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Past COREageous Entrepreneur Blog Posts

Streak Out!

Having a tough time making a new habit? Don’t freak out. Instead, STREAK OUT! I needed to add a short, but very beneficial segment to my daily workouts. For this segment of exercises to be effective, I had to start making it a habit. I use a paper calendar to track my...

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Big Picture Self Care

When I ask clients about ‘self-care,’ they will usually refer to diet and exercise. Some might even go as far as to add ‘sleep’ to the list. But there is a big picture view of self-care worth considering. Broaden your view of what it means to care for yourself...

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Optimize Your Performance When ADHD Medication Run Low

Many of my COREageous clients are diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and/or depression. They rely on medications to facilitate their work performance to allow their strengths to flourish. But now, there is a shortage of Ritalin and Adderall due to supply chain issues,...

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End Procrastination with the 80→20 NOcrastination Tool

When Victor Hugo, the playwright, procrastinated and wanted to go out to a café instead of writing, he coaxed himself to get work done by having a servant take away all his clothes and return them only until he completed his work. A bit extreme, but it worked. It’s...

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Breathing for Better Sleep

Many of my clients have sleep apnea, have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early or wake up tense and anxious. This is a concern because a quality night’s sleep is core to optimal self-regulation and productivity. I like to think of masks, machines and medications...

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Go Random and Get More Done

If you read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book FLOW, you may recall an exercise where he gave pagers to participants and instructed them to record their feelings and activities whenever the pager went off randomly throughout the day. The participants were asked to note down what they were doing, how they were feeling, and their overall sense of enjoyment and engagement in the activity.

I suggest this exercise for my clients with clear task deadlines who are challenged by distraction. I advise them to set random alarms when they need to get some serious work done.

Once they have a plan for the task, they set 4 random alarms to go off during a 3-4 hour period of work time. The objective is to not be caught off task when the alarm goes off. If you do get caught watching the news when the alarm goes off, then it’s a reminder to re-direct you back to the task.

You are competing with yourself to be on task each and every time that alarm sounds. You can also set an alarm for every 20 or 30 minutes during that 3-4 hour work period. How much quality work can you complete in a 20 or 30 minute span of time? 

You can create a random alarm experience on both iPhone and Android phones. Here’s how you can do it on each platform: iPhone:

  • Open the Clock app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on the “Alarm” tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap on the “+” button to create a new alarm.
  • Set the desired time for the alarm by scrolling through the hours and minutes.
  • Tap on “Repeat” to configure the repeat settings.
  • Select “Custom” from the repeat options.
  • Tap on the days of the week to enable or disable them as per your preference.
  • Set multiple alarms with different times and repeat patterns to create a random alarm effect.


  • Open the Clock app on your Android phone. The exact app name and location may vary depending on the device manufacturer and Android version.
  • Tap on the “Alarms” or “Clock” tab, usually located at the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap on the “+” or “Add” button to create a new alarm.
  • Set the desired time for the alarm.
  • Look for the option to set the repeat pattern (e.g., daily, weekdays, weekends).
  • If your device has a “Custom” or “Advanced” option for repeat settings, select that.
  • Adjust the days or intervals to create a random alarm effect by enabling or disabling the desired days.

If you want more spicy ways to get things done, done well and on time, visit my website at

Find Your Sweet Spot

Finding the best location (your sweet spot) for getting work done is a MUST for many of my clients.

Julian, from, Chicago says, “I’m most focused and productive when I’m surrounded by focused and productive vibes.”  This is where a library, a bookstore cafe or a coffee shop with ample space for a laptop and a cappuccino work very well. Gina, from Miami, attributes her enhanced focus to “the brightly lit, positive and studious atmosphere at a local cafe.”

Dana, from Lansing, prefers tea and lattes, but is convinced that this communal focus paired with the smell of coffee offers a caffeine kick of its own. It makes me wonder how many startups start out in coffee shops?

No sweet spot is out of bounds, if it works for you. Three days a week, Alex from Boston works on the train to NYC, goes for a walk, has lunch, gets back on the next train and kicks in another couple hours of work. Talk about doin’ your own thing!

Despite some of the chatter that surrounds you in these contexts, there always seem to be a small, but regular group of very industrious-looking folks locked into their screens and typing away madly. Plant yourself near them. Most of these folks mean business and are disinterested in chatting. They appear to be oblivious to the bit of noise and movement. When queried, they claim it’s the only place they can get stuff done and where their creativity opens up.

For best results, plan the tasks you want to get done before going to your sweet spot if possible.  Avoid the after school bunch (2:30-4:30p.m.) where the noise and distraction often exceeds the threshold for productivity.

Need more help with getting work done, done well and on time? I’m your gal!

How “Hyperfocus” and “Flow” Differ

ADHD “hyperfocus” and the “flow” state share some similarities, but they also have distinct characteristics and underlying mechanisms.

