Client Name: Shelly Lyons
Business Name: Shelly Lyons Coaching
Business Website:
Industry: Coaching and Business Consulting
Location: Salem, NH
SBDC Advisor's Name: Hollis McGuire

Shelly Lyons Coaching

When Shelly Lyons, ADHD Life and Career Coach of Shelly Lyons Coaching, was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago, she set off on a journey of learning about ADHD, herself, how her brain works, and how ADHD brains work overall. Through that journey, she found an appreciation for neurodiversity in general and the fact that no two brains are alike.  She also found more confidence. “Now that I knew and had this understanding, I felt proud of what I had done in my life and no longer felt like less than,” explains Shelly.  “I didn't want to have to hide or feel any shame about a pretty big part of my identity, and I consider ADHD a part of my identity.”

Shelly is one of many adults who have received an ADHD diagnosis later in life, so she was inspired to help others. She wanted to support late-diagnosed adults, as well as those who were diagnosed earlier, but have experienced a life change. She says, “I wanted to support them in a strengths-based and holistic way, so that they did not feel alone trying to navigate something as significant as understanding how your brain works and the impact of not knowing, in many cases, for decades.”

So, in June of 2022, Shelly, the HR professional who had coached executives and leaders for decades, launched Shelly Lyons Coaching, working with ADHD and Neurodivergent adults. “I love partnering with talented and wonderful Neurodivergent adults to support them in understanding their strengths, how to work with, instead of against their brilliant Neurodivergent brain, and in accomplishing their goals,” says Shelly.

Shelly needed start-up support in launching Shelly Lyons Coaching. She first worked with an organization that she felt wasn’t a fit for her. They were not what she would call “neuro inclusive,” meaning that they were requiring her to follow what she would describe as a very linear approach to starting up her business. They had a template and formula for her to follow in creating a business plan and she struggled with that. “It just was not working with my brain,” says Shelly.

shelly lyons logo

Instead, Shelly contacted NH SBDC, where she found a better fit. “From the outset, SBDC was different,” explains Shelly. She communicated to NH SBDC Southern Regional Director Julie Glosner her need to partner with someone who would be flexible and meet her where she was. Julie, knowing that the SBDC team works hard to meet people where they are, suggested Shelly work with NH SBDC Business Advisor Hollis McGuire. Not only is Hollis knowledgeable in the areas in which Shelly needed support, but Julie knew she would be open to understanding more about ADHD and neurodiversity, and offer Shelly the flexibility she was looking for.

Hollis was welcoming to Shelly’s neurodivergent mind’s style, communicating in ways that worked for her. Hollis also connected Shelly with the NH SBDC prior program FAME. FAME provided Shelly with the legal, marketing and startup support she needed. With ten hours of free support from experts in their respective fields, Shelly received assistance with web design and content creation, as well as legal reviews of things like her consulting and non-disclosure agreements.

Shelly shares, “by being curious about how to partner with me in ways that will be most effective for me, taking the time to understand my business and the support I was requesting, Hollis, out of the gate, created a safe neuro inclusive space that supported me in those first few months of launching my business.”

Hollis also connected Shelly to various resources on ADHD and to community connections, offering her expertise and guidance every step of the way.

Hollis listened, asked questions, and learned about Shelly’s business and her priorities, so she could offer the support she was looking for. In addition, Shelly describes Hollis as “responsive” and “thoughtful in her approach,” adding “there just wasn't anything cookie cutter that I can read in a book or in a blog about her approach. She helped me to feel seen, heard, understood, and like I had something valuable to offer, and she was there to support me in any way she could.”

Shelly concludes,

“SBDC has been a wonderful resource in terms of providing guidance as well as connecting me to other free resources. It's a partnership that I can trust, while feeling confident and comfortable.”