The value and cost of a college degree for younger generations continues to be a subject of debate across the higher education and business sectors. Surveys cited in Harvard Business Review and Inside Higher Ed suggest students’ overall satisfaction with their college studies, but nearly two-thirds of those surveyed say their current level of higher education is I agree that it is not worth the cost.
The machinations of past and present entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg are mixed with those of others who have found success without a college diploma, and college is a business. Many of the younger generation are considering the cost, and more are considering skipping college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. increase.
To learn more about the entrepreneurial spirit of those who skipped the traditional path of education to aspire to business, we had the opportunity to interview entrepreneur and CEO Brian Legend. sahuLegend has chosen to educate himself through numerous business ventures and has recently made a name for himself in the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (Defi) industries. For his success, Money Central named him 2021 Tech He Leader of the Year.
Like a growing number of other successful entrepreneurs, Legend doesn’t have a college degree in his pocket. But for him, education can come in many forms. “It’s time to start approaching the need for educational qualifications on a case-by-case basis,” he says. , many of the career paths available to young people today don’t require the burden and notorious financial debt that come with earning a college degree.”
Legend has embarked on a journey to inspire more young and passionate entrepreneurs to pursue and achieve their dreams. Below is a summary of our conversation focusing on the role that non-traditional education has shaped his success.
Rod Berger: Brian, can you tell us a bit about the backstory that led to where you are on your current journey?
Brian Legend: My story is a classic rags-to-riches scenario. I’m Australian and grew up very little. I dropped out of high school three years before he graduated and got a job fairly quickly. Others may consider it a disadvantage that I don’t have a high school diploma or college certificate (degree), but that didn’t deter me at all.
It gave me a hunger that few others could match. I decided to push myself as hard as I could and see how far I could go. My first few jobs were in sales, but I discovered something new about myself doing those jobs. I have a special talent for negotiating, which I have found to be a major factor in my business success.
I have launched several successful startups in my career. A digital advertising company, he founded TWILX and has become one of his pioneers in the fields of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
I eventually took to cryptocurrency early on, using my love of technology and innovation and a strong desire to make a lot of money. That journey led me to Safuu, my most successful adventure to date.
Burger: The fields of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance have exploded in interest in recent years, not to mention their fair share of speculation. Please share a little bit about why you decided to throw your hat in the ring.
Legend: Now, cryptocurrencies are a fascinating phenomenon as technology is at the forefront of overtaking traditional banking systems and challenging fiat-based governments. The relevance of this technology was what attracted me more than anything else. As an entrepreneur, I always wanted to be at the center of the action, and cryptocurrency seemed like a place where the action was happening.
A credible criticism of the crypto space is the lack of sustainability of many of the flagged blockchain projects. Safuu is my solution to that singular problem.
Safu stands for Sustainable Asset Fund for Universal Users. A DeFi protocol that utilizes blockchain technology to automatically distribute set interest payments in cryptocurrencies. We designed it with an innovative concept that ensures the sustainability and long-term profitability of the platform.
Auto-staking and auto-compounding are integrated through rebasing so that the circulating token supply automatically increases or decreases as the token price changes. This sustainable rebase mechanism not only delivers the highest Annual Yield (APY) in the current market, but also considers how to remain profitable as you scale up. This built-in mechanism is the main reason why users trust us so much.
Burger: Given the complexity and risks, cryptocurrency is certainly not an industry for the faint of heart. Many readers may wonder how someone without a high school diploma and college degree has risen to the top of such a complex industry.
Legend: Not many cryptocurrency-based certificates are available at most universities [laughs]The world is one big school. The internet is full of information, and determination matters more to success than a degree.
The best thing you can get out of school is reading and writing. After that it really depends on the individual. Of course, some people need a degree, but for entrepreneurs like me, it’s often a matter of street smarts, determination, and healthy self-belief.
Burger: How has your relationship to success changed throughout your career? Did you actively set out to prove the establishment wrong? If so, has your perspective changed over the years? Did you
Legend: Most people are sold on hope and belief alone. They think that one day they will wake up and find that everything has changed, including their surroundings. It’s as if they imagined a large bag of cash sitting by their bed waiting because they wanted and believed.
This idea is naive and far from the truth, but unfortunately many people think this way today. Before I woke up, I too had the same mindset and understood that things change only through action. Faith and hope are powerful things, but only through action can our dreams be stabilized. You can stand on a tripod. I always say, “Believing in your beliefs creates facts.” I live by it every day, and I strive to add actions to realize the same beliefs.
Burger: You are the classic rags-to-riches story that many are intrigued and driven to emulate. I also happened to drop out of school and pave my own path to success. What was the driving force behind your strong decision to go against the traditional model of education?
Legend: After dropping out of high school at a young age, I quickly realized that working for “that person” was not something I wanted to pursue. Deep down, I felt more destined. Through years of self-development, I discovered my talent in the business area of the sales and marketing department. Since then, I have used these learnings and skill sets in the cryptocurrency world.
I knew that perseverance would be the key to making everything happen if I wanted to achieve my goal of being truly successful. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back on your feet and keep fighting tenaciously. To prove to myself and the world that success comes from within.
Burger: What is your contribution to the dropout debate? What advice would you give to someone like you who is considering dropping out and going on your own?
Legend: It should be approached on a case-by-case basis. The world is digitized and the number of opportunities available to young people today is incredible.
Many of these opportunities will become less attractive or less profitable in a few years. As a result, there will undoubtedly be those who jump in sooner and decide to forgo some of their formal education.
Sticking to the idea that formal education and degrees are the criteria for success needs to be revisited. Still, demonizing a degree should definitely be avoided. Because success means different things to different people.
My biggest concern is the young people who cannot afford to go to school. I want them to understand that they are naturally smart and that they can be more successful than I am if they set their minds to it.
Learning comes in many forms, and the inside of the trenches is often where business-minded individuals make the most progress. Journeys like Legends serve as a reference for young individuals seeking inspiration as they pave their way as entrepreneurs. With a current net worth of more than $26 million, Legend’s financial interests represent his tenacity and determination to overcome obstacles that lead to success.
For young people trying to determine the cost-effectiveness of traditional versus non-traditional education, Legend’s story underscores the importance of working hard regardless of choice. As he explains, beliefs, hopes, and actions must work together to produce positive results. This is something every young entrepreneur can focus on fine-tuning.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.