Long before I had an inkling I had ADHD, I knew that automated systems were my saving grace.
You see, once upon a time, I was a mess of an entrepreneur.
While I loved my clients and was really good at the work I was being hired to do (setting up their systems!), I was absolutely terrible at the admin side of my own business.
Inquiries would linger unanswered (and often unopened), promised quotes would go unsent, and if I did send anything to anyone, it was highly unlikely that I’d follow up on it if I didn’t hear back.
I hated how unprofessional this made me seem and often wondered if I was really cut out for this sort of work. Why couldn’t I get these things done in a timely manner?!
Long story short, I found Dubsado and it changed everything. Okay, not really. It didn’t change me, I still struggle with all of the same things. But setting up Dubsado and learning to rely on it eliminated so many of the things I struggled with and made me look professional.
It wasn’t until I was officially diagnosed with severe combined-type ADHD in 2020 that I began to understand WHY Dubsado saved my business (and my sanity).
You see, I wasn’t lazy and unprofessional. What a relief!
Instead, it turned out that I was suffering from executive dysfunction.
Executive functions are the skills that we as humans naturally develop that allow us to do common, everyday things like initiate tasks and see them through to completion. Or remember and follow multi-step instructions. Or even be able to wrap our heads around things like timelines.
Basically, if it’s a skill related to prioritization, task completion, time management, planning, or organization, it’s an executive function.
And some of us are born with brains that just aren’t wired to grasp these things. This is what we call executive dysfunction.
Like many symptoms related to ADHD and autism, individuals have varying levels of difficulty with each individual piece. For instance, I’m actually super-organized, but I struggle more with time dysphoria and task initiation.
As I said before, I discovered and implemented Dubsado long before I knew I had ADHD and was dealing with executive dysfunction. At the time, I didn’t really understand why it helped, I just knew that it was having a huge positive impact on both my business and my mental health.
Of course, as a systems strategist, once I put two and two together, I couldn’t help but dive into learning exactly why and how Dubsado was helping bridge the gaps created by my executive dysfunction.
Time dysphoria is probably one of the most common symptoms of executive dysfunction. Simply put, we have no concept of time. This means that we may think it’s only been a day or two since that inquiry came in, but in reality, it’s been three weeks. Yikes!
And if that inquiry gets buried in our inboxes, we have the added issue of faulty working memory to account for, as well.
With Dubsado, I’m able to connect a lead capture form to a workflow, which triggers a to-do item that’s easily seen on my dashboard. Or, I can have that workflow automatically send a follow-up email, scheduling link, or questionnaire to gather more information. Either way, that client is being responded to in a timely manner rather than left lingering unread in my inbox.
The longer and more complex the task, the less likely we are to complete it. We forget the steps, get frustrated, or get distracted.
And let’s be honest, onboarding a new client is almost always going to fall into this category. But with Dubsado’s proposal, invoice, and contract functionalities, this process can be majorly simplified.
I love the fact that I was able to leverage a bout of hyper-focus to get my templates all set up at once. And now when I go to onboard a client, it’s a quarter of the steps and easy to knock out quickly.
Working memory, object permanence, or out-of-sight-out-of-mind, whatever you want to call this phenomenon, it’s an issue. And it’s the main reason why we can be absolutely terrible at remembering we need to follow up with anyone about anything.
Thank goodness Dubsado can just take over here! I have workflows set up to automatically follow up if proposals aren’t accepted, appointments aren’t booked, contracts aren’t signed, questionnaires aren’t completed or invoices aren’t paid. All without me needing to remember or do anything at all. It’s absolutely lovely.
Yep, another thing related to that pesky working memory issue. For me, it’s always two things: scheduling and contracts.
When it comes to scheduling, if I do it manually I will forget to account for the timezone or to include the Zoom link. Every single time. The scheduler does all of this for me. I just send my client a link, and Dubsado takes care of the rest. Absolutely magical.
For contracts, or any templates really, I will forget to update a field somewhere. Dubsado’s smart fields are here to the rescue! I just include them when I build the template and Dubsado gathers up all of the necessary information and inputs it in the proper place. Long gone is the embarrassment of forgetting to update a name, date, or some other detail and sending something out with a placeholder, or worse, a different client’s information!
I’m sure there are many more ways that Dubsado bridges the gaps in my business created by executive dysfunction. But through the magic of workflows, templates, and everything else Dubsado does, this platform helped me create a sustainable business that allows me to focus on what I’m good at without being hampered by the shortcomings of my neurodivergence.
If you’ve ever struggled with any of the minute details related to onboarding a client, even if you haven’t ever been diagnosed with something like ADHD, you’ll benefit from utilizing an automated onboarding system. It’s that simple.
If you’re ready to implement an automated inquiry process or onboarding system, but have no idea where to start, I have the perfect solution. I created this free guide and workbook to help you think through both processes so that you know exactly what emails to write and templates to create. Click here to get my Inquiries & Onboarding Process Brainstorming Guide.
Or, if you prefer 1:1 help, come book a Pick My Brain Session or Day of Voxer with me, and together we’ll dig into the individual details of your processes and how you can leverage automations and get back to what you love.
Or you can visit my website to learn more about how I support neurodivergent entrepreneurs in crafting businesses and systems that work for their brains.
Dani Schnakenberg is a Business Systems Strategist. She helps entrepreneurs who want to ditch the overwhelm to create a sustainable, fulfilling business through establishing boundaries and systems that work for them. After 10 years in entrepreneurship, she knows that it doesn’t have to be all about the hustle and grind. It’s the systems and processes that we build that allow us to build sustainable businesses and live adventurous lives all at the same time.
When she’s not nerding out over workflows, spreadsheets, and analytics, you can find Dani traveling with her husband and five kids, taking in a baseball game, or playing the Sims. Get all of Dani’s best tips, tricks, and tutorials at simplifiedbusinesssystems.com.