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Watch > Episode > Patrick McGinnis - The 10% Entrepreneur

Patrick McGinnis - The 10% Entrepreneur


Patrick McGinnis is a venture capitalist, private equity investor, author of “The 10% Entrepreneur”, and perhaps best known for coining the acronym “FOMO”. In his book, Patrick demonstrates 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 centre 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.

With this diverse background in finance, venture capital, and entrepreneurship, McGinnis has become a thought leader in the field, inspiring individuals to navigate their lives with intentionality and embrace the power of choice.

Born and raised in Maine, Patrick McGinnis developed a keen interest in business and finance from an early age. After completing his undergraduate studies at Harvard College, he went on to earn an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he laid the groundwork for a multifaceted career in finance and entrepreneurship.

McGinnis began his career in finance and venture capital, working with companies in various capacities. His experience in both investment and entrepreneurship gave him a unique perspective on decision-making, risk assessment, and the dynamics of the business world.

In 2004, Patrick McGinnis coined the term “FOMO” in an article for the student magazine of Harvard Business School. FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, refers to the anxiety or apprehension that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often inciting a desire to participate. This concept has since become widely recognised and is frequently used to describe the pervasive influence of social media and the modern digital age.

McGinnis further solidified his position as a thought leader with the release of his book, “The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job.” In this book, he introduces the concept of being a “10% entrepreneur,” encouraging individuals to allocate a small portion of their time and resources to entrepreneurial endeavours while maintaining their primary careers. The book provides a practical framework for pursuing passion projects and entrepreneurial ventures without risking financial stability.

One of the central themes in Patrick McGinnis’s work is the power of choice and intentional decision-making. He encourages individuals to be mindful of their decisions, considering the long-term impact and aligning choices with personal values and goals. By embracing intentional choices, individuals can overcome the anxiety associated with FOMO and lead more fulfilling, purpose-driven lives.

While FOMO focuses on the fear of missing out, McGinnis introduces the concept of JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out. JOMO encourages individuals to find joy and contentment in the choices they make, recognising that every decision involves trade-offs and prioritisation. By embracing the JOMO lifestyle, individuals can free themselves from the constant pressure of comparison and external expectations.

Patrick McGinnis’s work has had a profound impact on personal empowerment and decision-making. Through his writings, talks, and media appearances, he provides individuals with the tools to navigate the complexities of the modern world, make intentional choices, and overcome the pervasive influence of FOMO.

Patrick McGinnis’s journey from finance to entrepreneurship and his contributions to decision-making theory highlight his commitment to empowering individuals to lead intentional and fulfilling lives. By coining the term FOMO and advocating for the 10% entrepreneur lifestyle, McGinnis has become a guiding force for those seeking to navigate the challenges of the digital age with mindfulness and purpose. As a thought leader and advocate for personal empowerment, Patrick McGinnis continues to inspire individuals to embrace the power of choice and find joy in their unique life journeys.


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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