don't get to, I'm not a victim, but I understand now why sometimes I might receive what, what Peter says to me, to hurt my feelings. So to speak. And if I know that, guess what, I can be prepared for that and I can handle it with more emotional intelligence.

I agree. I agree. I think a lot, again, also understanding sort of the way the brain works in that regard. Not everything is going to be an insult, or even meant as an insult. And there've been countless times when I have been in situations where I'm like, okay, I think I, a couple of. Um, I'm walking down the street. I'm not feeling great about myself and I, I I'm looking at my phone. I could see me as I passed some guy. I don't even look at him and him go Jesus. And my first thought is, oh, wow. He really saw how fat I feel today. Right. That's ridiculous. It totally didn't happen. But our brains are designed in such a way that yeah, we're gonna go to the worst possible. So, no, that's not always the case.

Yeah, that's, that's a great point. That is a great point. And you're right. There are always, everything is subjective, right? It just depends on who's looking at it and how they're looking at and how they're feeling that day. It could always be a different answer, you know? A hundred percent, a hundred percent.

Very cool. How can people find you and get more about you?

www.CoreyBerrier.com and on the socials @CoreyBerrier on INSTA  Facebook YouTube and https://www.linkedin.com/in/coreysalescoach/ on LinkedIn Also via his podcasts: Successful Life Podcast” and ADHD SALES LEGENDS

Sure. So you can go to my website, CoreyBerrier.com. You could follow me on all the social channels @CoryBerrier And I'm going to, uh, I'm going to send you a link. Uh, Peter, I don't know if it's okay. I need to ask you before. If we can, if I can send you a link to a download it all it is it's just a competence is for ADHD people just to help your confidence. That's all it is. It's as part of the stuff that I work with people on, uh, it's a very, very small part of what I work people with people on, but I would also argue that it's maybe one of the most important things that I work with people on.

Please do. We'll we'll include it in the show notes. Sure.

Thanks my man. Well, Peter, thank you so much. I really appreciate this. It's been great.

The pleasure was mine. Corey, thank you so much for taking the time. I appreciate it guys….leave us a review. If you think you want to be on the podcast, shoot us a note peter@shankman.com We will see you next week with a brand new episode. It's so great to have you. And it's so great to be back recording again in the studio. Talk to you guys soon, take care.

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

Apr 13, 2022

Nicki Maher has made a name for herself through her can-do approach to business. Her reputation as a “people advocate” is apparent, as are her main beliefs are a in the power of human connection and the ability to form meaningful and lasting bonds in business. Maybe this is why she’s become such a successful voice on social media. Today we learn why and how Nicki Maher made her pivot- Enjoy!

A bit more about Nicki:  Nicki’s management career started in the travel industry where she earned the title of “top business development manager” in Travel Agent Magazine while representing global brand, Royal Caribbean International. In 2010, she began a rewarding career with jewelry and lifestyle brand, ALEX AND ANI, at their vice president of sales, serving as the right hand to the founder, creative director and CEO. Under this title, Nicki was responsible for building the foundation for a soon-to-be exploding omni-channel business. Along with focus of sales strategy, Nicki led efforts around strategic partnerships, licensing and all corporate social responsibility efforts. During her time at ALEX AND ANI, the company grew from $2.7 million in 2010 to more than $500 million in 2014. This growth was soon recognized by Forbes Inc. 500, Digiday and many other publications. Under the leadership of Nicki and her peers, the company grew from one retail location to more than 90, supported over 1,500 nonprofit organizations, and led more than 1,300 employee volunteer hours. The company also donated more than $48 million to charity through the award-winning CHARITY BY DESIGN division, which Nicki led and grew from its infancy. Nicki was promoted to senior vice president in 2015, just after returning from maternity leave with her firstborn, Leila Louise. Under her watch came company-wide partnerships, community relations, corporate social responsibility and employee engagement efforts. Today, Nicki is the founder of Nicki Marie Inc, where she works with brands and thought leaders whose mission is beyond the brand or product that they are selling. She serves as a brand advisor and offers services in social impact programming, digital storytelling and internal culture strategy. She is also a social media digital influential creator with over over 1.8M organically grown followers. Here, she shares daily bits of life, humor and home within her modern day world of "motherhood reinvented" after divorce, loss of job and overall change of direction. Here, she is stripped down from all "titles”, reminding others that it doesn't have to be the seat in the board room, or the nuclear family that defines you, but the foundation you have build at home when everything else fell apart, that matters most. The rest is the cherry on top.

In this episode Peter and Nicki discuss: 

00:46 - A slider

1:42 - On traveling recently

2:03 - Intro and welcome Nicki Maher!

3:48 - So why the career switch and how did you did you make it? Ref: Alex and Ani

7:15 - When were you diagnosed, were you diagnosed?

9:09 - Where did you grow up?

9:28 - A lot of parents don’t want kids to just be themselves- they want them to fit in; how have you been relating to your own kids?

11:00 - On a mesh of parenting styles

11:58 - Parents have to grow too..

12:38 - Less perfection, more acceptance

13:05 - What do you tell other parents if/when they get misunderstood or misrepresented on Social Media?

15:13 - On handeling comment sections

16:20 - On the foundation of family

17:30 - Knowing your strengths and communicating with your kids

18:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @NickiMarieInc on Twitter + INSTA @NickiUnplugged on TikTok and on her podcast Homebase with Nicki

18:40 - Thank you Nicki! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

19:10 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

‘Sup yo! Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. We have travel on the agenda today, which thank God, because I tell ya I.. pre COVID man, I was doing about 350,000 miles a year. Uh, and then it just stopped. All right. If you use a skydiving analogy, when you, when you open your parachute, you go at like 120 miles an hour, you open your parachute and they have this it's called a slider, and a slider comes down the lines of the parachute buffered by the wind. So it's slowly comes down because the wind is pushing you. And it sort of slows you down as the parachute opens, because if you didn't have a slider, you'd go from 120 miles an hour to about five miles an hour in about half a second. And that would hurt. Imagine doing that in the car. I've done that before in a parachute, broke two ribs in the process. So what.. up because when COVID hit, it was essentially like opening my parachute without a slider. I went for 300,000 miles a year to zero overnight and that shit just sucked. That was truly horrible. I don't recommend that at all. Fortunately, travel seems to be coming back now. And I think we are at the point where we can safely say that people are traveling. I've been on planes I was in, I was in the hell, was that I was in South Africa a few weeks ago. And it was like, people hadn't even heard of Covid, so they were wearing their masks, but you know, flying down there 14 hours, 16 hours on the plane was, it was kind of like normal. So it felt pretty good. Anyway, that's where we are right now. And we have someone on the podcast to talk about that we're talking to Nikki Mayer, my pronouncing that right. It's Mar Mar Nickie, Maher. All right, cool. That's all right, Nikki. So Nicki Maher has been in travel forever. Um, she's a reputation as a people advocate. I love that. S he started in travel. She started out Director of Development manager, travel agent magazine. She was at Royal Caribbean. We all know them, cruise people. Um, she worked for Alex & Ani. What else do you do? She founded  NikkiMarieInc. She works with brands and thought leaders, her mission is to serve and beyond the brand of product they're selling. She's a brand. She's a social media influencer. Ooh, stop using that term. You're hurting America when you use that term. Oh wait Social Media influencer, it gets even worse. You’ve got over 1.8 organically grown followers. Organically grown followers is like something out of the Matrix where they're literally like you're growing people. You have 1.8 million. Yeah, you didn't buy them. I didn't buy them. Nope. She talks about she, she has daily bits of her life, humor and home with her modern day world of motherhood reinvented after divorce, loss of job and overall change of directions here, she is stripped out from all titles, reminding others that it doesn't have to be the seat in the boardroom where the nuclear family defines foundation you built at home when everything else falls apart. Now, this is granted an ADHD podcast and ADD podcast. And we talk about that all the time. I think sometimes it's fun to bring in someone else who may or may not be neurodiverse, but has a different perspective on life. I found you, um, I believe, cause I was following you on, on, on one of your socials, right?

