Like the fact that my blog posting schedule was so erratic.
Or the fact that I never launched several of the products I said I would.
That ADHD not only explained things like why I dropped out of college and didn’t get along well in school, but it also explained a lot of my social issues. I’m writing this blog post while on Ritalin, and it’s in my normal writing style.
My ADHD wasn’t just about not being able to complete tasks.
My ADHD had been preventing me from connecting on a gut emotional level with people–because I couldn’t focus on their issues long enough to sit down with them and have a real conversation.
That something consistent was that I wasn’t following through. Whoosh Traffic has gone through several iterations. ” doesn’t help those who are chronic shoppers, overspenders, or overeaters, all the productivity tips in the world don’t help those of us who have a brain issue called ADHD. I began to get more and more irritated with myself. I couldn’t stick to a blog posting schedule for any amount of money. And beating myself up for all of that, and then some.
We were an SEO company and a link building service. Then Google changed their algorithm, so we changed our link building strategy. I set up a to-do list, got everything on Google Calendar…and then realized I still wasn’t getting anything done. (In fact, I noticed the productivity tips started to become a distraction in themselves, as I’d read them when I got distracted, only to feel distracted because I still wasn’t being productive.) I started closing my email windows. I started bribing myself by grabbing items off my Amazon wishlist when I’d had a productive day. Curious, I went on Facebook and asked my friends for advice. Waking up in the middle of the night in a cold panic over something irrelevant, then not being able to go back to sleep, then destroying what should have been my sleeping hours, worried that if I went back to sleep, I was just going to wake up panicking again. Yeah, not much.) I made an appointment with a local psychologist.
This is one of the most difficult blog posts I’ve ever written…because I’m about to admit something that’s not easy to talk about.
Even though I know some people will not be comfortable with the decisions I’ve made, I think putting all my ugliness, fear, and doubt out there may help you.
From the outside, it definitely appears that I have it all together. My teachers’ reports in school were always full of “Erica is really intelligent, but she doesn’t apply herself.” Or, as one teacher said, “I wish you would focus on school.
I’ve grown this blog to one of the most popular entrepreneurship blogs online. On top of that, I’ve devoted myself to starting a software company, which is also going well–we have nearly 200 paying customers, and we’re growing nicely. A lot that only close friends of mine (and my patient-as-a-saint fiance, Brian) see. You’d do really well if you devoted some real time to this.” Admittedly, I was a tough student to have in class.
Now we’re not accepting new link building or “SEO services” customers, and we’re focusing on selling software to help you with your SEO. That worked for about a week, and then I was right back where I was before, only with a shiny new kitchen gadget, purchased from Amazon, that distracted me again. A friend of mine recommended a book called Driven to Distraction. I went into his office (on time for once–a miracle) and launched into a non-stop, single-sentence-that-went-on-for-20-straight-minutes-rant about how I couldn’t get anything finished.
And, even though we’ve gone through a ton of changes for being just a 2-year-old company, we are now doing well and on the right path to success. I grabbed the Kindle version and that night, I started reading it at home. Fault.” It was at that moment I realized that I had been beating myself up for this thing that was Not Me. I can read faces well (something else I had to learn when I realized I hadn’t been connecting well with people), and I saw a quick look of overwhelm pass through his face as I, for once, let my full self shine through instead of restraining what I wanted to say. I expected, from reading books and online accounts of ADHD, that I would get more work done.
Don’t you kind of find it strange that I wrote this incredibly popular blog and didn’t launch some really great products to go with it? Yes, it’s because I had trouble completing projects! Some people give simplistic advice to people who think they have ADHD. Here’s the thing: I kicked caffeine and alcohol ago.