In this video, Lindsay and Amy discuss ADHD and some of the potential impacts of Adult ADHD on business and entreprenurship. Topics: We’ve done a couple other shows where we’ve defined ADHD and how to know if you have it, so we won’t go into that here, but could you talk about some aspects that might actually help you, either in starting your own business or in working in that field for someone else? Are there any types of work or tasks that ADHD is likely to make you good at, or is it more just a matter of being passionate about something? With entrepreneurship, it can be interesting because there are a lot of different hats to wear and things to learn and accomplish. Sometimes you find that there are aspects you really enjoy and others that are a slog to deal with but that hold you back if you don’t deal with them. Advice? You sometimes hear the expression to lean into your strengths. When does it make sense to hire someone to do the things you don’t like or aren’t that good at and focus on the things you’re really interested in and good at? When you have goals, are there some tools or tips for staying on track and not letting yourself get distracted by something new?
Resources Mentioned: Six Figure Author Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkgP6WIFsg3vWga2XVs619w
Creative Catapult Coaching: http://www.creativecatapultcoach.com
Float Seattle: http://www.floatseattle.com
Lindsay Buroker [00:00:01] Hello and welcome to Adult ADHD Chat here on the Internet, I’m your host. Lindsay Buroker and my co-host here, The woman, with all the knowledge is Amy Voros from [00:00:10]Creative Catapult Coaching. [0.9s] Today, we’re going to be talking about business and entrepreneurship and some tips for being successful in this area. Even if you have ADHD and even if you don’t have, that will hopefully be helpful. Amy, welcome. And how are you doing today before we jump in here?
Amy Voros [00:00:28] Hey, Lindsay thinks I am doing all right. I, you know, have been doing a lot more self care, which in my world means floating, sleeping and trying not to stress. And, you know, today my brain is in a good spot. I know that being social, which I’ve done a little bit more of too, is helping me balance out my energy and manage my own ADHD so that I’m able to sit down and, you know, focus and get some things done that I want to do.
Lindsay Buroker [00:00:59] Awesome. And for those who don’t know, floating is sorry.
Amy Voros [00:01:03] Sensory deprivation floating is basically floating in a thousand pounds of Epsom salt water. It that is heated to body temperature and it’s completely dark and quiet and really just helps reset your nervous system because there’s no outside stimulation. People also use did for meditation and all sorts of other self growth. I just like that as helps me sort of calm down and get into a deep state of relaxation much more easily than meditation.
Lindsay Buroker [00:01:41] All right. Well, maybe there’s a tip for people to try if they have the funds to. And if they have one local, I’ve done it, too, and I find a good place to just think like I’m not very good at meditating and just letting go. But if you need a place to quiet to just kind of figure things out. I find that can be helpful myself.
Amy Voros [00:01:59] Yeah, well, and here in Seattle, I’ve been going to [00:02:03]Float Seattle [0.4s] for about a year and a half and they are amazing people. And I’m excited that they’re reopening, you know, with a whole bunch of covid-19 precautions. But well, I suppose keep our eyes on how effective the society continues to manage this and hopefully this continues to be available for me in the short run.
Lindsay Buroker [00:02:25] Excellent. All right. Well, let’s jump in here. We’ve done a couple of shows where we’ve kind of defined ADHD and how to know if you have it. So check Amy’s channel if you want to see those. We won’t go into that here today. But could you talk about some aspects that might actually help you as a person with ADHD in starting your own business or in just working for someone else’s business?
Amy Voros [00:02:49] So ADHD, there’s a surprising number of people with ADHD that are entrepreneurs, not always successful on chores, but a lot of us are driven, not very good following rules, and have some great unique ideas and passion that we really want to share with the world. We’re also great problem solvers. Do well with novelty and uncertainty. And when we’re passionate, we can really hyperfocus and really get a lot done and put some amazing work out in the world. We can often pull long hours and see connections that others just don’t. And the novelty, the stimulation and the ability to not be micromanaged can do some amazing things for a lot of ADHD brains.
