Richard Branson’s Secret to Success

Richard Branson









A few years ago I did this crazy obstacle race. It was over 12k through mud and icy water, under barbed wire, and over fire. It’s called a Spartan Race. It was the hardest physical thing I have ever done, however, after I had finished, I felt like I could do anything. At the start of 2015, the Spartan peeps started a podcast called Spartan Up. They interview successful people about their secrets to success. I was very excited when they interviewed ADHD Entrepreneur Richard Branson.

In this interview, Sir Richard Branson talks about many things including how Virgin Airlines started, how he makes his daily exercise fun, and why he doesn’t eat sugar.

However, the thing that struck me the most about this interview was how forgiving of himself and others he is. He doesn’t judge. He is very supportive and encouraging.  He pushes himself out of his comfort zone to try new things and start businesses. However, if something doesn’t go as he planned he doesn’t beat himself up.

When he was traveling around the world in his hot air balloon he had to be rescued 5 times from the water by a helicopter. While relaying this story, he was laughing. He said he got huge satisfaction from the adventure and wasn’t disappointed that he didn’t get into the Guinness World Records. Instead he talked about [Read more...]

How to Snap Out of ADHD Brain Fog So You Can Be Productive

Screen shot 2013-01-31 at 10.07.25 PM**Marcia is on vacation this week, so we’re re-running an older article we think you’ll enjoy. Use this strategy and let us know how it works for you!

So there you are, another morning with brain fog. And there’s that important project you know you should be working on, but you can’t get through to your brain about actually working on it.

Yes, you know what you should do. And you know how to do it. But you just can’t get your brain to go along with you.

Here is one of my favorite ways to work with your ADHD (instead of fighting against it) to get your brain to pay attention:

Step 1.

When you notice that you’re drifting or have that “mired in mud” feeling and just cannot do the thing you know you should be doing, or, you watch yourself getting involved in something else you can “get out of the way quickly,” which of course is just procrastination -- the very moment you notice it, STAND UP. If you’re already standing up, take a step back, shake your arms, jump up and down a few times, and stand at attention. (Okay, you may feel weird doing this, but it’s worth it.)

Step 2. 

From there, give yourself marching orders. Whatever it is you should be doing, say it [Read more...]

How to Curb Your Impulsivity When You Have ADHD

ThePauseIf you have ADHD and run a business, you know your impulsivity can sometimes get you in trouble. You want to buy that new piece of equipment right now, without checking your budget. You want to implement that new business direction right now, without having thought it all the way through. You want to say what you want to say now, before you forget it, even though it means interrupting your client.

Not good. Not if you want your business to be successful.

So why are you so impulsive? It all has to do with creating a pause.

Dr. Ari Tuckman explains the relationship between impulsivity and the executive functions. “Executive functions” is an umbrella term for a set of mental processes that help connect past experience with present action. They include working memory, sense of time, remembering to remember, emotional self-control, self-activation, hindsight and forethought, and problem solving.

Dr. Tuckman says the executive functions “live in that little space between stimulus and response.” People without ADHD are able to hold back an automatic response to the world around them (like the urge to react or do something right now). This critical ability to stop creates a pause that allows them to think through the various response options and then choose the best one — and it usually happens in a split second. This gives the executive functions time to do their thing.

People with ADHD have difficulty stopping long enough to create that pause, which means you can’t [Read more...]

How to Always Appear Smart when You Run a Business and Have ADHD

Index cardsDo you ever wonder how people in the public eye—politicians, executives, media personalities—manage to sound so intelligent in interviews, and even when caught seemingly off-guard? (Most of the time, anyway.)

Many of them are no smarter than you and me, and some of them may even have ADHD. So how come they can pull off sounding smart when it counts, and you can’t?

Does any of this sound familiar?

1.) The telephone rings and it’s a client you really want to impress. You’ve been working hard on his project, but your brain picks that moment to freeze up and you can’t remember what the heck you’re supposed to talk with him about, or how to say it.

2.) You go to a business networking event and someone asks you what you do. Oh my god, you can’t bring the information to your speaking function. What is it you do again? And how do you talk about it so it makes sense?

3.) You’re making a point in a business conversation and someone asks a question. You do know the answer, so you spend 5 minutes going off on a tangent and lose the attention of everyone else about the main point you really wanted to make. And of course, you can’t remember the main point now, anyway. Darn!

Enter talking points

Remember the smart politicians and media personalities we talked about earlier? They can have the same problem. The difference is that they’ve had [Read more...]

How to End Self-Sabotage When You Have ADHD

roller coaster-Flickr-SkotLindstedtPhoto credit: Skot Lindstedt

If you have ADHD, then you probably also like excitement. Excitement can come in many ways, from positive experiences, negative things, and also little things you might not even associate with excitement.

Positive excitement can come from:

  • Trying new things, like visiting a new city
  • Romance, nothing is more exciting than the first heady weeks of a romance
  • Adrenaline activities, like a roller coaster ride or sky diving

Excitement can also come in the not-so-positive forms:

  • Trying new things, like your 3rd new job in a year
  • Romance, extra marital affairs
  • Adrenaline activities, like speed driving

There are also much more subtle things that you probably don’t associate with excitement, for example:

1) Multi tasking, such as having 100 windows open on your computer, jumping from one task to another without spending more than a few minutes on each.

2) Packing your [Read more...]

Why Do I Have Such a Poor Memory?


Have you ever been working on a project—doing some research, taking notes, or making a plan for something—and then come across your notes or plan for the very same thing—and you had already figured it out, months or years ago, but had totally, totally, forgotten about it? With no memory of it whatsoever?


