Contrary to how it’s often portrayed, there’s both a good and bad type of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). It pays to be able to recognize each and harness them to our, and our clients’, advantage.
The negative type of FOMO occurs when we are running towards something that we’ll either never catch or at least never catch and keep. Our fear is fueled by the anxiety of a possession, experience, or lifestyle we think will make us happy. It’s a treadmill fixed with a carrot on a stick.
The positive type of FOMO occurs when we are motivated to make progress. We’re still running, but we’re running away from something bad and towards something better. With positive FOMO, we’re more scared of the idea of no change than the pain (and potential) of progress. It’s a fitness tracker where we keep beating our personal best as we prepare for a race.
With clients, in particular, we’re always curious about what they’re chasing and why. Our job is to make sure these are healthy and wise pursuits and not obsessions over things they ultimately can’t control. We fail to create value if unreasonable results drive every conversation. Achievement will be based on luck, and that’s a lousy business model. We create value when we keep them focused on the process and the potential results we can achieve over time.
Negative FOMO erodes value. Avoid it. Positive FOMO can increase value. Embrace it.