Kim and Penn Holderness, ADHD IS AWESOME

Kim and Penn Holderness, ADHD IS AWESOME

Award-winning content creators and New York Times bestselling authors Kim and Penn Holderness join Zibby to discuss ADHD IS AWESOME, an engaging, hilarious, and uplifting guide to rocking life with an ADHD brain (which Penn has and Kim does not!). The two describe how Penn’s ADHD has impacted their lives and the steps they’ve taken to protect their relationship. They discuss the importance of a proper diagnosis and share practical tips for managing ADHD—for individuals and whole families. They also talk about the viral Christmas video that launched their popular online presence and how they've built a successful business from it.


Zibby: Welcome so much. I'm so excited you're here. Penn and Kim Holderness. ADHD is awesome. Thank you so much for coming. Moms don't have time to read books. 

Kim: We are so excited to be here. Thank you for having us. 

Zibby: No, this is great.

I know. So I have a special guest. Kyle is here. 

Kyle: Special guest today. 

Zibby: Today. Because he just has to be here. I mean, 

Kyle: husband and wife come in, we get to do a little husband and wife thing. It's great. 

Zibby: I love it. He was in the house, so you know. 

Kyle: Yeah. And I'm constantly recommending books that I've never read before.


Zibby: It's tracks. That's true. He's good at that. 

Kyle: If you're listening in D. C., you didn't hear that. 

Zibby: Even on your social, the one video you did where you're making fun of how surprised she gets, she hears, and she's like, and you're like, because I always do that.

Kyle: I had to stop reacting to it after a while. After about a year of living with Zibby and thinking just the world was ending.

I'm like, my heart starts pounding. Oh my God, what is it? And then yeah, it's just. I

Penn: think we all do that. I, I'm also guilty of doing that. We just get so fixated on our phones that like we assume that there's nobody else here. And so the reaction is always way more than it should be. Right? Like, Oh, 

Kim: And then he just, 

Penn: There's a sale at Penny's.

They're like, what are you doing? No, that actually was a quote from airplane. 

Kim: Okay. Okay. Sorry. 

Zibby: There you go. Yeah. Okay. 

Kyle: Pennies for our older listeners. 

Zibby: Why is aDHD awesome? 

Penn: First of all, the definition of the word awesome is twofold. It is awe inspiring, which is in the word. It is wonderful. It is worthy of admiration.

And it's also scary, terrifying. When people describe things as awesome in the days of yore, they were talking about volcanoes and comets and things coming, hurtling toward the earth. So I believe that ADHD is both. I think it's, it is terrifying when you leave. the stove on and you leave the house or you leave your keys in the car and someone can break in and your family could be in trouble or or you lose train of thought and you don't know where you just drove and you look around and wonder why you came into a room but it's also it's also a brain that is wildly creative innovative outside the box thinking and capable of things that neurotypical brains capable of things that people with neurotypical brains can't do so it's both. 

Kyle: Would you say it's a superpower, almost?

Penn: For me, it has been. For me... 

Zibby: You don't get to ask the 

Kyle: question. Just hang on. 

Penn: Kyle's doing great. 

Kim: That's a great question. 

Kyle: I was like, you know what? I'm looking for an opportunity to jump in. I'm gonna jump in. 

Penn: Yeah. So, for me, my job depends on innovation, creativity, and being receptive to inspiration.

And the ADHD brain is set up pretty nicely for that. You have to get the systems in place on the other end so that you can get to that point. But for me, it's, I believe that I am a songwriter and a skit writer and a comic and a book writer and all of these things because of my ADHD, not in spite of it.

Zibby: I love that. And for listeners, you have ADHD, Kim, you do not have ADHD. You've lived to tell. 

Kim: I lived, I've lived to tell the tale. I mean, my, I, my brain is wired in a funky way too. I mean, I deal with, I've been very open about this anxiety and some fun OCD occasionally. So, I mean, it's not like we are, neither one of us has a neurotypical brain, I guess you could say, but no, I do not have ADHD.

Zibby: So for the people living with spouses who have ADHD, and I know you write about this in the book. What is, what should they know? How do you, how do you enjoy the quirks? 

Kyle: How do you enjoy it all? I would say Embrace it. 

Kim: Embrace, well, here's the first thing. For a long time, I did not enjoy it all.

I will say when we first started dating, I think all of the things that he mentioned, I mean, the spontaneity and the comedy and all, that is why I fell in love with him. So his ADHD brain is what I was attracted to. It's once we got married, and I think, if I can be honest, once we had kids, And all the plates start spinning and then falling.

