Becoming Legendary With Tommy Breedlove

To live a Legendary life is to live a life of purpose. To live a Legendary life is to live a life of meaning. To live a Legendary life is to live in a way that will leave the world better than we found it.

These aren’t teachings extracted from ancient Eastern scripture. They are, rather, ideologies of WSJ and USA Today Best-Selling Author, Tommy Breedlove.

With slick black hair and a smile that could soften even the most calloused of hearts, at first glance, the young and knowledgeable Breedlove appears more like someone you would trust to run your company’s accounting department than someone who you would consult for introspective life advice. However, as soon as Breedlove starts talking, you know you’ll be leaving the conversation with a nugget or two of advice. While the assumptions based on his appearance are not far off, due to his prior experience as a Partner at a large accounting and finance firm, his enthusiasm and zest for life are what separate him from his past.

How Breedlove Came to Be

In our hour-long discussion, Breedlove bounced from story to story, drawing from experiences that sound almost like a scripted movie. He has lived many lives, lives that serve almost as a contradiction to each one that preceded it.

As a child from a blue-collar family in South Atlanta, Breedlove was the first in his family that was slated to go to college – UGA on a full-ride scholarship, at that. However, by his 18th birthday he had become “the person he always hated”. Smart, ambitious, but unable to shed himself of the abuse that surrounded him, he, too, found himself bullying others. It didn’t take long for the system to catch up to him before he was incarcerated.

At 19 years old, Tommy had hit rock bottom. Three short years later, he was climbing towards, what he thought at the time to be, the pinnacle of his career. He credits his deviation from the path of further destruction to a former gang member in the South Atlanta Jail. It was he who mentored Breedlove and helped him realize his potential and held him accountable.

Armed with sage advice and ready to tackle the world, Breedlove went from a jail cell, to a nuclear waste facility job, to UGA, to a top accounting firm all within three years. From there, he chased the impossible. He was drunk on the promises of success – respect, fame, power, money, external affirmations – which led him to dedicate more time and more work to his company. By 36, Tommy was flying high on his accomplishments – he had the nice car, the corner office, the prestigious title, and the inflated paycheck to match. With each career advancement came more resentment from those closest to him. At 37, after an event that left him feeling particularly deflated, Tommy decided to go on a journey to figure out who he was, where he was going, and who he wanted to be. Looking back now, he says, this was the transformational moment that would eventually inspire him to walk away from the corporate world.

For many, the story would have ended here, with someone continuing to climb the corporate ladder and just choosing to be a better person along the way. For Tommy, though, he knew that wasn’t enough. Just shy of 40, Tommy abandoned it all – his ownership in the firm, his title, his seat on the board of directors – in pursuit of becoming a true Legendary human.

His Metamorphosis

Breedlove credits self-investment to the metamorphosis of his life. Once Tommy started to dedicate just one to two hours a day to his emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual health – with the help of coaches, mentors, and masterminds – his life started to get exponentially better. He wasn’t the only one, though, who took notice.

Executives, managers, clients, bankers, and colleagues started to gravitate towards Tommy and seek his advice. They recognized that he was living in a way that was truer to himself. After 10 to 15 people had asked Tommy what his secret was, he knew he had a true calling.

He admits, even now, that he had no idea what that calling was, but he knew he needed to make a break for it and transition out of the accounting and finance world. It took a lot of courage to leave the only career he had ever known, but on Valentine’s Day, he called his wife and told him he was leaving the firm.

Becoming Legendary

The word Legendary, as it pertains to life, is quite an abstract concept, but Tommy works hard every day to solidify its meaning through his mastermind events, retreats, interviews, and of course, his book, appropriately titled “Legendary”. When asked what Legendary means to him he plotted both elbows on his desk and explained,

“Our time is ours. We’re not caught up in the busy-ness of life. We control our time. We work to master our mindset. It’s a life with intimate relationships. It’s about living a life of unconditional love and self-respect for ourselves so we can love and respect others. It’s a holistic way of living your life with purpose and meaning, and it’s mastering your mindset and building your way towards wealth. It’s leaving this planet a little better than you found it.”

In simpler terms, a friend told him that he “makes the powerful good and the good powerful.”

While Tommy has become a craftsman in relationships (both internal and external) and mindset, he says that small efforts today and lead to a legendary life. Just like the saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day, a legendary human isn’t, either. The first thing you can do, right now, is set an obtainable goal. Do you want to better your relationships? Minimize your internal voice? Do you want to build a great network? Do you want to have a better handle on your time? Eventually, by reading Tommy’s book and following his steps, you’ll be able to do all of these things, but for now, it’s best to focus on one thing at a time! The goal is to start small and work to be better than you were yesterday. Once you master one subject, you can start to tackle another.

To dive deeper into actions you can take, consider purchasing Legendary at your local bookstore, or on your Kindle or Nook. If you’re not ready to commit, you can read the “Mastering Your Mindset” chapter for free on his website.