ADHD Hyperfocus:

Hyperfocus is unique to people with ADHD. It is often described as an intense, often involuntary focus on a particular task or activity. Individuals with ADHD may have difficulty shifting their attention away from the task, even when it’s unproductive or inappropriate.  Note: Not all people with ADHD experience hyperfocus.

ADHDers prize their ability to hyperfocus. They consider it their superpower.

They may hyperfocus on stimulating or rewarding activities, often impulsively, to the extent of neglecting other essential tasks or responsibilities. It can be very difficult to transition someone out of hyperfocus.

The neural mechanisms behind hyperfocus in ADHD may be related to the dysregulation of attention networks.

The Flow State (for the rest of us):

The “flow” state is a voluntary and intentional immersion in a task. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s first described the concept. It is a state of complete engagement and focus, characterized by optimal performance and enjoyment of the activity.

It typically occurs when the task has clear goals and provides immediate feedback, allowing individuals to gauge their progress and adjust their efforts accordingly.

Similarly, individuals in a flow state may become so absorbed in a task that they also lose track of time and can feel detached from the outside world.


Hyperfocus in ADHD is often associated with difficulty in controlling attention and impulsivity, whereas a flow state is a conscious and intentional choice to immerse oneself in a task.

In ADHD, hyperfocus may occur in situations where the individual is not in control of their focus, whereas flow is a deliberate and satisfying experience.

Hyperfocus in ADHD makes one oblivious to outside demands, while a flow state allows for awareness of outside demands and is generally a positive and productive experience.

The flow state is associated with optimal brain function and coordination of different brain regions.

Hyperfocus is elusive for most. But most anyone can learn how to create a flow state through CoreCoaching. Contact me at

Be Up Front with Investors

When pitching your product to investors, know that they are looking for founders they can trust. They will be on the alert for any inconsistencies in your story.

Owning up to a mistake or exposing the truth of a setback can work in your favor.

I was asked to review a pitch presentation for an entrepreneur we’ll call “Jenny.”

About 5 years ago, Jenny invented a handy kitchen appliance with several features that could fit into a small drawer. It sold quite well, but after about two years sales stopped, and now she was eager to revive it and put it back on the market.

Her pitch was humorous, energetic and full of conviction. Her product was innovative, her projections were solid and her demo was slick.

During the Q&A section, I was curious as to why sales stopped after three successful years and what made her pick it up again?  She fidgeted and fumbled along with an answer that didn’t make sense about a vendor issue, unreliable partners etc. It sounded fishy. When I pressed her for more details as an investor might, the room became very quiet…

Jenny broke down and confessed that when her product was starting to take off, she developed a spending addiction that ended a relationship with her business partner. When Jenny’s problem was discovered, her partner quit and seized the remaining assets. Sales came to an abrupt halt. The gap in time, she explained, was due to two plus years of rehabilitation. She blamed the addiction on growing up poor and wanting, at long last, to have nice things.

I suggested that this question will undoubtedly come up in her future pitches. Being up front about the gap in time could make her pitch more compelling, especially if she dwells more on what she learned about herself and how it will make her a more responsible founder.

Moral of the story: Don’t lie to investors or potential buyers. Don’t hide or make up facts. You’ll be found out sooner or later.

Build a story that is inspiriting and truthful. Contact me at



The Confidence Factor

Talia D. a wannabe COREageous entrepreneur from Bloomington, Indiana writes: I wrote up a business plan for a service startup, hailed by my professors and my mentor as ‘a winner.’ But they advised that I need to be more confident in myself to pull it off. How do I begin building more confidence?

The proposition of starting a business can be overwhelming. Plus, knowing the dismal startup failure rate takes another jab at your ability to “pull it off.”

The good news is that your team is confident in the plan – you’re surrounding yourself with supportive folks you trust for good advice and constructive criticism.

Whether you are a newbie to entrepreneurship or a seasoned self-starter, confidence is a major factor in startup success. Here are a few ways to scale up your confidence:

  • If you’ve had any past failures that made you doubt yourself, label those events as “valuable data” to draw on for the future: naiveté, assumptions, blind passion, impulsive decisions, etc. What matters is how you view them.
  • Capitalize on your strengths i.e. your industry knowledge, your attention to detail, etc. Accept your gaps and outsource or partner up with someone who can fill them.
  • Go Micro and break down the big tasks into bit goals. Most tasks are less daunting and more do-able when they are broken into manageable steps.
  • On a personal level, challenge yourself to do something difficult every day – 5 extra slow pushups, wake up a half hour earlier than usual, make that awkward phone call, or give blood. Whatever challenge you take on make it reasonable and a bit beyond what you think you could do.

As always, if you want to learn more about CoreCoaching with me, email