In today’s episode we dive into a topic that is increasingly coming up in conversations I have with clients – ADHD. How do you navigate running a business with ADHD? How can you better serve your neuro diverse couples?
In this episode I dive deep with Nicole Winer as she shares her own experiences of running a business whilst identifying as neuro diverse. It’s time to start unmasking ADHD in your wedding business.
Keeping the same format, content, and context, Change ‘Speaker 1’ to Becca: Understanding ADHD [00:03:10] Explanation of what ADHD is, its characteristics, and how it affects the brain’s executive function.
ADHD in Women vs. Men [00:04:13] Discussion on how ADHD presents differently in women compared to men, including the role of hyperactivity and overthinking.
Unmasking ADHD and Dealing with Shame [00:07:15] Exploration of the shame and masking associated with ADHD, and the empowerment and strengths that can come from embracing it.
Unwinding coping mechanisms and stress responses [00:09:25] Becca discusses how masking and coping mechanisms developed in childhood can affect adult experiences, using migraines as a stress response example.
Fear of label and official diagnosis [00:10:21] Becca and Nicole discuss the fear and hesitation around seeking an official diagnosis for ADHD, and the importance of self-acceptance and self-knowledge.
Strengths and limitations of ADHD in business [00:13:11] Nicole highlights the strengths of ADHD in business, such as creativity and hyper-focus, but also discusses the limitations, such as the need for support in executing ideas and managing time.
The struggle of asking for help [00:18:34] Nicole discusses the importance of being vulnerable and asking for help when feeling overwhelmed or unsure.
Networking challenges for introverts [00:20:16] Nicole shares her personal experience as an introvert and how she navigates networking events and large groups of people.
Different approaches to success [00:25:51] Nicole emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to success and encourages listeners to define their own goals and paths.
The importance of community and support [00:27:47] Discussion on the significance of having a supportive community and the role it plays in personal growth and success.
Recognizing and supporting neurodiverse individuals in the wedding industry [00:30:47] Exploring how wedding suppliers and business coaches can be more inclusive and supportive of neurodiverse individuals in the wedding planning process.
Asking for and providing support to neurodiverse individuals [00:33:04] Emphasizing the importance of asking for and providing the necessary support and accommodations for neurodiverse individuals, and the impact it can have on their success and well-being.
The importance of accountability and asking for help [00:37:10] Nicole discusses how having more accountability and asking for help would have accelerated their progress and reduced shame.
Acknowledgment and gratitude for the guest [00:37:10] Becca expresses gratitude to Nicole for openly discussing the topic and acknowledges the value they bring to others.
Encouragement to explore the guest’s podcast [00:38:09] Becca invites listeners to check out the guest’s podcast, “Supercharge Your Business,” and provides information on where to find it online.
Nicole: Come back to what you need and what is important for you. Okay. You’re listening to Becca and you’re like, yeah, I would love to go to Vegas. And that is actually something I want to do. Great. If that’s what you’d want to do. If you’re listening and you’re hearing this, like my side of the conversation here and being like, Oh no, actually that’s not really for me.
And I’d prefer maybe a few online things or actually just to create a community in a different way. Fine. Like it’s okay. And actually. The right people are going to get it. So the people who don’t get it aren’t the right people, even if they are, they’re similar to you or they’re different to you. The right people, even if you’re different, are going to get it.
Becca: I’m Becca Pountney, wedding business, marketing expert, speaker, and blogger. And you’re listening to the Wedding Pros who are ready to grow podcast. I’m here to share with you actionable tips, strategies and real life examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level. If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business doing what you love, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s get going with today’s episode. Today I’m chatting with Nicole Weiner. Nicole is a business strategist, mentor and coach. As a former global investment banker, she has a huge wealth of experience. Nicole is passionate about bringing more kindness into business through building supportive communities.
And as you know, I’m all about that. It’s my kind of ethos. I came across Nicole in a business community I’m in, and when I saw her speaking topics, I knew I needed to get her onto the podcast to explore the subject further. If I’m completely honest, it’s a subject I just don’t know enough about. So I’m going to be learning through this episode too.
So let’s get into it. Nicole, welcome to the podcast.
Nicole: Hello, thank you for having me.
Becca: I am so excited to have you. Now, as I was just talking to you about before we hit record, I saw your post in another business group that we’re both part of. all about running a business with ADHD and I am increasingly having conversations with my clients and my friends who have had recent diagnoses of ADHD or have started to consider whether it is something that’s going on in their life or have some of those kind of characteristics.
