The #1 ADHD podcast

on iTunes, hosted by

The #1 ADHD podcast on iTunes, hosted by

ADHD Bridges Meditating DJs and Rock-N-Roll: A Journey of Transformation with Entrepreneur Brett Greene

by Faster Than Normal

We are thrilled to be joined again by the makers of Skylight Calendar! It’s fantastic! You can now order yours by going to  By using the discount code  PETER  you may save 10% off of this 15” device, up to $30!!

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.  Our Guest today in their own words:  Brett Greene is the Founder of the New Tech Northwest community of 60,000+ technologists and is a transformational ADHD and Executive Coach helping high-achieving tech entrepreneurs and business leaders reach unprecedented success. His life’s journey with ADHD has included holding an MA in Counseling Psychology, producing hundreds of event experiences, working with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame artists, being a life long meditator, a professional DJ, an Advisory Board Member for SXSW Pitch, a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer in Forbes, and speaking at the White House. Many of his clients have had successful exits including an acquisition to a Fortune 50 company. Offering individual coaching, group coaching, as well as professional training, Brett specializes in effectively mastering neurodivergence and communication in the workplace to foster inclusive environments that unlock the potential of all individuals.  Enjoy! 

[You are now safely here]

00:04 – Skylight calendar makes chores and scheduling easy. Use the code “PETER” for a nice discount!

00:40 – Thank you again so much for listening and for subscribing!!

01:57 – Introducing and Welcome Brett Greene! 

03:05 – A diagnosis journey, experiences w/ medication, productivity turbo, The Musix Biz?

05:25 – ADHD, various experiences including meeting the Dalai Lama, speaking at the White House

06:40 – ADHD and our power of community building

09:17 – Anxiety, rejection sensitive dysphoria, and being neurodivergent in the workplace. #DEI

11:33 – Neurodivergent Professionals and the Struggle with Neurotypical Systems

13:50 – The never-ending quest for success

14:27 – Neurodivergent individuals and the need for education in society.

14:45 – Understanding neurodivergent more as an operating system that’s different, like Apple versus Android

14:26 – How can people find you?

Socials:  LinkedIn @ BrettGreene 

Web: add 

15:05 – Gratitude and Recognition

16:57 – Thanks so much for enjoying “Faster Than Normal”! We appreciate you and your hard work so much! Onwards! Please join us again very soon!

If you haven’t picked up The Boy with the Faster Brain yet, it is on Amazon and it is a number #1 One bestseller in all categories. Click HERE or via My link tree is here if you’re looking for something specific.

TRANSCRIPT via and then corrected.. mostly but somewhat.

You’re listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast, where we know that having Add or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe, from every walk of life in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their add and ADHD diagnosis and used it to their personal and professional advance edge to build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here’s the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast

If you haven’t picked up The Boy with the Faster Brain yet, it is on Amazon and it is a number #1 One bestseller in all categories. Click HERE or via My link tree is here if you’re looking for something specific.

TRANSCRIPT via and then corrected.. pretty-much.  

You’re listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast, where we know that having Add or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe, from every walk of life in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their add and ADHD diagnosis and used it to their personal and professional advance edge to build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now, here’s the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast to simply better their lives. And now here’s the host of the Faster than Normal podcast, the man whose preschool teacher said he would either be president or in jail by age 40, Peter Shankman.

 [01:36]: Peter Shankman:  All right, who are we talking today? We’re talking to Brett Greene. Brett is the founder of new Tech Northwest. It’s a community of 60,000 technologists, and he’s a transformational ADHD and executive coach. He helps high achieving tech entrepreneurs and business leaders reach tons of success. His journey with ADHD has included holding an Ma in counseling psychology, producing hundreds of experiences, working with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artists, and being a lifelong meditator professional DJ because you need to be professional DJ if you’re going to work with a DHG. An advisory board member for SX Swiss Out West pitch a top 35 social media power influencer in Forbes, and he spoke at the White House. His clients have had tons of successful exits. He offers coaching, group coaching, professional training. He does a lot. And best part, he has some stories he wants to tell. Brett, welcome.

