By the time you read this, chances are, enrollment for Marie Forleo’s B-School will be over and done. I know that because I keep getting email from her and her friends nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. I don’t mind them. I like them. They are filled with wonderful ideas–starting your own business, becoming an entrepreneur, using your authentic self to create success. And, come the deadline, I will most likely–highly likely–feel woeful for not signing up. I imagine that’s the first lesson of B-School: Make people feel like they’ll miss out.
That isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably the best way to garner your audience. And Forleo has a big audience. I know I was salivating at the mouth to join her entrepreneurial seminar and I have no idea what I want to “preneur!” (She even has an answer for that!) She’s extremely good at what she does and her team hit me right where I live: Fear of missing out, or FOMO.
Now, there aren’t enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the year, or years in the life to do everything we want to do. That’s why we have priorities. It’s why going to see Deadpool on opening weekend gets postponed so you can go grocery shopping lest you end up eating like a college student. But then there’s the stuff that you feel will only happen once–seeing Springsteen at the Garden, getting Hamilton tickets, attending a film seminar in Cuba–that brings a heightened, almost obnoxious sense of urgency. And if you have a brain like mine, everything, from writing a blog post to hanging with your friends to live-streaming Scott Kelly’s return from Space to signing up for B-School, feels utterly important. Setting priorities can be next to impossible.
Years ago, when Hubs and I were dating, there was an event on the other side of town that many of my friends were attending. There was also a big ice storm that shut down many of the roads from my place. The event still went on, just with a smaller group of attendees. Still, though, I felt I was missing out on being with my tribe.
“I want to be where everything is happening,” I told Boyfriend Hubs. It was an oft-sung refrain in my life.
He smiled at me, and gently said, “Everything’s happening right here.”
It’s a message I repeat to myself whenever my FOMO rises up. So, while I’m not quite ready for B-School for several reasons (even though my emails could persuade me otherwise), I am grateful for the lessons I’ve already taken away in the runup to it: First, I have to figure out my priorities. Second, just do it already. (Or Dew it already.) Third, not everything needs to happen. I removed “landing on the moon” from my bucket list a few years ago and I’m pretty okay with that. And lastly, maybe it’s not going to happen there yet, but I still can make things happen right here.
What is FOMO like for you? What do you do about it? What things happened when you let your FOMO feelings pass?