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June 6, 2023

Virtual Assistants for ADHD Entrepreneurs

Today’s episode is specifically for ADHD entrepreneurs trying to do everything on their own. I’ve got my bestie Hillary with me, from HandsOn OBM, to convince you why hiring an assistant could be the best thing for you and your business.

Through our 16 years of friendship, we’ve come to understand why we work so well together. We list our differing personality traits that keep us balanced, and I enjoy bragging about what makes Hillary such an incredible support system for me.

Not all assistants are the same, though, and we discuss at length how to find one that can work well with ADHDers. Perhaps the biggest hurdle to overcome is the shame you may have in admitting you need help in the first place.

Whether you start with a group coaching program like FOCUSED or dive straight into hiring a dedicated assistant, we encourage you to take the leap to get support so that you can stay focused on growing that empire of yours!

You can find Hillary on Instagram or on her website, 



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Kristen Carder 0:05
Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B.

Hey, what’s up, this is Kristen Carter and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated, I am caffeinated. I am regulated and I’m ready to roll. I am here today with my best bestie Hilary Detweiler. I just looked at her face and she’s got a very big smile, I cannot wait for you to meet her and hear about our friendship or relationship. But the point of this podcast is to talk about using an assistant and how ADHD ears can benefit from having an assistant. I know that just even saying that is coming from an extreme place of privilege. But some of you are in the place where you can and should be hiring someone to help your executive brain make great decisions, hold your time boundaries, manage your calendar and do all the things. So Hillary transitioned about a year and a half ago to becoming an online business manager. She works as a VA or a business manager for entrepreneurs and many of those entrepreneurs have ADHD. And so we have been able to talk and reflect and I cannot wait for you to hear from her today.

I as I intro her and she’s just sitting here staring at me. I’m gonna give some stats on our friendship. Okay, so she can correct me if any of these are wrong, but from what I can remember, we have been friends for 16 ish years. Okay. So the longtime. Prior to either of us having our first kids, we became friends. We did not plan it this way. But all of our kids kind of ended up being the same ages. Which is hilarious. We’ve been. It’s okay. They’ve been through many moves and job changes and church changes. And now, y’all, we live in the same neighborhood. What’s this? We did not plan it. It was an accident. But also, it’s so fun.

Hillary 2:51
It’s been great. It’s been great. Oops.

Kristen Carder 2:55
Yeah. Yeah, it does not suck at all. I’ll never forget getting a text from you. I forget how long ago it was and you being like, Would it be super weird if we like built a house down the road from you? And I was like, Are you kidding me? That is the dream.

Hillary 3:12
That’s the dream, we’re living the dream.

Kristen Carder 3:14
Ah, it’s so fun. So welcome. Thank you for being here. I really have had to twist your arm to get you here. And I’m glad that you finally consented. So welcome.

Hillary 3:25
Such a cool such a cool thing to do together. It is

Kristen Carder 3:29
And speaking of things that we do together. Why? Why do you think that we like work as friends? What what is it about? Like our personalities, that makes us so compatible as friends because most people or many people grow apart over the years. And that has not been the case for us. It’s been the case for many of my friendships and relationships. But it hasn’t been the case for us. So what is it about? Us? Do you think that like works?

Hillary 4:03
That’s that’s a really tough question. Yeah, I think from the beginning, we enjoy each other’s company like we have fun together. I think we have what we’re actually, when you first get to know each of us, I think we’re different. But then we also have like a lot of similarities. After you get to know us on a more personal level. We are actually fairly similar, which sounds really strange.

Kristen Carder 4:34
So talk about those differences. What do you mean like when you meet Hillary versus when you meet Kristen. It’s gonna be real different. How does that look?

Hillary 4:42
It’s so different. Yeah, I think how we present ourselves to to new people is very different. I’m very quiet and reserved. Yeah. Kristin is not like you’re just the opposite of that. And I feel comfortable with that. I don’t feel I don’t I always feel comfortable with someone who’s like outspoken and outgoing. Right away, but I did with you. I don’t know why. Yeah, you’re very is very friendly or yeah, when we were younger. In our 20s,

Kristen Carder 5:17
we were in our 20s, y’all. Not anymore, or your babies? Were wrinkles now. Yeah, I was definitely and I definitely presented as an extrovert at that time. I’m still kind of reconciling. Am I an extrovert? Am I not? Both?

Hillary 5:38
The best of both worlds with that one?

Kristen Carder 5:41
Okay, that’s a really nice way to say,

Hillary 5:44
you really? Do you really? Do you do great with both of them?

Kristen Carder 5:47
Yeah, cuz I can really, like be very extroverted when I first meet somebody and kind of have a lot of questions. And really, I’m not shy or anything like that. Very natural. But I do need a lot of alone time.

Hillary 6:03
Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s something else that has helped our friendship. We respect each other’s holes. Yes. When we crawl into a hole, we respect each other’s holes. And that’s like, some point.

