The value vs. cost of a college degree for younger generations continues to be a hotly debated topic in the fields of higher education and business. While surveys cited in the Harvard Review and Inside Higher Ed suggest overall satisfaction with college learning among students, nearly two-thirds of these surveys agree that higher education is not worthwhile at its current level.
Add to that a mix of past and present employees, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and others finding success without college degrees, and the view that college is a precursor to changing things for success. Many of the younger generations are weighing the costs, and a growing number are considering going to college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
In order to gain more insight into the entrepreneurial mindset of those who have navigated the corporate journey to business aspirations, I had the opportunity to read Bryan Tries, entrepreneur and CEO of Safe. Legend has chosen to educate himself through many business ventures and has recently made a name for himself in the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (Defi) industries. His success led him to be named Coin Central’s 2021 Tech Leader of the Year.
Like a growing number of other successful entrepreneurs, Legend doesn’t have a college degree in his pocket. But they can take different forms. “It’s about time, the need to approach on a case-by-case basis,” he says we begin to approach the education industry. “If I’m going to be a doctor, I’m sure I’ll have a college degree, but many of the career paths available to today’s youth don’t require the strain or the notorious financial debt that comes with getting a college degree.”
The legend has embarked on a journey to inspire many young and passionate entrepreneurs to pursue and achieve their dreams. Below is a condensed version of our interview that focuses on the role that less traditional education has had in shaping his success.
Rod Berger; Bryan, can you share a little bit about the cabin that brought you to where you are on your current tour?
Bryan Legend: My story is a rags-to-riches scenario. I’m from Australia and I grew up little by little. I dropped out of high school three years before graduation and entered the job market quite early. While others considered my lack of a school diploma or college certificate (degree) a disadvantage, it didn’t hold me back at all.
It gave me a hunger that most others couldn’t match. I decided to push myself as hard as possible and see how far I could go. My first jobs were in sales, and I discovered something new about myself doing those jobs. It turned out that I had a special gift for handling, and that gift was primarily responsible for my success in business.
I have had some successful beginnings in my life. TWILX, a digital advertising firm, has become one of the leaders in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) space.
Eventually it overwhelmed my love of technology and innovation and my desire to make a lot of money and got into cryptocurrency in the early days. That journey led me to Sappho, which had been a very successful venture so far.
Berger: There has been an explosion of interest in the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance space in recent years, not to mention a fair share of speculation. Share a few reasons why you decided to throw your hat in the ring.
Legend: Well, cryptocurrency is a fascinating phenomenon of how technology has replaced the traditional banking system and how it is at the forefront of the government-based challenge. The relief of this technology suggests to me more than anything else. As an entrepreneur, I always wanted to be in the middle of the action, and cryptocurrency appeared where the action was happening.
A credible criticism of the crypto space is the instability of many blockchain projects that languish. Safuu is the solution for that unique problem.
Safuu is short for Sustainable Asset Fund for Universal Users. DeFi is a protocol that uses blockchain technology to automatically distribute interest payments using cryptocurrency. We designed it with innovative concepts that ensure sustainability and long-term profitability for the platform.
Auto-staking and auto-compounding are integrated through correction so that the amount of circulating information is increased or decreased automatically according to the fluctuations of the information price. This sustainable purchasing mechanism not only delivers the highest annual percentage profits (APY) in the current market, but also considers ways to remain profitable even as it climbs. This built in mechanism is largely responsible for why our users trust us so much.
Berger: Considering the implications and risks, cryptocurrency is certainly not an industry for the timid. Many readers may wonder how someone who lost a high school diploma and a college degree ended up at the top of such a complex industry.
Legend: There aren’t many cryptocurrency-based certificates available at most colleges [laughs]. The world is one big school. The internet is packed with information and determination has a lot more to achieve than grades.
The best is acquired from school literacy. After that, it’s really up to the details. Obviously, there are those who need degrees, but for entrepreneurs like myself, it often takes more to the streets, determination, and a healthy dose of their opinion.
Berger: How has your relationship to happiness changed over the course of your career? Are you aggressively starting to prove a statement wrong, and if so has your opinion changed over the years?
Legend: Most people come with hope and belief and nothing more. They think that they will wake up one day and notice that everything has changed, including the environment around them. It is as if they imagine a large bag of money just sitting by their bed, waiting for what they have hoped for and believed.
This reasoning is rustic and far from the truth, but unfortunately, many people today have this mindset. I also woke up earlier and the same mindset and understanding things will only change through action. Faith and hope are powerful, but only when action is taken can our dreams stand firmly on the tripod. I always say: Believe in your faith it will create a reality. I live every day, but I try to add activities so that the actual beliefs come back to reality.
Berger: You are the classic rags to riches story many have been intrigued by and driven to compete with. You also happen to drop out of school, so you can tear your way to success. What was the impetus behind such a powerful traditional model of goat education?
Legend: After dropping out of high school at a young age, I soon realized that working as a “man” was not what I wanted to pursue. Abyss, I felt, I was destined for more. Through years of self-development, I found my talent in the arena within the sales and marketing sector. I used these studies and my skills in the world of cryptocurrency, where I found my true love.
I knew that persistence would be the key to making it all happen, that my plan would be really successful. It’s not how often you get added, but how often you get back up again and keep fighting tenaciously. This is about proving to myself and the world success from within.
Berger: What do you have to contribute to the discussion about dropout? What advice would you give to people considering dropping out of school and pursuing an independent path like you did?
Legend: This should be done on a case-by-case basis. The world has gone digital, and the number of opportunities for today’s youth is incredible.
Many of these opportunities will be less juicy or profitable in a few years. As a result, there will undoubtedly be those who decide to jump in early and perhaps lose some formal education.
It is a firm belief that education and the formal level of success must be evaluated. However, acquiring demonic degrees is undoubtedly to be avoided, because it means different things to different people.
My first concern is for young people who cannot go to school. I want them to know that they have innate pains and that if they are determined, they can succeed even more than me.
Learning comes in many forms and within the trenches is often where business people thrive the most. Journeys like Acts of Legend are meant for those young individuals looking for inspiration as they carve their own paths. With a net worth of over $26 million, Legends represent the financial gains that perseverance and determination can lead to in overcoming obstacles that lead to success.
For the young man, he tried to determine the cost benefits of traditional vs. In a less traditional education, the story highlights the importance of hard work, no matter the choice. As he describes it, faith, hope and action come together to help create positive results – something every successful young entrepreneur can aim for.
The conversations have been edited for clarity and concreteness.