Proven Ways to Successfully Manage Small Business When You Have ADHD

By Kabbage

The challenges of running a small business and its finances are tough enough for the neurotypical, but as it turns out, ADHD and the desire to run a business go hand-in-hand. People happy with the daily grind and detailed work of a regular job rarely feel the push to go entrepreneurial – and ADHD contributes to being unhappy with that situation.

Sadly, as Michael Gerber pointed out in the productivity classic The E-Myth, that same trait that pushes people to start a business makes it hard to watch the details of finances and operations that makes a company successful. We were lucky enough to sit down with ADHD organization and life coach Nikki Kinzer and talk about success techniques for people in this common situation. She named five areas where business owners with ADHD are particularly challenged, and how they can deal with it.

Prioritizing the Day

One common impact of ADHD is feeling that everything is important and urgent, and that all tasks have the same value. This makes it hard to identify mission-critical jobs, let alone stay on task for them. Nikki advises that her clients work from a master To Do list, and to look at three factors for each item when deciding what to do first:

  • Time: Is there a hard deadline for any of the tasks? Do any have soft deadlines or benchmarks that will enable meeting a hard deadline in the future? When in doubt, time-sensitive tasks get priority.
  • Impact: What will happen if the task gets left undone? Consider not just the impact to you, but the impact to others. Are there people waiting for you to finish your task before they can complete their part of the project? How many people will feel the impact of your decision about this particular to-do item?
  • Complexity: Gauge how complicated or difficult – and thus distraction and procrastination prone – the task is. Assign the highest-rated tasks to times when you’re usually the most productive, or when you can work with a coach or accountability partner who keeps you on track. There’s no One Right Way™ to choose when to work on the hardest tasks, but evaluating priorities with that in mind will help you succeed.

Managing Distractions

Steven Covey’s “Quadrant Two” is all about distractions – things that are urgent, but not important. Phone calls, emails and social media pings are external distractions everybody deals with, but according to Nikki, people with ADHD deal with a myriad of internal distractions as well.

Nikki recommends that her clients spend one day keeping track of everything that distracts them, from great ideas to small annoyances. She then has them look for patterns and situations that offer solutions. If an open office door means getting into too many conversations, closing the door fixes that. A clean desk or powered-down cell phone are other examples of this in action.

Mindfulness practice is another tool in Nikki’s toolbox. She encourages clients to set concentration goals, starting at 15 minutes. Set a timer and promise yourself you’ll ignore distractions – even really attractive distractions – until the timer goes off. Once it goes off, take a break and let the mind wander. This is similar to the Pomodoro Method we’ve mentioned previously here at the Kabbage blog, and works extraordinarily well.

Getting Organized

Office organization is a challenge in every business, but for people who are easily distracted it’s even more of a problem. Piles of paper and computer files in disarray are at best a constant call to stop work and start organizing. At worst, they become a rabbit hole of distracting tasks as you read and work on the items in the piles.

Nikki’s recommendation for getting organized is to seek outside help. Setting up and sticking to a system troubles people who don’t have specific symptoms that impact the behaviors responsible for staying organized. Hiring an ADHD Coach or Professional Organizer who specializes in ADHD gives you the help and expertise you need to set yourself up for success.

For those who aren’t ready to make that kind of commitment, Nikki’s blog and our articles on are a great place to start.

Handling Hyperfocus

It might seem ironic to the uninitiated that too much focus would be a problem for people with ADHD, but it is. Psychology Today defines hyperfocus as a fixation on a specific event, task or topic and notes that it’s a common symptom of ADHD. Among Nikki’s entrepreneurial clients, she notes that this usually takes the form of giving attention mostly or only to the most interesting parts of the job. Other parts – the unglamorous activities that make a business work – get ignored.

Nikki recommends the opposite of her mindfulness practice as a way of overcoming Hyperfocus. Set a timer for fifteen minutes before you need to stop what you’re focused on and move on to other tasks. Once it rings, start transitioning out of your focus mode and into being mentally ready to shift gears. For some of her clients, a timer isn’t enough. They need a partner, coach or co-worker to gently interrupt. According to Nikki, “It’s not as easy to say no to a partner or co-worker as it is to a phone alarm.”

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Using Audio in Business (With audio version)

This article from Lumen is a must read for every business person who wants to get their message out.

The strengths of audio—as compared with written communication—are appropriate in a lot of business situations.

