Season 1, Episode 16
How Does ADD Affect The Business Brain
Join Lyle Leads and Matthew Zamutt as they discuss ADD and it’s effect it can have in business and life, and how to properly deal with ADD.
In this episode we will cover:
– How to adjust life to match your ADD
– How to make sure ADD does not control your success
– How little wins can help you succeed big time.
Matthew: Hello and welcome to Optimize Profitability. Today, we’re going to have Lyle in the hot seat. I’m Matthew. I’m the executive producer of this podcast. So last week, actually a couple of weeks ago, Lyle touched on anxiety, depression, and overcoming all that as an entrepreneur.
Well, we forgot one important thing that we actually both deal with, which is sometimes called ADHD for the hypertensive part of everything. So Lyle, tell me your journey in entrepreneurship, dealing with ADD.
Lyle: It’s funny, Matthew, it’s funny we talk about this stuff because people that are around me don’t generally know that I have ADD and that’s the really fun part. Let’s be truthful. A lot of people claim to have ADD when in reality they’re just distracted and they’re using something as an excuse.
I’m just going to call it like it is. You’ll find out I’m like that, and I am hyper today. And that happens sometimes. It’s really funny because I’m a little bit hyper today, even though I took an allergy pill and I’m totally zonked out and sometimes that happens to be.
So ADD in life. Let’s just talk about that real quick. I remember in third grade I had to stay in class while everyone else got to go play or go watch cartoons and everything, because I was always too active, too talkative or whatever, and the teacher would make me write on the board. You saw those little things going on, you know.
Matthew: Yes, I remember going to a board.
Lyle: Exactly, so that I will be quiet in class. And so I would imagine, let’s say they want to watch cartoons of Woody Woodpecker or whatever, a cartoon, Scooby Doo, whatever it was. And I would just literally imagine the cartoons and just literally just zone out and just be writing stuff on the board. So by the end of it, she couldn’t even read it. It was just kind of funny. And I was looking recently at one of my report cards and all my characters were reversed. I had trouble with these and D and S’s and everything.
When I was young, I was into all this stuff and you think young. But as I’ve grown into entrepreneurship, I’ve always been the kind of person I always had, extra energy, more energy than other people. I mean, I’m up at five o’clock or whatever time I’m up and I’m wide awake. My wife is like, do you ever even sleep?
Because the moment I’m out of bed and I just go, we’re going here todat. I mean, that’s kind of how I am. My wife, the other two. Let’s relax. That’s home, you know, so she kind of calms me down and everything, and I understand that.
But in entrepreneurship, we’ve got to be very, very, very careful because we can use our ADD as a creative thing and be good.
But on the other aspect, we can alienate somebody else with that same ADD trait, because, let’s talk about what is and what does that mean? What’s it look like? And all those kind of things. You see my hands flying around. It’s funny because I teach teenagers and they used to make fun of how much I use my hands.
This is literally how much I use my hands. And I can talk a lot faster than I’m talking right now, but I slow down for most normal people.
And that’s the way it is. And it just comes to a point where you realize you’re like, you know what, I’m a little bit different than other people and it’s not a bad thing. Let me live it. You can fall into the disease version of it and use it as a excuse or you can fall into the productivity purpose of it. So think about that. In general, ADD stands for attention deficit disorder. It means you’re easily distracted.
But every ADD person I’ve ever met, every one of them, has had one thing they could focus on. I sit there, watch the person so ADD that they like, jump all over the living room, get on a video game just for hours, pushing buttons, totally still not moving, not eating nothing. So there is a matter of being able to have that attention where you want it. But it’s got to be something that you want. We get bored easy.
Let’s just be honest and let me talk to those people who are not ADD and I don’t even understand what ADD is and what it means.
The best example I can give if you’ve ever ridden in a car and you drove somewhere over and over again and then you ride in the car with someone else, all of a sudden you notice all these buildings you didn’t see before, like, oh, that’s over there. Oh, I didn’t know that was over there, because when you’re driving, you’re so focused you don’t see all those things. Well, ADD people, we see all the things at once.
We’re always alert. We’re always seeing what’s going on with the place. And so we tend to have a heightened awareness. That’s the way I would phrase it. I hate the word ADD and it ought to be attention decided. So attention deficit, because it’s not that you have a lack of attention. You have a heightened attention than everybody else. And I kind of look at like a superpower.
(Lyle becomes distracted by the camera fuzzing him out)
Matthew: This is a great example of ADD!
Lyle: Exactly! I get distracted. I get easily zoned out.
