A few months ago, I posted about quitting Fanboy. This surprised a lot of people. Especially when they saw me subsequently updating the website, adding more functionality, and onboarding more fighters than ever before in a short span of time. Friends, family, and the people within the MMA community messaged me saying… "I thought you were quitting?" So, allow me to shed light on why I posted about quitting and what transpired.
Hidden behind the scenes, I grapple with ADHD, a condition I've kept to myself because I've only recently been diagnosed and I don't want it to come across that I’m using it as an excuse. However, the impact of this diagnosis on my life has reached a point where I believe it's crucial to be more open about it.
ADHD manifests itself in various ways, primarily affecting executive function. The short version is my brain doesn't function in the same manner as a neurotypical person's. Meaning I frequently struggle with organising my life, grappling with remembering crucial dates and times, and dealing with sudden shifts in focus. I often find myself taking on excessive workloads without the time or capacity to handle them properly. As a consequence, I frequently experience what's known as ADHD Burnout. When this occurs, I tend to catastrophize, which often leads me to take drastic and unnecessary actions in an attempt to resolve perceived issues. Sadly, this pattern is why many individuals with ADHD grapple with maintaining jobs, relationships, and friendships.
During a particularly overwhelming moment in my life both personally and professionally, I impulsively decided to quit Fanboy. After all, it's a side business I run alongside my full-time job, often requiring late nights and weekends. I didn't discuss my decision with anyone or seek advice; I simply acted. It was only when my wife discovered my abrupt move that she expressed her frustration, not with the decision itself, but with the fact that I hadn't discussed it with her. She, as always, provided a different perspective and talked me down from the ledge.
I'm sharing this now because, from day one, the fighters I work with have been unwavering in their support of Fanboy. When I initially conveyed my intention to quit, they all reached out to me. Despite having every right to be upset, their primary concern was my well-being.
The post about quitting had an impact on a few working relationships, but the majority of people I work with stood by me. Even some who had enticing opportunities elsewhere took the time to check in on me and see what was happening. The MMA community also rallied round and sent me multiple messages of encouragement. (one person in particular wouldn't let me quit, you know who you are) Their words played a pivotal role in helping me refocus and realise that my love for what I do far outweighed any momentary challenges. Fanboy has since started working with Youcef Whitelaw, Fraser Paterson and soon Chris Price and even done designs for the Leather'd Podcast. We're also about to launch more functionality to the Fanboy website that will take what we offer to another level.
My journey with ADHD may lead to moments of unpredictability and unreliability, but it's also one of the reasons I'm creative as I am as it allows me to see the world differently. I have an immense passion for this sport, and I consider myself privileged to work with such inspiring individuals. So I won't be quitting anytime soon. As long as the fighters and the people I collaborate with continue to extend their support, I am committed to giving my very best to this sport and the people within it. There are countless stories waiting to be told, and I am determined that Fanboy will be the one sharing them with the world.