Nick: Hey, this is Nick Eubanks.
Welcome to another episode of the ADD Entrepreneur. Today, we are joined by the founder of Juris Digital, Casey Meraz.
He is based out of Greenwood Village, Colorado. And Juris Digital specializes in doing digital support services and marketing for law firms.
How are you doing, Casey?
Casey: Pretty good, Nick.
Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Nick: No, I appreciate you coming on, man. I usually butcher this sort of the bio’s of the folks that I’ve talked to, thus far. So, if you wanna give a better introduction of you and what your firm does, what your agency does, I’d say feel free to go ahead.
Casey: Sure, okay. Well, you did a pretty good job.
We, basically, do a whole service digital marketing services for law firms. So, everything from website design to SEO, SEM, anything we can do increase our visibility online.
Nick: How long has the company been around?
Casey: So, we originally started under the brand Ethical SEO Consulting, and we’ve been around for six years now.
Nick: Oh, nice. Congratulations, man.
Casey: Thank you.
Nick: Was this sort of the start of your entrepreneurial journey? Or did you have other ventures before you’ve gotten to this one?
Casey: Oh, no, no.
Yeah, I’ve had a lot of other ventures along the way, so as a kid, I was interested in paintballs, started a paintball store locally. And then, that kind of morphed into my next venture which was computer repair, completely…
Casey: …in a different direction and I did that for a few years, and started a wireless internet company. And then currently, I am pretty much only doing this, but I am an active partner in Airsoft store, as well, now.
Nick: Nice. I am a very avid Airsoft enthusiast, and I actually played paintball on a team when I was in high school.
Casey: Oh, nice. Yeah, me, too. So that’s a lot of fun.
Nick: Yeah, super funny, man. And the theme is definitely from, you know, all the entrepreneurs I’ve talked to that have, you know, ADHD, or some flavor of ADD – that nobody is on their first venture or nobody’s doing just one thing.
That segues actually really nicely into sort of where I’d like to start, which is, you know,
How old were you when you started displaying science of…what they then called ADD, and now I think it’s just more formally encapsulated by ADHD?
Casey: Sure. So, I definitely had the symptoms all of my life as far as identification goes.
You know, I struggle with the school actually quite a bit in high school, middle school, and that type of thing, and it wasn’t until I found something I was kind of interested in in college that I was able to really focus.
So, it started probably around 15, I guess, but just recently diagnosed actually.
Nick: No kidding. So, who would you say was the first person that noticed sort of the symptoms or was it you?
Casey: Well, it was definitely probably me but also my teachers.
I feel like they always had feedback and just certain things didn’t come easy to me, so especially like Math, for example, is something that I had struggled with until I had to learn a very specific way to teach myself.
So what drove you to finally get, you know, professionally tested?
Casey: Really, that I just felt like I could do so much more if I knew I could maintain my focus a little bit more, and could just understand myself better. So, I just felt like I could get more done.
Nick: So were you looking for a more of a medical solution just to sort of help support, obviously, you know, the ins and outs of running a business?
Casey: Initially, yes, but also just, you know, educational standpoint.
From an educational standpoint, as well. I just wanted to learn what things I can do non-medically that would help me just perform better and stay more focused.
Nick: Oh, very cool.
Yeah, that’s very much the route that I’ve been going.
I just finished like an e-book very much on like, you know, here’s all the different strategies that I sort of, taking shoes and take off the shelves, to sort of help get me through my day, and my day-to-day.
And, you know, obviously some days are much better than others, but my personal story that’s gone too far afield.
You know, my parents decided when the doctors came back, especially, the people in my school system, the time I was seven or eight were like, “Oh, he need like that.
Your son’s out of control.
He’s ruined…, They made a decision…the time not for me, you know, hopefully not to develop a chemical dependency at least at such a young age.
Again, works very well.
So how would you say that having ADD as a kid, and as a teenager, and as a young adult, what kind of affect did that have on your relationships?
