Aron appeared to have it all together when he got into Harvard. But that was the beginning of his demise. He struggled non-stop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage, failing out of his first seven jobs and businesses. But after getting a masters degree in coaching psychology and a diagnosis of inattentive ADHD, his life changed. He built a successful fortune 500 career, got married, and discovered how to get shit done with a neurodivergent brain.
RIght before Eric and Aron hit record, Aron also adds another skill in pillow fort building for reducing slap-back audio in a not-perfectly-acoustic room!
[00:02:26] – Eric and Aron start at the “bottom” of Aron’s story. Aron gets into Harvard and explains how he dropped out twice before graduating, hating school, being outmatched and outclassed. He lost the structure he had around him, moving from south Florida to Boston, and was sick of the pain to get things done by waiting until the last minute until fear motivated him to get things done, studying computer science. Eric affirms that activation energy can be amazing, but comes at a price.
[00:05:10] – Aron talks about the ways he got through high school, building relationships with teachers that felt inauthentic, feeling like he needed to be studying subjects that had “right” answers, such as math and science. He goes into how it was easier to bounce back from dropping out of school the first time.
[00:07:11] – Aron shares how he moved his life to an island off the coast of New Zealand, his plan to retire early, and what came out of these decisions he made in his early 20’s, navigating with some minor inconvenient factors he’d overlooked. Even though Aron and his then-fiance quickly discovered boredom, he doesn’t regret his decisions.
[00:10:00] – Eric and Aron agree on the idea of boredom and “retirement”. Then, they discuss the “drug” of self-improvement. Then, Eric asks Aron how they got off the island.
[00:11:55] – Aron teaches Eric and the listeners about “The Harvard Curse” and being heavily influenced by his environment.
[00:13:32] – “It’s applying it that’s challenging for me.” – Aron
[00:22:16] – Eric asks Aron about the next 15 years. Aron talks about his first job out of school and a decision he wasn’t proud of in that chapter of his life. He then talks about the other jobs he had, but repeated a pattern of letting things pile up until the last minute to get things done. Aron explains how this affected his relationship – navigating without yet being diagnosed with ADHD. After a year and some at his second job, he takes his ambitious 25-year-old-self to start a business in real-estate. Then, queue a slight tangent about their handyman skills!
[00:25:41] – Aron shares a realization about being his own boss, moving to Australia, and going into sales. He then discovers a world-renowned program at the University of Sydney in Executive Coaching, seeing a Master’s Program in Coaching Psychology, changing the trajectory of his life for the better. His passion shines here, and tells the story about how a gag-gift from a friend sparked his relationship with personal development.
[00:30:50] – Eric and Aron fast forward to when he moved back from Australia to Chicago and landing a new job. Receiving some feedback and realizing his position is now at risk, Aron shares his story about the measures he took to keep himself employed.
If you are struggling with addiction, here are some resources available in the United States & Canada:
In the United States:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Institute of Mental Health
Get help with substance use – Canada.ca – The Government of Canada website lists the resources available for each province.
[00:38:14] – Eric has Aron dive into his “holy shit” moment of only having two weeks to redo his work while under probation. Aron talks about his “swiss-cheese” resume and the drastic measure (which is NOT endorsed by ADHD reWired and its team or Aron Croft). He [Aron] then realized what it meant when people told him to “just focus.” Eric also affirms the Oh-moment, while Aron explains how these actions led to scheduling an appointment to getting an ADHD diagnosis. Then, Eric and Aron share the experience when they were asked how they managed to “survive” and “get this far” before getting diagnosed.
[00:42:55] – Aron not only finishes his work after getting thrown under the bus, his environment changes and starts ADHD medication, and starts crushing it – getting promoted four times in six years. Then, Eric throws Aron a tough question, as he recounts working 9 hour days in a job he didn’t love, leading to some isolation. Aron shares his realization when ADHD medication wasn’t enough and needed to see the bigger picture and using specific strategies.
[00:46:17] – Eric reflects on his past successes and how he would do things differently.
[00:47:50] – Aron shares the process of how he went from “Procrastinator in Chief” to developing the SMASH productivity System, his thoughts and feelings as he dug into the process while looking into his future, and what happened after his “fit of freaking out”. He talks about 30-minute productivity blocks, then mastering those principles in a 30-minute block that he could replicate.
[00:50:56] – “I’m not going to outwork neurotypicals, so I need to outsmart them.” – Aron
[00:51:01] – Select High-Leverage Actions
[00:52:13] – Minimize Distractions
[00:52:42] – Add Accountability
[00:55:30] – Schedule it First!
[00:56:51] – Hone Your Process
[00:58:03] – Aron mentions using the Staircase Method and layering small improvements overtime.
[00:58:57] – Aron & Eric share their closing thoughts… and it’s definitely worth a listen.
Connect with Aron:
- The One Thing by Gary Keller – A must-read and requirement before joining ADHD reWired’s Coaching & Accountability Groups (affiliate link)
“If you struggle with prioritization, you must read this book.” – Eric Tivers
Check out the Other Podcasts on the ADHD reWired Podcast Network:
- adhdessentials.com with Brendan Mehan
- hackingyouradhd.com with Will Curb
- adhddiversified.ca with MJ Siemens
- adhdfriendlylifestyle.com with Moira Maybin
- coming soon – Wait, What Was the Question? with Will Curb and Coach Roxie Martin. Reach out to Will and Roxie at [email protected]
Don’t Forget These, Too!
- adhdrewired.com/patreon — Support the show by becoming a Patron!
- coachingrewired.com — Get your name on the waitlist to join the fall season of ADHD reWired’s Coaching and Accountability Groups
- adultstudyhall.com — Join your ADHD-friendly co-working space!
adhdrewired.com/events — Join Eric, Brendan, Will, MJ, Moira, Roxie, and Barb for an hour of Live Q&A on Zoom, every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 12:30pm Central (10:30am Pacific / 1:30pm Eastern)