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Do you have ADHD and wonder how you can succeed in business? Today, you are lucky as we welcome Alex Gilbert, a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi, and a brunch enthusiast. She also has dyslexia and ADHD. 

After spending her career working in leadership development, she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that would help adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. 

Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help people and to show them how to succeed with ADHD and/or a learning disability. Her biggest goal in creating Cape-Able Consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities/ADHD by reminding people that they are Cape-able.

It’s always great to take something that someone can deem a disability, and you turn it into a superpower. Alex has done this not only in her own life but is passionate about helping others embrace their superpower, helping them to move forward in life.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Alex shares her journey and struggles of living with dyslexia and ADHD.
  2. She defines and provides insight into dyslexia and the three types of ADHD.
  3. Discover how your disability is a superpower and how to succeed with ADHD.

Episode Highlights

Who is Alex Gilbert

  • Alex is the founder of Cape-Able Consulting.
  • After spending her career in leadership development, she started this coaching and consulting business to help others learn how to succeed with ADHD.
  • The goal is to help adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD who have been struggling in their careers.
  • She wants to help people feel supported and change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities.

The privilege of resources

  • Alex was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at the age of eight.
  • She says being diagnosed at a young age was a privilege as she had all kinds of resources available to help her get through college.
  • She had different testing locations, and they read tests to her.
  • This was how she could stay on par with her peers, graduate, and be successful when it came to her education.

Entering the workforce

  • None of these resources existed when she entered the workforce, and Alex says she fell on her face.
  • She didn’t know how to advocate for herself, didn’t know what her needs were, and she struggled with her mental health in this new setting.
  • Alex felt alone and in the debilitating dark, and she never wanted anyone to feel this way.

How Cape-Able Consulting was born

  • Alex had been working in program and leadership development for over a decade.
  • Laid off from her job due to COVID-19, she took a step back and realized she could use her skills to help people.
  • Catering to those with learning disabilities and/or ADHD, empowering them to advocate for themselves and use their skills to the best of their ability.
  • Cape-Able Consulting was a pandemic baby, and it is thriving.

Alex defines dyslexia

  • With dyslexia, your brain is wired differently.
  • You could read words and numbers differently, and decoding in your brain happens differently.
  • It does not affect intelligence, but it is considered a learning disability.

The three types of ADHD

  • Inattentive: Usually, what you see in girls or women where they’re a little out of it and disorganized; more often than not, is not diagnosed at a young age.
  • Hyperactive: The stereotype for this is the little boy that disrupts the class and is wild; she’s the chatty Cathy for little girls.
  • Combination: You could be inattentive and hyperactive. You could lack focus at times and talk a million miles per minute in another moment.
  • Alex was diagnosed with type three, ADHD- combined type.

Misdiagnosis

  • For those who do not fit the stereotype, ADHD can be missed.
  • It often goes misdiagnosed in girls or people of color because the symptoms differ from the stereotypes.
  • Alex says it’s frustrating not to be diagnosed at a young age as you go through life thinking there is something wrong with you.
  • Many of her clients are diagnosed as adults in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.

There’s better awareness

  • During the pandemic, children were diagnosed as they were home, and their parents noticed their inattentive abilities much more.
  • Tik Tok has been great for raising awareness and a greater understanding of the symptoms.
  • Adults are also getting diagnosed, realizing that it is genetic.

Disabilities are your superpowers

  • When you think of a superhero, you think of their strengths.
  • When you think of a villain, you think of their weaknesses.
  • You should focus on the things that you’re incredible at, that are uniquely you, because of your disability.
  • Everyone has strengths, and everyone has weaknesses; no one is perfect.
  • Embracing, celebrating, and leveraging your strengths is essential.

The label was not her identity

  • Since Alex was a kid, there have been so many negative things said about her, but she chose not to believe it.
  • Instead, she focussed on the fact that she was a great communicator, was poised, and an incredible problem solver.
  • Alex had emotional intelligence at a young age, knowing how to support people uniquely.
  • She chose to believe that these were not worthless skills. 

