PP 134: Against All Odds with Brian R King

Quick Show Notes: Brian R King

Brian R King is an amazing example of how we can overcome any struggle and achieve success.

We discuss his journey into entrepreneurship, how he’s beaten cancer and conquered dyslexia and ADHD, and how important it is to be authentic team players in both personal and professional relationships.

#ADHD, #dyslexia, #cancer and more... Hear the chat w/@thekimsutton and @brianrking https://thekimsutton.com/pp134 #positiveproductivity #podcastClick To Tweet

Episode Transcription: Brian R King

Kim Sutton: Welcome to another episode of the positive productivity podcast. This is your host Kim Sutton.

Before I introduce our awesome guests for the day, I just had to tell you if you haven’t already listened to the first blooper episode, already in this episode I’ve contributed to the next one but go back and listen to the first one… Episode 57

Brian R King, who is an ADHD success coach is our awesome guest today. Welcome, Brian. I’m so thrilled you’re here.

Brian R King: It is an absolute thrill. Kim, I’m really looking forward to our conversation.

Kim Sutton: I am, too! And yeah, listeners, you know, you’ve heard me say before that Positive Productivity is not about perfection. And today I am embracing that wholeheartedly.

Brian, I would love for you to share a bit about your background and and what you do with the listeners please.

Brian R King: Well to encapsulate it as much as possible, my life has been very bumpy. I grew up with undiagnosed ADHD and dyslexia. I have three boys, all of whom have Asperger’s which is a form of autism, and they have ADHD as well.

Brian R King: And about four years ago, I was diagnosed with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and it’s making my ligaments and my tendons progressively weaker. So it’s getting harder to walk. I drop things a lot. My joints are always in pain. I have to use a wheelchair a lot of the time when I’m outside the house.

Brian R King: And what I’ve done is essentially…  My life is about turning lemons into lemonade. And I have written five books. I’ve spoken all over the world, to educators, parent groups, professionals, who want to learn how to have the mindset that I do to overcome any adversity regardless of what’s thrown at you.

Brian R King: And when you’re raising special needs kids, ADHD and autism, there’s a lot of pushback. There’s a lot of politics in the school system, and it can beat you down. So I present a lot on resilience and that’s a lot of what I coach my clients on as well.

Kim Sutton: Brian, one of my dearest friends, Jennifer, who’s also a team member, she also has, I think three out of her four children are special needs with ADHD and Asperger’s.

Brian R King: So she and I need to connect.

Kim Sutton: Oh, yeah, I will definitely be connecting the two of you, but I know what a challenge has been for her, especially with the school system. And I love the fact that you are helping parents as you are…

Kim Sutton: For those listeners who aren’t familiar with Asperger’s, especially because I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with ADHD. But would you mind explaining what Asperger’s is?

Brian R King: Some people think of Asperger’s as autism light, which is really not the case. Asperger’s kids tend to have higher IQs, tend to be more verbal, whereas traditional autistic kids often are non verbal. They’re very shut off into their own world, very not interested in anything in the world around them.

Brian R King: Whereas Asperger’s kids, they can be very isolated, but they also want to they try to be social, but they suck at it. You know, they just don’t have any intuition or natural instincts when it comes to socializing. So they make a lot of faux pas. They blurt things out that common sense would tell you to never say that to another person. And as a result, they became, they become social pariah.

Brian R King: Even though they really mean well, they’re trying their darndest, but they just can’t seem to make it happen. So they need a lot of support around building those social instincts and strategies, but they can actually have meaningful relationships.

Kim Sutton: My younger brother actually has Asperger’s. And while I feel like I put my foot in my mouth quite frequently, sometimes I feel like it’s constant foot in the mouth. For him, would that be fair?

Brian R King: Oh, that’s very fair to say. I remember because I was also diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum even though you can’t see it anymore, because I’ve learned so much. But even into my college days, I was routinely blurting things out that really upset people, but I didn’t know what I was doing wrong because nobody would tell me they would just get mad at me and say, you know, with your intelligence you should know about Or you’re old enough to, to know these things.

