Last week the personal finance blogosphere was abuzz with everyone publishing their FinCon recaps. Since it’s the weekend, and the time to kick back and relax, I thought I would add mine to the pile.
What’s FinCon? For those of you who haven’t heard of it, it’s a conference that’s been held for the past seven years to bring together those in the personal finance space (bloggers, podcasters, video producers, CFP’s). It’s put together by an awesome guy named PT. Not only do we get to talk with one another to meet, get ideas, and collaborate, but we also get to connect with companies interested in doing business with us, and attend sessions to learn more about the various things we should be doing (or can be doing better than we are).
Today I’ll talk all about the fun times and regrets I have from going to FinCon last week.
The Pre-Meetup, And Other In-Person Meetings
The weekend before FinCon I had an awesome meetup in Boston with a few folks from the Rockstar Finance Forums. Physician on FIRE was in town for his American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, and we arranged a meetup on the forum and via Twitter. So I drove the two hours from Connecticut and got to meet up with not only POF, but also my friends Actuary on FIRE, Laurie of the Three Year Experiment, and “EnRon“. We sat, ate, chatted, and talked blogging and money for two hours. This was my first in-person meetup from the site-but not the last. Not only did I have FinCon the next week, but also next weekend I’m going to New York City for a meetup (if you’re in NYC, I hope you’re planning to come!). And on Thursday I got to connect in person with one of my breadwinning, six figure mom interviewees.
The FinCon Fun Times
I’ll be honest – when I started this site a year ago, I never thought I would go to FinCon. I knew all about it from reading other personal finance blogs and listening to podcasts for years, but figured there was no way my site would be big enough to make it worth it to attend. That thinking was wrong, and I’m so glad I went.
I originally changed my mind about going after two things happened:
- I won a scholarship to attend for free
- My site was nominated for a PLUTUS award in Family Finance, something I never thought would happen – ever – but especially not after just one year of writing
But now, I can see that not feeling like I was “good enough to go” was silly, and probably an example of impostor syndrome at work. I often look at the traffic or reports of some other blogs and wonder if I’m doing something wrong here, or think that everyone must be doing something much better than I am. But there were people there who hadn’t even started sites yet! And there were folks there who look up to me, for some reason, and think that I’m doing amazing. So it’s all relative, and I’d encourage you to not let the feeling that somehow you’re not good enough/big enough to go to FinCon discourage you.
Meeting and talking with people that I’ve read or listened to for years, like Joe Saul-Sehy and Steve Stewart from Stacking Benjamins (I even got to record an intro to the show-listen for me opening it up sometime!) Scott Alan Turner from Financial Rockstar, Jim Dehle from White Coat Investor, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, Farnoosh Torabi from So Money, and J. Money from Budgets are Sexy, was an amazing opportunity that I never thought I would have. And many of them knew who I was! Several of them even hugged me! That was the coolest (and strangest) part. You’re so amazing and yet you’ve heard of me? Wow! And you want to hug me? Sure!
And then there were all the amazing folks I’ve gotten to know online over the past year – through the Rockstar Forums, Twitter, and their sites. I wore my favorite consignment shop deal – a pair of $300 red shoes I got for ten bucks – so it would be easy for people to recognize me from afar. That’s one tip I have for other
I’m a bit worried about listing everyone because I know I’m going to miss someone, but I’ll take a stab at it (and if I miss you, I’m sorry! I blame FinCon brain. Tag me on Twitter or hit me up in the comments and I’ll add you to the list!).
- Amy from Life Zemplified
- Steve from My Family On A Budget
- ESI Money
- Penny from She Picks Up Pennies
- Adventure Rich
- Apathy Ends
- Felicity FFF
- I Pick Up Pennies
- Donna Freedman
- Northern Expenditure
- Guy on FIRE
- I Dream of FIRE
- Fritz from Retirement Manifesto
- Max Your Freedom
- Tanja from Our Next Life
- Holly from Club Thrifty
- Millennial Boss
- Gwen from Firey Millenials
- Vicki and her husband from Make Smarter Decisions
- Hannah Rounds
- Emily Guy Berkin
- Bobbi Rebell
- Ryan from Physician Wealth Services
- Revanche from A Gai Shan Life
- Mrs. Picky Pincher
- Bob from Twacan
- Kylie Travers from The Thrifty Issue
- Kara from Bravely Go
- Matt from Optimize Your Life
- Monkey Free Me
- Bill from Famzoo
- Physician on FIRE (yes, again. No, I’m not stalking him!)
- Elle from Couple Money
- Ms. Montana from Montana Money Adventures
- Steve from Think, Save, Retire
- Shin from Money is Not Taboo
- Waffles on Wednesday
- Smart Provisions
- Route to Retire (and his J Money costume)
- Alex from FinHealthy – be sure to stop by next Wednesday for the awesome breadwinning, six figure, trailblazing mom he put me in touch with!
