Service businesses can have scope-creep and be a nightmare to scale operationally even with the right team in place (mental bandwidth needs to be focused for me to function at all)... so that's why I went digital and I am managing my lanes in a manner that respects my own balance.
Digital products have a built-in scope and are super clear/easy to scale for the right clients who are already looking for that type of solution.
My business model is 100% remote, no travel, little to no meetings (email is as good, if not better for many situations like varying time zones), nothing IRL and this has sped up my creative process as ADHD is permanent and if I want my business to work, it has to fit my wiring 100%.
What happened to the brands who tried to appeal to everyone during a stress test like the pandemic?
But Amazon & Uber with their ultra-niche markets (niche means not appealing to all) thrived, so whose example am I mapping out my workflows and business with? 🤷♀️
Working 1:1 would not suit my time limits.
Scaling operations down has expanded my focus which works better for the long-term, and while everything may lead somewhere amazing - not everything fits a clearly defined schedule.
Protecting my recharge time precedes all else.
Trade-offs are part of decisive pruning.
Having multiple lanes is fine, as long as the other lanes are well-managed and have time allocations that are not excessive, it is very possible to have multiple things going on especially with technology.
✨ I will take the time constraints of self-funding my start-up over giving up creative control to someone else, the entire purpose of this is that it's my creation. ✨
Time is not a scalable lever and is not always related to the end result, innovation is a lever (leverage).
Creativity = solitude.
Then, purposeful collaboration with carefully selected people, we have a baseline of business operations to manage that won't manage itself 100% under automation and still requires scheduled time, so this is why there is no clownery and clear scopes.
You will *not* have more time with fewer lanes if you cannot manage your energy and time among via various commitments, more time is rarely the solution, my multi-lane approach is a more logical/stable hustle and forced constraints are fabulous for innovation/use of technology.
Powerful alliances with suppliers
Time is not a lever and destroying your mental energy away from the core priorities for added headcount prematurely isn't logical if all else (innovation) isn't leveraged first.
Not making upfront/critical "this sounds great, but doesn't fit my logistical limitations" decisions (not every opportunity will) isn't solved by more headcount/time, those resources will be wasted without clarity of vision. Burning 2 hours a week isn't solved by adding 30 hours.
Doing too many small things that don't make a difference long-term will make you exhausted by the time you get to the big things that move the needle. I really don't care if I have to drop a few projects if it means my core priorities are in order.
Not every idea/deal fits, that's part of life. It's not an entertainment centre, it's a business.
A business is a long-term investment so the "new" stream that seems shiny may very well destroy bandwidth for what builds longevity slower (core operations with excellence first), in choosing health first - I know I will see better results over a span of time.
My business doesn't trade my time (that I do not have much of as I manage a disability) for results, it trades innovation/knowledge for results.
Time is not leverage, automation is! If I had "more hours" I would still do this entire venture the same way with less than 3 hours a week (this is why everything is screened heavily before I take it on). Time isn't candy, it isn't free. I separate my charity and business streams.
Focus on a maximum of a few things naturally compounds onto itself.
My scope and my direct involvement in this business is *not* a requirement for growth, I am not interested in doing everything so the delusion that more hours means anything needs to be buried. I outsource and I automate because ADHD.
Outsourcing business parts that are nonsensical for me to do so I can manage my gym time to increase quality of presence in all areas of life, don't mind my self-absorbed-muscle-meat-head phase because it has nothing to do with mental health at all! Obviously health maintains itself without guaranteed time carved out outside of main obligation like a robot-machine that is inanimate with no dignity. Just kidding.
Loving what you do doesn't change the amount of rest, recharge, and guaranteed sleeping hours you need daily in order to function. Hustle culture is pure delusion.
Potential is unlimited, time is not.
Also, I don't remember asking anyone, ever, how I should manage two lanes, if I should manage two lanes, or whether they think I should drop to one. No. Anyone else's lack of creative innovation to do both is truly not my problem, so back up and mind your business, respectfully.
ADHD is actually a gift when managed properly as it permits me to have a combination of paths in the right proportions for me (combo of stability and whatever-random-project-I-feel-like-when-I-feel-like (my business is based on innovation/AI/technology).
