Oprah Winfrey  20/20  CNN  Dr. Phil  Fox News  20/20 Listen to Distraction Now! Good Morning America  Dr Oz  cnbc log  youtube Harvard business publishing verified by Psychology Today

Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

A resource about ADD, ADHD, and mental health

CATEGORIES

RECENT POSTS

RECENT COMMENTS

  • Nomee: Hi Doctor, Wish my prescriber could realize the above mentio...

ARCHIVES

sign-up for Dr. Hallowell�s newsletter

Back to site

Dr. Hallowell's Blog

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Leveling – and Financing – the Entrepreneurial Playing Field for People with Learning Differences

$100,000 investment

Over the years you have heard stories from me about how the positive traits of ADHD can provide entrepreneurial superpowers when managed correctly. Traits such as creativity, empathy, risk tolerance and the ability to hyper-focus on a task are all valuable in the entrepreneurial and business world.  David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue, and Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, are clearly success stories demonstrating what can be accomplished through grit and determination despite – or because of – having learning differences.

I also have heard from many, many people with learning differences that they have numerous great ideas that could become great businesses. They truly aspire to become that next iconic success story but, they lack the know-how to get their business off the ground or to get it to the next level. In reality, the biggest issue is they do not have the funding to make a go of it. Many have been unable to accumulate enough assets in their career or are unable to tap family members for investment. Banks or traditional investors can be risk averse and may not relate well to the ADHD entrepreneur.  Consequently, there remains this dream business that is tantalizingly out of reach. This dream that won’t go away, and they can’t get anyone to listen, let alone write a check to fund it.

Well, that’s about to change. The folks over at InventiveLabs, Rick Fiery and Tom Bergeron, continue to plow forward with their vision of enabling and leveling the playing field for people with learning differences. They have been able to work with an amazing investment group that is focused on funding businesses that are associated with their program. This investment group’s mission is to create successful businesses and they want to give back to the learning differences community. The group is offering an astonishing $100,000 investment for InventiveLabs annual Pitch Competition this spring.  It is not all just about money, it is also knowledge – selected teams will be able to attend the InventiveLabs Accelerator at no cost to prepare their pitch deck for their presentation to investors.  At a minimum, you will learn how to get you business funded if it is not quite ready for prime time. And, you may just win that investment and get a team of mentors to help you grow your business to the next level.

Rick and Tom tell me this is not a charity, they are looking for real businesses with real potential. In fact, if you already have a business up and running with revenue, you will have a leg up on the competition. But, if you have that truly game changing idea, they would love to see those too. The purpose is to give people an avenue for funding that may not exist. To get venture capital these days, having an MBA from Wharton or Harvard is almost a requirement. This gives you an alternative path to success to where you can get your business to the next level. The folks at InventiveLabs want to show the world the hidden potential that exists in the community and this is their way of unlocking it!

Does this describe you: “I have so many ideas, but I don’t know where to start”? This may be your golden opportunity to make that dream happen. I always say people with ADHD have a unique understanding of time. It is either “Now!” or “Not Now”. The time for you to move on this opportunity is now! The application deadline is February 4th!

For more information go to the InventiveLabs website and click through to their Pitch Competition and fill out an application – what do you have to lose? www.inventivelabs.org/pitch-competition.

 

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Fear of Feedback

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

Q: We have a very sensitive engineer who is key to our startup. My partner and I have to be very careful how we phrase anything regarding his work. I’m not even talking about constructive criticism; it may just be something said in passing. We try very hard not to say anything that may be misconstrued, but you just never know what is going to be misinterpreted. How do you suggest dealing with this employee?

For many, fear of feedback (including compliments) is a problem. The most common reason for someone to be this sensitive is that in their past they were severely and frequently criticized, so even the mildest suggestion is painful. They may express this fear of feedback in several self-sabotaging ways: denial, procrastination, rigidity, avoidance, jealousy, brooding etc. It’s extremely self-limiting burden to bear, personally and professionally. Any slight suggestion is interpreted as failure or rejection. An extreme fear of feedback is a condition called Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) and improved only with medication.

Your employee’s sensitivity to feedback may require some outside coaching or some clinical help, but here are things you can do:

1) Increase trust. Schedule a short coffee break with him a couple times a week to talk about his interests or how the startup is moving along. Point out general areas of improvement that are needed within your startup (marketing, beta testing, quality control etc.) and share the remedial steps that others had to take.