And then that is when I think his ADHD really, I'm not, I don't want to put it on you that it became an issue. It just became. 

Penn: I'll say it. It was an issue. I was letting people down. Like things were falling through the cracks. 

Kim: Yeah. 

Kyle: So let's talk like Penn's not here. 

Kim: Let's talk like, okay. So people would say, Oh, it's like you have three kids.

And that is not, I never laughed when people said that. I did not think that was funny. And I will give, All the credit in the world to my husband, that when we went to marriage counseling and when he saw that there was ways that, you know, things could improve, he, he like five years ago, really did a deep dive and trying to understand his brain and why it works.

And. In turn, I mean, that started the research for this book. And then in turn, I learned so much about the ADHD brain. And so now I, I know, for example, when he is getting, you know, backpacks ready, putting snacks in the bag, water bottle, making eggs in the morning, doing all this stuff, him turning on the stove doesn't even enter his working memory.

So leaving it on. It didn't, it didn't even, it didn't even enter his working memory that he left, he turned it on. So it wouldn't even occur to him to turn it off. Whereas my brain, I can, I can do all the things. So now I know when you ask like, what's it like? And I know he's not doing it on purpose. And so that changes.

the tone of our marriage, that I know he is showing up. He's doing the best he can. He's, he's also feeling great shame if he screws up. So if I know he's not doing it on purpose, it can bring it, the boil to a simmer, you know, it can just like the temperature. It's just like, it's much as much, there's much less tension in our house.

Zibby: This is good marriage advice for anything. 

Kim: Yeah. Just understanding why it was, ...

Kyle: it was recognizing how you were reacting as well.

Kim: Yeah. Yeah. And I was, I mean. 

Kyle: How are you going to choose to react to this? 

Kim: Me nagging and me constantly reminding like me being the person that reminded and nagging made him feel shame. 

Penn: And neither of us knew I think the biggest issue was neither of us knew what was going on in my brain Right once she learns that, you know through this research of this book once she learns things about working memory And the emotional flooding and all the other things that come with adhd It makes it easier for you to You know Forgive that person, give them grace.

For me, once I know what's going on in my brain, a weird phenomenon, and it's, I've heard about this with other people with ADHD. Once you learn more about it, it makes you more likely to want to get to work on the things that you can improve because there's less shame in it. 

Zibby: Right. So, you have the song where you have to remember your keys and all that.

Penn: Yeah. 

Zibby: Can you just sing that? 

Penn: Sure. 

Zibby: You want to spontaneously sing? 

Penn: It's glasses, wallet, keys and phone, keys and phone. Glasses, wallet, keys and phone, keys and phone. Make sure to take them all before you go. Glasses, wallet, keys and phone, keys and phone. It's head, shoulder. It's head, shoulders, knees, and toes.

Zibby: Yeah, but that's an example of one of the many systems that you've put into place so that you protect against the shameful things that happen as a result of just the way you think. 

Penn: Yeah, there's quite a few of those and there's, but there was a barrier to starting With those when I didn't really know what how my brain worked It was like I'm being treated like a ten year old.

Zibby: And your mom did not know you did not know Early on just your mom would like stand over you and help you through and give you all the things So when did you realize this was what it was and how?

Penn: Yeah, so shout out to my mom because adhd i'm 49 and so adhd wasn't a thing when I was growing up Children were not being diagnosed with it At least not that I know of because doctors weren't aware of what it was And so shout out to her she kind of in inherently innately figured all of these things out Um because she loved me and she wanted to positively reinforce me for the most part So like she put lists all over the house, which is one great thing tool that you get as a ADHD adult or a child.

She found creative ways to teach me musical ways to teach me. She taught me music visually instead of through sheet music. And she knew that I had a near for it. So all this crazy stuff that decades of research is now realizing it works for this brain. That got me through high school. Then I went to college and I didn't have my ADHD whisper with me and the classrooms got a lot bigger.

So there were lecture halls instead of, I went to a state college. So the lecture halls were there instead of small groups of students and my grades dipped. Big time. Uh, I also gave in very much to, to distractions that I didn't, what wasn't really privy to when, sure, yeah, beer, beer, all the other stuff. 

Kim: He had a great time in college.

Penn: I had an awesome time in college. I'm not, I'm not complaining, but. 

Zibby: That's the next book. College is awesome. Right. 

