Episode 55. What Drives ADHD Coach Ron Capalbo



What happens when hundreds of people with ADHD get together in Dallas for a conference on ADHD? Chaos, obviously. But the great, life-changing mostly controlled chaos that makes you feel like your dreams are not only attainable but within reach. And that’s what you’ll get from this lively and thoughtful conversation between Lindsay Guentzel and Ron Capalbo. Ron is an ADHD coach based out of Los Angeles and the duo recorded this episode not too long after meeting one another in the lobby of the conference’s hotel. 

What can you expect? A look back at Ron’s own ADHD journey and what pushed him to become a coach, his vision and approach for helping the ADHD community and his go-to karaoke pick when he really wants to impress the crowd. The important stuff, obviously.

Check out Ron on social media and find out more about the work he’s doing as a coach here

Don’t forget to check out Refocused LIVE every Thursday in December at 1pm eastern/12pm central. You can join the audience and get the event added to your calendar right here

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Lindsay Guentzel (00:02):

Already in love with Refocused? Well, now you have another chance each week to listen to the show and interact with me live. Yep. It’s Refocused Live every Thursday at 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central. To RSVP to the show and get it added to your calendar so you don’t forget, find us on social at Refocused Pod to get the link or head over to the show notes right now to RSVP and we’ll see you Thursday, December 1st for the first of many live shows for our Refocused community. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder hosted by me, Lindsay Guentzel. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life telling stories as a journalist working in television, radio, print, and now podcasts. And I’m also one of the many adults, not just here in America, but across the world, who was diagnosed with ADHD during the pandemic.


That life altering answer to the question I didn’t know I was asking or even needed to be asking came in January 2021, just two months shy of my 35th birthday and now I’m here. And while the journey hasn’t been easy, it has totally been worth it and I can’t wait for all of the stuff I’ve been working on behind the scenes to start finding its place in our routine of creating and producing the podcast while also building more opportunities for connection with people in the ADHD community. Today’s episode was actually recorded November 18th at the International Conference on ADHD. And in it you’ll get to meet Ron Capalbo, a fellow ADHDer, I actually met in the lobby of the hotel mere hours after arriving in Dallas. Ron is also an ADHD coach, and one of the things I found really interesting about the conference was how many ADHD coaches were in attendance. I’ll be honest, I know very little about coaching, but one thing I do know is I connect with authenticity and Ron is really as genuine as they come.


And it was clear he was in Dallas to make himself a better coach to help the ADHD community as much as he can. So, it was really awesome to get a crash course from someone I felt in immediate connection to. I am so excited to welcome Ron Capalbo to his first, hopefully first of many, appearance on Refocused. I would like to note that all of the interviews I recorded in Dallas took place in the exhibit hall with people around, so you’re going to hear some background noise and some random interruptions. And my production team really did its due diligence to clean up what we could, but I apologize if any of it is distracting for anyone. And with that, let’s get into today’s show. The great thing about coming to this conference is you get to see old friends and you get to make new friends like Ron Capalbo who might be the equal to me as far as loving baseball and karaoke.

Ron Capalbo (03:28):

Ooh, yeah. There you go.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:30):

But we differ on teams.

Ron Capalbo (03:33):

The teams. Yeah, definitely.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:36):

I’m going to tell you to do this thing. I’m going to have you do something called, “eat the mic.” It’s an industry term.

Ron Capalbo (03:42):

Yeah. Do you want me to hold it?

Lindsay Guentzel (03:42):

You can hold it.

Ron Capalbo (03:43):

Oh, awesome. That’s even better.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:47):

In a normal scenario, I would’ve told you that before we started, but this is-

Ron Capalbo (03:50):

Here we are.

Lindsay Guentzel (03:51):

This is Refocused. It’s about ADHD. So if you are on social media, you should follow Ron, ADHD Coach Ron, you’re based out in LA. And we met the first night through a lot of the people who are here who are very active on social media. And I was telling my team here how I was leaving that first night to go back up to my room and I was feeling very confident, very happy because how do you not feel that around your people?

