Simplifying Your Complexities w/ Impulsive Thinker Andre Brisson
André Brisson, P. Eng., is the host of The Impulsive Thinker Podcast, the podcast for the high-achieving ADHD entrepreneur. Andre owns an entrepreneurial consulting engineering company and recently started Tactical Breakthroughs where he is developing the ADHD Transformation Journey program. Diagnosed late in life with severe ADHD and mild Asperger’s (ASD), the mechanisms and systems he created to overcome his undiagnosed ADHD have helped him succeed. He credits his undiagnosed ADHD as key to his success and a factor in restricting success. Since discovering how to turn his ADHD into a strength, people have sought him out for help with using their ADHD as a strength to drive success. André Brisson has a special ability is devouring and learning complex information and simplifying for others to solve complex problems. Like most entrepreneurs, André has started multiple companies, the two of which failed for various reasons. Learning from those failures, André now operates three very successful companies, including a self-managing entrepreneurial engineering firm specializing in niche markets that require unique training, experience, and impulsive instinct to try new things. Enjoy!
In this episode Peter and Andre discuss:
00:45 – Thank you so much for listening and for subscribing!
00:48 – Welcome Andre Brisson!
02:40 – What is your success key for imparting complex information to the neurotypical? Ref: Ringette
04:15 – Simplifying the complex things
05:06 – On the differences between informing and teaching
05:30 – When did you get diagnosed and what brought all that about?
06:02 – On inventing a “character” for yourself to be perceived as “not abnormal”.
07:00 – On the importance of being unique
07:45 – You said you were beginning to scare your kids- can you go into details on that? Ref: emotional dysregulation
09:55 – Have you ever bought anything strictly on impulse? Tell us in the comments!
11:00 – Parenting with ADHD/mild Asperger’s prior to a diagnosis
13:36 – On learning your strengths and maintaining, managing and delegating what’s not best for you. Aka Peter’s “life rules”
15:15 – A bit more on delegating and staying in the lane, and on the road.
16:38 – How can people find more about you? Email: [email protected]
Objective Engineering Inc.
The Impulsive Thinker Podcast
16:51 – Andre, thank you so much! Ref: Faster Than Normal the book!
17:75 – Thank you. Guys, as always thanks so much for subscribing! Do you have a cool friend with a great story? We’d love to hear. I’m www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via email at [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!
19:08 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
TRANSCRIPT via Descript and then corrected.. somewhat:
[00:00:38] Hey everyone, Peter. Shankman welcome to the episode of Faster Than Normal. I’m thrilled that you’re here. It is great to have you again, we have a fun guest today. I’m gonna start with his tagline because his tagline pretty much says everything ;it’s simplifying your complexities, which I think is just the best description I’ve ever heard of someone who works with people with A D D ADHD, people who are. ADHD. I love that. It’s just so clear. Andre, Brisson and I, I screwed it up. I tried my was really hard to get. That was good. Was good’s the host of the Impulsive Thinker podcast, very similar to FTN. Podcast for high achieving ADHD entrepreneurs. He owns an entrepreneur consulting engineering company, and recently started another company called Tactical Breakthroughs where he’s developing an ADHD transformation journey program. He was diagnosed later in life with severe ADHD and mild Asperger’s and the mechanisms and systems he created much like the stuff I did to overcome his undiagnosed ADHD have helped him succeed and he credits his undiagnosed as a key to his success and a factor in restricting success as well. So that’s ING to discover, um, Since discovering how to turn his ADHD into a strength people have out for help using their ADHD as well.\ You talk in your bio about how you have special ability for taking complex information and simplifying for others and first thought, when I heard that was something that happened with me. And I think my mom, like five years ago when she got a new iPhone and she was having a problem doing like four things. And so I just went over there. The their, my parents’ apartment. And I’m like, here, gimme the phone done. Dun dun dun. She’s like, great, but I didn’t learn how to do it. Right. Right. And I realized I’m terrible at taking complex information that I understand and teaching people how to understand it. I just want to do it and get it done. That’s an ADHD thing. So let’s, let’s start there. What is, what is your sort of success key there where you actually have the ability and the, the patience or whatever it is to take that information and simplify it down so other people can learn it as opposed to just doing it for them.