Worse, have you ever gone into a meeting with clients, associates, or employees, and passionately described your ideas for the next steps of a project, only to be met with blank stares and confusion—because, as they later tell you, you had passionately described something else (perhaps something entirely different) the week before?

I have. And many of my business owner clients with ADHD have, too.

It used to make me feel like such an idiot when one of my employees would raise their hand in a meeting and ask, “Um, Marcia, does this mean you don’t want us to do what you told us to do yesterday?”

Why can’t we remember these really important things we’ve already done?

A lot of it has to do with “remembering to remember”

ADDers’ long-term memory is usually fine. It’s the short-term, or working memory, that trips us up. This is what most people call “attention,” which is why others often think we’re not paying attention.

This working memory is the part of our memory we need to watch. We get into trouble getting information that’s important to us from the practical level into our long-term memory. For some reason, it just slips through [Read more...]

Why Does It Take Me So Long to Finish a Task?



Do you feel some activities in your business life take you much longer than they take other people?

You aren’t alone. I hear this a lot! Let’s presume you have already delegated the tasks that aren’t your area of expertise (accounting or web maintenance for example). You will still be left with some things that only you can do.

However, these tasks take you much longer to finish than anyone you know. This is frustrating, and makes you feel resentful and bad about yourself.

The most common things that take a long time are tasks like writing a report for a client, writing longer, more detailed emails, spreadsheets, etc.—they usually involve attention to detail. Depending on your business, it may be slightly different for you, but as you are reading this I am sure a few tasks pop straight into your mind.

There are many reasons these tasks seem to take a long time

A) How long does it actually take you? Usually the tasks we find take a long time are also [Read more...]

Can Your Mindset Help You Succeed with ADHD?









Of course, you know I’m going to say yes. But it’s not just my opinion.

After decades of research in achievement and success, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered a groundbreaking idea: that it’s not just our abilities or talent that brings us success, but whether we approach opportunities with a fixed or growth mindset.

What’s the difference?

Let’s say a new opportunity becomes available for you and your business. How do you react?

Fixed mindset

If you approach an opportunity with a fixed mindset, your fixed mindset “voice” might say things like this to you:

“You can’t do that. Things like that never work out for you.”

“People may laugh at you if you try and fail. You’ll look foolish attempting something like that.”

“It’s safer if you don’t try. You’ll be able to protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

You simply understand and agree with what your fixed mindset voice tells you—that you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure.

We surprised ourselves

If you attended our Focus, Control, and Balance retreat last December, you know that I can’t dance. And Jacqui can’t learn to speak French.

Now, Jacqui and I are very growth and learning oriented, and we were shocked to find out [Read more...]

ADHD and Essentialism

JustSayNo1Have you heard of the term “Essentialism”? I hadn’t either until last week when I read a great book by Greg McKeown that explained all about it. It’s a brilliant strategy that every ADD entrepreneur can benefit from.

The Essentialism concept

The basic concept is to focus on a few things and do them very well.

One of the examples in the book is about Sam, an executive who said “yes” to lots of requests. He dashed from one meeting to the next trying to please people. He was stressed, people were frustrated with him because the quality of his work had gone down, and he wasn’t getting any job satisfaction.

Then he made a change. He started to say “no” to requests and stopped volunteering to do things. Much to his surprise, people weren’t mad, in fact they respected him more. With his new-found time, Sam was able to focus on the things that did matter. He was able to do his work really well, which pleased his clients. Better still, he really enjoyed the process.

What happens when you implement Essentialism

When you start implementing Essentialism into your life, your day stops [Read more...]

How to Deal with People Who Think ADHD Doesn’t Exist

Screen shot 2014-04-07 at 10.04.35 AMA few days ago I went to an event. There was lots of small talk with strangers and the inevitable questions, like, “What do you do?” I am a coach for adults with ADHD, so I say that. Usually there is a person who has an issue with ADHD. Rather than keeping that opinion to themselves, they start an attack. Even though this has been happening for 10 years, it always surprises me. Each time takes a different slant, but this time it went like this . . .

A woman thought everyone is misdiagnosed with ADHD, and all their symptoms are caused by an allergy. In her 20′s she gained a lot of weight and was unmotivated and to do anything and couldn’t think straight. After lots of research she found out that she had an allergy to something unusual. When she cut this thing out of her life, she lost the weight and regained her cognitive functioning. It wasn’t clear if she was ever diagnosed with ADHD, or if she just felt like she had a few of the symptoms. However, it was very clear that she gets argumentative and rude when she meets someone in the ADHD field. She went on and on about how ADHD doesn’t exist and that if people just knew about this allergy solution, then all the symptoms would go away.

I tried to explain that allergies can make ADHD worse, but they don’t cause it, and that ADHD doesn’t just appear in adulthood and would have been present since childhood. But she wasn’t interested in reason. She just wanted to keep talking about her opinion—which she did for a really long time.

Here is what I know for sure:

1) ADHD is a very hot topic—it stirs up a lot of emotions
2) People with even a little knowledge about ADHD think they are experts
3) People discuss at great length if ADHD exists, which they don’t for other conditions like cancer or Parkinson’s

4) When you are connected with ADHD—either you have it, or work with people who have it—strangers think it’s fine to have a heated debate about the topic whenever you leave your home.

When you have ADHD, life is already challenging. You really don’t need this extra stress. Plus, when people are argumentative and picking apart the validity of ADHD, it feels personal. Because ADHD is part of who you are. Which means you end up questioning everything about yourself. I don’t have ADHD, and still this encounter really upset me.

If you have an encounter like this, here’s what to do:

1) Remember that ADHD does exist

Here’s what two of the ADHD giants have to say on the matter:

“ADHD, a disorder which has [Read more...]