Ron Capalbo (04:19):

Oh yeah.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:20):

And I walked up and I was like, “Hey, I’m doing live interviews this week while we’re here and here’s my card or whatever and blah, blah blah.” And so then I was like, “And then here’s my Calendly.” And then you’re like, “Oh my God, what if no one picks a spot?” So I was so relieved to wake up this morning and see that you were joining me. And so, I want to ask about your ADHD story because you are a coach, so there is this sense of wanting to help other people, but you also have your own story.

Ron Capalbo (04:50):

Correct, yeah.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:50):

And so when you tell people your story, what is kind of your elevator pitch? Because we all have our own.

Ron Capalbo (04:57):

An elevator pitch. I always find the elevator pitch interesting because this story could be an hour long. But yeah, elevator pitch for me is I was diagnosed when I was 12-years-old, 11 or 12. And when I got diagnosed, ADHD was basically, “Give him some meds, now go reach your potential.” And when that didn’t happen, it was like, “Well, why not?” And it wasn’t the curious why, it was, “Then there’s something wrong with you or you’re not trying.” So even being diagnosed as an ADHDer, I still felt all of that. When I graduated, I kind of didn’t even consider myself someone with ADHD. I just kind of tried to get through life doing whatever it was that I could. And it wasn’t until recently that going to therapy, which I’m a huge therapy advocate-

Lindsay Guentzel (05:45):

It’s the best.

Ron Capalbo (05:46):

Going to therapy, I realized, “Oh, I’m not a POS, I’m not lazy.” And all these things that I keep running through my head. And as I started to get vulnerable with that, the ADHD community opened up to me and that was beautiful. It was so many people saying like, “Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing that.” One of my first posts was how I struggled to brush my teeth twice in a day. And that’s embarrassing. That’s something that when you say that out loud to the world, you’re afraid that people are going to be like, “Oh, he’s gross.” But instead I got so many people going, “Oh my God, yes, thank you.” And it kind of just took off from there.

Lindsay Guentzel (06:31):

So, I’m someone who brushes their teeth like five, six times a day. But the equivalent for me is the number of dry shampoo days for hair as a woman. Because when you have a lot of hair, you have to wash it and then you have to dry it and then you have to style it. And it is so much work and dry shampoo is an amazing thing until you realize sometimes there’re double digits and then you’re like, “Oh.” And it is-

Ron Capalbo (07:00):

Yeah, I over-shower. So it’s like I’m the opposite there. It’s like morning and night I shower because I just feel it.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:08):

But I love what you said about how people don’t understand that. People can, in their mind think, “It’s just brushing your teeth or it’s just washing your hair. Why is it such a big deal?”

Ron Capalbo (07:19):

So there’s a couple reasons. I think the brushing your teeth thing can come from, “It’s boring. I have to stop what I’m doing, transition to going to the bathroom, brushing my teeth.” So I get to brush my teeth when I get out of the shower and realize that I need to do it. That’s easy. But when I leave the bathroom and I’m like, “Oh, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.” There is a 50% chance I won’t. And just to, I know this wasn’t part of the question, but ways that I’ve started to be able to do that more.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:51):

Well, that was going to be my follow up. So you can just roll with it.

Ron Capalbo (07:52):

Perfect, I’ll just interview myself. I think there’s this expectation that I have to brush my teeth first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And so often I’ve just like at one o’clock, I’m like, “Ah, shit. I didn’t brush my teeth this morning and then going, but I can do it right now. And that’s okay.” And then I do, and then it’s fine.

Lindsay Guentzel (08:16):

And I’m going to add a little fuel to your fire. So my pseudo father-in-law, he’s what I call… My boyfriend and I are in a mortgage, but we’re at that lovely age where everyone just asks when we’re getting married. And so I call him my pseudo father-in-law because we’ve been together for that long, is a retired dentist. And my boyfriend is a, brushes his teeth in the morning once, doesn’t do it before bed. And I was appalled when we first started dating. I was like, “Your father is a dentist.” He goes, “Ask Steve next time you’re with us.” And he was like, “If you brush them once and it’s good. It’s really…” I know I hate to… The ADA’s going to come for me.

Ron Capalbo (08:53):

Oh my. My wife if you’re listening to this, because she’s the exact same way where she’s just like, “This is really gross.” I’m like, “Is it gross?”

Lindsay Guentzel (09:01):

I’ll tell you where she can send the hate mail.