Only and the reason I ask is, it’s some people I’ve talked to, it’s not meant to see the negative question there, but some people actually said that it really helped because they were able to connect with different types of kids because of how outgoing sometimes we are and so on, and so forth.
Casey: Mm-hmm, yeah.
If from a social aspect, I never really had too many problems.
I guess, making friends or connecting with people, but I learned recently that I’ve kind of taken a different direction as far as the approach I took. What I mean by that, I guess, is that I’m always hearing, or listening, or thinking about 10 different things at once I feel like.
And so, I’m always reacting to people’s emotions, their non-verbal cues and verbal cues, and just kind of making an assumption based on what I think they’re thinking at that moment.
So, I guess I kind of developed a little bit of a super power of reading people which allowed me to make a lot more friends, I would say, which is kind of interesting.
Nick: That’s a really cool insight.
You’re actually the first person that has mentioned sort of the ability to pick up again on non-verbal cues and sort of get a sense for what people are thinking and how people are feeling in the moment, which I would totally…
I think that you just honed in on one of the practical applications of a skill that seems to be pretty common at least with people whose brains are wired with ADD, but then are also wired to be entrepreneurs, which is the ability to sort of observe or process large amounts of information very quickly.
Casey: Yeah, definitely. And, you know, sometimes there’s also a downside to that, of course, as well.
So, I can get distracted easily or, you know, not retain very much, as well.
Nick: Yeah, both are super common symptoms, I’m unlearning myself.
What would you say is the most identifying characteristic that you saw in yourself, you know, between sort of then and now if you had to go and retrospect back to, you know, your childhood to now sort of looking back over, say, the past 20 years or so?
Casey: Sure, so one thing that sticks out to me is just thinking about homework or goals, things that I’m trying to complete. I was never somebody that would be able to do that, you know, like work on a project for a week if I was uninterested, and I’d wait until the last minute, and I would get it done just because I had to, I had a motivation that it had to be done.
But I’ve kind of changed and switched to focus on projects that interest me now.
And now when I do that, I’m really able to focus pretty much all the time, and really work towards completing those goals without the pressure of whatever those other deadlines are.
Nick: Yeah, so you’re talking about sort of the hyper focused that, you know, people like us tend to have devoted to just sort of flip on when it’s necessary, but up until that point, you know, God help us.
Casey: Yeah, exactly. Yup.
Nick: So you said you were recently diagnosed professionally. Are you taking any medication now to sort of help maintain focus?
Casey: So, I did try some Adderall which actually did help quite a bit, but I’m not a fan of taking medications in general.
I don’t even take Tylenol like if I have headache.
So, I really try to stay away from that and I’m looking for more natural things that I can do to help me be more successful.
Nick: Awesome. Yeah, I feel exactly the same way.
You know, I’d probably have a little bit more coffee than I should, and I know I should be staying away from it.
It’s not good for people like us, but that’s about as far as I’ll go.
So, the next…I mean, I usually, at this point, I would ask what your first business idea was, so I guess based on sort of how the conversation started, it would make more sense for me to ask;
Was the paintball business the first business idea that you had?
Or do you have something even before that, like even more so as a child?
Casey: I’ve always thought about things as a child, but paintball was definitely the first one that I would say I took action on.
You know, as a kid, I remember trying to create like a local newspaper from my mom’s printer that I would just type up with pretty useless information but, you know, something I thought I could sell or get subscribers to.
So, you know, just probably like a 10-year-old or something.
Nick: Yeah, mine was selling my mom’s iced tea on the corner.
Casey: Oh, nice. That’s awesome.
Nick: Again, I think it’s just that, you know, that entrepreneurial bug I think is in everybody whether you’re ADD or not.
So I love hearing about people’s sort of, you know, people’s first businesses, especially, people who have built out real established businesses at this point in their life.
It’s funny to hear that people reflect on sort of some of those first hair brain ideas.
Who was your biggest entrepreneurial influence while you were growing up and who is it now?
Casey: Good question.
I think initially it was Bill Gates just because I couldn’t even have a really good reason to that other than, you know, he was rich, I think.