[00:02:55] Andre: Well, the, to me, that’s the key difference is I don’t do it for them. I’ve always helped people understand, break down something complex into simple steps or layman terms so that they can act on it. And then they can think about it differently to act on it at a future time. Um, like for example, and on in Canada here, we have Ringette. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a sport on ice for women. So basically they got a rubber ring with a spear, their stick. And I, I referee then I was in an evaluator and, uh, an officially evaluator. So what I actually did was I always asked them what’s. The rule, like usually you guys say this occurred, this occurred that I call it right or not. So I go by and says, what’s the rule. The rule says this. And then we break down the steps of what occurred and apply the actual rule to those steps. So I step it out for people so that they can understand it. And if you don’t understand the first way, I tackle it at a different angle until they get it. And what I’m trying to teach them is stepping out the thought process to come with their own conclusions, with the facts that they know they already had. And didn’t realize it. Okay.
[00:04:04] Peter: That makes sense. Yeah, it does. It does. It’s interesting. Cause that, that takes patience and, and that’s one of the few things that most people with ADHD simply don’t have anywhere near half of.
[00:04:15] Andre: Mm-hmm yeah. The thing is a lot of times I can simplify that complex information. So someone understands it and so that they can act on it and I can make it real. So usually I, I I’m able to connect something that’s in their life or someone else’s life or mine. And that’s what I do a lot on the podcast is this is a snare that happened. It kind of happened to me. And then people, once you make it real people seem to click with it better.
[00:04:39] Peter: Yeah. Makes sense. And, and yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s a, a, you know, my keynote speaking trait, you tell stories that people have people who relate to and all of a sudden, it’s not some guy on stage talking about something foreign, it’s something. Oh yeah. I get that.
[00:04:51] Andre: Yeah. I. I had a chat today with two different people. We, I kind of, I blurted this out and I thought it was pretty smart now to think about it now, but I think there’s a difference between informing to understand versus educating, to teach. So if, and for me, I was talking about advocacy as you know, I, I stopped educating people. I just tried to inform people so they can understand adult ADHD and the differences.
[00:05:17] Peter: That makes a lot of sense. I think that also the more informed they are, the more they feel like they can have a handle on it, as opposed to. I guess educating. Yeah. Yeah. They might not necessarily get, no. That makes sense. Tell us about, um, your background. You said you were late, you were late, uh, diagnosed how late?
[00:05:36] Andre: Uh, about four years ago when I was 44. Oh, wow. Um, and then that was a, that was all because of a life Tempest. As I’ve been calling had three perfect storms collide at once. Um, got into a bad business partnership. I got bored with my first company once it got successful. So I S sabatoged that. Things weren’t going well at home. And my Sy symptoms overtook me and controlled me for a couple of years to the point where my kids are just looking at me scared. And I said, I gotta get help. Huh. And got the diagnosis. I went actually to get the diagnosis to prove it wasn’t ADHD. Cause I thought there was something worse, wrong with me. Because that diagnosis, like it was too simple of a solution to explain my last 44 years and develop a character that I became so I can fit in and not be looked as abnormal. And then, so I got really good at playing this character. Now I’m learning how to be me and to differentiate the two, because it almost became, you know, I almost, I brainwashed myself to believe that that was the person I was or shouldn’t be.
[00:06:38] Peter: No, I get that. I mean, it’s, it’s, you know, fitting in and not being, uh, you know, and not sort of ever really fitting in with the crowd or with, with, uh, any group in, in school, you know, and that takes a toll. I don’t think, I think we’re just starting to realize what kind of toll that takes on people, um, and how much, uh, that that’s re you know, those early forming, forming years are really responsible for sort of right. The kinda stuff you deal with.
[00:07:03] Andre: And then I was overlooked because I was doing well in school. Like I’m also gifted. Um, and so since you’re successful and you’re doing well in school, you can’t have it. You’re just not doing what you’re supposed to. You’re not trying to hard enough for, you know, stop being unique. That was my favorite word. You’re too unique to be part of this and I’ve always fought the right to be unique. And I always thought we should all, we’re all different. I understood why we were always trained to say we’re everyone’s alike, but we’re not. We’re all unique.
[00:07:35] Peter: So what, when you get, I’m curious, you mentioned something, you said, um, you said you had symptoms that were starting to, uh, that were starting to scare your kids. Ex can you go into detail on that?