Any brand lacking common sense as to how context-switching is more painful for someone with ADHD than someone without ADHD simply writing an email is one I would stay away from happily, such people would not survive even a day with a disability. I love deciding who I work with.
We cannot refocus after pointless context-switching, but what is the harm of just using email if that's not painful to someone without an ADHD brain? I would not break my hard-to-attain consecutive focus for a deal I can live without - I can live without any brand who thinks writing an email is inconvenient, but try living with ADHD? (Those who personalize the differences of others and lace it with the insinuation that it is difficult are the weak ones).
Those who have issues with how others live their life, all while bothering no one, should manage their insecurities internally and not take it out on other people and make it our responsibility to manage it because it's not.
There is a hard line between sharing parts of my life on social media to inspire others, and then having my personal choices dictated by people who are not being asked to do so.
I connect with the Universe for my creativity, so I am not here to canvass opinions from unqualified sources.
I want to make it abundantly clear that if I have not personally recruited someone to be on the board of directors of *my* business, I'm not at all interested in mentally-energy-and-focus-draining opinions. I have a good balance of people on it right now who get my vision. 💙
The way to handle scaling when you have a health issue is automation, the solution is never more time as that's not a lever. Media, innovation, contractors, tech, AI = levers. Levers are limitless despite our own restrictions due to health. You can go after goals via creativity.
A business does not have to have a traditional structure to be legitimate. Low overhead is how you survive various market conditions.
Innovate how you want and when you want. Just because resting is not as popular as hustle culture doesn't mean that it's bad. I mean, everyone needs a specific amount of hours to rest per day in order to function at a baseline and innovation pretty much guarantees it. I don't work with anyone who sees wellness as an option or a luxury.
You can scale up or down depending on how you feel and how tired you are, and that's the beauty of online businesses. I wouldn't do anything that requires physical presence at a certain time, no matter how much more time I do or do not have.
I like efficiency because I don't have a lot of time to run this business in the first place so it is what it is, it is very important that every move I make impacts the bottom line positively rather than draining it.
Faith is making illogical decisions with your heart while being grounded by your unique values, not what others think you should do as they don't know your vision and core needs (what makes you sane and happy) as well as you do.
I wouldn't have efficient ideas for my business without the time restrictions and that's the model that works for my ADHD, being forced to innovate from the very first day is much more powerful than having all the time in the world and just wasting it on nonsense (for me). I have no need for trial and error when I have intuition.
When I am tired, I can drop streams from my business as I please so it's definitely not a hindrance to anything else which is what I like about being 100% digital and more time would not change this, I would just get contractors to scale if needed so I can live my life.
I couldn't scale back whenever I pleased if I had physical locations and real estate to pay for.
Self-worth is not measured by how much you can do for others or how big your business/career can be, rather it comes from within, and then you manage the overflow after filling your own cup and managing your own household first. I used to do self-care, while doing other things which kind of defeats the purpose of self-care, because that should be time carved out un-bothered except by dependents.
The luxury of being able to scale back when I want to is because of a stable day job, I don't care if it's supposedly my potential, I actually think it increases it because of my time constraints.
A lot of people want billions of dollars with 65,000 employees in various countries and I think that's a beautiful goal to have. I just want my peace and my health to be honest while making sure I can provide for myself, my household, and leave a significant legacy, but that legacy should not cost me more than it should within reason.
The price of peace is that scaling needs to be done in a different manner, and not necessarily with millions of employees, but maybe a few of them and then using technology so that I can genuinely scale down without breaking everything whatever I feel like and whenever I'm really tired which can happen at any point with ADHD without any notice.
It would be an incredible lack of credibility for my craft and business if I scale it higher than it should be for the days where I crash without any notice, and really need something that I can easily catch up on (without backlogs). If I have backlogs, I get very stressed out and I can't think straight so managing my life in a way that suits my health is the first priority even if that's perceived as a holdback, I don't think it's a holdback, because of what technology is capable of producing on my behalf.
