How Medical illness Launched This Entrepreneur's Career


Bipolar disorder affects 5.7 million adults every year, and despite its prevalence, the disorder carries a lamentable stigma. Gabriela Pereira, a published author and successful founder of creative writing startup DIY MFA, is one of them, but she doesn’t accept the stigma part. It shows in her language: where another might say she is bipolar, Pereira is more precise: “I have bipolar.”

Indeed, she claims her disease was the main driver in her decision to leave her nine-to-five job and start a business–albeit in a roundabout way. The medication Pereira required at the time made it impossible for her to drive, so she couldn’t commute, forcing her to take a leave of absence; enter DIY MFA, which teaches writers how to think entrepreneurially. And as it turns out, she ended up creating her dream job: “I decided pretty early on in my adult life that I would only continue working in a field if I felt like I was learning something new every day,” Pereira says.

For the whole fascinating interview, visit Forbes here.


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