And then as I started just getting more into business, or many business books, and things like that, I think my hero right now is kind of Elon Musk and also Richard Branson.
I’m a big fan of him, as well.
Nick: Branson has ADD.
Casey: Oh, he does?
Okay, I actually didn’t know that.
Well, that’s great. And, you know, he’s always…I’ve read a couple of his books and, you know, I definitely follow him online as well.
Nick: Yeah, and I’m a huge fan of Musk.
I feel like he definitely…he is just a different brain. I don’t know if what he has. I don’t know, if you wanna call it “Hero Syndrome.”
I don’t if he’s been diagnosed yet or not, but, yeah, I just saw a video of the first test track today of him in the first test slide on the actual production testing facility in Texas for the Hyperloop, where the sled hit a 125 mile an hour.
Casey: Wow. That’s awesome.
Yeah, I love that stuff, and, you know, I love technologies.
So, you know, his brains definitely had it in a really amazing direction.
Nick: Yes, it’s understatement.
So, it’s awesome because you don’t…you know, you look for other sort of rituals and other strategies for maintaining your focus and staying productive.
What routines or rituals do you practice or try to practice to stay productive?
Casey: So, the things that’s helped me the most recently is actually starting a bullet journal.
I’ve always been a list guy.
I have to create lists and tasks.
And, recently, my wife told me about bullet journaling and made me watch some YouTube videos on it, and I picked that pretty quickly, and I’ve already been able to have a lot more focus, separate things into tasks on paper as opposed on computers because like even though I use base camp, for example, for one of my business, you know, I’m just really not that good with it personally, but if I write something down, I’m gonna get it done.
Nick: Yeah. No, that’s a strategy I absolutely use, as well.
It’s writing everything down, and then actually breaking them up into smaller sort of groupings of tasks, and then putting them somewhere.
Like I’ve realized they have to be visible. It has to like…it was fine through sticky notes and now I use…there’s like a cool browser extension called Momentum Dash, so like every time you open a new browser tab, I get hit in the face of my to-do list.
Casey: Oh, nice.
Nick: That’s been really helpful.
Casey: I’m gonna have to check that out.
Nick: I’m gonna send you a book when we get off the line here, and you might find it interesting.
And if not, you’re not gonna hurt my feelings, so that’s all good.
Casey: Got it.
Do you have any corky habits or behaviors that you’ve noticed?
Casey: Oh, that’s a good one.
Nothing comes to mind. I’m sure there’s plenty and I’m sure my wife could tell you a million, but, yeah, nothing that comes to mind right away.
I guess, really, maybe just, you know, focus-based like I can be talking to somebody, but also listening to the conversation happening next to me, and the one, you know, a few people down.
And, you know, that’s just like a really annoying habit more than anything else because that’s probably one of the reasons I don’t retain as much as I like because I’m listening to too many things.
Nick: I think I know what you mean.
How do you get along with other folks you’ve met that have ADD? And do you have any employees that have ADD?
Casey: So, I don’t have any employees that have ADD.
And I actually don’t know if any of friends do.
So, I can’t really answer that question because nobody has really told me, and I haven’t told that many people yet.
Nick: No kidding.
That’s a really interesting fact in it of itself.
I mean, is it because of sort of the social stigma that still exists?
Casey: Perhaps. I mean, I don’t care.
I’m honest and open and I don’t mid sharing it, it’s just not something that I’ve had the opportunity to discuss too much yet.
And, you know, yeah, there’s definitely a social stigma there and some people, you know, may not believe it exists and things like that too, so.
Nick: Yeah, and, especially when you’re in leadership role.
You know what I mean? As the card carrying founder of the company, it can be tough to sort of wear this badge of honor.
Casey: Yeah, for sure.
Nick: What would you say are your most and least favorite aspects of ADD?
Casey: My most is definitely in the productivity side.
Just feeling like I’m able to complete more or I don’t get overwhelmed easily. I feel like that’s probably related to the system how we’re, you know…
Nick: I think you’re right.
