- Words by Don Descoteau Photography by Lia Crowe
Elton Pereira has never been one to shy away from new experiences.
Be a stay-at-home dad? Check.
Learn to love raw food blender drinks? Check.
Try rappelling and motorbiking? Check and check.
Record a rap record? Check.
Best known around Greater Victoria as a member of a successful family of technology entrepreneurs, as well as a savvy tech investor, venture capitalist, mentor and philanthropist, this lifelong Saanich resident points to the pandemic as helping spur his personal reboot.
Having spent nearly 20 years in the hyper-competitive tech world, battling major global players and working to grow the business, Elton says, “I was getting tired and burnt out and also wanted to try new things.”
Along with revealing the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 also saw a wind-down of ParetoLogic, the home and small business software company he co-founded in 2004 and built up with brothers Myron and Adrian and brother-in-law Don Wharton.
Like many people forced into social isolation, Elton began to reflect more on his personal priorities. He embraced spending more time with his three teenage children, accompanying them on school field trips and getting to know their friends better. Coinciding with his shift home for work was his wife’s return to school as a French immersion kindergarten teacher.
“I really got to connect with my kids on a new level and be a bigger part of their lives,” Elton says. “I think that reflection took hold, and I was like, ‘how can I have more of this?’”
He still devotes several hours a day to various tech, real estate and entrepreneurial ventures, following the tech industry and mentoring others, but is more selective about where he focuses his energy.
“I think freedom is the word—peace of mind and freedom,” he says. “So once COVID hit and I started working from home, I really started to think, how do I want my day to really work?”
Today, the 46-year-old’s seemingly boundless energy is fuelled by a daily regimen that begins with a high-intensity 30-minute workout in his home gym. He follows up with a high-energy oatmeal breakfast or a personalized blender protein shake filled with spinach, cucumber, celery, sprouts, blueberries, peanut butter, protein powder and almond milk.
“My kids think it tastes like dirt, but I think it’s super delicious,” he says with a laugh.
While taking care of his body is critical to his well-being—he also hikes Mount Douglas four times a week, plays co-ed soccer and does weekly yoga—so is feeding his mind regularly with material that helps him tap his potential. He reads a lot and listens to various podcasts, his favourite of which is Huberman Lab with neuroscientist/Stanford University professor Dr. Andrew Huberman.
“I want to live a long, healthy life and I want to have this energy all the time. When I have high energy and I feel strong and mentally tough, I feel like I can do anything.”
As a child he saw his mom raise four kids and his father work constantly to support their young family and take calculated financial risks, like buying, renovating and selling real estate, as well as marketing and selling PC tutorial software online. Curious and eager to learn new things from a young age, Elton developed a mindset of saving and investing and bought his first stocks at age 12.
He has passed that philosophy on to his own children. He chuckles describing how he has paid his three kids—a twin son and daughter, 15, and a son, 17—to read financial and other self-improvement books as a way to teach them about investing in themselves.
“You start to gain an understanding of how their mind works and some of the things that interest them,” Elton says. “My whole purpose for them to read more is to never stop learning, because that’s how you do unbelievable things in this world.”
That approach, and an interest in helping build resilience in others, took him in a different direction in 2022. He saw people struggling with stress, anxiety and depression post-COVID and wondered how he might make a difference and inspire people.
A long-time fan of rap, he wrote some heartfelt lyrics, teamed up with local Emmy Award-winning producer and composer Eric Harper and recorded and released his first rap single, Lucky 7. The song is aimed at empowering youth and embodies Elton’s mission to “live your best life with purpose, positive impact and play.”
A video created by award-winning film producer Alec Watson spotlights a Nanaimo hip-hop dance troupe and features Elton’s alter ego, the rapper EMP (find it at eltonpereira.com).
He hopes later this year to record Awakening, focusing on his own experiences and observations around racism.
Experiencing the people, cultures and natural environments of other countries with his family also inspires Elton. Visits to the savannah in Kenya, the jungle in Costa Rica and locales with more widespread poverty than in Canada remind him to value what is most important: “I have a whole new sense of gratitude for my life and what I have,” he says.
That sense continues to move him to support child- and youth-centred aid and education projects overseas and at home. Over the years his companies have held regular fundraisers for organizations such as World Vision, BC Children’s Hospital and Free the Children.
His personal resilience has been tested in the past year, as three young friends passed away, including Lilia Zaharieva, a cystic fibrosis patient who advocated for access to life-extending medications as well as youth in care. Elton created a scholarship at UVic in her name and dedicated Lucky 7 to her memory.
Having good people around him has created an environment for business and personal success, but in recent years, he says, surrounding himself with positive, loving and inspirational people has moved him in exciting new directions. He’s learned to not let fear or the judgment of others stand in the way of pursuing worthwhile endeavours.
“That’s the way to create this beautiful and thriving positive mindset to want to do really big things in the world and have a positive impact,” he says. “I think what makes me feel most alive is trying new things in life and having fun with it. I thrive on that and feel energy off of that.”