Brett [00:02:19]: Thank you, Peter. It’s great. Now, I think I first met you in 2006 at Blog World.

Peter Shankman [00:02:26]: Yeah, it’s been a while. We’ve known each other for quite some time. It’s great to have you here. It’s great to finally have you on the podcast. Give us 30 seconds about you. And I know that you have a bunch of stories you want to share with us.

Brett [00:02:37]: Sure. Add first, real quick shout out to Skylight. My brother and I got that for our parents a few years ago and great gift for parents and other people who love to see the family photos and get excited when you load them in there.

Peter Shankman [00:02:54]: That was their original product. The Skylight frame was the original product. The calendar came next, which does mostly the same thing.

Peter Shankman [00:03:00]: You still show the photos, but it also has a calendar on it. And I love that one for my daughter.

Brett [00:03:03]: Cool 

Peter Shankman [00:03:04]: Awesome.

Brett [00:03:05]: Yeah. ADHD so I’ll try to make it short. I guess the thing I would share about my story is I didn’t get diagnosed until a few years ago, but about 20 years ago had a nephew on Ritalin and his mom’s a psychologist and she said, hey, you might want to try this. And I did. And I didn’t want to be on meds my whole life, so I didn’t do much about it. But when I took it, I took it on a Sunday and in 4 hours got more done than I got done in a week. And I was like, oh my gosh. People’s brains like, do this. And I know you’ve heard this story of your time. I’ve known for a long time. But then there was a point where I needed to get diagnosed, which a lot of folks part of it was to stay married and to figure out everything else than wasn’t working. ADHD diagnosis and understanding that really helped to understand where things were so that we had a new place to create agreements together and build relationship, which is what I’ve now been working with people with for their careers as well as their personal lives. My life was all over the place and not planned and just a lot of luck and weird things. I became a DJ at college radio station 17. Then I was a music director and the program director started. I was a club DJ and had a mobile DJ company in college, all of that. One thing ADHD wise, that’s weird about that is in high school I got asked by someone I’d known for a while, like, hey, do you want to be a cheerleader? And this other guy in the class the asked too. And I was like, oh, I don’t know. But the teacher doing it had been one of my favorite teachers. I’m like, okay, these guys from the college are showing a team now since we get it. So I was a DJ at the punk rock radio station while I was a cheerleader at the high school, and then I was the vice president of a fraternity while I was the program director of the punk rock radio station, which made no sense to other people. But I just did what felt good and what seemed interesting and than just led me into a career in the music industry that I didn’t plan. And that was great. So I was in the music industry.

Peter Shankman [00:05:18]: That’s classic ADHD. I mean you realize that’s classic ADHD I’m going to do what feels good and all of a sudden have a career.

