Getting to Know You — The Senior Executive Team of Legend Venture Partners, LLC
Legend Venture Partners, LLC is a premiere boutique private equity fund that prides itself on maintaining a wide-ranging collection of exclusive private stocks of exciting companies in the early, later, and growth stages of development.
Headquartered in New York City, New York, the firm specializes in pre-IPO (initial public offering) investments and startup venture capital, concentrating its efforts on high-tech, high-growth sectors, such as cloud computing, software-as-a-service, social media, and biotechnology.
With the dynamic, rapidly changing nature of the high-tech industry, Legend Venture Partners, LLC makes it its business to stay fully informed on the many opportunities available and the potential for high-risk/high-reward investments. The firm also prides itself on building close, long-lasting relationships with its network of clients, educating them fully on all aspects of their investments and the implications of investing in private company shares. The pre-IPO investment opportunities offered by Legend Venture Partners, LLC, give its clients the opportunity to invest in high-growth companies before they go public.
After being approached to engage in an on-the-record conversation about what makes the firm so successful, the senior leadership team of Legend Venture Partners, LLC chose to respond to the following interview questions as a group, led by Founder and Fund Manager Steven Lacaj.
What do you currently do at your company?
I am one of the founders and managing members at Legend Venture Partners. I oversee the day to day operations, as well as speak to clients on a daily basis.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
As my career progressed in the securities industry, I started to develop a growing passion for the private market. When I first began looking into private equity, I realized that most investors overlooked this strategy despite the potentially lucrative opportunities it presents. The idea of building positions in aggressively growing companies with a catalyst of going public in the short-term infatuated me. I began to realize that if I accumulate a significant position in these types of companies, I could develop long-lasting and hopefully profitable relationships.
What keys to being productive can you share?
Being positive plays a major role in being productive. It is much easier to get work done when you have a positive mindset, as opposed to a negative one. Another key to being productive is practicing and maintaining healthy habits, which includes reading books that can help shape the way you think, eating healthy food, and exercising on a daily basis. Additionally, creating goals for yourself is very important. When you make a goal for yourself, you have something to work towards. This helps foster ambition and ultimately encourages you to work harder. Finally, do not procrastinate. If something needs to get taken care of, there is no reason to delay it. This will only cause tasks to pile up, which will then stress you out and make it even harder to accomplish those things
How do you measure success?
To me, how many lives you have a positive influence on is the true measure of success. Success can mean many things for people. For most people, being successful means you are wealthy. To me, being successful means that you have been able to consistently change the lives of others for the better.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
I think it was when I realized that being successful means more than just accumulating as much money as possible. It means having a positive influence on the lives of others, be it through the course of business dealings, mentorship, or even charitable works. There is a quote I really like that sums up what I mean quite well: “I may not be the one who changes the world, however I might possibly be the one who sparks the mind off the one who does.” I think about that every day.
What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
Believe in yourself. You cannot accomplish anything significant in life if you do not believe that you have the ability to do it. Also, make sure that you are the hardest worker in the room. If you want to become successful badly enough, working hard will come easily. When you believe in yourself and work hard, success will naturally follow.
How would your colleagues describe you?
My colleagues would describe me as a hardworking and motivated individual. What I hear most often is that I’m always positive. Some of my colleagues don’t understand why or how I can always remain positive, especially during hard times. However, my response is always the same: It’s simply my nature.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
This is one of the most difficult things that every entrepreneur encounters. All successful entrepreneurs become obsessed with their business. It’s a feature rather than a bug, but it tends to breed success.
What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?
I make a lot of spreadsheets, including Microsoft Excel and Apple’s version of similar software called Numbers. These programs allow me to stay organized and keep meticulous records. I use each of them on a daily basis, and my desk would definitely be a disorganized mess of papers without them.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
Dealing with all of the outside negativity—something that every entrepreneur eventually encounters— has been a significant obstacle I have overcome over the years. That was not easy to deal with, especially when times were hard. When you are building a business, it’s very easy for others to question what you are doing and your chances of success. Sometimes hearing constant negativity from others that don’t understand your vision can become overwhelming, and for some entrepreneurs, it can result in them ultimately calling it quits. So, I would say that dealing with all of the outside ‘noise’ has been the single largest challenge of my career, thus far.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
If you change your mindset, you will change your life. This was one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received. The way that you think will shape your reality, that’s why it is so important to always look at the proverbial glass as being half full. Maintaining a positive outlook on life is arguably one of the most important things an individual can do to not only be successful, but happy as well.
What is one piece of advice you would like to leave our readers with?
Although it sounds cliché, the human mind can triumph over matter. What I mean by that is whatever you think about determines the choices you make each day, and those choices add up to determine not only your station in life, but your personality, as well. Success begins with adopting the proper mindset. I will also add that surrounding yourself with the right people is incredibly important, and by the ‘right people,’ I mean those who will support you and push you to be the best version of yourself. The ‘right people’ never let you settle for anything less than achieving your goals.