Patrick McGinnis – Venture Capitalist, Podcast Host, and Author of Fear of Missing Out

Episode 113

Patrick McGinnis, venture capitalist, and the author is the creator of the term "FOMO" (Fear Of Missing Out). He wrote about FOMO in the humor section of Harvard Business School’s student newspaper in 2004, and the word was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. Patrick has been featured in media outlets across the country for coining the term. Patrick is the international bestselling author of *The 10% Entrepreneur*, and he recently came out with the book *Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice*. He also has an awesome podcast called *FOMO Sapiens* distributed by the Harvard Business Review. On this episode, Patrick talks about FOMO - what it is and how it works, how being the man who coined the term "FOMO" has influenced his life, the best parts of his new book, and more.

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Kara Goldin: Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin, and I’m so excited to have our next guest here. Peter McGinnis is-

Patrick McGinnis…: Patrick. Patrick.

Kara Goldin: Sorry. Why did I-

Patrick McGinnis…: It’s all good.

Kara Goldin: Why did I think Peter? Sorry. Okay, let me start over again.

Hi, everyone. It’s Kara Goldin from The Kara Goldin Show and I am so excited to have my next guest here. This is Patrick McGinnis. He is not only a fellow podcaster, you definitely have to check out his podcast, which I was recently on, but also the author of an incredible book, a new book called Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice. But what I didn’t realize until I actually jumped into this book was that this guy coined the term FOMO. And as I shared with him, it’s my connection with my Gen Z crowd that hangs out at my house, it’s like, “FOMO, is it?” and here he is, Mr. Patrick right in front of us to talk to us a little bit more about it.

But the other thing about Patrick that I’ve really admired as I learned a little bit more about his journey is that he was doing something totally different than what he’s doing today. And so we’ll talk a little bit about that because I think there are so many people listening to this who are trying to figure out what do they want to do when they grow up and is there something wrong with me that I don’t really want to be doing what I’m successful at? And so that was a key thing that I got from reading a little bit more about Patrick and meeting Patrick. So welcome.

Patrick McGinnis…: Kara. It’s so good to be here. Thank you for having me.

Kara Goldin: Absolutely. So take us back to wherever you want to start really. I mean, where’d you grow up?

Patrick McGinnis…: I’m from Maine, I’m from a small town in Maine. It’s called Sanford, 20,000 people, four stoplights. And then I went off to college in DC at Georgetown, but that was a big leap. It wasn’t something I had thought I would do, but I wanted to work in the government. And so I thought I’d go to Georgetown and my dream was to be a trade negotiator. That’s a sexy dream right there.

Kara Goldin: Very. A trade negotiator. And how did you get that idea?

Patrick McGinnis…: Well, I knew I wanted to work in the government at that time, that was my… I was really a fan of like… I wanted to work on The Hill. And then I took all these classes in international economics and I fell in love with the idea of working on sort of negotiating trade agreements, because I’d studied it in school and it just seemed like a fun idea. Didn’t think about the fact that it could have been boring and take years, but that’s where my head was at when I was in college.

Kara Goldin: That’s wild. And so you graduated, and where’d you go from there?

Patrick McGinnis…: FOMO drew me to Wall Street. So I saw these friends of mine that were going to Wall Street and I remember hearing the salaries. The starting salary was more than my dad made. And so I didn’t know what investment banking was, but I knew that I wanted to make a lot of money. And so I went to Latin American investment banking at JPMorgan Chase.

Kara Goldin: Very interesting. And so were you actually down in Latin America, did you spend some time living down there?

Patrick McGinnis…: So I was between New York and Argentina, and then after about a year of that, I was the worst investment banker in the history of investment banking. Basically, I didn’t even know what we did. So I was about to leave and do a Fulbright and then my boss said, “Well, we have this job in the venture capital group. Why don’t you go interview to do that?” And I interviewed, and I started doing venture cap in Latin America investing in the first wave of startups in the region. And that’s kind of where I found my stride, and I lived in Brazil and lived on a plane. Kind of like, I know when we had your interview on my show, you said that the people at the gate knew you and they would be like, “Hey, Kara-

Kara Goldin: And all the United pilots, yeah.

