I'm Linda, your ADHD CoachHi! I'm Linda Walker, your ADHD Coach.
In my 20-year career, I've been an office manager, a business trainer, a Webmaster, a project manager and a successful sales representative. I've also started a successful office supply store and later a consulting business, where I helped other entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses.
I have always been able to see and bring out the best in people. I naturally adopted a "coaching" approach with my students, but I used these same strengths to build my businesses, manage my project teams and help my clients.
My most rewarding experiences, however, have been coaching entrepreneurial people. I discovered that many entrepreneurs start businesses because they feel constrained by jobs, and whether they know it or not, they often feel this way because they have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). These dynamos have the energy of six ordinary entrepreneurs, but benefit enormously from working with someone who can help channel that energy.
I can relate to these people. You see, my experience with ADHD, also known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), began closer to home in "the school of hard knocks." My husband, also an entrepreneur, was diagnosed with ADHD 14 years ago, and the younger of our two daughters was diagnosed with ADHD and severe learning disabilities 16 years ago.
My Personal Battle with ADHDI knew very little about ADHD before I learned that my youngest daughter had Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD. Duane and I learned everything we could about it and soon realized that Duane also had ADHD.
I’d naively hoped Duane’s marriage proposal one month after our first (blind!) date signaled the end of his reckless trouble making and thrill seeking. But, impulsive as ever, he was thrown out of the army and roamed from job to job – sales, clerk, programmer, teacher, project manager... and from one business idea to another. Bright and capable, he quickly got bored, usually quitting before he was fired.
The first time he quit, I freaked out (I was terrified!) Home with our 3-month-old daughter wondering how to make the mortgage, I felt vulnerable and helpless. Laser-focused in a crisis (the only time!), he landed three part-time jobs, but I was a nervous wreck as I awaited his next “career suicide.”
After crossing the country (twice) in hot pursuit of his latest “opportunity of a lifetime,” I put my foot down. He had to stick with his job with a dot com. He loved the excitement and constant change, but quickly became overwhelmed; he couldn't deliver the goods. He couldn't focus, get organized or follow through.
Duane was thrilled when his boss, who just happened to be president of the entire company, telling Duane he had a bright future at the company, asked him to take over chairing the departmental meeting. Duane jumped at this chance to prove his leadership skills.
Then the fateful day arrived. Sitting in the conference room, someone asked why the boss hadn't arrived yet. No one knew. Not even Duane! Incredibly, he had forgotten his boss, the president’s request, and suggested everyone return to work and he’d call them when the boss arrived.
Upon his arrival, boiling over with fury, he glared incredulously at Duane, the man he’d been grooming for big things, when Duane explained, “You were late so we returned to work.” It would be years before Duane shared the gut-wrenching pain of his humiliation as the president berated him. But he’d dreaded even more telling me he had once again let me down.
Devastated, Duane thought, “Time for a change!”, but I wasn’t about to pack up and leave (again!). I wasn’t even sure our marriage would last… in the few hours he wasn’t at work, Duane was just as unfocused and disorganized at home. I felt like the only adult in our family.
Spiraling out of control, Duane delivered a project late (at double what he’d bid!) Ready to fire him (as miserable as he was, Duane would have been relieved!), Duane’s boss demoted him, but insisted things change. We needed help.
We sought help for Duane to deal with his ADHD symptoms. Duane became a new man while at the same time the qualities that so attracted me to him became more pronounced. Passionate, focused, creative, exciting, fun, AND reliable, I fell in love with him all over again.
Breakthrough! Duane “cracked the code” of this new approach, working with his brain instead of against it, and like took an exciting 180 degree turn almost overnight! Within weeks, he was back to his old position and salary AND then was promoted to vice-president where his inspired vision and out-of-the-box thinking led the company to amazing success.
His transformation inspired me to seek specialized training as an ADHD Coach, and I’ve been using ADHD-friendly strategies to help ambitious, capable, brilliant adults struggling with their ADHD to overcome these obstacles and succeed in business and in life since 2005.
The SolutionThere’s no cure for ADHD. However, effective self-management can transform your life for the better. Diagnosis can help you understand ADHD, but an explanation is just an excuse unless you do something about it. So what can you do?
You’ll need to invest in ADHD training and make some decisions about treatment. Medication can help you pay attention at work and at home, but you can’t stop there. Pills don’t give skills. Even with medication, Duane was still struggling and our doctor recommended additional help from an ADHD Coach. We invested money that, at the time, we really didn’t have for the chance of turning our lives around.
Inspired by Duane’s success, I’ve created my approach to coaching using many of the same strategies that worked so well for Duane. In fact, he’s my guinea pig; I often work with him to create programs to help other ADHD adults self-manage as effectively as I now know is possible.
I believe all adults with ADHD can achieve their full potential by empowering themselves with effective self-management and supportive systems and habits. I’ve seen it happen. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with a willingness to change, a commitment to invest and a plan of action, it can happen for you too.