Lindsay Buroker [00:03:45] Yeah, I feel like a lot of entrepreneurs I’ve talked to and I’m an author. For those who don’t know, but I’ve self published, so I have to have the business hat and do all the marketing and stuff and learn that. And there’s a ton to learn, which, like you’re saying, keeps it kind of new and interesting. But a lot of people I’ve met are very like it’s almost like they couldn’t they had really struggled in more of a traditional work environment. And I love your thing about not being micromanage. Like I feel like I’d be unemployable at this point. I don’t think I actually work for someone else and not chafe at the bindings. You know?
Amy Voros [00:04:16] Yeah, well, it’s it’s a double edged swords after some of the novelty wears off and can certainly be hard to be motivated, but it can also be a real challenge to create the structure for yourself as well as to not be overwhelmed and shut down, which also makes doing anything useful really hard when you’re stuck.
Lindsay Buroker [00:04:44] I often tell people to, like, find somebody that’s doing what you want to do and is being successful and then just stalk them. Probably they’re not gonna have time to be your mentor because they’re super busy with their own business. But like, sign up for their newsletter, see what they’re doing and watch what they put out. So I don’t know if that works for folks, but Stocking’s always good. Are there in a lineup. Oh go ahead.
Amy Voros [00:05:07] I was gonna say I will also a lot of the time somebody may be willing to do a 20 or 30 minute informational interview about what they’re doing, if that’s your thing. So a lot of times asking for a short meeting on somebody’s calendar can also be a really good way to connect. But yeah, sometimes reaching out for just somebody to be a mentor may be a bigger time commitment than they’re truly willing or able to commit to.
Lindsay Buroker [00:05:36] Right. And I should say that it’s stalking online is what I’m referring to. But they’re doing with their business, not showing up at their house or anything weird like that. And I also actually one of the things that’s great about having a podcast is you can sometimes get those people on as guests, whereas they might not have an hour otherwise. But if it’s an interview, maybe that can make the time for you never know. So are there any types of work or tasks that ADHD is likely to make you good at? Or is it just a matter of being passionate about something?
Amy Voros [00:06:08] I think it’s a little bit of both. There are some industries that tend towards, I think, being more naturally attuned to somebody that has ADHD. I’ve worked with people across all sorts of medicine, so doctors, nurses, academia, gardening, I’ve worked with a pastry chef, a truck driver. And a lot of characteristics of sort of the either self driven or the high intensity, you know, crisis driven professions, lawyers, too, can have a lot of people dealing with ADHD. And a lot of times the pressure and the high stimulation can be great and keep people really engaged. I’m actually fairly convinced that a huge number of people in my local parks and recreation department have ADHD, both from what some people told me, but just from general observation. Some people, I’m sure, are not aware that they function in that world, but it’s just really interesting to see the different ways and places that ADHD shows up. So a lot of. Types of tasks that you might be good at are crisis management, you know, or constantly changing priorities. If the stimulation is high, is going to really help your brain sort of be on a firing. But, you know, a couple notes I made to myself for here is passion is great and a great start, but you almost also have to make sure that the environment, the job process are also a good fit for the way your you function and work. I for a while worked at a nonprofit as an administrative assistant. And I loved the work that they were doing. And there were a lot of things that were a great fit. You know, it was quiet. So I wasn’t distracted all the time. I was trusted. I wasn’t micromanaged. But I was a terrible executive assistant mostly. And the fact of the number of meetings that had to calendar and had to constantly retract, because even though I’d proved them, I still had my eyes skip over a three or four different times or dates that were incorrect. And it just it was very, very frustrating. And so even though there was a good fit for a lot of it, part of the process was mismanaged or was a mismanagement for me. And so if I stuck with it, I might have found some other techniques to get around it. But there was a lot of it that made it just not the right place for me to stay.