Casey: …a lot of people…people see like a huge hurdle in the way, and I just think through it and say,
“Okay, well, this is how we’re gonna tackle it. You know, it’s really not that big of a deal.”
So it doesn’t stress me out and that’s a big thing. And then, I guess as far as, you know, again, the things that or the most annoying to me is just not paying enough attention, I think, to people.
Nick: Like your wife, for example?
Because I know, for me, I drive my wife crazy and…
Casey: Yeah, same here.
Nick: It’s a daily struggle.
That’s a story for another day.
Would you say that ADD has helped you to grow your business?
Just because there’s so many challenges that I’ve set out to do that a lot of people thought were impossible or too difficult and, you know, not saying that it was easy, but it’s definitely things I was able to work through and think through. And even in just running a business in general.
Problems happen and they come up, and some of them seem like it’s the end of the world, and you have to have a mind that can deal with those, and think through that logically.
Nick: That’s a fantastic example that I had not thought of before as a potential characteristic related to ADD.
Just the idea…and I think you’re probably right. The more I think about the people that I know, and the people I’m continuing to meet that the ability to not get overwhelmed maybe it’s because your brain is just overwhelmed at all times that you’re just used to it.
It’s like sort of the standard operating procedure for the ADD brain, it’s just a hundred things in an hour all at the same time, and you learn to control it.
I had not considered that before, but that’s actually a really cool insight.
Casey: Cool, yeah.
I know, I mean that’s definitely how I feel. I feel that all of this is related, but…
What’s your favorite book on either business or productivity, and why?
Casey: Let’s see here.
Actually, I think one of the reasons that really changed me was actually “The 4-Hour Workweek,” so that’s kind of one that made me start thinking like…because, you know, let me back up a second.
So before I started my agency, I worked with Intuit, and I helped build their SEO programs for small businesses.
And I just remember working there, you’re supposed to have 40-hour work week and get all this work done, but I was able to get work done in maybe a quarter of time that it was taking other people longer.
And I didn’t understand that.
It didn’t make sense to me, but I was like, “Hey, that’s cool.” I can work on my own stuff or do whatever and still look really good for corporate America. And, you know, I read “The 4-Hour Workweek,” and then I was like, “Oh, wait.
I can use virtual assistance or, you know, I don’t have to be working 40 hours a week.
I can do more working for myself in less time. And so, that was very insightful. And since then, I’ve read a lot of different books that are great business books too, I think.
But I really like “The Power of Habit” actually, just as far as, you know, helping myself to learn a little bit more about psychology of marketing in creating habits for myself and learning what those triggers are that helps my ADD brain, as well.
And then, there was one other that I was thinking of.
I think it’s by Jim Collins. Oh, I can’t remember the name of it.
Nick: “Good to Great” or “Great by Choice?”
Casey: “Good to Great.” Yep, “Good to Great.”
That’s it. So, I love that book, too.
Nick: Yeah, those are both excellent.
No, that’s an awesome answer and I’m definitely gonna add “The Power of Habit” to the list because I have not read that one yet.
Casey: Yeah, no, it’s great.
I’ve read so many different ones and those are the top three that stick out to me, at least for now.
Nick: No, that’s a good list.
This is the last question.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur with ADD?
Casey: Really, just starts, I don’t know, to realize that the world that doesn’t run the way that maybe a lot of people try to convince you it does, you know, you don’t have to have that job and work 9:00 to 5:00.
You know, you can do more than other people. You can do better than other people.
And you just really have to focus on what works for you. I’m sure everybody is a little bit different on how they can be productive, but if you find something that you’re passionate about, you know, I guarantee that with a little structure that you can, you know, take that to levels unseen.
Nick: That’s a great piece of advice, man.
Well, hey, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day.
I can completely understand how frantically busy Mondays are, especially, in the agency world.
So, I really appreciate this and I’m excited to see what people think about your story.
Casey: Absolutely, Nick.
Well, I appreciate the opportunity, and I’m happy to share it, of course, and promote that as well, so I just appreciate it.
Nick: Now, that’s awesome, man. Thank you very much.