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A Little of What I Learned at FinCon15

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You may have noticed I haven't written for a few days. (You also may not have... ouch.)

I was at the annual personal finance conference, FinCon, in Charlotte North Carolina. I get to meet many great bloggers, share some incredible stories, and learn about the cool tools that companies are developing to help you manage your finances. I'm going to give a taste of it, because I couldn't certainly cover it in depth in one post.

FinCon Logo

I'm not going to dig too much into the companies and tools right now. Some of the tools aren't released yet and each one requires its own article to explain who it is for and why it is helpful.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the people and things that I learned:

Motivation is Where You Find It

I need your feedback on whether this was really smart or really dumb... I told Martin from Studenomics that he can body slam me at the next FinCon if I don't get a book published by January 1st.

This may be one of the more random sentences I've ever written.

Martin is a professional wrestler. He's also author of Failure To Launch No More (Review). Now you see the connection, right?

I'm not expecting to write a great book. I'm aiming for something useful that people will pay a couple bucks for and say, "That was a better value than watching Pearl Harbor."

The way I see it, first you have to be able to finish a marathon... then you can obsess about your time.

For those wondering... yes, I made this offer completely sober. I can't back out, there was a pinky swear involved.

Also, I noticed Martin in a session with me about how to make money freelancing. Biggest no-brainer business: "I will body slam you if you don't launch your project."

Siesta to Success

Many of the bloggers that I talked to set their own schedules. They do freelance writing on the side and other things to make money. I was somewhat surprised to learn that I had a unique schedule. When I shared it, the reaction was universally, "I NEED TO TRY THIS!"

I wake up early, around 5AM or 6AM, and work for 2-3 hours before getting the kids up and ready for day care. It's an extremely productive time of day with few distractions. At around 1PM, when I start to get tired, I take a 30-45 minute siesta. The siesta refreshes me to knock out another few hours of productivity, before I have to shut things down for the night.

I was surprised that the reaction was so strong. I had assumed that everyone was doing this. It's not like I invented the idea of a siesta. In any case, I think more than a few bloggers will now try it.

Some Conversation Highlights

Spent a few hours with Joe Taxpayer who lives near where I grew up. The conversation felt like we were sharing a brain. (I even used to have his WordPress theme in around 2006.) I'm jealous of his job educating children.

Spent a few hours with Ryan of Cash Money Life. He had me (and everyone in 10 foot radius) in stitches the entire time. He wasn't all about joking around though. I can't go into details, you just had to be there.

I wish I had 10% of the professionalism of Miranda Marquit of Planting Money Seeds. She also included me in more things than I can count... lunches, after parties, etc.

One particularly time was a late-night chat with Kyle from Young and Thrifty, Pete from Bible Money Matters and, Tom Drake of Canadian Finance Blog. Between the 5 of us, we probably have more than 40 combined years of personal finance blogging. In other words, we are old... at least in blogging terms. There were more than a few other bloggers there too, but that's who I talked with.

Had dinner with Eric J. Nisall from AccountLancer. We were just in the same place looking for the same thing. I had always seen him around, but didn't know him well or what he did. I am somewhat embarrassed that he probably knew me better than I knew him.

I've already rambled on too long about this, but I'll end with one final observation from someone's first time at FinCon. I have his card in my bag, but I haven't fully unpacked yet. He said (paraphrased):

"A couple of months back, I went to a conference on SEO [Search Engine Optimization] and the people were so secretive that you had to fight to get a nugget of real information. Here, I'm flooded with a hundred people telling me exactly what I need to do to grow my site. It's amazing."

Posted on September 21, 2015.

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9 Responses to “A Little of What I Learned at FinCon15”

  1. Ryan says:

    Had a great time hanging with you @ FinCon, Lazy Man! Loved all the conversations with everyone, the excellent food, regional beers, and the after parties. Ah yes, good times. :)

  2. Do you know when next year’s FinCon will be held? Or is it too soon to know?

  3. Martin says:

    Thanks for being an awesome dude Brian. However, make no qualms about it, that body slam will go down if there’s no book. No crash mats either!

  4. […] week, while I was at FinCon, Amazon released a few new tablets. There are some different sizes and specifications, but the one […]

  5. Great to connect with you at FinCon. Learned a lot and looking forward to the future!

  6. Philip says:

    Brian, thanks for being a solid part of it all through the years. You’re blog was an inspiration of mine and I’m so thankful that you attend and pass along your info to others. See you soon, my man!

  7. Peter says:

    Lazy man – I’ve know you for years now, and every time I see you I have to remind myself that your real name isn’t “Lazy man”. It was definitely fun hanging out and chatting – hope to see you next year!

  8. So nice seeing you again! We had fun :)

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