Let's count through the five ADHD stress resilience killers shall we?
"Having someone who is objective and outside your business just to turn to and say, I'm overwhelmed, here's the things I have to do. What do you think I should do first? Even if they're wrong, it doesn't matter because they're going to say this is the number one priority and you're going to go and you're going to do it and it's going to be done and you'll at least get that dopamine drip!" - Katie McManus, Brave Business Coaching
Oh boy are we going to tackle a lot of your stress in this episode, my dear weenie.
We're going to tick off the five ADHD stress resilience killers.
And we're going to give you the tools you'll need to overcome them!
The five ADHD stress resilience killers
TLdr on the five?
Ok, here's a quick list of them all.
Hearing no too often.
(Let's help solve this one now!)
Lack of self care.
Doubt and opinions.
Rejection sensitive dysphoria!
Oh hello old friend, RSD! Yep, we've talked about rejection sensitive dysphoria on this podcast before. In fact there's a whole episode on it.
But it does come up a lot when you're an ADHD - preneur! And it's one of the main reasons ADHD entrepreneurs feel super stressed out.
This episode that's all about the five ADHD stress resilience killers will help you:
- Be aware of what your challenges will be.
- Use Katie's suggested tools for overcoming them.
- Understand why you need to follow up this episode with the bonus one at weeniecast.com/winners!
Psst!! Have you registered to participate in my "37 Weenie Challenge" yet?
Get hold of the downloads and guides as well as booking yourself into the 37 Weenie accountability club by clicking here.
Related must-listen episodes
3: ADHD entrepreneur - you're NOT bad with money, You can actually be a badass. Listen to learn how!
(If you want to kick the booze and get healthier in mind and body!)
Also useful to check out:
Our spin off premium podcast "Weeniecast for Winners!"
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5 ADHD stress resilience killers & how to overcome them! (Transcript)
In this episode, I'll be sharing with you the five main resilience killers for ADHD entrpreneurs.
In this episode, we're going to be talking about how you can be a more resilient ADHD business owner, because resiliency is the name of the game when you're building a business.
This is not going to happen overnight. It's going to be a long, hard slog, and you're going to have to stay motivated with plenty of momentum as you build this. And there are going to be times where you're going to feel like, oh God, this is way too hard. I want to quit now. The key to success is to not actually quit in those moments. Actually, the key to success is letting yourself quit just a little bit when things get really hard, giving yourself a break, letting yourself take five minutes or a day to yourself and then getting back at it tomorrow.
Now, there are five main resilience killers for the ADHD entrepreneur. I want to go through these, and I want to talk about what you can do to overcome them.
So number one for the ADHD entrepreneur, because we have rejection sensitivity dysphoria, is hearing no too much.
Now, hearing no already sucks for everyone, especially when you're starting a business and you're selling your services or your products and people just don't seem interested. It can feel like a major rejection of who you are and start sewing, doubt if you're doing the right thing. I always remind my one on one clients and my group clients that if your pricing is correct, you should be hearing no at least 50% of the time. If you're selling a premium service, your yes rate, meaning the people that you get on the phone with who say yes to working with you and sign up, should only be 25% to 50%. Meaning if you have four sales calls, only one or two of them should sign up. If everyone signs up, that means you're charging too little. And if you're hearing this and thinking, oh, my God, thank God, and your shoulders are going down, congratulations, you're charging enough. You have a very healthy yes no rate. And if you're hearing this and thinking, oh, no, I hear yes all the time, this is your sign, you have to raise your rates. If you're hearing this and you're thinking, oh, crap, I hear yes all the time, my pricing is now too low, I'm just realizing this now. What do I charge? I want you to go to Weeniecast.com Winners and subscribe to our premium podcast, where I actually walk you through exactly how you figure out what you should charge. The premium subscription is only 199 a month, so it won't break the bank, but it will change your life when it comes to knowing what you should charge. We also have some really cool other episodes in there, so take a look. Enjoy yourself. Now, hearing no, there are a few different ways you can overcome this and get desensitized to hearing no. You can do what I like to call the no game, which let me just tell you how I did this when I first started my business. And I want to remind you I come from a sales background, right? So hearing no is very normal for me because I got so desensitized to it early on in my career. And let me just remind you also when you're selling something that is for a company, say you're selling cars or gym memberships or houses, they're not you, right? So when someone rejects that thing, it doesn't feel as personal as when they're rejecting the service that you are selling. So if you're feeling extra vulnerable in selling your service, know that that is totally normal. And a small mindset shift you can have here is that people aren't actually rejecting you. What they're rejecting is the idea of who they will be on the other side of working with you. That transformation is not worth it to them, which means they're not going to be a great client for you anyway. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
