When you are young, it can be difficult to define yourself, and to plan the course of your life out. You find that your best laid plans, your greatest dreams, and your pursuit of achievement have to contend with the noise of life’s highways and byways. Bills have to be paid, personal relationships have to be nurtured, and, of course, unexpected events–for better or for worse–have to be dealt with along the way.
Day after day, it is a fact of life that we are faced with any number of challenges that test our mind, hearts and our grit–but with those challenges come choices. I suspect this might be especially true for those who wander off of the beaten path in search of something different from the norm–something unmistakably our own.
When I became the CEO of The Abbi Agency, I, too, took a detour from life’s well-known roads in order to find something that was unmistakably my own. Alongside my wife Abbi, my sister in law, Constance, and the many brilliant, dedicated people who form our fast-growing team, I sought to find my place in the world, to understand my values, and to, at last, to know what it is I was meant to do for myself, my family, and for the community I am so fortunate to be a part of.
Embarking on this journey didn’t necessarily give me an easy answer, but I did discover something important: life’s journey is less about what you find, and more about what you build–one choice, one moment, and one thought at a time.
For all of our wins and losses throughout the eight years our company has been in business, I’d like to think that The Abbi Agency is an ever-evolving representation of what my wife and I have sought to build on our shared journey. That is one reason among several that it is such an honor to be named by the Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network as one of twenty leaders under the age of forty in our community recognized for exceptional achievement.
Have a look at this list when you have a moment. Consider congratulating the other winners named therein–I know I certainly commend all of my peers for their contributions, and do not take it for granted that I am in phenomenal company.
The Reno-Tahoe community is ripe with talent and, in that context, I feel so lucky to be considered exceptional among so many wonderful people who add something impressive to our area each day.
What I have achieved with the help of my team and the community at large is deeply important to me, but make no mistake: I do not think that now is the time for me to rest on my laurels. I don’t buy into the idea that you should “believe in your own legend”–and instead think that it’s important to buckle down and do the work.
That’s why, rather than focusing solely on congratulations in this message, I wanted to leave those of you reading with a thought: If you want to make a great deal of money, there’s a path many of you can walk that can help you to achieve that. If you want to start and raise a beautiful family, I believe that begins with being present for the people you love and actively nurturing them as they change and grow. If you want to be an expert in your field, then you have to engage with the trends, understand the past, and work to influence the direction of the future–either disruptively or incrementally.
If you want to be happy, I believe that you have to define what success means for you, and make a conscious choice to build that success with each choice, each thought, each word, and each action, one moment at a time.
Success and happiness may not come easily. The road may be paved with rocky ground over which it sometimes seems impossible to get over–and things will happen that throw you off course every once in awhile. All the same, I encourage you to hold fast and to choose your joy–choose your success–and build it one brick at a time. When you do, I promise you that you will know it was all worth it.
I am fortunate enough to say that I am living proof.
Patrick “Ty” Whitaker
Editor’s note: The Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network, sponsored by the YPN and RGJ Media, will hold an awards ceremony on November 10th, 2016 at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino. You can buy tickets and learn more about the organization by clicking here.
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