I’m going to FinCon 2017!

Conference badgesPhoto courtesy of Ben Alman

If there’s anything I know a lot about, it’s that there are so many ways that we are enticed to spend money.

I know how advertising works. You are shown something that makes you feel like you want/need some thing or experience, and it compels you to buy it, either now or in the future.

I feel like I have become good at recognizing these tactics, and can insulate myself from them enough to be able to make my own decisions. I mean, I’m not adverse to spending money, I just want to make sure that I’m spending money on what’s most important and what will yield the biggest benefit.

But sometimes, you need to, as it were, roll the dice. And to that end, I’ve decided that I’m going to FinCon 2017.

Fin what?

FinCon is a “peer conference for the money media community”. Quoting its about page:

At the annual event each Fall,

  • attendees connect with others in the community,
  • learn to create, promote, and profit from compelling online content, and
  • discover new trends in personal finance and investing.

So basically, it’s a conference for people who work in the financial media space. Specifically (but not limited to) blogging, as indicated by its original title “Financial Blogger Conference”.

Let’s pause for a minute and steady ourselves at the staggering implications of this: there are so many people blogging or writing about financial interests that there’s an entire conference devoted to it! Not just blogging (I could understand that), not just finance (I could understand that), but the intersection between the two.

My initial reaction to the conference, I confess, was one of dejection. “There’s so many people in this space! How in the world will I ever stand out and differentiate myself?

Well hello there Impostor Syndrome.

It just goes to show that your reaction to a situation says more about you than it does about the situation. One could just as easily look at all those people attending this conference and think: “This space has so much opportunity!

Today, I can’t say I’m in either camp, actually. That’s part of why I’m going though, to see what the opportunity is.

Spend money to make money

There’s also, I’m learning, a benefit to spending money: it forces your hand. It commits you.

As I’ve grown this site and my coaching business, I have seen countless entreaties to purchase some product, from “How to get your first 1,000 mailing list subscribers in 24 hours” to “The best WordPress theme for converting pageviews into dollars” and “affiliate marketing for the totally unscrupulous“.

So far, I’ve steered clear of all of them, lest I get duped into the pyramid scheme of blogging. (And if you don’t believe me that that’s a thing, look for someone selling a course called “how to make money through your blog” who has no experience with anything except for making money on a blog. Hmmm.)

That said, it doesn’t seem to need much explanation that when we spend money on something, it makes us more likely to devote our energy to getting the most from it.

If students had to pay outright for college (like for real, not taking out student loans that feel like fake money), don’t you think they’d be more likely to work their tails off? I know it would have been that way for me.

Similarly, if you purchase a three or four (or five) digit product online, don’t you think you’re going to make damn sure you get your money’s worth?

I believe that you’ll work harder when it’s your money on the line.

(That’s how I can rationalize charging for financial coaching. Yes, you’ll be out some money, but I know that people will work that much harder to achieve their goals. And since most people I work with find that they earn many times that amount after the first month or two, it’s doubly worth it for them.)

What are my goals?

That said, I need to figure out my goals as concretely as possible, because I want to be able to answer the question, was attending worthwhile? Was it a success?

I’ve been to many conferences over the years. But the only one I’ve ever paid out of pocket for is the World Domination Summit. I went as a volunteer in 2012 and in 2014, and paid in 2013.

World Domination Summit, a conference that asks “how can we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” is like a weekend of TED talks. There’s a lot of people working to start their own business or side hustles, and generally you find a positive, upbeat, energetic crew in attendance.

If there’s one thing I remember about attending as a paid attendee, it’s that it was stressful. There was this pressure to accomplish everything, to see everything, to do everything, to talk to everyone! Keep going! Sleep when you’re dead!

I don’t wish to repeat that.

So, for FinCon, I plan on scrutinizing the program and plan very acutely prior to the conference, so I know exactly what I want to see. And I want to give myself permission to go back to the hotel and chill out, without feeling like I’m missing something.

In general, my goal at FinCon is to meet other professionals, and learn how I can grow my site and my business. I want to be a better provider for all of you, whether it’s my free services or my paid services. If I can come away with a few overarching and achievable tasks that will generate real progress for me, I will consider this a success.

So see you in Dallas on October 25-28! Bring on FinCon 2017!

FinCon2017

Plus a trip to Dallas too!

But enough about me. Are you going to FinCon, or have you been before?

Mike Pumphrey

Mike Pumphrey

I'm the founder and author of Unlikely Radical, a site to help people succeed with money, achieve their goals, and live intentionally.

I offer a free phone consultation to anyone who is interested in changing their financial narrative. Are you ready? Click here for details.
Mike Pumphrey
Posted on December 15, 2016