Patrick McGinnis…: Exactly. I was like that guy. I knew the crew on the New York-Sao Paolo flight, but I loved it. And this was a fantastic way to kind of cut my teeth in business.

Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. And then how did you decide to come back? And so you’re living in New York now.

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah, I’m in New York and 9/11. Just like in your story as I read in your book. 9/11 hit and it freaked me out, and then we had the tech bubble imploded, and I just thought to myself… I had just taken the GMAT on 9/10 and so I said I’m going to apply to business school. I applied to two schools, Harvard and Wharton, and I’d never met anybody who had gone to these. I mean, this was way outside of what I thought was possible for me. But I got into both and I just wanted to get the heck out of New York and go somewhere safe and away from the realities of the economy and living in New York after 9/11. So I went up to Boston and enrolled at Harvard Business School and that was it. That was part of the… That was the FOMO treadmill that I was living on at that time.

Kara Goldin: And did you want to get out of… I’ve met so many people and I have many friends who were in finance and then just decided I want to do something a little bit different and then that’s kind of why they went to business school. Did you think you’d go back to finance after business school or?

Patrick McGinnis…: Yes, I saw myself as like a private equity person, and then that was going to be my path. And in fact, in business school, I fell in with the private equity crowd and I had the ski house. And of the 25 people in the ski house, like 22 were in private equity. So it was a really big part of my personality which… And I look back and I’m like, “What’s so cool about private equity?” Nothing really. But at the time it was a big part of my identity because I think it was like the first time I’d ever been successful and been financially independent and able to do what the heck I wanted. So it was a big part of what I wanted to be.

Kara Goldin: That’s wild. What did you focus on? What was sort of your categories that you really focused on?

Patrick McGinnis…: So I was focused more regionally. I was in Latin America. I had done sort of… We did both VC and tech, so I did a sort of VC and private equity. So I’d done early-stage sort of tech investing in like the eBay of Latin America and the E-Trade of Latin America, all these sorts of like hybrid models, we brought them from the US. But then I was on the board of Argentina’s number one ice cream chain, Freddo, if you’ve been to Buenos Aires. I did cable investing. I did all kinds of crazy stuff. So I was kind of a generalist and I really liked that about it. I didn’t want to be a specialist.

Kara Goldin: That’s wild. Did you live in Buenos Aires or?

Patrick McGinnis…: I did. Yeah. I was between New York, Buenos Aires, and San Paolo.

Kara Goldin: Oh, such a beautiful place.

Patrick McGinnis…: I know. It’s heaven. I want to go back.

Kara Goldin: Yeah, I know. It’s such a beautiful place. I wish I could have spent more time down there. I’ve been there a little bit, but I would too. I’d love to go down there. We went to Chile as well and roamed around that area and it was just awesome.

So what was the moment that you just decided to get out of private equity then? I mean, what was sort of your… Was there one specific incident or were you just like, “What am I doing here?”.

Patrick McGinnis…: I didn’t quit private equity, private equity quit me is what happened. It’s kind of like when you’re growing up and you have that crush on that girl, and you ask her out every year. And she says no every year. And you’re like, “But next year.” And then one day you read in the paper she got married and you’re like, “Well, that’s just not going to happen for me.”

So I went back to private equity after business school in the US in a domestic firm because Latin America was really out of favor. And it was a place that I very much disliked. I disliked the people, I disliked our investments, but I was like, “Well, at least it’s private equity.” And I had to drive to New Jersey every day from the West Village and I was in this office park next to a highway. And on month three I took a nap under my desk and I was like, “This is terrible.” And then I switched to do international investing, investing all over the world, and I loved it.

But unfortunately for me, I was working at AIG Capital Partners and when AIG blew up in 2008, I was like, “Okay, everything I’ve done in private equity has eventually blown up. I got to rethink this. I can’t keep going to places that blow up underneath me and then I find that I have to reinvent myself over and over again. I’ve got to find a better way to build my career.” And that was this moment, this crucible moment where I was like, “Listen, I come from a small town in Maine. I never thought I’d do any of the things I’m doing. And I’m miserable. I work at a place that’s bankrupt.” I got to change this up or next time it’s like, it’s no longer… I can’t blame it on anybody but me. I’m making the choices, right? So that was the moment in 2008, really.