Brian R King: So I’d know I did something wrong and they would expect me to figure it out. Nobody guided me. It took until I was in my master’s program, where a real no nonsense lady who is now a very good friend of mine, after all these years, she said, Listen, we need to talk. And she took me under her wing and explained everything that I was doing wrong. And I became her students for all that time.

Brian R King: And I learned about the nonverbal cues that were going on that were totally off my radar. I didn’t even know that they were out there. I didn’t know that they were happening. So I learned my own workarounds so that I could be much more socially effective, even though I couldn’t spot nonverbal cues. So my creative problem solving has really been an asset when it comes to work with my clients.

Kim Sutton: Brian, you’ve already shared so you have ADHD, and dyslexia, and now can we say controlled Asperger’s. I would love to know how your journey of writing for books, how did you achieve that? Especially, I mean, dyslexia alone could be enough to discourage wannabe authors from even even attempting to write a book. So, how do you?

Brian R King: That’s a very good question. Well, fortunately, I was born with the gift for gab, I’m able to really articulate what’s on my mind.

Brian R King: So what I did back in the day, we’re talking the late 90s, I got myself a little cassette recorder, and I carried it everywhere I went. So whenever I would have an idea about something I wanted to say, I would just write it down. I’d record it rather.

Brian R King: I could do it while I was stopped at a traffic light. I could do it when I was at lunch in between classes. And I would then have it transcribed. And I worked closely with an editor who probably got carpal tunnel from all the reading she was putting on my transcript. You know, put this here Remove this. This is a run on sentence. You already said this once. This is much more simplified. And we spent a lot of time just taking my mental chaos and organizing it into much more of a cohesive narrative.

Brian R King: So just because my brain is scattered doesn’t mean I can’t put something of value out there. I just need help doing it.

Kim Sutton: Oh, absolutely. So, you’ve written five books. Can you share the name of your books with us?

(Transcription still being cleaned up. Thank you for checking it out!)

Brian R King: Okay, I’m gonna try and remember them all. The first one I wrote. And I don’t know if I mentioned this. When I was talking about my life. I had cancer when I was 18. It was my graduation present from high school. So the first book I wrote is called what to do when you’re totally screwed. Because I was in a situation where I felt completely helpless and hopeless. And the people that declare, Oh, I’m so screwed. They’re the ones that feel hopeless. So the book is all about how do you get from hopelessness to empowered? How do you get your life back on track. So it’s all about my cancer experience. And it really is personal. You know, people that read it, say they feel like they’re right there with me. So that’s when I discovered that I really had an ability to draw people in to my storytelling and so on. And now I leverage that into my presentations, and so on. But that was the first book and that was really at the urging of people that heard my story saw my attitude, how I turned things around, and thought that people could really benefit from the story and I’m very happy to say that they have,

oh, can I interrupt you for a moment? Sure. I’m over here laughing because as of the recording date of this and listeners, I don’t usually timestamp as you know, but we’re recording this in the end of April 2017. But I just shared with somebody this morning. I don’t usually cuss on the podcast either, but it won’t sound as good. If I don’t say my exact words. I said, with everything that we’ve been through lately, meaning my family, we could start a very successful manure farm with all the shit that’s on our fans. And

I played a visual.

Yeah, I just had to laugh. I mean, if we don’t make humor, and just keep on pushing forward off of everything that goes on. Do you think there’s ever a time that there’s not something going on? By the way? I’m just curious.

Well, that hasn’t been my life. No, there’s always something going on.

Okay, listeners, I would love your feedback on that. If there’s ever been a time, let’s say a two week period where everything has flowed perfectly. I would love for you to comment on this episode, and probably even get you on the podcast just to hear your secrets. And all the show notes and links and everything about Brian you’ll be able to find on the show notes at KIM SUTTON comm forward p p 134. But back to you, Brian. Okay, so repeat the title of the first book again.

What did you when you’re completely screwed, what to do when you’re totally screwed?

Fabulous. I want to get a copy.

Okay, so you, you had cancer. And are you? Was it completely? I mean, it’s always in remission. Do they consider you always in remission as they get rid of it?

They consider in my case they consider cured after five years with no recurrence.


So and this September I’ll be celebrating 28 years cancer free.