So as we get into this subject, for people who don’t know anything at all, I would love you to just start by explaining to us what is ADHD, what does it stand for and what are the characteristics of it.
Nicole: Okay, it’s a great question. So attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which I am not in love with the, the meaning of it.
Right, right. The actual words. But, essentially, it’s about how your brain operates, how you’re motivated to take action based on things like dopamine, which is like the feel good motivational hormone that exists in your brain, and how, yeah, what you do, how you do it, and also your ability to be able to make decisions.
So that’s your executive function, so if we take that back to what we know about the brain from psychology. That is all about, you know, there’s one part of your brain that helps you to make decisions. It’s like the driving seat. It’s the CEO of your brain. It like makes all the strategic decisions and it does all of that stuff.
And then you’ve got the back part of your brain that is more driven by response to stimulus. So things that make you feel anxious or fear or imposter syndrome or those things. And when your brain is sitting in that fear space, it cannot move into your executive function. And the way that ADHD brains.
move into the executive function is with dopamine.
Becca: Okay. Right. There’s a lot of sciencey language there straight away, but I knew this is why I need to get you on because not only are you a business strategist, but you’ve got a background in studying psychology. You really understand how the brain works.
So. If we take away the science for a moment, how might this present itself practically in someone’s life?
Nicole: It really depends, and that’s a bit of a, it’s, it’s, it’s a not answer answer, but it’s, but it really, really depends. And this is so individual for each person. And there’s also huge differences between how this presents in children and adults, and also how this presents with the genders.
Okay, interesting. So it shows up very, very, and I think most of your audience are women. It shows up very differently for women as it does for men. And a lot of, you know, what we understood and understand still actually around ADHD is around naughty little school boys. But women, girls do not tend to present in the same way.
The hyperactivity part doesn’t tend to show in the body. It tends to show in the mind. So the overthinking, that’s where a lot of imposter syndrome stuff comes from, when people overthink. I’m a classic overthinker. The rhetoric in my brain is fast and it doesn’t stop, like I have one setting in my brain which is on.
So it’s, it’s about that and, and yeah, noticing the difference in how it shows up between Boys and girls, men and women and adults and children.
Becca: Fascinating and I guess it’s something that we’re learning about more and more all of the time because even in the last decade I would say that people are talking about it a lot more and probably in the last five years increasingly so as we start to understand it more and more.
Now I would love to get into a little bit of your own journey because this is what I found really fascinating about you. You’ve, you’ve done some global investment banking.
run your own very successful business and still are. And when you talk about yourself, you describe yourself as having ADHD, being neurodiverse. How did that come about? How did you come to that conclusion? Have you known for a long time? Is it more of a recent diagnosis? Is it self diagnosis? I’d love to just understand a bit more about your journey.
Nicole: Yeah, definitely. So it’s self diagnosis. I’m very, well, as much as we all can be, I’m very self aware. And the reason, the way that I came around to realizing it, thinking it, being curious about it, which again is a classic ADHD trait of being very curious about gaps and thinking, oh, is that me? Is that me?
What does that look like? What does that answer? What can that answer be? Was really through other people sharing, right? So conversations like this, through following people online who have Who are raising awareness about it through reading articles. And then I started to create this document, probably Google doc, which I love about mid last year around ADHD and me, it was called ADHD and me just for myself in terms of like, you know, how does this show up for me?
Does this bit feel like it fits, doesn’t it? So I could kind of keep note and track of the things that I was thinking basically and how it, how it was. And then finally I had a, I had a conversation with my business mentor who and I to choose the term came out too as ADHD . Like she, she recognized it too.
And I remember having a conversation with her and she was like, why are we both avoiding saying that we’ve got this? And I was like, I don’t know what’s I don’t know why are we both doing that? And she kind of went first. And then I was like, actually, I’m going to share this too because the reason that I didn’t, I think, is also around one of the parts around shame, which is one of the things we’ll talk about today, like that masking and shame and how that kind of comes up and stops you asking for help and being honest, because And especially as women, that’s, that’s more of a thing, but yeah.
And then, you know, just, just leaning into it more and being more conscious. And I, I would say that the unmasking journey is an interesting one. It’s ongoing. I said to one of my clients on retreat in June, I was like, she’s ADHD too. And I was like, I’ve got a question. Since you realized that you were ADHD too, has it been a bit of a shit show?
