Patrick McGinnis (SFS ’98) proved that your choice in major does not necessarily determine your career path in his book, “The 10% Entrepreneur,” released on April 12.
The book is geared toward working men and women with an interest in entrepreneurship, offering professional advice on how to entertain this interest without taking on the weighted risk of launching a personal company.
After majoring in international economics, McGinnis immediately went into banking upon graduating from Georgetown. However, when his company blew up in the 2008 economic crisis, he decided that he wanted to play a more active role in his financial future.
“If I was going to fail, I wanted to fail because I messed up, not because somebody that I have never met at my company had done something to mess us up,” McGinnis joked in an interview with The Hoya. “I wanted to get more skin in the game.”
The first startup in which McGinnis invested, Real Influence, worked with YouTube celebrities to promote videos. He stayed with the company, which was started by a friend, for a year before moving on to invest in another friend’s company, which is now valued at over $100 million. While speaking about his career path, McGinnis emphasized the value of Georgetown friends and their role in his success.
“These Georgetown connections will help you throughout your career,” McGinnis said. “Being in the SFS and being able to build an international career with the education I got provided me with a network of people that extends all over the world.”
“The 10% Entrepreneur” includes stories from Luke Holden (MSB ’07), founder of Luke’s Lobster; a group of friends who met at a Bible study and opened a brewery, the profit of which is valued in the millions; and many other entrepreneurs from four continents and nine countries around the world. McGinnis credited Georgetown with the global mindset he had when he approached his book, as well as his ability to write.
“My favorite class was international political economy with Professor George Shambaugh,” he said. “I wrote a piece that got published in a journal and it gave me a lot of confidence.”
He said he was excited that Georgetown, a traditionally pre-professional school, is embracing entrepreneurship and encouraging its growth on campus. He took a moment to thank StartUp Hoyas Founding Director and MBA professor Jeff Reid, whose entrepreneurship class he spoke to about his book last week, for bringing about and continuing to uphold the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative.
A staunch supporter of McGinnis’ work, Reid called his book an appealing guide to entrepreneurship, especially for students.
“It describes a way that people can pursue entrepreneurial interests and make it a part of their lives without going all in,” Reid said. “You can give 10 percent of your time and, in return, you start to build up experience, knowledge, network and equity in other startups.”
Reid’s student who learned about the book from Reid, Jordan Edelman (MBA ’16), agreed, calling McGinnis’ book relatable.
“What Patrick did really well was share his story,” Edelman said. “He originally wasn’t an entrepreneur himself, but just by having a very large network of people he was introduced to ideas that, in his spare time, he chose to focus on.”
McGinnis’ Georgetown classmate Rasheen Carbin (SFS ’98), who founded his own company called nspHire in 2014, emphasized that “The 10% Entrepreneur” is a great idea in today’s economy.
“The overwhelming pressure to find a job can be really hard,” he said. “The 10% Entrepreneur” gives you a roadmap for pursuing your passion and the tools to figure it out.”
McGinnis is also credited with inventing the term “FOMO,” which stands for “fear of missing out” and is widely used by adolescents today, while he was a student at Harvard Business School.
When asked if he had any final words of advice for students, McGinnis emphasized the importance of following your passions and ideas right away.
“You can be a 10 percent entrepreneur in college,” he said. “It’s never too early to start.”
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