Kristen Carder 6:23
Yeah. Yeah. I think that I did write that down as well, because I was like, why does this friendship work? Like, we are so different, but we’re similar in a lot of ways, just like you said, and that is a big thing is that most people that I’ve been in relationship with feel insecure if I stopped texting them, or are kind of like, hey, this doesn’t really work for me, like I need more from a friendship, which is totally valid, yet. I need to be able to crawl in that hole and like, block out the outside world for maybe a day or days or a week or weeks. And you aren’t threatened by that.

Hillary 7:03
Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. Yeah, you’ll probably that’s a big one. I bet.

Kristen Carder 7:10
I think so too. You’ll send me a text. You’re like, You’re dead. You’re

Hillary 7:15
gone over there.

Kristen Carder 7:15
Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I’m pretty much dead. I think another thing is that we both really have a strong BS filter. And so the truth matters a lot. Yeah. That’s a good. That’s a big one, I think. Um, yeah. So like, I know that, that what you’re telling me is true. And I don’t have to second guess I don’t have to be like, is there? Is there a meaning behind this? And I even sent this to you a couple of weeks ago, you offered to do something? And I wrote back with like, Are you sure? Are you sure? You know, that was like old me. And then I wrote another text was like, disregard that question. I know, you’re sure. Cuz like, you tell the truth. And you don’t offer unless you have capacity. And I can trust your, your word rather than having to be like, she’s just trying to be nice, or she does this, but she doesn’t really want to, like, I know what you say is what you mean.

Hillary 8:14
Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, that is so great. Yeah. And just just in general, I mean, it’s been 16 years. So we have been friends that long. Like there better be, you know, a level of trust there. And that’s definite. Definitely been built. It’s great for both of us. I think you’re telling me I’m like a volt. So I think that’s why I feel so confident in saying that.

Kristen Carder 8:44
Yeah, that is very true. I don’t ever have to wonder if other people other friends. I mean, we have other friends that we love very much. And like, I don’t ever have to wonder if it’s going to be like transferred. It’s like, yeah, there’s adults. And I can say whatever I want, even if it’s ridiculous.

Hillary 9:02
Oh, yes. And there will be a level of agreeing but also like, okay, probably not so much. You’re going over the line?

Kristen Carder 9:15
Yeah, I think that’s really important because there’s like validation, but there’s also like, okay, like, let’s come back to reality a little bit. And that that matters. Something that I think on my end really drew me to you at the beginning and helped me to build trust was that you repeatedly were like, you’re not annoying. Like I showed up? You know just like quirky ADHD loud and and then I would be very apologetic or I would try to explain myself and you would say things like, you’re not annoying, or you don’t need to explain yourself or it’s the other person’s the problem here. Not you like you were very firm in life. Christen, stop, stop explaining yourself. You’re good. And I that was helpful. That really was helpful to me.

Hillary 10:06
That’s fantastic. I think we’ll end up talking about that later because I do that clients. That’s funny actually, I didn’t even make that connection until now that like, how I make you feel and how I have made you feel is maybe similar to it’s probably similar to how I work with clients. It’s just a lot of the same things. That’s regarding ADR, such a

Kristen Carder 10:32
good insight because as ADHD ears we show up and we’re just like, I know, I’m a mess. I know. I’m annoying. I know that I’m the worst person on the planet. Here like wait, what? No. Yeah, that’s been so good. That’s been so helpful. I’m sure that that really helps like a level of comfort. Yeah, we traveled together as much as possible. What is it like traveling with me?

Hillary 11:01
Another place where we’re very different. Yes, I would get somewhere. way early. You not so much. Oh, my gosh. Yeah. If we’re traveling alone, you do the driving, I do not always not good. If I drive. You always have lots of things to chomp and snack. And drink. Just random things. I’m pretty sure we’ve gotten in the car or I’ve gotten into your car and you’ve been just like, eating eating something. The most random things like peanut butter toast or a bagel? Or oh my gosh, yes. I’m sure something more ridiculous than that, that I can’t remember. Well, I have my like, apple cider vinegar. Ginger tonic, or

Kristen Carder 11:52
she eats such weird food, you guys. And everything is like fermented and pickled and, and there’s baits involves

Hillary 12:02
bits and bobs? Yeah, we ordered different foods other than like tacos and chips in software. Sure, sure. I mean, it always seems it’s always much more of a really fun adventure traveling with you. Always lots of I don’t know, just lots of fun stuff. But you’re better at navigating an airport than I am. You are

Kristen Carder 12:25
not saying much.

Hillary 12:27
Oh, that’s great.

Kristen Carder 12:28
That’s funny.

Hillary 12:31
Yeah, thank you. You are not? I don’t think you are a mess when you travel. Yeah, I mean, I, I create the timeline. That’s for sure. So

Kristen Carder 12:42
you don’t just create it, you enforce it? Yeah, that’s true. And I think that needs to be said, like, get you a bestie, who’s going to be like, I’m picking you up or like you need to pick me up at this time tomorrow. And then I will say, I don’t want to go that early. And that’s, that doesn’t matter. Guys, your time I need to leave. I’m very much and I’m trying to work on this. But I have always been like, really selfish, not selfish. Really. Like I want my time. So especially for leaving in the morning. And even with Greg, I’m just like, why do we need to leave so early? I do not understand. Like, if we have to be at the airport at 8am. Why are we getting up at four? Like I don’t understand what’s happening? No, I mean, if we’re if the flights at 8am? Why are we getting up before like, that makes sense to neurotypical people.

