Amelia Lane: Hello Carole Jean! I'm absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to chat with you. Your recent nomination and making the short list for the Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year award is truly inspiring. Let's dive right in:
Amelia Lane: Carole Jean, when you found out about your nomination and making the short list for the Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year award, what were the first thoughts that crossed your mind? How did you feel in that moment?
Carole Jean: Amelia, I was honestly speechless for a few seconds. I couldn’t believe my eyes as I read and reread the email from Catherine, who coordinates all the nominees. I also have alexithymia and part of my late identified journey has been learning this is part of me along with new tools to more effectively process my physical feelings in the moment so that I can transcribe them into meaning in my mind. I had to do some quick processing in this moment. The excitement was a huge feeling in my body and I did a happy dance in my desk chair with accompanying happy noises and finger snaps. The first person I shared it with was my partner Josh.
Amelia Lane: Your journey as an ADHD Autistic entrepreneur is nothing short of remarkable. Can you share with us how your unique neurodivergent perspective has played a role in shaping your accomplishments and the success of Mind Your Autistic Brain?
Carole Jean: First, I had to allow space to figure out how I worked best and what my values, strengths, and passions are so that I could build from there. I had to peel back decades of masking layers. I always say I masked myself to the professional level of camouflaging. And the most critical step before beginning Mind Your Autistic Brain was getting out of the chronic cycle of burnout I had been in for almost 4 decades. I had to have the energy to do what my heart and mind knew was my path.
I am a combined neuro type of both ADHD and Autistic so my brain operates at a minimum four times faster than the “norm” and from the autistic layer that means my neural pathways include at least 20 percent more pathways than the “norm.” What this boils down to in application is that like many ADHD Autistics I see patterns emerge faster, identify barriers 50 steps ahead, and am always looking for ways to solve challenges, improve on what currently exists even if it is “good enough” because that’s just fun and I am always seeking to serve and help my fellow human.
I think that my neurotype has been the catalyst for the success of Mind Your Autistic Brain along with my central passion to see the awe and light in every human, to discover more about each person, then to connect them to another light that I see is a match for them and to then enjoy being part of the spark that ignites beautiful combustion of the people I connect and introduce as their light ripples out into the world and elevates humanity. A great example of this is when I introduced my two favorite Angelas, AJ Locashio and Angela Loynd last year and now they have ignited and Umbrella Alliance is the incredible ripple that is changing the world.
Amelia Lane: The Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards highlight the incredible contributions of Neurodivergent individuals. As the founder of Mind Your Autistic Brain, what does this recognition mean to you personally, and how do you think it resonates within the Neurodivergent community you serve?
Carole Jean: To me personally, this feels like all the heart and energy I have poured into my passion over the last three plus years is making a difference in the lives of those I care deeply about helping.
I am not one for speaking for others but rather a champion of elevating the voices of others who are speaking for themselves. That is where my annual Shine A Light Autistic Advocate Campaign came from as the empowered place we speak for ourselves especially in April each year.
Amelia Lane: Your nomination speaks volumes about your achievements. Could you give us a glimpse into some of the key milestones and experiences that have led to this prestigious recognition?
Carole Jean: Amelia, I can only answer this from what I know on my end as I was so graciously nominated by fellow advocate and author, Jacki Edry. Who by the way is truly a champion and one of the people who I look up to.
Mind Your Autistic Brain began as a heartfelt response to the loss of several dear friends in November 2019. I believe that their passing had a great deal to do with years of being unidentified and suffering in chronic cycle burnout. I had just begun to emerge from my own decades long battle with chronic spicy burnout and the shame and guilt of suicidal ideation since the age of 6 years old. This place of loss and seeing what was possible within my own life provided the spark that ignited what you see today.
I set a goal 2 years ago to help a million autistic ADHD humans begin burnout restoration and to spread the message of thriving around the globe. The numbers from that first year reached nearly half a million and this year in 2023 we have added an additional 100,000 in over 93 countries through just the talk show, Beyond Autistic Burnout.
Amelia Lane: Being an entrepreneur comes with its own set of challenges and triumphs. What strategies have you employed to overcome obstacles on your journey, and what advice do you have for fellow Neurodivergent individuals who are aspiring to make their mark?
Carole Jean: For many of us solopreneurship is the only viable option due to co-occurring health conditions that need a flexible schedule, brains and bodies that work at different peak performance times often in conflict to “traditional” 9-5, and environments that best support us and allow for our way of processing, creating and innovating. Starting Mind Your Autistic Brain was the only sustainable option I could see for myself and two of the biggest obstacles I had to tackle were imposter syndrome and my relationship with money.
In the beginning, I felt like I wasn’t good enough, didn’t know enough, didn’t have the right credentials or titles before or after my name. That alone was one of the biggest obstacles to overcome….belief in myself.
The other massive obstacle was how I thought, believed and felt about money. I grew up in a family where my grandparents had significant money, but we really didn’t. My parents, who are both late identified themselves, were also small business owners in the real estate industry so that meant feast or famine. Money stories I grew up with were some of the biggest obstacles keeping me “safe” and playing it small in the beginning.