Happy anniversary. That’s phenomenal.

I call it my rebirth day because I got I got a second chance of life.

Absolutely. That’s a great way to look at it.

So what was your What was your next book?

The next book, I think was I’m an aspie. And it was a collection of poetry that I wrote to process This new information about myself. You know, you go, you’re thinking, you’re one way your identity is pretty much set as an adult. But then someone says, oh, by the way, you have this thing called Asperger’s. And the more you read about it, and what it means and how vulnerable that you actually are out there in the world, because of all the things you’re missing, I suddenly felt naked. And there was a lot for me to go through. And I enjoy writing poetry and a lot of just creativity just came flooding out of me. So I put that collection together and put it in a book and many people have enjoyed it because it’s it’s not preachy, it’s very reflective, and people that are just kind of going through the process of discovering what it means for them to be on the spectrum have found a lot of value in that.

When I was reviewing your website, and I just want to touch back because I when I was reading your about page, I think that what some of what you wrote on there could be very much The poll right now talking about this book, you mentioned that you joined, I believe this is what I read Asperger’s support group for parents, right? And if memory serves a lot of parents started going to you with questions, because your your responses and solutions to some of the problems that they were facing were exactly the solutions that they were looking for. Right. But they also didn’t realize that you were diagnosed as well.

But when I came into the group, I was looking for answers just like they were because it wasn’t too long after my oldest was diagnosed with Asperger’s. And he was in crisis in school, the school was not doing very much. I was reading everything I could with, you know, not knowing I had dyslexia. So it was all overwhelming to try and take it in and understand it. But I was doing my own work of self reflection. I was getting my own counseling, and I was very in touch with myself anyway, just from the cancer experience and Anybody who reads my first book will get it. I did a lot of deep inner work to get over the the depression and the anger and all that. So I was already very, very self aware. So as I learned more about the Asperger’s and what it meant for me, with my gift of gab, I was able to articulate it very clearly. So when I was in the parents group, and they were bouncing ideas off of each other about, well, this is what I think your your kids going through, this is what I think they’re needing, and this is what you should do. And I’m sitting there shaking my head, like you guys have no idea what you’re talking about. You guys are just guessing. So I raised my hand and I said, you know, can I make a suggestion to you or, you know, I have a different way of looking at it if you’re interested. And I shared what I thought was going on, and their eyes just opened up wide like oh my God, that’s it. And when they found out I was a social worker as well, they wanted to bring their kids to see me. And I said, I don’t have a practice. I have a day job. Now I was working for hospice. I was one Have those where I didn’t think I was going there because I had anything to contribute. I was going there because I wanted information. But it totally flipped on me. When they told me just how uninformed the professionals they were working with, actually, we’re not that they were bad people, they just didn’t know what they did know. So they work with the parents as best they could. But when the parents discovered what I knew, they kind of pulled me into starting my own practice. And once I finally decided to do that, I worked every day of the week except Sunday. And the evenings after my day job on Saturday mornings, and in four months time I replace my daytime income. Because once they heard my shingle was out, they just started flooding to me.

That’s incredible.

I love that. And it’s amazing how fast you can make things happen just like that, without even really intending to and it sort of proves that you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. When it all lines up like that, and that’s usually how it’s how it started for me too. I had like an eight month goal. Did you even have a goal of being able to leave your full time job?

I know I wanted to there wasn’t a whole lot structured now because because of my scatterbrain I was pretty much just going on faith and seeing which way the wind was blowing. It wasn’t until I was really established that I started reaching out to colleagues who had their practices well asking them, you know, how do I do this? Is there paperwork I’m supposed to keep track of, because it was it all happened pretty quickly. I thought I would have had time to figure this all out. But thank goodness for those people around me that were a lot more organized than I was. Otherwise I would have made a ridiculous number of mistakes.

