177: Blue Shame Shoes with Thomas Wandall

This Week’s Episode:

Thomas Wandall joins me on this episode of ADHD reWired.  Thomas is a listener of this podcast and was recently diagnosed with the inattentive presentation of ADHD. Thomas has lived in the Bay Area of California since 1995 and has a variety of interests.  He enjoys mountain climbing, bike building, novel writing, painting, crisis counseling, and shoe-making. He enjoys the hands-on nature of his work. He owns a shoe-making and repair business. He also struggles with broken deadlines and unfinished shoes, which he calls “shame shoes.”

In this conversation, you will hear Thomas explain different tasks that he has difficulty with in his business as a shoe-maker.  A major area of difficulty for Thomas is time estimates and finishing work within deadlines.  Thomas and I talk through his systems, and I provide him with some suggestions to adapt these systems to help him be successful in these areas.

Connect with Thomas Wandall


You’ll Learn:

  • [04:51] – Thomas explains his history and experience as a crisis counselor.

  • [06:53] – Thomas was diagnosed just a month before the recording of this episode. He explains why he was evaluated.

  • [08:35] – Thomas wrote (and finished) a novel, a mountaineering ghost story.  He talks about the story he constructed.

  • [10:32] – Thomas explains how he got into shoe-making.

  • [12:07] – Thomas describes what has allowed him to be a successful entrepreneur.

  • [14:24] – Thomas shares the process of his business.  He explains why he tries to NOT answer the phone and struggles with returning calls.

  • [17:35] – Because phone calls are such an issue for Thomas, we consider the benefit and value of hiring someone to answer and make calls.

  • [22:36] – Thomas explains how he gives time estimates to customers. He describes his prioritization techniques.  I give Thomas a suggestion on creating short-term progress benchmarks.

  • [26:18] – Thomas shares the physical systems he uses to organize different orders. I give him some ideas on this organization and share my own techniques of under-promising and over-delivering.

  • [30:32] – We talk about the idea of working “slow” into the business slogan.

  • [32:34] – Thomas tells a story about clown shoes, which have become his shame shoes.

  • [39:18] – I share some ideas for Alex to deal with his shame shoes and the customer who owns these shoes.

  • [52:20] – I talk about the five-second miracle and how this practice can help us complete a task.

  • [59:05] – Thomas shares what his next action-steps are, and I issue a “preposterous” challenge for Thomas.

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