Ron Capalbo (09:03):

Okay, great. Flossing though, that’s a whole nother story. That’s a problem too.

Lindsay Guentzel (09:06):

I actually loved growing up, I loved that we’re talking about this. I loved growing up because I would go to the dentist and they’d be like, “Oh, you’re doing such a good job flossing.” And I was like, “Never do I floss.” It’s a lot of work and it is boring. It’s actually really interesting way you say that.

Ron Capalbo (09:20):

Yeah. The dentist is the place that I’m so afraid of and mostly because of the shame that I always got when I went to the dentist. It didn’t matter whether I flossed or… Again, I probably didn’t do it enough. But yeah, it was cavities all the time. Pain too, I think is a big thing. Yeah, I mean, Waterpik was a huge savior for me. That’s really helped. I know it doesn’t replace flossing, but it’s still better than nothing. That’s what we need to realize. Sure, I’m not doing it like I’m exactly supposed to. It’s not perfect, but it is better than not doing anything.

Lindsay Guentzel (09:57):

And I am really curious that mentality. It’s better than nothing. It’s not something that a lot of people with ADHD are typically okay with. And how have you taken that mentality and used it as a coach, but also used it in your own life?

Ron Capalbo (10:14):

So we are super all or nothing. If we’re not great at something, we’re not doing it. Or an example showing up here, I do have this thing in my head where I won’t be late because I’m so deathly afraid of being late. And so you’ll meet an ADHDer that’s always 15 minutes early, or you’ll meet one that’s always 15 minutes late or an hour late. And when it comes to the all or nothing thing, I think what’s really helped me is being vulnerable on the internet and talking to people. I learned a while ago that the way I learned things and retained things is by teaching others. So when I was going through coaching training, I was making videos online and that was how I went to every single class because I was excited to pick up something and teach it and retain it. That was my little own personal hack that I figured out for myself. So yeah, that’s why I do that.

Lindsay Guentzel (11:10):

Do you feel like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing right now?

Ron Capalbo (11:13):

110%. Man, I can’t explain how amazing it is where passion and purpose meet each other. The thing that I really found for me was I think ADHDers tend to have certain character traits that aren’t maybe revered as much in the business world. So, that’s where we get into masking. That’s where we get into, “Oh yeah, no, I show up on time and I’m organized and I’ll get my work in because otherwise they won’t hire us.” So when it comes to finding that, “Oh, my creativity or my love of learning specific things and my kindness…” I’m someone that really loves to give things to people. I love, especially when they appreciate it, watching someone’s face light up is, gosh, that’s my moment.

Lindsay Guentzel (12:09):

I totally agree, but don’t try and give me something back.

Ron Capalbo (12:13):

No, I don’t need anything. I don’t want anything. I don’t want to put you out right? But no, I think doing that, so a lot of clients that I have, a lot of their character traits and their specialties are things that they’re really great at, always come with this caveat where they’re like, “Oh, I do this, but it’s a problem because of this.” And I think it’s just things we’ve heard our whole lives. So I’ve heard how, “Yeah, you’re super creative, but your ideas never come to fruition or you’re really kind, but you can get taken advantage of because of that. Or your social intelligence is really great. You can absolutely be empathetic with someone except when you overthink it and you think everyone hates you.” And what I think happens is when we’re younger, our parents or our teachers see these traits and they’re not fully developed yet.


I’ve used the analogy or the metaphor, I get those two confused. The metaphor of when I moved to Arizona, when I was in college, there were scorpions and we were so afraid of them, we’d shake out our shoes and stuff and they would say, “The baby scorpions are the ones to be really afraid of because they don’t know how to control their venom.” And I think of a lot of our traits as kids are like baby scorpions where we have this thing, and it’s not good or bad yet, but we are told that it’s bad because, “Wow, you’re too much.” Or you might be someone that’s really funny, but your parents might be like, “God, they don’t know how to read a room. Or they’re inappropriate or they say jokes at the wrong time.” And when you tell someone that, you’re telling them this whole thing is bad and we don’t sit there and let it grow. And so a baby scorpion doesn’t have their scorpion parents telling them, “Don’t do that at all,” because then they’d grow up and die because they would never be able to protect themselves.