There are several regrets that I have from FinCon last week, and if I had a chance to go back in time I would do things a bit differently. Here’s my “lessons learned” so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
- Not going the entire time – I had work commitments that meant I couldn’t be there until very late Thursday night. So I was only at the conference Friday and Saturday. I can say authoritatively that was just not enough time. Not only did I miss the Thursday sessions and the opening party, but I had to spend all day Friday finding and meeting people in person. Most other folks were able to do that on Wednesday, so they had more time to form deeper relationships rather than networking. Next time I should be able to go the whole time.
- Not visiting the vendors – There were a ton of vendors there, and I fully intended to visit them all. But since I had to spend Friday finding people and talking with them, I had decided to visit all of them in depth on Saturday. But SURPRISE! Most of them weren’t there on Saturday. I was really sad Friday night to see them all packing up to leave. So I didn’t get to have discussions with them, and now that means I don’t have the vendor contacts I was hoping for. Pssst – if you went to FinCon, want to help a mom out, and you have some of the vendors business cards, can you tweet them at me/email a picture to me at email@example.com? Thanks!
- Not going to the sessions – I wanted to go to so many sessions. I even made lists of all the sessions I wanted to go to. But I only ended up making it to a few of them. The few I attended were great, but I wish I had gone to more. I’m looking forward to the replays so I can see the ones I missed.
- Not Getting To Have Longer Conversations – This is related directly to #1. There were so many people I would love to have talked with longer! I never really got a chance to sit down and have a dinner, or lunch, or snack with people. I was just so busy running around and trying to see and do everything. I wish I had more time. And then #5 would have helped too.
- Not having a clone – There were so many times I wish I could have been two places at once. I had two invitations for lunch and was so torn on which one to go to! And I was at lunch when the sessions were running, and I was talking with people as sessions were going on, and…and…and…. I decided next FinCon I just need a clone so I can do everything
Other Bloggers Recaps
My friend Physician on FIRE has pulled together an awesome list of other bloggers recaps of FinCon. Plus it has a shout-out to our mini-meet-up in Boston. If you want to read more about it, check out his list below!
- Purpose, Community and Beer: A #FinCon17 Adventure | Adventure Rich
- FinCon17: What the hell just happened? | Think Save Retire
- The Power of Community, at #FinCon17 — and Everywhere Else | Our Next Life
- REVIEW: #FinCon17 – What a Rush?! | Future Proof MD
- I Found My Tribe! FinCon 2017 | Slowly Sipping Coffee
- My FinCon 2017: 4 days of Accidental Connections, Beer & Memories – Minafi
- Beer and BBQ in Dallas. Is Pecan Lodge the best BBQ ever? Yes, it is. | 1500 Days
- Adventures In Tipping: FinCon 2017 | The Happy Philosopher
- Oh What A Week! #FinCon17 Ya’ll Are Awesome | Life Zemplified
- Most Fun For the Cost of a Root Canal (#FinCon17) | Human Business Works
- #FinCon17 What Really Happened (on Twitter) | Northern Expenditure
- What’s My Story? Recap of #FinCon17 | Yes, I Work in My Pajamas
- 10 New Fintech Companies To Watch Out For! (Plus Highlights From FinCon 2017) | Budgets Are Sexy
- How Much Does It Cost to Go to FinCon (And a FinCon Recap) | Financial Panther
- My FinCon 2017 Review | Debt Free Climb
- My Favorite FinTech From FinCon 2017 | Janet Berry-Johnson / Forbes
- 9 Game-Changing Blogging Takeaways from FinCon 2017 | Do You Even Blog
- Why FinCon 2017 was Amazing and I’m Going to FinCon 2018 in Orlando | The Mastermind Within
- FinCon17 Dallas, TX Recap | Rebel with a Plan
- FinCon17 Recap | A Gai Shan Life
- Don’t Make a Pest of Yourself | Bayalis is the Answer
- Friday Gratitude: Censored | 1500 Days
- Playing with FIRE Documentary | Millennial Money
- FinCon 2017: So Much to Take in During a 4 Day Blitz | My Family on a Budget
- Life as a Living Statue, Party Crashing, & New Friends (FinCon Recap) Fetching Financial Freedom
- The Ultra-Official FinCon 2017 Review | The Happy Philosopher
- My FinCon Story — Fun Times and Regrets | Chief Mom Officer
- FinCon Madness | Millennial Revolution
- MilBlogging17 was awesome! (Oh, and FinCon17 too.) | The Military Guide
- Five Lessons from the FinCon17 FIRE Panel | Easy Does It FI
- 5 Themes of #FinCon17: Humility, Presence, Heart, Potential, and Collaboration | Tiller
- Impostor Syndrome Was Stopping Me From Making More Money | Mixed Up Money
- My 6 Favorite FinCon17 Moments | Route to Retire
- Takin’ Care of Business: FinCon 2017 Recap
- I Finally Went to FinCOn — Here’s What I Learned
- Figuring Out My Conference ROI — FinCon17. Wasit Worth It? | Michelle Jackson
- I Know a Lot of Nerds | Retirement Manifesto
- FinCon 2017: Putting Faces to Blogs, Beer and Take-Aways | Apathy Ends
Were You There, Or Are You Going Next Year?
If you went, what were your fun times and regrets? Let me know in the comments!
Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram, what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.