2) Get his perspective on ways to make the company better, and how to implement those improvements. Let him know you appreciate the perspective sharing. This is a good way to model how positively feedback can be received and put to work.

3) Gradually, I would point out a change that he needs to make in order to make the company better and possibly to incentivize him. Use numbers and benchmarks. Avoid making any direct attacks on his performance; keep it more “big picture.” Break it down the change into do-able steps with opportunities for regular updates.

4) Verbally reinforce any progress made toward change.

If that fails, coaching is a good next step. As a coach, I would help him identify the emotion behind his reaction, and help him re-frame the criticism to loosen the grip of the negative association. Next, I would help him approach the needed change by breaking down the task to small, satisfying and manageable chunks. In my experience, this results in decreasing the fear of feedback, and in most cases, creating a healthier attitude around feedback.

If the fear of feedback prevents you from advancing in your career and in your relationships, let’s have a talk. Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com. 

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

A Visionary’s Soliloquy

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

Theresa B. from Pittsburgh, PA writes:

“My mind is a jumble of ideas, and when I have a great one I want my exec team to get to  work on it ASAP. ( I probably have ADHD or something like that.) They roll their eyes, sit back and make me feel like a child. There have been times when my ideas cost us,I’ll credit them with that. But other times the company lost out because my team wouldn’t take me seriously.  Here’s the kicker: when they come to me with an idea, it’s almost a done deal. I’m just supposed to sign off every time! So frustrating. What can I do to get them to listen to my ideas with an open mind?”

It is hard to curb your enthusiasm when you can see a promising idea so clearly in your mind. You’re struck by the potential and the long term gains. However great the idea, it’s absolutely essential that you and your partners stand back 30,000 feet and examine the proposition carefully. Your brain, Theresa, the visionary’s brain, is a mystery to those with a more linear way of thinking.  As Dr. Ned Hallowell says, “You’ve got a race car brain with bicycle brakes.”  (It’s good they are not like you, can you imagine the chaos with an exec team made up of nothing but visionaries?)

To get heard, you need to step into their world and ask yourself a series of questions before you present your idea. I suggest you have 5 or so basic questions answered before you present a new idea to your exec team. Get these 5 questions from your partners. What kind of facts do they need to consider your idea?  They may be something like: What resources do we already have to make this happen? What resources do we need?  What will it cost? Does this idea support our brand or confuse our customers? Is anyone else doing this? Chances are, your partners address these kind of questions before they ask you to sign off on their projects. That’s the difference.

You may save yourself a lot of embarrassment and frustration if you take a step back and consider these questions first. Keep them handy so when a idea strikes you’ll ensure a captive audience.

Having trouble being heard, respected or appreciated for your contribution? Perhaps it’s your presentation that needs work. Let me help. Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com  

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Is Your Procrastination Style Working For You?

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

I bet you thought I was going to curse procrastination in this blog. Au contraire!  Not all procrastination is bad. As a matter of fact, putting off a major undertaking may give you time to consider the risks. On the other hand, you may have a style of procrastination that works very well for you. According to Mary Lamia in her book What Motivates Getting Things Done, procrastination is a problem when styles collide or when the deadlines are missed or met with unreasonable stress.

Before I talk about different styles of procrastination, let’s clarify the difference between good and bad stress. Good stress is excitement or intense curiosity, like the jitters you may experience before doing a talk. Bad stress is anxiety provoking, panicky, self-sabotaging and physiologically unhealthy for us and those around us.

Lamia distinguishes between Deadline-Driven and Task-Driven procrastination styles, DDPs and TDPs respectively. DDPs note the deadline and begin mentally planning the task in spurts without taking any overt action. They may let the idea incubate for several days and weeks. Come the last day, it all comes together. Many successful DDPs report a surge of “good stress” and a heightened state of focus within hours of the deadline. They often deliver their best work under pressure. If you’re DDP, and the fallout doesn’t take a toll on your health or the well-being of those around you, it’s a safe and effective strategy, so go with it.

TDPs will start tasks almost immediately, but not complete the tasks until later. They may be perfectionistic and postpone task completion until it meets a high level of quality. These folks have a hard time being satisfied with “good enough.” Yet the successful TDPs will manage many tasks at once and eventually meet their deadlines with a minimal amount of bad stress.