Lindsay Guentzel (14:14):

It’s so interesting, just when you said, “You’re too much or they’re too much.” It was like, oh, the feelings of that is… One of my older sisters constantly is like, “You were such a happy kid, you were so happy, you loved performing and being the center of attention.” And I have started thinking, “Where did that get taken away from me?” And I say, it got taken away from me because it was not my doing in dimming that light, in taking that and making it smaller. It was people around me. And I think the more conversations we have about our words mattering and how we behave towards people, and it can be people in our families, it can be our friends, it can be people we work with, that for so long we told people, “Oh, be an individual. Be yourself, but only in this box.”

Ron Capalbo (15:09):

But not that self.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:10):


Ron Capalbo (15:10):

That one’s ugh.

Lindsay Guentzel (15:11):

Exactly. And it’s like, “No, you don’t get to spout that off and then not actually encourage it.”

Ron Capalbo (15:21):

Yeah. I was actually just at a friend’s talk here and she used the analogy of dog training where if you get a puppy and it pees on the carpet and you get mad at it, it’s going to go do it behind your back or have a really weird relationship with that. Compared to you take it outside and show it what it’s supposed to do. And so, if you’re someone that is like, “Yeah, I may be a little excitable and cut people off because I’ve got so many things to say and I’m impulsive and all this.” And it’s like, “Yeah, but you’re also charismatic. Let’s encourage that in a different way instead of just telling you to shut up.”


Because that’s where you’re going to get somebody when they grow up saying… And how many of us are like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Oh, I’m sorry. You go, I’m so sorry.” And that makes us doubt ourselves. So many of my clients, one of the biggest things they need is empowerment. I need empowerment. I’ve been working on it much better than I was years ago, but still empowering ourselves to trust what it is that we think. And so often we want to do something, but we think of all the reasons we shouldn’t. And that’s what puts us in this paralysis of not knowing what to do.

Lindsay Guentzel (16:34):

I had this realization the other night, I have a work colleague back in Minnesota, and we follow each other on social and we engage a lot there. I see her when I go and I do TV and I had this thought because she posts a lot with her siblings, and it just reminded me, I have to send the note to her, but I wanted to say, “I can tell that you and your siblings were raised in a very encouraging, supportive life because you are yourself. Your siblings are themselves, and it’s really lovely to see.” It makes you sad. I mean, it really does make me sad.

Ron Capalbo (17:16):

Oh yeah.

Lindsay Guentzel (17:16):

But at the same time, it’s that acknowledging that and lifting that up. Let’s get more of that.

Ron Capalbo (17:24):

Totally. I think we’re in a place now too, there’re different stages, right? There’s the acceptance of it. And while I’m someone that hates some of the toxic positivity in a lot of online spaces, I do think it’s important to look at things from a positive perspective, like a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset that are like, it’s like an old… I don’t even know the saying. Is it like, “Oh, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, isn’t true.” The idea is to parent yourself now. I don’t think there’s a point where we stop being kids. Now legally when we turn 18, we’re not, right? But I think we’re still the same person.


I had my therapist tell me one time, “All these thoughts that you have in your head, they change as you get more experience and as you grow older. Your body changes as you grow older. But the thing witnessing it does not change. It’s the same thing that you were then. It’s just has different experiences and perspectives.” And so a lot of the things that you’re like, “Oh, I wish I had that when I was younger.” You can give yourself now. It’s hard because you have to unprogram some stuff, but you absolutely can do it. And when I witnessed that for myself, that was that moment of like, “Oh, shit. I got to do this for everybody.” This is amazing. I love it. And it’s really cool to watch people have those aha moments where they’re just like, “Oh my God, this is great.” Because life can be filled with those and they’re dope.

Lindsay Guentzel (18:59):

I want to ask about coaching. So if someone is listening and it’s been something that they’ve maybe been thinking about or maybe they know nothing about coaching, tell me a little bit about what are some of the things they should consider when they’re thinking about how it might fit in and even some of the things that you do with your clients?

Ron Capalbo (19:17):

Sure. So coaching is, a lot of times when I have a consultation with someone, the two things I’m looking for is are they ready for coaching? Are they going to want this? Is this for them? And do we fit? One of the most important things, and I’ll just say this when looking for a coach, is do you off a conversation, feel like you can build trust with this person? Do you vibe with them? Is this someone that you’re like, “Yeah, cool, I could totally have some chats with this dude.” Because I mean, I’ve seen some coaches fresh out of certification and ones that have been there forever, and I don’t think there’s a difference other than, “I want to be here with this person. I trust them.” So that’s one.