Brett [00:05:25]: Yeah. And felt weird and it didn’t make sense. And the whole time I had anxiety during the career because in hindsight, with the diagnosis, I can realize, oh, this is another reason why I gave up a natural position for a regional. And I moved from La. To Boulder, Colorado, because I could have bosses in La. And New York, and I was on planes all the time, which now I know. ADHD we love to be in motion. And you, with your books and other people know we think better. We get centered when we’re in motion. And I wasn’t having to go into an office every day and feel awkward and weird and trying to navigate the politics and the things that I couldn’t scan because our brains are more empathetic and we’re not really into those things. I’m ADHD I’m dumping all over the place with this. So career in the music industry when I left that realized it wasn’t the ladder that I wanted to be on started a digital marketing company in the early 2000s was Blogging when that first came out. That’s how I ended up meeting you at Blog World. Just got into social media early which was the main reason why I built community. In hindsight I realized I’m a community builder and I did it with music, I did it online. Then when I moved to Seattle ten years ago, I ended up doing it with the tech community and I realized that I’m a connector. I like to help people. It’s one thing that made me resonate with you when I first met you and other weird thing when I was in Boulder, I left school for the record industry went back and finished my degree while I was doing 14 state territory and realized I could keep going. So I went continued with my master’s degree. It wasn’t actually at Cu, it was at Europa University which was founded by a Tibetan Buddhist. Just happened to be there. Somebody asked me to be on student council. And the one six month term I did happened to be when they had, after 15 years, gotten the Dalai Lama to come to Denver and the did a big thing at the Pepsi Center, but he came to the school. So I actually had a private audience with the Dalai Lama. Again, all this is like luck. And following ADHD and even speaking at the White House, I sat in the audience of New Tech Boulder for six years with 400 people a month. And when I moved to Seattle, I couldn’t believe nobody had done it. The formula started after 911 in New York with the founders of had created New York Tech Meetup, which is still going strong and people new York, right? So people are there and then they go other places. So somebody had left in Boulder and I had already been in San Francisco for twelve years. I couldn’t believe nobody had done this in Seattle. So I’m like, oh, I don’t want to just have a job or do something, I want to connect with community. So I started it and it was just great timing. And two years later happened to be when the founder did the first and so far only tech Meetup at the White House because he had known the first female CTO at Google and she was the first CTO of US government under Obama. And they reached out and they asked like 50 Meetup organizers to come speak. And again, not totally, I literally almost fell on my floor when I opened the email. How did this happen? This is just doing what I loved and good things coming so a little longer than I wanted to go. But I realized that a lot of stuff. And ADHD.

Peter Shankman [00:09:04]: It’s okay though, I like that, I like that. Tell us about a lot of good stuff, right? You took these risks, they paid off. You’re doing what you love to do. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. It never is. No, talk about some of the negatives.

Brett [00:09:17]: The negative was not knowing I had ADHD and having anxiety all the time and always feeling wrong. In hindsight, I can see most of us go through what seems like and possibly is like daily emotional poking from the outside, which gives us great radar. But also in my case I realized I also learned after I found out ADHD, and I know you’ve heard this a lot of times, then I discovered rejection, sense of Dysphoria, and for me I was like, oh my gosh, that’s the deal. Like as much as I thought ADHD changed my entire understanding of myself and put me on a healing path around it. RSD just deepened my empathy for everybody else going through it. Add I was like, oh my gosh, I’m glad I’m not alone. But I feel for all the other people that with rejecting sensitive Dysphoria, being so outer oriented, which I think the positive of that is, makes me a great community organizer. The weird thing is, pre COVID, I was producing 52 events a year, getting on stage three or four times a month in front of hundreds of people. And I did it because I loved the connection with the people. Add, I was scared shitless every time. And still now I’ve been doing this ten years, and I get the fulfillment, because people come up and say, oh, I met a great business partner, I got a job, I met this wonderful person, I got this great idea from the presenters. And so I get the fulfillment from the community telling me that what I’m doing is valuable for them, and the saying, thank you so much for doing this, that this exists for us to find each other. But I get on stage and freak out every time. And when I had jobs, in hindsight I realized it wasn’t just that I was a horrible employee, it was because this is actually something I talked to some of my clients about because especially in tech they go through this a lot. I’m not going to throw a blanket statement, but I’ll say in general it seems that most companies are based on neurotypical systems. They’re hierarchical and they’re generally based on how do you get more money? How do you get more power? How do you get a better title? Most of the neurodivergent folks than I’ve met and work with, we are wired because of those things I was talking about in early life I think to be pretty empathetic. We have huge bullshit detectors and we don’t work well in those systems. And so we want to go to work, do a great job. Our brains see all these problems people don’t see, make all these great connections, create solutions that gives us dopamine it’s awesome. Want to do that great job, be acknowledged for it, move up the ladder at work from doing a great job, go home and have a nice life. Then we don’t understand why the guy who does half the work but has radar to find the right people to get his power and money higher is great at sniffing those people out, giving those people what they need. They sniff out the folks who do really hard work, usually a lot of neurodiversity folks who aren’t necessarily or not self promoters generally and out our great work and they get to be the face of the work. They can go up the ladder and go, hey, see what our team is doing even though they’re not doing the work. And you watch those people move up the ladder. And I don’t say it seems like most situations are than way. I’ve talked to over 200 tech professionals that are neurodivergent in the last two years and I’d say almost all of them have experience of this, of like, why can’t I just go do my great job, have a good career, have a good life? Because we’re not wired to play those games and we hate the politics and we hate the nonsense.