Kara Goldin: And so then you just decided to do individual investments and-

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. And that was… And just do it. I think that it’s super interesting. So I’m always so curious how people can kind of get off the train like that. But 2008, 2009 was obviously dicey for all on a lot of levels for sure. But that’s super cool.

So FOMO, let’s talk about FOMO and your book. And so, tell everybody sorts of how this ultimately came to be.

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah. So going back to when I left New York after 9/11, I came up to Boston and started my school there. And I was, I think, like all of my classmates and I, we’d just been through a lot. 9/11 was super tough. And a lot of us worked with tech and we had lived through the tech crash when the NASDAQ fell from 5,000 to 1,300. And so I have just seen economic instability, just all kinds of instability in terms of terrorism. And I just wanted to sort of escape from that. And when I got to HBS, that’s probably the most choice-rich environment I’ve ever been in. There are so many things you can do. Classes and parties and trips and internships. Socially, work-wise, it’s just a lot.

And Harvard is this incredible bubble full of really ambitious, hardcore, smart people who want to do everything. And I was just sort of like, “I got two years to make the most of this. I’m going to do everything.” And so I did… Friday night, I would go to like seven parties. I would get up every morning at 7:00 AM and go till after midnight. I was constantly either sick, hungover, or getting sick. And so I started to realize though that that was not normal. And in fact, I felt anxiety about trying to do it all, and I felt the fear of missing out.

So I started calling this, fear of missing out. I shortened it to FOMO, and I wrote an article in the school newspaper in the humor section in 2004 all about this crazy affliction that I and my classmates suffered from. And that was before social media, by the way. Mark Zuckerberg was across the river coding the first version of while I was writing my FOMO article. It looks like one of us did better than the other, but it was incredible how… I graduated, that article was super popular, it stayed popular, and then over time slowly but surely it became a word that was used beyond HBS and then made it into the dictionary in 2013.

Kara Goldin: And so it ended up making it into the dictionary. It took that long though. Because I feel like people were using it even before 2013, but that’s how long. Did you actually apply to be in the dictionary, or how does that work?

Patrick McGinnis…: No.

Kara Goldin: Do they [crosstalk 00:11:32].

Patrick McGinnis…: It’s crazy.

Kara Goldin: … shows up.

Patrick McGinnis…: What happened was, I graduated, I went back to New York and I didn’t really pay attention. I saw it in like they would rerun my article and friends would talk about it, but it wasn’t like a thing at all. And then one day I get a call 10 years later from somebody telling me it’s in the dictionary. And so I went back and reconstructed how it spread. And it was like slowly but surely it was in the scene. I mean, I didn’t do anything, it just the world made it happen.

Kara Goldin: Do you think there’s anything that would have prevented you from, like when you were in school? I mean, there’s so much opportunity, right? And that was probably part of the reason why you even went there, right? It’s just not only the people, but you knew that there were going to be amazing classes, trips as you said. The just being able to hang out with people and talk about big things. Do you think that you’ve always been kind of attracted to that too, sort of even before you coined that term? And do you think you would have, even knowing that it was called that, would it have changed you in some way to sort of know it?

Patrick McGinnis…: I think you’re probably a lot like me. I think I’ve always been like that. I’ve always been an extrovert. I’ve always been competitive. I remember in high school, just like coming in with a plan. I’m going to do all these things. I’m going to win in many different ways. That was kind of my mindset. I was very hardcore. I’ve chilled out a bit over time. So I think when you have that natural mindset of wanting to do it all, you kind of fall a bit of a trap to that. The difference is I didn’t need a word for it because I didn’t have the internet.