Penn: College is awesome. That's all it's going to be called. There was one specific moment where I was a senior in college and my grandmother died. We were at her funeral and we were talking about, there was this like beach trip that she always organized for all the cousins and we were having this tough conversation like, what are we going to do about this now?

And um, I got, I started like thinking about all these great times we had and how they might go away. And meanwhile, they're having this very important like fiscal conversation and my aunt Zell I'm sorry, Penn, I cannot focus on this conversation because you have a fly swatter in your mouth. 

Kim: He was just,. 

Penn: I had taken a used fly swatter.

This is Eastern Carolina. So I'm sure he'd caught a lot of flies. And I was chewing on it. No knowledge of how it got in my mouth. Wow. No knowledge of why it was there in the first place. And that felt weird and wrong. And that, that was sort of the tipping point. Like what is going on? And so I went to a doctor at that point in the nineties.

It was a medical model of diagnosis, right? Where they look at a symptom, they look at a problem and they try to treat it. And that was about as far as it went. I mean, medicine took the medicine, got better grades, graduated from college. That was the, that was the solution. And then I took myself off of the medication because I didn't recognize the person that I was.

I wasn't a bad person. I think maybe people around me might've liked me more. I don't know, but I just didn't, I, for me, medicine made me feel like a different person. Medicine is great for most people. So I took myself off it and learned how to try to cope with it without really understanding all of the things that I understood in this book.

I just, I found band aids I think for a long time, like a job that had deadlines and was super stimulus heavy. Like I was a local news reporter. Reporter and sportscaster married a girl who somehow thought some of this was charming And then like she said i'm answering your question by giving you the entire story

And then realized to her point once kids came in to play and once starting a business came into play that my executive functioning was Redlining things were falling through the cracks and I needed Real help and that's when I discovered that people are not using that medical model You Anymore as much they're using a strengths based approach. 

Kyle: And how are you as a sportscaster because I feel like you'd be great. 

Kim: Oh, he was great.

That was pretty good. He was, he was very, he had some really cool franchises. Like he had some of the most creative ways to tell a sports story. You would have loved it. Like he did, he highlighted like the PB football kids, but he called it like NFL films. It was amazing. It was everybody's favorite. He was everybody's favorite.

Penn: It was fun. Um, I, uh, I definitely would still do it if it was a thing anymore. There's like three sportscasters left. And so, yeah, it was fun. 

Zibby: So I think people listening or watching or whatever are thinking, okay, now I have some tips. Well, this is what I would imagine I would be doing. I have some tips if I'm the spouse, but what if I I have ADHD.

Like, do I have ADHD? I don't know. I'm distracted. I lose my stuff all the time. I think people wonder that about themselves because all of our attention is all over the place. And we have sort of, as a society, adopted a lot of those traits. And, and then also, what do you do when, if your kids have ADHD, kid, kids, then what?

Penn: Well, it's a really good question. And there is a thing called acquired attention disorder. They don't. So the psychologists that we know, they don't say you don't have ADHD. You have acquired attention disorder. 

Kim: It's not an official diagnosis. 

Penn: But we talk about it in the book. It's essentially what you said.

It's like, there's a new influx of distractions over the last few years. Like it's been tough to concentrate. COVID zoom meetings are the worst. Like, Oh, maybe I have this because the things you're describing sound like me. So it's, it's important to know that doctors are the ones who diagnose you. Not this book, not me.

The cliff notes of it is. If you think you might have it, think back and, and ask yourself, like, did these problems present themselves as well in childhood? Because it always starts in childhood. You might get through it to adulthood, and it happens in more than one place. Like, it happens not just at home, but it happens at home and at school, or at home and at work.

And that's one of the big delineators that psychologists use when they're trying to assess what's going on. As far as kids. Same thing. It's it the doctors definitely know what they're doing and they've done this enough that they look for for the actual signs. 

Kim: For example, we've had we had both of our kids tested.

And we, we live in a community where there are a lot of universities. So we went to like the university route that just like three days long. It's like a really exhaustive test because we wanted to be sure. And I would have bet that both of my kids had different presentations of ADHD, but one does not and one does.

And so they were able to piece out what was just some basic inattentiveness and one that was like, Oh yeah, super ADHD. 

Kyle: And is this something you generally inherit from a parent? When you look back on your childhood, do you go, Oh, Hey, you know, actually my dad was kind of like this too, or? 

Penn: Yeah, scientists have identified, I think, seven genes that are connected to ADHD.