Does life feel like it’s kind of. different, but not always in a good way. And she, she was like, yeah, and it’s kind of that like new discovery of yourself as that happens as well. But also not just seeing this from a point that’s negative. So there’s so many positives, which I know we’ll go into some of again today, but it’s not just seeing this from a point of how it disables you.
It’s also about the, the empowerment that it gives you and those strengths that it has too.
Becca: So I think it’s really interesting that you say that there’s this idea of unmasking and shame because for me, I’m so pleased that you’re openly talking about it because that’s why you’re here having that conversation.
And it seems that it can be a real positive rather than something that we need to be shying away from. Why do you think it comes with that sense of shame?
Nicole: I think it’s misunderstood. And I think especially if you have, if your life experience has been that you feel like you don’t fit in around what you may now know or be curious about as neurotypical people and you are different, our brains are wired to find where we fit in.
Because if we go back again psychologically to when we were cavemen or whatever area you’re interested in, in terms of history. We, we, we survived through being part of the tribe. So come to communicate communities and being accepted and everything else. So if we’re different, if we feel like we’re different and we don’t necessarily have the same needs, use the same language, have the same strengths or development areas as the people that we’re around, We can then mask, which causes us to feel shame.
Why are we masking? Because we feel like we’re not going to fit in, which makes us feel guilty, which makes us feel shame. So then we mask more and we mask more. So then when it comes to adult experience, it’s really tricky unwinding all of that because it’s your, it’s what’s been grown in your brain as a neural pathway to cope.
And one of the ways that this really showed up for me, and it still does, it still does, actually it happened yesterday, so it still definitely still shows up, is around, I get migraines, right? So migraine is one of my stress responses, and I didn’t realise this when I was working in banking, or when I was an employee in the city, that overstimulation The, the output of that, of me having a migraine was because I was trying to hide the fact that I was finding it hard.
Too much, like too much noise. People I didn’t know, loads of different smells, like all of those things that were really overstimulating me. I would hide, I would shrink, I would try to make, I’d be fine. Don’t let anyone know that this is a problem, and then as soon as I relaxed or I was away from that, I would, I would have a raging migraine.
I was at a gender reveal party yesterday and didn’t know anybody, which was. my idea of hell. It was wonderful, but not with the people I didn’t know. And loads and loads of kids and loads and loads of noise. And, and it was I got home yesterday and I was really poorly because I was trying to, again, trying to kind of mask that I was fine.
And actually I wasn’t, I was finding that quite hard. So I think that’s why. If that helps, like the shame, the shame is there. And I think through having more conversations, it helps you to kind of unpick it and be more honest.
Becca: Yeah, absolutely. And I think there’s definitely a thing around having a label as well.
I’ve been talking to a couple of my clients recently who, again, a bit like you on a bit of a journey of discovery, have maybe watched some videos or listened to the podcast and are starting to think, actually, this really resonates, this sounds like me. But then they’re almost frightened about having an official diagnosis or having.
a label. Is an official diagnosis something you thought about or are you, again, are you worried about having that label? Where does that sit with you?
Nicole: I have considered, and I did, well, I don’t think I’m considering it anymore. So I would say past tense. I, I had considered, and again, if we come through to like acceptance, it’s like, am I good enough?
Do I know enough about myself to say that this is me? Do I need someone else to confirm and tell me that this is what it is? And I came to the conclusion that I did not. I did not need someone else to do that. I had enough evidence. And I would say, if you are listening to this and you’re either ADHD or ADHD curious, maybe ADHD, you know, thinking about it, you would have done your research.
So for me, I was like, okay, what is a diagnosis going to give me that I don’t already have? At the moment, I don’t feel like I need medication. At the moment, I don’t feel like I need other types of support like that. So, what will I gain from going through that process, which is quite stressful, difficult, and a lot of energy?
And do I want to go through that? And the answer for me was, no, I don’t, I don’t need that right now. So yeah.
Becca: That’s really, really helpful. And I know that will resonate with some people listening as well. So you talked earlier on about how ADHD shows itself different in different people, but maybe drawing on some of your own examples, how do you think it?
impacts the day to day running of a business or running a business for you? How does having ADHD impact that?