A peaceful business model is what's important for me. I need to be able to switch off 100% when I'm at the gym and not have to think about it, and that means that everything I do in terms of operations needs to be done either by technology, or managed by me at a very minimal level or outsourced. This takes a lot more efficiency upfront, and I think that it takes a lot of skill because it's about the significance of the hours rather than the quantity. I would rather give back in a focussed manner as well that be all over the place and that makes sure that my disability self-care time is not bothered.
Part of self-love is respecting your capacity limitations / vision / and pouring into yourself first. Over-commitment leads to poor quality. All the time. Always.
I thought that I was burn out proof, I was delusional, we all have mental capacity limits and I did not respect mine before. I am not perfect with my balance right now and I don't have it all together all the time, but this is still a massive shift from my delusion of before.
You do not need to (nor do you have capacity to):
>solve every issue
Provided you do your part, the Universe will deliver your blessings through the vehicles of your choice.
Confidently choose your tools/niche. Ignore trends.
The work I take on for my business is proportionate to the fact that I don't replace myself when I take time off, double the work in the same strict non-negotiable working hours when I come back is illogical. I plan weeks in advance to respect my capacity and workload ability.
Showing up 1-to-many is the o n l y sustainable framework for this venture and expansion is in systems / processes / speed, I don't want to bog myself down with extra overhead, I like this a lot more, respecting my capacity is working wonders for overall creativity. 🙏
There are segments of your life that are for your mental health exclusively and this ensures sustainably being able to work and show up for your business ventures at 10000% capacity for the long-term, a backlog of unmet self-care needs puts you and your work in jeopardy. Gym is my sanctuary (and I believe in quiet time, whether someone is extroverted or introverted).
Any spontaneous work does not fit a stable scope.
With ADHD, stability in general and a scope are very important because I have to take into account insomnia buffers on top of the time it takes just to manage the disability on a daily basis. The adventure in my life comes from my brain and the fluctuating hours, but baselines are very important.
Health limits just means that your best within your capacity will not limit your growth when it’s focused. So focused growth is high growth for ADHD.
Time freedom is what I am receiving from using innovation and I really value that.
The vision and vehicle used to obtain financial wellness is more important than the end game, as health precedes all.
Sadly we don't receive a warning before crash mode so scaling back at *any* time is critical for my survival, that's why I hire contractors not employees as I am doing things responsibly rather than frivolously just to scale for the sake of it without sustainable infrastructure.
Literally 90% of my business is based on automation, I actually do not work as much as people think I do, I did have to set it up but I am falling tf back for real now that it's digitized and I am not doing anything that resembles work on my time off for my mental recharge time.
Efficient work methods and automations are how I make sure that I go home on time and manage my household and my rest needs with a disability. Those things precede my ability to function.
There is definitely more glamour in traditional business models, but they are the first to lose their real estate when ish hits the fan in the market. Having an online business means my overhead costs are lower, so lower costs for clients as they end up paying for it in the end.
Valuable content builds care and "know like trust" factors online, not much less is feasible or scalable.
There is no "only" way to success as you define it for you, forget what everyone else is doing and how they're doing it and focus on your unique gifts. I had a hard time accepting my ADHD, now that I have: I am getting the right deals that respect my wiring and time.
I LOVE my clients so no, I am not going to take on so many streams where I disrespect the service levels I owe them... Respecting your own scope is respecting quality control.
Many will try to disguise their agenda as support when it ends up being a nuisance to your vision or redirecting you or slowing down, your brand is yours - not theirs.
Not having a clear scope makes it impossible to identify distractions, glad that's out of the way now for my business.
The administrative and operational costs are actual labour costs that are rarely calculated when people randomly start adding components to their business, it's not fair to their clients if they're not able to deliver properly, so why add it in the first place?
A scope is the opposite of slacking, it is the epitome of commitment to not only intensity during set hours, but wellness outside of set hours that is guaranteed. A scope protects your business/creates healthy people who use innovation to leave on time (respecting themselves).
Please don't take business advice from someone who would rather do triple the work and suck up their evening (instead of sleeping on time) than innovating a faster way forward that uses less resources, those types try to make innovation seem lazy when it's their own thinking that lacks creativity.