And so, yes, I mean, again, it's hard to tell because Like, my dad probably had it, but no one was testing people in the 40s and 50s for ADHD. The bigger sample size you have, the larger that percentage of hereditary, you know, passing down is getting. 

Kim: Your dad super had ADHD. I mean, he was great. 

Penn: Yeah. 

Kim: He super had ADHD.

Yeah. Yeah. 

Zibby: Yeah. Interesting. So you two are doing a podcast. I listened to one of your episodes, which is great. And I was like, I need to get you guys to sing a song for my podcast. Oh, can you do that? Can I like hire you to sing a song? I was like, it makes it sound so great. I only have music in the background.

Penn: You mean like as an open? 

Zibby: Yeah. Yeah. 

Kim: Oh yeah. 

Penn: I mean, I feel like Zippy could rhyme with so many things. 

Zibby: I need a jingle. 

Kim: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We're on it. on it. 

Zibby: Okay. 

Kim: Yeah. It says the person who does it, the person who doesn't write music. I'm like, yeah, he'll do it. He's already thinking about it. 

Penn: It's called moms don't have time to read, read books and it's Zibby. Do you call yourself Zibby or Zibby Owens? Like what are the components? Okay. It depends how formal it's. Do you want like an original song or do you want a parody of a song that you really like? 

Zibby: Whatever you want to do. 

Kim: So now his brain here is,... 

Penn: I'm not going to be able to pay attention.

Kim: He's not going to pay attention by the end of it. 

Kyle: He's leaving the room. 

Kim: Now he's leaving the room and he's going off to write it. 

Zibby: I did this as a challenge to show you all what an ADHD brain looks like. 

Penn: If you have a piano or a guitar, I can probably like knock it out right now. 

Zibby: I'll go grab my daughter's.

Kyle: So speaking of, speaking of all that music, I want to know, how did you guys start the initial sort of your, your viral Instagrams and TikTok and what sparked that to come to fruition. 

Kim: Such an accident. We both worked in local news. I, we had kids, it was like a little too much. So I stepped out to start a, you know, video production business because I think, you know, put those skills to use.

We created a Christmas video. About how long ago was it? 10 years. And we created this, uh, Christmas video called, and we were just going to send it to our family and friends. Our kids wouldn't sit still for Christmas card. And so it was a parody and we were in our Christmas jammies. And so we danced around in our front yard to a parody of Will Smith's Welcome to Miami, but in my Christmas jammies.

And over, you know, over the three days, it got like 17 million views. But more than that, it was on every morning show. I think it was like a slow news week. It was on every morning show. It was on every, you know, 24 hour news cycle. So it just went everywhere. And what platform was that on? YouTube. Okay.

YouTube. Then we just, and Penn was quitting his job at that time. We, it took us a while. We were not fast learners. So we started doing work for other people. So we would write jingles for other people and we would do work. I'm pulling you back. Pull us back. Pull us back. No, but it is. It is interesting. We do want to, it's so funny.

I say we, it's him. I he's the songwriter, but It took us a few years before we started just doing our own stuff. So it took us three or four years after that. I think if somebody who had a business degree instead of a journalism and a philosophy degree had looked at our business, they could have said, no, this is what you need to do.

So yeah, we just make these silly goofy videos, write books, have a podcast, a blog. I mean, it's a lot, but it's so fun. It's so fun to get to do this. So I don't know if that answered your question, but it's all by accident. There was no business plan, still no business plan. 

Kyle: Just going for it. 

Penn: Yeah. We got a little bit of a business.

Kim: We have a little, we have some goals. 

Penn: We have, so we, I want to interrupt here. We have a team of people who help keep us on track and they helped with the book and they helped with all of this. They helped with the podcast. So I think they get a little.. 

Kim: Offended when I say there's no business plan. 

Penn: Yeah.

Kim: Yeah, because they're like it's our we are the because freaking job. 

Zibby: They haven't shared it with you. 

Penn: Um, yeah, no, they have 

Kim: They're way smarter than we are. 

Penn: Here's the like here's the crazy thing. We can't do it without them But also sometimes we just have to go rogue And just do something incredibly spontaneous and they have actually learned to like roll with that which is incredible because we're asking them To keep us on track and then we're like, oh we're going wrong.

Kyle: So what's the perfect example of something completely spontaneous? 

Kim: So we the eclipse happened recently, right? And so we, we do have, we have this, you know, we have a Sam and Emery, this, they, you're like, okay, we need to do something about the eclipse. Maybe we share a video we had done the last eclipse, something like that.