Peter Shankman [00:13:04]: Yeah, 100%. It’s very accurate. That’s very accurate. I think that one of the interesting things is that when that happens, instead of fighting it, we internalize it and that doesn’t help us at all. It makes it even worse.

Brett [00:13:20]: Yeah. And that’s actually another thing with coaching that I work with people around is in coaching they talk about that little voice as the saboteur or the wounded child and your more positive self, the leader within the wise adult is really connected to your successes, your wins, and truly who the light you really are. But for ADHD I call it the YAB but full, because it seems like we could work 40 years on cancer and we could cure cancer, but as soon as we get at the top of that mountain, we’re never looking back. And we don’t acknowledge all the work that went into that and everything we did, because we’re in the moment, we’re getting the dopamine while we’re hyper focused building it. We get to the top of the mountain, we cured cancer, and for 30 seconds it’s awesome. And then we look around at the horizon and see all the other mountains and that little yeah, but Fro goes, yeah, but multiple sclerosis, what are you doing with that? And we’re like, oh yeah, I’m a piece of crap, I need to go work on that.

Peter Shankman [00:14:21]: No, it’s so totally true. So totally true. Brett, I want to keep it at 15 minutes like we always do, but we’ll definitely have you back. 

14:26 – How can people find you?

Socials: Yes. LinkedIn @ BrettGreene 

Web: add 

Brett: Can I just say one more? 

Go for it. 

I know you try to keep it tight. Yeah. One thing we talked about real quick on here than I think just because it helps people a lot is understanding neurodivergent more as an operating system that’s different, like Apple versus Android. And when you understand that it’s low executive function, low working memory, low dopamine, low serotonin, you can explain that to people, then you can create a new understanding and context with each other to move forward in a more positive and helpful way. So a quick example is if two people go to lunch, one person orders mayonnaise with their fries, the American goes, that’s weird, and feels like it’s really awkward. Add strange and why would a person do that? And then the other person says, oh, I’m Canadian, that’s what we do. And immediately it just melts. It’s like, oh, you’re Canadian, right? What they do. The truth is we haven’t been educated as a society. We’re not educated on neurodivergent. Unfortunately. It’s up to us to educate the folks around us. And actually I’m working on a book now on communication specifically to help neurodivergent people easily in like a 20 minutes conversation be able to explain what a neurodivergent brain is. So that now the understandings of like, well, why didn’t you do that thing you said you were going to do? Why do you forget this now you’re not going to get labeled as lazy and negative and these things because from a neurotypical perspective that stuff could be true. Bu once they understand a neurodivergent brain and go like, oh, well, you don’t have the parts in your brain for that. You’re at 20% executive function versus 100, and by eleven or 12:11 A.m. Or twelve you’re spent for the day. Whereas I started with ten gallons of fuel I ended up with four and I’m tired. You started with two and you’re at zero and we’re acting like it’s the same thing because we don’t have the language to explain.

Peter Shankman [00:16:24]: No. Excellent, excellent. Great answer.

[00:16:27]: So thank you for letting me do that and thank you for allowing me to be on here. I really appreciate peter, glad to have you, Brett.

Peter Shankman [00:16:33]: Definitely.

Brett [00:16:33]: It’s an honor

Peter Shankman [00:16:35]: Goes, as always, you’ve Been listening to Faster Than Normal. If you like what you hear, leave us a review. Tell people the more people who listen, the better off we are. We are hundreds of episodes in over 300 and we are thrilled that you guys have been along the journey. We couldn’t have done it without you. So we will see you next week. As always, ADHD at all forms in our diversity. What do I say is a gift, not a curse. We’ll see you guys soon. Take care. Stay safe!

Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at and @petershankman on all of the socials. All now on

If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week! 


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