Yes. Yeah. Somebody connected us. Somebody said you two have to meet because I was doing some ADHD mama content.

That's right. So Nikki, tell us what it was like. You're working in corporate, you're working for global tourism boards, things like that. Major tourism companies. Now out on your your own ADHD, mom running content, things like that. What prompted the shift? How'd you do it? How scary was it? And talk to us about how that happened.

Okay. I mean, it was, so I love the question because it does sound show massive. It sounds like, oh, she went from corporate life to motherhood to, you know, influencer and I'm with you on that word, by the way, we need to reinvent the wheel on that word. Um, so I was just, I mean, I'll just jump back to 2017. I was working for a very fast growing jewelry brand. I was with Alex and Ani. I was one of the first six employees there. So very, um, homegrown family business to all of a sudden, within my four years, first four years there, we were on red carpets. We were sitting with celebs. We were, you know, our founder was on the cover of Forbes and I was one of her right-hand girls. So it all, um, went fast and furious. I had my daughter in 2014. Go back from maternity leave after having her and got a big promotion. And I was like, wait, this isn't the stuff they write about in the books. Right? Like Sheryl Sandberg is talking about like lean in. And, uh, as a woman and going for the, the seat and I'm it's happening for me. And then jump ahead to having my son, my son was a twin. Um, we lost his twin sister Gracie a week before delivery. It was a really difficult time in my life. And, um, listen, it's what made me the mother that I am, I was back in the corporate seat, doing all these amazing things I had, like the dream job. What people think is the dream job. You've got the, you know, the big seat, you were leaning in. And, um, I just wanted to be in that home. I wanted to be with my kids. I didn't want someone else to be home with them on sick days. I didn't want somebody else, you know, getting to pick them up and getting the hug at the end of the day at daycare. So I made a huge shift. I shocked a lot of people. Um, cause when I got back from that maternity leave for my son, it was a complete 180 from what I felt when I got back from my maternity leave with my daughter. Um, the changing of was becoming more political. There were more big, bad, you know, um, resume people in there and it was no longer for me. So made the jump, um, started consulting and I was like, see, I'm proof. You can, you can consult. You can create your own world of magic with your business knowledge and make just as much money as working for the big dog. And, um, and you know, jokes on me then came a really, really difficult divorce. Um, a really difficult COVID and I all of a sudden was home with a three and five-year-old went on to good old tech talk just to learn the app because some of my clients business-wise would ask about it and, um, just started sharing myself and a lot of my add ADHD-isms. And, uh, here I am with a following and able to kind of reinvent myself in the world of digital today. I guess. I still haven't figured it all out. I sound so much more buttoned up than what this originally is in real life, but that's specific.

Talk about the ADHD aspect of it, because here you are, um, you know, right-hand person to a, you know, a multi-million dollar company is growing and growing, growing. When were you diagnosed? Did you use it to your advantage? How did you know you have it? What kind of response was it?

Yeah. So I was never, I mean, I was an 80 blue collar kid eighties, right. So our parents weren't like, oh, you're, um, you're having trouble focusing and you're having trouble in school. It was more like, this is who you are, girl own it don't let anybody tell you

or, or, or sit down and disrupting the class. Yeah.

And I'd get social butterfly and chatterbox on my report cards. And it was like, my, my grandparents would laugh about it. They'd like, okay, really? Like, we didn't know that already. So, um, jump ahead your grad school. And I, I had, um, I had a lot of trouble with school, actually jump back. middle school. Seventh, eighth grade really started having a hard time. Ninth grade. I failed D’s and an F in every single subject. And what, in my mind, What did my mom do? Took away basketball all this winter. You know, like the Italian mom, like. Worst thing you could do to a kid.

take all the dopamine away now you're really in trouble.

So, um, I just was more social driven and more sports driven. I ended up, um, being able, why I got through school so well was I was able to dive fully into my athleticism. Um, so she took away basketball, but it led me to track. I became, um, I was second in New England shotput thrower. Yeah, all state, all state track, All-American softball player and Allstate field hockey player. I had a full ride to UConn for field hockey. So tell me about, I mean, ADHD, you got to find what works for you.

Where in Massachusetts are you from?

Um, Somerset, Massachusetts. So Southeast. Yeah, I was a BU kid. So small town and, um, sports was my. Social, friends and sports was what made me thrive. And I just dug in and luckily I had the type of family that let me try all different things until I landed in something so that's how I'm trying to be with my kids. It's like, you've got to find your shit.

And talk about that for say, because a lot of parents, especially growing up and even today, right? A lot of parents are afraid to let their kids be themselves. Right. There's still this aspect of it's changing a little bit, but there's still this aspect of, of, oh, if you don't fit in, that's going to cause you trouble down the road you know, I think you and I are living proof of the fact that not fitting into will be the best thing that ever happened to you. But, you know, I'm seeing, I see in my daughter school, for instance, there are, you know, and it's just, it's just, I think it just continues throughout time. There are cliques and there are the cool kids in there, the, the, the nerdy kids and their, this and that, you know, and, and I keep telling my daughter, it doesn't matter what you are, be yourself, you know? And that's a hard lesson to teach, especially when you have a child with ADHD or ADD or anything like that, where there, or where you are. And you try to say, well, you know, I know I'm weird, but it's okay. You know, what have you been telling your kids about that?

I wouldn't even say, have you had. So I just, I, I just get a TikTok relate it to a TikTok because when a Tiktok talks go viral or whatever, they get the legs behind them, it's because they're relatable. Right? So I yesterday did a post where my daughter is seven years old. I was the biggest tomboy Peter. And, um, my daughter was wearing these like, press on glam nails. I'm talking like the nails, like the Cardi B level nails. And I have a video of she's doing her homework and she's clicking the nails on the pencil and my face and my hot mom, mass bun and my coffee cup and my like no makeup. And my hoodie. And I take a screenshot of myself with the face, like what is going on and the whole thing. And I put, as the caption, I said, when the tomboy mom gets to raise a glam squad daughter, that's right. So I left, I absolutely I'm here to keep them alive and to teach them right and wrong. I am not here to teach them who to be or what they're into. So I not identify with any one parenting style. I identify with a mishmash of everything, including the way I was raised. They're not going to be eighties kids. They're not going to be in the neighborhood, playing with everybody, solving their own problems after school every day. But if it's the new modern day of, Hey, you're going to watch some Ted talks, innocently, and you're going to identify with some people or some creativity that you'd like to be part of, then go put the damn nails on as long as you're not wearing them to school. Go ahead. Do mom's makeup? Do the wings get crazy. Make me look like Amy Winehouse. It's all good.

I love that though. I mean, that's a great, it's a great attitude to have. So how did you know? I think that, that, again, the issue is you're, you're chill enough that you can have that a lot of parents don't and I think a lot of parents need to understand that there's nothing inherently wrong with that.