Nicole: I think there’s so many ways that it can impact it. And I’m gonna, I’m actually going to go to the positives first. So one of the things that ADHD brains are great at is finding solutions. So if you’re presented with a problem, it may not be immediate that you can come up with what the answer is, but you’re, you need to close the loop.
Right. So you’re like, right, I need, I need to find an answer to this. I need to find a way to do this differently. So the creativity. is like the things that neurotypical people could only ever dream of, the creative ideas that you have. I know the difficulty then comes in executing on them, but it is a strength to have that creativity, right?
So being able to innovate, create, think, evolve, do things differently. And that’s amazing. The creativity. The other thing that I would say in terms of strengths and how this can show up for business is focus. So a lot of the time this is talked about in terms of time blindness, which you were talking about before we started recording as well, and.
The way to kind of reframe this and to see this, and yes, it can be a limitation, it can be a development area and, and, and something you need help with, but actually in terms of focus, like ADHD people are the hyper focus you can go into and the stuff you can get done, how much you can get done again, is something that a neurotypical person could only ever dream of, like.
It’s nuts. And I remember this when I was in, I didn’t know this when I was in banking and people would say, how do you get through so much in a day? How do you get through all of the things that you do, all of the extra stuff that you take on and still leave on time and still take lunch? Well, because my hyper focus, my hyper fixation was supporting me in that I would go into kind of flow and that’s a brilliant thing to have.
So. We’ll go with those two in terms of strengths and how it can show up. But let’s take both of those and then kind of turn those into like looking at them from the other point of view in terms of how they can be limiting. So it’s great to have all of these ideas, but actually in a business, the thing that’s going to make you the money and get you the clients and help you to grow is by doing.
So you can’t just have the ideas, although that would be lovely, right? Like, so we need to be able to take the actions. If we look at then, okay, how does this show up in businesses from that creativity side? That’s wonderful. But actually having somebody or something or a system or a way to help you to execute on those ideas, because otherwise you can become really frustrated that, you know, you’ve got all of these ideas, but they just.
You know, it’s just not working. You’re just not making the progress. You’re just not having the growth that you want. So finding a way to get that support from either a community or a person or a system that you put in place for you to help you to execute. And again, coming into like, that’s your executive functions have been able to decide which thing to do first, which idea to go with, which way to do it, like when to do it, what date to put on that.
Like what all of those things, which is a lot of, if you work with a mentor and coach. It can help you to break those things down. And then the second part of that, what we were talking about, focus and hyper, hyper focus, is those, you know, that, that thing that neurotypical people could only ever dream of, is you get, can get really lost and lose track of time.
So, especially if you’re in that dopamine feeding, happy place of tasks that you love. I’m a bit strange, so I really like The tech and I really like admin stuff that’s processing ’cause my brain can go into that flow, but I have to find a way to bring myself out of it. So things like setting timers, things like, you know, reward dopamine, that’s the feel-good hormone.
How, how, what am I going to wait and make myself wait for? until I finished it. I do not mean going for a wee or having lunch or having a drink, like, because a lot of people with ADHD can forget to do those things too, because we go into that hyper focused state. But thinking about, okay, Like, downstairs right now, I have got a chocolate muffin waiting on the side that I’m going to devour after we’ve finished recording this.
I might even make myself wait until I’ve recorded some of my own podcast episodes because I’m already set up with my mic. So, but that’s, that’s, you know, it’s not thinking, okay, I’m going to go into hyper focus. I can get into this. But then what are you going to give yourself afterwards as a reward, which can work really well as well for.
Neuro, neurodiverse brains.
Becca: Really, really interesting. So leading on from that then, have you found that since you’ve come to this self diagnosis, since you’ve looked into it and understood yourself and your working patterns more, are there other practical things that you have implemented in your own business with that new awareness?
Nicole: Yeah. So I work with my VA totally differently now. Interesting. So a lot of what I will ask her to do for me, and it sounds, it’s, I, the irony is I do this for other people, right? So I will say to her, I need you to send me a message on this day and ask me this question. Because if I set myself a reminder, I will ignore it.
As an example. In Covid, during lockdown, so for like two years I did this, I had a reminder at 1. 55 every day to go for a walk that I ignored. I now have a reminder on my phone that goes off at 2. 55 every day to remind me to meditate. I also ignore that. Like me having those reminders that I’ve set myself are not enough.