Lindsay Buroker [00:09:13] All right, I imagine. And, you know, like anything where there’s not deadlines. I feel like I saw I was reading about ADHD. It’s like, what can you know? And people want to be like, help for me and say “Oh, Amy, just give it to me when you can:. And there is and that’s the worst thing you can say to somebody who you may be like. Amy, give this to me on Tuesday. That urgency seems to really help.
Amy Voros [00:09:36] That urgency is hugely important. Even if we understand that, you know, it’s kind of a soft deadline, I. That was the worst thing was I would just give it to me when he can. I’m like. We need to agree on a day or a time, even if it’s not actually needing to be done, then. Otherwise it’s not going to happen. And so I tried to sort of backwards train my boss to help me set those deadlines for myself. It wasn’t as effective as I hoped it was going to be.
Lindsay Buroker [00:10:08] I would think also that anything where you’re kind of doing the same thing every day and there’s not that new or novel might be kind of a struggle like, I would imagine, administrative assistant. It’s kind of like you walking, kind of knowing where your day’s gonna be. And unlikely they like have. Oh, surprise challenges. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s my perception.
Amy Voros [00:10:28] It definitely depends on the administrative position. I’ve been in some where you’re the gatekeeper and there’s always stuff happening is going on and changing and evolving. This one was very self directed and self driven without a lot of chances that things were going to suddenly be novel and surprising. And so that then was, yeah, much more of a struggle. Once I knew how to do it. And once it was familiar, it became much harder to get engaged right away. And suddenly my workday started dragging on and on and on and on because I knew what I needed to get done, but I couldn’t get it done. This was also before I knew I had ADHD, so I was struggling against that as well.
Lindsay Buroker [00:11:16] So if you’re working for yourself and you’re the boss and we’ve just kind of agreed that probably deadlines can be helpful. Like, how do you have any tips for how to how to set deadlines? Well, as an author, I have to get stuff to my editor. So that super is super helpful. Like we have dates scheduled a year in advance because she’s pretty busy and she books me slots and so on. I always just know I have to get it done and that that helps. I feel like if I didn’t have that, I’d be like I’ll work on it a little bit now and then when I feel like, you know.
Amy Voros [00:11:47] Yes. So there’s a lot to be said for incorporating other people or deadlines that are outside of yourself. I’ve often used meetings as a way to sort of, you know, give some structure and make sure things happen. I’ve also worked on time boxing my availability, so I may have a reason that I have to be out the door, too. And so knowing that whatever I’m going to get done has to be done by 1:45. Especially if its stuff I’m interested in doing can be really helpful. And what else do I use? I often like working with a body double. I think I’ve talked about that before. But just being somewhere or having somebody else involved that I can see is working can help me stay focused and work towards my own pieces. I’m also a verbal processor. So if I can find somebody to sort of talk through what I’m doing or hoping to do and then knowing that they’ll check in with me in an hour or two or, you know, later in the week. Being marginally accountable to somebody else can be really, really helpful.
Lindsay Buroker [00:13:08] Yeah, it sounds like having an [00:13:09]accountability partner [0.6s] kind of thing, if you can find something like that. Who’s also I mean, they don’t would have to be running their own business. But then you can bounce ideas back and forth.
Amy Voros [00:13:20] Yes, that’s hugely helpful. I feel like I’ve got a couple people that I can do that with, and it certainly creates some energy and some momentum and some enthusiasm. And it’s easier to get going when I’ve got my brain already thinking about what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it.
Lindsay Buroker [00:13:43] So we kind of talked about how with entrepreneurship, I mean, it can be interesting because there’s a lot of different hats to wear. And you can do a lot of different things. You want to accomplish a lot of different things, but you tend to find that there are also aspects, you know, like something you’re really doing. And there’s other things that you kind of have to do the day. The I call it my admin stuff that are just a slog to deal with and that can hold you back if you don’t deal with them. Do you have any advice for people on the dealing with those kind of things that are less stimulating and interesting and novel?