[00:07:47] Andre: Oh, emotional dysregulation times 2 million. Um, it didn’t take much to spark me off. And then all I would do was I’d just be screaming at them for something silly. And when I started being cognizant of a screaming at them, for being silly, my brain was actually saying, Hey buddy, you’re overreacting here. You should stop. And then I got the other part of my brain going, eh, forget it. Let’s keep going. I’m already into it. Um, so when I saw those look in their eyes, it gave me a. It scared me cuz I saw myself. Um, there when I was a child and that’s when I said no, no more, no more. So I went and got help. So the emotional dysregulation definitely took over, um, and enforced, uh, and then my impulsivity and the no filter uh, aspect of my brain having no filter, just my impulsivity, my ver my words would just come out and I just started not caring anymore. And that’s when I said that, that, that the symptoms took over, um, impulsive bias, impulsive business partnerships, knowing that it was not going to be good. Um, and for me, I realized with time, since my diagnosis, I have a fear of being idle and when I get bored, that’s when I could become dangerous. And that’s when, so my physical hyperactivity, even at, as an adult kicks in, if I’m bored and then what happened was with my other company, once the startup phase was done and we’re successful in maintaining success and having good gradual growth, I was bored. The, the entertainment, the interest was gone. So I created chaos. Impulsively trying this, trying that in muscle dysregulation, continuing. Um, and, and then just going on with the inattention, not caring, I had a really great point and it just escaped me. It’ll come back to that’s yeah.
[00:09:46] Peter: I mean, that’s that happens all the time. You, you go down the route, press rabbit, home, like, wait, my original point was like five feet away from that. Yeah. Um, I think that probably, I think every episode
[00:09:55] Andre: and the impulsivity of buying stuff. You know, spending sling money, losing cash flow, all that type of stuff. That was it.
[00:10:03] Peter: It’s interesting. I’ve never, I, I, I, I understand that. And I get that. I I’m fortunate. I don’t think it ever, I never went down that rabbit hole too much, but I’ve certainly made impulse. I mean, you know, mm-hmm, virtually everything I’ve ever bought in my life has been impulse by, I, I do you wind up doing research on the product you bought after you bought it?
[00:10:22] Andre: um, No. I usually do all the research ahead of time. So I know what I’m buying is good is just deciding to do it. Like the one was, Hey, we got a bunch of cash in the bank account. Um, I’ve been looking at building a server. This is quite a few years ago getting a server for the office. We got a big team, so I’m just gonna blow 40 grand right now, rather on a finance plan. Um, cuz at the same time I didn’t care. Um, which was part of it, which was the interest part. Um, but the other thing too Peter. I think that I think a lot of people are getting diagnosed later in life. And for me, I never realized this about two years ago was. It really started to take control. My symptoms. When I had kids, when they disrupted my, my rhythm at home, my routine at home, that was my calm down time. When I got home, I could rejuvenate and now having being stuck, cuz you’re scheduled being disrupted all the time. Cuz kids just want to be with you. They just wanna last minute try different things and no, no, I like, I just sat down, I’m ready to do a bunch of stuff and now you’re disrupting me. So that’s when I think it started to steamroll the effects of these symptoms.
[00:11:35] Peter: I totally totally get that. It’s it’s a, having a kid. I got diagnosed before I had my daughter, but it was Def it’s definitely a, um, you know, you sort of, you get this vibe where it’s like, okay, uh, dinner’s over, you know, I have an hour till I have to put her to bed, I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna sit down and breathe and just whatever. And then it’s like, dad play with me. And of course I, I will, but it took a while to sort of, uh, be able to focus entirely. Right, right. And
[00:12:01] Andre: not oh, huge. You know? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then you feel shitty as a, as a parent, cuz you can’t give your full attention or you’re always thinking, how can I get outta this? I , how can go back to what I was doing exactly. Cause I need to get that done. I gotta get it done. What’s going on? Right?
[00:12:14] Peter: No question about it. So when, so when you got diagnosed, what, what was the, uh, what was the treatment plan? Was it medication? Was it, .
[00:12:22] Andre: We, uh, tried medication, uh, I think I’m part of that 20% that doesn’t work well. Um, but I think the, some of the medication I was on at that time, I needed it just to settle and almost had stopped my brain for a while so I can just catch my breath and take everything in. And then, um, Slowly got off of it. Um, but for me, the big thing is I just hyper-focused for a good year and a half on learning everything I could about ADHD interesting and simplifying it. And that’s why I tell people like educating yourself the effects and then is huge. And then I was part of therapy group therapy. Now I’m just finishing up my dialectal behavioral therapy. I’ve done cognitive behavioral therapy, ah, even the group therapy on how to have fun. But it was a neurotypical direction, but anyways, um, a lot of talking with similar people helped. And then for me to simplify ADHD down to, I think it’s its core, it’s an executive functioning dysfunction and time blindness. Those two affects the, the, the, the DSM symptoms of inattention hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Um, that made a lot of sense to me. And then at the same time, shortly before my ADHD diagnosis, I got diagnosed with type two diabetes. And that’s when I realized I can’t get rid of it. Like I diabetes, I can’t get rid of it. Nothing I can do can cure it, but I can manage it and extend my life. And that’s what I saw with ADHD. .Manage the symptoms so I can work well. And I had a mantra my whole time for a long time saying your strengths can become your weaknesses. And when I put that together with my ADHD symptoms, as long as I can manage my symptoms, That’s how, why I succeed as an entrepreneur and those are my strengths, but if I let them go be overutilized or underutilized and then become my strengths. And that’s when I say ADHD can become a disorder, is when they’re impeding your day to day.