That's cause a lot of parents haven't found themselves, right. A lot of parents are insecure, that their kid's doing something that they're not sure they're comfortable about. And that's really takes a lot of self love and a lot of self identification to be a parent. In terms of times I flip out at my kids is because it's something that else that's going on in my life. Right. That I didn't think what would make me look like a good mom, but in the grand scheme of things, I think, you know, the positive side, Peter, that I'm seeing on social media is that it's less perfection and it's more acceptance. We’re all Artists, and we're all trying to do our best. We're all trying to raise great kids.

And I think two years certainly haven't helped. Absolutely.

It hasn't helped, but at least it's let us see a different side of social media. That's not the cookie cutter family with the matching outfits on the perfectly decorated front porch. It's like.

That's very true. Very true. So, so what do you tell, you know, what do you tell, I guess, other parents, other than just, you know, go for it. What do you tell the parents when they; do you get crap for being the way you are, have you been outed yet for being on TikTok, but you know, at school or whatever. And I know, I know a couple of parents, um, I'm friends with a woman who lives on the west coast, who, uh, was a lot of trouble. She had her job basically evaporate during COVID. She lost her Only Fans and she was making a fortune and she had, you know, on the flip side, she was also a mother. She was running the PTA, all that she was, and she got found out and it was very, very difficult for her. Right. And she's recovered and she's fine now, but you know, there was a time when, when she's like, oh my God, we have to move etc. What, what have you gotten discovered? Have you gotten, are you that weird mom? I mean, I know that I'm the weird dad, I'm the class parent in school and, and, and, uh, you know, none of the parents it's been two years now, none of the parents. So what the hell?

That's so funny. Um, the only things that I've gotten mis.. you know, um, I guess, I guess where I've been misunderstood are only two things. One, I sometimes do these, um, I call it like drunken Dunkin. I say hot mess moms run on drunken Dunkin. Right? So. But like a nip in my coffee as just entertaining. And I think when there's people that, that take social media literally, and they take that set 10 second snippet and they ident, they make it my identity, it's like, oh my gosh, I can't believe there are people that would take a cent 10second grain of salt. That's two weeks. It's a ten second out of my two weeks. I barely drank. Yeah, your making me as this, you know, drunken mom, or when my son said he needed help with the F and jam, he was three. He didn't know. I thought it was obvious that he didn't know what the word meant. Hence why I thought it was funny. And I did get a lot of heat for that. I can't believe you staged your son to say that for clout. It's like, really? You don't know me, but I will say if people follow me and they see the whole story, they see there's as much heart as there is humor.

Of course. Well, it's funny. I did one of the, um, I did one of the, you know, uh, Instagram rail that was going around for awhile, um, recently about here's how, y’know when you hate someone, everything they do for this job, it says, look at that beach, eating chicken. And it's, it's a very funny bit, and I happen to be recording my daughter. And she said something at the same time, as you would laugh when you heard that, if you were an adult hearing that and it worked perfectly. And so I submitted it, I posted it and it went crazy. People loved it. Right. And the irony was it it wasn't her hearing that she's eight years old. Right. I'm not gonna call my daughter a bitch ever, but it worked perfectly. And so to shut off the comments because everyone was, everyone was liking it and oh my God what kind of .. But then they're gone.

Listen, Every song put on Alexa has explicitly or X rating is literally the least of my concerns. If my kids are treating people well, if they're treating their teachers with respect, if they're treating the other players on their sports teams, you know, with inclusivity, like my job’s done. Yeah. They say at home or what they hear at home, like that's our private space. Leave us alone. Yeah. I agree with that. So yeah, I am laid back, but I also, you know, I've also got a lot of that old school, which I think people agree with. I've got enough traditional in me, I believe still in traditional family, whether it's nuclear or not. I believe in the tradition of family being your main priority and what you do everything for. And then I'm a modern day mom where it's like, listen, get with the times. I want to be a cool mom. I want my kids to identify with me and come to me on whatever the hell it is in their life. And I think I represent a good balance of both. Um, my friends in real life say that when they're around me, they're like, I need like more of you in my life. I need you to influence me. And what I say to them is my super powers are different than yours in parenting. We all need each other. We're all good at different stuff. So don't compare because then you'll really be depressed. So I'm never going to have the organized Marie Kondo, stocked fridge and the organized cabinets. It's just not me, but I'll play a mean game of Barbie with you.

Exactly. I think at the end of the day, that's what, that's what we have to teach our kids is to understand that, you know, everyone's different. And just because we're not what people think is perfect doesn't mean we’re that way,

Absolutely. Absolutely. And you gotta, you gotta know your deficiencies, right. And if it's attention span, I say to my daughter, I go, did you have a really hard time when the teacher was explaining this? Because I understand when I was in first grade, I had a hard time with this. So let's talk about it. It's I think to talk and to communicate with your kids is the number one most important parenting tip that I have so much more than we give them credit.

Yeah. Very, very cool. All right. So how can people find you, tell us your, tell us your socials. *18:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @NickiMarieInc on Twitter + INSTA @NickiUnplugged on TikTok and on her podcast Homebase with Nicki

So Nicki Marie Inc is my Instagram and it's NIC. K I M a R I E I N C. And the Nikki unplugged is my TikTok handle Well, because I didn't expect to have anybody find me on Tik TOK place. Um, so yeah, that's, that's where I'm at. I'm I'm starting a podcast and trying to do these cool things. And then I'm also getting my feet back into the consulting game. So a little bit of everything, which is how us ADD people thrive. Get me on everything coach put me in.

Yeah. I love it. I love it. Very cool. Thank you so much for taking the time. Truly appreciate it guys. We were talking to Nikki Maher. I'm gonna screw that last name up no matter how I say it, but we love having you come back again. We'll definitely have you another time. Guys, you’ve been listening to Faster Than Normal. As always, if you liked what you heard, drop us a note. We'd love to have you on the podcast. And if you have a fun story to tell, ADHD story to tell if you wound up working in corporate and now you're like a TikTok Mom, let us know. We'd love to talk to you. We'll see you guys next week. Thanks for listening as always ADHD, it's a gift, not a curse. If you know how to use it, take care.

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

Apr 6, 2022

David DeWitt is a registered investment advisor and podcaster who helps adults with ADHD take back control of their money. He’s been a registered investment advisor for 6 years but it wasn't until he had his ADHD awakening in early 2021 that he realized he wanted to work with other people with ADHD. David knows from experience that effective  personal finance when you have ADHD is hard - even when you are a trained professional. After his ADHD awakening he set out to build a financial planning model that works for ADHD brains, first testing it on himself. And now, he's on a mission to help as many ADHDers as can. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and David discuss: 

00:48 - Intro and welcome David DeWitt!

2:48 - Were you diagnosed as a kid; when were you first diagnosed? Ref book: “Delivered From Distraction

3:42 - Getting diagnosed isn’t a bad thing!!

4:19 - How did you decide to go into Finance, of all things?

5:08 - So after this wake up call, what changes?

6:01 - So tell us, what should we be doing differently? What can we learn?

7:34 - What else do we need to know about avoiding those impulse/dopamine hit purchases?

9:45 - Can we still have a moment of enjoyment or “spend” every once in a while, yet not go crazy?

12:00 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? ADHDMoneyTalk.com and on the Socials @ADHDMoneyTalk on Twitter  INSTA and “ADHD Money Talk Community” on Facebook

12:27 - Thank you David! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!