The other night, two weeks ago, I was so busy at work and when I’m at work what I do is I literally force all my ADD into my brain and try to use that as productivity. It’s really weird.
It takes a lot of practice and I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I said at the end of the day…, and my wife started talking to me about stuff. We usually do a debriefing at the end of the day and she starts talking about five, ten minutes later. I look at her like I know you’re talking, but I have no earthly idea what you’re saying.
Literally at the point where I was just like. I’m here, I’m in this place, but my brain just left and floated away because I began thinking about something and I got caught up in my head. So that’s part of the way I deal with it. It’s not a good thing necessarily. The way I deal with it. Sometimes I internalize the ADD,I pull it in. But I will tell you, sometimes it jumps out and you have to let it out.
So today I want to talk about how do you let it out in a good way, and how do you maintain or manage something that’s added? I mean, when I was a kid, if you had known me, dude, you wouldn’t have liked it.
I was all over the place. I can’t believe the people put up with me as long as I did, you know, my dad or my mother, my mother’s example. This is my mother’s description of me.
(Lyle makes wild sounds and noises to describe his ADD)
That’s her example of me. I just want all over the place. And then I would just crash, go to sleep at night time and I’m up all over the place again and she wouldn’t understand.
But I had to learn to deal with it because my father was a Marine and he’s like, you know what you’re going to do with it. Sit down and do what you got to do. I’m going to give you discipline them. And he’s really a disciplinarian. He said, hey, you’re going to do this because this is the way it’s going to be.
You’re in my household. This is how it’s going to be. So I had to learn to deal with it. Even at a young age. I had to learn to deal with that energy. So I’d go out and I’d go run the neighborhood. I would go out in the streets doing things. I’d ride my bike. I had to do something active to get that energy out there because I’m the ADHD version.
You can ask Matthew, I won’t tell a story, but generally we were in a meeting,and I was so still at the meeting, that by the time the meeting was over, I was literally bouncing.
I was like, I just got to go. I got to run.I came home one time with my wife and I was just like, I am, I’m out of it.
And I literally just took off, it’s like midnight. I just took off for a jog around the block just because I had to get that energy out. We have to have a release for our energy. If we don’t, we bottle up and it becomes uncontrollable. ADD is about controlling the energy or the attention that you currently have.
And we think about that. Normal people, I don’t mean to say “bad with normal people”. We’re all normal. We’re all just special in our own way. We all have different things we bring to the table, different things we take away from things.
And so with ADD your attention, you only have so much attention because your attention is so wide and it pulls in so much. It’s kind of like a stereoscopic vision of a lens or something like that. You see a lot more stuff. And so when you start your day, you’ve got to get rid of some of those things that are going to distract your brain.
So I’m sitting here at my desk. I’ve got a standup desk, that helps me to get some energy out, because as you can see, this is what I’m doing when I’m typing, when I’m moving on talking, I’m always moving. I have to be moving. I cannot sit still. We watch movies. I just get up in the middle of the movie and stand up there and start going around or something. I just can’t sit still because it bores me. I get bored. And if I sit still too long, I just go to sleep.
But I say that because I’ve got a stand up desk. That’s something I’ve used to control or helped me control it. And also the way the desk is set up. It’s got to be a little bit organized if I have a lot of little sticky notes, a little place and a lot of notes all around me and everything that’s going to distract me and that’s going to give me something to focus on outside of my work.
Now, the good side about ADD is the creative side of it. You have a lot of energy. You have a lot of effort you can really put forward into accomplishing something great. But on the other side of that, you get bored with something very easily. You know, it’s hard to stick to. It’s hard to take it to the next level.
And so a lot of ADD people, they’re flashing their pans, always going different directions. And then a month later, they’re onto the next project.
I’ve personally mentored and dealt with a lot of these people and they don’t make it in success. They end up going back to whatever they were doing to begin with, and they lose their ability to be an entrepreneur because they’re so busy all over the place, they have no control. So the old school saying is if you don’t discipline yourself, someone else has to discipline you.
You know, when we talk about these things, helping it and helping other people, I pulled up an article and this is written by a guy named Ryan McRae. And I’m going to read part of the stuff and I’m going to interact with his article, if that’s Ok. Matthew, that’s cool.
Matthew: That’s cool with me. I was going to ask you about a couple of questions from that. And you’re doing a perfect job.
Lyle: Yeah, but he is an ADD mentor. I did not know ADD mentors exist. It’s funny because I’ve done this research. I was like, you know what?
