In the very early days of CCAW, I was a one-man band. No team. No advisors or mentors. No investors. No peers. Lone man on an island. I eventually connected with other entrepreneurs in Atlanta who became peers. That group was sharp and way ahead of me in many areas (and they still are!). I began trying to catch up. I read everything they were reading, used all the latest tools they were using, and tried to implement the best practices their companies were implementing. I was afflicted with founder’s FOMO. All of this had some benefits. I learned a lot about a lot of things. But there were downsides, too. Some of what I learned didn’t apply to me. And I wasted a lot of time, sometimes felt stretched, and had a team that didn’t like doing something because another company was.
I eventually took a step back and starting gauging for fit. The list of things my peers were doing was ever growing, but so were my responsibilities at CCAW and the draws on my time. It just wasn’t possible for me to keep up with what everyone was doing. I started thinking more about what was right for me and passing on bad fits. Looking back, I missed out on a few cool things. But more importantly, I didn’t wasn’t time on things that weren’t right for me or my team.
People are social. Most of us feel FOMO at some point. It hit me when I was a student, a corporate employee, and a founder. From living it, I’ve learned that giving in to it—doing something because everyone else is—doesn’t work for me. I’ve gotten better at winnowing out bad fits. I’m comfortable missing out on them. No more FOMO.