How My ADHD Diagnosis Took CLP Advertising & Photography Services to the Next Level

Hey there, CLP fam! It’s Ellie Clare here, and today I want to get a little personal and let you in on something that has significantly affected me and my business over the years. In November 2023, I received a life-changing diagnosis: ADHD. That may sound like a bad thing, but it has proved to be a massive breakthrough. Even though this is something I have lived with all my life, receiving validation that what I was experiencing was real, and there are ways to help me function better, has led me to feel the most in control, stable and confident I have ever been. With diagnosis, I have been able to start appropriate medications and research (and implement) non-drug ways to help me cope with everything life throws at me. Before November last year, I just assumed what people said about me was true, such as being labelled lazy, dumb, loud, and weird.

Being diagnosed with ADHD was quite a journey, but it has actually taken CLP Advertising & Photography Services to a whole new level and helped me personally and professionally.

Understanding myself, understanding my business

Understanding myself, understanding my business

For years, I wrestled with self-doubt (even now, I still do, but that is also human nature). There were days I felt like a failure – constantly behind, stressed, and struggling to keep up. I would get angry at myself for procrastinating for hours because a task I had to complete was hard or boring. Ironically, I started CLP to escape that very feeling!

It wasn’t until a friend with ADHD described her symptoms that a lightbulb went off. “Wait a minute,” I thought, “that’s me too!” The diagnosis was a revelation. Suddenly, everything clicked. It wasn’t laziness or incompetence, I am not stupid or weird (Ok, I am a little weird, but I’m ok with that!); it was ADHD. This newfound understanding was incredibly empowering – it allowed me to forgive myself and finally see my challenges for what they were, not who I am!

From frustration to focus: Embracing my ADHD strengths

Now, let’s talk superpowers! One of the biggest gifts ADHD has given me is hyperfocus. Ever get so engrossed in a project that time just melts away? That’s hyperfocus, and it’s my secret weapon for productivity. Since my diagnosis, I’ve learned to leverage this strength. I strategically schedule tasks that demand deep concentration during my peak focus windows. It’s amazing what I can accomplish in a flow state! ADHD has also supercharged my creativity, and is a major factor in why I am good at what I do! I see solutions from unexpected angles and bring fresh ideas to every project. I don’t think my creativity would be as it is if I was what is called ‘neurotypical’, which is why I call it a superpower.

Challenges into strategies: Building a system for success

Of course, ADHD comes with its own set of hurdles. Distractibility can be a real foe. To combat this, I’ve developed a toolbox of strategies. Primarily, I rely on to-do lists and time management techniques. Breaking down large projects into smaller, actionable steps keeps me on track. I also utilise technology – apps that block distractions and timers to keep me focused – anything to give my brain that extra nudge it needs.

Does this sound familiar? Here is a meme that explains ADHD perfectly.

Free your focus: How to tame the thought tornado with ADHD

As someone with ADHD, I know the struggle is real when it comes to random thoughts. They bombard us like a never-ending hailstorm, easily derailing focus. But fear not, fellow thought jugglers! There are ways to quiet the chaos and reclaim your mental space.

Here are two strategies that have been absolute game-changers for me:

  • The parking lot: Imagine your brain as a bustling city, with thoughts zipping around like cars. To avoid gridlock, we need a designated “parking lot” for these thoughts. Enter the humble notebook! Jot down any fleeting thought, idea, or to-do the moment it pops up. This frees your mind from the burden of remembering and allows you to return to the task at hand.
  • The mighty to-do list: This isn’t your average grocery list (but start one of them too!). It’s your personal command centre! Every task, big or small, personal or professional, gets captured here. Emails become actionable items added to the list with due dates. Recurring tasks, like medication reminders, become automated entries, ensuring nothing gets missed. The beauty? Your brain can finally relax, knowing everything is accounted for. You’ll never have that frantic “Did I take my meds?” moment again.

By implementing even just these two simple strategies, you’ll be surprised how much mental energy you free up. It’s like giving your brain a vacation from the constant effort to remember everything. So, grab a notebook or use Google Tasks like I do and start your to-do list revolution. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish when your focus is finally in the driver’s seat.

The ADHD advantage: A different way to win

So, how has this all impacted CLP? Firstly, I’m kinder to myself. I understand that my brain works differently, and I’ve built a system that supports my strengths and mitigates challenges. Secondly, I’m more productive than ever. By channelling my hyperfocus and embracing flexibility, I get more done in less time. Finally, I’m a better problem-solver. My unique perspective allows me to see creative solutions that others might miss.

Photo of Ellie from CLP Advertising & Photography Services, her Business Coach, Michael Clift from Venture Cultication Coaching and Jodie Gibson from Jodie Gibson Wellbeing. At BNI Awards 2024.

Even superheroes need a sidekick (a helping hand)! The best thing I ever did for myself was engage a business coach. They helped me cut through the whirlwind caused by ADHD, refocus on what truly matters in my business, and tackle the general challenges of being a business owner. It’s been a game-changer for my personal and professional growth.

Huge shout out to Michael Clift from Venture Cultivation Coaching – an amazing business coach with a no-nonsense approach that gets results!

Picture: Jodie Gibson from Jodie Gibson Wellbeing, Ellie from CLP Advertising & Photography Services, & Michael Clift from Venture Cultivation Coaching wearing their “Don’t be $h!t!” VCC slogan hats at the BNI WA Awards 2024.

Living with ADHD: It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!

If you’re an entrepreneur reading this and suspecting you might have ADHD, I would recommend taking the time to get tested. There’s no shame in it – it’s just slightly different wiring to the average brain! In fact, many successful entrepreneurs share this trait. The key is understanding yourself and developing strategies to work with your brain, not against it.

ADHD symptoms: Here’s a quick list to watch out for:

  • Inattentiveness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Restlessness & edginess
  • Difficulty keeping quiet (interrupting people)
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Hyperactivity
  • Continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
  • Impulsivity
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Continually losing or misplacing things
  • Disorganisation
  • Time management struggles
  • Need time pressure to complete difficult tasks
  • and more…

With the right tools and support, ADHD can be your secret weapon for business success! It doesn’t have to be what holds you back. We can help you develop a brand that reflects your unique personality and sets your business apart, all while supporting you so you can get some things off your task list. View our services here.

If this blog spoke to you on a level you didn’t expect, don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for more inspiring stories and tips for your business!

CLP Advertising & Photography Services: We understand you!