The path to discovering your purpose is rarely straightforward. Patrick Dancy, co-founder of LGND, is one man who has walked that path with his head held high, fearlessly overcoming each obstacle and embracing what others may consider an uncertain future.
Even if you’re just meeting Patrick for the first time, he radiates a warm and approachable confidence. He’s able to attract and hold the attention of any room with his undeniable, contagious energy. His eyes sparkle, and he can’t help but break out into a big grin when he’s talking about his passions. Those who know Patrick know he’s boldly, authentically, himself.
Discipline in All Facets of Life
As a biracial kid growing up in Queens in the 1970s, Patrick’s early life wasn’t necessarily easy. He was teased for not looking like the black kids, but also didn’t look like the white kids. His peers didn’t know how to define him. In some ways, he didn’t know how to define himself. According to his appearance, Patrick was somewhere in-between these labels and he was forced to navigate this undefined territory from a young age. Patrick learned how to adapt, to assimilate. The last thing he wanted was to draw attention to himself as “different.”
When his family moved to Long Island, Patrick discovered a karate studio down the street from their new home. He begged his mom to let him start taking lessons. Practicing karate quickly became Patrick’s passion. Rather than focusing on what he looked like, and what others thought of him, Patrick dove headfirst into martial arts. He thought about it constantly – karate became the air he breathed.
While the martial arts are a form of self-defense, they’re also an ancient expression of discipline, honor and self-sacrifice. As Patrick got older, karate became an unwavering, guiding force. He realized many of the skills learned at the dojo translated into countless other aspects of life. As Patrick entered adulthood, his karate practice evolved into fitness, but the core philosophy remains the same: be disciplined in all facets of life, respect yourself and respect others.
To Hollywood and Beyond
This stable foundation helped Patrick thrive when he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Show biz certainly isn’t a walk in the park – but Patrick exhibited a self-assuredness that made him stand out. He secured roles on Married with Children, Family Matters and Guys Next Door. His willingness to take risks – and remaining confident through the unpredictability of acting – is exactly what allowed him to succeed in a cutthroat industry.
After Patrick left acting, he joined his father’s company. The skills learned in karate and in front of the camera helped him quickly move up the ranks. A skilled salesman, Patrick was his father’s right-hand man, developing a sense of ownership and pride in his newfound role.
Swimming Against the Current
One quote Patrick remembers from his childhood is, “It takes a dead fish to flow with the current. It takes a live one to swim against the current.” Patrick has swum against the current with a dogged determination and this quote has become his personal mantra. Instead of simply accepting things the way they are, he’s always the first to think about new perspectives and opportunities. Whether it’s in Hollywood or spearheading a new business, Patrick can take risks without sacrificing who he is and sticking to his beliefs. He realized that being different wasn’t so bad – and having his unique perspective was an asset.
That self-acceptance – and acceptance of others – made Patrick the change-maker he’s known as today. He’s defeated the odds and has come out on the other side stronger. Patrick is still very much that kid who loved karate, devoted to his practice and with a moral compass that always points due North. Today, Patrick radiates positivity and wisdom – a dynamic force pushing the boundaries of what LGND could be.
When Patrick met LGND co-founder Chris Stevens, he discovered another person who swam against the current of society. The two developed a brotherly bond, realizing many parallels in their lives, but also in their personal philosophies. They merged their individual talents and perspectives to forge the beginnings of LGND.Patrick has never needed anyone to tell him what he’s capable of. He’s never waited around for someone to give him the go-ahead. He realized the innate gifts that set him apart from the crowd and simply went for it. This is what Patrick means by Leave Your Mark. It’s not anyone else’s mark to leave – you must leave it yourself. With LGND, he hopes to help others uncover and amplify these individual qualities that make each of us special – and powerful – in our own ways. In Patrick’s eyes, we are all limitless.