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ep 44: Problem-Solving & Focus For Success with Jeremy Baxter

i know what to do so why can't i do it

Are you struggling to manage your ADHD traits in the workplace and personal life? In this candid and revealing episode, Jeremy Baxter shares his inspiring journey from being a hyperactive student to becoming a successful Walmart store manager. Discover the game-changing strategies that helped him harness his unique brain wiring to excel in his career and improve his relationships, all while navigating the challenges of ADHD-like traits.

What you'll learn:

  • How to turn repetitive tasks into opportunities for growth and problem-solving

  • Strategies for improving communication and reducing abruptness in interactions

  • Tips for being more present with family and finding healthy energy outlets

  • The importance of developing focus and commitment through challenging activities

  • Practical advice for building focus and accomplishment, starting with small tasks

  • How to leverage ADHD traits for success in work and personal life

"It's not a one-day thing... You can be successful and it just starts one action at a time." - Jeremy Baxter

Throughout this episode, Jeremy offers practical advice and hard-won wisdom to help you transform potential workplace challenges into opportunities for growth. By implementing the strategies discussed, you'll gain the tools and mindset shifts needed to excel in your career, improve your relationships, and achieve your personal goals.

Useful Links Mentioned:

Connect with Jeremy on social media: @JeremyJacksonBaxter

Learn more about private coaching with Mande:

No matter how challenging your ADHD traits may feel, this episode is a powerful reminder that you have the ability to harness them for success. Start taking small steps today, and watch as they compound into significant results over time. Your ADHD success story awaits!

Share your biggest takeaways and "aha" moments from this episode with us in the comments or on our social media channels. We're here to support and celebrate your progress!

Remember: By embracing your unique traits, implementing practical strategies, and aligning your actions with your goals, you can turn perceived weaknesses into strengths. Your ADHD doesn't have to hold you back from success. With the right tools and mindset, you have the power to thrive in both your professional and personal life.

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Click here to read the transcript:

All right. Welcome back, guys. We are here today with Jeremy Baxter, and he is a friend. I've known Jeremy since. My gosh, I think you're in seventh grade, Jeremy. I think. I think that was the class. So I've known him since then and we've had kind of an interesting thing.

I was teaching in the town across the river from where we live. And so it's actually in Arizona. I live in California and I was substitute teaching full time. And so they would just kind of move me from classroom to classroom. And I was there for for a while when I was in those classrooms. And one of those classrooms was Jeremy's.

And I it's so funny that we are having this conversation on the learn to Thrive with ADHD podcast because I recognized how Jeremy's brain worked back then, but I never recognized that he had ADHD. I just knew what I needed to do to help him. And so what we were experiencing just real quick is Jeremy would get his work done and then he'd get bored and then he'd start talking to everybody around him.

And he just like I recognized really quickly, I'm like, This is a good kid. This is a smart kid. He's getting bored. I need to push something more to do. I am. And so I would have him like help out in the classroom. I would give him worksheets. I would like have him do other things. But then years later, and not too many years later, I guess that years later Jeremy showed up on my husband's coaching team for wrestling and, and you know, four years of that.

Did you wrestle for years?

Yes. Yes, absolutely.

Okay. And great at that. That was something that came seemed like it came really naturally to you. Did you feel that way?

No, we did.


But once it went, it clicked. Yes, it did. It did.

Yeah. And my husband has a real passion for wrestling. And so I got to know the boys over the years, and Jeremy was one of them.

And so it was funny. He kind of showed up again and I'm like, I know him. So we got to know his family and everything and have just been friends ever since. But when I put out there that I needed professionals or entrepreneurs for the podcast, Jeremy raised his hand and Jeremy is now a manager, store manager position for five years, I believe you said at Walmart and we're going to talk about some things that he's done to move ahead in his career because of the way his brain is wired differently and that the reason we're going to talk about this, amongst other things, is I want you to look at how you can apply

this in your life. And so, Jeremy, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Yes. Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Mande. So, yes, I met Mande in seventh grade, and I remember her always redirecting me after in class.

So. And then I met her

husband and he he really I think it really started there, which, you know, when it comes to redirecting my energy to wrestling.

But I live here in Missoula, Montana. I've worked for Wal-Mart for 13 years. I manage a $132 million Wal-Mart. And just professionally, I've worked in eight different Wal-Marts throughout Washington and Montana, and I manage about 380 employees and just just about works many different jobs. However, some of the hobbies that I do, I paintball, I love golfing, obviously, I love wrestling.

I coach wrestling for ten years. I'm in Washington just wanting to give back to the community. Besides that, also just involved in many different nonprofits to help the communities here locally in Missoula and also in Washington. So besides that,

excellence. All right. Well, thank you for that. So we were talking a little bit before the call, kind of get in the direction of where we were going to go.

