This past weekend I spent the entire weekend with a group of other personal finance bloggers. Those who attended know it as FinCon or maybe by its hashtag #fincon12. For those who didn’t attend or don’t know what it is, it is a annual event where the personal finance bloggers get together and discuss ways to improve their blogs. Believe it or not, those who are familiar with twitter, the hashtag #fincon12 was trending on twitter. I spent the money to attend mainly because I wanted to meet a lot of people who I would consider friends now, but I also wanted to learn more ways to build up my blog.
While I am somewhat of an introvert, those who talked to me the most probably discovered that I can really open up as I get to know you. I started writing this post after the first day and have now completed it. (You’ll see some updates or edits throughout the post) This post is just the social moments from the conference. I have made a list of 7-8 things that I plan to do differently going forward and I plan to share them soon.
Worst Question Asked by Me: After meeting J.D. from Get Rich Slowly (for those who don’t know him, he is one of the most successful personal finance bloggers) and hearing some of his upcoming plans, I asked what any blogger would ask… or at least I thought so. Here’s my question: “If you were starting a blog over again, is there anything you would do differently?” At the time it seemed like a worthwhile question as everyone learns something along the way. I know that I have learned a number of things. What I failed to consider was that he built one of the most successful personal finance blogs known to exist so far. Who in their right mind would change anything! If you are wondering what he said, it was a simple, “no.”
Edit #1 - During the conference I realized that I was not impressed by J.D.’s response. (J.D., if you ever read this, It’s nothing personal) Here’s why. After listening to Ramit Sethi, who is a famous entrepreneur, and hearing that he made a lot of mistakes along the way, it makes me think that there have to be certain things that he has learned or going to do differently. Edit #2 - As it turns out, J.D. was asked almost the exact same question and gave a response. So, that just tells me that it was either the way I phrased the question or the setting that made him answer that way. Don’t get me wrong, J.D. is a very down-to-earth guy, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Most Memorable First Impression: One of my favorite interactions was with Michelle from See Debt Run. She was not only nice, but was expecting me to be a blond. She told me that “I write like a blond.” I’m still not sure what that means, but it stuck out in my mind. (Does anyone else think I write “like a blond”?) It was only minutes later that Michelle was talking to J.D. like they were childhood friends and convincing him to visit her site. Kudos to you Michelle!
Best Insult: While EVERYONE at the conference was nice, there are always some people you can joke around with more than others. Eric from Dollarversity was one of those guys. He was very chill and would have challenged me to climb a huge pile of dirt had we consumed a few more drinks. After hanging out a few times, he realized that I almost always had my bag with me. While I’m not sure he used these words, “man purse” was definitely the implication. Apparently he didn’t understand that I don’t have a smart phone and my ipad was just too big to carry around in my pocket. haha
Lack of Awkwardness: I may be the only person who was thinking about this before meeting everyone, but I couldn’t help but wonder, “What if they are all weirdos?” While I felt like I knew a lot of people with whom I have exchanged emails, you never REALLY KNOW someone until you have met them face to face. I found out quickly that my concern for awkwardness or meeting people that I wasn’t expected was completely absurd. Everyone was really nice.
Meeting Lots of Friends: Last but certainly not least, it was great to hang out with friends. Here are just a few that stick out:
- Don from Money Reasons - He was my roomie and even though I didn’t see him most of the week, was a lot of fun getting to know him and meeting him.
- Jon from Free Money Wisdom - A person who I admire because he convinced his wife to tag along. Maybe next year Mrs. 20′s will come along. (Probably not though). Like someone else has already said, Jon looks nothing like his avatar picture. It’s time to update that one, Jon.
- Latisha from Young Adult Finances - The person I probably talked to the most at the conference. Little did she know, I was just trying to learn her secrets of success so I can out-compete her. Just kidding. HAHA.
- Joe from Retire by 40 - Joe is one of the nicest guys you can meet. He’s also a lot shorter than I imagined, (side note: Isn’t it interesting how we visualize people before we meet them?) but that doesn’t distract from his relate-able demeanor.
- Sam from Financial Samurai - It was nice meeting Sam. He’s more of a mysterious person online than others, but very down-to-earth in person. We talked about a lot of things in a short period of time together. He even tried to convince me to stay in my day job for 10 more years. We’ll see how that works out.
- Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff - I was only able to spend a short period of time with Crystal, but it was easy to see that she didn’t let anyone convince her to be anyone different than who she is. Yes, it was those conversations about the nerdy card games that I didn’t understand.
- Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents - Jeff is a very cool guy. He’s one of those guys that attracts a lot of attention. I’m not sure if it’s his good dance moves (which I saw a little of), his good looks, or natural charisma. Either way – a stand-up guy!
- Tushar from Everything Finance - Tushar is a very successful blogger and has years more of experience. He let me pick his brain a little bit and was another close companion at many of the social events.