Now the no game. So literally when I started my coaching business, my coach at the time challenged me to go and offer a free session to 100 people with the goal of getting 100 No's. And so I was working in an office at this time in a busy part of San Francisco, and so on my lunch breaks, I would head out and I would literally just stand on the sidewalk in front of a very popular salad restaurant and I would just offer free coaching sessions to everyone who walked past. And people were so nice, I think probably because I made sure to dress extra nice on these days. And I think they were so relieved that I wasn't trying to convert them to a religion, that they were really nice to me. But I got 100 no's. And I didn't die. And here's the key of this. You can do this or you can do anything else that gets your nervous system on board with the fact that you can hear no. You can be rejected in those moments and not die. We are wired to move towards success because it means that we're going to survive. Leaning into failure is completely counterintuitive. I want you to think back to our ancestors when we were cavemen. If someone said no to giving you food, you were going to die.
If someone said no to letting you sleep in the cave that night and you were exposed to elements, you're going to die. That's no longer the case, thank goodness. Hearing no is not going to kill you. Your nervous system has to get on board with this though. So you need to hear no as much as possible. Now, if you're really hesitant to do the no game and by the way, let me just give you my opinion here. Giving free sessions is a shit way to get clients right. It is not effective at all. What you're doing essentially is training everyone that your service is for free. You're giving them something for free. You're making them feel better about everything and then you're saying, oh cool, do you want to start paying for this now? And they're like, wait a minute, I just got it for free. You mean I have to pay for it now? What does that mean? It's a whole weird bait and switch and a lot of people feel very uncomfortable selling on the back end of that. I don't recommend it to my clients. I recommend actually running a Holistic sales call, which I do train on if you want to go check that out at holistics selling.com. It's a very simple model for how you can have a relationship building conversation that doesn't feel transactional but actually gets you high paying clients right? So no free sessions. Learn how to run a sales call deal. The other thing that you can do if you want to get desensitized to hearing now is you can get involved in your community. If you're in the States, welcome to the place of political hell where there's always an election going on and there's always a way that you can get involved. One of the best ways to get desensitized to hearing no is to hear no on behalf of someone else. So if you want to get involved in someone's political campaign, in your community, in your state, in the country, there are so many ways that you can do this. You can go door knocking, you can call people from a list, you can stand on a street corner kind of like I did, and ask people to sign something or to volunteer to have a sign in their yard. You're going to hear no a lot. But the beautiful thing about this is you're going to be doing something for your community and at the same time you're going to be desensitizing yourself to hearing no, which will have dividends in your business and make you far more resilient in this journey of building a business as an ADHD preneur. So hearing no is the first major killer of your resilience. And now you know how to fix this, you know how to overcome that, so it's never going to be a problem for you.
Now second, this is a common resilience killer across the neurodivergents and the neurotypical is stress.
Stress can be a major killer of resilience, particularly financial stress.
This is one of the reasons that when I start working with a one on one client and they're questioning if they should leave their job to do this full time, I tell them don't leave your job yet unless you have six to twelve months in the bank that you can live off of. So you won't be financially stressed or unless you're already making X amount of dollars in their business. And this is different for different people based on their expenses each month. Because I know from personal experience, because I left my job way too early to go full time in my business, that stress like that can be a major killer of creativity and of confidence. Two things that you need a ton of if you're going to be successful in business.
