Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is oftentimes viewed as a serious condition that when left untreated, can lead to frustrations and further psychological problems throughout a person’s life.
One successful entrepreneur, however, was able to defy the limits imposed by this disability and used the energy from ADHD to fuel a life’s purpose beneficial for him and others as well.
Michael Peres, a 29-year-old software engineer from Montreal, Quebec who operates Hecto Fox and Hexa Tiger, two popular web hosting and web development companies, has been suffering from the struggles brought by the disorder.
But thanks to his compelling mindset of positivity he was able to harness this lifetime disorder into something that created an avenue for him to pursue what he loves and become what he is at present – a successful travelpreneur.
In view of the ADHD Awareness month this October, we look at how Peres overcome the stigmas that surround his disorder.
ADHD at an early age
Peres was diagnosed with ADHD and other learning disabilities at a young age and was given medication, a 100g extended-release Ritalin, which more often than not, gave him heart palpitations, depression, a sense of constant coldness and sporadic lapses in concentration.
And when the medication worked, he said he became unstoppable. That was the time when he learned to focus and created a goal for himself to achieve despite the difficulties he faced having ADHD. According to Peres, it is up to the person with ADHD to learn to deal with the disability and make the challenging situation into a manageable one.
Peres’ deep passion for computer science was his way to channel his hyperactivity disorder into something worthwhile. Because he could not connect with other peers, he would lock himself in a room, learning about computers. Eventually, for him, building computers became a daily activity.
Having grown with Jewish roots, he used his bar mitzvah money to build eight computers and found a way to connect to the internet. Tapping his knowledge with computers, he was helpful to his high school and the rest of his community when it comes to solving their computer problems and other technological needs.
During elementary and high school years, Peres received tutoring in Mathematics and English literature through a program called JEM, which is designed to help children with disabilities. He needed to leave his classmates from regular classes to transfer to the program since learning in a regular classroom was difficult for his condition. Only when he graduated high school that he was exposed to the world when he took a year off to study at a religious school in Israel.
Self-learning to keep up in college
Going back from his one-year religious schooling, Peres discovered that his learning from elementary and high school was far behind compared to his peers who completed regular secular education. In college, he could not do basic trigonometry or algebra and he is unable to go to class because of difficulties in focusing.
He empowered himself by waking up early in the morning and spending most of his class hours in the library, self-learning. He would only show in class during exams, to the awe of teachers wondering if he is even enrolled in their subjects.
By self-learning and working with a friend, Peres completed and survived the courses related to Calculus, Linear Algebra, Physics, and Java Programming.
He said learning from his own became a breakthrough point that was more effective as compared with going through the standard learning models. Gaining control of his disability at this stage, he began to taper off his Ritalin intake. Peres then completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences in Montreal, Quebec.
Pursuing his passion while traveling
Realizing that working in an office is not his thing after an internship with an app development company in New York City, Peres went back to school and pursued a degree in Mathematics from Yeshiva University in the same city where he again accomplished the whole program barely attending class but self-learning at the university library.
Soon as he graduated, Peres booked a flight to San Diego. With less than $100 in his pocket he built his own tech-based companies -- the Hecto Fox, a web hosting company and Hexa Tiger, a web development firm – two successful businesses that cater to hundreds of clientele
Today, Peres works as a travelpreneur. He created another company known as Breaking 9 to 5, which introduces a 10 step program designed to help entrepreneurs like him to watch over their businesses while enjoying the benefits of travelling.
Peres presently operates according to an unconventional set of work standards. By coordinating team members across different time zones, he leads 24 hours of work done in a day. These unorthodox methods have allowed him to build a portfolio of nearly 400 clients in three years. More than that, he has earned thousands of following in his social media pages, which detail his pursuit of the things he loved doing and succeeding in life while winning over his hidden battles against ADHD.
Peres said for him, ADHD is not a disability. It is a lens through which one can see the world from a different perspective. By defying the rules society dictates, it is possible to craft a meaningful life that plays according to your own game plan. ##