To me, I’m just like, it’s 15 minutes to get ready in the morning, it’s an hour to the airport. Like none of this is true. Right? None of it. But my time blindness has come into play with that. So to be told, this is what’s happening. This is when you have to be there. That’s been helpful to me. Really, really helpful. Another thing that I wanted to bring up is that our kids are friends. And sometimes they fight. And when our kids fight, we just talk about it and we don’t like accuse each other or accuse the kids. Like we love each other’s kids. And we’re just like, hey, here’s what’s going on. And of course, I mean, I always have like the initial like, oh, I don’t know if you do experience. Absolutely. Okay. But again, like because of trust and because of just like the history and the safety there. We just talked about it and we’re just like so and so said this Okay, so and so said this will send each other like text receipts of the kids and what they have said to each other, I mean, just so that we can know and be on the same page. And I think we approach our kids like, I love my kids, but I love your kids too. And so we make sure to just like that. Like they’re just kids so whatever they’re gonna fight and that’s not a big deal.

Hillary 14:52
Yeah, and I hope we’re teaching them how to resolve conflict in Some type of healthy way. Gosh, I know I think we are doing our best. It’s an important skill. But yeah, I agree. I mean, I love that our kids are friend. But yeah, they’ve mostly our two oldest. Like our younger ones haven’t gotten to that point yet. But your oldest, there’s been a few few hiccups along there.

Kristen Carder 15:28
You hiccups and but Owen will say things like, he’ll say things about his friends and then he’ll be like, but not Aiden, like Aiden’s the best. Like he’ll say he, he puts him in a level of trust and safety. And I think that that is part of how we’ve cult like we’ve cultivated that which I love. Yeah. All right. Well, let’s transition to talking about the people that you support. And why. So first, tell us how you got into supporting people who are entrepreneurs. Like, why did you make this change? Because it was a was a big change.

Hillary 16:05
It was being changed. Yeah, I love that story, though. So I was working at a nonprofit. And I was like, ready to make a change. I was like, I’m, you know, want to leave my job, but couldn’t find a single thing. Like I didn’t find a single place that I put my resume into. Not great. And I didn’t really know what I was going to do. And you randomly asked me to look over a job description that you wrote, for your operations person. And it was such a fun read. It was still the best job description I’ve ever I’ve ever read. So fun. Go you. So I read it. And I was like, Yeah, this is amazing. You know, this is perfect. Go for it. And later on, we were out at an Oktoberfest event. We do here everything. Oh, yeah. We got hats, all the thing. And I was like, I didn’t realize that type of job existed in the online world. Like, tell me more about it. What does it do in your business? All the things. And so that was October. I started creating my business through November. And I started with clients in January. So it was that quick. A lot of my skills were transferred over. Right to previous careers. You weren’t just you weren’t just working

Kristen Carder 17:33
at a nonprofit. Yeah, I was running. Yeah, you were doing and you had some add on things as well. Like you had a lot of influence and authority in that position. Yeah, lots

Hillary 17:48
of like marketing, all that works with a bunch of programs. That’s like project management type stuff. Yeah. That’s cool. So yeah, I realized it was it could be a thing. And I ended up sticking with that nonprofit for another year, they were a client. And then I gathered a few other clients. And a year and a half later, I have more. I’ve learned like the online world of things, and it’s just been great.

Kristen Carder 18:17
It is so fun. And why do you think that you’ve attracted so many clients with ADHD? Because the majority of your clients have ADHD? And that’s kind of the direction that you’re moving in. So what is it about ADHD years that you enjoy?

Hillary 18:35
Yeah. Oh, man. So yes, once I started getting some clients with ADHD, what I loved about their business, it’s a, it’s a good thing and a bad thing for them. But a good thing for me, they have created this amazing business, mostly by themselves. If they’re like, if they’ve been working on their business for three or four years, they’ve created this, like booming large business, whatever, they might be an entrepreneur, and they’ve done it, like in an amazing way, and they put tons of time in to the point where they’re, like, completely worn out and exhausted. It’s not great for them. But there’s so much gold within their business like and they have so many amazing dreams and goals. So I do love that about the ADHD entrepreneur. I mean, they just they just go for it. Yeah, go for all

Kristen Carder 19:34
fours right. So and I’ve noticed that of course of myself and then also my clients where that initial energy that initial like startup energy is legit. Like we have got some sort of Energizer Bunny within us. Now, of course, I’m painting with a very broad brush, but like most of us, ADHD entrepreneurs, or even just ADHD errs, who are in the workplace like that. first year or two years, you’re gonna give it your all. Tell me about what happens once they’ve kind of built this thing. And then they’re just like, Oh, my goodness, like there’s just too much to manage, right? Yeah,