19:20 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

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

Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal! My name is Peter Shankman. You guys welcome to Faster Than Normal! Let's talk about.. no not sex. We'll do that all the time. Let’s talk about money. Let’s talk about money this week, let's say money and ADHD. ADHD is one of the worst possible things to have when you're dealing with money. And I know this from experience. I cannot tell you how many things I've impulse purchased because they looked cool at the time. Remember Sharper Image? David, remember The Sharper Image store? Yeah, coolest things ever.. coolest things that are when you are a 20 year old kid or a 19 year old kid who just got his first green American express card, Sharper Image, man, you're fucked. I, I, I remember I went in the Sharper Image and I came out with a, with a inflatable raft, with a Palm, inflatable Palm tree attached to it, which would have been great if it wasn't the middle of winter at Boston University. I remember, I just, I blew it up and I sat in my, in my dorm room. Yeah. Money is not necessarily a good thing when you're ADHD, but Dave Dewitt. Who's with us today is a registered investment advisor and podcast who helps adults with ADHD take back control their money; ‘the hell were you when I was buying my inflatable Palm tree, He’s been a registered investment advisor for six years, but it wasn't until he got his ADHD awakening and early 2021 that he realized he wanted to work with other people with ADHD. And let me tell you it’s desperately desperately needed. So you're building a financial model. You've built a financial planning model that works for ADHD brains by first testing it on yourself. I think that was the same way the guy who who invented the cure for ulcers? He like drank a bunch of crap to give himself an ulcer and then treated it with what he invented a nd it worked anyway. He's on a mission to help us with ADHD; David welcome to Faster Than Normal man!

Thank you so much for having me on it. Really excited because you know, if you asked me six months ago, if I'd be on your podcast, I'd say, what podcast is that? And, um, and then I read your book and I was like, oh cool, this guy's awesome. And I'm pumped to be here!

I love it. I love it. So what's your background? So, so you, you grew up, you weren't diagnosed where you were, you exhibiting obvious ADHD as a kid or?

I was diagnosed and I was in high school and high school, um, with inattentive ADHD, but I didn't even know what the heck that really meant And no one told me. So when I was diagnosed with it, it all it really led to was, you know, people at school saying, oh, it's ADHD Dave. And so it was something that I didn't want to have. I didn't appreciate it. And I pushed it down. And then I lived the next 16 years of my life kind of like. Pretend and operate in the world Like someone who doesn't have it, which ended up resulting in a lot of pain and struggle and confusion about why I was struggling. And then I read a book Delivered From Distraction, and that was the first book I read. And then I read a couple of others and I read your book. And then basically that was in my awakening happened. I was like, you know, wow. So many things in my life now it makes sense. And that was A very, really huge transformation for me.

It's a bummer to hear that now, because a lot of times we find that people get diagnosed and they get diagnosed, but they're awakening to: “Hey, this actually isn't a bad thing necessarily doesn't come for many years after that. And that's a shame. That's something we really get to work on to change.

Yeah. I mean, doctors, you know, you know, so, right. So you get the diagnosis, then they send you to a psychiatrist, then they give you medicine. And then like, but no one ever says like, okay, You know, relationships will be hard and here's some things you can do to prepare, you know, here's some things to think about, so you're prepared, but like no one told me that. So I just was like, all right, cool.

It's crazy. It really is crazy. And it's so frustrating too, so, okay. So you, you, you will have this awakening about six months ago and you were already a financial adviser. It's interesting. It's a lot of people who have ADHD don't necessarily go into things that require numbers. I mean, I know that that, that numbers in my case are just evil. Right. I try to avoid them with all my heart. Uh, right. You went into, you went into finance.

Yeah, it's weird because I was, you know, math was terrible in math, in high school. I was, uh, I had to get into the college. I went to, I had to do a remedial algebra class to make sure I was capable. Right. And what I, what I thought when I thought about it, I was like, one of the reasons why I think math is so hard for people that have ADHD is because it's so operationally focused that if you miss the first two steps and then you catch up and you're not paying attention for the third step, you've no chance.

A hundred percent, a hundred percent, so, okay. So you go into it, you get through the remedial algebra problem, you go through it and, and you're doing it and everything's happening. And then you have this wake up call what changes?

Yeah, I mean, so six years I've been a financial planner and it wa it's been kind of, it's been kind of difficult only in a sense that I would tell people, you know, my advice to them, but I'd go home and kind of do the opposite. So I, I developed this imposter syndrome and I wasn't finding that I was, you know, earning people's trust and I was like, what is going on? And this was before I realized the ADHD thing. And so now that I got the awakening, um, I realized, okay, so I made financial mistakes, even though I know better, but it's, it's explained somewhat by the ADHD and now I can at least help other people, you know, avoid these mistakes that can lead to some painful outcomes. And, um, and that's really where I am now.

Okay. So tell us, what can we learn? What should we be doing differently? What are we screwing up? Floor's yours.

Sure. So one thing for sure is for people with ADHD, you know, your mind is so cluttered with missing bills and, you know, making sure you have money in your bank account and making sure that you can just get through the next week. So it's hard to even ever sort of stop and think about like, okay, what do I want the next 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 20 years to look like, and, and why is money even important to me? So one of the first things I have people do is just like, ask that question to themselves. Like, why is money important to me? And, and usually the first answer is. I don't know, because you know, it helps me get to work and I can ..

need money to live. Right..

Yeah. And I say, okay, so you know why, so you replaced the answer with, with, with money. So you say, well, okay, why is living important to you? And like, oh, what the heck? What do you mean? Why is living important to me? I mean, living is important because, you know, I want like, okay, well, you know, you want, why you want to, you want to have a better life. They, why is having a better life important you and you keep doing that and people realize that like, okay, you can connect money to like, You know, giving back to the community or having stability or having more freedom, more options, less stress. And so if you at least get the groundwork of understanding, like what's the point of even trying to take control of this thing that's been controlling me for so long. Uh, it helps at least shift sort of the mind set. And I like to have people write down their like statement of financial purpose and put it on their fridge. So they at least walk by and we'll read it once in a while and be reminded.

Yeah. Very cool. So tell us about how do we avoid, I mean, I've heard the rules like, oh, you know, ask yourself if it's going to, where it's going to be in your apartment. And if you can't find a place where do you really want to buy it and things like that. But what else do we need to know about sort of avoiding those impulse purchases? That’s the big thing right? I think that, that we get those ideas because let's face it, you buy something, Google, you click submit, you click buy, or you walk out of the store and it's Dopamine hit, right? And that's what we're looking for.

That's totally what you're looking for. So it's hard. It's hard to sort of get into the practice of, of asking yourself questions. That question you said is a good one. Another question is. What, what value will this provide my life in three years? You know, will this give me any return on value in my life in three years? What else could I do with this money that will provide more value to me in three years? Is it saving or whatever, and, and before you even save money, you have to have a goal. Right? So one, after I asked that first question, why is money important to me? I then say, What in three years in let's imagine it's three years from now, what would have to happen in your life or to be a financial success? Like, what is your life like? And then it's usually like, you know, I'd have no debt and then goals just start pouring out, like, okay. All right. So you'd have no debt, you'd have this or that. And like, okay. So how do we get there? You know, what's blocking you. And a lot of times. Eight out of 10 times with ADHD, it's spending it's impulsive spending. It's no, no control, no awareness of their cashflow or their spending, where the money is going. It just sort of, it just leaves like the money comes in and then just leaves it disappears into this nebulous abyss. And, and that's where you have to really get under control of that. So, um, you're right. So once, but once you have the goal, you say like, rather than saying, well, this provide value to me and say, is this helping me pay off debt? And what's more important to me, this, these new slippers I found on Amazon that claimed to make me have no back pain that are $10 that are definitely not going to work, or having no debt and feeling more free. And so if you just remind yourself to have that and whatever it takes to have a monitor, maybe put a sticky note in your car and you get out of the car the last thing you see is remember the question. I don't know anything like that just to get yourself because all it takes is a five second pause to avoid that decision.