Two is, are you ready? Are you willing to do something? And it’s okay if you’re not. I want to go ahead and say that right off the bat. First, I needed to go to therapy. I wouldn’t have been ready for coaching without therapy. And a lot of times when people come to me, I don’t tell them that they need therapy, but I explain what therapy’s done for me, and I think it’s really great and that maybe coaching isn’t the thing for them yet. Or maybe there’s someone else out there that has different skills than I do. But basically what coaching ends up doing is it helps you reframe some of the obstacles in your life. Again, I’m a very analogy metaphoric kind of person. So I think about, what’s his name? Jordan Peele. He was talking about the new movie, Nope, that he did. And he said he used the Jaws effect on it. And the Jaws effect is basically they made Jaws scary by not showing you what the monster was and waiting until the end.


And in, Nope, you’re like, “I don’t know what the hell this thing is in the sky.” And that’s freaky. And so, I think so often when people say things like, “Oh, I can’t get started on this project,” and they don’t know why. If you ask them, they can come up with a few reasons, but they’re not the real reasons. And so what we do is we take these invisible walls and we at least first throw a blanket over them to see how big they are. And then we kind of peek under and we’re like, “Okay, well this is what this looks like. All right. Have I ever encountered this before? And have I ever been able to overcome it?” And if so, you’re like, “Okay, well what did I do?” Example for me is I realized that when I’m with other people or music’s playing or things are going on, I’m activated.


And so when I’m like, “I don’t have the motivation for anything.” And there’re times I’m like, “I don’t know what to do. This is dumb, I’m never going to do it.” And then I’m like, “Oh yeah, I can just… Alexa play blah, blah, blah.” And then, it works more often than not. Sometimes it doesn’t, but it starts to work. And what coaching does is helps you explore those things and we start to ask questions. It comes from a place of curiosity over judgment. And the thing is that there’s no right answer. I used to go through life going, “I wonder what the right answer is here.” And what that did was prevented me from taking action until I found the right answer. And that sucked. Even if I had to convince myself it was the right answer. So it was either think about it and do the exact right thing or react, which could go horribly wrong.


And so being able to realize that, “Hey, up until this point in my life, based on my experience and what I know, this could be the right answer. I mean, I have all the information I need, I’m going to go for it and see what happens.” Because so many people do that in life without worry and get whatever it is they want. Why can’t I do that? It’s scary at first. It’s like jumping into a pool, not knowing how to swim. And someone’s like, “It’s okay, I’m going to catch you.” And so the coach is there to help catch you. The coach is there to be like, “Okay, can you swim to there?” And they’re like, “I used to be able to swim, but I don’t know if I can.” “Well, let’s start here and let’s do this.” And those little steps become super empowering and it’s not me telling you what to do. I’ve had clients that are just like, “Well, what do you think?”


It doesn’t matter what I think, this is your life. So yeah, I also say how I’m a client myself and where I’ve gotten and been able to accomplish over the past couple years is the most consistent I’ve ever been with something. And no one has told me how to do it. They give you some ideas of like, “Oh, you should sign up for this and that.” But I started making TikToks. I started just putting, airing my dirty laundry on the internet, just being like, “Hey, I suck at this or I struggle with this. What about you guys?” And I found so many things along the way. I’ve met so many people, made so many connections. And now I have coaches coming to me like, “Oh my God, how did you do that?” And it’s not me telling you what to do, it’s you going, “Screw it, I’m going to try it. Let’s go.” And it’s a lot of fun,

Lindsay Guentzel (24:30):

You know you have these realizations as an adult where you can take a step back and see moments where you thought really nothing about it. You did it and you just didn’t in the moment except what it was. And then you’re like, “Oh, I taught myself how to do this thing that I didn’t know how to do and now I’m doing it and people are enjoying it and are engaging with it. And that’s pretty awesome. And why can’t I be excited about that?” And it kind of sounds like from my perspective, and again, I have a therapist and there’s a lot of times where a lot of what we do is to-do lists. But in the same sense, it is so amazing to have someone who is just like, “What is the best for you?” And I think sometimes for people with ADHD, going to people in our lives and trying to get that is so hard. And so that’s why-

Ron Capalbo (25:26):

They give advice.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:28):

Yeah. Oh, okay. Shout out to my nearest and dearest Annie, who the other day said to me, she goes, “Oh, do you want advice or do you just want me to listen?”