Oftentimes I hear new business owners say, okay, well, I'm going all in on my business. This is plan A. But if it fails, plan B is to go back and get a job. I don't believe in plan B's. Except for the Plan B pill. I'm a full fan of that. If there's any risk you just got pregnant and you need to make sure you're not getting pregnant, go and get some Plan B. It'll save you a lot of headaches in the long term, and it'll likely help you be more successful in your business turning into an infomercial for birth control. It'd be really funny if we do lose followers after that. I'm okay with it. Anyway, back to money and plan B's. Okay, so if you have a Plan B, what you're telling the universe is you're betting on your business not working out. You're transmitting this energetically all over the place. And guess what typically happens when you have that Plan B and you're transmitting this. Your business usually doesn't work out. You set yourself up to need to go to that Plan B. So I'm a full fan of just implementing Plan B as part of Plan A. There's no shame in having a full time job while you're also building your business. I help clients do it all the time, and from that place of financial security, they have so much more access to their creativity. They're so much more confident in what they have to offer because they're not freaked out about getting a client because they have to be able to pay the bills.
A great example of this is the author, Elizabeth Gilbert. If you don't know her, she's the woman who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. She also wrote one of my other favorite books is Big Magic. She talks about being an author, being a published author, and I think she'd published three novels, and she was still waiting tables as her nine to five job. She made a deal with herself that she was never going to put that much pressure on her creative side to be able to pay the bills because she didn't want to crush it. She didn't want to squash that part of herself because she knew that's what would happen. There's literally no shame in you waiting tables four days a week so that you, in those other three days, can actually build your business. Whatever it takes to make sure that you are financially taken care of is what you have to do. And I know you're going to think, oh God, what about what other people think? And let me just tell you what you can do with those opinions. And actually I don't have to tell you you know what I'm talking about because those opinions are not going to pay your bills. Those opinions are not going to put food on the table. They're not going to pay your rent or your mortgage. It's just hot air and unhelpful hot air. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself and not to sound like a depressing loaner or anything, but do this because no one else will. Now when in doubt, when you're starting a business, I know it can feel scary and like way ahead of the curve to go to a financial advisor to get advice on what you should be doing financially to take care of yourself. Especially if you don't have a whole lot of money.
Because people typically think that you have to have a whole chunk of change before you go to a financial advisor or else they're just not going to talk to you. And let me tell you, there's nothing further from the truth. Every single financial advisor I have ever spoken to has lamented about how much they wish people who didn't have money would come and start working with them because their job is to help ordinary folks like us figure out how they can turn a few dollars into a savings account, into an investment portfolio, into a retirement account. That is what they're there to do. You don't have to have all those things figured out before you go to them. That is their job. And as you're thinking about starting this business or as you're just getting started, I want you to have all the information that is going to be most helpful to you. And it's best to go to the experts for this kind of stuff. So drop your judgments that you have about yourself and your financial situation and what you think a financial advisor is going to tell you and go and find someone who you are comfortable talking with. Okay? So financial stress should no longer be a killer of your resilience if you prioritize your financial security first.
Now the third killer of resilience for ADHD preneurs is twofold. There's doubt and then there's opinions, right? So other people's opinions about what you're up to usually causes a crap ton of doubt and your opinions about what you're up to can cause a crap ton of doubt. I want to use the example of running here. So like if you are a runner and you've only ever jogged like a twelve minute mile and you feel like that's your fastest, you're really huffing and puffing while you're doing it.
You just can't imagine ever being faster than that. Babe, you're never going to run a nine minute mile. It's never going to happen because you don't believe it's possible for you, right? When we don't believe something's possible for us, we don't take the steps to make it real. Whereas if you believe a nine minute mile is possible for you, your training plan is going to change dramatically. You're going to push yourself in ways that you haven't pushed yourself before. Just that tiniest sliver of hope that you're going to get faster is going to drive you to work harder, to work smarter, to maybe seek out expert advice about how you can speed up your running times. It's going to push you to look at your diet and see if there are any changes that you can make to help your body function better. Might make you prioritize getting more sleep, which is, again, going to help your body operate better. It may even push you to do some cross training to make sure you're preventing injuries. Who you are when you believe you can do the hard thing is completely different than who you are when you think this is as good as it's going to get.