Hillary 20:12
yeah. Even if it’s, if they have like a smaller business that they’re trying to get started, typically they’re working another business. So it’s not like their only thing that they’re focusing on when they’re trying to get started. Yeah. So once they’ve either grown their business too large for them to be able to handle that. And that’s been happening for years possibly, or they’re starting to grow a business. And they have another job on the side. And like, they just can’t transition. Yet. They’re completely completely burned out. Like, just wait, just burned out. Lots of programs in place, because they’ve been trying so hard to organize and systematize on their own. So they just try to gather all the things and there’s information everywhere. And then that just makes everything harder. Yeah. So all their work of trying to make it easier, has just turned around and made it harder get again for them. So they’re at the point where it’s hard to manage themselves. Yeah. And then, like they’re told by someone like you, where it’s like, you need to hire some help. And it’s like, like, I don’t even know where to get in. Yeah. Gary, to not be able to manage yourself, or I would imagine it’s so scary to not be able to manage yourself, and then to like, think I have to manage someone else and tell them what to do, and hold them accountable.

Kristen Carder 21:45
Yeah, and I think that by the time that I’m talking to an ADHD entrepreneur printer and being like, Dude, you need to hire someone, a lot of times they come back and say, I have, I have hired someone, and they weren’t helpful. And they kind of get like, this tone, which is totally legit, where they’re just like, Kristen, I have done that, and it hasn’t worked. And then I’m like, Okay, well, you need to hire Hillary, because what a good OBM or VA is going to do is going to make your life so much easier. Not harder. So tell me about how you do that.

Hillary 22:24
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard I’ve heard that story over and over again, too. And it’s something I wasn’t expecting. So after, like, I talked to a few ADHD entrepreneurs, I was like, this is a, this is a cycle. Yeah, where they brought someone on. And they, every time I literally hear I’ve paid so I’ve spent so much money, and I just have not gotten anything in return. And so I think it’s when you hire like a VA, or really have the I mean, the business manager to or operations person, if they’re coming on, and they just want like a list of a to do list. And then like do that and be done. Like that’s not, that’s not going to work for ADHD entrepreneur, someone needs to be like, able to get in more to like, get into the business, get into the entrepreneurs brain, like, be able to understand the business from like point A to point B and help them like walk through it helps him delegate, like, not just sit there and wait to be delegated to but like, help the entrepreneur delegate to you and figure out what you need. So it’s not like a one way relationship, it has to be like back and forth and very, like active between each other. For sure.

Kristen Carder 23:45
That’s such a good point. Because I think that many VAs assistants, whatever, show up with this energy of like, just tell me what to do. And I’ll do it. And then the ADHD entrepreneur is like, I don’t even know what to tell you what to do. So then it’s just like, it’s more work, to try to tell someone what to do. Tell us how you work with your clients, like talk about how I know you have like, a lot of meetings with them. And essentially, they’re just like, thought downloading to you. So tell us about that.

Hillary 24:19
In the very beginning, if we can meet quite a few times a week, there’s been clients where I’ve met with every day for like a few weeks, and just all the thoughts just brain dumping and like taking all the shame out of it. So just just go for it. Like I need to know all the ugly, all the dirt, but also those are the times where I like we’ve I find the gold in the business like Look what you’ve accomplished, like there’s so many layers to some of the businesses. And so getting involved and getting all that information and then also learning where you want to go because you The majority of time, they built something amazing, but they are planning on taking it somewhere amazing. Somewhere else amazing. So it’s like, how to organize what you have, and then start to help you grow from there. But the brain dumping is huge. It’s huge for me to learn, but it’s also huge for the entrepreneur. Because afterwards, they’re just like, oh, it’s all out. Hillary has it all, she’s gonna organize it and like, hold it for it, like, hold all the ideas, and then like, bring it bring those things back, you know, when it’s time or like, let’s revisit this or, you know, we finished that project. Now, let’s move on to this one. So it’s not just brain dumping into lists, and then like, having to do something with it, like it’s brain dumping, letting someone else handle it. And then moving forward from there.

Kristen Carder 25:53
I think that is the most valuable thing that you offer your clients is you just let them talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. And you’re the one organizing it, you’re the one prioritizing it, you’re the one making systems making timelines. So it you’re taking the responsibility for that, and taking that off of the ADHD entrepreneurs plate. So instead of you just hearing all that, and then being like, great, so what do you want me to do first, which would be so overwhelming. You’re you’re kind of like making this map, the systematized map of like, okay, great. So I heard you say this, it sounds like we should probably start here. What do you think about that, and then making like a plan that you then hold them accountable to. And now, a word from our sponsor? Hey, Kristen here, I’m the host of this podcast, an ADHD expert and a certified life coach, who’s helped hundreds of adults with ADHD understand their unique brains and make real changes in their lives. If you’re not sure what a life coaches, let me tell you, a life coach is someone who helps you achieve your goals like a personal trainer for your life. A life coach is a guide who holds your hand along the way as you take baby step after baby step to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. A good life coach is a trained expert, who knows how to look at situations or situations with non judgmental neutrality, and offer you solutions that you’ve probably never even considered before. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, and maybe even you’ve done some work in therapy, and you want to add to your scaffolding of support, if you’ve got to join my group coaching, program focused, focused is where functional adults with ADHD surround each other with encouragement and support. And I lead the way with innovative and creative solutions to help you fully accept yourself, understand your ADHD, and create the life that you’ve always wanted to create, even with ADHD, or I have to join. And I hope to see you in our community today. Talk about like that, that timeline or like the plan? How does what does it look like for you to hold someone accountable to the plan that you’ve made together?

