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Gen Z Entrepreneur Surpasses the Traditional Education System to Build His Own Empire

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“Believe in yourself. If you’ve got an idea behind you and enough belief in it, you’ll make it work.”

Such is the advice of 18-year-old Flynn Blackie, specialist in psychological marketing and the founder of MOD Digital Limited. Starting a business fresh out of high school isn’t exactly the kind of plan everybody shares: usually, people gun for an undergraduate degree before pursuing their dreams. 

But Flynn had a different outlook on how his life should go. In fact, he left school at the tender age of sixteen before starting his own business.

An Early Start in the Business

Blackie knew for quite some time that he wanted to eventually start a business of his own. 

“I was always looking at side hustles and ways to make extra money. I always felt like I was going to be successful,” Blackie explained. 

But at first, like most – if not all – of us, he mapped his life out in such a way as to adhere to the traditional education system. He’d planned to get into a university, snag a degree, and then have a high-paying job. 

However, it was his initial dabbling in entrepreneurship that changed his point of view. He started off simple: buying and selling chewing gum. What he did was purchase wholesale chewing gum before selling these to the other kids in school. Soon, his small business evolved to include selling rare sneakers for a profit. 

All of this was second nature to him. He began to get the hang of how attracting customers and appealing to a certain niche works. 

“I kind of saw my potential as an entrepreneur, leading and getting clients and selling – all of these factors that you need to build up your entrepreneurship skills,” he said. “These qualities were recognized within me when I took a step back to look [at myself]. It became very clear that one day, I wouldn’t just work for a company – I would own it. And it turns out, my first employer was myself.”

Taking That Leap of Faith

Of course, Blackie’s idea of ditching the path of traditional education wasn’t met with unanimous support at first. 

“I had to make my own decision before I went to [my parents] and tried to convince them,” Blackie said. “It became pretty apparent that if I were to not leave right now, I’d just be leaving one year later anyway. I knew that, no matter what, this is what I wanted to do.”

It wasn’t about taking the easy way out for Blackie. He made the decision to abandon the traditional education system because he knew where his heart lay: in entrepreneurship. He understood early on that no matter what, he wanted to venture into this realm, and his dream would only be put on hold for as long as he stayed in school. There wasn’t exactly a need to pursue a typical education in Blackie’s eyes. 

That was the logic he presented to his parents. His father understood rather immediately. However, it was his mother who took some convincing. After all, this wasn’t a typically ‘safe’ path to tread. Every entrepreneur knows all too well how risky the business is. And for someone at such a young age, Blackie had tons to lose. 

However, Blackie made it clear to his mother that he simply had to start his own business. “There were going to be bad grades, or my clients were going to have a terrible experience; it was one of the two,” he said.

In 2019, Flynn Blackie decided to drop out of school. 

Thus began his endeavor into the unknown. Equipped with a dream and plenty of in-depth research, Blackie took that risk.

Starting Out with One’s Priorities in Mind

When talking about his initial interest in selling gum and sneakers, Blackie compared these experiences to his current niche. “Nothing really captured me like web design. It felt fun, and it felt pretty easy to make and it came really naturally.” 

It was the thrill of receiving payment for the first website he built that made him realize this was the model he wanted to base a solid portion of his business upon. Blackie and his team at MOD Digital started out selling web design services. They also branched out to dabble in social media-related projects and several other ventures. However, the team realized that all these extra services didn’t actually bring MOD Digital the results they were gunning for. They soon learned that they wanted to deliver a more results-based service. 

So, they went back to basics. Currently, MOD Digital has gone from a humble start-up to a six-figure agency that has garnered over sixty clients. 

When Generation Z Delves into the Realm of Entrepreneurship 

Blackie credits a portion of MOD Digital’s success to a youthful mindset. “Being my age can play as a good factor,” he noted in an interview.

Any young person, particularly someone who has grown up in this current technological day and age, knows all too well the power of screentime. As an ardent lover of video games and someone who’s grown up in a tech-savvy environment, Blackie’s mind has become accustomed to the lingo of algorithms. 

“The second factor [that makes MOD Digital unique] would be that we’ve niched into a specific service. We have our core service, no matter which client we’re working with. We’re more specific about our system.”

MOD Digital puts the value of its service before anything else. In focusing on how they can best help their clients, they put forth a more personal brand, one that markets authentically and attracts loyal clients. Blackie also acknowledged the pivotal role psychology plays in their marketing process. MOD Digital uses subliminal forms of psychological triggers. 

Pushing Past Doubt and Breaking Barriers 

Despite Blackie’s current success, he’s no stranger to backlash. Some people assumed that being young equates to inexperience. 

“There have been sales pitches where they took the meeting, but as soon as you get on [the call], they stop taking you seriously. You can hear it from their tone or the way they pay attention. You feel insulted, being on the call,” Blackie recalled. 

Even communicating with a bank was tough. It was difficult to find someone who would open an account for a mere 16-year-old. However, Blackie persisted. 

Today, MOD Digital continues to grow. Even with its current celebrated success, Flynn Blackie has no intentions of getting comfortable. To young entrepreneurs looking to build their own businesses, Blackie actually cautions against taking the risk he took unless one is at a level where they can afford to do so. 

“The fundamental thing is to make sure you’re actually in a position where you can leave [school]. Work tirelessly to get to that point. And when you’re there, that’s when it’s time to go. You can’t leave because you ‘want’ to do something, leave because you are doing it, and doing it well.”

Flynn Blackie has certainly walked the path less traveled. His story marks as a calling to other young entrepreneurs: be smart, but don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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