And I think the thing is now where it’s so easy to compare yourself to other people and gain access to information that tells you what’s going on outside of your immediate surrounding, that’s when the FOMO… Knowing that there were so many things and being inside of a… HBS is like living inside of a social network, right? You just get so much data about the things you could be doing, that that real sort of supercharged this thing that existed within me and made it to the point where it was sort of like, it took over my personality a little bit. And it was not just me, it was the whole school. That’s the culture of the school. And then it spread now with social media. I think it’s something that anybody can feel, right, because it’s now we all have access to that kind of perception of choice and the ability to compare ourselves to other people.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. No, and I think social media, like you said, has just escalated it because it’s not just about what you see in the physical world, it’s also about what you see in the social world that is going on that is sometimes real, sometimes not real, especially in today’s day and age. A friend of mine posted a picture down in Mexico and I’m like, “Are you in Cabo? I’m so jealous.” She’s like, “No, I’m not in Cabo.” I’m like, “You got a picture on social media.” Right? Like I was about to go get on a flight and come down and hang out with you because I’m so in need of a Mexico vacation right now. So you see that happening around you and I think social definitely ends up escalating that significantly. So you’re also the inventor of another word, FOBO. Talk to us about that. I hadn’t heard of FOBO.

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah. So FOBA was invented the same day, the same time. It Was in the same article in 2004. And it never really… It only got sort of more renowned. It was written about in The New York Times two years ago by Tim Herrera in the Smarter Living column. And I was sitting there and my phone blows up and all my friends send me this article, like, “Your word made it to The Times.” And I was like, “That’s awesome, but…” I emailed Tim and I was like, “Hey, I don’t know you, but that’s my word.” And he was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” and interviewed me.

And so then we started to see a little more traction. It’s not in the dictionary though. And FOBO stands for fear of a better option. And it is the sensation you feel when you go on Netflix and you’re like, “I want to watch something, but there are 7,000 options.” Or when you go to the store and you’re trying to buy your Hint Water and there are too many flavors. I don’t know. My Target near my house has only three flavors, so it’s not a problem for me. But it is this being overwhelmed with choice when you have perfectly acceptable things you can choose from, but there’s so much choice that you become paralyzed, and rather than choose your sort of just wait and wait for the sort of riskless choice to come along, which may never happen.

Kara Goldin: That’s interesting. Do you think it creates procrastination to some extent, right, that you just get distracted by what could be?

Patrick McGinnis…: Definitely. For example, you go on, I do this all the time, go on Seamless to order some food near the house. There are 800 choices in New York City, right? So I’ll be on there for 30 minutes and then I just give up and I’ll just eat cereal, right? Or think about how many times people bail on you when they make tentative plans and then at the last minute they just disappear because something better came along. So it definitely causes procrastination and what happens is it’s the little things. So when you procrastinate because of your FOBO on something insignificant, like what you’re going to have for dinner, what you’re also doing is pushing off dealing with the really important things in life. Because it’s a lot more comfortable to procrastinate on something unimportant than to deal with the stuff that matters.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. No, it’s absolutely true. I’m trying to remember his last name. Have you ever seen this TED Talk, Tim… God, what’s his name? It’s the best TED Talk, I think out there and I happen to be in the audience when he gave it, but it’s all about procrastination.

Patrick McGinnis…: No, I have to see it.

Kara Goldin: Oh, it’s amazing and he talks about even doing the TED Talk. And he knew it was like, got accepted, he had six months in order to do it and then he’s like, “I got six months,” and then all of a sudden time goes on. He’s got all these deadlines to make for the TED Talk. And then suddenly it’s in two days that he’s got to give the TED Talk. And so he said that the toughest thing for him is that there’s always this monkey and the monkey hanging out here… Oh, you’ve got to see it. I’ll text it to you.

But he’s like, there’s the monkey. And the monkey is saying, “Hey, let’s go. There’s a party at…” [inaudible 00:18:10] like, “We’re going to go have beers.” And I’m like, “Oh, well I got 48 hours. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.” And then, yeah, it’s always… He talks about the monkey and its FOMO. And he might even say FOMO in it along the way. But I think it’s such a huge issue for what he talks about, like why do people procrastinate? And I think a lot of it’s…

I happen to be living with a few of those people who are constantly like… they’ll find 18 ways to… Yeah. My son told me this morning, I was like, “Are you studying?” And he was like, “Yeah, I got so much work to do.” And I’m like, “What are you doing?” He was running out the door, I see him heading out in the car. I call him and I said, “What are you doing?” He’s like, “Oh, I had to go get a bagel.” We have plenty of bagels in the house, where he’s like, “No, got to go do it. This is what I’m doing.” And I’m like, “All right. Okay. Let’s do it.” And he’s my FOMO guy, definitely. But I think it’s also a lot about procrastination too. So where does it work? Do you think that the profile is always people who are overachievers or not really, not necessarily?