Being Legendary

Tommy admitted, with a chuckle, that he’s very passionate about this subject, but that wasn’t a doubt in my mind based on the way his eyes illuminated throughout our discussion. As his business continues to grow, he’s eager to be able to touch the lives of many others. Currently, Tommy runs a retreat called “Legendary Life Retreat” that gives driven and ambitious people a way to connect – these people ultimately become the people who hold you accountable for your goals. He hosts up to twelve a year and they are open to anybody.

When Breedlove isn’t busy transforming people’s lives, he continues to work on himself with the help of his mentors, network, and books, of course. His top three favorite books are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks, and Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Before we parted, he left me with some of his favorite advice: “Rich people have money and wealthy people have time.” All it takes is one small change today to turn your life from ordinary to Legendary.



To learn more about Tommy, you can follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or you can visit his website. To get your copy of Legendary you can find it anywhere books are sold.




New Careers & Transitions During COVID

We’re rounding out this series of Find Your Dream Job in 2020 by rolling it back. Up until now, we have outlined how to leverage your recruiter’s expertise to help you connect, interview, and negotiate your offer at your dream company. While we spend the majority of our time doing this, we’re not confined to these tasks — sometimes we even get to coach new grads and/or help those who are looking to take their career on a different path!

Yes, it is true, AquantUs is an executive-based recruiting firm, but our real-world experience makes us dynamic and agile in the staffing industry.

With a dream to break out of the business of audit, our founder, Tiffany Hoffine, transitioned into the recruiting industry herself! She was able to combine her expertise in the accounting and audit fields (did we mention she graduated with honors with a degree in Accounting from Clemson?!) with her love of connecting to people and *bam* a career match was made. Since the genesis of AquantUs, Tiffany has been diligent about enlisting recruiters who are not only charismatic and warm, but are also knowledgeable about the accounting and finance fields. Together, we offer a whole spread of knowledge, experience, and advice.

While there are slight differences in starting a career and changing careers, the foundation is the same; both parties are almost starting from scratch and might need some guidance through their transitions. Before coming to us, consider the Five W’s: Who, What, When, Where, Why.

First, the Who:

Not to get too deep, but who are you? This is a great time to identify your strengths and weaknesses and the qualities you bring to the table. In fact, in this article by Forbes, a way to help you pinpoint your strengths is:

“Identify all of the times you have had success in your career and […] what characteristics and strengths helped you achieve these successes. Then be curious about how you could use them to support you in this new career path. If you notice a gap in skills, don’t be afraid of it. Create a plan to close the gap and take the first step, knowing the next step will follow.”

Even though that quote is geared towards people who are shifting careers, the advice still applies to those who are just starting out! For recent grads, what in your college career made you successful?

That same Forbes article continues by saying:

“By leveraging your strengths, you increase your chances of success. By following your interests, you stay engaged. By honoring your expertise, you are able to pivot much faster. Your strengths are found in tasks that give you energy! Keep these in mind to land a successful career change.” 

Second, the What:

What kind of transition are you looking to make? Are you looking for a different job in the same field? Do you want a new career in a different industry, using the same skills? Or do you want to totally change what you’re doing?

What keeps you motivated? Is it crunching numbers, checking someone’s work? Is it running a company’s finances, or is it something completely different? Burnout can happen, and it’s normal, so we want you to focus on the tasks that you enjoy, even during monotonous periods.

The other What is “what is it going to take”? Are there any licenses or certifications, classes or software knowledge that stands between you and your new career? Talking to your recruiter about your options and how to obtain any of these things is going to be a crucial conversation to have!

Next, the When:

When are you looking to make your transition? Many people think that when working with a recruiter, you are wanting to jump ship immediately, but that’s not always the case! We work with many great companies that have later start dates in order to get the most curated pool of candidates possible. If you don’t feel like you’re quite ready to make the leap, you can always sign up for our monthly jobs listing where we’ll send you the most up-to-date list of the jobs that we’re currently working with!

For recent grads, we recommend starting your search during your last year of college. This is a great time to get an internship to learn some hands-on skills and to build your resume.

Then, the Where:

This one might be obvious, but in which city/part of town do you want to work? With many companies changing their in-office policies due to COVID, that job in that city that you would’ve passed up on a few months ago might be more within your reach.

Lastly, the Why:

This is another obvious one, and it’s geared more towards the career-transitioners, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Why are you looking to change careers? Do you want more work/life balance? Are you just looking to get out of public accounting? Do you, after all these years, realize you despise Excel? Knowing these gripes and preferences will help you communicate to us what you want in this next stage of your life.

The Encore:

Once a number-cruncher turned recruiter turned business-woman, Tiffany Hoffine has been in your shoes and will make sure you are matched with a recruiter who will help you through your life change. If you are flirting with the idea, but not ready to take the leap, browse the jobs we’re working with and start to gather intel about what sticks out to you. When you’re ready, email us at — we’ll be ready when you are!