By Jenna Knight
I discovered I had ADHD when I had a confrontation with my professor about not bringing down my final exam. It was so bad, they called campus security. The director of the Disability Services Office was also called in. The director of the DSO gave me the choice of going with campus security or to her office. My best bet was to go to her office and wait for her. By the time she came back, I had calmed down. I was a little surprised when she handed me an ADHD self-assessment and asked me to fill it out. Each statement has a score from 1 to 5. I scored a 5 on each statement. The director looked at me and said she thought I had ADHD. In fact, she said it was something she had suspected since I started there.
I called the outpatient psychiatry clinic at University of Massachusetts and I booked an appointment the next day. After a three-hour evaluation with the psychiatrist, my diagnosis with ADHD combined type was official. He ruled out a substance disorder and put me on Ritalin. What a difference that made after I took my first dose!
Before my diagnosis, I lived with reckless behavior, substance abuse, difficulty in school, lack of concentration, disorganization, poor time management and procrastination. I had a serious impulse control problem.
Later, I learned about ADHD coaching from a coach attending a meeting I was chairing. I was already leaning toward starting my own business, but when I heard her say ADHD coaching, I wanted to know more! Once I heard what she did, I had the biggest aha moment of my life! I went home that night and started writing my business plan. For a year I worked with the Small Business Administration to make sure I had dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on my business plan. It was great working with Mike, my SBA counselor, because he got it… I officially launched my business on May 14, 2011.
I swore none of my clients would ever feel like a failure, but rather a work in progress. I only focus on my client’s full potential. My clients feel more relaxed when they learn I also have ADHD. They relate to me more easily.
Today, I am the owner of the Never Defeated Coaching Practice. My responsibilities for my business change day to day. I plan out my week on Sunday evenings based on my master to do list. I reserve certain days for clients, and on the remaining days I write my blog and newsletter. I also create posts for my Facebook business page. There is so much more I do – life as an entrepreneur is never boring. I could write a book!
One of the things I use to keep me organized is my master list. Once a month I write out my master to do list of all the things I need to get done that month. This includes personal appointments such as going to the dentist or seeing a doctor plus my business activities. I use this list to write plan my schedule in my Panda Planner on what I have to do. Some of the things I do week to week are the same and some days are different.
I try to use a body double most of the time to help me with my distractions. If I can’t have an actual human at home with me, I keep the television on, and it helps me avoid getting distracted.
One of the main things that has helped me succeed in my business is my Buddhist practice. One of the wisdoms from sensei is to never be defeated. I always keep that in my mind and I chant daimoku each morning and evening to assist me to overcome any obstacle. Another thing that has helped me succeed in my business is my perseverance. I have been through a lot in my life and I overcome anything that gets in my way.
Seeing my clients overcome their ADHD challenges and watching them blossom is so rewarding! My faith and my never-give-up attitude will serve me well. I will succeed. (So far, so good!) I hope I can inspire women with ADHD to take the first step to fulfill their dreams and goals!