It’s that accountability to another person to have to say to them, no, actually, can we put this back another month? No, actually, like I have done. So that, I’ve completely changed that in terms of saying, you know, really simple things that feel like I shouldn’t really have to ask anybody to do. But actually sometimes putting myself a reminder in or writing a to do list on a certain day in a diary or whatever doesn’t, just doesn’t always work.
So it’s having that external input, and asking the questions. I would also say that it’s allowed me to be a bit more forgiving of myself. So, like, if I do have a migraine, or if I do feel a bit overwhelmed, or if I do feel like I don’t have the answer, then I know what to do. So, I know that it’s okay to ask for help, and ask for help on some really…
basic things, right? So I’ll give you an example. Before I was going to, this is more personal, but on the, on, before I was going to this gender reveal party yesterday, I was talking about, I was traveling to where it is on Saturday and then some stuff that happened at home, which derailed things in the morning.
And I was like, I can’t have, I haven’t got time to eat lunch. I haven’t got time to pack my bags. I haven’t got time to do this. So I rung my other half and I was like, I haven’t got time to eat and I don’t know what to do. I need you to help me make a decision. It’s not that I’m complaining, and actually I had loads of stuff to eat.
Obviously I had loads of stuff to eat. But, I couldn’t make that decision because I felt overwhelmed. So there’s that part around being like, okay, I don’t know what to sell. I don’t know how to market. I don’t know… how I’m going to fit all of this in. I don’t know if I’ve got time for this launch, for this thing, for this event, for this client, for this process.
Like, and actually just saying, actually I’m labeling this as I’m finding this hard and I need somebody to help me. Can somebody help me? And it’s okay. Again, I’m asking, let’s get rid of the shame. that it’s okay to ask for help.
Becca: It’s 100% and I think that’s really important for all of us to understand that it’s, it’s okay to ask for help.
We need to be honest when we’re struggling with something and whether that’s because you’ve got ADHD, whether that’s another reason, actually we need to… all take off that mask sometimes and stop pretending. I always talk about going to networking meetings and wedding business owners going to networking meetings and no one wants to be in the room talking to someone else who’s just saying yeah this is amazing, this is amazing, everything’s perfect because we all know that’s not true and actually when we can be vulnerable enough to take off that mask and to just say actually this is a struggle or that’s a struggle.
Often we can all build deeper relationships because we’re being honest and more vulnerable and then also, you know, going out, going out there and being braver and getting more done. How would you say impacts you in an event like that? So you talked about your gender reveal party. If you were to go to a business conference, to a business networking event with lots of other people, do you thrive in that environment?
Do you struggle in that environment? How does that impact?
Nicole: That’s my idea of hell. I, I wouldn’t go. I say this, I say this often, I say it tongue in cheek and a joke, right? So I’m also an introvert, so it’s also important to know it’s like how anything blends together with your preferences and your personality.
But I do not like big spaces. I’ve never liked being around loads of people, especially ones that I don’t know. I have an audience now which blows my tiny mind of 26, 000 people across platforms. If 26, 000 people were sitting in a room waiting for me to show up on a stage, I wouldn’t go. Like, I don’t want to be in that room.
Like, I don’t. And actually, it’s okay. You know, when I share about like where I live or where I’m traveling to or whatever else online and people are like, Oh, I’m there. It’d be great to meet up. And I’m like, Nope.
The things that I do in person are more controlled for me. So I run retreats where I’m the people that I know we’ve met before we make, I make sure that I’m doing that kind of like interview curated as well. And also that I’m comfortable share a house with those people for however many days that is.
And, and I, I. That’s the way, the only way really that I’m okay to essentially network in small spaces that are specially curated, that also allow me to have lots of space. Because I’ll give you an example. One of my, one of my mentor, one of the things that, a mastermind I’m in with One of the things that we have is in person days, right?
And there’s some groups are small as well. And I remember going to the first one where I hadn’t met any of these people in person yet. I’d met my mentor, but not the other attendees. And it got to my hot seat part of the day. And they were asking me questions and I was like, my, I can’t, I’ve not got anything left.
My brain can’t do this anymore. And there’s an important part as well about whoever you are around being able to be honest. And I think for me, if that’s in a bigger group, when you don’t know people, that is, that does tend to be a little bit harder. So I could turn around and say to my mentor, for example, there’s nothing, I’m really struggling with executive function here.