A conversation is synchronous. That is, everyone is participating at the same time. Email or IM is asynchronous, meaning you may not get a response right away, and when you do hear from other people, their responses are usually carefully considered and edited. Sometimes, this is good, especially if you want people to spend some time on a question or idea.

However, there are situations when you don’t necessarily want this, and audio represents a stronger choice:

When a decision needs to be made quickly, you don’t want people to take their time to answer an email and then respond to all the other emails they receive on the topic

When it’s helpful to hear people’s tone of voice so you can gauge their certainty, enthusiasm, or other emotion

When you want to ensure that everyone has understood what’s being said; conversation allows people to ask questions and clarify their comments in the moment, which can cut down on confusion later

Audio is generally also pretty easy. Everyone understands how to work a telephone. Even if there are steps to go through to get on a conference line, it’s a relatively unintimidating technology. This also means that having audio in place as backup for more complex technologies is always a good idea.

Audio does have its downsides, especially compared with other, more sophisticated methods of remote conferencing.

While audio does allow you to hear emotion in people’s voices, it doesn’t let you read facial expressions, which can be helpful when a topic is sensitive or challenging.

Another aspect of not being able to see faces is that people tend to interrupt each other more because there are no visual cues that someone is starting to speak or intends to keep speaking.

Audio-only also allows people to be distracted or to engage in multitasking while still technically being “on the call” since no one can see what they’re doing. The result of this is that you have people dialed in but tuned out.

Colleagues may be checking emails or reading other materials while on the call, especially if they are not expected to participate much in the conversation.

One consultant who works from home confessed that he used monthly board meeting calls as an opportunity to clean the cat box while on the call.

As we will see in the sections that follow, sometimes video or screen sharing offers a more effective means of remote conferencing, but if audio does what you need it to, it’s easy and familiar.


10 Podcasts That Will Make You a Better Entrepreneur

Sandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep’s online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and hacks on a wide range of online marketing topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, and more.

As entrepreneurs, we are constantly trying to acquire new skills and knowledge to survive and thrive in the competitive business landscape. While reading an insightful business book is almost always the best way to gain knowledge and wisdom, not everyone can find time in their busy schedule to read books.

So what should a busy entrepreneur do?

The answer is simple: listen to podcasts!

You can tune into podcasts anytime you want — while commuting to work, jogging, cooking, cycling, or even while working out at the gym.

Podcasts are immensely popular these days. According to Convince and Convert, podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 podcasts per week.

There are podcasts covering almost any topic you can imagine. Entrepreneurship is no different. There are a ton of business podcasts, where successful entrepreneurs and business leaders share their expertise, insights, experiences, and strategies that can be immensely helpful in your own entrepreneurial journey.

To that end, I’ve compiled a list of podcasts that will make you a better entrepreneur.

Here are the 10 best entrepreneur podcasts to help you get started.

Top 10 Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

1. Rework: A Podcast by Basecamp

Rework is a podcast by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founders of Basecamp and co-authors of Rework, one of my favorite business books.

In the podcast, Fried and Hansson share startup stories and unconventional wisdom from their own experience and other business owners who have embraced bootstrapping, staying small, and growing slow.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

2. Pivot

Pivot is a weekly podcast by Recode (owned by Vox Media), hosted by Kara Swisher, Silicon Valley’s most revered journalist, and NYU Professor Scott Galloway.

The podcast offers sharp, unfiltered insights into the way technology is shaping business and culture across media, advertising, politics, and more.

If you’d like to stay informed about all the current events in technology, business, and politics, Pivot is a must-listen podcast.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

3. The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is a serial entrepreneur and best-selling author of profoundly influential business books such as The 4-Hour WorkweekTribe of Mentors, and Tools of Titans.

Tim’s podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, is often the #1 business podcast on all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 500,000+ podcasts on many occasions.

The podcast features interviews of successful people from all areas of life (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) as Tim examines the tactics, tools, and routines they typically use to achieve peak performance.

Past guests on the show have included Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Malcolm Gladwell, Vince Vaughn, Susan Cain, Ramit Sethi, and many more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

4. Side Hustle School

Chris Guillebeau is the author of The $100 Startup, a New York Times bestseller that has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. In his most recent book, Side Hustle, Guillebeau explains how anyone can create a new source of income in 27 days. He explores the subject in greater depth in his podcast, Side Hustle School.

The purpose of Guillebeau’s podcast is to help you create a new source of income without quitting your job.