So I want you to get real about what it is that you want and working hard to build that belief that it's possible for you. Because if we're talking about law of attraction here, we attract what we already are. Those big goals that you have for yourself and your business, they are vibrating on a higher level, right? For you to be able to bring it into your life, you also have to raise your vibration to match it. That's the only way it's going to come into your life now. The opinions you have about yourself, the doubts that you put on yourself, and the opinions and doubts that other people plant in your lap. And I'm talking about the well meaning, loving family members who are constantly asking, oh, how's your little side hustle going? Are you making any money yet? Do you have any clients? And they do so with so much anxiety that you know that they assume you have nothing going on. Your Aunt Martha, who calls you with helpful tips about what you should be doing differently in your social media posts because she doesn't like that you swear words occasionally, that's going to cast doubt. The helpful friend who calls you at 09:00 at night after they've had a couple of glasses of wine and says something like, oh, have you ever thought about doing this and this and this? These would be way better services than what you're already offering. Not helpful. Those are going to sow massive doubt, though.
One of the things that you're going to want to do here while you're working on really learning to believe in yourself is you're also going to want to work on setting very strong boundaries with these well meaning people in your life. If you have a family member who's constantly checking in about how things are going financially with your business, you get to come up with a phrase that will give them some information, but not all the information and kind of deflect and move on. My favorite way to do this is when someone when I got started, this question would throw me all the time, like, how's your little business going? It was so condescending, and it just made me feel so small, and it made me want to feel like I needed to justify all the work I was putting in, even though I wasn't making much money yet. And I learned early on that instead of trying to justify how much money I was making or how many clients I had or how things were going, I would say instead, oh, I'm so excited for this thing I'm working on right now. And then I would go into this whole tangent about what I'm working on and who it's perfect for. And when I'm launching, it blowing past the information that this person was seeking out, but also educating them on this new thing that I'm developing. Educating them on who? It's perfect for setting them up so that if they run into this person in the real world, they can say, oh, my God, I know someone who solves that problem. And by the way, she's launching a whole new thing on this next week. What a kawinky dink. And feel free to borrow that, by the way. Whatever it is that you're working on, that is now your answer to how your business is going. I'm so excited for this thing I'm working on. I'm so excited for this new project. I'm so excited for this new launch. Remember, you're doing something scary that most people will never do in their lifetime. They don't know how to have a conversation with you about it. They're asking you the bare basic questions that they know how to ask. Throw them a line. It'll make your conversations with them so much more rich. Now, if you have a family member who's really worried on your behalf and is constantly asking you about money and money and money and, like, are you okay financially? You can have a real heart to heart with them and say, hey, listen, I know you're well intentioned. I know you mean well, and you care about me, and this comes from a place of great love. However, I got to tell you, the impact is that it really kills my confidence every time we have this conversation. Having to explain my bottom line to you sucks the energy out of me. And I know that's not your intention. I know you're doing this because you want to check in with me and see if I need help. But can we not have this conversation? Can you ask how I'm doing in a different way and not seek out this kind of information? You're doing something incredibly brave in starting this business. You're stepping out of the weenie and into the winning. We're going to use all the weenie cast terminology. That's hard in itself. It's even harder when you have people loading you up with doubt that they're carrying around for you. You don't have to carry that. There's this great saying that someone told me, I wish I remembered who it was so that I could credit them. Other people's opinions are like wedding gifts, full permission to regift them. If it's not what you asked for, you still want to thank them for giving them to you. Like, oh, thank you, that's so nice. And then if you don't want it, you can turn around and donate it to Goodwill.