How do other people deal with this? Because I know how I deal with it, but how do other people deal with it? So some basic things I do is I make sure I eat properly. I eat good food because I realize that bad foods may not be good for me and they may set me off.
And a typical ADD person, I could drink an energy soda and go to sleep. You know, we process things differently. I eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is my favorite thing to eat.
Every day I have a chunk of chocolate. The antioxidants are good for you. It’s got high caffeine, it’s got high chocolate, everything. But it’s so high in those categories that it doesn’t offset my thing.
(Matthew’s video turns off and goes mute)
Lyle: Did I lose you, Matthew?
Lyle: Your video disappeared on us.
Matthew: Sorry, I’m still here.
Lyle: Good I wanted to make sure. Ok, this is the article, and it says 10 ways ADD entrepreneurs can get ahead. Like I said, this guy is an entrepreneur. Now, I was reading other articles.
The other article I read, you could tell that he was an ADD coach, he said, but you can tell by the way it was written that he’s not an ADD person. ADD people don’t like big blocks of text. They like little chunks of text. They like to be able to scan things. So if I’m an ADD person or you’re dealing with an ADD person, make sure you have little snippets, little tidbits to go through things.
Don’t give them big, long chunks of things. Give them little things, let them see progress, because the progress is what we feed off of.
The progress gives us energy, the next step energy, the next step energy, next step. It gives that energy in everything. So going to this article, it’s called Ten Ways Entrepreneurs Can Get Ahead. You can look it up.It’s on a thing called fizzle.co or something like that.
You can look up Ryan McRae and actually I was going to reach out to him, but he hasn’t posted on his website for like over a year, almost sounds like. I decided not to reach out. But here’s the things he talks about.
Number one he talks about clear the space physically, clear the clutter off of your desk. If you’re an entrepreneur and you have a lot of clutter on your desk, you’re going to be distracted. Sit down with Matthew and I’ll tell you a little bit.
But I look over and he’s got this little, I have all kinds of random stuff on my desk is what I do. But he pulled up this little bat thing that I had.
He’s like, hey, I didn’t know they made bats like this. I’m like, dude, just get to work. But it was in his sight. It was in his reach. So he grabbed it and he took advantage of it because that’s what he does.
So clear the clutter up, make sure it’s organized. And if you’re not an organizing type person, find somebody who is and have them help you. It’s that simple. We’re very visual. And so we are looking for something. Our brain is looking for something to grab and interact with. We go into the stores and it says, do not touch. I have to touch everything sometimes just because it says don’t touch, and I want to see what it feels like.
Matthew: I’ve actually done that. You know, I went to Chicago or some state. I was touching the bikes and I didn’t even notice there was a sign, do not touch a bike, so the entire time I’m touching bikes. There were bikes from the 1900s and I was so distracted like oh this one. That’s the famous Susan Armstrong…I can’t remember the name. And as I’m touching it I see the sign in the camera. I’m like, hi. So I immediately stopped.
Lyle: So clear your clutter, in your outside space but also clear clutter, clutter in your digital space.
Ok, now he says clear space mentally but I must say digital, clear your digital space. So if I’m going to be focused on something I need to do a project, I’m going to turn off all my social media notifications. Personally, I’ve done that. I turn off all my notifications. If you don’t direct message me, I’m not going to see it until I get to it, because I know that that’s going to be a distraction for me, because our attention is like we thrust all of our attention to one location.
And then if we don’t if we don’t deal with that thing, that one moment it’s gone, that attention’s gone, the path that we were on is gone. And so we take a different path. So the key is when you focus your attention on one area, stay focused, get to the end of that, you’re going to have more. We’re going to get to that moment.
All right. So learning is not the same for doing. This one’s really cool because I kind of got this my own self. When you go take a course of something, we take the course and it gets in our brain and we start learning, and what I’m learning, this stuff is really cool. That’s not the same thing as doing. Our brain gets the dopamine effect from that learning. And because it does get the dopamine effect from that learning, we kind of feel satiated or satisfied.
And we’re like, oh, I just learned, how great, I know it now I can go do something, but you go do something else. Don’t do that. If you are going to learn something, put that something into practice.
Don’t let your brain get satisfied with just learning about the thing, go put it in practice. If you’re going to learn about Facebook ads, go place a Facebook ad period.
Don’t let your brain be satisfied with only learning it, Ok, so only learn it if you’re going to do it. We have FOMO, you know FOMO Matthew?
Matthew: Yeah, sadly, you’re missing out and I do have a lot of FOMO.