And now you’re an author and speaking all over the world. Mm hmm.

fruitless listeners who have children who in are facing these difficulties. I mean, that’s all they are really as challenges. And in my opinion, they, you know, are, we always have to support our kids and they can do anything that they dream off and beyond. Right, as long as we know the right way to support

them in one of my most helpful reframes is that I don’t have problems I have teachers because they step up and they say, all right, try this on. Because when you’re born into this universe, as a human being, you are signing up for growth. There are things that are going to challenge you and going to stretch you and demand more of you and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it, except step up and learn the knowledge that you need the skills that you require, and find the people you need to know to help you keep moving forward. And all of that resistance is a teacher saying, try this.

move past it, move through it become stronger

And then when you get past it and you can now handle the weight of this difficulty, then another teacher shows up. So some people call it life school, I call it Angel training. Because when you are able to figure out how to solve these complex problems, and then you show up in somebody else’s life to pay it forward, you can be like their guardian angel.

I’m over here speechless because I don’t even know I can.

That’s just wow. Yeah, completely agree. It’s a very

useful way. Not always words to say that. It’s a very useful way to live.


Absolutely. So what was book number three, Brian?

Book number three was my children’s book. It’s called Thank you Sani it’s about a squirrel that is very Asperger in and he is pretty much the guy that keeps track of everything in the forest and making sure everything thing is as it should be. So he’s always helping people out to make sure that they have what they need. And a big storm comes through the forest one night and starts flooding everything. And it’s wrecking things for all the people that he takes care of, there’s a rabbit and there’s a deer. And while everybody else is trying to keep from being swept away, Sammy jumps out of his tree and is swimming around trying to shore up everything, to make sure it doesn’t get all washed away. So as friends are taken care of, and they’re all just moved by his heroic efforts on their behalf. So at the end, they he gets sick, and he’s holed up in his tree. And they all get together to talk about how they can do something very nice for him, including taking care of him when he’s sick. And when they come to him with their surprise, he’s very surprised by this and he says, Wait, you don’t need to do this. He says, they said, Well, you know, you take such good care of us and you He says, Well, I take care of you because I can’t, you know, because it makes sense to. And they say, yeah, we love you because you’re just being you. And that’s one of the reasons why we love you. And they thank him at the end for everything that he has done for them. So it’s a lot of it is, yeah, you can be quirky. But being who you are, can be a tremendous asset to those around you. So it’s a message to the kids that have Asperger’s that you know, just be you and find a way to make your natural quirkiness of value.

I think that’s a lot more than just the kids that you’re talking to. I mean, the whole audience here plus so many of the communities that I’m in on Facebook, and all of social media, a lot of us tend to and I was even guilty of it for the longest time. Maybe guilty is not the right word. Trying to do what other people were doing because I thought that was the way to be successful.

When you have no other point of reference, that kind of makes sense for a while. But then but then when you do that, and you realize it just doesn’t fit. It feels like a pair of shoes that is too small. And that’s when you need to take risks and begin experimenting. And then when you find your own way, and you find that it works, then you do that.

Absolutely. No, it really was, it was like a pair of shoes that was three sizes too small and it was hurting more than physically it was hurting, you know, mentally as well. So,

looking at everything I write, everything I write has a universal message, including your thank you Sammy, that it’s through that lens of Asperger’s and ways of doing things. But it speaks to the trying to figure out and live in spite of the human condition. You know, there’s always going to be those challenges. There’s always going to be times when you fall on your butt for the hundredth time. And it doesn’t matter whether you have ADHD or Asperger’s or bipolar, or whether you believe that you are just a typical human being with no real issues, you still have to live within the human condition. And that is that there is suffering, there is letdown, there is disappointment. So how do you live joyfully? Regardless, so all the things that I write are speaking to your human being, they’re suffering in the world, what do you do about it? How do you learn to live successfully anyway? So that’s what I really speak to.

I’m excited to hear about books four and five now. Not that I wasn’t before. But

the fourth book was my autism book. As I figured out how to do this relationship thing, and teach my boys how to be more successful in relationships, and then began presenting on it. People started asking me to write a book about what I was presenting. And it took one of my mentors to really get me to do it because There are so many big names out there that I’ve been doing it for 20 plus years. And I felt that who was I, to write about this when there are so many people who understood it differently and better. And, you know, this was my self talk. And then one of my mentors put it so succinctly. I couldn’t argue with him. He said, it’s the singer, not the song. He said, doesn’t matter if you write what other people have already talked about, what matters is that it’s in your voice. You know, the way you say it is going to resonate to people differently. So I said, Well, I can’t argue with that. So I began recording my presentations, audio recording them, and again, went back to the transcribers, they transcribed it all out, work with my editor to get it all put together. And that turned into my let’s relate book, which was all about how do we meet each other in the middle? How do we have relationships that are fulfilling and wonderful, even though I relate to In a very unconventional way. So you can still be on the spectrum and have all your quirks and still have fulfilling relationships, people. So that book is all about how to do that, and how to teach your kids to do it.