And Penn is taking my son to school and he's like, I got it. And I, you see him like take a, like a pan from like underneath the stove and he's taking my son to school. I was like, okay, whatever. And then I check Instagram and he, he had recorded. Total eclipse of the heart with the recorder. So it sounded real terrible.

It sounded really trashy And it was basically an eclipse reenactment And he just did this and he in front of the Sun just put like the pan and it's I'm really not describing it well, like the pot in front of the Sun and It was like, for those not in the path, this is a reenactment of the eclipse. It got something like 20 million views over a couple days.

And, and they,...

Penn: well, the reason, remember the reason why we started doing this, because we weren't even sure if we were going to worry about it, but all of these, we, we, we, social media was like, like flooding with people saying, oh, it's going to be cloudy today. And so our thought was, well, no one's going to see it.

So let's give it to them with this. And, and so for that reason, it had to be spontaneous. Like it's not something that we could have thought of before. We realized that there was the need for that in the world. And you know, the best, I think best spontaneous things are reactive to something that's going on right that moment.

And so again, our team was like, wait, so we're planning this and now. 

Kim: And then we even, we had, we had, I won't say their name, but one of them uploaded it and put a, there was like a spelling error on it. Um, and, and she's like, oh crap, because it was already within the first 30 minutes had something like.

500, 000 views. She's like, well, I can't take it down now, but there's a spelling error on it. We're like, let's just let it ride. So it's really fun. There's like a big, glaring misspelling on it. But that's fine. It's, but it's the internet and it'll go away. It's, you know, if there was a spelling error in this, it would be a little 

That would drive me That would drive us insane.

Kyle: That's like Zippy's biggest pet peeve.

Zibby: It is. 

Kim: Same. 

Penn: Same. 

Zibby: Same. Because sometimes I do it and then I only catch it later and then I feel so bad because I'm like, oh I get so upset when other people do it. I know. 

Penn: Do you have trouble misspelling misspell? 

Zibby: Yeah, two S's. 

Penn: Yeah, I have a tough time with that too.

Isn't that weird? 

Zibby: Yeah. 

Cancel two L's. I don't know. 

Kim: But honestly, I think that's a cultural is I think because in the UK is it just one L. 

Zibby: Thank you for it. 

Kim: So I think that so you could do. 

Zibby: Appreciate it. 

Kim: Do it any way you want. 

Zibby: It's barely a typo. Yeah, it's when I'm like falling asleep and I'm like just one more post.

Yeah, I wake up and I'm like, oh my god you know, my eyes were closing like.. 

Kim: What were you thinking? 

Zibby: Yeah. 

Penn: No good post happens after midnight. 

Zibby: So do you, just from a technical side, do you plot out all your content? Like with this team and going rogue, like, do you have it in a grid? Like, you know, it's coming up.

Penn: Thank God they do. 

Zibby: They do. 

Kim: Um, but, but we also will then say, no, we're doing this. And then we'll So, but going rogue means not doing what? So there's a framework for it. And by the way, for the next week, not the next Got it. Month. Right. Yeah. So I think ideally it would be for the next month, but I, to Penn's point, we don't really know what's happening in our lives in the world next week.

So we leave, we don't know what we're posting next week. So. 

Zibby: Got it. 

Kyle: Got to keep it relevant. 

Zibby: Yeah. So, but, do you sell ads? So, you're an ACAS, like we are, which is great. 

Kim: Oh, yeah. We. 

Zibby: You're now a part of my team. 

Penn: Let's go, Kyle. 

Kim: Let's go. 

Kyle: Thank you. 

I didn't see this coming. 

Zibby: Like, in terms of like, monetization of your whole platform.

Penn: Okay. Alright. 

Zibby: Like, what do you, you know, and you don't have to share. I'm just as a. 

Kim: No, let's do this. 

Penn: We can tell you. So the podcast is one thing a cast to your point. They, um, you know, you have an agency or some sort of in between, they put it on their platform and then they sell either dynamic ads or ads that get laid into wherever they are.

You have a certain monthly amount for that, right? On Facebook. And YouTube and much smaller senses, Instagram and TikTok. There are micro profits that you make off of monetization. So if your video gets a certain number of views, it matters to a lot of those platforms, how long they spend viewing Facebook, you have to have a three minute ad to really... 

Kim: Three minute video.