The dangers of not having a clear scope are poor results and confusing results. Never ever take seriously anyone who ever acted like having a scope is slacking or making it seem like you should feel bad for wanting one or trick you out of confidently wanting a scope. Your business owes only its fair share, the rest of your time is for other areas of life.
You would be silly to overpromise and under-deliver. Those who put boundaries and limits and scopes around their work are actually the ones who care about quality control. We all have limited time in a day whether it's kids or disabilities so keep it in the hours allocated.
Let's say you can afford an added business cost or an added business stream right now, can you afford it during every season of the year or just this season? Are you making long-term decisions based on short-term circumstances? It has to work through all conditions/angles.
Since 99.9% of work can/should be done over email and FaceTime is very strictly reserved, I'm not forcing any brand to work with me because my mental wheelchair (email only) comes before their sense of fake inconvenience based on a very simple communication method switch.
Never confuse a scope or an accommodation with slacking or lack of work ethic because those are the tools of people who are inconvenienced by respecting you and want you out of the game/picture rather than actually adapting their lazy thinking, I don't work with brands like that.
Guaranteed rest should be basic and not a luxury, if you can't anticipate managing your home, nutrition, and sleep from one day to the next and you're not a police officer or emergency responder... There may be a lack of leveraging innovation.
It being my own brand means I can cut my hours as I please.
I didn't start this to be "on" all the time, it is designed to be 100% online and to work with people who resonate with it. I am not looking to appeal to everyone and destroy my focus trying to do that.
Not resting or having the space to do so at the most basic level (and having no guarantees of time for rest) will allow the infiltration and destruction of your mind so protecting your health is your best protection in any situation: I wish I had learned this before.
You do not owe anything to those who think you should do more or express your gifts differently, you are a human with limited time and needs for rest. Do what is best for you and the right ones will appreciate what you're able to do. Block off that rest time. Self-worth first. ✨
We are not bad focusers, and we are not "extra" or nuts, we just genuinely have no control over that focus circuit the same way that someone who can't walk isn't going to magically grow legs. I just don't know how else to explain it.
The ADHD focus circuit cannot be reconnected once broken so we need to guard both work time and recharge time.
The more you value what you're doing, the more you're going to value taking care of yourself because that's how you last long-term whether or not you have a disability: so overworking is not a sign of passion, but actually respecting yourself and your scope is a sign of passion.
Functioning differently is not a low tolerance for stress necessarily, and being unable to re-focus after an interruption that isn't justified isn't a low tolerance for pressure, it is a fundamental need for different work methods and scopes, ADHD is beautiful when honed in.
I do not extend my working hours or days even on my own business for anything that is not mission-critical for the type of work done and the accomplishment of the outcome (services rendered).
A disability does not go away, we just get more innovative with our work and business, we will never have "more" time to spare.
I operate within the constraints of my health, and anyone who is not a dependent that has a problem with the limits of my availability is going to be shown the door very quickly.
I would never desire less balance than I have now, and I don't understand the correlation between working yourself into the ground and expecting growth because that's actually how you end up in the hospital, that's not how you grow up business or an actual genuine craft...
Remote work saves a lot of energy with people who are already on energetic reserves on most days due to a disability. If the work can be done remotely, it should.
I would not want to redo work, do double the work, or do manual work when it could be automated even within my own business if it is baseless and reduces my quality of life... I can't see why that would appeal to anyone when it should just be purposeful work being focused on.
Anything that's based on innovation does not rely on excessive manual labour that could be automated in the first place, so there's no correlation between more hours and more growth or more hours and passion. I think it's the biggest lie of hustle culture. Anything semi-structured can be done remotely.
There is nothing materialistic about wanting the best that life has to offer and safeguarding your education/and legacy, especially if you're willing to work for it, having a disability is actually not going to stop me, but it makes me even more intense about building my life.
The right people will understand you effortlessly and the rest would probably not survive a day trying to manage a disability in addition to multiple commitments, so don't worry about those people... You're not here to gain likes, or approval, you're here to express. With innovation, your business can become more passive so all you do is the marketing and promotional stuff and the backend ends up being "AI" or technology. It can take "work" upfront, but worth it long-term as a gift from you to you, a massive investment.
