237: Don’t Dis-My-Ability with Shawn Smith

This Week’s Episode:

Shawn Smith joins me on the podcast this week.  Shawn has his Master’s in Education and Counseling.  He is the proud founder and CEO of Don’t dis-my-ability Consultation Services, an innovative, multi-faceted coming specializing in the emerging field of neurodiversity.  He is a counselor, psychotherapist, and national award-winning entrepreneur.

Diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive Type at age 30, Shawn struggle through every level of the public education system prior to his diagnosis.  It took Shawn 32 attempts to earn the 18 credits required to graduate high school.  Medication gave Shawn’s brain a jump start it needed to wake from 30 years of slumber, taking his thought process from dial-up to fiber-op.

In this conversation, you will hear Shawn talk about his company and the services he provides.  He explains why his company being located in a cooperative creates a constructive environment for his work.  Shawn discusses his background, his struggles in school, his diagnosis, and why the entrepreneurial life fits him well.

Connect with Shawn Smith:

Website – Don’t Dis My Ability

You’ll Learn:

  • [07:45] – Shawn describes the Villa cooperative, where his business is located.
  • [09:41] – Shawn provides some details on the services Don’t dis-my-ability provides, and shares how this environment fits him.
  • [10:47] – Keynotes and workshops are things that Shawn frequently does, and he describes the content of these offerings.
  • [11:54] – Shawn describes his life before diagnosis as “hell.”
  • [12:28] – We discuss the idea of being “lazy.”
  • [14:07] – Shawn describes some of the strategies he uses to stay organized and productive.
  • [15:47] – Shawn talks about growing up and seeing people around him making changes he wasn’t making.
  • [18:23] – A labor dispute is what led to Shawn’s diagnosis.
  • [22:07] – Shawn describes the changes in his life after diagnosis, and he started medication.
  • [24:06] – Shawn talks about being “snuck in” to college.
  • [25:26] – We talk about trying to filter out background noise, and I share my technique for accomplishing this.
  • [28:45] – Shawn shares more specific information on the services Don’t dis-my-ability provides.
  • [30:35] – Shawn talks about being a social entrepreneur and describes some of the challenges he faces in this role.  We also talk about being drawn to entrepreneurship out of boredom and resentment.
  • [34:42] – Shawn says the name of his business came from a rap beat he had in his head.
  • [40:06] – Shawn lists some of the things he does with his company.
  • [42:50] – Shawn shares how he plans projects. I talk about using Miranda to help with time zones.  We also talk about the challenge of writing checks and addressing envelopes as “macro thinkers.”
  • [45:49] – Shawn describes how to make context matter.
  • [48:37] – Shawn talks about his podcasting experience, including his upcoming video podcast, Don’t dis-my-ability Podcast.
  • [52:50] – Shawn speaks about the term neurodiversity and why it’s being used.
  • [1:00:05] – I talk about the book Rocket Fuel, and understanding the unique skills we as people with ADHD have.

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