What do you, what do you say though? I mean, we can't go with avoiding. There has to be a payoff. It has to, and I know the pay off obviously is getting out of debt. But how do we, how do you recommend, do you have any tips or tricks to recommend that we, that you recommend that allows us to have a, uh, a moment of enjoyment every once in a while? Like for instance, um, there are, um, you know, when you're dieting, right? It's like, you know, once a week, take out the ice cream, put a two scoops in a bowl and enjoy it right. And put the ice cream away. And he knows what any tips to let us do have a spend every once in a while and not go crazy.

Uh, for sure, because, you know, if I were to ask you Peter, what's the first feeling that you get when I say, when I say, okay, we're going to put you on a budget?

Depressing as hell.

Yeah, It's depressing as hell. So why not call it like, at least for terminology, call it a spending plan because the budget is really, it's not a plan to deprive you. It's a plan. It's a good diet to spend money, but spend money a little bit more deliberately on things that actually are important to you. So. So when you create a spending plan, you know, you just, it's very simple. It's it's what, what do you bring in and what are your fixed expenses and how much are you going to save? And what's leftover now let's divide this between the things that you want. So if that requires a little less, you know, take out, which if you're doing five times a week, you're probably, it's probably more of a habit and not something you're truly enjoying anymore. So why not just do it one time a week so it's more valuable to you. So it's more, you enjoy it more when you get it? And then put the, the rest of that money towards things like maybe it's savings for, for, you know, that thing called retirement that no one with ADHD ever thinks they're going to do, but then ask your, you know, 75 year-old might feel slightly different and, you know, might have a health problem that where you need some money, so you can get by. So. It's kind of like that. So it's, it's allocating the money to what's important, but really first you have to have an awareness of where your money's going and, and at least get to the point where you're not building up like credit card debt every, every month because you just are spending recklessly. So we do want to enjoy, enjoy things, but why not deliberately say, this is what I'm going to enjoy this month. This is how much I'm going to spend on it. I'm looking forward to it, rather than being out of control and things coming to you and then just doing it mindlessly.

Very cool. How can people find you? How can they reach you?

Yeah. So people can find me at www.ADHDMoneyTalk.com I have a podcast there. And, um, and yeah, from there, you can, you can listen to the podcast. You can find me if you want to, you know, talk to me, you know, just that that's the place. ADHDMoneyTalk.com and on the Socials @ADHDMoneyTalk on Twitter  INSTA and “ADHD Money Talk Community” on Facebook

Very cool. You've been listening to Faster Than Normal. David, thank you so much for taking the time guys, David Dewitt, financial planner, for those ADHD, give him a call. Listen to his podcast, it’s worth it. You will learn some stuff. Very, very cool. Really glad we had you on today man, it's, you know, money's one of those things that, that ADHD touches every single part of your life and money is one of those things you don't really think about until you're like, oh shit- now I own an inflatable raft in my living room in Boston. So yeah, needless to say, I've let that go.; it hasn't bothered me or anything in the past 30 years. Anyway, thank you very much, David. I really appreciate you taking the time!

Guys as always, if you liked what you heard reach out and leave us a review, we're always looking for new guests. If you think you might fit, you have a story like David's or something cool you want to talk about shoot me an email. Peter@shankman.com. Let me know, love to have you on we interview incredibly big famous people. We have. The Dean of public health at Boston University coming out in a few weeks, who's going to be talking about how the pandemic affected people who are neuro-diverse. We've had celebrities, we've had Shinedown. We've had, uh, God who have we had. We've had, um, the mayor of Boston. We've had, um, Keith Krach, who was the, who was the founder of DocuSign on the under secretary of business, uh, under the President. We've had tons of cool people, got over 200 episodes in the bank that you can, you can listen and review anytime you want. We keep pumping out as many as we can. Thank you for listening. Leave a review if you'd like. ADHD is a gift, not a curse; I’ll say it one more time thanks to Dave Dewitt, and we will see you guys next week. Stay safe, have fun. We'll talk soon.

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

Jan 26, 2022

Emma Broyles is from Anchorage, Alaska, and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona to continue her studies in biomedical sciences and vocal performance at Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University. Having dermatillomania and acne herself along with a strong passion for helping others, she chose to study biomedical sciences as a preliminary degree to medical school with the goal of becoming a dermatologist. Not only is Emma the 100th Anniversary Miss America, she represents the Korean American community as the first Korean-American to earn the job of Miss America. Emma has earned over $110,000 in scholarships as a local candidate, Miss Alaska's Outstanding Teen, Miss Alaska, and Miss America to further her educational goals. In addition to her social impact initiative, Building Community through Special Olympics, Emma also speaks of having ADHD, which she calls her "super power." Today we ask how her neurodiversity has helped her career, why it is that girls and women are not as often diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and how she stays on time and on track! We are lucky and grateful to visit with this impressive young woman. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Miss America Emma Broyles discuss:  

2:10 - Intro and welcome Emma Broyles!!

2:58 - You were public about being ADHD/ADD when you were competing! That’s amazing! What’s your backstory, when were you diagnosed, tell us everything?! 

3:27 - On how women typically go undiagnosed and how her story is still not unusual

7:45 - Ref interview: The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton 

8:38 - Why do you think it’s a less often diagnosis in women or girls? 

10:21 - On challenging the stereotype of “No way, you’re not ADD or ADHD!?”

10:48 - Do you think that ADHD/ADD played a formidable role in your competition and successes and if so, how beneficial or negative?

14:10 - How has your experience been in AZ as opposed to NYC, or growing up in Alaska?

15:38 - How did your scheduling go growing up? How did you keep school and extra-curricular going?

17:40 - Tell us about what your favorite sort of tricks or hacks are that make your life work as well as it does with ADD?  Ref: Time Blindness Check out our interview w/ Rene Brooks 

19:32- How can people find more about you? @EmmaBroyles_ at INSTA and the Miss America is @MissAmerica on INSTA YouTube FB and Twitter or via the website and via email: Appearances@MissAmerica.org 

20:35 - Thank you Emma! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

 Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I am thrilled that you're here. It is a grey gross, disgusting Monday morning here. Actually. No, now it's Monday afternoon here in New York city. Uh, it was snowing all night and then turned into rain around 4:00 AM. Just around the time. You're like, oh, they're gonna cancel. No, they're not now. It's just rainy and gross. So either. We have someone here who's going to brighten up our day and say, oh, and the flowers and sunshine, and very excited for that. Introducing Emma Broyles, Emma is miss America, 2022. And you know, you say, oh, it was America And that's usually like a euphemism for something, but no, she's really miss America. She was miss Alaska and now she's miss America. And, and she won. And that is the coolest thing ever. And I have a miss America on my podcast, which I think is awesome. The last miss America I met was I think in 2015 at a conference. I was the keynote speaker and she spoke right after me. And I remember meeting her right before she went on stage and she said, well, thanks. Now, now they're now they're hysterical and they think I'm going to be funny. I'm not funny. And that, that was not cool. And I'm like, I'm really sorry that you have to do that. 