But something really interesting that you talked about that I think would be helpful to everybody is how you dealt with repetitive tasks at work. Why don't you just go ahead and talk about that?

Right. So here at Walmart, there is mostly hourly positions and hourly supervisor positions. They're typically the same job every single day. You do the same thing.

Like, for example, I started with Walmart unloading trucks. And so we have 53 foot trailers that are stacked top to bottom with boxes and every single day you show up and you put boxes on the line, which is a rolling line that unloads it and you sort them by department and then you just pull them out to the floor, the literally same thing you do every single day.

However, doing that, it's just the same monotonous right. And a lot of people in my mind, a lot of my my mind and also a lot of other people's minds. Right. You kind of stick with that repetitive motion. You're just like, okay, I'm just here, get the grind done, so forth. But my mind was just busy all the time and I'm just like, How can I how can I take that and apply it right?

Because I'm thinking about all these different things, but I'm just doing the same thing. So what I did there at work is instead of just focusing on the repetitive motions, I started thinking about things that I could do to to essentially keep my mind busy.


and just finding tasks there at the store that people didn't want to do and also seeking out tasks that needed to be done that I that I would recognize that weren't being done.

And so just by attacking those things, it was keeping my brain busy and keeping also spending the energy that I needed to expend each day. And I was able to that was able to benefit me very much professionally and to be able to move forward in positions because I was being recognized for completing these tasks and recognizing them.

And that was just by reading racking my brain from being bored.

Yeah, yeah. So in coaching we talk about being empowered or being disempowered and a lot of times people in those types of positions can be very disempowered where they're just like, This is I'm just showing up, this is what's happening. I don't really have any control over the situation, but what I see you have done there, have you took a very empowered position.

And not only that, our brain loves to solve problems and you were giving your brain exactly what it desired and expending that energy. Jeremy talks a lot about extending energy. He's not diagnosed, but I suspect if you were, it would be hyperactive like me. And if you don't expend that energy, it can cause anxiety, it can cause all kinds of issues.

And so he's found some really great ways to do that. There is another thing you talked about that I think would be a very interesting conversation for everybody. And it's how we can sometimes come off abrupt when we're having interactions with people. And you've done some really interesting things to solve that. I know for me, I look at that as like I always want to kind of get to the point a lot of my clients talk about how they don't really like small talk.

They just want like they just want to talk about the thing at hand. But in the position you're in where you're managing people at this point, what have you done to help with the abruptness?

Yes, that is professionally that that's something that I really focus on, especially especially this is a newer story. I've only been here for about a year and a half and getting to know 380 new people that don't know me and my previous daughter I worked in for seven years.

So once people get to know you and know what you're about, they're like, okay, this guy's great. But when you first take over a new store, you know, that was where that behavior was really being recognized by those new employees and new associates. It was like, wow, this guy is just coming up, talk to me and then just walks off like he doesn't really care who I am.

And so what? And fortunately, there was one brave soul, which I appreciate a lot expressed that is like, Hey, it seems like you're being a little abrupt or maybe even abrasive. And I just had never even realized that. And so what I did was to kind of curb that. And also stop myself from basically continuing that behavior was I would ask it to engage in the conversation, but making sure I ended it by asking the employee a question or

if you needed clarification on anything big to stop myself from walking away.

Right. And so by changing that behavior, it's improved the relationship with my employees because now it appears as if I'm also seeing what they need or potentially their input on things. And so it was kind of a two fold attack when I was able to work on that behavior.

Yeah, and I love that. I work with that with clients where we put in a pause, which is essentially what you've done there.

You put in a pause and you did it with curiosity. And that curiosity helps them to feel like you care and you want to know, you know, whether they understand, you want to know about them, you know, so that that is some good work to kind of deal with the abruptness that I know a lot of us feel like we can be that way.

Another thing that I was telling Jeremy that a lot of my male clients will come to me about is feeling like they are not as present as they would like to be, especially with their families. And Jeremy has a unique experience where he kind of recognized that for himself and took care of it. You want to tell us about that?

Absolutely. So I know personally just prior. So I have two kids and prior two kids mentally and physically. You know, I needed to expend that energy. And sometimes I did spend that on my phone or also outside doing extra hobbies to just expend that energy. But sometimes what that appeared in my relationship was that I wasn't present and it wasn't that I didn't want to be present.

It's just I had to find things to do or I just had all this, like I explained to before, is just I had this like nervousness that I always needed to be doing something. And so I wasn't and truly realized that I wasn't present until my daughter, she's two and a half and she was on my phone and she was came up to me and was like, Hey, Dada, you know, get off your phone.

And it was just just an epiphany. And it really made me think about where I was spending my energy.

