One of my favorite local talk show hosts was chatting about an interesting topic last week: FOMO.
Yeah don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either. At least not in acronym form. Turns out, “FOMO” stands for “fear of missing out.” OK, now *that* I’ve heard of.
This particular discussion was lightly chiding folks who “suffered” from FOMO. Let’s just say my favorite talk show host has a a bit of a snarky side to him.
But, then I started thinking about FOMO from a professional point of view.
This is a key topic that keeps coming up when it comes to digital marketing. People fear they are “missing out” on something if they’re not keeping up with the latest technology, the latest platform or the latest social media tool.
I’ve heard it countless times.
And I’ll be honest. I’ve suffered from professional FOMO from time to time. No doubt.
For me, it’s a result of a few different factors:
* Competition. I’m a competitive guy. I want win–badly. And, when it comes to digital marketing, staying out in front can be construed as key to your success. Plus, I’m constantly paranoid about what others in our industry are up to and how they handle this challenge.
* Client requests. Clients are constantly asking me about the next big thing in social media marketing and PR. They want to feel like they’re a step ahead, too. And they expect me to keep them there. Sometimes I have the answers they’re looking for. And sometimes I don’t (but I always research and come back with the answer eventually). But the pressure to stay one step ahead is always there.
* Insecurity. I’m being brutally honest here. Like many small business owners and entrepeneurs (although I wouldn’t characterize myself as an entrepeneur), I’m paranoid. And terribly insecure when it comes to my business. But, I tend to think that’s what good business people do–different story for a different time though. For me, insecurity is a big part of this. I’m constantly worrying if others know more about certain topics than I do–and what that means for my future.
My FOMO has manifested itself in many different ways over the last few years.
Making sure I was all over Twitter.
Making sure I was reading the right sites/blogs.
And making sure I knew all about the latest tools and platforms.
But, once I got my business going and really started to think about this, I thought, “this is ridiculous. I can’t possibly keep up with all this stuff.”
No one can.
And that’s when it hit me: I’m not missing out on anything.
That extra hour on Twitter in the evening–what was it really getting me? Couldn’t I do without that and spend the time with my wife and/or kids instead?
That time I was spending reading blogs on the weekends–couldn’t I channel that into shooting hoops with my son or playing golf with a friend instead?
All that time spent researching new tools–couldn’t I use that to work even harder for my clients and hone my new business strategies?
The simple answer to all these questions is “yes.” Of course, I could. And, I did. For the last couple years now, I’ve spend far less time on Twitter. I’ve read fewer blogs. And I’ve spent less time trying to stay on top of the latest tool or platform–and more time working for people I see every week/month right here in the Twin Cities.
This isn’t to say I don’t value Twitter, reading blogs and connecting with people via socnets. I’ve found great value in the past in those areas. And I have no doubt I will down the road, too.
But, it’s not because I have a “fear of missing out.”
What about you? Are you a professional FOMO sufferer? I offer the comments as my therepeutic davenport below … 😉