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Why I’m here…

Posted on: April 17th, 2015 by Ryan Stout No Comments

I wanted to start my career at Astute Communications by explaining why exactly I work here.

The first time I read the above quote was probably 15 years ago. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was reading the truest definition of the American Dream there is. It takes creativity to have that life. Inventiveness. Not in an artistic sense (though that could definitely lead to freedom), but creativity and inventiveness in melding passion and purpose in a way that pays the bills.

When Bob Dylan was a teenager he left Minnesota for New York City, changed his name, and invented a new life.

I have spent the last few years ignoring the call to take the leap and join Anna at Astute Communications. I had created a wonderful life for my family and myself. I worked for a great company in an exciting industry (Healthcare IT Recruiting). And I was successful. I led a team of recruiters to levels never before reached in company history. I was employed by great people who compensated me fairly, maybe even aggressively. But I kept wanting more. I needed more fulfillment. I knew that I wasn’t where I was meant to be.

Just prior to making my move to Astute Communications, I reread one of my favorite novels, The Great Gatsby. The novel has so many layers that I feel I get something new out of it with every reading. I love that at its core, the novel is the story of a man who is in an unencumbered pursuit of his dream. Gatsby is an optimist, he is confident in what he wants. I love the image of Gatsby as he stands at the end of his pier and looks across the bay, staring hopefully at the Green Light at the end of Daisy’s dock. The Green Light is his prize, his American Dream, and he chases it until the end. He knows that without devoting his life to its pursuit, nothing else matters…

Perhaps the reason I like the book so much is that I am a little jealous of Gatsby. It might be strange to be jealous of a (Spoiler Alert!) bootlegger who gets murdered in a case of mistaken identity, but what I am jealous of is the surefootedness with which he moves through life. This is a man who knows why he is here, and is relentless in the pursuit of its manifestation. Same as Dylan as he initially set out for the wild unknown of Greenwich Village, these characters (one real, one imagined) prove that without a dogged pursuit of their life as they imagine it, they may as well not live at all. For them, there is no other way. Basically, Dylan was never gonna be an English teacher.

It’s in that same spirit that I am excited to officially join Astute Communications. I may not change the course of music history, or make millions of dollars bootlegging whiskey, but I will be able to spend each day doing exactly as I want. Success is already mine.


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