The fourth thing that will kill the resiliency of an ADHD preneur is not taking care of yourself. You need to prioritize getting enough sleep, eating at the proper times, keeping yourself fueled, drinking water, exercising. Because let me tell you, when you're not feeling great, when you're tired, when you're sick, when you have any aches and pains in your body, that is basically an open door policy for all those saboteurs, all those voices of doubt to come right in, make themselves at home. So you know how when you have a cold and you're just feeling absolutely miserable and you're laying on your couch and your nose is stuffy and you have the aches and pains and you know you should eat something, but it's just so hard to get up and go to the kitchen and even just make yourself, like, a bowl of ramen noodles? And you know how your brain starts churning in that moment with the list of things that you're screwing up on in your life and all the embarrassing moments that you've had ever and all the arguments that you've ever had where you didn't think of the perfect thing to say. But you're thinking of it now and regretting not saying it then. And thinking of all the mistakes you've made and thinking of the laundry list of things you should be stressing about. Yeah. That happens naturally. When you're not feeling well, when you're hurt or tired or sick, your body knows that it has to work extra hard to keep you alive. It is a natural thing that it's going to start assessing all the potential dangers in your life. Right. Because you're vulnerable in that moment. This goes back to caveman us, cave people us. I wanted to be inclusive. I didn't want it to be men. This goes back to cave people us. If you had a cold when you were a cave person, it wasn't just an inconvenience. You were actually far more vulnerable to predators. If the weather changed, that could wipe you out. If you didn't have the energy to get up and move into a place that was more protected and there was a massive storm coming in, great. You're going to die of element exposure. If you didn't have the resources to get food in that moment, great, you're going to die. So your brain is naturally wired to start assessing all the dangers, all the things that you should be stressed out about, all the things that could go wrong when you're vulnerable. This is one of the reasons that I hate hustle culture, by the way. Working an 80 hours week is just an amazing way to make sure that half of those hours or more are done from a place of massive fear, right, because you're going to be fu*&ing exhausted and from exhaustion comes all these stressors, all this anxiety, but all the things that could go wrong. That's not really a generative place to create a business from. And you're going to burn yourself out and feel even worse, which we don't want. And by the way, if you need to know some really helpful ADHD tips for how you can do better self care in a way that works for your ADHD brain, I want you to go check out episode nine and episode 19. I do a deep dive on different tactics that are helpful to the ADHD preneur, in particular when it comes to self care. Can't believe we've done 19 episodes like we've done 20. Our podcasts can drink.
Now, the fifth and final thing that will kill your resilience as an ADHD preneur is just pure overwhelm. I don't know if any of you have heard about the Mars robot. They sent this robot to Marcus, and because Mars is so far away, you can't actually send direct instructions to the robot because it takes too long to get to them. What you have to do is basically send the robot a laundry list of things that it has to do, and then the robot is apparently programmed to decide which one of these tasks it has to do and complete first. Now, the Mars robot had a major ADHD moment because it has this huge laundry list of things and it literally went into executive dysfunction. The Mars robot would start on one task that it had prioritized.
It would get a couple of steps in and then overwhelm would set in and it would realize, oh my gosh, this other thing on the list has higher priority. So it would stop task one, unfinished switch to task two, start a couple of steps in and then freak out again, say, oh my God, this other task is more important. And it would bounce around and bounce around and bounce around. Now, I described this. This is a robot who knows if there's any emotional cognitive function in this robot. I'm not going to assume I know anything about robot intelligence and emotional intelligence, but I know, hearing that as an ADHD preneur myself, I know that experience. And the thing that really f%$ks you up here is when you're jumping from priority to priority in different tasks and you're not completing anything, you're both doing massive amounts of busy work that doesn't get you anywhere and you're not actually accomplishing anything, which means you're not getting any extra dopamine. So this happens very naturally when we're overwhelmed. I don't know how many times I have started responding to emails on my computer, realized I'm hungry, looked at the kitchen, saw the dishes in the sink that I didn't do from last night, thought, okay, well, if I want to cook something, then I'm going to have to do the dishes first. That seems like a lot of work, maybe I should order something. So then I open up my phone and look through all the food ordering apps and then I get overwhelmed by all the choices and I can't decide. And then I realize go black to the emails that I have to do, see the one that's really urgent, start responding, realize I'm hungry again, go to the cabinet, see if there's any snacks in there that I don't have to cook that won't require me to do dishes. This can be 3 hours of my life. And I know as I'm describing this, if you're an ADHD preneur, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Nothing actually happened or got accomplished in those 3 hours. I didn't get any dopamine, I didn't feed myself.