In each episode, you’ll hear a different story of someone who’s started a side hustle — along with what went well, how that person overcame challenges, and what happened as a result.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

5. The GaryVee Audio Experience

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and chairman & CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients. Gary Vee has an active presence on social media, including Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, where he has his Q&A show #AskGaryVee and the daily video documentary series DAILYVEE.

In his podcast, The GaryVee Audio Experience, you’ll find a mix of #AskGaryVee show episodes, keynote speeches on marketing and business, segments from his DAILYVEE video series, interviews, and fireside chats, as well as original content recorded specifically for the podcast.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

6. Entrepreneurs On Fire

Entrepreneurs on Fire is an award-winning business podcast by John Lee Dumas, where he interviews successful entrepreneurs to inspire you in your entrepreneurial journey.

The goal of this podcast is to present you with the inspiration and strategies you need to fire up your entrepreneurial journey and create the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Since launching his podcast on September 22nd, 2012, Dumas has interviewed over 2,000 entrepreneurs, including Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss, Neil Patel, and many more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

7. Recode Decode / Decoder

Aside from co-hosting the Pivot podcast with Scott Galloway (see #2), Recode’s Kara Swisher has her own podcast called Recode Decode.

In this podcast, Swisher hosts candid interviews with tech execs, politicians, celebrities, and more about their big ideas and how they’re changing our world.

Past guests on the podcast have included Elon Musk, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, Jason Fried, Adam Grant, and many more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Side note: Kara Swisher left Recode Decode in July 2020 and the podcast was rechristened as Decoder in October. Hosted by The Verge’s Nilay Patel, Decoder launched on the Recode Decode feed and the first episode was published in November 2020. The podcast builds on the foundation set by Swisher and follows a similar format where Nilay interviews leading tech and business executives.

8. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale is a business podcast hosted by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, where he invites successful entrepreneurs to share the stories and strategies that helped them grow from startups into global brands.

Reid and his guests talk entrepreneurship, leadership, strategy, management, and fundraising. But they also talk about the human journey — with all its failures and setbacks.

Past guests on the podcast have included Arianna Huffington, Ben Chestnut, Kevin Systrom, and many more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

9. StartUp Podcast

StartUp is a podcast from Gimlet Media hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow. The podcast is all about what it’s really like to start a business.

The first two seasons of the show followed stories of starting businesses. Season 1 was about the starting of Gimlet Media itself, and season 2 dealt with the starting of a dating company called “Dating Ring.” The third season follows one business per episode.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

10. The Smart Passive Income Podcast

The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a top-ranking and award-winning business podcast hosted by Pat Flynn, a blogger and entrepreneur known for his immensely successful blog, The Smart Passive Income, where he teaches his followers about investing in online businesses and generating passive income.

In his podcast, Pat Flynn reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources, and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog. The podcast covers a broad range of business topics such as automation, crowdsourcing, SEO, affiliate marketing, outsourcing, and more.

Since launching his podcast in 2010, Flynn has invited several entrepreneurs, authors, and business leaders to share their secrets of success. Past guests have included Gary Vaynerchuk, Nir Eyal, James Clear, Ramit Sethi, and many more.

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

BONUS: Marketing Mantra

As a bonus, I’m including my own podcast in the list — Marketing Mantra (apologies for the shameless plug.) I launched this podcast with the help of Anchor back in August 2018.

The aim of this podcast is to share actionable marketing strategies and tactics that have worked for me at my blog and my digital marketing agency.

From time to time, I also invite other bloggers and solopreneurs to share their success stories and business tactics. Past guests on the podcast have included Matthew Woodward, Daniel Daines-Hutt from AmpMyContent, Alexandra Tachalova from Digital Olympus, Vlad Calus from Planable, and many more.

If you’ve liked any of my content in the past, I’d request you to please subscribe to Marketing Mantra on your preferred podcast player.

Where to subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Honorable Mentions

The 10 podcasts featured above are my personal favorites, but the entrepreneur podcasts below are also highly recommended:


So there you have it — the 10 podcasts that will make you a better entrepreneur. You can also check out this list of 30 marketing podcasts if you’d like to get your fill of the latest marketing trends, insights, and tips.

Did I miss out on any of your favorite entrepreneur podcasts? Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear your recommendations.


5 Reasons You Are Not Making Any Money Online (With audio version)

Alex Chris is a digital marketing consultant, author, and instructor. He has more than 18 years of practical experience with SEO and digital marketing. Alex holds an MSc Degree in eCommerce and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies in different industries. He blogs regularly about SEO and Digital marketing, and his work has been referenced by leading marketing websites. Connect with Alex on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Listen to audio

Although it is possible to make money online, a lot of bloggers or small business owners fail to do so.