Lyle: Yes and we have shiny object syndrome, Ok, so one thing I don’t like yeah, we joke about this, you know, the whole squirrel and we look away. I hate that honestly, because that’s not a good example of an ADD person.
It’s a derogatory way of looking. Let’s just be honest, so ADD people, yes, we get distracted, but we get distracted because we’re looking to see what’s next. We’re looking to see what comes next. We have the shiny object syndrome because like, oh, this will be good. Oh, this will be good. All this will be good. But we’re holding on to this other one. Grab the next one and then we grab the next one. We’re waiting for something that’s going to work for us, that’s going to entertain our brain, keep our brain activity activated, and that can be so much better.
The rookiest move is what he calls the next one. And he says on this one, we go out and we get started in a business and we go compare our lives to somebody else’s lives. So we’re comparing somebody else who’s already successful to us just getting started. We’re like, oh, we suck. Oh, this is sorry, I hate this. This is horrible. And so we convince ourselves that we’re not good enough to complete what they’ve started.
Well, don’t do that. Don’t compare your start to somebody else’s finish.
It doesn’t work that way. ADD that’s what we do. We want to be there. We want to be there quicker. We want to be there faster. We want to already be there. But don’t do that. You gotta start somewhere and realize you’re in the start mode. Make sure you have a path. And we’re going to talk about that next one.
Number five is to set small goals and small victories. So he said, think about your writing. A twenty five thousand word book, just a big number.
Don’t worry about the number and what you can write in a book. So he said, we’ll just sit down and give yourself a goal of writing one hundred words to start with. One hundred pages, start with or write twenty five hundred words to start with and then give yourself a small reward. Set up little tasks along the way. So if I’m going to write a book, I’m going to lay out five or six chapters. I’m gonna do one chapter at a time, do that one chapter, reward myself for that one step.
The ADD brain looks for the next step. That’s in essence what we’re doing. We’re looking for the next step. We’re just looking faster. Well, that’s why when we’re at a meeting, we’re shaking our legs and looking around because we’re looking to see what comes next.
Because what’s already there, we’ve got what we need out of it now, we’re on to the next thing and I’m just talking, like I said, this is my experience. Your expertise may be totally different. And I’m letting a lot of my energy out today because this is who I am. I try to be working on these things, but this one’s a little more fun because it’s ADD. Because this is what it is.
But it’s ok to be ADD. Just make sure you’re using your ADD. If you want to call it that. Make sure you’re using it for your benefit. Make sure you’re using that for your productivity to thrust you forward, to give you that more energy, to take that energy, to take your dreams to the next level. Don’t let it be an excuse. Little small victories take you to the next level. It gives you one thing to look forward to and one thing to move forward to.
Next, next, next, next, next. Because we’re always looking for the next thing. And if you’re trying to do twenty five thousand words in a book. You’re like, oh, I got so many to write. Oh, it’s going to take me forever and ah I just want to watch Netflix, I just want to know, whatever it is you do for fun.
And so if you don’t have markers along the way, it’s not going to help you do it. So it says your business is a long obedience in the same direction, so that kind of goes the same thing.
You got to realize when you get into business, you’re not here for five months or five weeks. You’re here for five years. You’ve got to think about it, got to think the long term. And with an ADD brain, like I said, we’re looking for next steps and are always looking to change our business and grow our business and move somewhere else.
But in reality, we’ve got to take real care to focus on that. One thing that we’re most passionate about, focusing on that passion, delve into that passion, learn that passion to where everybody hears about that one thing they think about you stick to it.
Sometimes it’s ok to let ADD have the will is what is number seven is sometimes it’s ok. There’s some days where I’m just like, you know what? I’m just going to let it out and just relax.
I’m just going to have fun. I’m just going to be goofy. I’m just going to be a goofball. I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to be energetic. I’m going to talk fast. I’ll be a goober, whatever. Let it out, because that allows you to be creative.
It allows you to separate yourself from your business. And then you’re going to have more of a vision of what you’re going to come back to in your business. So if you allow that creativity out, let yourself play, let yourself have fun. Play as huge as an ADD person. Yes, play, please do. But when you let that energy out and you let it go, that allows your brain to relax. And when you come back to your task at hand, you’re ready to go.
Number eight, you’ve got to kill something. You’ve sometimes had so many things where we say yes to everything. We got to sometimes say no to something and just say, you know what, I don’t want to deal with this. Put it off to somebody else.
