Hoya Highlight: Patrick J. McGinnis (F’98)

Patrick J. McGinnis

Author, The 10% Entrepreneur
Founder, Dirigo Advisors

What has been the most rewarding moment of your career?

Combining all of the experiences and lessons learned from investing in fast-growing companies on five continents into a book that encourages people to be entrepreneurs without quitting their day jobs. My goal was to reach a global audience and that's been truly rewarding. The book has been translated into a bunch of languages and I've spoken on the topic of 10% Entrepreneurship in a diverse set of places, such as Argentina, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Mongolia.

What do you wish you had done earlier in your career?

I wish I had been more open to working on side projects as a way to explore interests, learn, and generate opportunities for upside. I was heads down and all-in on finance, which didn't work out so well during the 2008 financial crisis.

What trends do you see in your profession or industry?

Entrepreneurship is going global due to the falling cost of innovating and the now indisputable fact that talent is borderless. As a result, you don't need to be in Silicon Valley or New York or London to succeed. You can be almost anywhere.

What is the hardest thing you have ever done professionally?

I'm credited with coining the term FOMO while I was a student at Harvard Business School. Staying focused, even when it's not fun or profitable to do so, never gets easier.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Find something you want to be known for, write about it, establish your authority on the topic.

How has Georgetown shaped you?

I like to joke that I have the most SFS career I could have imagined. Without question, the intellectual foundation and language skills that I got at Georgetown are fundamental to everything I do. I have been heavily influenced by the values of cura personalis and social justice that I discovered on the hilltop.

What was your favorite professor or class at Georgetown?

"International Political Economy" with Prof. George Shambaugh and "The Problem of God" with Julia Lamm

What is your favorite Georgetown memory?

Winning a ticket to see Bill Clinton speak at Gaston Hall my freshman year. I loved that Georgetown gave tickets out so democratically. It is still the greatest speech I have ever seen in person.

Who is a source of inspiration and strength to you in your life and why?

If you pay attention, you can find inspiration all around you, even in the little things. I try to pay attention and stay grateful for the little things.

What is on your desk right now?

A Oaxacan black clay skull from a great store called Tienda MAP in Mexico City. It's a good reminder to make the most of each day.

Who is your favorite author?

F. Scott Fitzgerald

What is one part of your daily routine you couldn't live without?

I hate monotony, so I rebel against routine... but no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I will always start my day with a cup of very good coffee.

What are your words to live by?

Always make sure to have more than one string to your bow.