Penn: Sorry to get the most out of that monetization YouTube. They do pre roll ads. So it's different there. And so that's the second source of revenue. The third, and it's this one, ebbs and flows, but our brand deals. So that's when you make a video and a brand wants to sell one. 

Kyle: I think you guys did with like pickleball and maybe target 

Kim: Target's been great.

Penn: So those are, those are great. If you can find people who are willing to make. Truly entertaining videos that align with their product and target does a great job of that So target and in that case was prince. They do a great job with that And so that when you get a just a here's here's the amount of money we are willing to give you Would you please put our um product in your video?

Kim: And and so I will say it's a there's there's more so we also have a blog that we love because we both love to write and books as you and it's like You know To be profitable in the book business is you know,...

Penn: The dollars per hour is less than everyone. Yeah, how many hours? 

Kim: How many hours but we we love that not including the publicity Yeah, and then we also sell we have two games that we created.

We have like silly little, yeah, we have two games that we've created. 

Kyle: That's so cool. 

Kim: Yeah. 

Penn: One's more for kids. One's a little more for adults. 

Kim: Yeah. And then we have like, you know, t shirts and sweatshirts and stuff like that. So we have a lot of plates spinning and our, we have this whole, I think it's seven revenue streams, but like we have this little song we sing about it because I, I.

Zibby: I want to know the seven revenue song. 

Kim: Well, it's just like seven revenue streams. Seven profitable revenue streams. Like he, he sings it better, but yeah, it's because I, I think because we live in fear because we are really building our house on somebody else's land, right? So we're on Instagram, on Facebook, TikTok, all these algorithms change.

I mean, is TikTok going away? I haven't, I have no,..

Kyle: When things randomly happen, like they do, I feel like in the last couple of months when suddenly it's like Instagram's down.

Kim: Down that we have another like, 

Penn: We move. We pivot. I mean, we were, Facebook was our main. 

Kyle: I thought you meant like you actually move.

Kim: We're gone. 

Penn: We leave the country. Um, no, I mean, Facebook used to be our absolute bread and butter. And it is, Facebook's still great. We still put our stuff on there. But I just think it's, uh, the atmosphere has become a little more, Like, are people actually enjoying themselves in this platform anymore? And also, it has to do with what are they rewarding?

Is Facebook rewarding creators? Or are they rewarding people to go to meta, which is their kind of new VR marketplace area? So, we're at the mercy of these billionaires who are rewarding certain things. 

Kim: Yeah, so that's why we're trying to build an email list. Like, all of those things, you know, that everybody's trying to do.

Yeah, so, just because we, we're building, you know, Yeah, something on land. We don't know. 

Kyle: And are you pivoting into like sort of that metaverse landscape and how do you feel about that? 

Penn: No, not yet. I Instagram is owned by meta. So like we, we've definitely started like our audience before we even went, we were noticing our audience was like migrating to Instagram for whatever reason that interface was working more for them.

So we started focusing more on vertical videos instead of, and of course, then Facebook comes back and says, we've got vertical videos now too. So, so yeah, I mean, the answer is. We like when those things happen, we try to get to where we try to meet our audience where they are. 

Zibby: Yeah. So unless I missed it, there is no TV show or movie or something.

You don't want to do that or that's not part of the plan. 

Kim: It's so funny. Since the pandemic, we've been involved in this pitch process for a game show, and it's I think the concept is hilarious, but it, the process, it is just, I, I admire the production company. Well, no, they're great. I just don't know for TV people.

Yeah. I don't know. I don't know. 

Penn: We did two pilots for cable, like reality is shows one for up television, like very, very early. And then one for the food network. Both were a lot of fun, a lot of work. 

Kim: And not a lot of money. 

Penn: Not a lot of money and, and success to them is interesting. You know, like the, the people who we put on Facebook live to like promote the fact that the show is coming on, had more engagement and more views than the actual show itself.

So getting our audience to go and turn on a television, Is a harder ask than we think. Also, when you do a television show, you deal with an agent, you deal with a production company, you deal with a network that are all taking pieces of the pie. When it comes to ad dollars, when we put a video on Facebook or YouTube, we own all of those ad dollars.

Kim: I will say if they come tomorrow and they've green lit this TV show, we're going to be so excited because it's fun. 

Penn: Cause they, like, they have an idea on how to like take our stuff and put it on steroids. Like what we've never done before. 

Kim: But you're correct. There's not at this point. 

Zibby: I feel like the TV thing would be a different audience.

Like, it would be harder if the goal would be to reach people who are just watching TV and not. 

