Cody McLain – How To Succeed As An Entrepreneur with ADHD & Asperger’s

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The importance of a systems mindset for success in business and in life. We’ll cover: 

  1. Emotional Regulation & Awareness in a professional setting
  2. GTD, what makes it effective
  3. Reverse Meditation
  4. not-todo-lists, Fun Todo
  5. Foundational Habits
  6. Benefits of Self-talk, Emotion Visualization, Interception
  7. Recognizing Burnout
  8. Having a morning/evening routine. 
  9. Creating designated areas and kits for certain tasks (mail, keys)

It’s often said that in ADHD the problem isn’t that a person isn’t able to pay attention, but that he or she isn’t able to pay attention to the right thing at the right time.

While most of the listed impulsive emotions are negative, one of them, being easily excited or enthusiastic, may be considered positive in some contexts. However, in ADHD a quick, unchecked enthusiasm can lead you to taking on new projects when you’re already very busy, forgetting your prior intention, or abandoning an established plan.

It‘s important for adults with ADHD to self-motivate without using the critical voice. Instead, inner motivation can often become stronger by finding a larger meaning to the task at hand.

A mindfulness-based approach called Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), created by psychologist and researcher Steven Hayes,1 offers a useful way to help us reflect on our values so that we can choose actions mindfully.


Using the STOP Practice with Tasks As you tackle your work, use STOP to look more deeply into your attention, body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Stop for a moment Take a breath Observe in the present moment:

Is there good interest and motivation? Is there boredom and lack of motivation? Is there avoidance or procrastination?   Is there high or low energy? Is there a feeling or thought (or both) of being overwhelmed, or is there a sense of empowerment? Is there doubt? (for example, “Should I be doing this?”) Is there a feeling of wanting to do something else? Am I already doing something else? (Doing something that’s productive but not the task you planned on is a sneaky way to procrastinate.) 

Whatever you find, bring your full attention to it. Check in to your body a little more and notice any other thoughts and feelings that may be there (for example, “My chest is heavy” or “My mind is sharp”). If you notice an obstacle to doing your task, imagine you’re looking directly at the obstacle and name it in your mind—for example, “Oh, there’s avoidance.”

You may also find that obstacles are easier to conquer if you say them aloud or write them on a piece of paper. You can also call a friend and share with them: “I’ve been procrastinating about this.” Often full acknowledgment in a mindful, nonjudgmental way can diminish the power of the obstacle and remotivate you for the task. Proceed with new awareness.

Mindful awareness can help you develop a greater ability to turn toward the avoidance of doing, as it’s happening. You learn to label this avoidance in the moment and observe non-judgmentally your inner barriers (negative thoughts and feelings toward the task). You can also, in that moment, choose to increase the inner motivations for doing the task. Such awareness is often a key in overcoming procrastination as it’s happening, and it can help you utilize additional tools—like a planner, cognitive behavioral therapy, or coaching—to keep you on track.

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In this lesson we cover:
- How can one with ADHD be more successful at what they want to do?
- And how important it is to have systems in place to keep you at your most productive?
- Emotional Regulation & Awareness in a professional setting
- The Getting Things Done framework (GTD), and what makes it effective
- Reverse Meditation
- Not-todo-lists and Fun Todo-lists
- Foundational Habits
- Benefits of Self-talk, Emotion Visualization, Interoception
- Recognizing Burnout
- Having a morning/evening routine.
- Creating designated areas and kits for certain tasks (like email, keys, etc.)

We also discuss certain systems that Cody himself has used that you can implement in your everyday life that will keep you on track to reach your goals.

Cody McLain’s unique foresight has led to his immense success as an entrepreneur. He saw opportunity in a specific area — existing tech startups — and had the 86th fasting growing company according to the 2019 Inc. 5000 list, and was ranked the fastest growing outsourcing company in the US.

The company employed over 1,000 employees with offices in Austin and the Philippines. Cody has since sold the majority of his stake and currently is the host of the Podcast, is the author of the book “From Foster Care to Millionaire,” and is working on building a start-up studio. He lives in Austin, TX.

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