So I've already f&%ed up my self care. And the stress of the things that I have to do for my work is just building and building and building and building so much. So I will start feeling like I'm behind on everything because it's been on my to do list for too long. And so by the time I actually get to doing it, it will feel like I've already failed. So even when I do accomplish it later, it'll be too late for me to get any dopamine from it. This is one of the reasons it's so important to have an outside brain helping you in your business. And absolutely, if you want to hire a business coach and I'm it, hi, I do this for my clients all the time, but also business besties. Having someone who also runs a similar business, who understands the process and what you have to prioritize. Having someone who is objective and outside your business just to turn to and say, I'm overwhelmed, here's the things I have to do. What do you think I should do first? Even if they're wrong, it doesn't matter because they're going to say this is the number one priority and you're going to go and you're going to do it and it's going to be done and you'll at least get that dopamine drip. This can also be a VA. If you hire a VA who understands the ADHD brain. Could be an OBM, which is an online business manager. For those of you who don't know, they come in and do basically a back end overhaul to make sure everything works without you having to touch it. It's magical when you can afford one of these or even just. A supportive friend doesn't necessarily even have to be someone who runs their own business. It just has to be someone who understands you and understands what you're trying to accomplish. But don't let overwhelm get the best of you for the ADHD preneur. This is one of the biggest resilience killers, especially when you're first getting started. Because when you're first getting started, there's a lot of work that you have to do without any feedback, right? There's a lot of social media posting that you're doing without getting a ton of likes and comments. There's a lot of self promotion that's happening without getting any actual paying clients. There's a lot of website building and brand building and offer building without any actual feedback.
Now, if you stall out a third of the way through all of these things, you're going to have nothing to show for it. It's going to take even longer for your business to get off the ground. It's going to take way longer for you to start getting that feedback energetically and financially. Don't do that to yourself. And by the way, we're more likely to get overwhelmed when we're not taking care of ourselves. So when in doubt, if you're feeling massively overwhelmed, I want you to check in with yourself. Have I slept enough? Have I eaten enough? Have I drunk enough water today? And do I need to go and move my body? I heard somewhere that when Bill Clinton was President, whenever he had someone in his office who was gruff and aggressive and angry, he actually wouldn't get defensive. He wouldn't get upset with them. He wouldn't take the bait and enter the fight. What he would do is he'd step back and he'd say, okay, cool. Has this person eaten? Have they slept enough? Do they need something to drink? And he'd slow things down. He wouldn't enter the fray. He'd say, hey, listen, do we need to take a break? Do you want to go eat something? Can we get some food brought in? Would you like a beverage? He'd make sure that their basic needs were met, because he knew that once those needs were met, they'd have a far more productive work session. You're no different. So if you're an ADHD preneur and you find you're letting any of these resiliency killers into your life and your business, here's your fix. You want to desensitize yourself to hearing no. You want to make sure all of your financial needs are met. You want to tell people to shove their opinions so that your monster isn't activated every time you talk to people. You want to take really good care of yourself, and you want to try not to be the mars robe. Don't get overwhelmed by all the things. Just accomplish what you can accomplish. How dumb do you have to be to think that Plan B is an abortion? Bill? You don't know science. That's what you're telling me. You don't know science. You don't know basic human anatomy. That's really frightening to me.
© 2022 - 2023 Katie McManus – Business Strategy For Weenie ADHD-preneurs