Patrick McGinnis…: I think that there is a competitive edge that can cause this, but I think nowadays, really, if you look at it sort of as to how it has evolved, I think it’s really about access to comparative information. And also there’s a real connection to people who aren’t very happy. There’s a tremendous amount of clinical psychology research that’s been done on this topic. When I started researching it for my book, I couldn’t believe it. I mean the number of journal articles that’s out there,-

Kara Goldin: It’s crazy.

Patrick McGinnis…: … I’m like, I can’t believe that you people with your PhDs are studying FOMO. But it’s a real mental health issue because people who feel more depressed, spend more time on social media, feel more FOMO start to even feel more depressed. And so it’s interesting… It’s become something that’s quite widespread and I think the reality is that FOMO can be a positive feeling. And I think for competitive people, in particular, it’s like FOMO is kind of what’s telling you what you might want to explore and what you might be interested in. And so you can respond to it well, and I think competitive people may do that. But if you look at the stats, like 56% of people feel FOMO when they’re away from the social networks. So that’s just kind of an everybody kind of thing at this point.

Kara Goldin: So interesting. And how has being the man who created FOMO changed your life?

Patrick McGinnis…: That’s a great question. It’s so funny because it was not something I had intended on happening, to sort of be a thing. And so I went to Wall Street, I had my career, and then I ended up leaving, starting my own investing thing and doing all these entrepreneurial things. And I wrote a book proposal called The 10% Entrepreneur, and we tried to get it published and we got rejected 33 times. And getting frustrated, me and my agent, we were starting to fight even. We’re fighting, which is not a good sign if you’re fighting with your agent. And then I got a call from a reporter who said, “I’m writing an article about the history of FOMO. I traced it to you.” He wrote the article, came out in Boston Magazine, it went viral. And then I had a book deal a week later because penguin saw it and then you’re off to the races. And so that was crazy. That was number one.

Number two is just like, I will say, people, are really nice to me. People love FOMO. And when they hear about it, they always want to talk to me like it’s really interesting. I was always kind of a friendly guy, but the amount just likes… everybody wants to hear the story and it’s really nice. And I think it’s a really wonderful way to connect with people. And so it’s given me sort of a really interesting way to do things I wouldn’t have done before, get into podcasting and get into media stuff and write another book. And so I have to say it’s all positive. The only thing that annoys me is when people say like, “Well, how much money have you made off of FOMO?” And I’m like, “Well…” “Did you trademark it?” It’s sort of like, “Well, had I trademarked it, it would’ve never been famous.” So it’s kind of-

Kara Goldin: It’s true.

Patrick McGinnis…: It’s kind of… It’s a chicken and an egg. I’m happy for everybody to use it for free.

Kara Goldin: So when do people start calling it FOMO versus F-O-M-O? What is that… Like there’re certain words, right, that aren’t really words and people call it like… They say the initials. Did you ever call it F-O-M-O or?

Patrick McGinnis…: No.

Kara Goldin: No.

Patrick McGinnis…: You know why? I think that that’s a… By the way, Kara, I’ve never heard that question. That’s so good.

Kara Goldin: But you know what I’m saying like, sometimes you talk… I don’t know.

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah, like K-P-M-G, right?

Kara Goldin: Yeah.

Patrick McGinnis…: You wouldn’t say like KPMG. I think it’s because you can say FOMO and it’s a word, right? It’s easy to say. If there was a D in there, it’d be like F-D-M-O.

Kara Goldin: Yeah, maybe. Yeah. Yeah, maybe it takes vowels in order to actually… I don’t know. I got to think about the… Now you got me thinking. That’ll be my weekend thinking on…

Patrick McGinnis…: This is such a good one. Oh man, I’m going to think about this too. H-I-N-T, instead of Hint.