If anyone who is thinking about solopreneurship relates to what I just shared, my best advice is to really get comfortable being uncomfortable for at least a solid year and find a buddy who is on the same journey so that you can “do it afraid” together. That person from me was my friend Rebekah and for a solid year the two of us supported, encouraged and approached our individual businesses with a divide and conquer approach. It saved us time and money testing and trialing new products, platforms and strategies and when things didn’t go as planned or totally blew up we had the other person to keep us from sitting in the suck for more than we needed.
Amelia Lane: Making the short list for Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year is a notable accomplishment. Looking ahead, how do you envision using this platform to further advocate for Neurodiversity and inspire others within the community?
Carole Jean: My ultimate mission, goal, purpose, and passion, is solely to help my fellow ADHD/Autistic community members to harness their energy, embrace the thriving life that is already theirs and step into the empowered leaders they are so that we, together, elevate humanity through our gifts, talents, wonderfully wired brains and just minded compassionate hearts. Imagine a world brimming with a THRIVING ADHD/Autistic community, the possibilities are limitless.
And in order to support this thriving community I am also working to create compassionate curiosity in the world so that education, healthcare and the workplace are neuro inclusive spaces where accessibility isn’t relegated to “reasonable adjustments” but rather an integral part of an individual needs based culture so that all humans can thrive supported.
Amelia Lane: At Mind Your Autistic Brain and as host of the talk show “Beyond Autistic Burnout”, you're a mentor to many, including myself. Could you offer a sneak peek into what readers can expect from your upcoming book, “Unleashing Sustainable Energy”?
Carole Jean: “Unleashing Sustainable Energy” is my first book and I was adamant about this book being as accessible as possible because when we are in spicy burnout how we take in information and process can vary from moment to moment and what I am teaching in this book is life giving and hopefully also life saving for many. I couldn’t find a publisher who was interested in publishing my book with the accessibility features that I knew so many of us need and for one price. So in true ADHD/Autistic fashion I took to solving this problem myself and started my publishing house, Hyperlexic Publishing.
I am all about breaking glass ceilings and tearing down barriers to accessibility and this book is no different. When you purchase a book from Hyperlexic Publishing you have access to both digital and print versions in easy to read font including open dyslexic font versions, audio version, AND video version with captions all included in the purchase price. The book also comes with a unique online portal where all the book resources are in one easy to access place from your phone, computer or tablet.
The book takes you through my unique solution to ADHD/Autistic Burnout, The UnVeiling Method, and your First Steps to Burnout Restoration. It also includes a chapter on how to navigate spicy burnout while working.
Amelia Lane: Finally, Carole Jean, as someone who has championed Neurodiversity and provided a platform for Neurodivergent voices, what message do you want to convey to your supporters, fellow Neurodivergent individuals, and those who look up to you for guidance and inspiration?
Carole Jean: You are already whole my beautiful friend. There is nothing broken, defective or deficient about you in any way. Your best thriving life is already yours. You don’t have to earn it or prove to anyone you are worthy of it. It is your birth rite and stepping into the life that you envision is possible and I would be honored to accompany you on your journey. Let’s energize and thrive TOGETHER!!!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights with us, Carole Jean. Your journey is a beacon of light for all of us navigating the world of Neurodiversity, and I am thrilled to share this captivating article to celebrate your achievements on The Brain Dump Blog! You are already the Achiever of The Year in the eyes of so many and we are beyond proud of you.
To see all of this year's nominees and categories for Celebrating Neurodiversity Awards and Genius Within CIC learn more here:
What is the Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year award for?
This award celebrates neurodivergent individuals (21 or over) who have achieved something they did not think was possible. They are someone who has overcome major adversity and societal barriers to succeed either personally, professionally or in their studies.
The finalists for the Neurodivergent Achiever of the Year Award:
About the Author/Interviewer
Amelia Lane (Nom de Plume) is an engaging storyteller, passionate advocate, and Neurodivergent writer. With a unique blend of authenticity and humor, she explores the multifaceted world of ADHD and Autism through her vibrant articles. As a journalist for The Brain Dump Blog, Amelia sheds light on diverse perspectives, challenges stereotypes, and celebrates the beauty of Neurodiversity. Her words invite readers to embrace their uniqueness and navigate life's intricate tapestry with resilience and a dash of whimsy.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles from Amelia Lane on The Brain Dump Blog.
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No one seems to ‘get it’. Friends and family think you just need to push through or "self-care" more. Internally, so many people in late identified life (me included) feel broken, ashamed or like they are failing or have never reached their full potential, when all along they've had a brain and sensory system that is different from the masses. It can take a lot of strength to keep going.
(It was years before I realized I had been on The Chronic Cycle Burnout Loop)
Living Burnout, Shutdown and Meltdown FREE for going on 4 years now has taught me more than I ever dreamed possible and the most powerful experience in Restoration has been regaining skills and abilities I thought were lost permanently to Burnout decades ago.
But that's not all - don't miss your one time SPECIAL BUNDLE offer and upgrade to include the Companion Workbook Collection and get the book for only $2.99!