By Judy Brenis
As an ADHD Coach, Linda Walker gives her clients hope that they can turn their lives around. Rather than spending time trying to overcome their challenges, Walker helps adults with ADHD focus on their strengths and use creativity to create routines that work for them.
“My strength is seeing and bringing out the best in people,” she says. “Teaching, consulting and coaching were always my most rewarding experiences.”
A “serial entrepreneur,” Walker says that, even as a young girl growing up in Montreal, she was always running one business or another. When she got older, Walker obtained her Business Administration degree, and launched several businesses including a retail store, a consulting business for organizations, and then coaching. Interspersed were jobs in sales, project management and teaching business administration and entrepreneurship classes.
Walker has the perfect background for starting a coaching business. But it was her marriage to Duane Gordon, who discovered he had ADHD after their daughter was diagnosed, that led Walker down the path of ADHD coaching. Witnessing how much Duane’s coach helped him change his life inspired her to seek specialized training as an ADHD coach in order to do the same for others.
Walker is extremely frank when she explains that being married to Duane, prior to his diagnosis, was very difficult. “We had such a chaotic life,” she says, “and I was resigned to living that way. I loved Duane, but he was a very challenging person to live with, and I just accepted that my life would always be difficult. I felt like I had to be the parent to three kids, when I really wished I had the support of husband taking care of the two we had.”
Within a month of him working with a coach, however, she says she began to see a difference and to feel hopeful again.
“Despite serious financial issues we were facing at the time, we decided it was worth the investment,” Walker says. “Duane’s transformation was nothing short of miraculous. With coaching, Duane was finally able to deal with his ADHD symptoms. I could count on him. Duane learned how to work with his brain instead of against it, actually converting symptoms into strengths, and life took an exciting 180-degree turn almost overnight.”
A few years later, in 2004, Walker enrolled in the ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), knowing that her business background and ability to related to ambitious, energetic people and entrepreneurs would give her the skills needed to help the people who hadn’t yet learned to tap into their true potential.
Walker is now a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) specialized in ADHD coaching. She continues to take special training for coaching groups dealing with change as well as distance and online learning so that she can continue to improve her clients’ experience and ensure they will successfully complete the numerous programs she offers. Of course, she always does this with the goal of reaching and helping more adults with ADHD.
Walker has even written a book, “With Time To Spare: the Ultimate Guide to Peak Performance for Entrepreneurs, Adults with ADHD and other Creative Geniuses,” as a way to share her approach with as many adults with ADHD as possible.
While she continues to offer one-on-one coaching for entrepreneurs and professionals with ADHD, Walker has also developed a variety of online training programs.
“Many adults, when they are first diagnosed, have so much to learn and, with years of emotional baggage to sort through, they are often not ready to jump right to coaching,” says Walker.
To provide an affordable, guided experience to help adults with ADHD learn ‘the basics’ while still seeing immediate improvements in their lives, Walker began to develop programs such as “Thrive!” and “Achieve!” that teach ADHDers the basics of working with their ADHD instead of against it. These programs are designed to help adults with ADHD improve their productivity and work performance so they no longer have to invest all of their time working late just to keep their job and have energy left to work on their ADHD. Recently, she’s also added mentoring to support students taking these programs and to help keep them motivated and on track. Realizing that some adults with ADHD may not believe online training (or any training!) can be effective for them, Walker decided to create her newest program, “Your Path Forward.” This is a program designed to help you conquer ADHD one manageable step at a time. It is also meant to be an easily accessible and user-friendly trial of online learning for those trying virtual coaching programs for the first time. Everyone can access “Your Path Forward” because Walker has made the program available for free.
Walker says, “‘Your Path Forward’ is a good start to learning how to succeed with ADHD. It gives you the confidence of knowing that investing some time learning how to apply new approaches to old problems will have a direct, positive impact in your life.”
This new program, which you can find at AdultADHDSolutions.com, grew from a conversation at an ADDA conference she attended. While at the book table, a friend commented that she had read so many self-help books but what she really needed was for someone to take her by the hand and spoon-feed her one thing to do at a time!
“That is pretty much what I have done,” says Walker about this new program. Walker says she realized that even though a lot of information was out there, either people weren’t acting on it or they were going overboard, taking on too much at once.
To overcome this challenge, Walker developed a program for adults with ADHD where members receive guidance towards change in small doses. Participants are assigned a small, but significant action to take each week. Once they take that action, adjust, and get comfortable, they get another small dose of information with another small but significant action to take.
Taking one tiny bite at a time helps program participants to achieve their goals, Walker points out. Each week they continue by adding one more bite-size task.
Ultimately, she has found that, as hoped, people eventually start to combine those actions into routines that they continue to act on. Too often people try to take huge leaps that they can’t sustain and give up, sometimes just as the effort was about to pay off. But it is consistency over the long term that counts. “Your Path Forward” is helps create the tools that support consistency.
Recently, Walker launched “Your Path Forward.” Since then, she has had many positive responses from participants, but don’t take her word for it – or theirs. Walker invites any who dare to take action to join her on a three-month journey where they will begin to make transformative changes through “quick wins” — small changes that make a significant difference in your life quickly.
Walker believes that 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 investing in your success and a plan of action, it can happen.”
Walker says she is as excited as ever to be helping those who are overwhelmed, scattered and scrambling to keep up, because she has seen transformation first-hand and knows she can make a difference.
Judy Brenis is an ADHD coach based in Santa Cruz, California and author of “ADHD Heroes.” ADHD has touched her life in the form of her daughter who was diagnosed with ADHD at age five. Judy is passionate about helping those with ADHD create successful, happy, and healthy lives. Reach her at www.judyadhdcoaching.com.