Kim: Right. And that's... 

Zibby: we know this. I mean... 

Kim: No, no, no. But that is why I think it's so tough to get these internet people. It's a tough sell to get internet people. Because it doesn't really convert in the way people think it does.

Zibby: So, how does it affect your marriage to have your marriage also be a brand? 

Penn: It affects it. 

Kim: It's a good question question. 

Penn: Um, it's so you coming in. Yeah, that was our last book, which was called everybody fights. So why not get better at it? Um, yeah, I mean, let me just start with this. I was in local news and Kim was in local news and we decided to quit our jobs and bet on each other and start this business.

And the romantic notion of that was enough to carry us a long way. But I also am completely guilty of not. Doing any sort of HR training about how to work with my wife where I'd spent 15 years in a fairly high energy and sometimes like a little bit abrasive newsroom where people are very direct and talk to each other in a different way.

And pretty quickly, I'm glad I had a wife who's patient and understood. And, you know, I, I think I was the way, the way I was talking to her as an employee was not okay, even if it wasn't my wife. And so. That was our first deep dive was, was, uh, counseling to kind of work this out. 

Kim: I would say we've said this, that we'd rather be married than have an Instagram page or TikTok, whatever.

Like we'd rather be married than do that. And I think we have been pretty. protective as much as we do these little skits and stuff. We don't share everything, you know, we're not live streaming, you know, every single thing. These are like three minute kind of hyperboles of what's happening in our day, but it is life has changed a little bit since like when we, it's great to go out and meet people and have people recognize us.

It's great. But then that does. Like it creates like if we go on date nights, it's not really private, you know, it, it said like that has changed it a little bit. And we didn't really think about that when we started this. Cause we had no idea that this would be this. 

Penn: Yeah, we were just doing this so that I could get off of the local news schedule and be able to see my kids.

Kim: Yeah. 

Penn: And so it's, uh, the way it's developed has been nice. So Cliff Notes, the answer to that is we learned how to talk to each other and not bring some of our, you know, personality quirks into the workplace. We've learned how to create some boundaries, which I think they're not always successful, but they are most of the time.

And like our marriage is getting stronger because of the work that we're doing to get better at that. It doesn't, it doesn't work itself out. It takes work. 

Kim: But we did go on a date to celebrate our anniversary and we were like, let's not talk about work. And so what it was like,...

Penn: Where do you think knives come from? 

Kim: Yeah. So it gets kind of hard. 

Zibby: Um, and then how did that translate into co authoring a book? Cause that's a stressful thing in and of itself. 

Kim: I will say for this book, first of all, the two books, but no, but for this one in particular, it is, I would say 80 percent pen and because of the really great outline he came up with and everything, I had my assignments and I could go into my corner very, so we were, this was a very separate writing experience and I could kind of hand mine in like a book report.

So it was, there was no clash on this book. 

Zibby: That's great. 

Kim: Yeah. 

Zibby: Very smart. 

Penn: Yeah. So look, the only clashing is I wouldn't call it clashing, but you have to take inventory and be a little vulnerable when you hear, Oh my God, I like, she's really taking her time to write this. I am affecting her a lot. Like I've done some stuff that I probably didn't even think about that.

Um, and again, the books, Tells you this, I can't help it sometimes, but boy, I've got some work to do. And I'm glad that you were honest and open about all those things. But I think the same way she read some of my excerpts. 

Kim: Serpts excerpts. 

Penn: Yeah. She told me I like, I've always made the 

Kim: P silent

Penn: I made the P silent .

Okay. Excerpts. 

Kim: Yeah. 

Penn: And. And I think a light went off in her head saying, Oh, he didn't mean to. He's not trying to disrespect me. You know, he's not letting me down as a partner. He's got a, his brain needs help and systems. 

Zibby: Well, I think you two have gotten the communication down. This is like a model thing here.

Penn: Yeah, do you want us to record next time we get in a fight so we can just send that to you? Because it's still going to happen. No, I believe you fight. 

Zibby: I mean, you're regular people. I mean, everybody fights. But I'm just saying, you're coming at it from a place of understanding and compassion and respect.

And you can just see it. 

Kim: Yeah. 

Zibby: He was like looking at you so nicely when you tried to sing. 

Kim: He was like, oh, my poor tone deaf wife. 

Penn: She's actually got a great voice. 

Kim: No, I don't. 

Penn: It's fine. 

Kim: Wait, wait. I have many guests. Kim, you 

Penn: have a great voice. I've heard you in the shower. It's just, I think, I don't know that you want to do that.