So let’s relate was book number four or book number five. That’s book number four.

Okay. And book number five was my best seller. And it’s called perfect moments in relationships. And it’s all about how to be right here right now with another human being, and make sure that they feel seen and significant by you.

Wow, what is one of your big points out of that?


One of the big points.

I don’t know if I put it this way. But

one of the things I say is that everybody in this world has special needs. And the one special They all have as to the need to feel special is to feel significant. And you can do that simply by taking the time to notice another person and with the intention of saying, I want you to know that I have decided to stop and recognize you because you matter. And you do that by smiling at someone and wishing them good morning by holding the door for them and saying, Let me get that for you. Because your intention comes through in your demeanor. If you do something because you’re supposed to, there may be even a little bit of resentment on you like you’re doing it out of guilt, you’re doing it out of obligation, not because you see the other person so showing up in the way that you are present with them. I want to be here for you. I want to help you is not only powerful for you, but it makes a difference to the other person as well.


Like you Brian, I have had Marriage that didn’t work out. And, you know, I, I don’t know if I read and you know what, let me just

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. My mother of my son’s left us and I was a single dad for a while. These three special needs kids, my family stepped up to help me a great deal. And I’m now been remarried for seven years to a girl I’ve known since I was four years old. But we kind of parted ways when she went to one school I went to another and we found each other again when I discovered Facebook after my divorce, and we started hanging out and talking boring. Fell in love and here we are.

Oh, I love that. Brian, I met my my husband on Craigslist. Totally an accident. I was looking for furniture.

That’s what we call serendipity.

Yes, exactly. I love that word. By the way.

But those, just as you were saying, everybody’s need to feel special. That has been. That and communication have been what have made this marriage so successful. We have faced, probably 1000 times more obstacles. In the Let me think six and a half years we’ve been together than I ever faced in the almost 20 years I was with my ex. However the ability to support each other and, and not out of expectation or requirement but out of love. Be able to let the other person know how special they are and communicate, not yell but communicate calmly when things aren’t going well. has allowed us to get through every single one of those challenges. What have you found to be the biggest difference and this is not you know, the Brian King relationship So but I am curious, what has helped you to and what is your wife’s name? So So Kathy, Kathy, shout out to Kathy. What, what would you say what is one of your pillars, one of your foundations of a successful relationship between the two of you?

You don’t get to be a solo act.

You know, you don’t get to do it alone, because in many relationships that fail, these spouses are, are competitive with each other. You know, and one of the biggest problems I see this in relationships today, no, no, I can handle this myself. I don’t need any help in this big macho ego stuff. And I’ve seen it on both sides, male and female, but we’re never in a relationship. You don’t get to push the other person away. It’s a team effort. You’re in it together. And because you’re in it together, you have to keep your partner in the No. You have to be communicating with them. And you get to leverage their strengths. One of the best things about having a partner is ideally they compliment you. They’re good at stuff that you suck at. And if they compliment you really well that man, the stuff you can take on together is amazing. Because now you have a complete skill set. It’s not just you trying to fumble through it with the stuff that you know, and you’re not good at a lot of it, but you try it anyway. And I’m making a lot of unnecessary mistakes. But when you bring your partner in on it, man, the world better look out.

So you’re absolutely right.

Always be a team.

You just perfectly segwayed and listeners, you know that no part of any of these chats is pre rehearsed at all. That’s why there’s blooper episodes, but you just perfectly segwayed into a project that I know you are working on right now, which is a mastermind, which I believe you can add that same thought process into even though a mastermind in my opinion is about, you know, personal growth, it’s also about growth of everybody inside the mastermind and helping each other out.