Amy Voros [00:14:14] So as you figure out what you enjoy doing and what you don’t enjoy enjoying. I’ve heard for years, you know, outsource or don’t do the things that you don’t want to, which is a mixed bag. But because when you’re first starting out, you often don’t know enough to be able to outsource or to get help with other stuff. So that’s again, we’re finding a mentor or a program that can help work through to help you realize that. “Oh, yeah. Marketing, marketing is the thing, you know, because there’s a lot of process learning.” You have to do and be good at. On top of just the content of what you want to do, which, you know, for me is coaching. I’ve also had to learn how to market and, you know, be a business owner and do taxes and some other things that really are not at all related to coaching. Like you said, admin. Luckily for me, one of my big drivers is learning. And so for me at the beginning, especially as I’ve been bootstrapping, has really been it’s been interesting to learn how to do accounting and learning how to do some other stuff. But I’m now at the point where. I’m realizing that this is not a good use of my time or energy, especially as I still have a bunch of other commitments. So I’ve started shifting to figure out how can I partner with people to make things work. And, you know, for a long time, I hired a woman to do my accounting who was in an accountant accounting program. She was in a professional state where she was changing. And because my business wasn’t real big or real involved, it was something she could add to her resumé. And I didn’t have to pay her as much as I might a full time accountant or somebody with, you know, 15 years of experience. And so I was able to find somebody that, you know, was a win win situation for us to work together. But, you know, figuring out what tasks at least, you know, are your biggest holdups and finding ways to either simplify them or to work with somebody else to help. Make it so you spend less time and energy doing it could be a real benefit.
Lindsay Buroker [00:16:38] I think one of the things that people struggle with when they’re bootstrapping, like you said, is a having feeling like they have the money to afford to hire somebody. So I thought that was a good tip about finding something that’s like still working on their degree or certification or something. Have you ever done things were like you? You trade swap tasks with somebody where maybe they really like doing Cannava graphics for ads and maybe you really like beta reading or editing, these that obviously my authors. Have you done any of that? Do you think that seems plausible?
Amy Voros [00:17:11] Yeah, I’ve done I have done trade for my own business. I’m trying to now think of what I’ve traded. And of course, right now, everything totally escapes me. I’ve actually the most recent one is I did some trade work. In part, I offer my services as a coach after the fact to the person that I had redesigned my Web site because it turned out that he was also an ADHD entrepreneur. And so even though we’d already negotiated a reduced price because of my timeline and some other places, I could be flexible. I was able to return some value to him in the form of coaching. And so a lot of it for me has been learning to not see it as a failing that I need help. But, you know, as a way to be far more efficient and effective with my time and energy, when I can partner and work with somebody else’s skills and not seeing it as something where I have to do it all by myself.
Lindsay Buroker [00:18:21] I definitely don’t think it’s a failing. It’s actually being smart, like these are the things I’m good at. That are my strengths are the things that probably I’m passionate about, too. And maybe I like I suck at putting together CANVA ads and graphics and stuff like that. So why would I even take the time to, like, teach myself and spend all that time doing that when I could find someone to do it.
Amy Voros [00:18:40] Yet, there’s a big push to be self-reliant in our society and feeling like you need to do it all. And, you know, especially for a lot of women I’ve talked to, there’s a sense of failing. If you’re asking for help or needing, you know, not doing it all yourself, somehow that means you’re less. You know, that you’re putting a burden on somebody else. If you are, you know, needing to do it, especially if you don’t have the money to pay for it, you know. So then figuring out how to look at trade or some other type of value exchange is a really interesting mindshift. And as something sometimes easier said than done, but is another potential source of working through areas that you know, are not your strengths, not exciting and may be keeping you from, you know, writing ads for your book because, you know, you don’t want to do the Canva or these take these six hours because your kids keep interrupting you or, you know, whatever your case may be.