Kim: Yeah. Well, no. I did. Yeah. 

Zibby: Yeah. Okay. So, last thing on the ADHD front. Is there a piece of it that you are super grateful to have as part of your makeup and is there a piece of it that you're like, thanks, but no thanks, I'd just as soon get rid of? 

Kim: Good question. 

Penn: Yeah. So I'll start with the one that I would like to get rid of.

still struggling with because I'm, I'm getting better at picking stuff up, not leaving things in places. Those are, those are systems that you can use checklists and Siri and all these like wonderful, wonderful things to help keep you on schedule. I have the toughest time listening. I feel like I am so eager to jump in when, when there's a, especially if there's, if there's one person, And that person is okay with some kinetic interruptions, then that's okay.

But if you're at like a dinner table and someone says something and you have an idea, you, I mean, you really should wait in line and make sure everyone else has, you know, what they want to say. I am still struggling, not just jumping in. Yeah. My wife has become a nice. Governor. Oh, just interjected.

Interject. But that's a lot. That was kinetic. That was good. That was good though. That was, yes. 

Kim: And that was a yes. 

Penn: And so the non-kinetic ones are the ones that are the most trouble. And Kim is so used to this now I just like that I will take a breath and she's like, here it comes. And she will put her hand on my leg.

Kim: Yeah. 

Penn: And I will. So here's what it is. I'll go, yeah. 

Kim: At dinner last night, , because somebody was starting to tell a story and I know he had a story on top of that, but I was like, not yet. 

Penn: And I got to it. 

Kyle: Well, at the risk of interjecting again. Yes. Anything. You're good. Just wanna clarify though, would it be.

So I interjected, but it was relevant. 

Kim: Relevant. And you weren't. 

Kyle: So you're saying, maybe you're at a dinner party, people are talking about something, and you have an idea that pops in your head, you went, Is it not relevant to the conversation at hand. 

Penn: Where did you get your, um, your hair gel? I was like wondering where, cause it looks really nice and I would love to like find out where you get your hair gel.

Kim: That's a left turn. So you're telling a story about your summer vacation and he's like, I went on summer vacation and takes a right turn and kind of takes ownership of that conversation and hijacks it. 

Penn: But I have done the hair gel thing too. Like it can be really bad. Like it's, yeah.

Kim: And I think it also depends on the, you know, the setting, of course, your level of comfort with people, right?

Like that whole thing. But he's gotten very good at that. 

Penn: Yeah. I will never trade the type of receptive creative brain that comes with having a DHD. And that is, I'm gonna give you a metaphor that Marcy Caldwell gave me, who's, she's all over this book. She gives, she's the one with the mixing board and the fishbowl, and all of these things are great metaphors.

The neurotypical brain is like a VIP party with a bouncer who will. expertly let in thoughts when they are supposed to come in. It is why they are better at listening and better at not interrupting. Okay. My brain is an open air concert. I can feel the wind. I can feel the rain, uh, the temperature. Uh, there's a bunch of people, everyone gets in.

It's very noisy. And all of this, all of this comes to me, right? That makes it hard for me to listen because I'm getting these ideas. But when you want to create something new, um, Inspiration and creation is nothing more than finding things that are out there waiting to come to you. That's a, that's a firm belief that I have and I feel all of it.

So when I'm in a space of creation, things, and I want to say, well, things just come to me. No, that's my brain. That's the way that my brain is built. I'm, I'm able to take all of the stimulus in the world and put it into something new. And that's ADHD. That's, that's spontaneity, creativity, outside the box thinking.

All of that comes from having that sort of brain that causes problems everywhere else in the world. But if you can find a way to channel that into, it could be music, art, writing. It could be a new solution to a problem that you have in your company or your business. If you can harness that, it's. 

Zibby: Might even say awesome.

Penn: It is, yeah. And that concludes our interview. 

Zibby: For joining us. 

Penn: You don't have to do that. 

Zibby: See you back here next time. 

Penn: We have so much time, but it just felt like a good button. 

Zibby: No, no. 

Kim: And we're done. 

Zibby: We're done. And we're out. 

Kim: And we're out. 

Zibby: So much for coming on. 

Kim: Oh, thank you. Thank you. That was so much fun.

Kim and Penn Holderness, ADHD IS AWESOME

Purchase your copy on Bookshop!

Share, rate, & review the podcast, and follow Zibby on Instagram @zibbyowens