Luke Manton (Pro Virtual PA – Big Tic Energy – Speaker – Ticced Off Host) Tourettes
Name: Luke Manton
ND Type/s: Tourettes
What do you do: Virtual Personal Assistance (VPA) and Marketing Agency Owner
Where do you live: Cheltenham
How do you think your neurodiversity makes you different to others around you?
Well, mine isn’t hidden! I move shout and swear all thanks to tics. They cause people to stare at me, as much as I don’t want them to. But it has made me a lot more resilient than most. I can cope with being stared at, laughed at or made fun of a lot better than most people can.
What is your favourite time of the day and why?
Morning, I have a sunlight alarm clock that wakes me up naturally, super early. I’m always so productive in the morning.
Do you find it difficult to sleep or to get going in the mornings? Do you have a morning routine to set you up for the day ahead?
I really struggle to sleep as I tic constantly. I average about 4 hours but I think my body is just used to it by now. I have a morning routine and a very intense skin care routine is part of that, ageing is my enemy.
Have you ever felt isolated by your Neurodivergence?
Yes, I’ve been asked to leave a spa, leave restaurants, the cinema etc, all due to my tics, it’s the most upsetting and degrading feeling.
Are there any social situations that you particularly dread or avoid? And is there an environment you thrive in?
I don’t like large crowds. For obvious reasons I have to be careful with attending funerals, I usually hide outside and just listen in. I avoid events with children, such as my niece and nephew’s birthday parties etc. But oddly, if I’m giving a talk on stage, I’m super confident.
Have you read a book or seen a film or a play that has made an impact on your life or your view on the world?
I read a book called Measel and the Wrathmonk as a kid, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds. But the kid (Measel) was shrunk and still managed to beat that bad guy. It showed no matter how small you are, you can do anything with determination.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and who was it from?
Jennifer Tarjanyi told me to be visible. It was super simple but I was so used to hiding, that showing up as me made the biggest impact in my life.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you were a grown-up? And what was your first Job?
I wanted to be a presenter of a wildlife show, reptiles in particular. My very first Job was a Saturday job at a reptile store which enhanced the dream further.
What do you do now and how did you get into it?
I own Manton Executives, a virtual personal assistance and marketing agency. I started it because nobody wanted to hire someone with Tourettes, so I hired myself.
Creativity and thinking differently are often credited to neurodiversity. Would you say that is true? And if yes, could you give an example?
I think it depends on the individual, I’ve always been the creative type, I have an eye for design, but I know people who are ND and don’t have a creative bone in their body!
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus, what do you do to get back on track? Do you have any hacks, tips or do you use any apps to keep you on track during the day?
I shut off completely and take a break. I’ll do something I enjoy, that can be work or to relax. I’ll then break down what I’m trying to do, find the problem and Google a solution or ask someone about the things causing me issues.
How does your Neurodiversity affect new relationships? This can be professionally, socially or romantically.
I don’t make friends easily, I never have. Tourettes makes me not want to meet new people so it can be a struggle. I get married next year so thankfully I don’t have to worry about the romantic side.
What makes you truly happy?
Being successful and comfortable financially. It sounds so shallow BUT I spent a long time thinking I never would be. Now I have the lifestyle I want and can care for/spoil my family when I want to. I have so much more freedom than I ever thought I would.
Do you have an interesting, or unusual, fact about yourself that you can share with us?
I can pole dance! My best friend wanted to go to a pole fitness class but didn’t want to go alone, so I went too and fell in love with it. So yes, I can spin, flip and everything on a pole.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I sang the national anthem, live, with Katheirne Jenkins in front of 63k people. A crazy experience that really was once in a lifetime.
Do you have a Positive ND message to the world? Imagine you have a £5 million advertising campaign to spend on billboards all over the world, what would you say?
We’re still human. People treat us so differently and it drives me wild. I’m not stupid, I’m not deaf, talk to me like a normal human being.
Where can people find out more about you? Do you have a website and/or social media pages?
Manton Executives – Website
mantonexecutives – Instagram
Luke Mantonme – LinkedIn
Respect Mental Health YouTube channel – Tourette’s and Mental Health. Ticced Off