Ron Capalbo (25:38):

Love that.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:39):

And I was like, “What”? And she was like, “Do you want advice or do you want me to just listen?” And I was like, “That is the greatest thing you’ve ever said.”

Ron Capalbo (25:48):

The thing that I really love is most ADHDers are verbal processors and conceptual processors. So we have crappy working memory. And so when everything’s in our head, it’s like we move to the next thing and we forgot about the last thing. And so being able to sort out what I’m going to do in my head is impossible. I think I can do it, but it’s impossible. And conceptual meaning, I need to know how everything’s going to go. I need to know what, even coming to this conference, I tried to get as much information as I could on the vibe.

Lindsay Guentzel (26:20):

Thank God I wasn’t the only one.

Ron Capalbo (26:22):

What’s the vibe? I don’t know. There’s so many questions on little details that don’t really matter, but to me they do, because I need to know. And so in coaching, what ends up happening is, imagine your head is just those video game cable cords that you shoved in a drawer to get out of the way. And then you pulled it out and it was this huge ball of wires and that’s what our head is. And I’m just going to kind of help you untangle it and then you’re going to be the one to be like, “Oh, this’ll go here and this is where I want to put this and this is what I want to do with this.” And I’m like, “Cool, let’s do it.”

Lindsay Guentzel (27:01):

What’s on the horizon? And that could be a month, that could be 10 years, that is something you’re super excited about?

Ron Capalbo (27:06):

For me?

Lindsay Guentzel (27:06):


Ron Capalbo (27:07):

Oh man.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:07):

Because I think it’s always nice to look forward a little bit.

Ron Capalbo (27:10):


Lindsay Guentzel (27:10):

Like that’s so much time in the past.

Ron Capalbo (27:13):

When I got into coaching, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be a coach. I just knew that I wanted more. And I said this at first and I wanted to be legit. I wanted people to take me seriously and I wanted to be able to take myself seriously. And I remember having this fuzzy goal of, “I want to do something with this. And right now this looks like the trajectory I want to go on.” And so each day, so when you say, I love this idea of fuzzy goals where I can tell you a general idea of where I’m headed and every month or two, I kind of just check-in and make sure I’m headed in the direction, make sure that street that I come up on, I was like, “Yeah, this is still cool. I like it.”


And I look around, I’m like, “Actually, let’s turn here and try that one.” And that’s been what I’ve been doing for years. I guess, so then currently what I’m doing that I’m excited for the new year is group coaching. I started group coaching at the beginning of this year. I’ve had one group coaching class up until last month. Shout out to Wednesday nights. You guys are great. And they’ve been fantastic. It’s the most exciting part of my week when I get done with group coaching class. I am so freaking energetic and just amped for life. And I started a Tuesday one this last month. You guys are great too.

Lindsay Guentzel (28:41):

Not as great [inaudible 00:28:41].

Ron Capalbo (28:41):

It’s just like the original. I’m just kidding. My Tuesday night groups-

Lindsay Guentzel (28:43):

But I get the feeling of you tried something and you were like, “This is really brave and vulnerable and it’s working.”

Ron Capalbo (28:49):

And I know coaches do do it. A lot of coaches I know have not dipped their toe into that yet. And learning ACO where I was trained, they didn’t tell us how to do that. I had a mentor that encouraged me to do it and she didn’t tell me how. She was just like, “Oh my gosh, you need to just try.” So I was on a podcast where I said, “I’m starting a group next month.” And that’s how I started where I was like, “Oh, shit. I guess I’m starting a group.” And so now I’m getting a third one starting next month on Thursdays. So that’s open for enrollment if anybody’s interested. And my goal is to have six or seven of those for the week. I love doing one-on-one coachings, but I just think one, I could reach more people in group coaching and it’s more affordable for people.

Lindsay Guentzel (29:42):

And there also is the group aspect.

Ron Capalbo (29:43):

It is incredible.