Kara Goldin: Yeah, exactly. But I mean, yeah, that’s another op-ed or something to talk about, like, how do you actually define whether or not somebody like spells out something, a term that is… Anyway. But how did it happen? How did you… You just never actually spelled it out. Do some people say it’s F-O-M-O-

Patrick McGinnis…: No.

Kara Goldin: … and try to screw with it? No? Everybody always calls it FOMO.

Patrick McGinnis…: We did when we used it at school. I mean, the reason I came up with this and I started using it and it became wildly popular on campus and it became a word that was used all the time. And so when I wrote the article about it, I didn’t even think about that, but just, yeah, it’s never even been an issue. It’s just people call FOMO FOBO or in foreign languages even. With the Latin-American versions coming out, it’s like FOMO, [foreign language 00:24:26]. So they even use it in Spanish, which is really neat. Or in Indonesian, they used FOMO on the cover. I just got it. So it’s insane.

Kara Goldin: That’s hysterical. Do you ever… Like Russian, are they saying FOMO or no?

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah, I think so. Listen, the book’s coming out in Russian any minute. So when I get the cover, I’ll know for sure, but I’ve only heard it as FOMO. I just think it’s easy to say and people know what it means. This is the thing, Kara, that blew my mind. I travel a lot. I’ve been all over the place for work and stuff and I’ve been to very few places where people hadn’t heard of the expression FOMO, even in the Middle East or Asia, they say it.

Kara Goldin: I believe it.

Patrick McGinnis…: It’s crazy.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. Yeah, I believe it. And you have this podcast, as I mentioned at the top of the hour, FOMO Sapiens, and which is a top business podcast distributed by Harvard Business Review that really focuses on entrepreneurial stories. Do you think entrepreneurs are more likely to have FOMO or are less likely, or it just depends?

Patrick McGinnis…: I think that they probably are more likely, and I’ll tell you why and you can validate me if I’m right or wrong. Because entrepreneurs are looking to build and they’re always worried about their competitors and they’re worried about the market. And so there’s a lot of pressure to make sure you are keeping up with the competitors. And if somebody launches a product, then you have to launch that product.

And I think that is a natural risk factor for entrepreneurs. But as we both know, focus and sticking to what you need to do is way better than spreading yourself too thin. It’s like, I think of Crystal Pepsi as a great example of FOMO. It’s like, “Pepsi, why are you trying to be Sprite?” Do Pepsi. Or at least study it better. And I think that a lot of entrepreneurs I know who go too broad, too early end up crashing.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. No, I totally agree. And I think that it just speaks to, actually, it’s not just the entrepreneurs. I feel like in our industry with Hint, we have retailers that are telling us, “Oh, you should go and do a whatever, CBD water.” “Really?”-

Patrick McGinnis…: Oh wow. Right.

Kara Goldin: … “How come?” We were like, “Maybe.” But because they have FOMO, right, they think like, “Oh, it’s out there and there’s this other retail…” They’re always focused on the other retailers, which I think is fascinating, right? So you don’t necessarily even have to have FOMO to be affected by FOMO. There’s another article.

Patrick McGinnis…: They’re pushing the cost on you, which I never thought about. That’s a really good point. They’re making you bear the cost of their FOMO, which is a very interesting thing that…

Kara Goldin: Yeah. Which is trial, right? They don’t know. They’re just like, “Oh, everybody’s doing it.” This major retailer that they care about is launching it and so they want us to go do it. Or collagen, collagen water. “Oh…” All this… and maybe. I mean, we’re just kind of like… I don’t know. We’ve doubled our company in 2020 and we’ve tripled our direct-to-consumer business in 2020 and we’re kind of busy, right?

Patrick McGinnis…: And the consumer doesn’t… The other thing is like, I love Sweetgreen, okay. Sweetgreen Georgetown guys shoutout, if you guys are listening, love you. And I’m a really loyal customer of Sweetgreen, but now I went in the app and I have a friend who’s an investor and I said, “Listen, there’s like so many choices now that I get a little overwhelmed.” I used to love the simple elegance of like, there were nine things to choose from. And I get it, what they’re doing and I respect it but it turns me off. I prefer you to give me fewer choices. Like the old Apple when you could fit the entire product line on a table, there’s an elegance to that.