Not seen as a whole person

  • At 16, Alex started applying to colleges.
  • She had been working with her SAT tutor for a year and was told to apply to community colleges or small liberal arts colleges.
  • She was upset and offended that her tutor could not see her as a worthy or whole person.
  • Through her confidence and self-belief, she went to Indiana University.

Navigating the university system

  • Navigating an extensive university system was not easy; Alex struggled.
  • However, once she figured it out, she was determined that she didn’t want anyone else to feel like they would fail.
  • She created a mentor retention program for college students with disabilities at Indiana University, helping students know how to succeed with ADHD.
  • Once the light was shined on the problem, she never wanted anyone else left in the dark.

How she handles frustration 

  • When Alex was working a corporate nine to five, she was bubbling at the top of her volcano, ready to erupt.
  • She was frustrated working in someone else’s timeframe, and nothing felt authentic under someone else’s pressure.
  • Now, she gets to manage her schedule, work with her mindset, and can go with the flow of her day.
  • Alex works optimally at certain times of the day, and by managing this, she feels less frustrated.

Yoga and movement

  • Alex started yoga at the age of 15, and it was something that zoned her but was also physical.
  • She found yoga to be the most centering form of movement, it’s just her on the mat, and she finds it liberating.
  • Because of her ADHD, her mind runs 1000 miles per minute, and with yoga, things are a little less chaotic.

Naming her company, Cape-Able

  • Alex says there are three reasons she named the company the way she did.
  • Firstly, she spells everything wrong, and when she wrote it, she believed that this is how it should be spelled.
  • Secondly, she wanted people to see their strengths and feel like they could proudly wear their cape, knowing that they’re amazing.
  • And thirdly, Alex wanted to remind people that they are capable of anything even if told that they are less.

How she works with people

  • Alex does one-on-one coaching as part of a three-month cycle.
  • She offers strategy sessions showing you how to succeed with ADHD/learning disabilities.
  • She also does a lot of corporate consulting, teaching companies how to become more inclusive for people with learning disabilities or ADHD.

How does Alex Gilbert want to be remembered?

  • She wants to be remembered for the fact that she has always been out there and unafraid of who she is. It’s okay to be confident, even if you’re not perfect.

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

11:38 – “Having teachers look down on me and say, You’re stupid, you’re worthless, you’re not going to do anything. I could literally come up with 1000 things that were said to me. I would listen to it. And I would say, I hear you, I don’t believe it. It’s not serving me. And we’re going away now”. 

12:51 – “I could have this emotional intelligence at such a young age and know how to support somebody uniquely. Those are not worthless skills. Those are tremendous skills and are worthy in any organization.”

15:09 – “…my SAT tutor, who had been working with me for a year, looked at my scores and was like, I think you should apply to community colleges or small liberal arts colleges. And I was looking at her, and I was like, why? You’ve worked with me for a year, and I’m president of six different clubs and a leader in all aspects. And I was so upset and offended that she didn’t see me as a whole person. She just saw me as something on paper that wasn’t worthy”.

 

About Alex Gilbert

Most people getting a diagnosis of ADHD are adults, and the impact of the disorder affects you every day. There is also a high percentage of entrepreneurs who have a learning disability and/or ADHD and a high correlation to mental health challenges. Alex just wants adults to know there is support out there.

Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help people and to show them how to succeed with ADHD and/or a learning disability. Her biggest goal in creating Cape-Able Consulting is to change the stigma by reminding people that they are Cape-able. 

Alex says that she is uniquely qualified as someone who has lived with these disabilities and knows the day-to-day challenges while also having a successful career in program and leadership development. So reach out and connect with her to see how she can help you!

Connect with Alex

Website 

Linkedin 

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Thanks for listening,

Darrell