I’ve literally met with somebody yesterday. I’m not going to say she has ADD, but she may. But in the middle, she’s like, I got this, this, this this is like, why why do you have to do all that?
What about this, you don’t have to do that, don’t do it. And so I have to separate the things that are going to be beneficial to our business and things are not going to be beneficial to our business. When you separate those things out, the things that are you don’t like doing, get rid of them because that bothers your brain and makes your brain want to do something else. We’re impulsive and people are impulsive. We do things without thinking like, oh, let’s do that.
Let’s go make it happen. But you gotta be careful about that, because that can be taken to a negative form if you don’t allow yourself to have that freedom to release some things in your life, to get rid of some things so that energy level is not so focused on you trying to do something you don’t want to do.
All right, so Benchmark’s was the next one, we kind of covered that when we talked about small victories. Benchmark’s just says, if I have a big goal and the goal is five things, I’m going to break it into one thing and do one thing at a time. And that goal that breaks it down, that allows me to know I have small steps that I can do.
Number 10 is a reward system. If you do something and you accomplish something, reward yourself. It can be big or small. Depends on where you’re at financially as well as mentally. So for Matthew, I joke with him was like, you can do this and then go buy yourself some socks. He loves socks. It’s weird. You have some weird socks on right now?
Matthew: Yeah, I still don’t understand. I have ankle socks today,
Lyle: Ok, but I tell them, look, if you accomplish this X number thing, go buy yourself a pair of socks, pick one that you really like and go for it. It’s a little goofy thing, but that’s what triggers his brain to say, oh, this is a good thing, because what happens is our brains get triggered with endorphins from little tasks, little things quicker than most people.
And then because it’s triggered quickly, it also gets bored quickly and we get bored with something. That’s when things happen on the bad side of things that we don’t want to make happen.
Matthew, are you timing this by the way?
Matthew: We are almost thirty minutes in.
Lyle: No, we are not. It’s 3:44 and it’s fifteen minutes to four. So we’re right at twenty minutes.
OK, so the last one says buyback time, and with this guy… His story was he hates doing laundry so he found a laundromat that was a dollar a pound for them to do his laundry. They do his laundry and fold his laundry and give it back to him all in one big bunch.
Get rid of things that bore your brain and get somebody else to do them. I mean, I’m just going to brag on my wife. I love my wife to death. And she is the tedious person. She does all the little things and she’s great at that. She can sit around and read all day long. I’m just like going, what are you doing over there? Let’s do something, you know?
But she does all the little tedious things, which helps my brain to be creative and helps my brain to relax, helps my brain to reach out for those bigger things for the God purpose that I was created for.
So, guys, if you’re listening, if you stayed this long, you’re able to pay attention. Number one, if you heard the whole thing, you probably are ADD because you understood what I said when speaking at this speed and number two, you can accomplish great things, don’t let anybody tell you that you have a deficit, instead, decide today that your attention is focused on your success and you are going to be a success because you can put 100 percent in there just like everybody else.
But your hundred percent comes quicker than everybody else is when you can focus and get that energy in there, take these little tidbits, go look up this guy online and get some really good articles. I’ve learned a couple of things from this page myself. Again, his name is Ryan McCrae, as in M-c-R-a-e, and if you ever hear this, Ryan McRae, because we’re talking about you, maybe you want to reach out to us. I’d love to have you on here.
I’d love to talk to you personally. I think it’d be kind of fun, but anyway that’s what I have for today. Matthew, do you have any final question, sir?
Matthew: No, you pretty much covered all the questions I was going to ask.
Lyle: I just kind of ran and it wasn’t like this. I mean, I could haveI talk for an hour like this becausethis is my energy level is what I want to do.
I’d love to have, like, a whole group of people that were all in ADD and said, hey, let’s do some group coaching. This is going to sound like and it’s going to be at this speed. We can do this. When I watch videos and stuff I fast forward. I’d make them two or three, sometimes four times the speed depending on the person.
And I actually learn from it because it allows my brain to activate and everything.
So tips for ADD people. Keep yourself organized, keep your desk organized. Turn off digital distractions, get somebody to help you with a tedious task to distract you, allow yourself to have fun, let your brain relax so that you can focus on your vision and you can have that creativity. And number five, don’t beat yourself up. Have the small goals, small victories for your big ultimate goals. Makes you set those in little pieces so you can accomplish little things and reward yourself.
So you get that internal reward system that you’ve set up. Don’t let somebody else give it to you. You have to reward yourself, right? I’m Lyle. This Optimize Profitability.
Matthew: I’m Matthew. And we’re out of here.
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