So Emma welcome to Faster Than Normal. I'm gonna try not to be funny. 

Thank you so much for having me. 

It's great to have you here. So, uh, Emma, you are ADHD, which, and you were public about that. When you were on stage and when you were competing. So, I mean, that's amazing in itself. It's, it's amazing that we're at the point where we're talking about that and we're talking about it on a national stage and that's, you know, that's been the whole purpose of Faster Than Normal from the very beginning. And I as she had mentioned, she said she was familiar with my podcast before we talked. So that just makes me sooo happy. But, um, so tell us, tell us about your background. Tell us about your, your history. Um, growing up as a kid, when were you diagnosed the whole, the whole thing. 

Yeah. You know, so this was kind of something that I talked about on stage during my onstage question was the fact that women tend to go undiagnosed with ADD or ADHD. And that was the case for me. I, you know, I grew up kind of as somewhat of a quiet kid, right. I would sit in the back of a class and. Oh, I, I, everything that I would be, um, you know, I'd be pinching myself, trying to get myself to focus. Right. But no matter what, I would sit through a lecture, I would sit through a class and then by the end of it, I would realize I have no idea what this professor or teacher just said to me, everything just goes in one ear and out the other, and it was so frustrating because then I would go at home attempting to do the homework at night. Right. And my peers would finish it during lunch. They'd finish it during the class period. And I'd sit there having to reteach the entire unit to myself. And so it took me about three times the amount of time that it took for any other student to finish my homework to 

like in, in, in like primary school, high school, things like that? 

Yeah, exactly. And it was so frustrating and I didn't really realize why I honestly, I thought that maybe I was just slow. I thought maybe I was just not as smart as the kids around me. And so it was something that was a big insecurity for me. And so I kind of did my best to overcompensate. So I had these long, so every morning I would plan out my morning before school, I'd say, okay, 6:55. I wake up by seven o'clock I'm in the bathroom, brushing my teeth by 7:10, you know? So it was down to the minute. That's why nobody would have known that I had ADD, right. I was the president of national honor society. I graduated with honors. I then went into, um, uh, bear at the honors college at ASU and nobody would have ever guessed, right. Like I, I had this busy life and it seemed like I was doing great, but it was all before. Um, the time that I had to put in behind the scenes just to be at the same level as my peers. And then finally, when COVID hit, COVID hit when I was a sophomore in college. Um, and I just remember being in my dorm, trying to do online learning, and it was so hard for me and my, my grades were just tanking and that was the first for me. I had usually been pretty much a straight A student with a B here or there, but all of a sudden I was flunking all of my tests. And I remember talking to some of my friends who also have ADD and they were telling me about one of my best friends actually, she got diagnosed during our freshman year of college and she was telling me about her symptoms and about what her medication did for her. And I was listening, sitting there, listening to her. Oh, my gosh, like that sounds exactly like me. So I go online. I did some research about ADD, ADHD in women and how it typically goes undiagnosed. And I went ahead and I scheduled an appointment, um, with a doctor here in Arizona and I ended up getting diagnosed and we tried some different variations of dosage for medication and all of a sudden it was like the blinds had been taken off of my eyes and it was so funny cause everything just flipped around for me. And that, that next semester I got straight A's I think I got all close to a hundred percent in all of my classes for the first time ever taking, you know, 21 credits and working two jobs. And all of a sudden it was like what the heck, this whole time, I could have just been taking medication and sailing through life. So it was, it was great in a way, in the way, in the sense that it, um, it made. Feel really hopeful for the future, because I was really nervous about medical school. I was like, oh my gosh. You know, if I'm already putting in this much effort for my undergraduate degree, how am I going to last in medical school? But at the same time, it was really frustrating to think that I didn't realize, and that I didn't go and get diagnosed in high school or in middle school..Uh, I don't know, you know, I don't know what it was like for you, but, um, I'm sure a lot of people listening can kind of resonate with the story that it's so frustrating thinking about how much time you spent being frustrated with yourself and frustrated with your abilities feeling like you weren't good enough. Um, but yeah, that's kinda my story. 

I mean, you know, imagine doing that in the seventies, eighties, when ADHD wasn't a thing. 

Yeah, I can't imagine.

 It was just the sit down, you’re disrupting the class disease, um, it's funny. Your story has a lot of similarities to someone we had on the podcast very early on, um, a PhD now, a, a doctor and she got her PhD. Uh, during the time she was on a podcast called re uh, named Rachel Cotton [[The One with the ADHD PhD, Featuring Rachel Cotton]] and she got her PhD in neuroscience, uh, epidemiology. Basically she's the one, uh, who, uh, everyone on Facebook thinks they know more than about COVID. Um, but she's actually a, actually a doctor in this and she was saying very similar things to you, but, you know, she, she was, uh, uh, made the Dean's list at Notre Dame and, and, and went to Harvard for her PhD and all this. And yet she was mainlining like caffeine pills and, and, you know, sleeping like four hours a night and all the stuff, because she didn't, um, she also wasn't diagnosed. And as soon as she got diagnosed, everything. Right. So, so there's definitely, um, why do you think it is a lesser diagnosis in women? Do you think it's that it's that women or girls at that point when they're younger are not getting diagnosed because they're not, they're not able to articulate what's going on or is it just that it's not thought of as something that could affect women as well?

Yeah. You know, I think that I've read a lot of articles about this, and it's really interesting how hyperactivity and a lot of women who have ADD hyperactivity is just now part of the diagnosis. Right? And so when you're in a classroom, right, when a teacher would spot a little boy running laps around the class, she said, something's wrong with this boy? You know, he can't focus. He's tapping his pen, he's distracting his other classmates. Like this is an issue, not just for him, but for the other classmates. So he needs to go get diagnosed. He needs to see a doctor, but for girls, it's more of this kind of, and this was the same thing. Same thing for me is that it's kind of like the day dreamer kind of a thing where, you know, You're looking right at the teacher and it looks like you're, um, you're totally focused, you're totally zoned in, but there's a whole nother world going on in that brain. And I think that's typically why it goes undiagnosed is because nobody would know except for that person, and typically, especially cause we don't talk about ADD or ADHD that often. And so girls don't know what it is. They don't know that there's something wrong with them, they just think that, oh, maybe I'm just. Smart. I dunno. I dunno. Maybe, maybe I'm just really lazy, you know, and I think that's one of the main reasons why girls tend to go undiagnosed, but, um, yeah, it's difficult. It's difficult because everyone that I talked to after I got diagnosed, they would say no way. And it just frustrating, you know, to have people doubt you and doubt your diagnosis saying no way you don't have ADHD, you don't have ADHD. I don't believe it. You're always, you know, you're so smart. You always do really well. School, like, how could you have add? And it's like, come on guys. Really, really? 

I remember a girlfriend of mine once I said, I said, yeah, you know, she said: Oh well just focus more!” Oh, screw me, that's all it is!? Sorry! No, no medication, no nothing, you’re right, here we go. All right, I'll do it! Tell me about, so you've been performing and, and I guess, uh, acting and pageants and all that for obviously for years. Um, it's not something you just wake up one day and say, okay, I'm going to go compete miss American's afternoon. So obviously it's something you've been doing for years. Um, do you think that ADHD played a role in, or ADD played a role in that at all? And if so, how beneficial or negative or.. 