Hillary 28:28
Regular meetings? For sure.

Kristen Carder 28:31
Why is that so important? Why are regular meetings important?

Hillary 28:34
So I think your life coach, that’s what you do. You know, I have photography clients, that’s what they do musician, that’s what they do. Like, it’s just, that’s where they’re focused on. And so if they’re primarily focused on that, but also want to do a bunch of other things that we have, like break broken down, they just all of a sudden a month goes by and like nothing’s been accomplished yet because they’re so like they’re accomplishing their, you know, specific thing that they’re doing, but they’re not accomplishing all the things in the back behind the scenes stuff. Yeah, there’s all piling up. So regular meetings to go over to do lists than tests and calendars and have you possibly overbooked yourself or like or like I see a few more things adding up on your calendar like what’s, you know, what’s going on with that? So just also getting a sense of how they’re doing. Because I don’t get to know my clients super super well, but Well, some of them I do overtime, but like, there’s lots of stuff that goes on outside of their life with work, you know, so getting to know the triggers and if something if I hear them talk about something that’s happening outside of work, and it’s like, what do you think next week is too busy for you? Like how do we rework this so you don’t get overwhelmed?

Kristen Carder 30:00
I think that in our friendship, that is a huge thing that you bring to the table. Yeah, like, it’s big. I will never forget, when I planned to take a week off in February, and I texted you, I’m like, I’m so excited about this plan, like I’m taking a week off. And what was the first thing that you said to me? Do not schedule anything. It’s like, wait, no, it’d be a great way to like, catch up with all the people I haven’t been able to see. And like do other that you were like, Nananananana. Now, if this is going to be rest, make it restful. And I was like, like, you’re just very good at protecting energy, which I know is like one of your superpowers for yourself. And you just bring that to the table in a way that no one with ADHD is going to have any understanding of how to do for themselves. So you kind of I think that’s like a really big value add.

Hillary 30:57
that you bring. Yeah, that’s, that’s great. I definitely, yeah, I definitely do that to myself, sometimes, too. I take it too far for myself. So I know, because then you also you pull me out of that. And you’re like, all right. Start talking now.

Kristen Carder 31:16
That’s true. That’s true. So I think that one of the things that really prevents people with ADHD from asking for help is this pervasive feeling of shame. We struggle so much with shame. Everything’s a mess. I haven’t kept up to date, my taxes are overdue. My like, I haven’t done bookkeeping in forever. I don’t know how to get into this account. Like, I don’t want anyone to see that. How do you navigate that with your clients? Because I’m sure actually, I know what comes up because we chat about it. But like, I know it comes up. So how do you navigate it with them? Yeah.

Hillary 31:55
I think in the very beginning, having open honest conversations, like, the more I know, the more I can help. And I think I’m naturally someone who you can feel comfortable with, like, I don’t think I shame on a regular basis at all. I’ve seen and I’ve heard stories of service providers that they are shaming, like, their clients, and for an ADA sheer, I couldn’t imagine that happening. Because you guys hold so much shame already. So it’s like, and you talk about it. You bring that to the table already. I mean, there’s no reason why I even have to slightly shame someone because you guys hold it all. And so I think if you’re an ADHD entrepreneur, and you’re working with someone, and you feel like they’re layering on the shame, like that’s just that, that’s not necessary. Yes, yeah, just to get out of that. Find someone who, you know, is not going to react like that to your unpreparedness your lateness the things you forgot, I just, I don’t know, on my like, my day to day I screw up so many, so many areas. I don’t have ADHD, you know, I will shame myself, but like, so I think this because I had this conversation with another service provider, I was I was interviewing her to help us with my one client develop this new program. And she said something that was so interesting to me, because I was telling her how my client had ADHD and, you know, like, this is the timeline, but it could be it could be pushed out and like, we’re fine with that. So are you how do you work with that? Or are you like super, you know, scheduled? And she’s like, oh, yeah, I just think entrepreneurs, most of us have a touch of ADHD. And it’s just like all things. And I thought that was so interesting, because, like, I see what she’s saying. But like someone with ADHD, who’s been living with it, who’s been growing their business with it, like it’s not in touch with ADHD. It’s a different level. And so I don’t think people are aware, I don’t think they they understand. And so even the people who are causing more shame to an ADHD entrepreneur, just some of them, they just don’t understand. They may think they’re helping to write, you know, so it’s just time to move on. If someone doesn’t get it.