Yeah, cuz if there’s one thing I’ve learned how to do, it’s build community. Anybody who looks at my my facebook profile, it has huge engagement and sharing and commenting and everybody around me asks, How do you do that man? Can you teach me how to do that? So I finally decided, well, I’m gonna start a mastermind teach people how to do that. But one of my foremost values is that we are all in this together. So when I’m out there sharing and social media and supporting people, I don’t go out there as though I’m the smartest kid in the room. I go out there as that we are a community and the more we stay connected, the better off we all are. So I focus on creating that kind of connection. With every post I put out there. And people feel connected to me they feel connected to each other. The the trust factor is off the chain. arts, because I come from that sense of my responsibility to everybody else around me, we are in this together, you help me I help you. It’s a collaboration, as opposed to, I’m going to sell you and I’m gonna sell you some more and you’re going to buy more stuff from me, and that it’s all transaction. The transactional people get crickets. Nobody listens to that. I’m out there to build connection and empower people.

I have fallen victim to that myself, because I have

in my in this was part of my major shift last last year and the year before it was trying to. I was chasing income and not impact. I was so busy doing what everybody else was doing, that I forgot about worrying about my own passion and my purpose and what I’m supposed to be doing and the relationships that I’m supposed to be growing and thankfully the podcast came out of this. And that’s not to say and this is not the promotion Kim. So there’s there’s not any money making made off the podcast right now. I’m just trying to help and make those connections. And it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing. Absolutely in the group. I mean, when you build those relationships, there is depth in making that impact. There is always the greater opportunity for possible income to follow and chances are well, but that can’t be your focus while you’re building. Oh,

yeah, you’ve got to have that community around you of people that want to hear from you. And that wants to support you because you support them. It’s the natural law of reciprocity. And when people want to support you, maybe they don’t buy from you directly, but they will sure as heck refer people to you. You have that you have to show up and be of use. Because why would anybody want to send any business your way or pay you money, if they don’t trust that you can provide valuable solutions to that So you the first thing you need to do is show up and provide solutions be helpful. Prove that you can do it. Don’t just advertise that you can do it.

Right. Don’t be afraid to give away your golden nuggets for free.

Because one thing, one thing I learned for one of my mentors and it is true, you can give them the best advice in the world, but if they don’t know how to implement it, it’s no good to them. So the value of your coaching comes in the implementation and accountability.

So share more about your mastermind, Brian,

my mastermind is in its infancy, I just announced it yesterday. I’ve already got one person enrolled. And it’s all about helping people become their most human selves, learning to put themselves out there in a vulnerable way using everything about them their story as their way of building community and building that trust factor. And you and I both know that there are a lot of things in the way beliefs, very limiting beliefs, assumptions that prevent somebody from showing up authentically. And the mastermind is going to be a lot of getting that stuff out of the way. So that a person can show up as the complete human being that they are. And people are really responding in this world of noise. People are really responding well to other people that are just themselves. Because the world is hungry for authenticity. They’re tired of the games, they’re tired of being sold to, they just want to deal with another human being. So the more you can be that the more people will be drawn to you.

Wow, where can listeners learn more about your mastermind?

Well, the best bet is to find me on Facebook, because it’s by by June when this comes out, I may have an entire website around it. But for now come to Facebook because that’s where I do most of my work. And in the show notes, you can probably put a link to my profile so people can find me easier.

Oh, absolutely well and listeners again, the show notes can be found at KIM sutton.com. forward slash p p 134. So Brian, a great way to find you is on Facebook. Is there anywhere else that you would love for our listeners to connect with you on the internet?

Absolutely. Come right to my website. And that is Brian Raymond king.com.

Thank you so much, Brian. This has been an absolute pleasure to chat with you today. Thank you so much for being here. Do you have a closing piece of advice or Golden Nugget that you would love to share with listeners?

Probably the most useful one is make mistakes faster. Because the more you make mistakes, the more quickly you find out what does work what’s not going to give you the results you want. Then you can scratch them off the list of everything that you’ve tried. You’ll get more quickly to the things that ultimately do work so you can start living the life you want sooner rather than later.