Lindsay Buroker [00:19:47] It is interesting and entrepreneurship, there are often you kind of have to go against the grain a little bit and learn to, like, retool your thinking. And a lot of areas, you know, and I think that a lot of people find that if they do hire someone or find a way to, you know, inexpensively have somebody else take care of those tasks that are kind of mind numbing to them, that maybe they now can get out two products a month or, you know, or they have time to pick up new more clients or, you know, whatever you’re doing. So we may actually end up making more. It’s sort of my point. By being able to do that.
Amy Voros [00:20:20] No. Agreed. And it’s taken, you know, a lot of. Retooling of my own thought process to get there. That, you know. When you try to control everything and get used to, you know, you’re the only one who can do it, you know, and sometimes it seems like it takes less energy. Do it yourself, then trying to figure out who to hire. How to explain what in the world you want done, especially if you don’t really know what you want done. You know, and so, again, there’s that learning curve. And sticking with it long enough that you can work through. And start to figure out what you’re doing. Dunno how you can work with somebody to get to that point where you aren’t spending that energy joint the time things and you can spend more time doing stuff you’re interested and good at and passionate about.
Lindsay Buroker [00:21:17] I’d like that you made the point, too, that sometimes you may find that some of those things you don’t actually need to be doing. Like I’ve seen authors hire virtual assistance to run like Facebook groups and giveaways and all this stuff that very might bring in a few dollars. But what would bring in more money is publishing another book. So it’s like, you know, and maybe some of just experimentation. Right. You may find out, like maybe you hire out your email and then you realize a year later, well, I probably had to end up fielding so many of those anyway, that maybe emails can be a thing I just have to do. But maybe something else I can hire out. Yeah, I’m rambling here from, my own experiences. I had one last question for you. For our little chat today.
Lindsay Buroker [00:21:59] Oh, right. When you have goals, especially as entrepreneurs, as often like a long term goal. Are there some tools or tips that you have for staying on track and not letting yourself get distracted by something new and shiny?
Amy Voros [00:22:12] My first written reaction to this is ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. With a ADHD, I’m always distracted by something new and shiny. But a lot of that I’ve learned is, you know, often it means I’m tired or I need to take a break and go do something else. You know, when is it? Well, I’m talking career level, new and shiny. Or am I talking? I lost four hours scrolling through Facebook new and shiny, which are two different levels and different ways to you know, try and figure out where you stuck.
Amy Voros [00:22:49] What’s keeping you from doing what you’re doing? And interestingly, I find a lot of people don’t take enough of a break from what they’re doing business wise or personally to recharge. And so often the new and shiny. On some level is, you know, the brain or my interpretation of the brain deciding it’s going to take a break and that’s going to take a break in whatever format it can find. And so new and shiny, too. Also, like you and I have talked about, Off-line, you know, sitting on something for a couple hours a week, a month. And this is still interesting if you’re looking at making a major time investment, a major time shift, figuring out is it actually important to you or does it just sounds cool? And that can be important. You know, if something sounds cool and you want to do something with it. But at what cost are you switching gears?
Lindsay Buroker [00:23:54] I should say that every writer is, whether ADHD or not is in the new and shiny, like you’re halfway through the manuscript, you’re working on it. It’s it gets to a point where it’s hard. And that’s probably the same for everybody. And then the new shiny thing just sounds like way more interesting. Not as hard because you have great ideas for it. I would say for myself, I’ve part of it is getting in the habit of finishing things, which is really boring, but it helps me. I’ve just got in the habit of writing books and finishing them. But new and shiny also becomes kind of a reward and a motivation to finish the first thing. If you can keep yourself from not leaving the project and then that’s the reward is later you get to work on new and shiny and then you find out. Are you still interested in it?
Lindsay Buroker [00:24:38] Because sometimes I get ideas all the time and I want to jump on. And, you know, a month later, some of them, I’m still like, yes, and other ones. And I’m not as interested in that anymore.