Since procrastination, the bad stress variety, is such a common complaint, I find it easier to help my clients become more efficient within a style that suits them versus trying to switch horses. It’s also good advice to share your style for meeting deadlines with co-workers and partners, as both styles can be unnerving to the non-procrastinator.

Would you like to make your style of procrastination more efficient or rid yourself of procrastination for good? Happy to help! Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com     

Saturday, June 9th, 2018

Turtle Tenacity

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

Driving home from the gym today, all psyched and ready to start work on a project that had many doubters (except for me, of course!), I spied a small turtle in the middle of the road. Because it’s turtle mating season, a kind soul posted a “Turtle Xing” sign to alert drivers that turtles are not speed bumps. Knowing the likely fate of this turtle, I pulled over and went to help the little guy get across the street towards his destination — the pond. Snapping turtles, unlike painted turtles, even small ones, are pretty vicious. This snapper, only 6 inches long, growled and hissed the moment I touched the back of his shell. One car after another pulled up to help. One guy got out of his truck, found a stick and started to gently prod him across the street toward the pond. Instead of hiding in his shell and being passive, the snapper snarled and viciously fought the stick with all his might, insistent on getting to the pond his way. Gradually, more drivers pulled over to watch this David and Goliath spectacle. One woman reflected, “He’s like me. If someone tries to stop me from doing somethin’ I wanna do, I give ’em a fight.” Another fellow marveled, “Wow, what a tough little guy. I bet he’ll get lucky in the swamp!” A third guy exclaimed, “Look at the fight he’s putting up, he just won’t quit. Geez, if you could bottle that, I’d buy a case full!”  The turtle’s strength and courage to fight something so much bigger was impressive. What if we pursued our projects with the same dogged determination as this turtle? Could we ignore the naysayers no matter how they are trying to protect us? Would we risk getting run over and losing everything to see our dream realized?

Finally, the guy with the stick got the turtle closer to the water. We cheered as the snapper scurried towards the mucky pond. Once he got to the edge where he would dive in and likely never be seen again, he stopped and looked back  at us as if to say, Good fight humans. I rather enjoyed it, but I hope you learned something too. Splash! And he was gone.

A bit of reflective conversation revealed that this seemingly insignificant event had inspired each one of us to be a little more persistent in pursuing our goals, and to resist the resistance. Sometimes, Mother Nature intercedes to teach us valuable lessons.

Need a push? Read about my CoreCoaching services, and let’s get you moving! Contact me at Rebecca@MindfulCommunication.com

 

 

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Mind-Map It or Journal It – Get It Down on Paper

by Rebecca Shafir, M.A.CCC Personal Development and Executive Functioning coach at the Hallowell Center MetroWest

Q: There are times when I’m concerned or worried about a problem with my business and there’s no one I can talk to about it. My family and co-founder will listen, but I have to be careful there. Even though the problem is fixable, they will tend to overreact and that’s not helpful. What to do?  Janice B.   Portsmouth, NH

Break away from the crowd and write down your thoughts, worries, fears and concerns. My clients often roll their eyes when they hear the word “journaling,” mostly because it sounds too earthy-crunchy, or it suggests just another to-do. Not something you need to do every day but writing down the problems, how you feel about them and possible solutions, is helpful when you need clarity before taking action. Expressing yourself to yourself on paper, ignoring the need for perfect grammar or punctuation, relieves stress. Swear, doodle and write down all the non-PC things you’d like to say! Put it all out there…on paper, of course. How liberating! Writing out self-affirmations, or your WHYs can perk up your spirits and jostle you out of that stuck, murky state of malaise.

If your concerns are multi-factorial and don’t take well to a narrative or bullet point format, draw a mind-map so you can see the interconnectedness between problems, people and things. Plus, writing by hand is soothing. It provides an inner peace in a way that typing on a computer cannot. Keep the entry or mind-map for reference and make changes when an idea pops up.

Don’t let stress strangle your startup. Meditate, exercise, and strengthen your core with CoreFour coaching. Contact me at Rebecca@mindfulcommunication.com

 

Send Dr. Hallowell's Blog Posts to My Inbox!

or follow my blog through RSS 2.0 feed or FeedBurner.

©1994 - 2017, Dr. Edward Hallowell and the Hallowell Centers,
All rights reserved. Content may be used only with prior permission.
css.php
Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com