Yeah. So, you know, I really, the hyper activity or not the hyper activity, the, um, the ability of somebody who has add or ADHD to kind of hyper-focus on something is such an incredible, it's such an incredible tool, imo. Um, I, I honestly think that it's why I got so into music at such a young age is because it was something that I felt like I understood, whereas school, sometimes I felt like I didn't know what was going on, but in my music lessons, I had no problem focusing because it was something that I just absolutely loved and adored. Um, and so it was like every single one of my senses was just completely tuned in to what I was doing and what I was singing. Um, you know, paying attention to the breath support and the lyrics, and you know, everything. So I think that being able to hyper-focus on something is absolutely what I call a super power I think; in so many different ways. And now that I'm in college, especially now that I'm studying things that I actually am interested in. I especially liked my psychology courses, but, um, you know, I would sit there and read my psychology textbook for hours on end and just be completely indulged because it's just be completely indulged because when you find something that you're passionate about. Your brain, just zeros in on that thing. And, um, it's, it's just, it's crazy. I think it's a crazy superpower that people with ADHD have. And I think that, especially with music, um, singing in a lot of people don't have this ability to be singing in a choir, right. Because you have to tune out all the other voices that are going on around you, but when you kind of hyper-focused on your own voice and your own part, it's so easy to just block out the rest of the things that are going on there rest of the instruments that are playing that people were singing. Um, so I think that it's especially interesting seeing all the people who have add or ADHD in me.

It's funny, you mentioned that, I mean, I went to high school for performing arts, the Fame school, and I have 22 years classical vocal training under my belt. Wow. I come from an opera, jazz and showtunes background. So I, people never talk about that. But, um, I mean, I was performing Gilbert and Sullivan, uh in high school and what you're saying, I mean, I was captain Cochran at HMS Pinafore, and that was the only thing I focused on for three months until the show. And then every day after, because that was literally all I saw, um, at the expense of every other class I was taking. But you know, it, it, it becomes that when we love it, we don't need to worry about what's distracting us because we're not focused on it when we love it. Our brains are producing enough serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine to allow us to focus. It's the things we don't love when our body doesn't produce enough of so we're constantly looking around for something to get us back into focus. So that speaks well, that speaks volumes. And was it, was it different? I don't, I don't know much about Alaska is one of the two states in, in my world. I have not visited Alaska and South Dakota are the two states that are not Alaska and North Dakota the two states had yet to visit, um, was it was growing up in, I mean, you know, this was growing up in Alaska and going to high school and I was, cause at school has a different world than what say someone would experience. I mean, I'm, I'm assuming you grew up in a city part of it, you know, but is it, is it still different comparatives, like a New York or an LA or something like that? What are you finding now that you're in Arizona and things like that? 

Ooh, you know, honestly the biggest difference, which this doesn't really mean anything is. 'cause when we would go to school in Alaska, right? The sun doesn't come up till 10:30 AM. So you'd go to school and it would be pitch black. And then you sit through your first three periods of the day and it'd be pitch black. And then finally the sun would come up and then by the time you're out of school, if you go to practice, you know, I'd go to swim practice, and then I'd come out and then it'd be dark again. And then I'd go home and it's pitch black. But I noticed it was a lot easier. I feel like it's a lot easier to focus when you go to school. And because I go to school in Arizona now it's nice and bright and sunny. I feel like it just. Allows you to focus a little more and puts you in a better mood. Yeah. Yeah. But in terms of the education system, I would, I'll ask. I have a pretty great education system. I haven't really noticed any big differences between Alaska versus any other school, any other states in their schools, but, um, um, I would say that going to school when it's sunny out makes it easier. 

It was funny. I was in Iceland last month and you know, we landed, our flight landed at 5:00 AM. Uh, it's a red eye and you get there and you're okay. And you know, you're in town by like 7:30 in the morning. It's pitch black, nothing. Right. And you know, you're walking around. You're like, oh, there will be light soon, but actually no it won’t, it's like three hours from now! So that happens. It was definitely a wake up call. Um, tell me about some of your extracurricular activities. So, you know swim team and things like that. Um, were you able to, how was your scheduling growing up and like as a young adult, were you able to schedule you know, waking up at 6:55 and being in the bathroom, I suddenly am. And it was, it, was it difficult to, to schedule things and to keep to those schedules when you were doing like extracurricular versus school versus out of school, everything like that?

Yeah. You know, I think another big part ADD, and ADHD is um, when you've got homework, right or when you've got a project, when you've got something to do, it's so hard to sit down and get yourself to do it. Right. So I would come home after swim practice and it would be like 4:30, right. Then I'd go eat dinner by the time it's like 5:30 and sometimes I would have, you know, volunteering or I dunno, Musical practice or voice lessons. And there were some late nights and then I would sit there with my homework and I wouldn't start some nights until like midnight or 1:00 AM. And I was like, great. I need to get up at 6:55 tomorrow morning, but here we are. And. You know, it was, it was, so it was so difficult, but I did notice that, you know, once I got medicated, all of a sudden it was that much easier to start a project, to start my homework, to start the things that I had been dreading but, um, I think kind of the biggest struggle with my schedule was actually getting myself to sit down and do the things that I needed to do. Most times I would sit down, get the pencil in my hand, have the homework in front of me, and then I'd be like alright, let; s go on my phone  okay, Yeah, I think that was my biggest roadblock in terms of, um, being productive and getting things done on time. But, you know, I also had this just like huge fear of being late or turning in assignments on time. So I did, I would always pull it off at the last minute. I always did it, but, um, But it's just so hard to get started. 

Couple of more questions that I want to be respectful of your time. Um, tell us about what your favorite sort of tricks or hacks are, um, that make your life work as well as it does with ADD?

Yeah. So one of the main things that I obviously had already told you was, um, scheduling out my mornings to a T, especially if I have an event, or I know that I have to do my hair and makeup. I've got to get the crown on and I've thought Uber there, I've got to drive there. Um, even down to like, okay, actually I have to allot time for myself. Cause right. Sometimes I'll get up in the more I’ll sit in my bed for 10 minutes before I get out. So I got to give myself those 10 minutes and my schedule, and then I got to get out and give myself 5 minutes for brushing my teeth. Cause I don't remember how long it takes to do this and that and go get the toothpaste. but, um, another one of the big things that people, you know, I'm sure you, you know, the, with ADD and ADHD is this idea of time blindness and that's one of the worst things for me. And so something that I'll do in the mornings, especially if I wake up a little bit late is also. Like a 5 minute timer on my phone that'll go off every 5 minutes just so I can keep track of myself. And I always wear a watch because if I don't wear a watch, 4 hours could pass and I'll make it two seconds. Right. But I'm always checking my watch. I'm always keeping an eye on the time. And, um, I'm always setting, setting short little alarms that go off every five minutes or every 10 minutes an hour usually if I'm spending the whole day studying. Just to kind of check in with myself and say, okay, here's the time. Here's how much longer I have, but that's probably one of the biggest things that has helped me, and I still do that every single morning. 

Really, really smart. Really.. that's a really good idea about the alarms every 5 minutes, just to sort of keep you in the zone because it's very true. I mean, and especially with what I love, my favorite, my favorite time in the world is knowing that I have nothing to do for the day and okay. I can just sit. No, I don't have this and that. I can sit and read a book. I can sit down. I don't have to worry about this or that. It doesn't matter. Um, tell us how people can find you, what are your social handles, if any, and how can people follow you and, and, and learn more about you?

