Patrick McGinnis – The 10% Entrepreneur

Patrick McGinnis is a venture capitalist, private equity investor, and author of The 10% Entrepreneur. In his book Patrick shows how, by investing just 10% of your time and resources, you can become an entrepreneur without losing a steady paycheck.

After a decade on Wall Street he founded Dirigo Advisors to provide strategic advice to investors, entrepreneurs, and fast growing businesses. In this capacity, he has worked in a range of settings, from building startups from the ground up in Silicon Valley to acting as an expert consultant to the World Bank in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

As a 10% Entrepreneur, he has built a diverse portfolio of investments outside of his day job. This portfolio encompasses fast growing new ventures in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, including ipsy, the world’s largest online beauty community; Bluesmart, the inventor of the world’s first smart, connected carry-on suitcase; and Afiniti, a big data company that is reinventing the call center industry. He has also been a partner in several real estate investments and is a seed investor in the upcoming London stage adaptation of The Last King of Scotland.

Patrick is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Georgetown University and also writes for Fortune, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Boston Magazine, and Forbes.

00:00 Trailer
01:39 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:42 Brian’s Introduction.
05:16 Brexit challenge to attracting global talent for start-ups.
08:30 What has made becoming entrepreneurial much more accessible.
10:21 How the FoMO acronym came about and went viral.
14:48 What FoMO means for the ordinary person.
16:03 Has Patrick learnt anything from FoMO, FoBO and FoDA?
16:44 How FoMO makes Tim Ferris anxious.
17:07 FoMO is the Wildebeest of Venture Capital.
17:59 The value in going to Harvard Business School.
21:13 Financial crash of 2008.
24:43 The massive collapse of AIG totally destroyed his illusion.
27:01 Patrick’s dilemma of what to do next.
29:12 Brian’s financial crash story.
30:32 Patrick’s journey from being in limbo, to the 10% concept.
36:51 Angel advisors.
38:05 How the 10% can equate to half a day advising start-up companies.
39:20 Can anyone become a 10% entrepreneur?
40:37 How the 10% offer works in practice.
43:44 The five different types of entrepreneurs.
43:58 The role of an angel.
45:33 The advisor.
46:52 The founder.
47:09 The aficionado.
48:18 The 110% entrepreneur.
49:07 Is it all just about the money?
53:10 What job satisfaction statistics illustrate.
55:09 Where entrepreneurs go wrong over giving equity.
58:33 Working out the percentage value of advice you offer or of being on the board.
1:00:48 The story of Zipcar.
1:03:49 Facebook illustration of how partnerships can go wrong.
1:05:35 Glamorisation and de-emphasis of the reality of entrepreneurship.
1:08:34 Learn about the business first before fully committing finance.
1:11:30 Ipsy investment.
1:14:22 Patrick’s emotional moments with Ipsy.
1:17:51 Bluesmart investment.
1:19:07 Crowdfunding advice.
1:20:33 What Patrick learned from an advisory role which went wrong.
1:22:21 Reputation risk.
1:23:57 How should people get started in 10% investing?
1:29:48 Screwing up and redeeming himself in a presentation to a book publisher.
1:36:14 What Patrick has learned from having a published book.
1:39:07 Success secrets.
1:39:55 Brian’s personal support for Patrick’s 10% entrepreneur idea.
1:41:38 Phone call to the 20 year old Patrick.
1:42:21 Best advice ever received.
1:43:38 Advice to the 20 year old who wants to be like Patrick.
1:45:15 Brian’s summing up.

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ltrolandasDominic JonesJabaal Elgani-MiniziKirsten ElmesAdam Watson Recent comment authors
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Here is coming real life expressions. It’s laike air to listen REAL LIFE story and approach.

Dominic Jones

Very cool interview. Thank you 🙂

Adam Watson

Best interview ever. FOBO came to mind lol. Funnily enough I’m sure we’ve all had it when hunting for a birthday card!
I’m trying to recognise how decisive i am (thanks to Dan Pena’s “Sophie’s choice” analogy), and on the hunt for a bday card, i found a good one and thought “Ok, I’ll remember that one just check if there is one better” could have slapped myself when i realised what i was doing

Jamie Curtis
Jamie Curtis

great interview, really connected with lots of areas in this one. The tool of writing your “bio” and then analysing it sounds like a useful one!


For me as a business student this interview is really interesting, thanks for this interview. It’s quite different from the usual London Real interviews . Some of the business concepts are hard to understand I guess when you hear them for the first time.

Ivo-Ivan Powerlove Yamalieff

yes, why would a person feel super enthusiastic about his job when normally you know they don’t truly value you but they just need your output and if they can do it more cheaply then you’re cut and often this happens not in a “okay” way. of course there are exceptions and if you are from them you should consider yourself lucky and be grateful. I agree with his comment that the energy in startups is more lively and much more enthusiastic. plus the motivation is much greater and therefore you care much more

Luke Worsfold
Luke Worsfold

Hi @kirsten-elmes I am a long time watcher of London Real and would highly recommend watching some other episodes as it is a greater show and has changed my life. I think every guest brings something different to the table so you have to find the guests that you click with. Happy watching, Cheers, Luke 🙂

Kirsten Elmes
Kirsten Elmes

More than one person can come up with the same idea (FOMO). This is the first interview I have listened to on LR and not found to be inspiring in some way. Too much about HBS and banking and the speaking was uncomfortably fast.