The main reason for not making money online is because you think is easy and when you realize that it is a lot of work, you get bored and give up.

I am working online since 2001 and based on my experience, I can assure you that it is possible to make money online but it requires a LOT of patience and hard work.

In this post, you will learn the 5 main reasons why you are not making any money online.

Towards the end of the post, I will also outline some solid ways to follow that work for making money online.

1. You don’t have enough traffic

To make money online you need traffic, this is how the online business model works.

If you are selling a high-converting product you can make money with only a few visitors per day but if you want to make money from advertising you need a few thousand per day.

Without traffic do not expect to make any money online.

When we talk about traffic, in the minds of many people Google is the only way but this is not true.

There are many sources of Internet traffic you can use to meet your monetary targets but you need to know where to find them.

2. Your website/blog is too young

Don’t believe everything you read about making money online. There is no magic way to make thousands of dollars in a few months and there is no magic way to make money without doing a lot of hard work.

This also means that if you just started a website or blog you will not make money any time soon unless of course, you created an exceptional product or website.

From my experience, you need at least one year (usually more) of hard work before making any decent amount of money either from AdSense, affiliate programs, or through selling your own product.

3. You don’t practice good SEO

SEO is important for many reasons and if you believe that you can succeed online without following good SEO practices, then you are wrong.

Everything starts with SEO and I am not referring only to keyword analysis or content marketing but to the bigger picture which includes understanding your customers and using SEO to give them what they want.

The majority of webmasters still make mistakes with SEO despite the plethora of information about proven techniques that work.

4. You are not patient enough

They say that ‘patience is a virtue’ and when it comes to working online and expecting to make money from it, is more than true.

To help you understand how important is to be patient, take into account the following examples:

  • It may take 3-4 months before you start getting any organic traffic from Google or Bing
  • It may take a few months until you build a decent number of Facebook and Twitter followers
  • It may take months until you get your first RSS subscriber or comment in your blog

The bottom line is that you need to aim for long term success and forget about any short term temporary results.

5. You created a website for the sole purpose of making money online

Creating a website for the sole purpose of making money online is a thing of the past.

A few years ago you could create a number of websites, publish a few posts, build tens of incoming links and make money with Adsense, Amazon affiliate, or other affiliate promotions.

It was a model that worked for a couple of years and some people who were clever and fast enough to understand this, made enough money.

This model does no longer works. You cannot start a website for the sole purpose of adding Adsense or promoting a particular product or anything similar to this.

Your website or blog needs to have a purpose that goes beyond making money.

You need to create something that adds value to the user by offering good content, free services, and incentives for the user to come and visit your web site again and again.

When you do that persistently for a number of months, the money will follow.

I know that it is difficult to understand this especially if you are a beginner to the online world, but take my word for it there are no shortcuts or overnight tricks.

How can you make money online?

I don’t want to pass the message that it is impossible to make money online, because it is far from the truth.

To close this post with a positive message here are some tested ways to make money – if you manage to combine some of these methods together then you can make a living online as well!

#1 – Creating a website in a niche you are really passionate about.

You create a high-quality web site with good content that offers value to your readers.

After some time you have enough readers and daily visits and you make money through Google Adsense.

#2 – Write a book or create an online course

Writing a book or creating a course about a topic you know very well and publishing it on Amazon (kindle book)  or selling it directly from your website.

As an example, check out my SEO Course.

#3 – Create a mobile application

Create a mobile application and upload it to Google Play, Apple Store, Windows Store, and Amazon Appstore.

The application can be either free and gain from advertising or paid. To make money from advertising you need to have many downloads (at least 200,000) and many active users.

To sell your application you need to have a good marketing plan. The competition is tough and without a marketing strategy, it will be very difficult to make a decent amount of sales.

#4 – Sell your services online.

If you have the necessary skills you can sell your services online. This is not limited to IT or SEO or Internet Marketing.

Check out and to see examples of services offered and wanted.

Speaking of online services you can check out our SEO audit services and our SEO packages.

These are the four main methods I have used successfully over the years and made a living online.

If you search more on the topic you will find other methods like selling on eBay or amazon, running an online shop, dropshipping etc.

I am sure that these methods work as well, provided that you stay away from ‘get rich overnight’ methods.

My best advice is to find out what is more suitable to your abilities (either technical or educational), study about it, find out what others are doing, make a plan, and don’t escape from it until you get the results you want.
listen to audio instead