I can’t, I’ve got nothing for you. Like, I can’t answer these questions. She was like, it’s fine. We’ll come to it next week. We’ll come to it another time. We’ll come to it on another session, like, and, and having that. And I think for me, there’s a worry and a, and a reality that in bigger spaces with more people that you don’t know, again, you have to like throw the mask on and I don’t want to wear the mask.
You know, so like even for me on my retreats, it’s become known that like normally on the main day we have, I like go for a nap in the mid afternoon, like after lunch, I just take a, take 10 minutes like, and, and that’s okay. And I do, I work with lots of introverts, so it gives them permission to go for a nap too.
Yeah, I, I, I wouldn’t go, is the answer really.
Becca: What I love about that, and your honesty, is I think that’s going to free up some people who are listening, because there are great opportunities to speak on big stages or go to these massive industry events, and I’m someone who thrives on that. So I’m going to Vegas in November to go to Wedding MBA because it’s the world’s biggest wedding industry conference with thousands of people, and I know I will love it and I will get a lot out of it.
Now there may be someone like you saying, that would be my absolute worst nightmare, but then also having that secondary narrative which says, therefore I’m not good enough, therefore I won’t be as successful, therefore I’m going to miss out on opportunities. Actually what you’re saying is, no you’re not those things, you just need to find other ways to achieve the same outcome, right?
Nicole: Definitely. And do you know what, like even, even online networking in big groups makes me feel like that. I think it’s the big group thing as well. And the, the sensitivity to rejection, which is another thing that comes up for ADHD is that rejection sensitivity. So if there’s a big group, like how, how am I going to navigate that if I don’t feel like I fit in and.
You know, to share, I’ve had my business now for five and a half years. I’ve never been to an in person network, like dedicated in person networking event. I’d never been to like one of the big atomic on like speak, you know, those sorts of gigs. I I’m, and I don’t want to, I don’t want to go and it’s okay.
Like my happy place instead of traveling, I mean. hats off to you for Vegas. That feels like, like totally different world for me. I’m like, I couldn’t, I don’t think I couldn’t do it. And then travel across like, you know, a nine, 10 hour flight as well. But you know, you don’t have to, I’ve been in business five and a half years.
I’ve never done that. And I’m still incredibly successful in the way that I want to be successful. So you don’t have to do it. Any other way, I was talking to my membership about this this morning in terms of goals and I was saying like, you know, come back to what you need and what is important for you.
Yes, you may be inspired by somebody else, but really sit and think to yourself, okay, you’re listening to Becca and you’re like, yeah, I would love to go to Vegas. And I want to do. Great. Like if that’s what you’d want to do. If you’re listening and you’re hearing this, like my side of the conversation here and being like, Oh no, actually that’s not really for me.
And I’d prefer maybe a few. online things, or actually just to create a community in a different way, like fine, like it’s okay. And actually coming back to this part about rejection, sensitivity and acceptance and shame, the right people are going to get it. So it doesn’t, the people who don’t get it aren’t the right people.
So even if they are, they’re similar to you or they’re different to you, the right people. Even if you’re different, they’re going to get it.
Becca: Yeah, a hundred percent. And I think that’s why it’s so important for us to have conversations like this, because here having this conversation, we’re both two successful business women who are approaching life so differently, but there’s not a right or a wrong, and it’s okay that we’re not all the same.
And in fact, we should be celebrating that. And that’s why I’m so pleased that we’re having this conversation today. Now, one of the other things you talked about a little bit earlier was accountability and your accountability with your VA, and we’ve just talked about safe spaces. As well and finding your tribe, all those kind of things.
Why do you think that has been important for you?
Nicole: I think it’s been important for me in relation to A D H D in terms of acceptance. So, If you can find a space, which I know obviously Becca has for wedding business owners as well, like, you know, to feel accepted, to feel like it’s okay to ask for help, to say, this is the, not only to say I’m finding this hard, be open to what comes back as, as options.
And then, you know, execute on those with support and still being able to come back and say, I tried that and it didn’t work for me. I need some more help. Like that’s game changing. And let’s also lean into the fact that women. societally, and I’m not going to go into like any sort of feminist rant, but, but we are expected to have our shit together and just get on with it.
So couple that in with again, why ADHD, for example, shows up differently for women. It’s because we’re expected to just get on with it. You know, it comes from being child bearers and, and caring, you know, caring and all of that. And having a space where you feel like you can remove that mask. Actually, whether you’re neurodiverse or neurotypical, because as women, that’s just what happens.