Kristen Carder 34:37
I totally agree. And I say this all the time on the podcast, like some of you need new people. And I think that applies to people who are helping you, right people that you’re paying, even if it’s like your, like anyone that you’re paying, if you’re feeling shame around someone that you’re paying, not that it’s not a good relationship. Let’s just kick that to the curb, just like you said, because it’s not necessary. Just like you said, like, we don’t need to use shame to get people to do stuff. And actually, it doesn’t work. I think that one thing that you do is you just validate people, you’re like, oh, okay, no problem. It’s your, it’s very interesting because you’re, you don’t really give compliments. So I don’t mean it like that. If you get a compliment from Hillary, you better write it down, and tuck it away, and stitch it on your heart, because it is so rare. But what she does do is she will respond to you in a validating way. So if you’re like, I didn’t get that thing done. She responds with like, oh, okay, so how can I help you? How can I help you to make a plan? What do you need from me? So the way that you respond to someone is very warm and validating? Rather than, like, why didn’t you get it done? What, like, what am I supposed to do now? Because I need to get my work done. And I’m waiting on you. Like, there’s none of that. So I think that’s really, like, just the way that you naturally are is very just like affirming and you’re just like, Okay, what are we gonna do? Like, what? How can I help you?

Hillary 36:24
Yeah, keep moving forward? Absolutely. Yes.

Kristen Carder 36:29
I really want to touch on something that we chat about often, which is, what mistakes do you often see ADHD or is making? And caveat like, parenthetical statement here? I’m working on a podcast right now. And depending on the timing of when this comes out, or whatever, but you inspired this podcast, which is like, cut down on chaos. Because something that you talk about often is like, it is shocking, how chaotic each two years life seems to be. And it’s it is just shocking. So like, what patterns do you notice in the people that you’re working with?

Hillary 37:12
Yeah, I would say like the number one mistake. I mean, I’ll get to the the chaos and the boundaryless. Yeah, for sure. But the number one mistake is waiting too long to hire someone. Yeah, waiting till it is just like, I need to find the right person or I’m not I’m my business is done. Like, I just cannot continue this. So definitely, number one mistake and then get the other ones. There’s so I get nervous, like calling them mistakes. Because, like I use can see the good in them. But I don’t think that good outweighs the bad stuff. So yeah, there’s just so much going on. It’s like their business. You know, like I talked about earlier, so much going on in their business. So many layers. Yeah, that’s also happening, I think, in your personal life, or it can happen in your personal life. And what’s interesting is, I don’t live like that like to an extreme. Right. I also when I see it, I’m just like, but like, I don’t know, I don’t know where the the middle of the road is. So like, what I see as being chaos. I don’t actually know if it’s chaos. But it really gets it mixed, like their lives just all mixed together. It’s just always stuff happening. And then that prevents you from really focusing on just your business, like on the things that you love and want to do.

Kristen Carder 38:53
Yeah, right. Yeah, for sure. So I think what you’re trying to say is that your life is the very opposite of chaos.

Hillary 39:02
It is a little more chaos. Let’s be honest.

Kristen Carder 39:07
Your bond, but both you and your husband like things very systematic, methodical, and that is a good thing. Like, that’s such a good thing. And that’s something that you I think, bring to the table as someone supporting maybe a more chaotic person is like, it doesn’t have to be this way. Like, you could do that thing, or you don’t have to. You are very good Hillary at saying no, I learned some of my nose from you. So I appreciate that. Like, when you you know, like 15 years ago when we were kind of like establishing friendship and like interacting with people at churches, like just the world. I would say yes. And you would say no. And then I would be mad about doing the thing that I said yes to and you’re like yeah, you could just say no, and I was like, wait, what? No, no I did that work, I didn’t know that was an option. And so just being able to protect people’s energy, I think is really beautiful, because that is something that you do for yourself. And maybe once in a while to an extreme, that’s fine. But I think helping people to protect their own energy. That’s so huge because an ADHD entrepreneur whose life is just busy, busy, busy all the time, has no space for planning, no space for dreaming, no space for getting the behind the scenes stuff done. Everything’s piling up, everything feels like it’s on fire. And you can only live like that for so long, where you feel like everything’s on fire. I totally agree with what you said about hiring sooner,

Hillary 40:47
that will prevent all of that like, fire happening. And then all the life stuff that’s coming at you isn’t as emergent feel as emergent because you have people in your business to continue maintaining it. Like if you need to go fall off the face of the earth per week, because something has been right. Like having the right people in your business to keep it going is huge.

Kristen Carder 41:12
Exactly. So someone is still posting on Instagram or whatever social media platform, someone is still in your customer service inbox, taking care of your people, someone is still helping you schedule future bookings for whatever it is that you’re doing. I totally agree. And I will tell you, I was so resistant to hiring help. And I’ve said this many times on the podcast. And as well, like, I was making multiple, six figures and still not wanting to hire help, because I thought I was the only person that could I’m the only one that can do this. So like I had that, like ego. And I worried about the chaos of it. I don’t know how to get it out of my brain and into someone else’s brain. And also, it was the first time I was like making good money. And I was like, I don’t know what it’s gonna cost to hire someone, but I don’t want to make less money. Which is so ironic, because once I hired someone, I made more money, because now there’s actually someone making systems making sure things are getting done. Yeah, it is, like hiring sooner can prevent so many things. Yeah,

Hillary 42:22
absolutely. It’s, it’s huge. And I mean, it’s so hard. And I think it’s it takes a lot of time. There’s like a lot of steps to it, you know, figure out if the right the job description, where do I even find someone, then you have to interview then you have to choose and you don’t necessarily trust yourself and choosing? And then once you bring them on, then it’s just like a whole other, you know, how do I like we talked about earlier? How do I even off board thing or onboard them and give them tasks? And what does that look like? And it’s just so much additional stuff to your already burned out brain.

