It is a strange irony that some of the most creative and innovative founders and creators with the most ideas, also struggle with motivation and getting things done.
The following might be familiar if you're a Founder/Creator who has ADD/ADHD, diagnosed or not. (And of course, I'm not diagnosing you but...)
- "I've got lots of domains I don't use, at least 30 of them."
- "I've got about 25 new business ideas I don't create, all perfect for the vision, but none move forward."
- "I work on a project for 3 weeks before I skip to the next.
It's not the ideas that are the problem, those can come at 100mph.
It's the follow-through on the details, it's the "boring" parts of the business that never seem to quite get complete.
It's making the big choices, the hard choices instead of switching to something else that seems interesting yet is not truly going to move the needle.
You drag your feet on executing on the opportunities to expand.
And you struggle with follow-through and organization that takes your ideas and structures them in a continuous line of progress.
There are of course dozens of "productivity" based solutions. Habits classes, and the like. However…
While each of these can be useful as a tool in your toolbelt, they still seem to be at odds with your natural structure.
And if this is the case, it’s like your fighting against the current to stay afloat.
And, if you take a break from this pushing forward to "rest" it can take you a week or two weeks just to get back on the horse.
What do I mean about structure?
If you're a founder/creator, with an ADHD diagnosis or just struggling with motivation and organization, this "macro" view might be more important than you think.
Whether we know it or not, we have built a structure for how we engage with the world around us.
When things are going well, it’s likely that the structure we’re in helps us find success.
What does a helpful structure look like?
- You delay looking at your email until noon.
- You meditate every morning for 10 minutes.
- You have a friend that you share your ideas with every week on Fridays.
But we also have UNHELPFUL structures that lead to us going astray, and compounding the negative side effects of or wandering attention.
- We check our phones first thing in the morning
- We snack on sugar late at night
- We delay major decisions
- We forget small yet important tasks or calendar events
- We make work more complex for ourselves than it needs to be
And, if you zoom out even further, there are Macro-Structures that dictate even MORE of how we’re feeling.
Macro structures like…
- What type of business we’re in
- How we relate to the people in our lives
- Being able to “turn off” and find joy in small moments
- A slow leak of motivation that turns into introspection and “pulling away” from the things we used to be excited about
- Major decisions, “stopping” what we’re doing, making a change
Each of these is like a container that we are living and moving in.
It is the “water” that we don’t always think about while we try harder at finding success against the wind in our own sails.
Founding a company or shipping a project to the world is one of the hardest things you can do and it can feel isolating.
I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs leave a wreckage of businesses behind them.
They cope with caffeine and often burn out from working ever harder seeking logical-sounding advice while still being stuck in the same structure.
Upgrading Your Structure
A good friend, mentor, or coach will suggest ideas for what you can do within your current structure.
This is the basic advice that 99% of people will give you.
A great friend, business coach, or mentor will help you rebuild and redefine your structure entirely.
It will be more like taking a step back to go forward, and that feels… strange.
It might take refocusing on your strengths, it might take letting go of some areas that aren’t truly where your best efforts are spent, even if they feel exciting.
Structural changes balance your weaknesses.
The Right Partner Can Bring Balance
The idea is to find someone who can balance you.
Someone who can kindly notice the obvious.
The right partner generously says “no” even when most others blindly get caught up in your charisma and optimism and convincing.
They help you adjust your work to position yourself in ever-better structures; relationships, mental, career...
If you want to discuss finding or hiring that partner, send me a note.
My hope is that Caffeine feels like that partner.
And, if you're a Founder looking for 1-1 help building your business, just reach out.