Sadly, it’s true. It’s getting better, but we still have a way to go. Like having that community, that support network. Is game changing and, and being able to be yourself without judgment. And, you know, I’ve, you hear this quite a lot, actually, like there’s no one that will support you better than a person on the internet you’ve never met.
So if you’re going for help to who you now may think of or did in the past as your community, like your friends and your family who don’t run businesses, who don’t know what it’s like to be you, who don’t know what it’s like to do all of those things that you do. We can’t really expect them to understand because it’s not their world, it’s not their reality.
They may accept you, right, but they may not know how to help. I used to have this all the time with my ex actually, so I’d ask him for help with something, and then he’d give a suggestion, pre ADHD, me realising it was probably ADHD. They’d be like, no, that’s never going to work. What are you talking about?
Of course that’s not going to work. Like now, with my partner now, if he gives me, he knows me because I’m able to share more about myself as well. So if I give him a problem that I’m having and I’m like, I need some help with this, like I said, eat the food out of the freezer that you batch cooked, like it’s in there already.
It’s the same in business, like coming to, okay, someone who knows you that can say, Oh, but remember like last month or six months ago, we talked about this idea. And what about that way or this way that you like, because I know that maybe you’re more of an introvert or you’re more of an extrovert or you’re more of this, you’re more of that.
And like your preferences and having people who know you, who care about you, who want to see you win, who want to see you other women, especially who want to see you win is a game changer.
Becca: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a huge believer in having a supportive community and I think sometimes that’s why some of the paid memberships are a little bit safer spaces because some of those free groups are humongous and you don’t know who’s in there and you don’t know who’s watching or all the rest of it.
And if you can find a space and I do recommend. Try a space out or try a few different spaces out until you find the place that’s a fit for you. Because even if it’s a really great business group, you might come into my group. You think, yeah, it’s a really good fit. And then you realize, actually, this isn’t my place.
That’s totally fine. Find a place that is totally right for you. And that really will help your business. Now, I would love to just. To change tack slightly, Nicole, as we start to bring this to an end, because I also think it’s a really interesting discussion to think about people that we might as business owners come across who are neurodiverse or have ADHD.
So for example, in the wedding industry, there might be someone listening, they’re a florist, they’re a cake maker, and they’re thinking, no, I don’t think this is me. Actually, day to day coming across couples who are planning their wedding, they are likely to interact. With different kinds of people. And so how can we recognize that as a wedding supplier, as a business coach in somebody else?
And what can we do to be more inclusive and to try and help people through that very stressful wedding planning process?
Nicole: If we go to wedding planning specifically. I would say it’s really important to be direct and clear. So some of my clients are in the wedding industry and they have, you know, one of the things that comes up is like this deadline.
So you need people to come back to you by here to do this, to make a decision on this, to move forward with this part of the next step in the process. If people are struggling with executive function. And they are overwhelmed clients, right? You doing something as simple as saying, right, I need this from you by this date, because of, so what you need by when and why, which makes it really clear, really direct, helps you to get what you need, but also helps that client.
To feel less overwhelmed by all of the things they have to do. They’ve got a date in their mind, right? They know what they have to do and they know the implication. Let’s go to dopamine. We act when we’re motivated. We don’t want that negative consequence. So why, if we do this by then, this is why we need it.
Becca: So we can help by being clearer in the instructions that we’re giving and. being less overwhelming by just giving really simple explanations.
Nicole: Yeah and the irony of this is if you are neurodiverse, especially ADHD yourself, you’re the way, and you may notice the way that I speak is in stories that aren’t always very clear.
So the irony is If what you need and what your clients need, like may look very different and it’s okay, even if you process that information in different ways. So if you need to have that conversation and go around to be able to get what you need, that’s fine. But notice if somebody is different, it’s just, it’s If
You don’t know the answer. If you don’t know the answer, and you’re noticing maybe that somebody is struggling with that, ask what you can do to help them. What would help you to meet these deadlines? What would help you? What do you need from me? How can I support you to. X, Y, Z. One of the things that I say to all my clients when they start working with me is, how can I hold you accountable?
What kind of accountability works for you? What kind of coaching and mentoring style works for you? Do you need me to give you some tough love? Do you need me to be a little bit more tactful? Do you need, do you like me? Do you want me to swear at you? Do you want me to, do you want me to? Wrap my arms around you.