So your schedules where you're going to be upcoming and all that. [[SEE ABOVE]]

Yeah. So people, my personal Instagram is Emma Broyles, Emma bro, Y L E S underscore, and then the miss America, Instagram, which is where all of my events and all of my, um, All of my appearances go are, that's going to be at miss America and then on the miss America, Instagram, and this is also the same for Facebook. You just can search with America, um, and Twitter, but, and there's a link in the bio of the miss America, Instagram, and I think there's somewhere on there where you can email info@missamerica.org. If you ever have a request for an appeal. And interview or what have you. Um, and then all types of information is in that, that bio as well. So I think my personal bio was there in the, on the website. Um, but yeah. Yeah. That's how you can find me on social media. 

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of what I'm sure is a crazy schedule. Uh, even though it's Arizona, it's a gorgeous day there. I hope you're enjoying it. Emmy Broyles Thank you so much for making the time to come on Faster Than Normal; I know it’s gonna be a phenomenal interview when it goes live. We really appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me. This is really, really great. All right. Stick around for a second. Guys. You've listened to Faster Than Normal. If you like what you heard, drop us a review. If you have a guest, uh, Emma came to us by a suggestion so that it does work! So if you have a suggestion, pick anyone you want to. Let us know, and we will get them.. we will work our butts off to get them on the podcast. Um, you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all the socials. Our producer is Steven Byrom, he does an amazing job, give him a shout. [thanks Peter! I’m for hire! @stevenbyrom on Twitter and also via www.byroMMusic.com We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. And remember that any form of neuro-diversity is different. Different is good. It is a gift. It is not a curse. We will see you next week. Thanks for listening.

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

Nov 10, 2021

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

——

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

In this episode Peter and Sharon Pope discuss:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16:57 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 20, 2021

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

In this episode Peter and Sally Willbanks discuss:  

 

1:47 - Intro and welcome Sally!  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11:28 - How old is the company now?

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

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

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

14:00 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

Thank you very much. Thank you for having me. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are old are they?

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

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

Um, How are your children involved in the business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 13, 2021

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

——

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

In this episode Peter and EJ Wenstrom discuss:  

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

3:42 - Thank you Lori for introducing us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So you can find me at. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 6, 2021

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

In this episode Peter and Aron Croft discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Aron! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17:49 - On finding Dopamine via other sources

18:48 - See, podcasts ARE fun! 

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

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

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

21:28 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh no. 

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

Wow. 

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

Did he at least smell good? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey, I'll, I'll, I'll sure, why not? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 29, 2021

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

——

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

In this episode Peter and Cynthia Hammer discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Cynthia! 

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

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

5:04 - On her first ADHD “group meet”

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

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

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

14:30 - Ref Additude mag

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

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

15:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

Thank you. 

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

I really didn't take anything was going on.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 22, 2021

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

——

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

In this episode Peter and Morgan Dodson discuss:  

2:35 - Intro and welcome Morgan! 

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

4:40 - How she started her own coaching business

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

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

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

12:00 - On prioritizing 

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

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

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

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list HERE

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

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

 

17:35 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

 

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

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

Manifesting your dreams. Well done. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com 

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

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

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

 

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

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

Sep 15, 2021

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

——

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

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

 

In this episode Peter and Dr. Read discuss:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

Uh, well, uh, I started as a doctor, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 25, 2021

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

——

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

 

In this episode Peter and Steve discuss:  

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

14:14 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yep. 

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

and that's where it starts going down hill.

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

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

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

Yep. 

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

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

Right? 

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

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

Both

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 18, 2021

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

——

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

 

In this episode Peter and Alex discuss:  

3:42 - Intro and welcome Alex Gilbert!

4:00 - On why Alex started her business

5:40 - When were you diagnosed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17:56 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When were you diagnosed? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Aug 11, 2021

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

——

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

——

In this episode Peter and Aubrey discuss:    

2:14 - Intro and welcome Aubrey Hirsch!!

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

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

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

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

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

11:03 - On getting over the Sophomore jinx

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

15:50 - Illustrations on Imposter syndrome 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27:13 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

That's awesome. It is. 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

That's phenomenal answer. 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Jul 7, 2021

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

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

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In this episode Peter and Jessica discuss:  

1:54 - Intro and welcome Jessica Heimsoth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15:18 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

I'm good. How are you doing today? 

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah. 

24 hours. Which one? 

I like that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you ever listened to my Podcast? 

{laughter} 

I have. Yeah. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

——

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

Jun 30, 2021

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

——

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

——

In this episode Peter and Myah Master discuss:  

2:00 - Intro and welcome Myah!!

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

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

4:27 - On being a fighter.

4:55 - Have you ever taken a break?

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

6:30 - On finding joy

7:15 - How do you hit reset?  

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

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

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

11:09 – Balancing goals versus time spent

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

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

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

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

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

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

16:53 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 23, 2021

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

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

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In this episode Peter and Sivan discuss:  

2:10  -  Intro and welcome Sivan Hong!!

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

3:34  -  Why Sivan changed careers

4:00  -  What did Sivan do over COVID?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14:29  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

Thank you so much for having me Peter. 

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

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

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

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

Oh yeah, I believe you.

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

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

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

Ah, I love it!

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

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

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

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

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

No question about it. Tell us about the books.   

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

… there you go….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 16, 2021

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

 

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

 

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In this episode Peter and Scott discuss:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24:09  - pon·tif·i·cate

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

26:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

Oh, lovely, lovely to have you back. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You should, yeah….

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

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

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

exactly….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

Jun 9, 2021

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

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A little about our joyful couple/team today!

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

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

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

 

 

---------- 

In this episode Peter, Shauna and Dan discuss:  

  

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

20:56  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Yep. 

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

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

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

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

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

yeah.

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

uh-huh….

you work together…

uh-huh….

 you live together…

uh-huh…

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

Hotel nights in the city! 

(laughter)  

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

Yeah….

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

I love that. 

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

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

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

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

Oh my God

Yeah, it's pretty awesome. 

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

Uh, Danny?  

(laughter) 

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

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

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

(laughter) 

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

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

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

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

Oh yeah….

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

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

OMG,,,,, 

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

right….

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

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

God Bless….

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

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

(laughter) 

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

Oh sure, I get the trash out…

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

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

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

 follow your dreams 

and follow what makes you happy. 

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

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

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

 

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

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

awesome….

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

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

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

Jun 2, 2021

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

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

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

 

 

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In this episode Peter and Dean Karnazes discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Dean Karnazes!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17:15  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

totally….

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

I’m glad you’re still liking it…

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

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

Everything changes, right? 

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

 

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

50 day… yeah. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

yeah, 2006, yeah. 

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

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

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

A little bit older than you. 

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

Thanks for having me run by. Haaah-yeah!

——

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

May 26, 2021

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

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

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

In this episode Peter & Chef Jason McKinney discuss:

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Jason

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22:52  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow. 

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

Oh my God. 

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

Oh my God. I can imagine. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

French Laundry,,, yeah. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unbelievable. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Absolutely, we’d totally love that. 

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

——

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

May 19, 2021

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

 

 

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

[Eliza’s photo credit:  Juan Patino Photography]

 

 

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***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***

 

In this episode Peter & Eliza Orlins discuss:

 

1:42  -  Intro and welcome Eliza

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

15:46  -  On the advantage of turning off Notifications

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

20:02  -  Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

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

——

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, thank you!

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

 

 

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

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