And it it really, I guess, emotionally hit me too, is because, you know, I thought I was spending a lot of time with my daughter and which which I always tried to do. And then it just made me realize, like, I need to reprioritize what I'm doing.

And if this phone, you know, obviously I don't need it to expend my mental energy, what do I need to do to do that? And so I went and got a trampoline for my daughter, got a playset for outside, more toys outside so that when I do go outside with her that I'm able to also expend my own energy and mental energy so that I don't need the phone.

Yeah, yeah. And so when you go outside with her, do you leave the phone inside? What do you do.

Yes. Or I'll put on music that she likes. So we're outside so that you know, essentially it's, it's still present but I'm not using it. I'm not on it. I'm able to be able to, I guess, disconnect from it.

Yeah. And I think what you're going to hear in this episode, those of you that are listening or watching over and over again, is that Jeremy has taken something that could be a problem and found a healthy outlet for it. And that's what I have at the top of the sheet here in the notes that I took was a healthy way to expend energy.

And I, I noticed when we were having the conversation you said that because you find all these healthy outlets, at the end of the day, you're able to truly rest. Tell us more about that.

Absolutely. So since I was my mom will tell you, since I was probably two, she would just find me randomly throughout the house. I was asleep under the table in a closet.

Right. I was extending that energy. And it's the same principle here now at 36 years old is that I make sure that I expend that energy in a in a healthy manner. Right. Finding healthy avenues, you know, cleaning the house or doing the laundry, putting it away, just daily tasks to not put them off cleaning the car, mowing the lawn.

Those those seem simple, but those are healthy avenues and even potentially hobbies that you can invest in. I do golfing, paintball, right. It seems like a lot for one person to be doing all those things, but that's just where I've I've been able to find those healthy avenues. And actually, I do want to credit Mande's husband Iron is because in even in other sports when I was growing up I still had a lot of energy, but he really showed me what I could do to direct all my energy at something.


I think that was really helped me developmental wise, know where to put it on my energy into a healthy avenue because I don't know if I never knew is that I did train every morning at 5 a.m., ran three miles and did 150 push ups and sit ups before the day started.

that's amazing.

And so I think that was where the mentality change really happened because I was still played other sports, but I played all sports all the time.

But wrestling was the only one that really helped curb a lot of my hyperactivity because there was so much to do and so much to trip. And so that kind of transition as I matured over time. And so obviously I'm not doing wrestling right now, so now I have to find those healthy avenues as an adult male to be able to do and also as a father to expend that energy.

Yeah, and people that don't know wrestling it is that 2 minutes on the mat and you've done basketball as well and I played basketball. That running up and down the court is nothing like that. 2 minutes on the mat I imagine, right? Yeah. It's just it it really is a sport you have to give 100% to. And the other thing that we notice is the wrestlers that go on to, like, be in the military or things like that, they are so much more prepared than the other people around them because they have done a sport that just takes all of your soul and heart and energy.

And so that's that's very interesting. I didn't know you trained in the morning, and I bet he doesn't know that either. This you talked about giving things 100%. You mentioned that something that is a talent of yours is what I heard is finishing something to completion and giving you side, giving yourself giving it 100% of your focus until it's done.

That is a challenge for a lot of people. Tell us like how you do that,

right? It actually that and I will say once again and as Manny stated it, we've known each other for a long time and her husband and I are really good friends is that's where it started was wrestling helped me focus 100% of my energy.

And so that's where I realized in my mind then now, as a as a as a teenager, like, I, I can't just come here and do this halfway, right? And then to be able to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish just changed my mentality because before I did everything, you know, you just kind of when you do sports, you try all these different sports and sometimes you never complete them.

All right. Will complete all the tasks you're doing. And I know my mom had to follow up with me a lot, even my stepdad, on a lot of things that I was assigned because I just partially do them and take off. And so was an intel wrestling guy. I really realized like, this is what I want to do.

And if I want to accomplish what I have to want to accomplish, I have to give it 100%. And then once I achieved it, I was able to actually apply that as I matured over time because I knew what that feeling was. And so it now that I knew how to apply it through and having learned that I do those things now is because I know what my focus because all that energy being put into one thing is, is an amazing feeling is because then I know that when you don't finish those things because my wife is ADHD is sometimes it does impact your mental state because you're not accomplishing things.

You're just partially doing stuff, starting stopping, never quite finishing, putting it off right. And so that's something that she's really struggled with. And I know I've seen that I've seen work for the application of both things is like, I see where I've taken my of my hyperactivity and applied it 100% to one thing. And these things that I'm able to accomplish and complete and what can happen if it doesn't and you know, it can be really impactful on your mental state.

