Jamal Tyler

Happiness is Essential to Life


Growing up, when I was acting bad or not being focused, my grandma would say “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I still hear the echoes today. Recently my peers and I got the chance to talk to Peter Shankman from his office in New York City.

To speak for majority of us, we were like sponges soaking up a lot of the knowledge he offered to us.

Shankman experiences ADHD, and just his resume alone shows him being able to channel this disorder and become very successful, so the sky is the limit for many of us.

Receiving a lecture from Peter Shankman is something that is needed throughout this world because not only does he has the ability to create a startup with a snap of a finger. Shankman knows his strengths and does not go and try to work outside of his strengths. His lecture was flat out catered to his audience, motivational and picks your brain.

It’s hard not love Shankman because he does not whine or complain about having ADHD, and taking on that challenge and becoming successful. Instead he attributes his high level of energy and extreme productivity to his success. It’s hard for me personally to eliminate distractions and for him to be able to create successful ideas is amazing.

Sure, he has struggles such as he explained how it use to be a hard for him getting dressed because he would remember who gave him a particular shirt causing him to ramble about it and an hour later his still in his living not dressed.

Peter is not afraid to admit that he has weaknesses in many areas like being a manager and even keeping his calendar organized. Myself, I just relaxed on being so prideful, just seeing him being able to put his pride to the side was a major lesson learned.

“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” — Ann Landers

Shankman realized that it was a challenge to take on the ADHD and it was hard, but that hard work has paid off. Shankman is a testament to hard work and focus equaling success.

When asked how did he know when to sale his innovations? The answer was clear: happiness. Sure, I may not become an innovator, but we soon will all be in the real world and happiness is key to progression.  We all want to do something we enjoy in the future therefore fortune or fame should not be a key priority, happiness should.

ADHD allows Shankman to be so creativity. Shankman is someone who knows a lot about business and success, he’s a serial entrepreneur.  He started a business called Help A Reporter Out (HARO) which connected journalists to experts in various fields via an email list service.

In seeing his development in this it attributes to when he said build for an audience. Shankman travels a lot and meeting lots of peoples, many of his friends would call and ask do you know anyone in this field. This was his audience and once he built upon that it continued to grow. Once Shankman knew that it had grown and that he would eventually have to manage HARO and hire more people he knew this would not perpetuate to his happiness and decide to sell it.

He’s a skydiver, triathlete and has a very creative mind. Peter Shankman.


One thought on “Happiness is Essential to Life

  1. Hi Jamal! First off, I want to say that I love your reference to your grandma. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I think that Peter Shankman especially would agree. I think that many people see ADHD as a disadvantage because of how hard it is for some people to concentrate and set their minds to one thing at a time. Shankman, on the other hand, uses ADHD to his benefit and has become an incredibly successful entrepreneur. Even though Shankman discussed failure as being a major part of his success, he does not talk about these experiences as a waste of time. Instead, he spoke about failure as an attempt to do better and learn from mistakes.


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