Lindsay Guentzel (29:45):

It matters.

Ron Capalbo (29:46):

Listening to someone with what they’re going through, can spark so much insight for yourself and motivation where you’re like, “Oh wow, I’m going to try this actually.” And the validity of it. So many ADHDers need to feel validated. We need to just… And that’s what I think is so great about the online community, is just hearing other people don’t brush their teeth twice a day or struggle to wash their hair can feel really nice. It just makes you feel a little less lazy or less than, which a lot of us are made to feel our whole lives.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:21):

It’s very funny because I for a very long time was like, “No, I like working out alone.” I could not work out in a group. And then it was getting into the right group with the right people and I’m like, “Oh, I get it. There is something here.”

Ron Capalbo (30:36):

Totally. Yep.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:37):

I want to wrap this up just by asking you really quick. Do you think that as you work with your clients and you are helping them along, that it in turn then is making some of the things that are harder for you with your ADHD, not easier, but you can see light at the end of the tunnel and it almost like the reverb. It bounces off of all of that and it’s just affecting other places?

Ron Capalbo (31:04):

I mean, I don’t know how to say yes more than just saying yes. I mean abso-fucking-lutely. Yes, totally. It is getting coached myself afterwards. And I think that’s why I was like, “Oh, group’s going to be great.” Because just hearing someone figuring it out on their own is inspiring. Hearing someone what they kind of figured out, I start to go, “Well, that might not work for me, but if I just did this, that might work.” And it’s cool. It’s just like plucking ideas out of the air. And I think even this conference being around so many other people that struggle with what we struggle with, is amazing.


I was so happy when someone came up to me and was talking to me and we introduced ourself, which was something that everyone does, and they kind of looked down at my name tag real quick and it made me feel nice because I was like, “I don’t know your name either.” And then I even said that, I was like, “So I’m going to look at your name tag.” They’re like, “Oh my God, thank you.” We’re trying to be neurotypical so often, we mask so much. Someone came up with the idea, “Why don’t we tell people, don’t introduce yourself to me. Wait until halfway through our conversation when I can connect it to this thought.” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that would be brilliant. We start talking about the twins and the Yankees-”

Lindsay Guentzel (32:32):

And you’ll be like, “Yeah.”

Ron Capalbo (32:33):

“Oh, Lindsay, got it.”

Lindsay Guentzel (32:35):

Yes. I was back on campus from the school that I never actually graduated from and was seeing people from freshman year of college, which is literally 2004. And I can tell you everything about our relationship, where we spent time together, our mutual friends, I might not remember their names, but I can give you a general description. But I cannot, for the life of me get to that box. It is so far buried and I have just started this. I’m like, “Hey, it’s Lindsay.” I’m just going to be the one that’s awkward, because I would rather do that than feel bad about it. And also, it’s this idea of carrying that around is way too much.

Ron Capalbo (33:15):

I think that’s why, and I get, for some people, it’s hard to disclose that you have ADHD, but that’s why I found disclosure when you’re able to, and it’s a safe place to, is amazing. Doing it with my friends, I’ve told and now we have an emoji when I haven’t messaged you in a while. And I get to that point now where it feels awkward and they’re just like, “Oh, I haven’t heard from Ron. I’m going to send this emoji.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, thank you.” Like it gave me permission.

Lindsay Guentzel (33:42):

I love that.

Ron Capalbo (33:43):

It’s a special code word like, “Hey Ron, you there?” And they’re like, “We get it.”` But that’s all you want, you just want them to get it.

Lindsay Guentzel (33:50):

You need to get a method name on this immediately so that I can start… I will promote the heck out of this, because literally my best friends are going to be like… Okay, my sister, she just keeps calling and she knows that I don’t like talking on the phone.

Ron Capalbo (34:02):

No, it’s really tough.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:03):

But if I don’t answer, it just gets worse.

Ron Capalbo (34:05):

Right. And when someone texts you, “Are you okay?” That makes me feel so guilty.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:11):

I know.

Ron Capalbo (34:12):

Or if I go to a… Usually I’m outgoing, I go to a party and I’m quiet just because, just feeling quiet that day. And seven people come up to me, “Is everything okay?” Then I feel, “Oh, I should be my normal, energetic, outgoing self and then I’m masking that way.”