And so I would just suggest that how I stay focused is once you've accomplished that task, you you try to hold on to that feeling, remember that feeling of that accomplishment. And I think that that's what's the struggle is in the in the in the midst of working through something we we haven't accomplished very much or 100% completed things.

And so you don't know what that feeling is to accomplish something. And


know that that's a struggle for for people.

Yeah. And I love that what you're saying here directly equates to my work because we talk about you said holding on to that feeling. Our thoughts create our feelings which make us take or not take certain actions.

And how much more likely are you to take the next action and stay 100% committed until it's complete? If you are coming off of a good feeling from the time that you did it before. And so that's why I talk about using feelings as fuel. So one thing I wanted to ask you about is if somebody is listening that is really struggling to have that focus and like you said, it can really affect your mental state to not finish things or to struggle to start things.

If you were to mentor them, what would you tell them?

What I would say is it's the simplest things that even day in, day out, things that we can accomplish 100%. And once you start accomplishing things 100% and I'm just putting your clothes away right back into your house, cleaning your car, washing your car, putting all those dishes away or if you have kids picking up all the toys out of the out of the house and making sure they're put away correctly, these seem very simple tasks, but that's where it begins.

And those are tasks that you can accomplish. And it'll create that feeling that we're talking about of accomplishment. It's like, the house is clean, smells good, feels good, right? And then you can start tackling those tougher things. I want to read this book. I want to, for example, I want to go on a hike to climb, you know, whatever mountain it is and climb to the top and climb down.

Right. And it just starts with this small task. And those are the things that I teach here at Walmart, also to my employees is don't try to tackle the whole thing at once. Just start with the small tasks and build up that that mental capacity to be able to tackle those big long ones. Because until you have that, there's no reason to even try, right?


you're not there to be able to tackle that, that large task, the small ones will lead you to that larger task.

And that's so beautiful. The way it's showing, the way your brain works. And I'm running another 12 week challenge right now, which is it's it's people focusing on one goal for 12 weeks and what I have learned since the first challenge is how important it is for us to just focus on the tasks of the day.

You know, Jeremy's talking about these these small tasks and I recommend those of you that are listening, that are struggling with this. Just start with one. And I agree, like taking the laundry from, you know, dirty to washed to dried to folded, to put away. And that that accomplishment of the task 100% will make you feel so good.

But what I've noticed with like the one week year is we are focusing on one thing for 12 weeks, but we're not focusing on the end goal. Like Jeremy said, we're not focusing on the big thing, we're focusing on the breakdown of it, you know, what's happening that day and those that build up of days of doing, you know, the best you can do on those days is going to get you to the end result.

The big goal. So anything else you'd like to share with people today, Jeremy?

Just that it's not a it's not a one day thing, right? This is you know, I started wrestling when I was 14, so and I'm 36 now and 22 years of application over time. Right. But it can you can be successful and it just starts one action at a time.

And, you know, just figure out what works for you. Everybody, everybody. Buddy is different. And that's what I like to teach here, too, is just everybody solves problems differently. It doesn't mean it's wrong. Right. And everybody approaches things differently and you know, yours works for you. So do do what works for you to be able to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

Very good. All right. Well, thank you for being here today. We appreciate you coming on and sharing your experiences. One thing I wanted to say is those of you that are listening, of course you cannot. You can actually you could in some way. But, you know, Jeremy's experience, it sounds like a lot of it came from wrestling. But I would offer that you can also do something hard that is going to take 100% of your focus and fully committing to that thing.

That's where I am sitting in front of people today. As as a coach for people with ADHD is I had committed to something hard and I've told the story before about attending some classes over in Arizona and I committed 100% and I only missed two classes, one because my daughter was in the hospital and one because we had just come off of camping and I was so exhausted it wasn't safe to drive.

And so only two classes that whole period and that commitment I carried over to another commitment that I carried over to coach and certification that I carried over to showing up for, you know, you guys every week and showing up as a coach. So, yeah, you maybe can't go back and be a wrestler, although we highly recommend it.

But what is something hard that you can fully commit to that you can put in 100% and make it something that you enjoy and make it something you love. But it's also these things are going to be difficult and that's okay. Too many people make it a problem when something is difficult, but the difficulty is where you grow.

The difficulty is where you learn. The difficulty is where Jeremy took, how he problem solved then and is problem solving now in his life. So yeah. Anything else you want to want to share today?

Just thank you for the opportunity and if anybody wants to reach out, you know or mentor, I'm fair game on Facebook and Instagram. So

is it just your name on Facebook and Instagram?

It Jeremy Jackson Baxter.

Jeremy Jackson Baxter. Like it. All right. Thank you, Jeremy. Appreciate your time today.

You're welcome. Have a great day.

All right.



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