Do you need me to just check in on deadlines? Like what do you need? And this is the other thing I think, especially with let’s go to the schooling system. Let’s go to workplaces. We’re all expected to fit into this mold, which doesn’t work most of the time for people who are neurodiverse. So. asking what they need, they also may not know what they need, because maybe they might not have been asked that question before, because they’ve been just wearing a mask and trying to get on with it.
Ask them what they need from you to help make this easier.
Becca: I think it’s something we all need to be more aware of, because we just assume everyone else is thinking like us, if we’re honest, and we get into patterns of how we act and how we behave. But actually, all of us by just being a little bit more thoughtful and asking a few more questions could massively help someone.
Now, I don’t want to end this conversation because we have. gone deep into a really important topic without just giving people another kind of jumping off place to go. So if there is someone listening to this who’s really thinking, this sounds a lot like me and now I’m panicking. I don’t know what to do next.
Is there any way you’d recommend people to go to just do a bit more research or to just try and build on this conversation for themselves?
Nicole: I’d say I don’t like the influencer world, right, but I would say follow some people who are leading. The conversation in this space. So whether you’re on Facebook, whether you’re on LinkedIn or TikTok, whether you’re on Instagram, like go and follow some accounts that allow you to procrastinate in a beautiful way and learn some stuff and then be curious.
Just be curious. And also. Be kind to yourself. You know, you can read up on, and I have to say this, you can read up on, you know, medical journals and, and N H S websites and Mayo Clinic and like whatever. They are very prescriptive, in my opinion. It’s very narrow if you’re following people who have lived experience.
And who help other people as well with those things, you’re likely to learn a lot more because the places and the ways that it shows up will vary so much from person to person, gender to gender, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, like all of the diversities, like all of those things. So just be curious, follow people who are, who are helping you to understand more about it and then, you know, maybe do what I did and start to make some notes.
And be like, okay, this is me. I’ll put it in the back of a notebook. I’ll put it in a note on my phone, I’ll put it in a Google doc or something. And then I’ll come back to it and just see how it makes me feel, but just be patient with yourself.
Becca: Really, really helpful advice. And I’m sure if you are listening to this and it has struck a chord with you and you want to reach out to myself, if you want to reach out to Nicole directly, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to just chat with you and, and encourage you along this journey as well.
Nicole, it’s been such a pleasure having this conversation with you. I always end my podcast with the same question, which I’m going to put to you now, which is what’s one thing you wish you’d known sooner in your own business?
Nicole: It’s got to be that I had ADHD.
Becca: What do you think you would have changed sooner if you’d have realized?
Nicole: I would have had more accountability. I would have asked for help. I would have accelerated so much else of what I’m doing because I wouldn’t have felt shame for not knowing the answers or it not working for me in the ways that it seemed like it was working for everyone else.
Becca: Yeah, that makes total sense.
Nicole, I just want to encourage you at the end of this conversation to say thank you for being here. Thank you for being brave enough to unmask yourself and to talk about this topic because I do believe what you’re doing is an incredible gift. to other people that they can see someone in their world, in their business community that is openly talking about this subject matter.
And also, you’ve been brilliant as a guest. You haven’t taken us off on a tangent. I know you’re concerned about that. Your stories actually have been really helpful to bring everything into perspective. So thank you for being here. If people have enjoyed hearing from you, I believe you’ve got a podcast people can go and listen to.
Tell us more about that and where people can find you online.
Nicole: Thank you. So yeah, it’s super charge your business, wherever you listen to your podcasts, stalk me online, come and find me. Love to, I’d love to have you.
Becca: Amazing. Thank you so much for your honesty, for your integrity, and I will be sure to make a link to your podcast and all of your other websites in the show notes.
So if you do want to find out more about Nicole, do go and check out the show notes. Thank you so much for being here. I absolutely love that conversation. It’s given me so much to think about. It’s not something, as I said at the beginning, that I knew a huge amount about, but it’s definitely something I understand at greater depth now.
And I’m going to continue to think about as I think about the way I work with you going forward as well. And I know for some of you, this will have resonated. So if that’s you. Go and do your research, reach out to someone, don’t keep on covering it up, but start to think about how you can use this as a superpower and not feel like it’s going to hold you back.
I’ll see you next time.