By Janet L. Schmidt
Jim Brown, aka pen name, James Phoenix says “I’m an old guy now” but, this old guy has founded dozens of companies. He estimates about half of these companies were successful. A couple of companies were off the charts successful and went International. For the past 25 years he has been in the envious position of doing pretty much anything he wants to do.
Lately, he has been doing a lot of writing. He’s got a couple fiction novels out there that got picked up by publishers. He recently wrote an ADHD memoir which his agent is now shopping around to bigger publishers. The central theme of his ADHD memoir is how his ADHD hyperfocus was the main factor in every major success he has ever had. He plans on giving away all royalties he receives for his memoir to The Arc of the United States which happens to be the largest supplier of Autism / ADHD services in the world.
I’ll let Jim tell you in his own words about his journey to finding out about ADHD and its impact on his life. Below is the excerpt from his website that tells about him:
“There’s a memoir in the works called Relentless, detailing my great struggle with The Phoenix Project and highlighting another aspect of my personality that only very recently came to light…An aspect that doubtless played a huge role, not only in my ability to stick with it for fifteen odd years with my literary project and finally get the job done, but a trait that had a major impact from early childhood on. I’m talking about my very late in life diagnosis with high end ADHD.
Coming up on six years ago, I managed to get my second DUI. They were more than twenty-five years apart, but still, it was my second. I didn’t drink every day. There were times where I’d go months without a drink. But when I did drink, I didn’t fool around and quickly found myself out of control. Finally with my second DUI I resolved to eliminate alcohol all together but figured it’d be a good plan to get some help. I had heard of a drug call Anti-Buse, which has been around since the forties. If you’re on it and drink, it makes you deathly ill.
I went to my doctor and asked her to give me a prescription. She told me I’d have to get it from a shrink and referred me to one. The shrink told me she’d be happy to prescribe Anti-Buse but her comment was: ‘That’s just a band aid. You’ll always have problems with alcohol unless you treat your primary condition.’
‘What are you talking about?’ I asked.
Her eyes opened wide. ‘You mean you don’t know? I can give you a test right now, but I picked up on it in the first five minutes of our session. You have an over the top high end text book diagnosis of ADHD. It’s surprising you can function at all.’ She gave me that test and I scored off the charts. James Phoenix was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of sixty. Then she explained exactly what ADHD was. How that people with the condition are often highly creative, how they are bombarded by a million random thoughts, and find it impossible to concentrate on anything, how they’re typically very scattered.
But how in some cases, and I’m a classic case in point, they subconsciously develop skill sets to deal with the condition. One such skill, which I had used for years, was the list thing. Every morning I’d write out a list of things I had to accomplish that day.
The building I was in could be burning down around my ears. But I’d never smell the smoke or feel the heat, as I’d be completely focused on my list, checking them off one by one. If running out of that burning building wasn’t on that list, I wouldn’t get it done.
It’s called Hyper Focus and I can point to instance after instance in my life all the way back to early childhood, where this ability to zoom in on the task at hand with laser like focus while ignoring anything and everything else played a major role in my ultimately succeeding at the task at hand.
But however they wired me at birth; I’ve been an underdog just about all my life. It’s just possible I may have some company out there.”
“Relentless & The American Dream / ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia & Other Adventures ”
By Jim Brown, AKA, James Phoenix
Copyright May 18, 2018
All Rights Reserved for the Phoenix Foundation
Jim Brown aka James Phoenix spent his literary apprenticeship as a student, a dishwasher, a waiter, a factory hand, a construction worker, a weightlifter, a bouncer, a lobsterman, a salesman and a successful hi-tech entrepreneur. Originally from Boston’s North Shore, he and his wife Susan now split their time between South-Coastal Maine and the US Virgin islands. Three of his fiction novels have been published: Frame Up, Loose Ends and Kestral.