Amy Voros [00:24:49] And I think that’s actually a lot harder for ADHD sometimes to stay focused on it. And one of the biggest pieces, when something is dull or feels harder, you know, is trying to figure out what’s actually standing in your way from doing it. You know, and a lot of times as haven’t gotten enough clarity. And so I spend a lot of time with people talking about, well, OK, if you’re having a hard time and literally this is a conversation I’ve had multiple times with multiple people, if cleaning your kitchen is hard. How can you break it down into smaller steps to even get started? And so I spend a lot of time and effort working with people on, you know, how do you pull it apart? And looking to understand where and why are you stuck? You know, is it that you don’t know what’s next or is it you’ve been sitting for 15 hours and so your brain has just done.
Lindsay Buroker [00:25:49] Right. And I don’t know if this will be helpful for people outside of writing. But I also find that if I’m not excited about what I’m working on, it’s because the scene is kind of boring or the chapters boring. My characters doing something because the plot says they do. And sometimes it means I have to go for a walk and kind of figure out, like, what can I add to this scene to make it something exciting to write about? Is there some thing between the characters that would make it more interesting to me? So that’s you know, we have we have a saying that’s like if it’s boring to you as the writer, it’s going to be boring to the reader. So I don’t know if others can extrapolate to their projects, but maybe rethink what you’re working on and make it more exciting, too.
Amy Voros [00:26:29] Yeah, you can often gameify what you’re doing. You find a way to make it fun. Although I’m not sure that this is so much helping with people staying away from new projects. But really, my thought is, you know, if you’re trying to start something new, why are you trying to start something new? And, you know, what’s the size or scope of it?
Lindsay Buroker [00:26:52] I’m not sure how to apply this to cleaning the kitchen. Maybe I have to if I have a podcast or music on. That helps. But I guess entrepreneurs are not trying to clean the kitchen to take off,.
Amy Voros [00:27:02] As we say, well, it could be. You know what you’re cause, you know, we didn’t define the concept of starting something new and shiny. Are we talking about a new book or are we talking, I’m going out for a bike ride instead of finishing the kitchen. Those are two different scales of new and shiny.
Lindsay Buroker [00:27:20] Right. Yeah. For me, I was thinking more like new projects that are tempting me away from the current one. But that’s a whole another thing is trying to focus on. Well, maybe you just need a break to ride your bike or something.
Lindsay Buroker [00:27:32] Yeah. Well, again, these are idea what, you know, everything from professional projects with people again to multiple conversations about cleaning and organization, you know. So it’s kind of a funny thing to one day we’re talking about, you know, some basic professional business. And the next day is like, you know, I’m really annoyed that I just can’t get my laundry started. So to me, they’re all related in some way, even if that’s not how most of the world thinks about them.
Lindsay Buroker [00:28:05] Right. I do think we should wrap up on the business thing. If you can find a way to keep your make your existing project, that seems like a slog. Tinker with it to play with it. Make it exciting again. You will be how we’d be less tempted to wander off.
Lindsay Buroker [00:28:21] Those are my final thoughts. Do you have any final thoughts on this topic?
Amy Voros [00:28:25] That’s great. And, you know, again, it’s. Great that we’re both sort of trying to keep each other on track and that, you know, is another way to do it is, you know, find that [00:28:36]accountability partner and, you know, learn to. [2.6s] Helped pull each other back. When you’re off topic.
Lindsay Buroker [00:28:44] Yep, and you do on your site or on your you coaching. And are you. You’re saying thinking of starting some [00:28:52]accountability groups, too, so people could check that out? [2.2s]
Amy Voros [00:28:55] That is. Yes, I am looking at piloting one here in probably the next month or so. And feel free to. I’ll [00:29:07]drop my email address in the comments or whether you can let me know if you’re interested, you know, either for this round or something in the future. You’re watching this after July 2020. [11.8s]
Lindsay Buroker [00:29:21] All right. As creativecatapultcoach.com is your site?. All right, guys, you can check it out if you’re interested or just thanks for listening and have a great week.