Freddie Figgers: The story of the millionaire inventor that his mother left in the trash
"Don't let circumstances define who you are." It's a piece of advice from 31-year-old entrepreneur Freddy Figures
"Do not let circumstances determine who you are."
It is his advice 31-year-old businessman Freddie Figgers to those who want to hear it.
When he was 8, he asked Nathan's father about his birth. The answer he got was unforgettable. "Listen," she told him, "I'll talk to you straight Fred. Your biological mother left you when you were born. Betty May and I did not want to send you to contractors and we adopted you. You are my son. ”Freddie learned that his mother had left him next to a trash can in Florida. Nathan Figgers was a laborer and Betty May worked on a farm. They lived in Quincy, a county town of about 8.000 people in North Florida, and when Freddie was born in 1989, they were in their sixth decade. They had already adopted many children, but decided to adopt Freddie when he was just two days old. Freddie says his parents loved him as much as a parent can love their child.
But the other kids in Quincy had beastly behavior. "I was a victim of bullying and they called me a garbage boy. They told me that I was dirty, that no one wanted me. "I remember when I came down from school they would come, grab me and throw me in the trash and laugh."
The attacks reached such a point that his father was waiting for him at the school stop. But the children also mocked Nathan: "Ha, ha, look at the old man with the mangoura", they shouted. For Freddie, however, his parents were his heroes, and role models. On the weekends, Freddie and Nathan they were crayfish collectors, trying to find useful items that others had thrown away. Freddie always wanted to find a computer. "I was always fascinated by computers. "I always wanted a Gateway computer but I couldn't buy it." Finally, one day when Freddie was 9, they went to a thrift store where they found a broken Macintosh. Freddie always liked to "tease" devices like radios. , watches, videos. Now, the new, broken Mac has become his game.
With his foster parents, Nathan and Betty MayBBC
"When I tried to connect it and it did not work, I 'opened it'. I saw that the capacitors were damaged. I had tools and radios and watches, so I took spare parts from them and glued them to the computer system. " After about 50 attempts, the computer turned on. At that moment, Freddie realized that he wanted to get involved in technology. At the age of 12, Freddie's abilities did not go unnoticed. After school, in a club, while the other children were playing outside, Freddie began repairing damaged school computers. "If the hard one was damaged, I would change it. "If he needed more memory, I added more RAM," he recalls. The head of the club was also the mayor of the city. When he saw Freddie "resurrecting" the computers, he asked him to come to the town hall with his parents. "When we left, he showed me all the computers in the warehouse. It was about 100 and he told me he wanted me to fix it. "From then on, Freddie spent hours after school every day repairing computers for $ 12 an hour. I had the opportunity to do what I loved and had a good time ".
Through the Figers Foundation, Freddie continues on the path of offering and solidarity that his father set out to do.The Figgers Foundation
After about two years, one appeared new opportunity. The city needed a computer code system to control the city's pressure sensors, and one company said it would do so for $ 600.000.
Freddie remembers one of the town hall officials saying, "Freddie knows from a computer, maybe he can help us." It was a milestone in Freddie's life. He was only 15 years old but now he decided to drop out of school and start his own business. "My parents believed in education, work, retirement. I wanted to break the chain. "Let me do something different," he said. Freddie started his own company and started doing well. After about two years, however, Nathan developed Alzheimer's. One of the symptoms was that Nathan woke up in the middle of the night and did what he had seen the day before on television. One night, which according to Freddie lived his most traumatic experience, his father had watched the western series Gunsmoke. He went to his room armed while he was sleeping, and - thinking that he was the main character of Matt Dillon - told him "I want you to do it from my city". Freddy fought and snatched the gun from his father, calmed him down, and put him down. When he woke up, Nathan had left the house. Another symptom of Alzheimer's that had happened before. Many times, he did not even wear clothes, but always put on shoes. Then, Freddie thought of something. An idea that was to become his first invention. "I took my father's shoes and cut off the soles. I put in a motherboard, with a 90mhZ speaker, a microphone and a wired network card. I connected them to my laptop - all before Google maps and Apple maps - and Garmin's platform, TomTom. "My father was missing and I could press a button on the laptop and talk to him, ask him where he was." His father did not know, and then Freddie found him via GPS and took him home. He did it about 8 times. When his father's condition worsened, some family members wanted to send him to a care center. Freddie resisted. She took him to business meetings. She left him in the back of the car, with open air-conditioning, music and a locked steering wheel. Once, while I was in a business meeting, my father opened the back window and "escaped". Freddie, who was constantly watching him from the window where the meeting took place, quickly left and found him sitting on a bench in a nearby park. When Freddie was 24, Nathan died at the age of 81 in January 2014. "It simply came to our notice then. What I always wanted to do was make my father happy. ”Freddie had sold his invention, which helped him find his father, for $ 2,2 million and was waiting for the money. He wanted to buy his father a 1993 farm farm that he had always dreamed of and a fishing boat. Now that Freddie could finally do it, his father was no longer there. Freddie had launched another invention. This time he had the idea since he was 8 years old and they visited his uncle in the state of Georgia. "When we got to his house and my father was knocking on the door, my uncle did not open it." Freddie came in through the window and opened the door. They found his uncle dead in his chair by the fireplace. His diabetic uncle fell into a diabetic coma and passed away. Diabetics must keep a booklet with their sugar prices. But for my uncle, who was left in the middle of nowhere, no one could help him. ”At the age of 22, Freddie invented a smart glycometer that directly reports the price to their closest relative and adds the data to an electronic health booklet which can be monitored by a doctor.
In 2008 he proceeded with the first of his many applications to Federal Communications Commission to establish his own telecommunications company.
It was not easy. It took him 394 attempts and cost him a lot of money. But in 2011, at the age of 21, Freddie became the youngest telecommunications entrepreneur in the United States. According to NBC, Figgers Communication remains the only telecommunications company headed by an African-American. Freddy's 83-year-old mother has also begun to suffer from Alzheimer's. He claims that his mother is very proud. Freddie is married to lawyer Natley Figgers in 2015, and they have a baby girl. In addition to his business, Freddie has an institution that invests in education and health projects, helping children and families in need.
Freddie says that the most important tip that he would give to his little girl for life would be "never give up, no matter how cold the world may seem" and try to have a positive impact on the life of every person you meet.
A message in which Freddie's father and number one supporter, Nathan, would have fully agreed.