I am not afraid of refusing deals that do not fit my schedule and it's my decision which considers ADHD first always... The main purpose of having a side-business that I own is my agency over what I do and what I don't do. Those meant to resonate with me will understand that it is 100% remote. ✨✨✨
ADHD processes information differently and cannot easily refocus after context-switching so we will manage our e-mails
when we have "mental bandwidth" available, this is why we preserve virtual meetings for when it is direly necessary. This is not that innovative though, it's the basic removal of a barrier.
If needing 99.9% of work over emails rather than meetings is limiting, I wonder how my Forbes feature came about? I removed the notion that everything requires meetings aka a barrier. 🔥 I do love that most people are fine with using email as a main means in this day and age, those are my people.
It's not the different need, it's the resistance of the inflexible minds that haven't evolved, but when accommodations become more popular, those people are much less relevant.
I have tangible and real limitations; however, my work methods are innovative and that crushes the limitations and destroys them. I also know that when I am more tired, I choose the streams of my business to put on pause at any time as it is a very lean and innovative operation.
I don't really care how someone else defines potential and success, I care about reasonable time freedom to manage ADHD (severe - permanent - not going to change or get magically cured with sunshine and lollipops), and I care about health and a legacy. All else is extra.
The ongoing disability management itself takes precedence over superfluous added extras.
Your contributions with a disability and the way in which you're able to show up within your capacity limits and you doing your part and your part only (but doing it very well) will be respected by the right ones, we're not here to seek approval or validation, just resonance.
Combine extremely restricted work hours, intense desire to be nothing like what you saw in your childhood around you, and purpose aka true inner fire that says "I am not an ADHD statistic" and you get innovation/efficiency at the onset because I am born to win.
I don't want to spend hours or time on the side hustle, I want to spend knowledge / brain power upfront so that I can sell / resell the digital products (solving problems for others remotely). The economy I'm in is one of knowledge and hours being spent isn't how growth happens.
Let's normalize respecting our limits and knowing that this is different than a comfort zone, I push my limits in the gym, but when it comes to my time and energy, I respect my limits now... I'm getting so much more done as well!
Knowing something doesn't mean you have the energy to break your ADHD focus circuit (or consecutive rest) and be pulled away from priorities at-hand and physical proximity doesn't mean mental availability either so it's important to guard that mental wheelchair and not loosen the parameters.
You'd be a fit for XYZ if you had the time, they can find someone else.
My creative thinking requires heavy solitude, but there is no way that I could do what I'm doing if I didn't have suppliers and contractors, right? So there is a time for solo work, and there is a time for collaboration, it's just about finding the balance that suits you.
A clear scope for my business means I don't have anything to worry about outside of those hours even if I tried.
I'm not going to punish my efficiency by taking on unnecessary deals either, I earned this ability to scale back.
✨ Rest or work bursts for my variant of ADHD must be consecutive and unbroken as I can't rewire the mental circuit if broken, embracing this has been lovely. The wheelchair we need is mental. Hyperfocus all the way to crash is unbalanced, but that's the nature of a race car brain. ✨
Unless it is critical to the existence of the mission, needle-moving, and it absolutely can't be automated or done with a different communication method, the buffers for insomnia don't move = why my business is digital. It's not a perk, it's a disability.
Overstimulation is louder in the absence of insomnia buffers (burnout ensues), so I don’t move those buffers needlessly especially in my business. That is a higher sacrifice (disability) than collaborating via different communication methods that are neurodiversity-respecting.
Any method of communication can foster professional connections (if it's genuine).
Sleep and wake cycle times do not change the fact that we require more rest and naps due to the race car brain on its own, insomnia is just an added thing. If a digital structure isn't ideal, no one is forcing anyone to work with my brand, I am certainly not.
Being upfront about what you can and cannot provide is actually doing people a favour and it's quite authentic. I.e: if you're looking for XYZ, I can't do that. I think that's a beautiful thing.
The right people are going to resonate effortlessly, it's not supposed to be complicated.