Lindsay Guentzel (34:29):

But on the flip side, what I love about it too is I have friends who have lives and are busy, and if I send them a text and they don’t respond right away, then I sit in that puddle of, “They’re mad at me. What did I do?” I’m thinking back to every interaction we have had. And if I just send an emoji and they go, “Oh my God, I’m so busy, blah, blah.” Or whatever it is. But it’s almost like communicating, “It’s good.”

Ron Capalbo (34:52):


Lindsay Guentzel (34:53):

Can I just say, and it’s so very much because we are here and because we both have ADHD and because we both love karaoke and baseball, but this was such a lovely conversation. I’m so glad that you sat down.

Ron Capalbo (35:05):

I am blessed.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:06):

So much fun. I want to go out with, we go out tonight in Dallas. You are at a karaoke bar. The energy is top notch. It is the best crowd in the room. You’re like, “I’m pulling out the big guns.” So what is it? What’s your go-to?

Ron Capalbo (35:26):

See, now I’m having decision process. It really depends on the vibe.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:28):

It is.

Ron Capalbo (35:29):

So I have to pick a vibe right now. I would say Come Together by the Beatles.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:35):


Ron Capalbo (35:35):

Or I mean, if I’m really feeling it and it’s that weird, I’d do NSYNC for sure.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:41):


Ron Capalbo (35:42):

I’ll do, It’s Gonna Be Me or something.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:44):

That’s a good one.

Ron Capalbo (35:45):

I dressed as Joey Fatone for Halloween one year.

Lindsay Guentzel (35:47):

I can actually see that.

Ron Capalbo (35:47):


Lindsay Guentzel (35:47):

I can see it a little in the eyes.

Ron Capalbo (35:50):

And I think I looked more like him 10 years ago when I did this and I won a costume contest. It was a karaoke bar and I sang NSYNC and everybody was just like, “Oh my.” And taking pictures. I was like, “I don’t think I look that much like him.”

Lindsay Guentzel (36:02):

No, I can see it.

Ron Capalbo (36:03):

Yeah, for sure. Anyway.

Lindsay Guentzel (36:05):

That’s amazing. How can people find you online?

Ron Capalbo (36:07):

You can go to my website, ADHDcoachron.com or Instagram or TikTok. On Instagram, I’m ADHD_Ron. And on TikTok, I’m ADHD Coach Ron. I know it’s confusing. And also I love this, and I say this to a lot of people that get consults from me, I was like, “Listen, if you have any questions, message me.” Even if you’re not a client of mine, I love talking about this shit. So it can be all day and I don’t really get sick of it. If I do, I will take a day to respond to you, but then I’ll be all for it the next day and send me memes and stuff. Send me videos that you like. That’s how I spend my free time.

Lindsay Guentzel (36:49):

Thank you so much.

Ron Capalbo (36:50):

Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Thanks.

Lindsay Guentzel (37:13):

A huge thanks to the entire team at ADHD Online for their continued support of Refocused with Lindsay Guentzel. To find out more about the work ADHD Online is doing to make assessments and treatment more affordable and accessible, check out ADHDonline.com. The Music for Refocused was created by Louis Inglis, a songwriter and composer based out of Perth, Australia, who was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020 at the age of 39. If you are looking for music, whether it’s for a podcast or a different project, I cannot recommend Louis enough. I’ve included ways to get in touch with him in the show notes. And of course, so much gratitude and love to Ron Capalbo for making time for me in Dallas and for sharing his story with us here on Refocused.


To learn more about Ron, his ADHD story and the work he’s doing as a coach, you can find him at adhdcoachron.com. Thank you guys so much for listening to Refocused and make sure to join us for the first taping of Refocused Live Thursday, December 1st at 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central. You can find the links to RSVP and get the show added to your calendar so you don’t forget. Right in social, that’s at Refocused Pod. Or head over into the show notes for the podcast wherever you’re listening to find the links. If you like what you’re hearing, show us some love online, rate review and subscribe wherever you’re listening now. And follow along on social at Refocused Pod and make sure to check out all of the amazing stuff we’re creating by visiting adhdonline.com/refocused. And of course, if you have a story you want to share or a topic you want us to look into, shoot me an email directly at [email protected].

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