Kristen Carder 43:02
Which is why finding someone who will let you just have meetings with them. And brain dump is so important each has. And they can just record that meeting so that they can refer back to it. And then it’s out of your brain. And it’s their responsibility. Now, that is one thing when I hired first assistant Christina, where I said, I’m not going to write any of this out, that just stresses me out, I just need to tell it to you. So I would either we would either have a meeting, I would Marco Polo her, or I would create a loom video of like, here’s how I do this thing, okay, now, I never want to have to do it again.

Hillary 43:47
And when you choose someone like you can say to them to like a 60 day trial period, just to see how this is going. And then that you’re off the hook. feeling like you have to stick with this person if it’s not great. Yeah. And that also could lessen the shame. In the end. If you’re like, I just don’t think this is like working out. And that’s fine. Because it takes time to figure out if it’s the right person. Yeah, how do you know if it’s

Kristen Carder 44:17
not the right person? What are some things? I don’t know? Yeah,

Hillary 44:21
well, you have 60 days. I mean, you should be feeling weight off your shoulders. For sure. You should be feeling like you’re able to pass things off or you have passed things off and you know, the work is getting done. Yeah, the the big one I think is just that you feel like so much better after 60 days. Okay, so,

Kristen Carder 44:47
I think that that is important because if you know that relief is coming. Mm hmm. Yeah, there’s that like, motivation then to be like, okay, I can do this for two months. Yeah. And I think that what often happens with people with ADHD is we assume that it’s our fault that it didn’t work. Yes. Right. So if you’re not feeling relief, it’s not your fault. Right? Would you say it’s the assistants job to come in? And do like to take that burden,

Hillary 45:26
right? Yeah, yes. And to like, possibly find that things. So instead of, like, it’s not a one way street, it’s has to be or doesn’t have to be a one way street, someone may like that. So we might only want to give you know, a to do list and that’s great. But if you have no idea where to start with someone, then that person needs to be the initiator of what, you know, finding the best ways that they can help you asking All right, questions, for sure. Getting in there deep. Okay, say that.

Kristen Carder 46:04
I love it. I’m just gonna laugh about it. But I love that all in there. Get up in there deep.

Hillary 46:11
Yeah, somebody else that’s great, too, about the regular meetings is a lot of my clients are working from home by themselves. And just day after day, and like, I love that, you know, I can do that. But not everybody can. It’s lonely. And then you’re just like, you know, I mean, I do struggle with this. I really like to crawl into bed, sometimes. It’s just so cozy, especially when it’s winter here. Yeah. But like your bed is calling you your couch is calling you. You know, it’s just, it’s hard to stay on track for some people when they’re by themselves. And do you think is that an ADHD thing? Do you think?

Kristen Carder 46:50
Yeah, I think I definitely think so I think the self accountability is just so difficult. And one of the ways that I hack that also is through regular meetings, especially for the things I don’t want to do. Oh, my gosh, okay, so I know we need to wrap it up. But the last thing that I think we should talk about is, there are so many things that I don’t want to do that are hard for me, but they’re usually the easiest things. And that brings a lot of shame, or it did before I really understood my brain. And so I think one of the reasons why people don’t hire an assistant is they’re like, this is the easy stuff. Why am I going to pay someone to do all of the easy stuff? But what’s so hilarious about that is that it doesn’t get done, because it’s the stuff you hate. Can you talk about that? A little bit? I don’t know if you have thoughts?

Hillary 47:42
Yeah. We don’t mind doing the easy stuff for sure. And your business, if it’s larger, you may actually need to bring like two people on at some point is so scary. I know. But someone to manage the people who are doing some of the other things because, yeah, you either don’t want like you’re not doing the little things. You bring someone on to do the little things, but you still have to make sure they have all the things to do the little things like right, so many steps to it. Yeah. Yeah, we definitely like pas, I mean, that’s, we’re here to just do all the things. There’s someone that will do anything you need done in your business, there’s someone that will do it out there. It’s really fun. So yeah, I don’t have ADHD. But when I started my social media account, I started it and I haven’t done anything with it. Like, I can’t get myself to, like do anything with it. So Chris was like, Yeah, you’re gonna need to hire someone to do that. That was my plan now. And so

Kristen Carder 48:49
glad you brought that up. I didn’t know if you’re gonna bring it out. I’m so glad you do. Because it’s certain,

Hillary 48:53
like, even though I don’t have ADHD, it’s just it’s hard to do all the things, but I help other people with their social media, I help my clients with social media.

Kristen Carder 49:04
And that’s not hard. And you do it and and it’s like, that’s fun for you. But when it’s your own,

Hillary 49:11
it’s, yeah, I just sit there for hours making things but then like, No, I don’t like that. No, I’m gonna hire someone to help me with it.

