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Old 08-23-12, 08:16 PM
mADD mike mADD mike is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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Haven't posted in years, maybe this will inspire someone.....

My wife (LostInTheStars on here) and I haven't posted here in a long time. I spent a good couple of years of my life on here every day, posting to help others and reading/asking questions to help myself and my wife. ADD, depression, anxiety issues, all that jazz. I pretty much left here because I had other things to take care of offline and found some negativity here to be discouraging.

One of the biggest things I needed to take care of was tax debt. We racked up $50,000 in back taxes in our cleaning business. My wife and I work together every day, and have been self-employed now for 12 years. I had posted a long time ago about "scary finances" (I looked it up to see what I wrote 3 years ago), when the state taxes that we owed were forcibly taken from our bank account. We eventually paid them $4000 to catch up back taxes from the state.

So, here we sat with $50k in tax debt to the IRS, which is what our bill was up to in April of 2011. I had tried all kinds of things to get out from under it, and nothing worked. Finally I told my wife that we were about to go to debtors prison, even though there is no such thing, and that we had to go do some hard time, so to speak, in order to get out of this. So, we cleaned the houses that we normally cleaned, but we added a bunch more. We took every job that came our way. We detailed cars. We watched people's pets and house-sat when they went out of town. We pressure washed and sealed an aggregate concrete driveway for the first time ever. We washed windows. I added carpet cleaning to our repertoire.

Just last weekend, 17 months after starting the process, we paid $50,000 worth of back taxes. Not to mention that we kept up our quarterly taxes for the first time ever. We also cash flowed a $4000 heating and air system for our house when ours went out last summer and it was close to 100 degrees in our house.

My parents said we couldn't do it. My wife honestly wasn't sure that we could do it, especially not at the breakneck speed that I wanted it out of our life. Our friends thought we were crazy. Well, we did it.

At one point we worked 34 days straight, not only working 12-14 hours per day, but we house-sat 24 of those nights, so we were also living in client's homes and taking care of their pets. We worked 6-7 days a week pretty much this whole 17 months.

Why am I tell you this? Because all of my life, people have said that I can't do something. In fact, that negativity is what drove me away from here to some extent. We can't do this or can't do that because of ADD. Well, I'm telling you that you CAN do things that neither you nor other people may think that you can do. You might not be able to do it right away, and you may have to beat your head against the wall time and time again like I did until years later you find the key that gets you through that wall. For me, it was working in the often all or nothing way that my brain works. Once I harnessed the "all" side of it and focused on one thing and one thing only, we were able to get out of our mess and get our life back from the IRS.

So, keep trying whatever it is that you want to do. I've met many ADDers on the way in podcasts and such that have been successful, like Dan Miller of 48 Days and Joe Polish of I Love Marketing. They work with who they are, and their strengths, and they have done well for themselves. They inspired me to not worry so much about the ADD, but to just do what feels natural to me.

Many career or business coaches tell you to do one thing and focus on it. Been there, tried that, it doesn't work for me. But when I allowed myself to work with the normal scattered focus and need for change that I have, I was blessed. I loved adding new services to our house cleaning business, and that diversification allowed us to make more money with the clients that we already had, plus added new ones. Oh, and did I mention that I just recently launched my marketing business, which has been a dream of mine for years? Yep, I got into full workaholic mode and immersed myself in the little downtime that I had into learning the craft of marketing, because marketing is very stimulating and an ever-changing craft that stays pretty interesting. So now I have an outlet for my physical energy in cleaning, and one for my brain to chew on in marketing. All with no more debt, other than our house.

I personally feel that self-employment is the route to go for many with ADD. We killed a huge debt and made a bunch of money with no college degree, just hustle and drive. That's it. We have some flexibility in our business for those ADD moments, and it is all good. I truly hope that others might take the plunge and get out there and make a better life for themselves by going out on their own, and hope to inspire you to do so if that is something that vibes with you. I do realize that it isn't for every personality, but I think it holds some potentially huge benefits for those with ADD that can handle it.

I guess I'll stop writing now. I could write volumes. But if you get nothing else from this, please realize that although it might be harder at times for you, or it might just outright fail time and again, as long as you keep trying, things that you once thought you could never do can be done. Don't give up, don't be too hard on yourself, and realize that most successful people at whatever they do get there on a pile of temporary failures. They just keep trying. So when ADD gets you down, accept that but don't live in it, and realize that if you keep at it you may just find the winning combination for that one thing that has you so down. It only took me 10 years to figure it all out, but I did.
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