Kara Goldin: I agree. I totally agree. And actually, it was interesting. I was on a Harvard, I didn’t go to Harvard Business School, but I was on a Harvard Business School panel yesterday and we were talking exactly about this and how the theory was that this is how the consumer is thinking about this too, that they don’t actually want lots and lots of choices of brands. They may actually say that they do but the reality is that, especially when they’re living in a world that’s a little bit complicated they’ll look at their top brands and then their consistent brands. And then they’ll go and buy from them and that’s it. They don’t want… The ones that ultimately will lose are the ones that are not focused on putting stakes in the ground around their brand and they’re all over the place.

And I was thinking about that last night, that I think it really is true that I think it’s the consumers, maybe they’re a little bit FOMO, right, to date, that they’re trying a lot of things, but now as we’re coming off of the crazy 2020, 2021 is really about, “This is what I want. This is what I need. And I’m not going to deal with these brands that are just trying to grab at straws.” So anyway, it’s a fascinating kind of thought process along the way.

So excited for this book and Fear of Missing Out is just… I mean, it’s an easy book to read. It’s also just really a lot of the history stuff behind it. And lots of finding freedom from the fear of failure, I think is also super, super fun. And you’re also just a great writer-

Patrick McGinnis…: Oh, thank you.

Kara Goldin: … too, Patrick, seriously. Yeah. No, it’s like, I’ve read… So I’m just a constant reader and I think the thing that really bothers me is there are so many books that are published out there. And now today, so many even that is self-published as well, where like it’s just the topic is great, but the writing isn’t very good and so… anyway. [crosstalk 00:30:38].

Patrick McGinnis…: Well, it means a lot to me. I wrote every word. I actually love writing and never thought I’d be able to write books. It wasn’t on the cards for me. I just didn’t know how I would do that. And so I love writing. And so I wrote this book, I went to Mexico City, I went for six weeks and I wrote every day and it was awesome.

Kara Goldin: I love it.

Patrick McGinnis…: And I really enjoyed it. When I’d just read the audiobook, I actually was like, “Wow, this is really good.” And so to feel proud of what you do in life is something I think if it stands the test of time and you can look at it a couple of years back and feel proud of it like you always have that, right? And so that doesn’t provoke FOMO or FOBO, it just provokes gratitude, I guess.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. No, I absolutely couldn’t agree more. So Fear of Missing Out, the best place for people to buy it?

Patrick McGinnis…: Best place, Amazon, because who knows if your retailer is even open and you can get the audiobook came out on November 17th. So it’s available there as well written. If you like the sound of this voice, you’re going to love the fact that I read it.

Kara Goldin: Yeah. And he, Patrick did the audio recording, which I just think it’s so key. I think it’s like more and more people I’ve talked to who didn’t do that, that was like their one regret that they didn’t actually do the audio version. I think a lot of people are going back in because it’s just… I don’t know. It’s like in this world of… Maybe it’s… I don’t know if it’s exactly termed authentic or not to [inaudible 00:32:07] it too, but I think more and more, it’s just kind of weird. I mean, you want the guy who’s come up with the word FOMO reading his book.

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah. I mean, it’s not easy, and even for those of us who have podcasts. I practiced just to be better because of not everybody… I think you got to kind of come in ready to roll because it’s harder than it looks, but if you work at it, you can make a great product. And I think it’s better for everybody. It’s a lot of fun.

Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. And where do people find you, Patrick? Are you on social?

Patrick McGinnis…: Yeah. I mean, I’m at is my personal website, fomosapiens is our podcast website. And at my website, you can find all my stuff, but if you’re on Instagram, Patrick McGinnis is my Instagram and Twitter is PJ McGinnis.

Kara Goldin: That’s awesome. Awesome. Well, if you guys liked this podcast, give super high marks and subscribe and all that stuff. We’re here every Monday and Wednesday with new amazing guests, everything from CEOs and entrepreneurs to major disruptors and people who are doing amazing fun stuff like FOMO that you can actually say that you heard the guy who invented the word FOMO. So this will be my weekend conversation with all my Gen Z-ers that are around here. Not as many these days, but every once in a while, if you float by. So anyway, thanks so much, everybody.