Kristen Carder 49:21
Exactly. And if you had the thought, well, this is the easy part. This is what I do for my clients all day long. You would never hire it. But for it, you know, but actually, actually recognizing that quote, unquote, easy stuff is all of the systematic, methodical work that someone with a neurotypical brain is best suited for. Right. And so and it’s actually not easy. Yeah. If it was easy, actually for us. We do it. Right. What’s easy for especially for Navy? Each entrepreneur are the difficult tasks to solve the problem solving the working with clients, the building relationships, the selling like that, that’s easy. What’s hard, is making sure that I’m keeping track of my books, making em buy books, I mean, like my finances, making sure that I am posting on Instagram or whatever social regularly making sure that I’ve emails written making sure that I’m getting into my inbox and responding to people. But all of that we can label is easy. But like, I have hired such amazing professional women, and I pay them a ton of money to do what I used to think was easy, or I labeled as easy. It’s not easy. It is literally the backbone of my business. Right. And my business wouldn’t function without that. So I just the there needs to be a, like a mindset shift. And like, it’s not easy.

Hillary 50:59
Yeah. I mean, and just because some of the things seem easy to me, but like the importance of them, and an online business is huge. Like it would, it wouldn’t move forward. So even though it’s easy, doing it regularly with a system is so important. Yeah. Okay, this is

Kristen Carder 51:20
the last thing I’m gonna say about this. I just put someone in focused about invoicing clients, which is, quote unquote, easy, right? That’s a task that we would be like, anybody could do that. Right? Yeah, but that is not true. Like, it’s not easy. And so I was like, You need to hire someone to invoice for you, you should not think about it, you should not have to do it. You should just work with an assistant who is able to send the invoice, follow up on the invoice, make sure the invoice is paid. That is actually the hardest part of your business. She’s a tailor. So the easy part for her is tailoring. That’s what’s easy. That’s

Hillary 52:05

Kristen Carder 52:06
Right to you, you’re like I would never do

Hillary 52:10
so great. Yes. Yeah. Anything. I mean, do people say zone of genius anymore? I don’t know. But it’s very, it’s so true. Like, you focus on what you are good at what you are driving in your business, and hire someone as soon as you can to do all of the other things. And that person has to have some understanding of ADHD, like being open and honest about that. And telling them what you need, like, you’re not gonna get a list of, you know, one through 10 tasks to do. Yeah, we’re gonna have to meet and like work through that list to figure it out. And then you’re gonna have to keep coming back to me. I’m not constantly coming to you.

Kristen Carder 53:00
And most VAs are going to be like, yeah, that’s not how I work. Yeah. And you’ll be like, okay,

Hillary 53:07
yeah, that’s fine. And that’s not on you, too. Yeah. You don’t change how you work in order to work with somebody. Yeah, actually, the shoe that’s something that I think I have on my website, where I say often in like discovery type cars, I don’t come into your business with like a plan, like a specific idea of what I do with all of my other clients. I obviously bring ideas and stuff. But it’s not like an ADHD entrepreneurs, business is not a cookie cutter business. There’s lots going on in there. So I can’t be the same for every for every client that I have. And like some bas like that. They like to have very specific programs that they work in. So they’re not willing to work with someone who doesn’t work in those programs.

Kristen Carder 53:57
Yeah, so I think what you’re saying is some bas come with a template of like, this is how I work with clients. 100%. And you come with like, let me figure out your template. Let me figure out the entrepreneurs template, and I will work within whatever that is, yeah,

Hillary 54:15
how we can improve it. And it might be like moving, you know, project management tools, and that’s fine. Sure. Or it might just be organizing whatever you have already.

Kristen Carder 54:24
So good. Oh my gosh, okay, well, we could talk all day. But what we’re gonna do now is I’m going to ask you, where can people find you? How can they get in touch with you tell us all the things.

Hillary 54:39
Okay. Yeah, my website is the best place hands on There’s a little forum in there that you can fill out to find me. I have an Instagram page. That by the time this goes out, should have more. I think I have three posts.

Kristen Carder 54:57
It’s such a cute little Instagram It’s so cute. I have so much drama around it. And I love it because I usually the one with the drama, so it’s great.

Hillary 55:06
It’s true. It’s true. I started posting and I immediately died. They’re just gonna happen when this podcast goes out. Yeah, of course. A great day for my bed. Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram to VA period OBM period services.

Kristen Carder 55:26
We’ll link it in the show notes. So don’t worry, everyone, go follow Hillary. Tell her send her all the DMS all the things she will she will need like a week to recover from immediately. So good. Well, I feel so lucky to be your friend. And I’m really glad that we got to chat and I want everyone to go and hire you. And if not you someone who’s supportive and helpful and kind. So

Hillary 55:54
yes. Thanks, Chris.

Kristen Carder 55:57
That’s great. I noticed it’s really fun. A few years ago, I went looking for help. I wanted to find someone to teach me how to feel better about myself and to help me improve my organization productivity, time management, emotional regulation. You know, all the things that we adults with ADHD struggle with, couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. And then I created focused for you. Focus is my monthly coaching membership where I teach educated professional adults how to accept their ADHD brain and hijack their ability to get stuff done. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already benefiting from this program and I’m confident that you will to go to I have for all details

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