[00:14:23] Peter: I agree. I, I think it’s another way of saying, you’re saying the same thing that I say a different way, which is, you know, you have to have. These life rules that you can’t deviate from because you know, you, your brain works a certain way. And so you put these right pro processes into place that allow you to utilize it to your best ability. Mm-hmm . And if you, if you deviate from that, you’re gonna go off the road.
[00:14:42] Andre: Right. And, and then the other thing I discovered too, so for, I don’t know, I can’t do math. I’m an engineer. I need a calculator here. Um, so about a good 20 years, all I did was read all the self-help books. I’ve taken almost every assessment out there to identify strengths, but my therapist actually said you were doing all that to find out what was wrong with you to concentrate on what’s not good enough to build on. So with my diagnosis, I took there’s three good tools that I use that really identifies my talents and strengths. And. Take those. And I help people with these assessments too, to understand what’s your unique strength and talent. So if we could just stay in those abilities, Then it’s easy to hyperfocus and you’re having a lot of fun and you’re not, and don’t waste your time on things you’re not good at and you don’t like doing that. So as an entrepreneur, it’s handy, you, you got staff, you can have people, you delegate a lot of those, but I help people understand what their unique talents and strengths are, where they should be spending their time, where they can get a lot of energy and enjoyment every day, be creative and then have a team around you that just take care of the stuff you don’t like.
[00:15:50] Peter: That’s a hundred percent given you, have you have someone or people to do the stuff that you’re terrible at? I mean, that’s, you know, for 14 years now, I’ve had, I’ve had my assistant, it’s a game changer.
[00:16:00] Andre: Yep. Like we got a minimal limited brain mental brain, uh, energy, right. Every day. And I think ADHD, we just have a really good ability to effectively use it to run all day, or we have a really great efficient way to inefficiently use our mental energy and at the end of the day, it, so if we’re starting to do things we don’t like to do all day, then we’re really, really burnt out at the end of the day. But if we can stay in that lane, man, you can do that seven days straight and not get, get tired.
[00:16:29] Peter: It’s a great way to put it. It’s a great way to close too. I wanna keep us to our 20 minute mark. Uh, tell us how people could find you?
[00:16:36] Andre: Uh, you can find me at, uh, Andre, Andre, b.ca I’ll take anyone’s email. Um, but you can find me on LinkedIn. Our tactical bts.com is another source.
[00:16:47] Peter: We’ll put all the, all the, all your links that you gave us. We’ll put ’em in the, uh, in the podcast notes. Andre, thank you so much for taking the time. This was really, really informative. We’re definitely gonna have you back, uh, at some point in the near future.
[00:16:57] Andre: Well, I appreciate you having me, Peter. And, um, like I said, like, I don’t think I said this, but, uh, yet till now, um, you’re Faster Than Normal book. I actually bought it five years ago, thinking it was one how I can work faster. then I bought it again, uh, and read it. And then I found the other book, but I think I really liked your aspect too, that, you know, it’s not a disorder. It’s our, it’s a, it’s a very unique ability of doing things and to not thinking as a negative. And, and make it work. And I really, a lot of stuff in there I re not reflected it hit me. I can, I understand exactly what was in there. And it was also comforting to know what I created in the past. Unknowingly. I was on the right track. So I thought it was a really good book and I do recommend it to a lot of people.
[00:17:45] Peter: Thank you, man. That’s a really, really kind of you. Guys as always, Faster Than Normal, We wanna hear what you’re thinking. We wanna hear of any guests you might wanna hear from, shoot us a, a email [email protected] We’re on all the socials. You know, our, our handles by now. Thank you for listening. We will see again next week with another guest, we appreciate you and know that ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity are gifts, not curses! We’ll see you next week!
[00:19:08]Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. 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!